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

December 26th, 2021 | 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.

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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185 Responses to “Curtis Allen’s week sixteen watch points (vs Chicago)”

  1. Big Mike says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

              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 says:

              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.

  3. Paul Cook says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    Jets might actually pull it off…

  6. TomLPDX says:

    Nasty weather in Seattle.

  7. Big Mike says:

    Perfect throw and he actually caught the pass

  8. Hawks4life says:

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

  9. Mick says:

    Mission accomplished, now throw a couple more of those.

  10. cha says:

    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.

  11. Big Mike says:

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

  12. Hawks4life says:

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

  13. Big Mike says:

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

  14. Mick says:

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

  15. TomLPDX says:

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

  16. Mick says:

    Least we didn’t give up a safety…

  17. Big Mike says:

    Ooh, 13 yd net

  18. Sea Mode says:

    Well, Jets and Texans both get it done…

  19. Mike says:

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

  20. 12th chuck says:

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

  21. cha says:

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

    Gimme more of that.

  22. Sea Mode says:

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

  23. Big Mike says:

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

  24. Scot04 says:

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

  25. cha says:

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

    They have two time outs.

    This is idiocy.

  26. Big Mike says:

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

  27. Mick says:

    Put some points on the scoreboard now.

  28. Big Mike says:

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

  29. Sea Mode says:

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

  30. cha says:

    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??

  31. Peter says:

    Real talk.

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

  32. Big Mike says:

    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

  33. cha says:

    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.

  34. MikeB says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

        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 says:

      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.

  35. Chris says:

    Russ seems to always be panicky on 3rd down

  36. cha says:

    I think they found the end zone, Pete.

  37. Peter says:

    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.

  38. Blitzy the Clown says:

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

    • Mick says:

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

    • Peter says:

      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.

  39. Peter says:

    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.

  40. Chris says:

    The announcers are terrible

  41. Blitzy the Clown says:

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

  42. Peter says:

    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.

  43. Chris says:

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

  44. Chris says:

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

  45. Chris says:

    Hopefully Jodi Allen sees it

  46. Mick says:

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

  47. Big Mike says:

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

  48. Chris says:

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

  49. Blitzy the Clown says:

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

  50. Chris says:

    It’s hard to win those challenges

  51. Big Mike says:

    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

  52. cha says:

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

  53. Chris says:

    I hate how Pete throws timeouts away

  54. Mick says:

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

  55. Chris says:

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

  56. cha says:

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

  57. STTBM says:

    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.

  58. cha says:

    Ogletree: 15 yards for flopping

  59. Big Mike says:

    “They might have flagged him for the acting job”

    Now THAT was funny

  60. Big Mike says:

    “Only 3 man route”
    Wilson’s fault

  61. Mick says:

    Russ and Myers… typical.

  62. Blitzy the Clown says:

    Unbelievable. Myers is unreliable.

  63. Chris says:

    Terrible decision to hold the ball by wilson

  64. cha says:

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

  65. Chris says:

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

  66. Mike says:

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

  67. Big Mike says:

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

  68. Chris says:

    Jason meters scares me beyond 30 yds

  69. cha says:

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

  70. KennyBadger says:

    I love the playing not to lose approach Pete.

  71. Big Mike says:

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

  72. Chris says:

    You know Pete is loving this game

  73. cha says:

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

  74. Mick says:

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

  75. Chris says:

    We’re just giving them free yards

  76. Chris says:

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

  77. Big Mike says:

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

  78. Bmseattle says:

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

  79. Chris says:

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

    • Blitzy the Clown says:

      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.

  80. neil says:

    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.

  81. Mick says:

    Damn, not Jimmy…

  82. Chris says:

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

  83. Big Mike says:

    More losses mean better chance of Pete Carroll not coming back

  84. Mick says:

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

  85. KennyBadger says:

    The bell tolls for thee Pete.

  86. TomLPDX says:

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

  87. Big Mike says:

    Please announce your retiring this week Pete

  88. Peppapig says:

    Oh dear.

  89. Chris says:

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

  90. Peppapig says:

    Better to get it over as soon as.

  91. TomLPDX says:

    Gawd this team sucks!

  92. Chris says:

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

  93. Peppapig says:

    See ya Pete.

  94. Mick says:

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

  95. GoHawksDani says:

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

  96. AlaskaHawk says:

    Wow – what a way to go.

  97. cha says:

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

  98. Peter says:

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

    Can’t stop the other team on third down.

  99. Ashish says:

    If loss makes Pete go away all happy

  100. Chris says:

    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 says:

      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

  101. ShowMeYourHawk says:

    Time to strip this team down to the bone.

  102. neil says:

    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.

  103. STTBM says:

    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.

  104. 12th chuck says:

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