Even though the Seattle Seahawks are 5-1, it seems Seahawks fans are keeping one eye on the panic button.
Seattle suffered its first defeat of the season last Sunday when the Seahawks fell 37-34 in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals. The result itself wasn’t something that should be particularly troubling: an OT loss on the road against a formidable opponent. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw three interceptions, and there’s no reason to believe the MVP candidate is going to be that loose with the ball again.
However, the nature of the loss amplified all the issues one might have had with the Seahawks when they were undefeated. Seattle was in complete control, only to let the Cardinals back into the game, something that’s been a pattern this year. The defense gave up another 519 yards, and the pass rush was non-existent as Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray was the subject of zero official QB hits in 48 dropbacks.
Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers what their level of concern was about the Seahawks following their loss to the Cardinals.
POLL: What’s your level of concern following the Seattle Seahawks’ 37-34 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals, which was Seattle’s first loss of the season? Full context, including a look at some of the numbers, here: https://t.co/xoi2LKWq3N
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) October 26, 2020
Adding together the results from the poll posted on the blog and the one posted on Twitter and it’s clear that Seahawks fans are concerned. The largest bloc of voters — 43% — said they had serious concerns about Seattle, while another 37% said they had slight concerns. Only 20% of the responders said they had no concerns.
This is quite the level of worry for a team that according to FootballOutsiders.com still has more than an 80% chance of making the playoffs.
But it’s easy to understand why the fans have those concerns. As good as the offense and special teams have been, it’s impossible to ignore the defense. The defensive numbers are ugly. Seattle is dead last in the NFL in yards allowed at 497.2 and it isn’t even close, as the next-worst team is Atlanta at 425.9. With just nine sacks over six games the Seahawks are tied for 26th in the league, a ranking that’s reinforced by Seattle’s 25th-ranked pressure percentage at 19.7%. The numbers are slightly better in points allowed per game as the Seahawks are 23rd at 28.7, but FootballOutsiders.com’s defensive DVOA rankings have seen Seattle sink to 28th.
While it’s not unheard of for teams that allow a lot of yards to reach the Super Bowl — New England was 29th in the league in yards allowed per game in 2017 and 31st in 2011 — being that porous on defense is not recommended for a Super Bowl hopeful.
The Seahawks showed this week they recognize the problems, trading for veteran pass rusher Carlos Dunlap from Cincinnati. The trade was something of a coup, considering the Seattle only gave up an offensive lineman who hasn’t played a snap this season (B.J. Finney) and a seventh-round draft pick to acquire the former Pro Bowler. If the trade had been made at the beginning of the week rather than in the middle of it, perhaps the results of the poll would be different.
But until the defense begins performing better, it appears most Seahawks fans won’t be feeling confident.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer