By Glen Peer
The Seattle defense is giving up 33.6 pts in the last five game and if you take the Arizona win out, it balloons to 37.5 pts against in the losses. Two of those losses came with assistance from the vaunted 12th man.
Embarrassing numbers when you really look at them.
I have been internally debating which position is of greatest need next year in the draft in my opinion. The most logical answer I can come up with is ‘Best Player Available’. This team has entirely too many needs not only for starters but also for depth. However, I think that after looking at the last five weeks the defensive side of the ball has to be the number one priority addressed this off-season…whether it’s Free Agency or the Draft.
The Seahawks have been down 13, 18, & 7 pts going in to the 4th quarter (I excluded the Giants game which was essentially over before the 1st quarter ended) in the most recent stretch of losses. It’s clear that the defenses’ inability to get off the field on 3rd down, especially against the Saints & Chiefs (combined 22-32 or 68.8%), wore the entire unit down and rendered them useless for the final 15 minutes. I will also agree with the argument that the offenses inability to sustain any drives in the first half adds to the pressure the defense is under.
I attribute that mostly to a lack of offensive line consistency and talent so making offensive line priority number two I am in complete agreement with.
When healthy our starting line of Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole, and Chris Clemons was very stout bolstering the second best run defense in the league and top 5 in sacks through 7 weeks with 26.5. Three of those four have missed at least three games since week six. Bryant is out for the season, and it appears Cole is still at least a week or two away from returning.
Certainly there was a healthy rotation before injury’s that allowed Brock, Terrill, Siavii & Balmer opportunities to spell the starters, but they have not been the force the starters were now that they are seeing significantly increased roles.
Our starting line allowed Aaron Curry, Lawyer Milloy, Roy Lewis and others free releases to the quarterback on passing downs and ate up enough blocks to allow the linebackers to stay free on run plays to get to the ball carrier. There has been virtually no pass rush lately and the linebackers for the most part have to deal with offensive tackles and guards getting to them during run plays.
The inability to generate a pass rush with the backups has allowed competent quarterbacks the time to allow WRs to get open and expose our secondary. My initial reaction was, “we need to upgrade this secondary before we consider anything else.” However, I don’t believe if we had Nnamdi Asomugha, and Darrelle Revis playing cornerback for us right now our secondary would be significantly better.
Quarterbacks are going to find an open receiver when they do not have consistent pressure in their face and can wait until a WR gets open to make a throw no matter who is defending the receiver 1 on 1.
Coach Carroll and John Schneider had a great first off season and need to keep it going whenever this season ends. Until we know what they do in free agency, its hard to speculate what the draft day needs will be. If pass rush is addressed via Free Agency then certainly OL, WR, & most importantly QB step to the front of the line (my thoughts on a QB early too to come at a later date). However if a rookie pass rusher comes in via the draft we all need to keep perspective that rookie pass rusher’s typically do not produce in their first 2-3 years (check out the links below for some more on that).
At worst, by making the defensive line the top priority we should see a reduction in embarrassing losses.