When Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider made the trade to import pass rusher Carlos Dunlap from Cincinnati, the GM likely envisioned the end-game scenario that played out in Thursday night's win over the Arizona Cardinals.
On fourth-and-10 with 38 seconds remaining in the game, Dunlap whipped past right tackle Kelvin Beachum, enveloped Kyler Murray and slung the QB to the turf. Ballgame. 28-21, Seattle victory.
"They brought me here to do one job. I would like to say that I was happy to get it done," Dunlap said, via Seattle P-I. "This is just a start. I still got a full story to write. I still got to prove a point, and show up when called upon. This is something that I personally see myself being able to do for years to come, and I hope that you got a taste of it today, and there's going to be more games to play. I just have to continue to show up. This is what they brought me here for. I'm just happy I could deliver."
Dunlap proved Thursday night he can be a difference-maker for a Seattle front that sorely needed an injection of talent midway through the season. The 31-year-old longtime Bengals pass rusher compiled two sacks, three QB hits, and four tackles, including two for loss, against Arizona.
The former Pro Bowler spent his first 11 seasons in Cincinnati, but the Bengals severely reduced his playing time this year. Dunlap became disgruntled and forced his way into a trade. While his snaps dipped, Dunlap still showed signs in Cincy he wasn't washed. His play since moving to Seattle proved the tape correct.
Dunlap simply needed the opportunity to prove he still has what it takes to be an upper-echelon pass rusher. Since joining Seattle, he's done just that, compiling three sacks in three games with the Seahawks. Dunlap has generated a 12.4 percent pressure rate since joining Seattle, via Next Gen Stats, as opposed to 6.2 percent this year with the Bengals.
The Seahawks defense has progressively improved since it added Dunlap. Seattle needs the pass rusher to continue to come up big in significant moments as we press toward January football. In Seattle, Dunlap might finally get the chance to find out what playoff victories feel like.