Well at least that’s over.
The Seattle Seahawks gave us a great high on Monday over the Denver Broncos but that was a pretty damn awful performance against the San Francisco 49ers. They very often looked worse than the 27-7 scoreline suggested and even the few times they looked competent they immediately undid any good they managed.
It’s Winners and Losers time.
The Seahawks run defense is terrible. Al Woods is not. Big Al had three tackles for loss and was one of the few (if not the only) on the Seahawks defensive line doing any damage in the backfield. Woods also had a pass defensed, which was cool because literally no Seahawks secondary player managed one.
The Seahawks only had four QB hits; Nwosu had three of them while Boye Mafe had the other (which I think doubled as a “sack” that felt more like an attempted run). He has been the standout pass rusher, not to mention his contributions batting passes down and getting in on run stops.
On a day when the passing offense was generally rotten, Lockett was back to his best with 9 catches for 107 yards on 11 targets. He was a general non-factor in Week 1 against the Broncos but he remains one of the best receivers in scramble drills and moving the chains efficiently.
Beyond looking like he belongs out on the field as a starting corner, Woolen was responsible for Seattle’s lone touchdown thanks to a well-timed blocked field goal. A corner who can contribute as a starter on defense and make plays happen on special teams? So far, so good for the rook.
Two fumbles recovery last week, a scoop and score for his first NFL touchdown this week. I’m not sure Jackson necessarily played well at outside corner today but can’t knock a first TD that gave Seahawks fans brief hope.
I mean, it is almost entirely because of that DeeJay Dallas trick play bullshit. What the hell was that? Geno Smith just made a great play to get you into the red zone and then it’s Wildcat time the next two snaps? You have got to be joking. He was lucky the previous snap with Kenneth Walker III even got positive yards, and then they get too cute for their own good. We’re not in 2008 anymore!
Brian Schottenheimer and Darrell Bevell called their own awful trick plays that got intercepted but this was a pivotal point in time and with at least a field goal in the pocket they pissed around and turned it into 0 on a pass that never had a chance.
I am also very alarmed at how DK Metcalf has been essentially schemed into being a possession receiver. That is the worst way to use DK. They don’t have to be deep shots, but they don’t have to be short passes that have no chance of gaining any additional yards after catch. That has to be figured out sooner rather than later.
The penalties, the bad offense, the bad defense, even the bad special teams prior to the blocked field goal return touchdown? As prepared as they looked against the Broncos — that’s looking dicey with how disorganized Denver was against the Texans — they didn’t turn up against a Niners team that hardly looked outstanding. San Francisco barely needed to get into second gear and it was as comfortable a win as you can get.
That falls on Pete and the rest of the coaching staff for such a shambolic display.
He got a couple of TFLs in the running game but he’s meant to be getting after the quarterback. It’s been an exercise in futility for the third-year man out of Tennessee. He also got his ankles taken on a Deebo Samuel on a 50+ yard run. Taylor has not been good enough and there is early cause for concern about how effective he can be as one of the lead pass rushers.
Offensive Line’s Run Blocking
No holes really to speak of for Rashaad Penny or Kenneth Walker III, of which the latter got shoehorned into the game too awkwardly for my liking. They combined for just 25 yards on 10 carries. A lot of that was the ineffective run blocking by the OL, and Gabe Jackson in particular really struggled blocking in general. I didn’t even think they were that bad against the pass, but the rushing attack being DOA meant the offense had no chance to thrive.
I don’t think Smith played terribly, but this:
According to Elias via @ESPNStatsInfo, Geno Smith's 80% completion rate today is the highest (minimum of pass 30 attempts) in a game in which a QB's team didn't score an offensive point since statistics were first tracked for individual players in 1932.— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) September 19, 2022
Is why I understand (even if I don’t agree with) the calls for Drew Lock to start. Smith scarcely challenged the 49ers defense down the field, and this offense just cannot function without explosive plays. Defensively they try and limit explosive plays and as such get killed with a much of firecrackers instead of a giant stick of Acme dynamite. Offensively they cannot attack defenses without hitting big plays, and now that the big play QB is in Denver, this is what you’re going to get when the Seahawks play strong defenses.
It is early but the more this offense is stuck in the mud the more likely we see Lock get a shot at some point. Smith has had five starts with the Seahawks and they have yet to eclipse 300 yards in regulation — the one time they did was the overtime loss to Pittsburgh.
He got victimized by the refs on a couple of tough penalties but needless to say he’s had a rough two weeks. I’d rather he just keep learning on the job but the Seahawks might have other ideas when Justin Coleman returns.
The pass rush barely exists. This looks a hell of a lot like the past couple of seasons and at that point you have to focus in on the quality of the roster and less on the defensive coordinators. What is more concerning is how easily the 49ers OL destroyed the Seahawks in the trenches on runs, racking up almost 200 yards even as they bogged down in the 2nd half.
Perhaps the reason the Seahawks have to do “bend but don’t break” is less because they want to and more because they have to with the players at their disposal. They are getting physically crushed at the point of attack and they just look terribly undersized (Al Woods notwithstanding). I don’t know if there’s any fix to that any time soon other than actually focusing on heavily prioritizing rebuilding the DL over trying to make the LOB 2.0 happen.
Gotta put him on here for the penalty on the ineligible man downfield that took away the wonderful deep shot grab by DK Metcalf. Wasn’t a good day for him in general but that was just killer. Him and Charles Cross always had tough assignments against that 49ers defensive front, so I’m not too upset.
This is less for performance and more of the concern that he isn’t even out there for kick and punt return duties, which he had in preseason and in college. Eskridge’s lone target was the final play of regulation. Tyler Lockett is the punt returner and Lockett hadn’t returned punts in a couple of years. At this point, what does Eskridge actually provide? That 2021 Draft is looking like an empty one unless Tre Brown can contribute upon return from his injury.
- All the best to Trey Lance. That was such a brutal injury and I wish him the best as he recovers and won’t be back until 2023.
- The Seahawks defense has had only 3 interceptions from their outside or slot cornerbacks over the last 20 games. All of them came against the Detroit Lions and noted superstar Tim Boyle. And most of the time they’re just not even close to getting picks anyway unless it’s Quandre Diggs. The red zone defense is cool and all but I don’t like death by a thousand cuts. It sucks to watch more than a three-and-out offense. There was better play from Clint Hurtt’s unit in the 2nd half but overall I thought they were pretty substandard.
- Pete Carroll should’ve gone for it on 4th and 1 even deep in their own territory to start the 4th quarter. I know he’d never do it, but it was 20-7 and giving the ball back effectively was surrender. By win probability it was more advisable to go for it and they didn’t. Then again, I’m not sure this offense needed any more plays out there than necessary.
- I told you already that this team is going to have blowout games that look exactly like that. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be upset but it you have to anticipate the ineptitude. And don’t be surprised if they have losses to bad teams like the Falcons or Panthers down the line because bad teams also lose to other bad teams. Sometimes they pull surprises! That’s the harsh truth about the 2022 Seahawks. You'll have to take a longer-term approach and that means sitting through some lousy days such as this one.