Following the loss by the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round off the 2019 NFL playoffs to the Green Bay Packers, there was significant optimism among many fans regarding the secondary for the team in 2020. With Shaquill Griffin coming off a Pro Bowl selection, Quandre Diggs coming back for a full season, the addition of Quinton Dunbar in the spring and Jamal Adams coming in via a blockbuster summer trade, hopes were the group could be extremely good. Add in the potential for youngsters like Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi to contribute in different roles, as well as D.J. Reed who was swiped off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers, and there was no shortage of optimism among many fans.
However, at least through the first half of the 2020 season, those hopes appear to have been completely misguided. It’s certainly true that the pass rush of the team has struggled to pressure quarterbacks at times, making the job of the secondary harder, but there is no way to sugar coat how bad the Seattle defense has been trying to shut down the aerial attack of opponents this season, as the group has simply been awful.
Just how awful they have been can be displayed through just a couple of stats which are telling regarding the performance of the team to this point.
- Points allowed to opponents in 2020 (first 8 games): 243
- Points allowed to opponents in 2013 (entire 16 game regular season): 231
Points are obviously a function of how the entire defense as a group performs, and not just how the back seven plays while defending the pass, so here is a look at how easily opponents have shredded the secondary of the Seahawks through Week 9.
- Passing yards allowed to opponents in 2020 (first 8 games): 2,897 yards (16 TD)
- Passing yards allowed to opponents in 2013 (16 game regular season): 2,752 yards (16 TD)
So, while the secondary has flashed at times, such as with a key interception to seal the Week 3 victory over the Dallas Cowboys or other timely contributions, but other than big plays to slow or stop an opponent, opposing quarterbacks have had their way with the Seattle defense, particularly through the air.
Sunday things were so bleak as Josh Allen tore apart the Seattle secondary that Allen became the first quarterback to throw for 400 yards in a victory over a Pete Carroll coached Seahawks team, and there seems little doubt Carroll isn’t in a rush to repeat such a feat anytime in the future.
That said, Jared Goff, who has lit up the Seahawks secondary to the tune of an average of 323 yards per game the last five times he has faced Seattle, is set to be the next quarterback the defense will attempt to slow down. That means following the devastation of the defense Sunday could be repeated in Week 10 if Goff’s history against the Hawks is any indication of what is in store