Curtis Allen’s week sixteen watch points (vs Chicago)

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.

At 5-9 the Seahawks find themselves in a very difficult place. Playing for pride — and without any sparkle of hope for the playoffs or that a top-five draft pick next year can help turn the franchise around.

Hosting an awful Bears team Sunday that stands only one game worse than Seattle at 4-10 underscores that fact. As does the fact that all of us are feeling the same way about this game as we did in Week Eight when they faced off with the pitiful Jacksonville Jaguars: a victory Sunday cannot be assumed. It has to be earned.

The Bears are in no way playing complementary football. They might have the worst offense in the NFL.

Defensively, they stand as a mirror-opposite of the Seahawks’ defense. They are conceding the fourth-fewest passing yards in the NFL, yet they stand 24th in the NFL in points allowed.

This game should be an easy win for the Seahawks but nothing has come easy this year. How can they pick up a victory this week?

Start quickly in order to control the game

Chicago is the worst team in the NFL in first quarter scoring. They have only scored three touchdowns and thirty total points in the first quarter all season.

But it gets even worse when you look at the Bears’ first quarter scoring on the road. They have scored six points all season on the road in the first quarter.

How about on defense? The news is not any better there.

They are the next-to-last team in the NFL in road points conceded in the first quarter, with forty-eight points allowed.

Their quarterback play in the first quarter is especially putrid. Between Justin Fields and Andy Dalton they have one touchdown pass, six interceptions, have been sacked six times and have a 56.7 QB Rating in the first quarter. They would be better served just handing the ball off to David Montgomery for the entire quarter at this point – he is providing 5.0 yards per carry in the first quarter.

How are the Seahawks doing by comparison? Right in the middle of the pack: 14th overall in the NFL in both offense and defense in first quarter scoring. Where the Bears have scored only thirty first-quarter points all season, the Seahawks have scored twenty-four points in just their last four games.

Starting well is imperative if the Seahawks want to control this game. Teams that easily handle Chicago get out to a lead and then avoid their deadly pass rush by grinding the clock with their running game and then pin their ears back and get after the quarterback on defense.

Starting well may be a tough ask, with the Seahawks afforded no extra recovery time after playing on Tuesday night. It also appears that Sunday will be unusually cold and there likely will be some snow showers that may mean the first quarter is spent adjusting to the field conditions.

It would do everyone a world of good to see this team come out of the gate and lead the game 14-0 at the end of the first quarter though.

To do it they will have to handle a very good pass rush…

Do not allow the Bears’ pass rush to control the game

First the bad news…

The Bears are tied for third in the NFL for team sacks with forty. This despite facing the least amount of pass attempts in the league – which means they are incredibly efficient, leading the NFL in sack percentage, collecting a sack on 8.8% of pass attempts.

They are headlined by a major return to form by Robert Quinn. He has sixteen sacks, to go with sixteen tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and seventeen quarterback hits in thirteen games this year.

What is even more impressive, Quinn has actually gotten better since Khalil Mack was lost for the season with a foot injury. Ten and a half of his sacks have come without his partner in crime soaking up attention from the other side.

Here are some highlights. Watch him abusing left tackles time and again…

He certainly seems to be recovered from the nerve damage in his foot that held him back so badly last year. Just ask Tyler Hundley – Quinn ran him down twice in that highlights clip.

Akiem Hicks got in on the action Sunday against the Vikings with two sacks from the interior:

Duane Brown and the interior offensive linemen will have their hands full on Sunday trying to keep this line in check.

Russell Wilson has been sacked an average of three times per game so far in 2021. Holding the Bears without a sack would be fantastic but three sacks in this game is an acceptable benchmark.

I promised you good news. It comes in three parts.

First: Oddly enough, the Bears are one of the worst teams in the NFL in pressure rate. They pressure the quarterback on only 21.3% of dropbacks, just slightly worse than the Seahawks’ 21.4%. They also have the lowest number of quarterback knockdowns in the NFL by a healthy margin, with only twenty-one.

What does this mean? Quinn and the Bears are great finishers. When they get a hand on the quarterback, they bring him down. But it also means that their pass rush is feast or famine. If they do not sack the quarterback, he is relatively unbothered and free to make his throws. The Seahawks should not radically restrict their passing game due to the fear of the pass rush.

