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Seahawks run defense continues to set unwanted records

The Seahawks like allowing 200+ rushing yards to Raiders running backs apparently.

Las Vegas Raiders v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks run defense is bad. It’s very bad. Those handful of weeks when they stopped bad and/or severely undermanned rushing attacks (whether running back, offensive line, or both) against the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, and New Orleans Saints was one big facade.

On either side of the four-game winning streak, the Seahawks run defense has been letting everyone eat. Against the Las Vegas Raiders, they allowed 229 yards and two touchdowns to Josh Jacobs, including the 86-yard game-winner in overtime. Jacobs’ 303 total offensive yards is top-10 in NFL history.

For the Seahawks, they have now allowed seven ball-carriers to reach 100 yards rushing: Cordarrelle Patterson, Jamaal Williams, Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara in the same game, Kyler Murray, Rachaad White, and now Jacobs. Perhaps fittingly, Jacobs’ 229 yards is now the most rushing yards allowed in a single game by the Seahawks, eclipsing the 221 yards Raiders great Bo Jackson managed in that infamous ‘Monday Night Football’ game back that happened almost exactly on this day in 1987.

When Hill and Kamara each eclipsed 100 yards for the New Orleans Saints it was the first time the Seahawks had ever allowed a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game, and now history has been made again. It is highly likely that Jacobs will win AFC Offensive Player of the Week and thus become the fourth player the Seahawks have allowed to get an NFL Player of the Week award, and the third on offense.

The irony of this season has been the fear among some that the trade of Russell Wilson was going to usher in the return of a running game-centric style of play under Pete Carroll. In reality, the Seahawks are one of the most pass-heavy teams in the league, which has been a pleasant surprise. On the flip side, their rushing attack is 20th by DVOA entering Week 12 and presumably will have dipped by the time the updates are made on Football Outsiders. Defensively they were a middling 17th but that’s going to crater thanks to Jacobs’ career day.

Also a plot twist in this lower-scoring 2022 NFL season: Running is cool again. It’s clearly a trend away from the explosion of the passing revolution. Yet here we are with the Seahawks unable to consistently run effectively or stop the run, and it may just be what sinks their once promising playoff aspirations.