Hubris Is A Cold Hearted Lover: A Review Of The Seahawks Overtime Loss To The Tennessee Titans

If you can’t stop the run, you haven’t earned the right to win

Ever feel like you want to pour salt on the open flesh wound that you’re feeling after a Seahawks loss?

Just go surf Twitter for a while to intensify your misery.

There you will find all sorts of reasons to cast blame on why your Seattle Seahawks suck. Pete Carroll sucks because he is a dinosaur. Russell Wilson sucks because he can’t throw over the middle of a defense and doesn’t look for his outlet receivers. Jamal Adams sucks because he didn’t make enough plays. Tre Flowers just sucks, and so does the Seattle offensive line. And while, we’re at it, Shane Waldron now sucks too.

There, if you haven’t surfed Seahawks Twitter, I spared you the expense.

Here’s my bold hot take for your Monday morning blues. The Seattle Seahawks suck because they started a candle lit slow dance to Al Green music with Hubris in the first quarter of this weird game, and they didn’t stop until they were beaten in overtime.

The Seattle Seahawks should have won this game. They should have beaten the Titans soundly, just like they did the Colts the week before. But they got full of themselves, and the Titans (bless them) stayed the course of their identity, and they pulled off the big win. Bravo to Tennessee for everything they did, but Seattle gave this one away.

Here are my notes.

The Good

Despite being, in my opinion, severely undermanned at defensive tackle, I thought Seattle’s defensive held together pretty well at slowing All-World running back Derrick Henry until he popped that 60 yard TD rambler on a broken outside contain in the second half. Until that play happened, the defense had him held to a little over three yards a carry, which is what you would want. I thought Al Woods and Poona Ford held in at defensive tackle admirably give the volume of reps that they were asked to play in this game.

The special connection that Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett have together remained live and well throughout this game. Yes, there was a broken coverage (or two) that helped that, but you can’t take away the special mind meld these two have with each other, and it showed up again in this one.

The sack fumble by Alton Robinson was special. I am a big fan of this second year defensive end out of Syracuse. He reminds me of Cliff Avril at times, and I worry that because of his meager draft status of being a fifth round pick in 2020, that he is not being utilized enough. Given the opportunity to play, he seems to understand containment against the run, and the dude can pass rush. This is pretty much all you can ask out of a defensive end. I want to see him play a bigger role in this defense.

That one minute drill Russell Wilson led with the offense right before the half was some of the prettiest offensive football that I’ve seen from a Seahawk offense under Pete Carroll. Russ was surgical with his sideline passes and had full control of the situation. Seeing that scoring drive happen gave me all the confidence in the world that Seattle would blow out these Titans during the second half. What a shameful waste the opposite happened because this drive was just so darn pretty to watch.

The Bad

In my opinion, hubris was the main reason Seattle lost this game, and I will take it right to where the official 2021 season began after the final preseason roster cuts.

Why on God’s green planet would Seattle only carry three true defensive tackles on their roster heading into the regular season facing opponents specifically known for running the ball?


For a defense that largely still plays out of some variation of a 4-3 defense, even with a more Bear front, why go undermanned inside, especially with a proven veteran player like Geno Aktins sitting out there in free agency?

Did they honestly think that calling up former first round flame out Robert Nkemdiche from the practice squad would be the secret sauce should one of their regular DT’s such as Brian Mone get injured and couldn’t play?

Needless to say, Seattle needed Mone in this one to help stop Henry. But they also probably could have used Geno Aktins in this one, as well. As my dear old dad used to say, you can never have enough defensive linemen. I think a chief reason why we suddenly started to see the defense break down in the second half is tied to defensive tackle and asking the bigger defensive ends to rotate in at tackle as well. If Seattle would have used a four man rotation at DT, I think there’s a very reasonable chance the defensive ends and other perimeter players would have stayed fresher throughout. It is hubris for Seattle’s front office and perhaps Seattle’s coaches to think they are fine with only three big men inside. It cost them in this game.

