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Titans 33 Seahawks 30: Winners and Losers from a terrible home defeat

Syndication: The Tennessean George Walker IV / Tennessean.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC

When the Seattle Seahawks had a full house of fans in the 2019 season they were just 4-4 at home. They were 7-2 (playoffs included) behind closed doors in 2020. The fans are back and they witnessed one of the worst collapses in recent franchise history. Up 24-9 at halftime, up 30-16 in the 4th quarter, and you lose 33-30 to a Tennessee Titans team that was missing several key players including (by the end of the game) two starting offensive linemen.

There will not be many Winners for this one. Lots of Losers.

Winners

Tyler Lockett

Nothing like another 8 catches for 178 yards and a 63-yard touchdown in which he shed a tackle and ran away from Kristian Fulton and Bradley McDougald.

Freddie Swain

Little did I know that he had an invisibility cloak that allowed him to sneak past the Titans secondary undetected. His 5 catches for 95 yards is a career high on both fronts, which is not bad at all considering he took Dee Eskridge’s spot as presumptive WR3.

Alton Robinson

He got a strip sack that forced the game’s only turnover, which set up the first Chris Carson touchdown. I vouch for more snaps for Alton.

Bobby Wagner

A franchise record 20 total tackles, 16 of them solo. He also had a sack which forced the Titans to kick a field goal, and I think he should have had a pass defensed credited to him in overtime on that 3rd down stop. Officially it’s not but at least he impacted the play. See ya in Canton, Bobby.

Losers

The Seahawks coaching staff

All of them. They looked poorly coached and ill-disciplined. Ten accepted penalties for 100 yards and many of them were absolutely justified. The sloppiness and miscommunication was evident on offense and defense, and I thought special teams was not particularly impressive outside of Nick Bellore’s seismic hit.

Pete Carroll erred by not using his timeouts at the end of regulation to allow Russell Wilson more time for a potential game-winning drive. Instead Seattle had 25 seconds and two timeouts and it was a total dumpster fire of a series. Predictably he punted on every single 4th and short. Playing not to lose gets you a loss.

Ken Norton Jr... what more can I say? I think I’ve written for his firing twice now. Nothing has changed in my view. But I doubt he gets a midseason axe. We’re in it for the long haul. This is what the defense will always look like against a team not playing a bad and/or backup QB.

Shane Waldron called a bizarre game. No tight end involvement in the passing game. Very little motion. Not enough play-action. Too many early down runs in the 1st half. Not enough other running backs outside of Chris Carson. The one thing I give him props for was how well the team played in the two-minute drill before halftime. Apart from that this was a disappointing second act.

Jason Myers

Can’t miss that PAT.

DeeJay Dallas

He is not the solution at kick returner.

DK Metcalf

I’m not hitting the panic button on DK or anything but he was oddly uninvolved for the first half of last week’s game before turning it up in the 2nd half. Then he had a pretty ineffective performance today with six catches for only 53 yards. He had two penalties on one play and was jawing too much with the Titans to the point where I thought he’d get ejected. I’m not liking frustrated Metcalf and he’s got to cool down. Perhaps he’s not as good a fit for the Waldron offense compared to Tyler Lockett, but it’s early days. He needs to be better and t he team needs to use him better.

Jamal Adams

I won’t totally fault him for his roughing the passer penalty but it’s a penalty nevertheless and while the Titans punted in overtime anyway, the field position flip proved vital. He was also very much culpable for getting blocked out on Derrick Henry’s 60-yard touchdown. Stopping the run is supposed to be one of his many strengths and it did not materialize in the 2nd half when he was needed most.

Tre Flowers

Thankfully he settled down in the 2nd half but the difference between him covering receivers compared to D.J. Reed (who was the recipient of a taunting call that I hate because of the new rules) is so stark. It felt like the Titans had little success targeting Reed and almost all the success going at Flowers. And he also missed a tackle on that Henry 60-yard TD. I think the Seahawks need to seriously look at giving Sidney Jones some snaps. Ultimately it’s not that Flowers is extraordinarily terrible, it’s that his ceiling for greatness is so low that it hurts the Seahawks defense by default.

Jordyn Brooks

I am peeved at that personal foul penalty he committed more than anything else. If Carroll benched him for a few plays it was fully justified. It was bad enough he gave up a 2nd and 15 completion but it was worse watching him get in an extra shove miles out of bounds. That’s immature and costly.

Offensive Line

I actually thought they held up well in pass protection but the lack of a running game was very dispiriting. Chris Carson had just 31 yards on 13 carries. Alex Collins’ one run was in such a light box that they dared Seattle to run and then bizarrely Waldron never used him again. But still they lost their blocks in the trenches too often and as such they largely abandoned the run in the 2nd half.

Final Notes

  • I thought Russell Wilson played worse than his stats (22/31 for 343 yards and 2 TDs) suggested. His QBR per ESPN was 48.4, compared to Tannehill’s 69.2. It looked like Wilson had some erratic throws even when they were being caught, and his struggles on 3rd down continue to be apparent. The passing chart on him saw zero middle of field attempts. At some point you can’t keep blaming the OCs for that. This was obviously a very difficult week for him given the passing of his friend and coach Trevor Moawad, so I don’t want to be harsh. Here’s to a better performance next week.
  • Al Woods and Kerry Hyder Jr made some big plays; Woods with a sack on an eventual turnover on downs while Hyder had a fumble recovery and a pressure that led to that aforementioned turnover on downs.
  • Carlos Dunlap recorded zero stats. Darrell Taylor had one tackle. Not a good showing for the pass rushers.
  • The refs were not good but really it felt like the Titans got screwed more glaringly. I’m surprised that Julio Jones touchdown was overturned to incomplete, as it didn’t look like there was anything clear and obvious to reverse it. They also got jobbed on a poor 3rd and 1 spot that gave the Seahawks a first down and Mike Vrabel never challenged it.
  • The screen pass defense was atrocious. I know a linebacker who could’ve sniffed those plays out. He plays for the Raiders now.
  • Seattle has the Vikings, 49ers, and Rams over the next three weeks. Only San Francisco’s offense is questionable but the other two figure to be high octane even though one of them is 0-2. If this defense continues to falter and the offense doesn’t get out of its high variance boom-or-bust mentality that has been prevalent over the years, the Seahawks are in deep trouble.
  • For now, I’d like to think this is just a bad collapse that has happened to Seattle before (see: 2015 Bengals, 2015 Panthers) and they’ll recover from this. The Seahawks live dangerously with all of these close games and sometimes it doesn’t flip your way. Usually it works in Seattle’s favor, but if the variance swings hard the other direction? Watch out.