So many times over the past couple seasons, Quandre Diggs was the best player on the Seattle Seahawks. Some of the other times, he was the only good player.
Here are your top defensive players from the #Seahawks game against the Jaguars per PFF:— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) November 1, 2021
1. Quandre Diggs - 80.1
2. Jamal Adams - 75.2
3. Carlos Dunlap - 74.4
Honorable Mention: D.J. Reed - 72.3
Chris Collinsworth: "The #Seahawks defense was okay tonight."— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) December 9, 2019
In what world was this a good performance by the defense outside of Quandre Diggs' interceptions?!
Now, it’s a much more somber experience watching Quandre Diggs. He’s doing fine. Nothing is disastrous. But I had effectively forgotten about last season’s heart-wrenching injury until a few weeks into the 2022 campaign.
Then, Sunday’s stiff arm in Germany.
I will not post the clip here because I like Quandre Diggs. I’ll post another one however, from when he almost removed Irv Smith’s soul from his body.
Quandre Diggs with a monster hit on Irv Smith pic.twitter.com/g6eI2kP0iH— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) December 3, 2019
That Diggs does not appear to be with us this season, and speculation would trend towards a broken fibula and dislocated ankle 10 months ago as contributors.
Physicality isn’t the only difference this season, either. Most notably, after being the NFL’s most consistent ball-snatcher for years, he has no interceptions through 10 games. He only has one pass defended. His PFF grade is the lowest of his Seahawks career.
Some of Diggs’ other stats are good! He still doesn’t miss too many tackles - only five all season for less than 10% rate. His yards per completion are up from last year, down from the year before.
But he’s not able to hit the high gear he could last season. Twice this season he’s given up over 20 yards after completion, which is the only time he’s done that since being traded to Seattle. He’s probably going to set his career-worst mark in YAC, with 77 given up already.
A lot of little things have contributed to Diggs more than doubling (!) his passer rating allowed from last year. While quite a few numbers are comparable, that jump is tremendous and is one of the unsung weaknesses contributing to some of the defensive issues this year.
Things may not improve too, if other teams follow suit of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Diggs gave up 51 yards through the air on Sunday, highest of his NFL career.
At the beginning of the year I eagerly defended some of the safety play as Diggs having to adjust to not-Jamal-Adams once again. This time around, it doesn’t seem like that’s the issue.
Injuries are unfair.
Rashaad Penny and Jamal Adams are two of the guys this team hoped to breakout the most, and down they ago for yet another time. Diggs, one of the unquestionable leaders on defense for ‘20 and ‘21, goes down with 10 minutes to go in the season, and appears not to have recovered fully.
What the Seahawks do in the short term is one thing; what they do moving forward is another. They just signed him to that three-year deal this offseason, and right now he’s not playing up to it. There’s definitely some money to be saved, and he turns 30 next year, but it’s not an enviable position.
For now, I hope Diggs can regain something. Some who can’t hit as hard have learned to hit differently; some who aren’t as fast have learned how to play differently.
But Diggs got picked on by Tom Brady and this defense has enough other issues that I’m not sure they’ll fare well if they can’t get something closer to Pro Bowl Quandre Diggs to finish the season.