While the Seattle Seahawks defense made some clutch stops in the team’s 17-16 upset win over the Denver Broncos, some of the themes of preseason continued into opening day. The biggest problem? Tackling.
The Seahawks had so many missed tackles in the preseason loss against the Chicago Bears that it had Pete Carroll very displeased with the performance. Enter Week 1 of the real thing and, yup, same problem.
Pro Football Focus had Seahawks ranked 29th in tackling in week 1 with 12 missed tackles. Their missed tackle count: Jones 3; Brooks, Jackson, Coleman 2 each; Barton, Ford, Harris 1 each.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) September 14, 2022
The Jones in the case would be Josh, who replaced the injured Jamal Adams.
This was a major reason the Broncos racked up over 200 yards after catch, which is a continuation of the YAC they were leaking last year. Without even looking, Monday night was likely the most yards after catch Russell Wilson has ever benefited from.
You may or may not be surprised to know that the 2021 unit also struggled to make tackles. From the Football Outsiders Almanac:
The Seahawks had the league’s fewest broken tackles in 2020 but sunk to 26th (tied with Houston) with 136 broken tackles in 2021. Jordyn Brooks led the team with 16 broken tackles while Quandre Diggs had 14 and Rasheem Green 11.
While it may be logical to think that the Seahawks’ high missed tackle number was attributed to playing the most snaps in the NFL, they also played the most snaps in the NFL in 2020 and had the fewest broken tackles.
Now the two stats — broken tackles vs. missed tackles — can have a distinction, as you can miss a tackle without ever actually laying a finger on a player, but the same general idea remains. The Seahawks defense has to be better at tackling, because not every week is going to feature airtight red zone play and the type of consecutive turnovers that haven’t happened since the 1980s. It’ll go a long way towards not staying on the field forever and improving 3rd down performance.