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Snap Reactions: Steelers steamrolled Seahawks hand-picked defense

The Seahawks spent the offseason retooling the defense, but all the time and effort do not appear to have addressed the issues that plagued it.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Sunday the Seattle Seahawks fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and with the loss no longer control their own destiny when it comes to making the postseason. Specifically, the Hawks not only need to defeat the Arizona Cardinals in Week 18, but also have the Chicago Bears upset the Green Bay Packers in order to make the playoffs. However, before getting to Week 18, it’s worth taking a look at the snap counts from Week 17 and who contributed to the stomping at the hands of the Steelers.

There was not a whole lot of surprises on the offensive side of the ball, other than the fact that only seventeen players logged offensive snaps for the Hawks, including Olu Oluwatimi and Stone Forsythe, who filled in when injuries sidelined Evan Brown and Abe Lucas.

Flipping to take a look at the defensive side of the ball is where things are eye opening.

Specifically, the Steelers finished the game Sunday with more yards than any game they have played since Week 12 of 2018, and they did it against a defense that was largely hand picked. Nine different Seahawks defenders played more than ninety percent of the snaps, including:

  • Bobby Wagner
  • Michael Jackson
  • Julian Love
  • Quandre Diggs
  • Riq Woolen
  • Leonard Williams
  • Jarran Reed
  • Boye Mafe
  • Devin Bush

Six of those nine were either signed as veteran free agents, including:

  • Quandre Diggs: 3 years, $39M with $27M guaranteed
  • Bobby Wagner: 1 year, $5.5M fully guaranteed
  • Julian Love: 2 years, $12M with $5.98M guaranteed
  • Jarran Reed: 2 years, $9M with $4.19M guaranteed
  • Devin Bush: 1 year, with $2.99M guaranteed
  • Dre’Mont Jones: 3 years, $51.41M with $30M guaranteed

In short, that’s more than $75M in guarantees to players who played ninety percent of the snaps against the Steelers, and who in turn provided one of the worst defensive performances against Pittsburgh in recent memory, including 20 missed tackles. Basically, the hand picked veterans who make up the defense that was schemed specifically to improve on the shortcomings of the defensive groups of previous seasons have failed to provide the type of impact for which they were specifically sought out.

Moving on to special teams, there were no surprises with Brady Russell, DeeJay Dallas and Dareke Young once again leading the way.

And now it’s on to the regular season finale in Week 18 against the Cardinals, and it remains to be seen whether it will be the final game the Seahawks play during the 2023 season or not.