Curtis Allen’s week seventeen watch points (vs Detroit)

January 2nd, 2022 | Written by Rob Staton

Note: This is a guest post by Curtis Allen and the latest piece in a weekly series. Curtis looks at the Seahawks and their opponents and discusses key factors.

With two games left in the season and nothing to fight for but pride, there is very little at stake this week. While Pete Carroll and the players are saying the right things publicly about being competitive and giving their full effort, the fog of a lost season and major changes coming for 2022 has now fully enveloped the franchise.

It is arguable that the Detroit Lions, not unlike the Bears, are possibly the worst choice to play the Seahawks for Sunday’s game. What initially looked like a cakewalk to secure a better playoff spot (or even a division title) before the season started now looks like a no-win situation.

The Lions stand at 2-12-1 as a lock for a top-5 pick in the draft as their seemingly never-ending rebuilding process continues. Unfortunately, they are not playing a brand of football that their record indicates. They are on a bit of an upswing compared to earlier in the season and Dan Campbell has the team playing with heart and grit through this wreck of a season.

So a win against this team does nothing. Whereas a loss just drives another nail further into the coffin of the season and continues to punctuate just how horrid this Seahawks team has been.

Still, with this game perhaps being Russell Wilson’s final one in a Seahawks uniform in Seattle (his words) and with the opportunity to see some exciting young talent on the Lions’ roster to stoke the fires of building the Seahawks back up through the 2022 draft, it will be hard to simply shrug off.

Here are some brief thoughts on what to look for…

Get off the field, defense

The Lions have the 15th ranked rushing offense, the 24th ranked passing offense and the 29th scoring offense. In a normal year, Seahawks fans would be scoffing at this and licking their chops for the defense to control this game and give the offense good field position all day.

But as you know, this is not a normal year. The defense just has not been able to get off the field. Last week they surrendered a 15-play, 8-minute monster of a drive to the Chicago Bears and their listless offense last week. When the defense held at the goal line to avoid conceding any points, commentator Aqib Talib bellowed into the mic ‘this defense doesn’t care about yards! Only points…’ as the players danced off the field.

Of course, that was a Pyrrhic Victory, as the offense could not put any distance between them and their own end zone, they punted and six plays later the Bears scored a touchdown. Not unpredictably, late in the game the defense could not make a seven point lead with three minutes to play hold up at the Bears’ 20-yard line because they had spent so much of the game on the field already.

The Lions are going to present a similar challenge to this defense on Sunday.

They have a pair of good running backs in Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift who are capable of running inside and around the edges with speed and toughness. Rookie Penei Sewell has played like a top-10 pick, garnering a 78 PFF rating in his rookie season.

Amon-Ra St. Brown has burst onto the NFL stage the last month in particular with 35 catches for sixteen first downs and three touchdowns in just the last four games. He is just one of a very impressive rookie class of wide receivers.

Have a look at his play last week against the Falcons – note how the Lions are using him all over the field (and imagine Dee Eskridge being used this way):

Tell me those simple ‘run seven yards and curl to beat a soft zone’ plays aren’t the exact thing that the Seahawks defense has had trouble with this season. He also does all those little things good wide receivers do, like having body control and awareness to get the ball past the first-down marker.

St. Brown will probably have as many touches and targets as he can handle Sunday, with the Lions’ other top receivers in COVID protocols at this very moment. The Seahawks will need to play him far better than the Falcons did.

Dan Campbell is also taking swashbuckling to new heights this year, leading the NFL on fourth down attempts with 36 (for the record, the Seahawks are the polar opposite, last in the NFL with 10 attempts). The Lions have made 18 of them for a 50% conversion rate. That spells trouble for this defense.

Add to that this Lions offense has averaged 341 yards of offense in their last four games and it could be another lopsided time of possession day.

The defense needs to find a way to string together a combination of four plays that do not gain ten yards more than once. We can talk all day about Russell Wilson and his uncharacteristic play but that discussion would be far more effective if the defense was regularly doing its job and giving the offense more chances than they are.

