Bird Turds: A Bigger Picture Seahawks Loss To The Minnesota Vikings Review

Feasting on Seahawk corners, yum yum yum

Honestly, I have managed to take this ugly loss to Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings much better than I did the loss against the Tennessee Titans last week. Against Tennessee, Seattle had a comfortable lead going into the 4th quarter, and they pooped it away.

Giving a winnable game away is the worst way to lose. It’s like opening a closet door at a cocktail party and finding your partner making out with a waiter.

It annoyed me all week. I couldn’t shake how annoyed I was at Jamal Adams for giving up containment on a sixty yard scoring run, and at Russell Wilson for not taking easy check down passes in the final minutes to keep critical drives away.

This one is different.

Yes, Seattle started hot on offense, but their defense looked like a hot dumpster fire mess from the get go against Cousins and company. It felt like it would have to be “that sorta” shootout win. I messaged a friend that I felt it would come down to which defensive coordinator would adjust his defense better.

Clearly, we found that answer out right away.

The season is still early for Seattle, and there is a lot of football left to be played, but here we are again in the early portions of a NFL season feeling like Seahawk defensive coordinator Ken Norton Junior is way out of his element, and maybe Seattle needs to make an early season coaching change.

Will they? I don’t know. I will share my thoughts if they should later, but here on my thoughts on this game against Minnesota.

The Good

DK Metcalf got going from the beginning and played well to the end. This was a really nice effort from the big receiver who’s been a bit slow to get going.

Chris Carson ran the ball very well in the first half. It’s a shame he didn’t continue to have a big impact in the second half, though, and it looked like he got injured a bit.

I enjoyed seeing the tight ends more involved again in the passing game.

Russell Wilson started the game red hot and continued to have a decent first half of ball. They game got harder for him in the second half when he had to chase the lead and the defense was able to key on him more. There is a memo out in the league with how to play Russell Wilson on third and long by showing pressure and then dropping back into cover two (more on this later). Seattle must figure out how to counter this.

The Bad

The whole entire defense was awful. In fact, it was worse. It was putrid.

Tre Flowers looks busted as a starting corner.

Jamal Adams looked lost as a “defensive weapon.”

Poona Ford got steamrolled against the run.

Quandre Diggs missed tackles (Adams did too).

Darrell Taylor, again, gave up containment against outside run plays.

Almost everyone played like butt.

To be fair, Seattle was without Andre Curtis, their pass defense coordinator, who didn’t make the flight for an unknown reason, but my God, Ken Norton Junior has got to be feeling the heat after this game. He should. His defense looked entirely lost and confused.

DJ Reed said bluntly post game that they were out schemed. Lack of communication, yet again, was noted by other players as a factor.

That’s all on Ken Norton Junior’s watch. It is his job to make sure that they are playing together as one, and that communication is a non issue. It’s his job to not be out schemed.

If it doesn’t turn around soon, I’m sorry, Norton’s gotta go. I don’t care who calls plays afterwards. Carroll can do it, if need be. Maybe give long time defensive line coach Clint Hurtt a crack at it. Maybe finally bring Kam Chancellor onto the coaching staff while they’re at it. It can’t hurt.

The Ugly

See the Seattle Seahawks defense.

Moving forward

Russell Wilson isn’t going to cook much this year, if he has to spend most of the second half of game chasing leads. There is a league memo on how to play him on third and long by showing pressures and then pulling into some variation of cover two that defends outside the hashes. From the pocket, Russell Wilson is showing that throwing middle of the field isn’t either his strong suit, or it isn’t his comfy zone. Could easily be both. Either way, it’s making it very easy for him to be defended right now.

Therefore, it is up to Seattle to figure out ways to either be in third and short most times, or to figure out how Russ can better target the middle areas defenses are willing to give him. Being more committed to running will help. Having Russ as a running threat would help. Creating ways for him to throw outside of the pocket more often surely would help.

But do not kid yourself by being a Russell Wilson apologist, and finding every other avenue connected to the team to blame, but the quarterback. Russell Wilson will never win MVP if he cannot, with consistency, attack the middle of the field. It won’t happen for him in Seattle or any place else. Sorry if that reality bursts your bubble some.

Another thing that will most certainly help Russell Wilson out is if Seattle can fix their defense enough so that Russ doesn’t have to chase leads during the second half of games with any regularity. The NFC West is too competitive for Seattle to have a weak defense and expect to retain their title. All the other teams in the division have good offenses with capable to good defenses. Seattle currently does not.

Therefore, this defense needs to get fixed and it needs to start this week as they head South to play the 49ers (who are stinging now some from their first loss).

I would strongly encourage Carroll to suck it up, and just sign Richard Sherman. If that doesn’t make Russell Wilson totally happy because of their past, who the flip cares? He can get over it. At this point, he might even welcome it.

They should sign defensive tackle Geno Atkins, as well. Maybe even add veteran linebacker help.

They might need to go back to the old cover three defense that the team has known for years, have Adams as a purely box safety, and Diggs as the single high safety. Just rush with four, and play coverage, and stop it with the YOLO blitzing that any capable quarterback can dice apart.

Clearly, this continuation of the Bear defense is a hot flaming mess right now. Teams have answers for when they blitz, and their cover two is waaaaay to leaky. I don’t think they have the linebackers to run it. Bobby Wagner has only ever played in a cover three. Jordyn Brooks is more of a run stopper than coverage backer.

The thing that is stunningly odd to me is that Seattle didn’t blitz much against the Colts and their defense had its best game. Why have they turned away from that the last two games now? Does Jamal Adams need to blitz in order to feel happy? Goodness, I hope that isn’t the case.

Sign Richard Sherman tomorrow. Sign Geno Aktins, too. Do it.

Or this season might just get out of hand quickly, and the whole narrative about Seattle will be an eventual Russell Wilson trade next off-season, or maybe a Pete Carroll firing. Maybe even both. Not kidding.

For those who think it’s the coach that needs to go, I got news for you. Pete Carroll has perhaps more power than any other head coach in the league. I don’t see Jody Allen likely firing him short of a total team collapse. He’s probably here until at least 2025.

That said, ultimately, the state of this team is on Pete Carroll. He’s the one who chose to stay with Ken Norton Junior at the DC instead of bringing back Dan Quinn or Kris Richard (who were both available). He’s the one who chose not to bring back Richard Sherman and KJ Wright in favor of younger more unproven talent. He’s the one who has chosen to go ultra light at defensive tackle and further away from his standard 4-3 under defense that he has coached to success for decades.

If this ship of his continues to sail in this direction throughout 2021, maybe Jody Allen will have her first really difficult decision to make as an NFL owner. And for those of you who think it should be the coach going instead of the quarterback, I have this question to ask you right now.

What competent NFL coach is going to want to inherit a short quarterback, who isn’t a spring chicken anymore, who doesn’t reliably hit the middle of the field, and is on an expensive contract soaking up nearly twenty percent of the cap space for his roster?

In the waging war on Seahawks Twitter of who should go, Pete or Russ, there does exist a cold brutal reality that it could be both, fairly easily, if things don’t get fixed. Bury your head in the sand, if you will, but it’s there. Total rebuild could be right around the corner.

So, get it done, Pete Carroll. This is on you to fix it. Too much is at stake. Get. It. Done.

Go Hawks.


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