I’m not actually angry or upset about this Seahawks Thursday Night Football loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Far from it.
I was angry a few weeks ago when the Seahawks puked up a loss to the Tennessee Titans when they should have put them away with a 14 point lead heading into the fourth quarter. It was a loss that induced an anger in me that stayed for days into weeks. I’m honestly still miffed at that one.
I was pretty upset to see what they did against Minnesota, too. It was honestly one of the worst games of defensive football that I had ever seen from a Seattle Seahawks team and I have been watching pretty much every game since 1983. That’s a lot of Seahawk football I’ve taken in.
After those two losses, I have dropped all expectations I had about the Seahawks for 2021. So, this loss to the Rams doesn’t really bug me. I’m disappointed Seattle lost, but I’m not upset that they did.
The Rams are a better team. They have better talent on defense, and collectively, they play better offense.
We can debate all we want to about who the better quarterback is between Russell Wilson, and Matthew Stafford (I say Russell is), but I don’t think it matters.
I’m not a Stafford believer, and I don’t think he is remarkably better than Jared Goff. This game didn’t alter my opinion. I think Sean McVay coaches a very friendly offense for quarterbacks to play well in. Goff had very little troubles beating Seattle in this offense when he was in a Rams uniform, and now Stafford can have a bit of a clunker, too, and still beat Seattle with relative ease.
If you have any doubts on just how well this style of offense can suit almost any given somewhat capable quarterback, just look at none other than Geno Smith when he had to replace Russell Wilson in the second half. Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron is running mostly the same offense up here, and if I am to be honest, of the three quarterbacks that played this Thursday night, I thought Smith looked the best.
But the issue for the Seahawks is not Russell Wilson and the offense. The issue is a defense that I cannot fathom is a defense of a Pete Carroll coached team. I could write a long piece about all the issues I see on this defense.
I think they are needlessly light up front at defensive tackle and because of that, they can’t stop the run as games wear on.
I think they are also needlessly light at cornerback and that is preventing them from playing a style of coverage that Pete Carroll would likely prefer.
I think the Ken Norton Junior is long cooked as a defensive coordinator and I fear Pete Carroll’s loyalty to him will prevent Carroll from making a much needed change.
Because of all of this, I have little faith these 2021 will be a playoff contending team by December. If you can’t reliably stop the run, and you can’t stop the pass, you aren’t going to win enough games. It doesn’t greatly matter who you have at quarterback. You are always going to be forced to win shootouts with the disadvantage of the other team having the better defense to go against.
So, really, I’m just in this as a fan who loves and adores the Seattle Seahawks, and will watch every game this season looking for the little victories and hoping these Seahawks will build towards something special again down the road.
The Good little victories in this game.
Good for Geno Smith going into this game in the second half and replacing an injured Russell Wilson when Aaron Donald and company were looking to further shut this Seattle offense down.
Smith is probably a pretty limited quarterback, but he looked poised in the face of pressure, got the ball off quick and mostly on target finding open receivers down the middle of the field. Smith moved well to evade pressures and picked up yardage with his legs, and he spun tight balls down field to tight ends, and DK Metcalf. It would have been a tremendous story if he would have pulled out a win, and he had a chance towards the end before throwing an interception when Tyler Lockett tripped on the top of his route.
We will see if Smith can lead Seattle to any victories in place of Russell Wilson if Wilson can’t go over the next few games. Again, I don’t have great expectations but I’m here for him as a fan. I’m pulling for him.
This was a good game for DK Metcalf. It was fun seeing him beat Jalen Ramsey for a touchdown against weirdly soft coverage (news flash; I’m not wild about the state of the Rams defense either). For Seattle to stand a chance against any decent team this year, they need games like this from DK. I’m encouraged.
For as putrid as the Seahawks defense seems to be, Darrell Taylor has now collected four sacks in five games into the season. That is super promising, and it looks like, if he can stay healthy, he has a decent chance to develop into the next great Seahawks edge rusher. That’s something to build on.
Michael Dickson remains a punting god, and it pains me to say it, but I think he might be the best player on the Seahawk roster right now. Anyhoo, that’s something, at least.
The Seattle Seahawks are paying Jamal Adams big time money to be a play-maker and a difference maker on their defense and he is doing neither through five games. I think he had a particularly bad game against the Rams. He gave up an easy touchdown to a tight end that a supposed premier strong safety simply is not supposed to give up.
This label of Adams being a “defensive weapon” appears to have escaped Ken Norton Junior. The defensive coach seems to be very stubborn not using him enough in the box, where he is able to play at his best. It’s probably due to the poor play at corner where Norton feels he needs to play Adams deeper, but the sad fact remains. Seahawks are not getting the most out of what is supposed to be their best player on defense and that is a firing offense.
At this point, if they aren’t going to alter their defense to allow Adams to play to his strengths, I think they might as well look to trade him. Unfortunately, I fear they will do neither.
To dump more on this defense, I’m here to tell you that Pete Carroll has lost his way at what he used to prefer up front at defense tackle, and it painfully showed up in the second half of this game against the Rams. Through the height of his tenure as head coach and vice president of this team, the Seahawks carried a bulk of big bruising defenders inside, and they often came in waves.
Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole, Alan Branch, Tony McDaniel, Kevin Williams, Ahtyba Rubin, and Jarran Reed were all first and foremost big beastly run stuffers who could occasionally get after the quarterback, as well. This effort against the Rams was a tipping point for me. I have zero faith that this defense can turn it around, and it is almost squarely on what they carry on the roster inside up front, and their stubbornness to shore things up.