Secondly, the defensive backfield is a bit of a mess. They have been ravaged by overall poor play, and their depth has taken a hit, losing players to COVID. They are 29th in the NFL in touchdown passes conceded, and they only have four interceptions, good for next to last in the NFL for the position group. Their most frequently targeted defensive backs are conceding a passer rating well over 100. They have been shredded. D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Freddy Swain and Dee Eskridge should have a very good day Sunday.

Thirdly, the offense cannot take advantage when the pass rush creates a turnover or stops a drive. It is bad and frustrating when a drive gets killed by a sack but it does not turn the game upside down. Example — Quinn strip-sacked Kirk Cousins on Sunday and the Vikings recovered the fumble but had a third and long. Cousins, pressured, threw an interception. The Bears three-and-outed and missed a field goal try for no points. This is not an uncommon occurrence.

Win the turnover battle

The Bears are 30th in the NFL with a -13 turnover differential, and 30th in both takeaways (with twelve) and giveaways (with an incredible twenty-five).

So in other words, on average they have lost the turnover margin in every game this year.

The Bears are headed for a turbulent offseason with major changes. The biggest way the Seahawks can turn this game into a cakewalk is by literally taking the ball away from the Bears and not giving it back.

Get the young players some reps

The Seahawks are in that major grey area, caught between playing for pride and logically needing to get some young players on the field to get some valuable NFL experience for 2022.

Colby Parkinson is the only contracted tight end for 2022 as of this moment. He has played a grand total of 109 snaps so far this season and has only been targeted for three passes. The team needs to know what they have in him if they are to make some wise decisions this offseason.

Dee Eskridge is quickly heading towards 2021 being a lost season. Can the Seahawks find some plays for him to get him more integrated into the offense?

Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson are key future pieces of the Seahawks’ defensive line. Homegrown, drafted talents that may be able to provide cost-effective play for the Seahawks for the next two seasons – something the team desperately needs. They need reps in order to develop.

What about wavier claims Nigel Warrior and Dakoda Shepley? Can the Seahawks get a look at these players and see if they have a place on the 2022 roster?

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  1. Big Mike

    Thanks for the analysis cha. Outstanding as always. Weather ought to be interesting today to say the least.

    Oh, and Pete just called and said “we’re working on getting Alton more snaps”.

  2. Ok

    Well done.
    I do hope the Seahawks start playing the younger players. There really is no reason for say, Bobby Wagner, to play 100 percent of the snaps.

    • Peter

      Same with Lockett. I get the sense that msny of us look at him as the season’s mvp. I get the sense he’s the kind of player that doesn’t believe in “checking out.”

      But limit his snaps. Get eskridge out there or other passing combos with say parkinson.

      • Big Mike

        I’d definitely give Tyler the Offensive MVP and while it’s really difficult not to choose the peacock, either Diggs or Taylor for the defense.

        • TomLPDX

          Diggs for sure along with Tyler. I do hope the give Eskridge some opportunities today. I’d love to see what he can really do, along with Parkinson.

          Pluck the Peacock!

          • Peter

            Diggs. For defense. Really hope they can retain him. Could get ugly with him pointingvout the obvious.

            Taylor. Really glad to see him come along.

        • Mick

          It would be really stupid to let Diggs go because of Adams. He was our best player in the defense this year. I also liked Al Woods but Diggs was on a different level.

          The goal for today should be a TD for Metcalf to calm the storm there and to finish with no injuries.

          • Scot04

            The stupidity was the Adams trade period, & it will likely cost us Diggs.
            He’s likely priced himself out of here. We’ve learned you can’t have your money invested heavily @ safety & LB.
            If we’re going to get better, it has to be in the trenches. Wagner at 20M doesn’t fit; & unfortunately we can’t afford two high priced safeties.
            We’ll likely have to hope the safety market is saturated and we get lucky with diggs or someone else taking less than expected.
            Adams trade just continues to cause pain.

            • Big Mike

              Adams trade will reverberate painfully through this franchise for a good 5 years based on lost draft picks, wasted salary that could’ve been spent elsewhere, loss of quality players like Diggs, etc.