Attack this defense

This Lions defense has nothing to hang their hats on. They are 27th in rushing defense, 24th in passing defense and 25th in scoring defense.

They have recorded only 25 sacks this season – second worst in the NFL only to the Falcons’ 16 sacks.

Their pressure rate of 20.1% is 29th in NFL.

The closest thing they have to a bright spot on defense is cornerback Amani Oruwariye. He is their most frequently targeted player but is only conceding a 61% completion rate and a passer rating of only 74.

Still, PFF has him rated at 59, as he has 10 missed tackles and has conceded four touchdown passes this year. He also has been flagged for pass interference five times, one of the highest in the league (paging Tyler Lockett…_).

Blog favorite Alim McNeill has provided some nice play this year as an interior presence and appears to be a nice player the Lions can build around.

Yet this is truly one of the worst defenses the Seahawks will face all season. The only thing keeping them from moving the ball at will on this defense will be themselves.

Who knew that we were watching the best this offense would offer all season in Week One? It has been a sad state of affairs.

This game stands as an opportunity to use all that talk of staying competitive and not just running the season out to make a statement about what they can do and how they can control this game and still deliver wins.

That all starts with the quarterback.

The team must get a return to form for Russell Wilson

Wilson has rightly not escaped his share of blame for woes the team has had this season. Unable to fully recover from a serious finger injury, to not being able to make throws we have all seen him make hundreds of times before, to pressing too hard to try and deliver a win, not much has gone right for him this year.

Wilson laid down a gauntlet that Sunday may be his last game in a Seahawks uniform in Seattle and intentionally qualified it by adding ‘but not my last game in the NFL’, to make clear to the media that he means playing for another team and not retirement.

As meaningless as this game is, he knows this could be the end of an era. It would be fitting to go out with an efficient, occasionally brilliant game that takes this team to a victory.

It could serve many purposes, other than just winning a grey December game with no playoff implication:

– It would be a nice goodbye and thank you to fans in Seattle

– It would certainly give notice of what the Seahawks would be missing should they decide to trade him

– It would be a strong demonstration to any team considering trading for him that he has not lost his form

– If anything, it would slow the roll that a lot of the media have taken up that he is the main cause of all the troubles in recent times

And lastly, it would be something he can grasp and hold onto going into the offseason. After jousting with the Seahawks’ management and coming to a truce this last offseason, the hopes of giving it one more shot in Pete Carroll’s system have been absolutely dashed.

Dashed by losing his mental coach and friend early in the year. Dashed by a bad injury and a difficult recovery played out right in front of our eyes. Dashed by another year of poor defense, poor coaching, poor personnel decisions and poor in-game decision-making.

Strong play in this game could propel him to playing a spoiler against the Cardinals next week and would really provide a spark that could light the way through a very turbulent offseason.

Please consider supporting the blog via Patreon (click the tab below)…

Become a Patron!

163 Responses to “Curtis Allen’s week seventeen watch points (vs Detroit)”

  1. RIP Sonics says:

    Best case in all scenarios laid out is with russ playing well to finish the season. Heres to hoping russ gets after it today

  2. Blitzy the Clown says:

    Amen to Wilson balling out in case it’s the last time he’d do it in a Seahawks uniform. But I wonder if that’s possible with weather conditions being as dismal as they are.

    Part of me worries about Carroll’s seemingly indefatigable spirit, and I silently hope for a loss to emphatically end any hope he may have of returning next season. Because I think a home loss to the worst team in the NFL, not just this season, but worst for as long as Carroll has been in Seattle, would be a stake in his “always compete” heart. At least with the Seahawks.

    FWIW, if Carroll does move on, I’m not at all convinced he retires. And I think he could have success in a new setting. Maybe even the kind of success that would give some cause to openly question whether moving on from him was the right move.