LJ Collier is too light and not twitchy enough to be much of a defensive tackle and they used him rotating at three technique behind Poona Ford (also not the biggest guy). Al Woods gives good effort but he is probably a rotational piece on most other defenses. Brian Mone is proving more and more to just be a guy. Seattle desperately needs help inside, and it numbs my mind why they haven’t added there when Geno Aktins and many other proven sorts are available as free agents. This has costed them at least two of their three losses through five games. People can belabor what Seattle has at corner, but if you can’t reliably stop the run, well then..
Russell Wilson’s dislocated middle finger on his throwing hand. Well, the one thing many Seahawk fans have feared for years appears to now be upon us.
Russell Wilson is injured enough where it is likely he could miss a few games. It’s a darn shame too because I thought this Waldron offense was on the verge of taking off for him. Even though the Rams jumped ahead after the half, I was still believing Russ could win a shootout against a Ram defense that really isn’t that good.
We will see how long Russ is out for, or whether he is going to insist on playing with a middle finger that will give him problems, or if he will shelve himself.
This is not to be meant as over reactive hyperbole, but I just want to touch on this for a moment. If there is an area of Russ’s mind where he is thinking more and more about wanting out of Seattle for a fresh start somewhere else in 2022, for whatever reasons, he might be inclined to sit out several games until he feels his finger is a hundred percent. If he is positioning himself to force his way out, he probably wants to put on film the best version of himself as a passer in 2021 to make himself more trade worthy as an older quarterback with a higher salary.
I’m not going to pretend to know what is inside Russ’s mind on any of this. I’m just going to say that as he approaches the mid life of his career, it’s likely that his legacy will mean more to him than ever before, and if he isn’t seeing it in Seattle like he used to, we might get a longer stretch of Geno Smith playing than we are anticipating right now.
It’s very curious to me that Russell chose not to speak to the media after this game. When Jimmy Garoppolo was knocked out of the game on Sunday for the 49ers, he at least took the time to speak to the press, and it is all a forgone conclusion his days in the Bay area are numbered.
Russ chose not to speak, and it reminds me of the playoff loss to the Rams in January where he chose to take a very long time coming out of the locker room to finally speak very uncharacteristically solemnly to the Seattle press. We all know what followed a view weeks later when he decided to air his views about the Seahawks on a national media tour.
This will be an incredibly interesting time for these Pete Carroll Seahawks over the next ten days before they play again.
They have never faced having to play without Russell Wilson since they drafted him in 2012.
They have so much to fix with their defense.
They are sitting on roughly $11 million dollars in cap space. Does the continual miserable state of this defense force them to now make some bold roster move or two to acquire more talent to try to save their season, and Carroll’s reputation as a defensive minded head coach?
Does Carroll dump Ken Norton Junior as his defensive coordinator when there is a bit of a bigger stretch between games to make a coaching change?
If not, will Carroll stick with Norton out of loyalty and simply take further control of the defense away from him?
If Russ is to miss several games, do they ride with Geno Smith, or do they try to acquire another quarterback to compete?
I will be honest, this is not the state of the Seattle Seahawks that I wanted through the first five games, but I am intrigued.
As a general fan of football, I’m fascinated at where the Seahawks are right now.
I honestly think anything is possible.
I think it’s possible that they are facing a season that is heading towards the toilet bowl quickly where, by the end, owner Jody Allen might be forced into making hard choices with Pete Carroll, especially if she feels her team is in danger of losing future ticket sales in a market that now has an NHL team and a baseball team on the rise. I think that is now very possible.
I also think that Carroll might decide to kick it in the ass, and go all in on trying to win on defense, and make drastic changes within the next few days to try to save the season enough where his team is playing competitively in December. Seattle has curious been sitting with a lot of cap space. Do they now attempt to make a splash trade to help the defense?
I’m curious to see how Geno Smith continues to play if Russ can’t go for a while. The biggest positive that I took away from this dreadful game against the Rams is that the Waldron offense appears to be quarterback friendly. I am interested to see if that holds true through a possible stretch of Geno starting.
I am not wishing for Russell Wilson to eventually be traded away, far from it, but if that times comes, and Waldron is still the play caller, I now have hope that his system is good enough that Seattle’s next quarterback will prove to be useful and productive. That is one silver lining that I personally can feel could about after this game.
Ah, these Seattle Seahawks.
We now know Russ is out for at least 6 weeks. How does that news change your analysis?
I think the season is cooked and big, structural changes are needed to rebuild the team
It’s not looking promising. I wouldn’t be against the complete structural change and rebuild. I think these next six games or more can say a lot as to whether Carroll still has it in him to create a coaching miracle with Geno Smith and the state of that defense. If he can somehow get them playing for playoff contention in December, that would be a big achievement in my mind. If not, then Jody Allen has an interesting decision on her hands.
One coach out there who I think would be very much interested in the Seattle job would be Doug Pederson. I went to high school with him in Ferndale. He was a big time Seahawks fan. Jody Allen could make him a very attractive offer with the opportunity to pick his own GM like Carroll did back in 2010.
That hire could also be enough to make Russ want to stick it out.
I don’t think Russell Wilson was there after the game, and that’s why he wasn’t at the press conference. — I think he was taken to the hospital for x-rays of his hand. And he won’t be bringing himself back until he gets medical clearance which is now stated to be at least six weeks.