            • cha

              Keep in mind though we are looking at these things through the lens of a PC/JS management team.

              There are many great possibilities if a new management group is put in place this offseason.

              The coaches can better utilize Adams to get *some* value back in their investment.

              They also can find ways to actually make other expensive signings successful (Greg Olsen, for example), and actually using their successful young draft picks instead of burying them on the depth chart behind go-nowhere veterans.

              The management team can choose to step into the 21st century with their cap management. They could resign Diggs and make it less painful in 2022/2023. If they get RW on board, they can extend him, lower his cap hit and quickly rebuild with some aggressive, smart moves.

              • Big Mike

                We can only hope. I’m more pessimistic than my normal Eeyore self that we’ll have new mgmt./HC.

              • Scot04

                From your mouth to Jody’s ears. I sure hope it works out that way.

  3. Paul Cook

    Thanks for the write up, cha. Losing to the Rams stunk because this is now the first game in a long time that has zero playoff implications for us. I’m impressed that you found a way to do this write up.

    Thanks again…

  4. JimQ

    For anyone interested:
    Feldman’s “Freak list” for 2022 class, (it’s top 100 this year) – A list of 100 players this year, including several prospects the Seahawks may want to look at closely.

  5. Sea Mode

    Jets might actually pull it off…

  6. TomLPDX

    Nasty weather in Seattle.

  7. Big Mike

    Trade Metcalf

    • Bmseattle

      I suggest waiting till he actually has a good game.

      • Big Mike

        How about at least when he makes a slightly difficult catch?

        • Big Mike

          Like his first target that was low knee level

    • TomLPDX

      Instead of trading DK, how about we actually start using him as a weapon in our offense.

  8. Big Mike

    Perfect throw and he actually caught the pass

    • TomLPDX

      In the words of Madden…Boom! TD!

    • Hawks4life

      With his body lol

  9. Hawks4life

    The game plan should be run run run…. deep pass. Worked great on that drive

  10. Mick

    Mission accomplished, now throw a couple more of those.

  11. cha

    See that’s the thing right there. That’s when it’s OK to go deep on 3rd and short. Your guy has whipped his coverage. Not when he is triple covered.

  12. Big Mike

    That’s the Russ deep throw we’re used to seeing. He missed the same basic throw though to the left last week

  13. Hawks4life

    Although Jones just got destroyed I like the effort balls he had to go head to head with Montgomery

  14. Big Mike

    Wagner got used by Montgomery and now misses a tackle that costs the D a chance to get off the field

  15. Mick

    Unfortunately Amadi with another proof he isn’t good enough.

  16. TomLPDX

    Bend don’t break. I’ll take it…this time.

    • cha

      15 plays 8:27. And the first play on offense is to plunge Rashaad Penny into the pile.

      This sequence is so 2021 it hurts.

      • Big Mike


        • TomLPDX

          And ends as expected…double sigh

      • cha

        A short play with nothing to gain for Metcalf and a false start, then a hopeless Russ throw deep.

        I was wrong. It CAN get more 2021.

        • TomLPDX

          The more things change, the more they stay the same…

          • Big Mike

            Well said both of you

  17. Mick

    Least we didn’t give up a safety…

  18. Big Mike

    Ooh, 13 yd net

  19. Sea Mode

    Well, Jets and Texans both get it done…

    • Big Mike

      Jax just about locked into the first overall pick

  20. Mike

    Is eskridge hurt again?
    Or hart/swain taking his snaps

    • Bmseattle

      I’m not sure.
      And I’m not sure which of those options is worse.

      • Bmseattle

        Looks like option #2 is the answer

  21. 12th chuck

    might as well let stone play LT Brown has definitely lost a step

    • Big Mike

      Curhan decent at RT too. Would be good to get Stone some snaps

  22. cha

    Loved that play to Parkinson, Russ just threw it a bit behind him.

    Gimme more of that.

  23. Sea Mode

    Wow, a sustained TD drive. Collector’s item for this year’s Seahawks.

  24. Big Mike

    I love you Bobby, you’re a first ballot HOFer and a true seahawk legend.
    Please retire, you’re beginning to embarrass yourself

    • bmseattle

      He just *refuses* to attack the ball carrier.

