Julian Love played a massive role in a big Seahawks victory on Monday night, intercepting two fourth-quarter passes in big moments that helped spark, then secure, a 20-17 comeback victory over the Eagles.
The interceptions were the third and fourth this season for Love, and they gave him four takeaways in the past two games, having also intercepted a pass and forced a fumble against the 49ers last week.
As good as that performance was, Monday isn't going to end up being the best day of Love's week if all goes according to schedule, because he and his wife are expecting the birth of their son later this week, and based off Love's play the last two weeks, that baby is going to be in very secure hands when his dad holds him.
"Yeah, hopefully a healthy baby boy comes this week," Love said. "My wife has been doing a killer job throughout this crazy stretch of football. Hopefully the next time you hear from me, I'll have a newborn in my hands."
Love will be able to welcome his son into the world on a high note this week in no small part because of two plays he made late in Monday night's win. First, with the Eagles driving and looking to add to a 4-point lead, quarterback Jalen Hurts thought he had an opportunity deep, but Love was up for the challenge, tracking the ball like he was the receiver before securing the pick in the end zone. Had Love been beaten deep there, the Eagle could have taken a two-score lead that might have been too much to overcome. Instead, that stop, as well as another from the defense later in the quarter, set up Drew Lock and the offense to put together a 92-yard game-winning drive.
Then, because things rarely come easy in the NFL, the defense needed one more stop in the game's final seconds. After the Eagles got as far as their 45-yard line, Hurts looked to put them in field goal range by taking a shot towards his top receiver, A.J. Brown. Love, guessing Brown might be the go-to target in a big situation, was all over the play, sprinting from his spot in the middle of the field to make a spectacular, toe-tapping catch at the sideline to put the game on ice.
"I just had a good feeling that they were going to go to number 11," Love said. "A.J. Brown is a real deal receiver, and I was honestly watching him that entire play. I was in the post, I saw the double move, and I just took off. I saw the ball floating, and I must be living right, because I got my feet in, thankfully."
One player who was not at all surprised to see Love make a big play was defensive end Leonard Williams, who was teammates with Love in New York the past four seasons before Love signed with Seattle in free agency, with Williams later joining him out west in a midseason trade.
"He was huge for us tonight," Williams said. "I've played with him since he was a rookie and I'm still with him now. For me, being an older guy and seeing him develop as a player has been amazing. Getting the ball out on that last play was crazy. I was probably the biggest fan of Julian tonight. I think he takes a sense of pride in special teams as well, that's big time."
Love, who also had eight tackle on defense and one of special teams, has been good for the Seahawks all season long, but he has proven to be a real playmaker of late, something that could be big for the defense down the stretch, and that was particularly significant in this game with Devon Witherspoon and Jamal Adams both sidelined by injuries.
"Julian Love's game, tagging onto what he did last week, this week incredible game, incredible plays," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "The last catch is exquisite on the sidelines. Toes tapping, hanging onto the football, winning the game… That's four turnovers he's been involved in in the last two weeks. Holy cow. Holy cow."
"He did an incredible job of playing. He had some other tackles up by the line of scrimmage. Both those catches were challenging, difficult plays. He made them look easy. Again, here is another kid that was so comfortable with that moment. He would go out and make another one if you gave him a chance. He just was not moved by it, beyond total poise and composure and all. Really impressive."
Seahawks Legend Golden Tate raises the 12 Flag ahead of the Week 15 matchup versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.