To my amazement, the Seattle Seahawks finished 17th in pass defense DVOA. It felt way worse than that. Of course, even when adjusting for opponent the overwhelming bulk of their best days against the pass came against bad and/or severely injured offenses like the Los Angeles Rams (2x), Los Angeles Chargers, New York Jets, and Arizona Cardinals (2x). I shudder at the thought of how this unit would’ve looked without Tariq Woolen.
If it felt like a lot of opposition passing touchdowns were about as wide open as you can possibly get on a football field, then this is the post for you. I understand I can do this for every team; superior scheming, talent, and playcalling will make even the best defenses and best defenders look foolish and you just tip your cap, but this was a season-long problem for the Seahawks. Blown coverages, miscommunications, bad discipline, the whole shebang.
I present to you the 2022 Seahawks pass defense in 12 screenshots, all at the point of reception. There will be no film breakdown and no assignment of blame, because sometimes the pictures alone tell the story. I’ll also note that 100% of these plays ended up in touchdowns.
The Seahawks allowed 26 passing touchdowns on the season, so these are almost exactly half of the TDs they gave up in one painful, painful montage. It’s also not lost on me that on the other side of the ball, Geno Smith and his receivers were frequently pulling off improbable touchdowns.
Geno Smith & DK Metcalf (50-yd TD)— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 14, 2023
Air Distance: 52.2 yds
Target Separation: 1.5 yds
Completion Probability: 24.2%
The pass was Geno Smith's 9th TD with a completion probability under 25%; no other QB has more than four.#SEAvsSF | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/CnKcZpdJ4S
On offense, the Seahawks were throwing more difficult touchdowns than any other team in the NFL, while defensively they were conceding passes so simple that the Completion Percentage Over Expected (CPOE) says “Even you could complete that” instead of spitting out a percentage.
I know the responses will be the same: It’s a young defense lacking chemistry in a new scheme (that’s not really that new), the pass rush needs to get better, Kyle Shanahan is a mad scientist, etc. Pete Carroll has a reputation built on defense, and his greatest achievement as Seahawks coach is the Legion of Boom. It’s way overdue for him to actually earn that moniker again.