      • Big Mike

        Yep. Guessing he knows he’ll get jocked like Montgomery did to him earlier. He knows he’s lost 3/4 of a step.

        • TomLPDX

          It’s sad, really.

    • 12th chuck

      maybe let Brooks try at mlb, its going to be his job

  25. Scot04

    To many 3rd and longs given up for 1st downs. But the twitterverse blame the offense. I hate bend but don’t break.

  26. cha

    The Seahawks stop them and are just letting the clock run ????

    They have two time outs.

    This is idiocy.

    • 12th chuck

      That’s just part of the equation of being outcoached

      • cha

        That’s the way you end the half. Settling for a FG with a timeout in your pocket.

  27. Big Mike

    45 seconds off the clock because Carroll refused to use the time out. Please just go away Pete

  28. Mick

    Put some points on the scoreboard now.

  29. Big Mike

    You throw the 5050 ball to DK Russ, not to a 5′ 9″ Eskridge

  30. Sea Mode

    Signing off for tonight, guys. Go Hawks, just because.

    • TomLPDX

      Had enough, huh! Sleep well my friend!

  31. cha

    So Pete told the Fox sideline reporter ‘the Bears were lucky they even *saw* the end zone.’

    What does that mean? I genuinely am curious. What does that mean??

    • Bmseattle

      Cocky Pete is back, baby!

    • Big Mike

      Hey Pete, you’re 5-9. Really?

    • Rob Staton

      Shut up, Pete

    • Peter

      Inclimate weather can reduce visibility greatly?

  32. Peter

    Real talk.

    In a game w/o meaning pull Wilson at the end of the quarter?

  33. Big Mike

    It’s terrible series for Wilson there. Poor choice to throw into double coverage and then a ball that even a guy’s tallest DK can’t catch

    • Big Mike

      And to make it worse it was a waste of good field position

      • Peter

        Go for it on 4th and 4. There’s literally nothing to lose.

  34. cha

    4th and 4 from the Chicago 43 and you don’t go for it?

    You’re all hot air when talking about your defense Pete.

    • Peter

      I know right? Be ballsy and go for stacking points.

    • Mick

      He knows we don’t make these short yards, so better punt.

    • Big Mike

      But, but we still have a mathematical chance at the playoffs.


  35. MikeB

    Are we sure Russ isn’t the issue? His passing just seems incredibly off. I cant blame the play call, blocking, or defensive scheme for some abysmally off target throws to wide open receivers. Or some poor decisions to double coverage when there were open receivers elsewhere.

    • Rob Staton

      Define ‘the issue’.

      Is he one big reason why the offense is currently crap? Yes. He isn’t right since the finger and needs a proper off-season to heal.

      Is he the reason why this entire franchise needs massive change? No.

      • Peter

        Btw at the expense of taking up your side on injuries, I broke my top thumb bone on my non dominant hand at my work and it took what felt like months just to properly grip tools, lumber, etc. If it had been my dominant hand i have no idea how i would have used tools using a modufied “crab,” pincher grip.

      • MikeB

        Ok, well I’m not gonna say any one factor is the sole reason for the slump. Team building and roster decisions are certainly another major factor.

        He just seems to be figured out by the league for a over a year now.

    • Peter

      It could very well be russ. Maybe he has the yips. Unfortunately this team still went 1-2 with geno and didn’t plsy any one good then either. Unfortunately we are a few weeks away from probably finding out.

  36. Chris

    Russ seems to always be panicky on 3rd down

  37. cha

    I think they found the end zone, Pete.

    • Big Mike

      Saw it too. It was under his feet. 😞

    • Rob Staton

      But that was one of those lucky drives where, you know, they moved the ball and scored

      • Big Mike


    • Bmseattle

      They were lucky.

    • Mick

      I don’t mind talking trash, but do it like Sherman, back it up, not just talk. The Bears look like a team to crush and we could even lose this.

      • Big Mike

        That sums up one if my gripes about the peacock

  38. Peter

    This is why on 4th and 4 on the 43 you go for it. This “nothing special,” defense is good for too many easy marches down the field whether you convert or don’t.

