Geno Cooks But The Defense Fizzles: A Seahawks Loss To The Falcons In Review

I thought confidently heading into this game that the Seattle Seahawk offense was going to respond with a better outing than what happened last week. There’s too much talent on that side of the ball to have laid the egg as they did against the 49ers.

They have a good young running back hitting his prime, a good tight end group, and one of the best wide receiver tandems in this league. They also have some makings for potentially one of the better offensive lines with Charles Cross and Abe Lucas at tackle.

All they needed was for Geno Smith to throw it a bit more downfield, and to get a better commitment at running the ball out of Shane Waldron. They did this in this game, and, as a result, Seattle had very little problems moving the rock against a middling Atlanta Falcon defense.

The problem was, however, that Seattle’s defense had another dud of a day stopping the run. On a day where Geno Smith put up good enough numbers at quarterback and Rashaad Penny and Ken Walker got going, Atlanta’s Cordelle Patterson had 141 yard on 17 carries for an average of 8 yards per carry, and I think this was the single big difference in the final score.

These 2022 Seattle Seahawks will not win many games this year if this defense is going to average giving up close to 200 yards on the ground most games, such as been the case for the last two weeks. It practically doesn’t matter who the other team’s offense has at quarterback, tight end, or receiver, if they can simply keep with the run.

So, my biggest take away from this game is that Seattle still has a ton of work to do on defense. It is that plain and simple.

As bad as the Seattle offense was last week against the 49ers, it feels further ahead of the defense. Geno seems to have a handle on what Shane Waldron wants to do, and he can muster it against a run of the mill defense. I’m not sure this Seahawk defense can even handle a bad offense right now.

Through three games, it feels like this defense was really fortunate against Denver on Monday Night Football more than anything else; that Nathanial Hackett bungled the game not by calling for that stupid 64 yard kick attempt, but by letting Russ cook instead of running it against Seattle’s defense.

So, how do they fix it?

Is it the lack of Xs and Os, or is it the lack of Jimmies and Joes?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a great answer. My gut is saying that they don’t have the players to pull off a very good 3-4 defense right now. I think they have some good interior defensive linemen, but they are lacking right now at linebacker, or they just aren’t playing well because they are unsure, and not playing with confidence. It seems there’s confusion in the backfield, as well, but Seattle is starting a ton of youth back there.

If these players are unsure, especially at the edges, then maybe it is a scheme thing. Maybe it’s asking dudes to do too much. When Seattle’s defense was really humming at a high level, there was a simplicity to its scheme, and that freed up good players to play at a hyper high level. San Francisco plays that sort of defense today.

Maybe Pete Carroll should consider scrapping this 3-4 and just go back to the 4-3 he’s always ran. I know this sounds too soon to be suggesting this, but at least the 4-3 is a defense that is traditionally more apt to stop the run. If you can’t stop the run in this league, that’s a death sentence to your season, plain and simple.

Or maybe Seattle needs to lean in further with the 3-4, and just really be a true 3-4 defense instead of being this “multiple” business and showing looks of 3-4 and 4-3 at different times. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a true 3-4 and have been running it for decades. Tampa is a true 3-4.

Pick something and master it. There’s a novel idea.

Or maybe Seattle just needs more time with these young cats to really get what they’re supposed to be doing, and these next few games are going to be a bit of clown show before the light finally clicks. I seem to recall that in the early years of Pete Carroll here in the PNW, his defense had its fair shares of ups and downs before players gained confidence and it turned a corner.

Right now, if you are pulling for Seattle to make it competitive during this transitional year, the best thing that I can say is that through three games they are tied for second place within the NFC West with San Francisco and Arizona, and they play in Detroit next week. This season is not lost, but they need to fix the very obvious.

Pete Carroll and Clint Hurtt have their work to do. Say what you will about Ken Norton Junior, but at least his defenses were mostly able to stop the run. I’m eager to see Hurtt turn it around.

Doing it in Detroit, and winning would be a nice start.

Go Hawks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s