    But then the bigger part of me thinks he’s already decided it’s over for him in Seattle. Carroll no doubt has a healthy ego, but I don’t think he’s an egomaniac. And I don’t think he’s an arsehole in the sense that he’d force the franchise and Seahawks nation to chose him over Wilson, even if Wilson doesn’t stay himself.

    And because of that, I want them to win today. I mean I always want them to win. But I want them to win today for the reasons stated in your article. For Russ. For Pete. For what once was. For our Camelot.

    In the immortal words of Shakespeare’s King Henry: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”

    • cha says:

      The quote I’ve been thinking is from Lion In Winter.

      When the sons, in the dungeon, think they hear Henry coming down the stairs to kill them.

      Richard: He’s here. He’ll get no satisfaction out of us. Don’t let him see you beg…Take it like a man!

      Geoffrey: You fool! As if the way one falls down matters!

      Richard: Well, when the fall is all that’s left, it matters a great deal.

      • Peter says:

        See Rob there’s tons to write about.

        Cleveland draft blog

        Possibly a new orleans draft blog

        Seahawks Shakespeare blog

  3. OP_chillin says:

    Sick of the Rams.

  4. swedenhawk says:

    On point as always, especially that last section.

  5. BoiseSeahawk says:

    Bengals… what’s going on in Cincinnati? 10 wins this year, lost 4 games by just 3 points.

    Is there a coach to poach?

  6. ShowMeYourHawk says:

    So…. if Russ IS around next season, any chance he’ll still lobby to sign Antonio Brown, after today’s… uh….. performance? 🤣

  7. Trevor says:

    Last game in Seattle for two Hawks HOFers (Wags and Russ) and there are empty seats all over the place. If that does not tell Jody Allen a change at the top is needed nothing will.

  8. SeaTown says:

    Well losing at home to the Lions would go a long way towards getting rid of Pete.

  9. Gary says:

    Opening drive 3rd & 7 and their only play call is a downfield bomb. First three and out.

  10. Hawks4life says:

    Whos ready to get lit up by Tim Boyle

  11. Big Mike says:

    Here’s hoping the next HC knows how to run a screen game. And if Russ doesn’t know how, he can be taught. He certainly hasn’t been in 10 years under Carroll.

  12. AlaskaHawk says:

    Seahawks are favored by 6.5 points. I have low expectations for this game, and looking at the weather the Seahawks should probably be running the ball.

    I enjoyed watch Cincinnati destroy KC Chiefs, that was a good game.

  13. Scot04 says:

    Nice write up Cha,
    Jets so close to moving Giants pick up in the draft.
    I hope it doesn’t matter & Jody decides to move on from PC & JS in favor of RW.
    A few thoughts on offseason if things go that way:

    A few Possible Free-agent Guard/Tackle options salaries.

    Brandon Scherff (RG) 3yr-50M/30M Guaranteed
    Duane Brown (LT) 2yr-26M/16M Guaranteed
    Armstead (LT) 3yr-58M/45M Guaranteed
    Erik Fischer (LT) 3yr-48M/32M Guaranteed
    Charles Leno (LT) 2yr-18M/12M Guaranteed
    Conner Williams (LG) 4yrs-35M/20M Guaranteed (Move Lewis back to RG)

  14. Chris says:

    Cody Barton probably just tied Bobby with tackle for loss on the year

  15. Big Mike says:

    Oh wow, throw a 7 yd pass on 3rd and 5 instead of a deep bomb. Pete says that’s not how you do offense

  16. Gary says:

    Another time of possession mismatch on its way 🙁

  17. KennyBadger says:

    Tim Boyle starting in Seattle used to be something I would look forward to…

  18. cha says:

    Serious question – has Cody Barton on this drive made more plays than Bobby Wagner in a whole game?

  19. Chris says:

    Sure seems like it

  20. AlaskaHawk says:

    I take it back about needing to run the ball. This is sad.

