This is the Seahawks Gameday Magazine feature story for Week 15 of the 2020 season, presented by Gatorade. Visit our Game Center for more information related to Week 15 vs. the Washington Football Team.
After Will Dissly caught a short pass and powered his way into the end zone, the Seahawks tight end waited for his teammates to join him, then handed the ball to Duane Brown, allowing the veteran left tackle to emphatically spike the ball in Lumen Field's south end zone.
And as is often the case when a big man does something in a football game other than block or tackle—in this case spike a football—the celebration gained a lot of attention on social media.
"I wasn't planning that at all actually," Brown said. "It's rare that I run that far to go celebrate, so I was just kind of excited and Will kind of sought me out, handed and me the ball. Jordan Simmons spiked the ball, I think was against the Vikings, and it was subpar. So I was just trying to show him was done. It got a lot of attention I didn't want, but it's all good."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll described the spike as "stellar" and noted that there's no video evidence of the ball ever coming down after it bounced up and out of the camera shot, suggesting perhaps that it landed on the Toyota Fan Deck, the area in the upper concourse where the Seahawks 12 Flag resides.
And even if Brown's spike garnered more attention than he was intending, it's appropriate that something put him in the spotlight in the midst of what has been an outstanding season in Year 13 of a great career.
A four-time Pro-Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro, Brown is, at 35 years old, having one of the best seasons of his career. Despite regularly sitting out one day of practice every week and being limited on other days to manage his workload, and in particular a knee that caused him to miss games late last season, Brown has started every game and played nearly every snap this season minus the fourth quarter of Sunday's blowout win over the Jets. And it isn't like Brown is barely managing to get through games; he's playing at an incredibly high level.
According to Pro Football Focus, Brown has been the fifth best tackle in the NFL this year and his 88.4 grade is the second best of his career, trailing only his All-Pro 2012 campaign. Brown has had only one penalty enforced all year, a false start—he was called for what he described as a "ticky-tack" hold last week but it was declined—and has allowed only two sacks according to PFF.
"He's amazing," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "He's an amazing member of this club in a number of ways, but one of the ways is just his work ethic, it's so obvious. He's the strongest guy out here and he's the hardest working guy, he's smart as you get, as tough as you can get. He really stands for something; these guys really respect the heck out of them. And to just keep coming back—he isn't able to practice all week long in preparation, and to maintain an edge and play under those circumstances is difficult. He's just a very special and a very unique player."
The Legend of Duane Brown
Spend any amount of time talking about Duane Brown, and one of the first things that comes up is his athleticism. Simply put, humans who are 6-foot-4, 315 pounds should not be able to move the way Brown can move, particularly not people that size who have experienced the kind of wear and tear that 13 seasons in the NFL trenches can put on a body. Yet if the Seahawks run a toss play to the left, it's a safe bet you'll see Brown flying sprinting to the second level faster than somebody his size ought to be able to, lining up an unfortunate defensive back for a block.