Seahawks LB Uchenna Nwosu Earns NFC Player of the Week Honors For Week 1 – Sports Illustrated

Following a sensational debut with his new team in a 17-16 win over the Broncos on Monday Night Football, Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu earned NFC Player of the Week honors for Week 1.
Nwosu, who joined Seattle as a free agent in March and signed a two-year contract after four years in Los Angeles, stuffed the stat sheet in his first start playing in coordinator Clint Hurtt's hybrid 3-4 defense while flying all over the field. He proved to be a thorn in Denver's side from the get go, consistently harassing quarterback Russell Wilson and making multiple stops against the run.
"He was physical and tough and making stuff happen," coach Pete Carroll said of Nwosu's performance after the game. "He played great. He really did. Thrilled that he was able to be that impacting."
On the first play of the second quarter, Nwosu chased down Wilson as the quarterback scrambled to his left and dragged him down near the sideline for his first sack of the season. Two plays later, the Broncos were forced to punt after he knocked down a third down pass, marking the only possession in the first half where they didn't advance past the Seahawks' 40-yard line.
After halftime, Nwosu continued to deliver crucial plays for Seattle's defense. On the first play from scrimmage, he blew up running back Melvin Gordon for a two-yard loss in the backfield. After Denver drove all the way down to the one-yard line, he teamed up with safety Quandre Diggs to stuff Gordon short of the goal line and force a fumble, which was recovered by cornerback Mike Jackson and returned to the 10-yard line to send the opponent back to the sideline without any points.
In a bit of déjà vu moments later, Nwosu punched the ball out of running back Javonte Williams' hands after Al Woods knocked his blocker into the backfield on a third and goal play from the one-yard line. Jackson again recovered, jumping on the fumble in the end zone for a critical touchback to keep the Seahawks out in front 17-13.
“Give us a blade of grass, we’re going to protect it, and that was our mindset," Nwosu remarked. "Going down there, and anytime you’re backed up, you’re in the red zone, you’ve got to nut up. That’s where big boys put on their big shoulder pads, and they go to work. And that’s what we did today."
A constant thorn in the Broncos side throughout the game, Nwosu would later add another bone-jarring quarterback hit on Wilson that led to an overthrown deep ball to Jerry Jeudy in the fourth quarter. Coming through with big plays all night long and feeding off of a frenzied crowd, he finished with seven tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, five quarterback pressures, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup.
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