  21. Hawks4life says:

    I really hope we don’t resign DK, dude has already quit on this team. You can see how pissed off he is after every play he doesn’t get the ball. He’s just as painful to watch as Jamal Adams imo

  22. Chris says:

    We gotta give do a chance with a real o.c before we ship him outta town

    • Big Mike says:

      I disagree based on dropping too many easy throws, bad attitude, etc. Get some GOOD draft choices for the guy assuming PCJS aren’t making the picks. If they are………whatever.

      • Hawks4life says:

        He’s gonna want 20mil, in no fucking world is he worth that. Whens the last time a team rode a highly paid WR to a championship. Not worth it

  23. AlaskaHawk says:

    Yee Haw Penny

  24. Big Mike says:

    Someone gonna pay Penny…………

  25. Submanjoe says:

    Is it just that Penny hasn’t had the chance to be the Primary until now?

  26. Big Mike says:

    See above about screens

  27. Blitzy the Clown says:

    Jake Curhan is the best run blocking RT the Seahawks have had since Breno Giacomini.

  28. Blitzy the Clown says:

    Cody Barton playing like he belongs out there. Is it a contract year for him too?

  29. Big Mike says:

    Guessing Bobby has a concussion since he walked off and has never returned. A shame if this is his last home game in Seattle.

  30. Chris says:

    Cody Barton is playing with aggression! Which is something we have been lacking with bobby

  31. Chris says:

    If Pete and John come back then I doubt it will be Bobby’s last game as a seahawk

  32. Big Mike says:

    Not likely to be overturned

  33. 12th chuck says:

    welcome to bizzarro world. Penny’s best 1st quarter ever, Barton’s best quarter ever

  34. Big Mike says:

    Wonder if there’s anyone our there that picked up Penny for their fantasy championship game cuz their starter was out (like CEH for KC)?

  35. 805Hawk says:

    See, everything is great! Let’s run it back again next year! …is what Pete is saying right now and it’s so depressing. I hate that this is where this team has come to.

  36. Peter says:

    Per Scot04.

    No draft, no problem.

    Pay Scherff. Pay Jensen (center) move Lewis back. Continue with Curhan.

    Drop the rest of the draft picks into defense.

    Pay another reciever since who knows what’s going on with metcalf.

  37. Big Mike says:

    Nice tackle whiffs by Taylor and Ugo Amadi

  38. Scot04 says:

    Damn Everett drops alot

  39. Big Mike says:

    Pete just called and said “no prob, we’ll leave Lewis at LG cuz he’s really competing there”.

  40. Robbie says:

    If Russ leads DK just a little bit there instead of throwing it behind him thats a TD.

  41. Mike says:

    Gosh Dk body language even sucks after he scores

  42. Big Mike says:

    Wilson been killing that zero blitz for 10 years now

  43. Scot04 says:

    I just hope the stay aggressive on both sides of the ball until game ends

  44. 805Hawk says:

    I have a close friend who is an agent. DK is currently looking for new representation. He’s had dinner with DK a couple times and is trying to sign him. I’m really hoping he does so he can give me the inside scoop.

  45. ShowMeYourHawk says:

    I’m not gonna lie. Seeing Penny suddenly turn it on these last few games kind of pisses me off. Complete bum for three seasons and starts giving an effort 4 games before a payday? If he tricks this FO, regardless of who is running the show, to re-sign him, it’ll be a complete waste of roster spot.

    • Gary says:

      I actually think it’s nice to be able to at least get a glimpse of what they saw in him. The ability’s never been the issue. The problem’s been availability.

    • 805Hawk says:

      I hope they run Homer a bunch to get a feel for whether this is a Penny thing or a terrible Detroit thing.

      • Whit21 says:

        If you put on the tape and you know your players.. you can tell..

