The Seattle Seahawks stumbled down the stretch and suffered one of their more discouraging losses in recent years, blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in a 33-30 overtime defeat to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Sept. 19, at Lumen Field.
Here’s the post-Week 2 edition of a weekly numbers-based look at notable trends and storylines surrounding the Seahawks:
15 — Largest blown halftime lead in the Pete Carroll era: Seemingly all was well for the Seahawks. One week prior, they looked impressive on both sides of the ball in a season-opening win over the Colts. At halftime Sunday, they held a comfortable 24-9 lead. And after Russell Wilson’s broken-coverage touchdown pass to Freddie Swain early in the fourth quarter, Seattle was up 30-16. But then, everything fell apart. The defense gave up two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including the pivotal 60-yard TD run by Titans star running back Derrick Henry. The offense was completely stagnant for nearly the entire second half. The special teams played a role too, with Jason Myers’ missed extra point ultimately proving costly. And by the time Tennessee kicker Randy Bullock hit the game-winning field goal in overtime, it amounted to the Seahawks’ largest blown halftime lead in a loss since head coach Pete Carroll took over in 2010. Prior to Sunday, there had been just two other instances in the Carroll era that Seattle had lost after blowing a halftime lead of more than five points.
147 — Rushing yards allowed to Derrick Henry in the second half and overtime: The Seahawks did an exceptional job of bottling up two-time reigning NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry in the first half, limiting the star 247-pound running back to just 35 yards on 13 carries. But Henry got loose early in the fourth quarter, breaking a 60-yard TD run that was likely the game’s most pivotal play. Henry finished with 182 yards rushing and three TDs, including 147 yards in the second half and overtime. From a quick glance at the box score, that may seem like cause for concern for Seattle’s defense. But the reality is — even with the 60-yard run — Henry finished with 5.2 yards per carry. That’s actually less than the 5.4 yards per carry he averaged last season. Also, keep in mind that despite all the Seahawks’ defensive struggles last year, stopping the run was a strength throughout. They ranked second last season in Pro Football Focus’ run defense grading and fourth in yards allowed per carry at 3.9. And in this year’s season opener, Seattle held the Colts’ running backs to just 3.5 yards per carry. So despite the final stat line Henry amassed, it’d be an overreaction to start worrying about the Seahawks’ run defense.
3 — Three-and-outs by Seattle’s offense on its final four possessions: After scoring 28 points in the opener against the Colts and 24 points in the first half against the Titans, the Seahawks’ offense went missing for nearly the entire rest of the game. Seattle gained just 164 total yards in the second half and overtime — and most of that yardage came on a 68-yard touchdown pass that was a product of broken coverage and a 27-yard completion on the final play of regulation that was essentially meaningless. Aside from those two plays, the Seahawks mustered just 69 yards and 3.1 yards per play over the rest of the second half and overtime. It was a stark contrast from the week prior, when Seattle’s offense hummed along smoothly and efficiently in new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s debut. In the opener, the Seahawks showcased a new-look scheme that appeared more creative than years past, with a passing attack that incorporated all three levels of the field and an increased use of elements like pre-snap motion, fly sweeps and tempo. But on Sunday, Seattle’s offense looked far too much like the one that sputtered down the stretch last season. The creativity and innovation from Week 1 was largely gone. So was the usage of tight ends and the short-to-intermediate passing game. The run game was almost entirely ineffective. And with two of the Seahawks’ touchdowns coming on long passes and another the product of a Tennessee red-zone turnover, the 30 points on the scoreboard were deceiving. For the most part, Seattle struggled to move the ball with any sort of consistency.
278 – Receiving yards by Tyler Lockett through two games: One bright spot for Seattle on Sunday was Tyler Lockett, who had another big performance. Lockett caught eight passes for 178 yards and a touchdown, one week after he had four catches for 100 yards and two scores against the Colts. Through the first two weeks of the season, Lockett’s 278 receiving yards ranks second in the NFL. And all three of his touchdown receptions have been highlight-reel plays. There was his spectacular Willie Mays-esque over-the-shoulder touchdown catch against the Colts. Later in that game, there was his 69-yard touchdown reception on an immaculate “moon ball” from Russell Wilson. And on Sunday, there was Lockett’s crafty 63-yard catch-and-run score. Lockett suffered a midseason knee sprain last year, which likely contributed to his dip in production over the second half of the season. Over the final eight games, he averaged 54.9 receiving yards per contest and totaled just three touchdown catches. But after his red-hot start this year, Lockett is showing he can be one of the league’s elite receivers when healthy.