Cover Photo Source: Steph Chambers/Getty Images
Like it or not, the Seattle Seahawks have essentially been the New England Patriots of the NFC for the past decade, making the playoffs eight out of the nine past seasons, with their worst regular season record being 9-7 during that span. They've won four divisional titles in a frequently stacked and top heavy NFC West, while also racking up two NFC titles and a Super Bowl, while also being a yard short of a second one. Virtually every fanbase would trade their past nine seasons for Seattle’s except for New England and maybe Kansas City.
All this success is potentially coming to an expected yet surreal end. This is primarily due to the historically putrid defense that’s trotted out onto the field these past few seasons, the costly decisions made by the front office for the past half-decade, the poor coaching, and a plethora of other problems. When looking at this 2-3 Seahawks squad this season, it’s fair to say that we’re on the verge of the end of an era, and this analysis will conclude that.
(This article will be split into three sections, all released as 3 separate articles.)
Reason #1: The Defense.
The defense has pretty much been a pile of steaming garbage, a pile of steaming flaming garbage, a pile of hot steaming garbage, or whatever you wanna call it. Seattle’s inability to stop the run has been a huge reason for why this team has been as bad as it has been. The Seahawks are giving up a ludicrous 145.2 rushing yards per game, and if you can’t stop the run in this day and age in the NFL then you might as well just call the game at the coinflip due to how little emphasis coaches tend to put into their rushing attack compared to their passing game. This is especially embarrassing considering how much capital they’ve put into their defensive line over the past year, as they made a trade for Carlos Dunlap, gave a 2 year contract for Kerry Hyder, put in a 1st round draft pick of LJ Collier in 2019 who was not only invisible in his rookie campaign two years ago but also is invisible this season (and he was a player they drafted specifically to stop the run), had veteran free agent signings of Al Woods and Benson Mayowa, put in a 2nd round draft pick of Darrell Taylor, and made a mid-round draft pick for Alton Robinson. Their investments into their defensive line personnel with little to no results, except against the train-wrecked Colts in their week 1 contest, has been only one of the many factors to the defense’s demise this season. Seattle’s D-Line has not been able to stop any running threat, whether that be Henry, Mattison, or Edmunds. With this, they also have not gotten to the quarterback as much as expected, only averaging 2 sacks per game, which is tied for 17th in the league.
Now, onto the much more flashy dumpster fire, the secondary. They’ve been giving up an atrocious 305.6 yards per game, bringing the Seahawks total opponents average to 450.8 yards per game; this puts Seattle on pace to shatter the record for the most defensive yards given up in a 16 game season. Everything has been a disaster in the secondary except for Quandre Diggs, but we’ll get into the positive things about this team later on. The corners have been miserable to watch, so much so that a speck of cloud in the sky could cover a receiver better than one of Seattle’s corners ever could. They constantly play 10 yards off of their receivers for no reason at all except to take away the big plays, showing a great example of how to practice social distancing. This lets their opponents just slice and dice and dance down the field racking up easy 10-15 yard gains. Nearly every single play. Average and subpar quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garapollo were looking like Joe Montana. Seattle’s current personnel includes DJ Reed, a veteran who is significantly better at rotational snaps and boasts a painfully average PFF grade of 66.8. Sidney Jones, a local UW kid who has had a short career littered with injuries and has little upside. With the long-anticipated release of Tre Flowers this week, previously our weakest corner who got benched for Sidney Jones, leaves Tre Brown as our final slot corner, a rookie who hasn’t even played a notable snap yet and has been on IR for most of the season. All of them have been just truly atrocious, and the trust that our coaching staff put into them was incredibly unwarranted. To elaborate on the release of Tre Flowers Wednesday, Jeff Simmons from Real Hawk Talk summed it up perfectly. To paraphrase what Jeff stated:
“With the release of Tre Flowers, that ends an era in Seattle: the attempted rebuild of the secondary after the Legion of Boom.”
All of the failed draft picks made by the front office in an attempt to rebuild the back half of the defense has cost this team. Tre Flowers, Tedric Thompson, Delano Hill, just to name a few of the broken and busted defensive backs that Seattle whiffed on, while choosing to pass on NFL superstars like Budda Baker and Jaire Alexander.