        Penny has cut back abilty and vision to get to the right spot.. he looks a lot like Shaun Alexander.. he had running lanes and made the most of them…

        The problem lies.. when he gets to a certain amount of contact.. the body language says, he cant take it.. thats his problem.. even a few years ago.. he gets a few carries and breaks a run
        . Then gets up gingerly.. hes not the durable RB they thought he was.. and they didn’t take chubb cuz they thought he had injury concerns… irony.. he has talent.. but can never be a true #1 back..

        Homer is just 1 cut speed X quickness.. nothing more to see than what youve already seen.. hes a #45 out of 53 kind of gut.. special teams and a few plays on offense..

        Jd Mckissic was better…

  46. Scot04 says:

    I’ll take whatever AP is selling. All our running backs seem to be running more aggressive since he’s been here.

  47. Bmseattle says:

    So, *this* is what it looks like when we run tje Rams offense!

  48. Ky Swift says:

    Just imagine if Rashaad Penny was actually in shape. He doesn’t even look like he’s enjoying it and is in pain trying to breathe.

  49. Scot04 says:

    Hard to believe this is the same Detroit team that easily beat Arizona

  50. Tomas says:

    Hawks playing really well. Unfortunately, lessens pressure Jody may have felt to take decisive action – unthinkable to remove Pete and JS now, many will say. I’m pleased Russ’s last home game as a Seahawk is a good one … I guess. Phyrric victory.

    • Gary says:

      I know I’m in the minority, but I really agree that a performance like this (when it all works for once) makes it harder (or more unlikely) to fire Pete.

      • Blitzy the Clown says:

        I sincerely doubt there’s anyone in any position of authority to effect the course of events for the Seahawks over this coming offseason who will look at Seattle managing a blowout win at home over the worst team in the NFL (not just worst in 2020 but worst over the last decade) and think to themselves “nope, nothing broken here”.

        Maybe Carroll stays. I don’t know. But if he does, it won’t be because of this game.

  51. Big Mike says:

    an interception??!!

  52. ShowMeYourHawk says:

    Can we re-sign Diggs and Reed? Like, today? Please?

  53. cha says:

    This game is like a laxative for this 2021 season.

    • Peter says:

      This team is maddening. Play with your hair on fire in a meaningless game. Offense is rolling so the defenses day is nice and easy. But sure tell me how keeping it nice and close has been working thus far.

      • Gary says:

        You can’t win the game in the first quarter, you can’t win the game in the second quarter …

        • Peter says:

          Strangely true and yet I’d argue even PC knows it sure makes it a lot easier to win in the fourth if you start winning in the other three.

  54. Scot04 says:

    Even if Jody was planning to move on from Pete, I didn’t think she would fire him before the season ended

    • Gary says:

      Agreed. But a performance like this makes it easier for Pete to spin his bullshit narrative that nothing’s broken.

      • Peter says:

        Maybe. But the team did just let Chicago win and they stink this year as well. You’re right that it makes it easier for PC to say it’s all coming together.

  55. Scot04 says:

    Was meant as reply to Gary.

  56. Hawks4life says:

    It’s not even fun watching us obliterate the lions, that’s how bad we are

  57. ShowMeYourHawk says:

    Oh, my. Taylor’s hit on the RB.

  58. Scot04 says:

    Gotta love Taylor. Big hits Seahawks have been missing

  59. Hawks4life says:

    Lions comeback? Lol

  60. Big Mike says:

    Oh cool, let’s choke away a 38-7 lead.
    Campbell doing stuff Carroll wouldn’t dream of.

  61. bmseattle says:

    So, if we’d drafted St. Brown in the 4th round, would he be languishing on the bench?

    • Gary says:

      We’d have a game plan that called for him to get more touches but we just weren’t able to get that done. But he’s worked really hard to show us his stuff and we’re jacked about what he’s gonna be able to do for us here and help us go where we want to go.

  62. Blitzy the Clown says:

    Dumb challenge. I think it signals a lack of faith in your team to hold an 18 point lead over the lowly Lions.

    *thinks back to last week vs the lowly Bears*

    Oh wait, maybe it is a smart challenge.

