Although the Seahawks’ vets led the way in their win over the Vikings, it was Jacob Martin’s second sack of the season that essentially sealed the Seattle's fourth consecutive win, setting up Justin Coleman's 29-yard return for a TD.
Well, it had been a while since Justin Coleman had scored a touchdown.
Coleman scored two last season, each on pick sixes, against the Colts and at Dallas.
So maybe he was due.
Certainly, Coleman said he had his eyes solely on the end zone when he picked up a fumble by Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins after he was sacked by rookie Jacob Martin, sealing the Seahawks’ 21-7 win over Minnesota on Monday Night Football.
“I’m one of the most confident people out there,’’ said Coleman, who had to weave through a little traffic and around the end to get into the end zone.”I’m going to score regardless.’’
“A beautifully finished play,’’ said Seattle coach Pete Carroll.
Coleman said his only worry was getting the ball after it was fumbled.
“Man, that ball went kind of slow motion,’’ Coleman said. “But I had my boy Shaq (Shaquill Griffin) in front of me with the lead block and we got the score. So that’s good.’’
So was Seattle’s pass defense as the Seahawks held Cousins to just 27 yards in the first half and just 56 in the first three quarters, and 208 total, well below the team’s season average of 274.8.
Carroll said the biggest key may have been the tackling of Griffin and Tre Flowers. Carroll lamented missed tackles on three plays last week against the 49ers that helped San Francisco throw for a season-high 386 yards against the Seahawks.
There was only one notable missed tackle on a pass play against the Vikings.
“I thought the tacking was really good tonight,’’ he said. “Really good. … our guys did a really nice job in open field and we closed on stuff way better than we have. We’ve been kind of sporadic with it but it was very consistent tonight.’’
After the game, Martin, the rookie, was sitting in front of his locker, answering questions about his fourth-quarter strip sack that resulted in Coleman’s 29-yard touchdown.
While Martin expounded, veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner — who led the Seahawks with nine tackles and a blocked field goal attempt — began shouting instructions with a wide grin.
“I THANK MY ELDERS,” Wagner said, feeding Martin lines. “I THANK MY VETS.”
“I thank my vets, man,” Martin said with a smile.
“There you go!” Wagner responded.
But though the Seahawks’ vets led the way, it was Martin’s second sack of the season that essentially sealed the team’s fourth consecutive win. How, exactly, did the 2018 sixth-round pick corral Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins?
“I was just running, dude. I was just running,” Martin said. “I couldn’t really see the ball until he pulled his arm back, and that’s when I took my shot.
“Good things happen. That’s all I’ve got to say, man. I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Still, the 6-foot-2, 242-pound defensive end has earned his position by doing just that — by running, by utilizing his speed in third down and special teams situations.
Martin may not be a defensive standout, but the unheralded rookie certainly understands his role.
“I bring the same energy every week, man,” Martin said. “That’s what coach (Pete) Carroll preaches. That’s what these older guys preach. I bring the same energy, the same juice, regardless of the night, regardless of what we’re wearing. That’s part of my role.
“I’m a core special teams guy and I come in and try to help the defense out on third down and obviously bring energy, bring juice when I’m not in the game.”
That, and he thanks his vets. He thanks his elders. He listens to Bobby.
He makes plays, too.
“It’s fun to be with these guys day in and day out, man,” Martin said. “It’s not just because we’re winning. It doesn’t matter where we are. This is a great group of dudes, man. Obviously I’ve never been on another NFL team, but these are a whole bunch of great guys in this locker room and a whole bunch of guys that are looking out for you. They want to see you succeed.”