  39. Blitzy the Clown

    Pretty happy with Everett I wouldn’t mind if he resigns.

    • Mick

      Just needs an OC to use TEs better. But yes, I’d like him to stay.

    • Peter

      One thing i have always enjoyed about russ is he’s willing to let a bad game or bad mlment just disappear.

      Everett does add something for sure.

  40. Peter

    Still having a hard time with math. On paper Chicago has four wins so we should crsh them in a normal year. Then i remember five wins is about as much better overall as the difference between Adams on the field or not….which is to say none.

    • Big Mike

      🦚 🦚 🦚

      • Peter

        Peacock emojis….now that is something new

        • Big Mike

          Yeah it autofilled on my phone. Love it

  41. Chris

    The announcers are terrible

  42. Blitzy the Clown

    It’s not really a Seahawks football game until you see Mayowa get beat in coverage across the middle or in the flat.

  43. Peter

    So…..has Penny been playing for a new contract these last few games? Where has this guy been? Besides the trainers room getting looked over.

    • Big Mike

      Gotta be what’s happening

      • Peter

        8 yds a carry agaibst HOU and +6 a carry today….sure could have used some of that when seattle had four straight games rushing under 80 yards. Or that 34 team total yard game about a month back.

  44. Chris

    I’m loving Pete’s bend and then break defense. It’s the cutting edge defense in the nfl.

    • Big Mike

      Well he is a defensive guru don’t you know

      • Big Mike

        I mean who else would have been genius enough to give up 2 firsts, a third a player for a box safety and then pay him 17.5 per?

  45. Chris

    Lol,yes it’s on full display for everyone to see

  46. Chris

    Hopefully Jodi Allen sees it

  47. Mick

    I don’t like being bitter, but where was Dunlap in the first 12 games?

    • STTBM

      Collecting paychecks, living off last seasons play.

    • 12th chuck

      he is finally getting some reps

  48. Big Mike

    Bullshit spot and they’ll say they couldn’t see anything so it’ll stand

  49. Chris

    He doesn’t fit the bend and break defense so you got to limit his snaps

  50. Blitzy the Clown

    Don’t know if there’s a clear enough view to reverse the call but this is a worthy challenge anyway.

  51. Chris

    It’s hard to win those challenges

  52. Big Mike

    I just don’t see how the NFL cannot be utterly embarrassed by the weekly fiasco that is their officiating. They obviously don’t give a crap

  53. cha

    Why does Benson Mayowa signaling fourth down AFTER the fourth down play is over give me a chuckle?

    • Big Mike

      Why does Ifedi’s poor play do the same for me?

  54. Chris

    I hate how Pete throws timeouts away

  55. Mick

    My, if that’s not our old friend Ifedi…

  56. Chris

    It’s nice to see an o-line worse than ours for a change

  57. cha

    It’s remarkable that neither team has a fumble yet.

    • Big Mike

      No jinx!

  58. STTBM

    Seattle is barely beating a very bad team starting their third string QB. This is not a good team. Our coaching staff has assembled a poor team, then coached them to be something even less than the sun of their parts.

    It’s time for Carrol and Norton to retire. Schneider needs to be demoted out of town, and the only coach who should be retained is Izzo, the ST coach.

  59. cha

    Ogletree: 15 yards for flopping

  60. Big Mike

    “They might have flagged him for the acting job”

    Now THAT was funny

  61. Big Mike

    “Only 3 man route”
    Wilson’s fault

  62. Mick

    Russ and Myers… typical.

  63. Blitzy the Clown

    Unbelievable. Myers is unreliable.

  64. Chris

    Terrible decision to hold the ball by wilson

  65. cha

    Imagine if the Seahawks were playing an even marginally talented team.

    • Bmseattle

      Didnt we just see that scenario 5 days ago?

  66. Chris

    I wonder how many of Bobby’s tackles are beyond 5 yds this year?

    • Big Mike

      60% maybe?

  67. Mike

    Hawks doing there best to up the comp pick value of rashaad and rasheem. Lol.

  68. Big Mike

    That’s called going to the well one too many times Shane Waldron

  69. Chris

    Jason meters scares me beyond 30 yds

    • Bmseattle

      Dont you mean 30 meters?

