Seahawks Disappoint Against The Panthers And Their Season Is On The Ropes

Can’t touch this

A living body is an extremely complex mechanism. It is full of multiple organs that require each to function optimally for the body to survive. Once, an organ weakens, it puts further stress on other organs to function and they often have to work twice as hard to compensate.

This is why when someone who suffers heart disease, they can also end up with lung problems or some other mortal ailment. Everything is connected on a string, to a degree.

The plant world can be like this, as well. When a plant develops a dead branch, it can develop more dead branches by sending energy to the area of the dead branch that it would otherwise send to healthier branches throughout its canopy. The result is that over time, those other areas begin to struggle, and eventually die. This is why it’s good to cut the dead branches out of your Japanese maple, annually.

NFL football is much the same. A good football team functions like a good living organism. It needs all of its bits functioning properly. If it is good in certain aspects of the game, but terrible in others, it can be very difficult to win games. If one area is truly awful, it puts more stress on others to compensate.

The Seattle Seahawks cannot stop the run, defensively. In football, that’s really bad. It’s honestly one of the worst things to plague a team. It forces the offense to play near perfect in order to pull out wins, and over time, things on that side of the ball can begin to wear down, as well.

The biggest gift that you can give any struggling offense is to have them match up against a defense that cannot stop the run. In the last four games, this Seahawks defense has given three bad teams victories because they could not stop the run, and they almost gave a fourth bad team a victory, as well. That’s bad football.

In those games, Geno Smith has looked like he has had to press more with pushing the ball down field, and it hasn’t helped him that the Seahawk rushing attack has been spotty at best, and nonexistent at worst, either. In my opinion, I think think Seattle should have been more aggressive bringing in another work horse back to complement Ken Walker after Rashaad Penny went down for the season, but that’s another matter.

At any rate, it’s bad timing heading into the final stretch of games with playoff hopes, not having the ability to stop the run, and now possibly not being able to run the ball either. This is the opposite of Pete Carroll football.

In this game, the Carolina Panthers beat Pete Carroll by playing his preferred brand of football. This is officially becoming a broken record with these Seahawks. The Falcons did this to them, and the Saints, and Bucs, and Raiders, and now the Panthers. None of these teams have winning records, either.

Right now, at the rate that this defense is regressing, I don’t know where Seattle’s eighth win is coming from, and it pains me to type that. It just feels that bad.

After this game, I also sense that there will be people more apt to blame Geno Smith for not having his sharpest game, and I get it to a degree. His first throw of the game was an interception that was a bad decision to force the throw into coverage when he had someone open in the flat. I think his other one was a result of the refs blowing an obvious offsides by the defense, though, and I can completely understand him thinking he had a free play, I thought he did, too.

Let’s get real with Geno in this one, though. His defense was doing next to nothing to slow down Carolina, and Carolina was doing everything to take away Seattle’s rushing attack to balance the pass game off of. Thus, Geno was placed in yet another situation where he had to be near perfect, and he fell short. He needed to be better, but let’s not make it sound like he had an altogether horrible day because the simple fact is that 21 for 36, 264 yards, 3 TDs to 2 INTs can get many teams a W if their defense can stop the bloody run game.

The memo is out on how to play the Seahawks moving forward. It’s to run the f’ing football. Right now, it would be negligent for any offensive coordinator to not call 40 runs against this defense. San Fransisco might only pass the ball four or five times against this defense Thursday night, if that.

Right now, it is incredibly difficult to not become pessimistic about Seattle’s shift to the 3-4 under Clint Hurtt’s defensive direction. He might be a HUGE fan of 3-4, and has been pining for Seattle to transition to it for years, but that scheme is NOT matching the talent on this roster; not in the slightest.

Seattle does not have great defensive line talent, but they got players who could probably function towards league average if they were operating out of some variation of a 4-3. If Carroll wanted to shift back to his old odd fronts, he could have Quinton Jefferson play 5 tech, Al Woods play nose, Shelby Harris as the 3 tech, and Uchenna Nwosu or Darrell Taylor as the Leo end, and that would probably be an adequate four man line with Poona Ford and others rotating in. Bruce Irvin could play his old SAM role with Coby Barton, and Jordyn Brooks playing WILL and MIKE.

This would look like at least a functional front seven in the 4-3 base defense to me, and there would be enough bodies up at the line of scrimmage fire out of three point stances to fill gaps and take on blockers with leverage that the linebackers and DBs would be freed from blockers to cleanup on ball carriers.. just like it used to be. This is what a 4-3 defense offers. There is little exotic about it; it just puts guys in gaps and it allows other guys to fill.

Instead, we see, almost play after play, five guys up at the line of scrimmage, but the two guys on the outside standing up (vulnerable to leverage), with blockers and ball carriers blowing past them into smaller linebackers and DBs. Simply put, Seattle does not have players to play this way. Poona Ford and Quinton Jefferson aren’t going to soak up multiple blockers to keep Coby Barton clean, and Barton is not going to take on a 300 pound guard and win.

What Hurtt and the defensive coaches are asking these front seven dudes to do is really tough stuff to accomplish in this league. You need special EXTRA LARGE dudes to do this stuff, and your linebackers have to be special, as well. If they had drafted mammoth Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis at nine instead of left tackle Charles Cross, he would have been a good piece to fit into that style of defense, but even having him play in a 3-4 is probably limiting what he would be able to do in a 4-3.

So, what’s the answer for this season with these final four games left on this schedule?

How can they better prepare these players?

What can they better tweak without suddenly tossing out entirely this whole Vic Fangio inspired 3-4 thing?

Is it even possible to install more 4-3 at this point? I felt when they were in the four game win streak back in October/November, there was more elements of 4-3, mixed with some Bear stuff they did a lot of last year. Who knows, though, maybe I was just dreaming that.

All I know is this. It will be incredibly hard to win any remaining games is they cannot slow a simple run game down.

They should be well aware of what the 49ers are going to do, as they should the Jets who run that same offense. In my opinion, it is up to this coaching staff to put these defenders in a best positions to be most successful against these offenses. If they cannot do that, then I think a question should be asked as to whether this scheme and staff that was brought in to coach it are right for this club in 2023.

They can throw their two first round picks at the defense, but if those guys aren’t being coached well enough, how much good is that really going to do for this club?

Oh, how fleeting it is to be a diehard fan of this team!

Last week’s narrow win against the Rams had me dreaming of post season. This loss against the Panthers has me wondering where our next win is coming from.

Beating the 49ers on Thursday night would be the right remedy. I dare to dream that one. I do dare it, indeed.

Go Hawks.


2 thoughts on “Seahawks Disappoint Against The Panthers And Their Season Is On The Ropes

  1. This summer I made three predictions regarding the Seahawks:
    They would win 7 games
    Rashad Penny would be out for the season by game 6
    Gino Smith would be horrible.

    So happy I was wrong about Gino


  2. Right on, as usual. I’ve dug around for more evidence of 4-3 in the 4 game streak (short of re-watching the games on NFL+) and wonder if anybody has written that can definitively say if they had more 4/3/Bear.


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