News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 PFF ReFocused: Seattle Seahawks 38, Dallas Cowboys 31

A battle between NFC powerhouses came down to the wire, resulting in one of the most exciting matchups on the Week 3 Sunday slate.

The soaring Seattle Seahawks remain undefeated through three weeks after defeating the Dallas Cowboys and their high-octane offense, 38-31. 

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

STORY OF THE GAME

For the third game in a row, the Seahawks let Russell Wilson cook. And he did not disappoint. Wilson now has 14 passing touchdowns in his 2020 campaign, the most by a quarterback in the first three games of a season. To put that further into perspective, the rest of the NFC West has 14 touchdown passes combined. He finished the contest with zero turnover-worthy plays while completing three of his six deep passes (20-plus yards downfield) for 134 yards and two touchdowns. 

Wilson’s receivers played a major role in his success on the day. Tyler Lockett was open on seemingly every play, reeling in nine receptions for 100 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. D.K. Metcalf wasn't too shabby himself, catching four passes for 110 yards and one score — though it should have been two if it were not for Trevon Diggs forcing a fumble just before Metcalf crossed the goal line.

The Cowboys' defensive line was strong, generating pressure on 33.3% of their pass-rush snaps, compared to the Seahawks' rate of 15.5%. Aldon Smith had eight pressures and three sacks on the day, leading all defenders in Week 3. Although these numbers are eye-popping, it must be noted that Wilson had the longest average time to throw (3.46 seconds), so not all of those pressures can be put on his offensive line. 

Dak Prescott had two interceptions and another that was dropped. He did not let his mistakes phase him, though, as he consistently pushed the Cowboys' offense downfield despite his pass-catchers dropping six balls in the game. Still, much of the passing game success has to be attributed to the Cowboys’ deadly receiver trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and rookie CeeDee Lamb.

Cooper had nine receptions for 86 yards, Gallup had six for 138 yards and a deep touchdown early in the fourth that kept the game close, and Lamb gained 66 yards on five receptions. It wasn't just those three, however, as Cedrick Wilson made his name known by corralling five of his seven targets for 107 yards and two touchdowns. 

Despite strong efforts, the Cowboys’ turnovers proved too much to overcome, and they leave Seattle with a 1-2 record on the season.

Sep 27, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) reacts after catching a touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

ROOKIE WATCH

The Seahawks had just three rookies earn 10 or more snaps — sixth-round receiver Freddie Swain (34), fifth-round edge defender Alton Robinson and first-round linebacker Jordyn Brooks (14). The trio was unable to make its presence known in limited playing time, as Swain saw only one target — which he caught for 13 yards — while Robinson and Brooks and did little to help their defense. 

Outside of Lamb, the Cowboys saw contributions from Diggs, Tyler Biadasz and undrafted offensive tackle Terence Steele. Diggs struggled the most of the bunch, as the Seahawks made it a point to test him. He saw 11 passes come his way and allowed eight catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. It was not all bad, as he made two stellar plays against Metcalf, forcing a fumble in the endzone and breaking up a deep pass down the sideline. Steele allowed a few pressures and Biadasz surrendered one, but neither gave up a sack and both were solid in the limited running game.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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