  70. cha

    And the one time the Seahawks SHOULD call a RB draw on third and one and they don’t.

  71. KennyBadger

    I love the playing not to lose approach Pete.

  72. Big Mike

    Time for the D to do their paper mache’ impression?

  73. Chris

    You know Pete is loving this game

  74. cha

    This is it. We’re watching the Seattle Seahawks implode right before our eyes.

    • Big Mike

      Jets loving it

  75. Mick

    Come on we’re doing our best to lose this game?

    • TomLPDX

      They are determined to lose this game. Damn hawks

  76. Chris

    We’re just giving them free yards

  77. Chris

    We’re gonna have to hope Dunlap has one of his clutch game saving sacks

    • Mick

      Nice call Chris.

  78. Big Mike

    Well maybe they will score so fast we will get to see Myers miss the game winning field goal

  79. Bmseattle

    If we are rooting for teams to have better records than the Giants…shouldnt we want the Bears to win this game?

  80. Chris

    It’s just so hard to root for the hawks to lose even though it would be for the best

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Not if they trade Wilson to the Giants for the Giants’ and Chicago’s first round picks. In that event, they want Chicago to lose as many games as possible.

      • Bmseattle

        Ah…I didnt realize they had the bears native pick

  81. neil

    You are inside their 20, a field goal makes it a 2 score game and probably puts it on ice, you know our field goal kicker has been lousy this year, so why not call pass play so your qb could be sacked and make it much harder for the kicker.

  82. Mick

    Damn, not Jimmy…

  83. Chris

    I’m sure glad wasted that timeout on a stupid challenge

  84. Big Mike

    More losses mean better chance of Pete Carroll not coming back

  85. Mick

    Who wants to bet the game ends with a RW sack?

    • cha

      After a false start after a timeout for the trifecta.

    • MikeB

      They’d have to get a first down for that

  86. KennyBadger

    The bell tolls for thee Pete.

  87. TomLPDX

    Nail in the coffin. This season has been the worst.

  88. Big Mike

    Please announce your retiring this week Pete

  89. Peppapig

    Oh dear.

  90. Chris

    How embarrassing to lose at home to the bears to a 3rd string qb

  91. Peppapig

    Better to get it over as soon as.

  92. TomLPDX

    Gawd this team sucks!

  93. Chris

    I hope Wilson’s still struggling because of his finger, because he sucks lately

  94. Peppapig

    See ya Pete.

    • TomLPDX

      I wish! I just don’t see ego Pete giving it up as much as Rob wants to believe it.

      • Peter

        Think pete is gonna want to rebuild this mess he made?

        • TomLPDX

          I just see Pete in total denial…still. Just can’t wrap his mind around it.

  95. Mick

    Such a depressing year. I can’t believe how bad we got.

  96. GoHawksDani

    LOL, against a 4-10 (now 5-10) team 🤦‍♂️

  97. AlaskaHawk

    Wow – what a way to go.

  98. cha

    I’d buy Art Thiel a whiskey sour if he repeated his question about how Pete feels about his status.

    • Peter

      Still battling

  99. Peter

    Can’t convert on third down even when the rb has a hot hand.

    Can’t stop the other team on third down.

  100. Ashish

    If loss makes Pete go away all happy

  101. Chris

    I hate to say it , but whether it’s his finger or not Russ hasn’t played nearly good enough. So much so that I would trade him if he has any value left.

    • Peter

      Maybe you’re right.

      Or maybe…..russ is mortal and has had a very average year and this “top five,” defense just gave up 25 points

  102. ShowMeYourHawk

    Time to strip this team down to the bone.

  103. neil

    The game could have been won with 5 minutes to go had they just run the ball on 3rd down instead of trying a pass. Of course the ensuing sack made it harder for a field goal kicker that has been erratic all year. To me that shows the coaching staff not having a grasp on reality and really wanting to win a game.

  104. STTBM

    This game should result in Pete Carroll being relieved of duties. This was a criminally managed game. Why wait? It’s not going to get better. Let Clint Hurtt step in as HC for a few games, then fire everyone but Izzo.

  105. 12th chuck

    after its all said and done, the d still has issues tackling smdh

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