Seattle Seahawks: Is D.J. Fluker the Germain Ifedi whisperer?

D.J. Fluker, Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
D.J. Fluker, Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

There is a clear difference in the play of Seattle Seahawks right tackle Germain Ifedi with and without D.J. Fluker lined up next to him. Is Fluker the Ifedi whisperer?

The Seattle Seahawks left their game against the Los Angeles Rams with a tough loss, 36-31. D.J. Fluker was out and Germain Ifedi regressed from the clean play he showed in recent weeks.

Ifedi seemed to be holding his own for most of the game. Unfortunately, he had a fourth-quarter unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on him after a big run by Rashard Penny. On the play, Penny initially gained a total of 18 yards and put the ball on the L.A. 25-yard line. The 15-yard penalty backed up the Seattle Seahawks to the 40-yard line. Had Dante Fowler Jr. of the Rams not picked a stupid unsportsmanlike penalty of his own, the drive would have ended with Seattle out of scoring position.

The big tackle almost killed another drive late in the game when he was called for holding on a Russell Wilson scramble deep in Los Angeles territory. Fortunately, RW3 completed his next two passes for a Seahawks touchdown.

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The first couple of weeks of the season Ifedi was responsible for a lot of the offensive woes, because of penalties. Since Fluker has been in the lineup Ifedi’s penalties have gone down by 37.5 percent. It’s an improvement from last season. Before Fluker, Ifedi was responsible for 16 penalties in 2017 which led the league. With DJ Fluker lined up next to him Germain Ifedi is a totally different player.

This season he has had only six penalties called against him. Granted the opening two weeks of the season he went up against a pair of the best pass rushers in the league, Khalil Mack, and Von Miller. The bulk coming when Fluker was not playing.

There were a few games this year that could have been won, but the Seattle Seahawks were beating themselves with penalties., and Ifedi was the poster child They needed to clean up their act, especially at right tackle. It’s hard for the Hawks to win games when they always have to play behind the chains.

Fast forward to last Thursday night against Green Bay. During the game, Ifedi played well and the run game was phenomenal racking up yards on the ground. The O-line gave Wilson to time to make some magic and find his receivers against an aggressive defense. Ifedi had one penalty for a false start, but that was not his fault. Wilson was changing the play at the line of scrimmage when Ifedi looked back, the refs threw a flag.

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Is the right tackle’s cleaner play due to Fluker taking some of the pressure off Ifedi, allowing him just to concentrate more on his job, or is D.J. Fluker the “Ifedi whisperer?”