There are no winners after that shitshow.
The Seattle Seahawks are 1-2 after a dispiriting 30-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. This is the second week in a row that Seattle had a double-digit lead and then the offense stopped scoring while the defense just didn’t get stops.
I tip my cap to DK Metcalf for getting back on track with his 6 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown, I salute Chris Carson for his very good 1st half (finishing with 12 carries for 80 yards and a TD), and I commend Darrell Taylor for his strip sack of Kirk Cousins. Russell Wilson did what he could and tapered off in the 2nd half but he didn’t get enough chances offensively considering the quality of “defense” on display. Lastly, a sigh of relief that Tyler Lockett did not suffer a serious knee injury when it looked for all the world that something bad happened to him.
Now to the rest of the column...
The entire Seahawks defense
Not one section of this defense can hold their heads up high as having turned in a respectable performance. The pass rush was non-existent and yet again the run defense was torn up to the tune of another 100-yard rusher allowed. The linebackers (yes, Bobby Wagner included) were getting blocked out of plays with ease and slow to react on obvious screen passes. Jordyn Brooks gave up a touchdown in the opening quarter to Tyler Conklin and was apparently benched again mid-game for Cody Barton before coming back in. I’m not sold they’re rotating just for the sake of it.
Tre Flowers has to be benched. I feel sorry for him because he is routinely outmatched and Pete Carroll seems utterly incapable of pulling him out of the game. D.J. Reed struggled and was beaten for two touchdowns, while Jamal Adams looks anything but outstanding. I’m tired of automatic 3rd down Adams blitzes. Ugo Amadi was abysmal and his holding penalty was absolutely turned a 3rd down stop into an eventual touchdown.
Ken Norton Jr’s unit looks clueless out there. Receivers open all the time. Gap integrity a mere suggestion instead of a requirement. Bad angles and missed tackles and just all-around shitty football. That Minnesota only scored 30 was kind to the Seahawks defense.
I won’t say his missed field goal changed the game. Kickers are bound to miss at some point. But a 44-yarder is makeable and he hooked it left and that was the last time the Seahawks ever came close to points. That’s two weeks in a row he’s had a missed kick prove costly.
Pete Carroll’s unrelenting conservatism
Not that he should need extra prodding, but for as long as this defense is the way it is, there is even more incentive to be aggressive on 4th down. Myers’ field goal miss was on 4th and 3. That’s a play you go for it and if you miss then you live with the result.
---> SEA (17) @ MIN (14) <---— 4th down decision bot (@ben_bot_baldwin) September 26, 2021
SEA has 4th & 3 at the MIN 26
Recommendation (MEDIUM): Go for it (+1 WP)
Actual play: J.Myers 44 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Left, https://t.co/oi3psC3FS1, Holder-M.Dickson. pic.twitter.com/her2bemGBr
Later in the game and down 27-17 (!!!), Carroll punted on 4th and 7 at their own 43. It’s the 4th quarter and possessions are scarce, punting it is absolutely the wrong move. What happened instead? Punt and another 7-minute drive leading to the game’s final points. Minnesota started at their own 11 and were in Seattle territory within three plays.
Trust Wilson even if it doesn’t work out. Your defense has not shown anything to suggest it can be trusted.
2nd Half offense
I loved Shane Waldron’s playcalling and the Seahawks’ offensive execution in the 1st half. Quick-timing passing, effective running, and play-action concepts with targets available at multiple levels of the field. Then the 2nd half happened and it was the familiar story of just three 1st downs (before the stat-padding garbage) and nothing really sustained. I’m done with the screen passes on offense, it seems ineffective regardless of coordinator. Perhaps most discouraging is that anything that puts them off-schedule (penalty, sack) is the instant end of a drive. That is not how an elite offense should respond to negative plays.
Seattle has been outsnapped by 70 plays through three games. They have totally lost all ability to control the pace in their favor. Not once have the Seahawks cracked 60 offensive plays and that includes an overtime game, while the defense (which already had the most snaps played last year) is the master of its own demise in terms of not being able to get off the field in swift fashion. That’s a horrible combination to have especially when the Seahawks in this instance had to chase the game.
- The Vikings are better than their 0-2 record suggested so congrats to them for finally beating Russell Wilson.
- Penny Hart definitely got interfered with by Harrison Smith on that 4th down end zone throw but the defense’s performance has me totally unconvinced it had a major impact on anything except the margin of defeat.
- I thought the offensive line held up very well against Minnesota’s pass rush, albeit less so in the 2nd half. All things considered I reckon it was their best all-around game of the season. Maybe PFF will agree with me but it’s not like I particularly care about that.
- It is entirely possible this is a bad Seahawks team. At the moment I don’t think they are, but they might be. These next two weeks are now must-win against the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. They cannot afford to be way back in the division and not have tiebreakers against their rivals. The offense has yet to put together a full game and the defense just turned in a full game’s worth of incompetence. Seattle has been in this situation before in 2015, 2017, and 2018, and on two occasions they were able to rally and make the playoffs. There’s a lot of season left but at the same time, there’s not a whole lot of room for error in order to steer this ship back on course.