The Seahawks’ pass rush has been largely neutered over the first six games by quick-draw quarterbacks, but Seattle’s rushers might finally have a chance to make more impact the next two games – and hopefully beyond.
It’s not like the Seahawks have been terrible in the pass rush. Yes, they are tied for 22nd with just 11 sacks and are 19th in pressure percentage (23.9). But they are 10th in pass rush win rate, beating blocks within 2.5 seconds 45% of the time, per ESPN’s tracking.
So, the Hawks have been around the QB around half the time; they just have not been able to get sacks or as much pressure as they need to because the ball has been getting out even faster than they can get there.
Pete Carroll has a history of fixing his defense on the fly, and he is going to have to do it again — NOW.
In his day-after assessment of his defense’s total meltdown against the Rams, Carroll bemoaned his defense repeating the same mistakes. Carroll is ticked off, which means more changes should be coming to Seattle’s defense during this mini-bye.
“We have to clean stuff up across the board so the same issues don’t show up,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN. “When we’re really not doing well is when you see the same problem continue to show, and that’s something that pisses me off.”
Plenty of fans were hoping the Seahawks would trade Russell Wilson in the offseason, moving on to another quarterback who didn’t have the same deficiencies. Well, those people are about to get their wish, for a few weeks anyway.
Seattle apparently is going to be without Wilson for 4-8 weeks after he suffered a finger injury on his throwing hand against the Rams on Thursday and had surgery Friday in Los Angeles.
That gives Geno Smith, the former Jets second-round starter, an early birthday present as he turns 31 on Sunday: A starting quarterback job once more. And he will start it off with two prime-time games.
For some fans, the sky is always falling. So, you can imagine the reaction after the Seahawks lost to the Rams yet again – and Russell Wilson got hurt along the way.
The Hawks are now 2-3, and some people are writing their 2021 obit. But the season is far from over.
The Hawks were not expected to beat the Rams – not this time, not with an inconsistent offense and discombobulated defense. The only surprise in the 26-17 loss was the finger injury to Wilson, which actually improved the offense as Geno Smith led the Hawks to more points in one quarter (10) than Wilson had in three (7).
Smith’s steady performance – minus the unfortunate interception at the end – assuaged any concerns that the Hawks cannot win without Wilson. In some ways, Smith was better (e.g., he worked the middle of the field and threw a successful screen pass).
The big problem Seattle must fix over the next 10 days – before a Sunday night game in Pittsburgh – is a defense that once again is off to a historically bad start. Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. have got to seal up the cracks – again.
After a great start to the season in Indianapolis, the Seahawks have been a mess the past two games. And, if they don’t fix it ASAP, they will quickly find themselves in a hole too deep to climb out of.
A week after the offense played deep ball too much and kept the defense on the field all game in an overtime loss to Tennessee, the defense returned the favor by not stopping Kirk Cousins and the Vikings in a demoralizing 30-17 defeat.
It has been a full team failure the past two weeks, and Seattle has to figure out how to fix the NFL’s worst defense while also getting the offense to do something in the second half. There is no break in the schedule, so Pete Carroll and his staff have to figure it out on the fly as they head to San Francisco this week, then host the Rams next Thursday and travel to Pittsburgh in Week 6.
In the wake of a horrific upset loss to Tennessee and with a tough four-game stretch looming, Shane Waldron’s first test has arrived quite quickly.
If the Seahawks are going to stay in the race for home field, Waldron is going to have to rebound from a poor second game by scheming more like he did in the opener, and he is going to need to get Russell Wilson to follow his lead.
“You know what heals all things? Winning.” – Russell Wilson
That’s all we need to know about the state of things between the Seahawks and their longtime Pro Bowl quarterback.
Even though he claims things are peachy now between him, Pete Carroll and the club, Wilson confirmed it was indeed a tumultuous offseason – and Wilson’s future in Seattle still seems to depend almost entirely on whether the Seahawks make it back to the Super Bowl. In every response Thursday about his drama-filled offseason, Wilson circled invariably back to the theme of winning.
“Coach Carroll and I spent a lot of time together one on one, and we’re on the same page,” Wilson said. “We’re here to do what we’re meant to do, and that’s to win it all. I’m excited. I’m excited about who we have, the guys we have. I’m excited where we are. Coach Carroll and my relationship couldn’t be any stronger. My focus is to win. Winning is everything to me.”
All of the key figures on the Seattle offense have now weighed in, and Tyler Lockett hit the most important factor in the Seahawks rebounding from their dud finish in 2020: “You have to learn how to evolve; you have to learn how to adapt.”
Like Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf before him, Lockett admitted the Seahawks did not adjust well to defenses that took away their deep throws in the second half of last season. The question is whether they will all be on the same page under new OC Shane Waldron as they look to avoid a similar fate and advance deep into the postseason in 2021.
Russell Wilson picked a strange year to call out the Seahawks for not protecting him, considering the 2020 line was one of the best he has had and he was responsible for a career-high 14 sacks – nearly a third of the 47 times he was dropped.
So it’s fairly disingenuous of him to put the blame on the line and John Schneider — this year anyway — when he bears a third of the responsibility. Yeah, he mentioned he needs to get better, too, but you know he is not going to change certain aspects of his game at this stage of his career. He is always going to be a double-edged sword, and 2020 was the ultimate example of that.
In his first comments since the Seahawks hired Shane Waldron to run the offense, Russell Wilson said he was “adamant” about finding an OC who would maintain a dynamic offense and he said he already has talked to Waldron several times about how they are going to do that.
In his radio spot, he also said the Seahawks became “passive” in the second half of last season – due in part to offensive line injuries and his own uneven play.