The NFL season is still young, and not every early trend will hold up throughout the remainder of the year. With that said, the Seattle Seahawks pass defense better fix itself soon before the schedule gets really tough.
Yardage determination for “explosive plays” are not uniform, but if we define an explosive pass play as 20+ yards, then the Seahawks are tied alongside the Los Angeles Chargers for most allowed.
Explosive plays allowed by defenses through 3 weeks of the season. Let's see if anyone can catch up to the Chargers who are building a big lead over the rest of the league pic.twitter.com/YkR1ONfUZE— Arjun Menon (@arjunmenon100) September 27, 2023
The good news for the Seahawks is they’ve only allowed five explosive runs of 10+ yards, or else they’d be right up there with the Chargers at the top of the overall table.
Seattle is 29th in sack rate and have allowed the 2nd most air yards (672) on completed passes, and their average depth of target (whether completed or not) against is 9.2 yards. The Seahawks aren’t getting soundly beaten with high YAC plays like we’ve seen in each of the past two seasons, but they are getting crushed on intermediate and deeper passes.
If you want to go by PFF’s grades, the Seahawks have a solid pass rush grade of 71.3 but a coverage grade of 49.6, which is only better than the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears. Julian Love, Quandre Diggs, and Coby Bryant in particular are the lowest graded secondary players.
We will soon see Riq Woolen back on the field after missing a game due to injury, and Jamal Adams is set to make his season debut against the New York Giants. Perhaps the pass defense will turn itself around in due time, but this is the same story every year since at least 2019: Seattle’s pass defense can’t get itself organized and spend the first several weeks of the season in shambles before in-season improvement.
The Giants only have six explosive pass plays on the season, and four of them came in the comeback win against the Arizona Cardinals. It’s a limited passing offense with a banged up offensive line, so if the Seahawks can’t prevent Daniel Jones from eclipsing 300 yards, then we got a real problem on our hands.