Seahawks linebacker Cody Barton
Well, Cody Barton is pretty good. The best part about Barton’s night is he seemed to get better as the game grew old. He made maybe the singularly most important play on Denver’s last futile drive when he blew up a pass that Russell Wilson threw out wide to Denver running back Javonte Williams. It was the kind of play that had worked for the Broncos several times in the game.
Had Williams gotten past Barton, he might have picked up chunk yards, getting Denver well into Seahawks territory and setting up at least a much easier field goal attempt for Denver. But Barton didn’t just keep Williams from gaining yards, he completely destroyed Williams. It was a play that showcased Barton’s speed and physicality. If Barton lacked any confidence before the game, after that play and by the end of Week 1, Barton should feel sure of his abilities.
Barton was taken in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft partly for his ability to cover receivers. He did a decent job of that in Week 1 though he could improve a bit on that. But Barton proved he could do much more than cover. He was used occasionally on blitzes and got a sack on Russell Wilson on one blitz.
Barton finished with 10 tackles – 8 solo – a sack, 2 tackles for loss and a quarterback hit. Maybe he isn’t ever going to be Bobby Wagner-esque but in Week 1 he did a pretty good impression of a young Wagner and without Barton, Seattle might have lost the game.