  63. Big Mike says:

    God these delays are interminable

  64. Hawkster says:

    2 consecutive stops, on the outside Reed, if it was Adams it is 6, then to the right Barton, if it was Wagner then 6.

  65. Chris says:

    Our pass defense is aweful

  66. Big Mike says:

    If the offense doesn’t regain the momentum on this possession with at least a FG and some TOP, this game could end up being really, really embarrassing.

  67. Mick says:

    If they lose this one too, they better all resign right after the game.

  68. Peter says:

    Nothing seems more emblematic of my mood this season then the feeling seattle could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory….

  69. Big Mike says:

    Wilson with 2 excellent throws on last two 3rd downs. Check down to Parkinson, slant over the middle to DK.

  70. ShowMeYourHawk says:

    So torn on DK. He’s a weapon, but his headspace and the money he’s going to command are really worrisome. If dude could just chill a bit and catch the easy ones, he’d be All-World.

    • Starhawk29 says:

      Just argued with my brother about this. His point was that he’s the only good player we’ve picked in a while, and is on a remarkable pace. It’s a really hard decision, but I can’t stomach paying a WR 20 million. I think there is no right answer here, you just have to make a decision and go in with a plan.

  71. Mike says:

    Ugo needs to go

  72. Chris says:

    God I hate this defense

  73. Gary says:

    Looks like Mike Jackson (?) has been playing corner – anyone know where Sidney Jones is?

  74. Chris says:

    My biggest fear is they bring back the entire coaching staff

  75. Chris says:

    I got a bad feeling Pete will be back

  76. Big Mike says:

    THAT close to screwing up 2 onside kicks

  77. cha says:

    Is that special one-finger glove Russ is sporting on his right hand new? I don’t recall seeing it before today.

  78. SeaTown says:

    This win will only encourage Pete Carroll. 🙁

    • Matthew says:

      It’s going to encourage Wilson too. They’re both believe almost to a fault. If they beat Arizona I think Wilson convinces himself to stay for one more year for better or worst…

      • Hawks4life says:

        I don’t think beating Arizona will make the slightest difference, Russ probably has his mind made up for the most part.

      • Rob Staton says:

        No chance

        Absolutely no chance Wilson does that

        • Matthew says:

          Part of his figuring is maintaining his status in Seattle, to a fault even. He has to know wherever he goes will be hamstrung by giving up picks/players, and if it’s not Denver, or another team right there, he won’t only not be accomplishing his goal, he’ll be hated in Seattle for forcing his way out. Is he going to win 3 super bowls with the Giants in the next 5 years, or Seattle? Probably neither, but his thinking has to be conflicted when things start working. I can see him talking himself into “one more year” if an ideal trade partner can’t be found.

  79. Matthew says:

    This whole things getting run back.

  80. Big Mike says:

    Booing? Cmon folks, poor form

  81. Whit21 says:

    This team is in trouble..

    If you move on from PC AND JS.. Or just PC.. you have to hit a home run on who you bring in.. You have maybe 6 guys on defense that you can work with that look porimising.. everyone else is vets..

    -ugo amadi is lost in man to man coverage.. couldnt even run straight with the ball without fumbling..

    -jordyn brooks still struggles in coverage and gave up that ridiculous facemask for first n goal

    -no real talent on the bench at CB.. reed can be a #2.. but no #1 on the roster..

    -darrell taylor is the only flashy dline player thats not old… eveyone else beside carlos dunlap, is just a guy..

    -Cody Barton and jordyn brooks showed you how bad bobby wagner has been as a vet.. they had coverage issues.. but both double teamed tackles at the LOS multiple times… showed some potential there…

    I still think they need to pick RW over PC… but if they dont knock ot out of the park.. there still isnt enough talent here to realistically compete next year..

    The deciding factor has to be watching the Jets pick twice in the top 10… 5 years of piss poor drafts and having an overpaid safety that hasnt played a whole season… MUST be the end…