During that 60 yard TD run, Rasheem Green darted inside from his DE position, and gave up containment to Jamal Adams who was ready to make a splash. Both looked stupid on this play when they gave up containment. Earlier, Henry had a red zone score by bouncing outside when edge rusher Darrell Taylor gave up his containment. Tennessee used Seattle’s hubris filled over eagerness and aggression against them, and they burned them. Containment is football 101 stuff and the Seahawk defenders flunked this coarse against Henry. Hubris.

AND WTF WAS GOING ON WITH DK METCALF IN THE FIRST HALF OF THIS GAME? Has DK Metcalf suddenly become Dennis Rodman with his taunts and bully play at receiver? Is he still not aware of this stupid taunting penalty the league has adopted this year even after drawing that penalty last week against the Colts? And what was up with his stupidly overly aggressive run blocks? The Seahawk coaches better start reigning this dude in now. Russell Wilson has got to show his leadership with him, if he isn’t listening. What hubris filled plague has gotten the better of him, and what kind of vaccine is out there that we can inject into him? I fear this could be a major problem moving forward, if not properly treated.

Was Russell Wilson caught up once again in his own brand of hubris in chasing big plays instead of taking the outlets that were available to him in the second half? Did Shane Waldron just see the side of Russ that Brian Schottenheimer and Darrell Bevell became all to familiar with as former play callers here?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m much too much of a cheap ass to pay for the All 22 reel to rewatch stuff, but that said, on that crucial 3rd and manageable play in the fourth quarter where Russ took the deeper shot to DK down the sideline, I find it very difficult to imagine that Waldron didn’t have someone in available for Russ on a shorter pattern against this poor pass coverage team. I find it hard to believe that wasn’t the plan.

If I have one big criticism for Russell Wilson as a player, it would be his penchant for chasing the big play in times where he just needs to dump the ball off or extend with his legs. I feel like this is his slow dance with hubris in games.

Why weren’t the tight ends involved against the Titans like they were against the Colts? The Colts have better linebackers and safeties that Tennessee does? Was it Tennessee’s design to take them away, or what it’s Russ’s hubris to go for the splashier play?

Finally, where was the motion plays, and jet sweeps called in this one? Isn’t that supposed to be the hallmark of this new offense? I know they were without Dee Eskridge in this one, but are you telling me that Seattle’s offense is entirely built on only Eskridge running those plays to neutralize defenders? That’s just stupid if the answer is yes. Feels like hubris on the coaching staff that they weren’t utilizing these looks enough, if at all. The whole point of this offense is to give as many looks as you can to get them on their heels to help Russ out. What the hell happened here?

Hubris beat these Seahawks period. Dirty stinking hubris.

The Ugly

Jamal Adams getting punked and bullied by an overly jazzed up backup tight end was hard to watch. The is so much WTF in this can, I don’t even want to entertain opening it up and examining. Good God, that was hard to watch. Why on Earth wasn’t that dude called for any taunting?


Moving forward

The Seattle front office needs to get off their asses and sign a defensive tackle this week. Seattle is sitting comfortable with over $10 million in cap space. That’s an unusually high number going into the regular season.

They could add Geno Atkins, and maybe Richard Sherman if they wanted to. They might even be able to add a linebacker.

This defense simply does not feel complete right now. I think they have a nice collection of edge rushers to help against pass happy teams. I like their middle linebackers and safeties.

The corners still feel like they can be picked on though, and when Tennessee was able to really get Henry going in the second half, they didn’t have to concern themselves with Seattle’s four man pass rush much.

For as much of passing evolution as there has been with this game of NFL football, there are things that will always remain the same so long as it’s played. If you can’t stop the run, you aren’t going to get sacks and turn overs. You earn the right to pass rush because you have taken the run away. It’s that simple. It will always be that simple.

In this game, it was Tennessee who earned the right to pass rush in the waning moments of this game, and it showed.

Seattle now has to face the Vikings and 49ers, both teams that love to run the ball to set up everything thing else. Seattle has got to figure out how to shore up it’s run defense.

Go get Geno Aktins, John Schneider. Don’t let hubris control you any longer. If you are simply waiting for a bigger fish to trade for towards the deadline, you can still manage that trade by cutting someone off the squad then. You’re a creative sort. Be creative now. Please.

Go Hawks.


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