A few other aspects of the game jumped out, and in this week's edition of Upon Further Review, we'll dissect them.
1. In a way, the game-winning, fourth-quarter touchdown drive was the most important of
Three offensive snaps later -- and one play after pressure forced a quick incompletion -- Osweiler connected with tight end
Osweiler has made this type of throw more in practice this year than in previous years. It makes him much less likely to hold on to the football. And it also reveals a growing confidence that is unaffected by a bad throw; he's still going to push the pass to a narrow window, and trust his ability to deliver an accurate pass with the zip to arrive before the defense reacts. He's not at a
In this case, he adjusted his plans in a split-second. He adjusted his setting in the pocket to react to Cassius Marsh blowing past
On Austin's third-quarter sack Unrein reads the situation perfectly. Before the snap, he lets Austin know of a change in plans.
"Mitch called out the protection and he actually switched it because I was going to be the penetrator and he was going to be the looper," Austin explained. "When he switched it, we just worked through it together and I came free, looked at the quarterback and was like, 'You're not going to throw the ball?' And I got the sack. It was pretty much Mitch."
3. The progress of
What was most encouraging about the young defenders' ability to contain Seattle's quarterbacks was their lack of offseason work against passers who use their mobility as often as Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson and Terrelle Pryor. The challenge of Pryor was particularly keen for the reserves, since Pryor started nine games last year and averaged 6.9 yards on his 83 carries.
"It's a lot different than what I'm used to," Anunike admitted. "The speed, and obviously, the adrenaline is running, you're trying to make sure you know your assignment."
One example of this came on a play that proved vital toward the final result: a third-and-2 from the Denver 4-yard-line. Pryor takes the snap in front of an I-formation. Fullback Kiero Small and running back Demitrius Bronson veer to the right -- in Anunike's direction. As they do. Pryor rolls to the right. Anunike has to navigate between the fullback and the tailback, while not over-pursuing. If he attacks Pryor too fast, the quarterback can sprint around the right side for a first down or even a touchdown.
When Anunike does begin striking, he's already a step outside of Pryor. Bronson chips him -- a common tactic against Anunike on Thursday -- but he is speedy enough to keep his balance.
Anunike takes an angle that guides Pryor outside. By the time Pryor is closer to the sideline than the defensive end, he's back at the 10-yard-line, eight yards from the line to gain, and
At this point, the play is dead; the quarterback is contained, and the Seahawks settle for no gain and a field goal.
Anunike's discipline serves him well against mobile quarterbacks, which enhances his skill set at this level, given the evolution of signal-callers. If he can avoid a recurrence of the injuries that nearly derailed his college career, his future in the NFL appears bright.