The banged up Seattle Seahawks offensive line has been a glaring weakness for this team all season and was at the forefront of Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Geno Smith was under constant duress as he endured a pressure rate of nearly half of his dropbacks, and was hit 13 times. Through five games it was the highest pressure rate allowed by this offensive line this season. But notably it was also the fourth consecutive game where it was 31.1 percent or higher. It’s very easy to point to injuries being the problem as Seattle used 11 players already this season. But more than anything, almost every offensive lineman has struggled regardless of who’s played, something that was apparent on Sunday.
This play sums up Sunday's game in a nutshell. Geno Smith getting blasted right after the pass by Sam Hubbard. If he wasn't getting sacked, he was likely getting hit anyway with north of 40 percent pressure rate for Bengals. pic.twitter.com/aV7YULLHa0— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) October 17, 2023
This is just a brutal play for Jake Curhan. Sam Hubbard goes at him with a really simple bull rush that causes Curhan to lose his balance a bit which opens up the rip move for Hubbard. Hubbard faces zero resistance on the rip move and gets to Geno almost immediately after he lets the ball go. The other thing to highlight here is the handling of the twist on the offensive lines left side. Charles Cross plays it properly as he tries to pick up the right defensive defensive tackle so Phil Haynes can come off of him and pick up Joseph Ossai. Instead, Haynes stays attached to the DT which allows Ossai to also get into the pocket.
Phil Haynes cedendo sack no swipe move. pic.twitter.com/RMPzvPjUlg— Rapinas do Mar (Cortes) (@cortesrapinas) October 17, 2023
This sums up the OL. Was just a slow collapse all day.— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 16, 2023
Anarumo did great job to take away initial/first reads -and if Geno had to hold it - it was 'hold onto your butts' time for everyone. This poor LG vs Reader lol. Hubbard whooping RT. pic.twitter.com/6VYBZPBaIh
Phil Haynes sendo batido pelo swipe move o jogo todo. pic.twitter.com/L3QfW1oyZX— Rapinas do Mar (Cortes) (@cortesrapinas) October 17, 2023
To put it lightly, normal starting right guard but left guard fill-in Phil Haynes had an awful game on Sunday, a performance which one can argue helped cost Seattle the game.
Play 1: On the first play Cameron Sample attacks Haynes with a perfectly timed swipe move. Once Haynes flashes hands and tries to hit Sample in the chest with them, Sample swipes and beats Haynes almost effortlessly. To make this play even worse, even had Haynes been able to maintain his block throughout the play, he likely would have been called for an illegal hands to the face penalty. When he first flashed his hands he actually missed with them. Having failed to accurate hit Sample in the chest, he missed high and got him right in the face mask where he likely would have kept them until the end of the play.
Play 2: The Cincinnati Bengals defensive line once again had a meeting at the quarterback with nearly all of them winning here. But the lion share of the blame has to go on Phil Haynes in my opinion, who just got dominated by a D.J. Reader bull rush. Haynes lost his anchor on about his third step. The only thing to keep him attached to Reader was to drag him to the floor for what should’ve been a holding penalty. Reader though was strong enough to fight through and collapse the pocket from the inside preventing Geno Smith from stepping up. Curhan also got beat by Sam Hubbard with a rip move, but had Haynes held up Geno likely would’ve been able to step up into the pocket and deliver a throw.
Play 3: No, this is not the first play on repeat, it is Sample beating Haynes once again with another swipe move. The only positive for Haynes on this play compared to the first is his hands were accurate rather than being on the face mask. But Haynes did try to hold Sample as he was going by so there is that. There is also likely to be some who point to Sam Hubbard getting home here as well, but I think Curhan can be given a pass as Geno faded right into Hubbard.
Final play of the game (essentially a sack)
Jake Curhan e Anthony Bradford não sabendo lidar com o stunt. pic.twitter.com/UK854dswzQ— Rapinas do Mar (Cortes) (@cortesrapinas) October 17, 2023
With how poorly the offensive line played on Sunday, I cannot understand why Shane Waldron had Kenneth Walker lll running a route here. This time the blame can be placed on the right side of the offensive line as Haynes and Cross hold up well. Curhan and Anthony Bradford poorly handle the stunt on their side, which allows for both Sam Hubbard and Zachary Carter to get hits on Geno Smith to end the game. This play really does encapsulate the struggles of the offensive line throughout Sunday’s game. A lack of communication between the guard and tackle, and the guard being physically overrun by the interior of the Cincy d-line.
Seattle’s offensive line has been banged up all year and the Bengals defensive line is formidable, but this unit will have to be better in order for the offense to improve.