There was a simpler time, not so long ago, when a Seattle Seahawks loss could be placed squarely at the feet of Darrell Bevell. But the much-maligned Bevell is no longer with this team. His departure ushered in the best offense the world has ever seen, if that world were contained in the state of Washington.
Now fans have nobody to blame for the cacophony of Biblical proportions that is the Seattle defense. Not because there’s no one to blame. Because we don’t know to who blame.
We’d like to say defensive coordinator Ken Norton, because firing coordinators is fun.
Fire Norton.— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) November 8, 2020
But the gum-murdering, vote-gathering head coach of this football squadron is a well-known secondary expert. He’s the NFL’s PhD of the cornerback and safety position.
This team is still strengthened and conditioned - allegedly - by strength and conditioning coach Ivan Lewis. A man with an unavoidable track record of long injury lists and massively problematic tendencies with soft tissue core injuries oversees the franchise with one of the NFL’s longest injury reports every week.
Three hamstrings, including Shaquill Griffin who still can’t get on the field. Jamal Adams missed four games with a previously unfounded groin injury. Quinton Dunbar has had a knee injury since Week 2, which he looks to have in no way overcome yet, and even returned to practice before being scratched later in Week 3. Since then he’s sat out the majority of practices.
The full secondary has played one game together, in Week 1. They were good.
So. The Seahawks now sit at 6-2, atop the NFC West, with a defense that has graciously set some sort of seasonal or all-time record almost every game.
Who’s to blame? Who needs to either leave or be improved?
For once this year - and for many, what must feel like for once in a handful of seasons, it’s not the pass rush.
specifically, there are no passes defended because there are no pass defenders within two Covid-19 compliant lengths of any pass catchers.— Tyler Alsin (@TylerjAlsin) November 9, 2020
*If your screen doesn’t handle the full columns well, the highlighted column is passes defended, and it’s a grand total of 0 on the day.
Jokes aside, this was the first time in recent memory that I turned the game off (after pausing it obviously) and walked away. Grabbed my one-year-old and went outside, because the possibility of forgetting something important like a sock or a pacifier and being yelled at in the freezing cold was more enticing than watching this game.
From the tweet above, defending passes in the NFL is actually pretty tough, as exemplified by Stephon Gilmore last year. The 2019 Defensive Player of the Year and undisputed best cornerback at that time, had 20 PD all year. that’s 1.25 per game. Extremely reasonable to go a game without one, and maybe get two the next game. Whatever. It’s a hard stat.
But not only did they not defend a pass - statistically - they barely qualified as defending a pass - geographically.
Josh Allen was under ridiculous pressure the entire game. The best we’ve seen all year. And it didn’t matter, because of nonsense like this:
This was the first offensive play of the game for the Bills. On the play, LJ Collier beat his blocker while being held, forced Allen outside the pocket, and Carlos Dunlap got a QB hit, within a half second of Allen’s release.
Didn’t matter, because Devin Singletary was three yards away from any defender. And that was essentially the story of this entire game.
Seattle had 7 sacks, double any one-game total before Sunday. They had 8 tackles for loss and 10 QB hits. That is ridiculous amount of backfield activity.
Followed by the most points they’ve given up this year, and yet another opposing quarterback’s best game of 2020.
So yes, the Seahawks fixed their pass rush, but against a real quarterback, that can’t overcome the monstrosity that is the coverage from the six or seven guys behind them.
The 2020 season is halfway over. This is a Super Bowl winning offense, tied to a defense that will happily throw away the first playoff game if given the opportunity. Pete Carroll needs to figure this out.