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Wednesday Round-Up: Sports Illustrated Seahawks Writers Pick 2021 Defensive Plays Of The Year 

See which defensive highlights the Sports Illustrated Seahawk Maven crew thought stood out as the best of the Seahawks’ 2021 season. 

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Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Wednesday, January 26 — about your Seattle Seahawks.

Sports Illustrated Seahawks Writers Pick 2021 Defensive Plays Of The Year

After a somewhat shaky start to the season, the Seahawks' defense rebounded midway through the season and morphed into a respectable unit, finishing the year tied with the Cardinals for the 11th-best scoring defense in the NFL.

Veterans like Bobby Wagner (170 total tackles) and Quandre Diggs (94 total tackles, five interceptions) continued to play their roles as stalwarts among the defense, while young players like Jordyn Brooks (franchise-record 183 total tackles) and Darrell Taylor (6.5 sacks) flashed the superstar potential that made Seahawks brass believe they could be foundational players in the years to come. Other names like Carlos Dunlap II, Al Woods, and many more also consistently made plays to help the team win four of its last six games and end the season on a high note.

Continuing with their Seahawks 2021 Awards series, the Sports Illustrated Seahawk Maven crew chose three defensive plays that stood out as the best of the season.

Week 13: Carlos Dunlap II Sacks 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo For A Safety

Dunlap II had only recorded 0.5 sacks in 12 games up until this point of the season, and had begun to see his time on the field decrease — he played just seven snaps on defense in this game after playing a season-low four snaps against Washington the week before. "But while playing just seven snaps against the 49ers," Corbin Smith writes, "he made the biggest play of the game, bullying right tackle Tom Compton into the end zone with a ferocious bull rush and promptly throwing Garoppolo down to the ground for a safety to spark the sellout crowd."

"Considering the 49ers are now playing in the NFC Championship game, this play carries even greater weight in a season with few positives for the Seahawks," Nick Lee said about Dunlap II's sack. "They were tied 21-21 in the third quarter when Dunlap quickly provided a jolt for the Lumen Field crowd by driving his blocker into the end zone and tossing Garoppolo aside like a rag doll for two points. This play ignited Dunlap for the rest of the season, as he had seven more sacks in the last five games and played like a Pro Bowler after a horrible first half to the season."

Week 12: Jamal Adams Intercepts Washington's Taylor Heinicke On Monday Night Football

After notching his first interception in a Seahawks jersey in the Week 10 loss to the Packers, Jamal Adams grabbed another two weeks later when the Seahawks played Washington on Monday Night Football.

"Adams' interception against the Washington Football Team was an excellent display of perfect safety play from both Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams," Rishi Rastogi said. "Diggs smacked tight end Logan Thomas at the catch point, while linebacker Bobby Wagner got a piece of the football and knocked it up into the air. Rushing underneath the ball, Adams secured his second interception in three weeks to turn Washington away with zero points after driving deep into Seattle territory."

Week 13: Seahawks Execute Goal Line Stand To Secure Win Over 49ers

This was a moment that served as an ultimate test of the Seahawks' bend-don't-break philosophy. With the Seahawks up 30-23, the 49ers had driven the ball 95 yards to the Seattle three-yard line and looked poised to tie the game with fewer than 30 seconds remaining.

"Perhaps no drive better encapsulated the Seahawks' 2021 defense more than the attempted game-tying drive by the 49ers in Week 13," Colby Patnode said. "With 22 seconds left in the game and the 49ers at the three-yard line, Carlos Dunlap got his long arms up in the air and knocked down a pass that looked like an easy touchdown, securing a 30-23 victory against their bitter division rival."

Click here to see what else the Seahawk Maven writers had to say about the top defensive plays, and check out some of their other Seahawks 2021 Awards.

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