It’s been an ugly two weeks for the Seattle Seahawks run defense. In Sunday’s 33-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Seattle allowed an obscene 195 yards on the ground, including a 75-yard TD to DeMarco Murray, the longest rushing touchdown ever allowed in the Pete Carroll era. Last week, San Francisco’s Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida combined for 159 yards on just 19 carries, with Hyde getting over the century-mark before halftime thanks to 61 and 27-yard bursts.
If you do the math, Seattle has given up 354 yards on 54 attempts, an average of an unthinkably bad 6.5 yards per rush. A staple of Pete Carroll defenses is a commitment to stopping the run:
Run Defense Ranking (DVOA)
2010 - 17th
2011 - 12th
2012 - 12th
2013 - 7th
2014 - 2nd
2015 - 3rd
2016 - 3rd
Seattle entered the Titans game just 28th in run defense DVOA, while the Titans had the #1 rushing attack by DVOA. For essentially the whole of the 2nd half, it looked exactly like one of the best rushing teams against one of the worst at stopping the run.
The last time the Seahawks gave up this many rushing yards in back-to-back games was in 2013, when the Rams (200 yards on 37 attempts) and Buccaneers (205 yards on 38 attempts) carved up an all-time great unit for a combined 405 yards. Seattle finished that year, which I recall being a very good year, 7th in run DVOA.
Next week, Seattle will face the Indianapolis Colts, who’ve rushed for a grand total of 243 yards over three games, and their starting running back is a 34-year-old Frank Gore. If the problems continue to persist vs. Indy, then cause for concern is more than justified given how talented this Seahawks defense is.