Monday notes: Further thoughts after the Dallas game

Pete Carroll looked dejected in his post-game press conference, despite the win

Here are some notes after the Seahawks moved to 3-0…

Pete Carroll is down on his defense and a little embarrassed

I think it’s clear. His body language and energy was zapped in his post-game press conference — not for the first time.

Carroll has cut a frustrated figure so far. Understandably so. He’s a highly respected Head Coach with a defensive background and he’s in charge of a defense that is putting on a horror show.

According to Brian Nemhauser at Hawk Blogger, no defense in NFL history has allowed more passing yards in the first three games of the season:

The Seahawks are also only six yards off being the all-time worst passing defense through three games in terms of yardage:

At the current pace, the Seahawks will give up 6890 passing yards this season. Last year’s league leader for yards conceded was Detroit with 4551.

This will be denting Carroll’s pride. I suspect the decision to ‘Let Russ Cook’ was partly through need rather than design. He knows they couldn’t play complementary football with this defense.

It’s easy to sympathise with Carroll. The Seahawks won the last two games, almost certainly, thanks to the culture he has created. No other team in the league is capable of winning close games at the rate of Carroll’s Seahawks.

Yet it’s equally fair to say this isn’t good enough. They entered the off-season stating they needed to fix the pass rush as a priority. Somehow, they’ve made the pass rush and the entire defense on the whole far worse.

Someone has to fix this and/or take responsibility.

What are the solutions?

Currently I think the options are limited. However, as I said last week, I do think there’s a rainbow ready to emerge. They just need the rain to subside.

With so many teams facing cap hell next year due to the economical impact of Covid-19, there’s a good chance we’ll see a fire sale down the line. When the Eagles, who need to raise tens of millions, can’t even beat the Bengals at home (and now face a gauntlet of upcoming games) — the chances are they will consider eating dead money this year to take cash off the books in 2021.

They aren’t alone. Several other teams are going to have some big decisions to make.

That could mean bargains to be had — either because teams cut players in a way they never would’ve dreamed of in the past, or they trade players at reduced prices.

What’s the alternative solution? You can’t walk into an off-season $60-80m over the cap.

The Seahawks possibly need to try and get through a few weeks here, get to the trade deadline and then maybe find some options. The problem is they don’t have a ton of cap space to play with themselves — so they’ll have to be creative to create space.

That’s why I’m not sure it’s the best thing to bring in Snacks Harrison. The Seahawks could use another defensive tackle in the rotation. Harrison should help keep the linebackers clean too.

Yet nobody is even trying to establish the run against the Seahawks. All of the issues are in the passing game and Harrison is going to contribute diddly squat there. Signing him eats up cap space and doesn’t really solve anything.

His salary won’t be guaranteed so they could cut him again down the line. A temporary signing could be smart. However, he’d need to justify his presence and his salary.

Bobby Wagner tells it like it is

Wagner looked disconsolate after the game. With a pained expression on his face, you could never have guessed the Seahawks had just won to go 3-0.

His words carried no energy. His body language said it all.

This isn’t good enough.

The media sought positives. Wagner wasn’t dismissive. He was polite and answered with respect. He couldn’t hide his true feelings though.

What does it mean to get a stop two weeks in a row to win?

“We shouldn’t have been in that situation”

How good is the run defense?

“It’s good to hold teams under 50 yards or 75 yards rushing but when we’re still giving up as many passing yards as we’re giving up it doesn’t matter”

Shaquill Griffin and Carroll (as noted above) told the same story with their post-game press conferences. If you’d not seen a minute of the action, you’d think the Seahawks had lost.

They know, as well as we do, that this isn’t good enough. This isn’t going to cut it.

Everything I said about the defense in yesterday’s instant reaction piece remains true. The defenders playing at the end deserve immense credit. Shaquem Griffin was like a man possessed — roaming the field in a new central position reading and reacting to the ball. Ryan Neal was mightily impressive in a very difficult situation with Jamal Adams out injured. Alton Robinson and Ugo Amadi stepped up to the plate.

What a tremendous effort, indicative of the culture and the spirit Carroll has created in Seattle.

Yet we also can’t hide from the reality of the overall unit. We can’t just stop discussing it because, by now, we all know things are bad.

I appreciate a lot of fans don’t want to talk about the defense. I know because people tell me all the time. If you want to bask in the glow of a 3-0 record, that’s perfectly understandable. That’s an admirable position to take.

I want to keep talking about it though. That’s my choice, as it is yours to read and debate or not.

As the writer Douglas Murray stated earlier this week:

“It’s much better to write about something that aggravates you or you’re really passionate about because it’s much better writing about those things than something you don’t feel all that enthusiastic about.”

This to me is the defining subject of the off-season and now the regular season. It needs to be discussed a lot.

How did the team come to identify the pass rush as their greatest need and yet do such a poor job despite spending so much money and picks?

How have they taken a problem and made it much worse?

Bobby Wagner isn’t papering over the crack, so why should we?

A brief look at the advanced stats

All stats provided by Pro-Football Reference. If anything changes in the week I will update the numbers.

— Seattle’s blitz percentage dramatically dropped after the Dallas game — from 36% to 22.8%. That suggests they reduced their blitzing significantly this week — although they remain the eighth heaviest blitzer’s in the league (Gregg Williams, on 26.2%, is now ahead of them again).

— The interesting thing is their pressure percentage also significantly dropped as a consequence — going from 22.4% in the first two weeks to 15.4%. That’s now just outside the bottom third in the league, despite the heavy blitzing numbers manufacturing more pressures because you’re always rushing more than the numbers in protection. Last week they were in the top-10 for pressure percentage.

— Jamal Adams only played 65% of the snaps in week three due to his groin injury. It’s likely that the Seahawks’ high blitzing numbers are simply a review of how they’re using him. With him not on the field, the blitzing is reduced. As such, so are the number of pressures.

— What this tells us is the Seahawks rely on blitzing for pressure. That’s stating the obvious at this point. When the blitzing reduces, so does the pressure. When Adams isn’t on the field, the blitzing reduces.

— Seattle’s sack percentage improved from 3% to 3.1% this week — a negligible change. This remains the key issue for the Seahawks. When you are blitzing as often as they are but you’re not sacking the quarterback, you create problems. A secondary becomes exposed. Second level defenders are committed to your pass rush. Instead of letting your elite linebacker and safety read, react and make plays — they are propping up the defensive line.

— Everything just looks discombobulated. That’s perhaps to be expected. This has never been a blitz-heavy team. They’re doing things they’ve never done before and they lack talent up front. It’s not a good mix and won’t be easy to fix during a season.

— The run defense continues to be a mirage that is praised by the media and fans. Of the teams that have played three games, the Seahawks have faced the third fewest carries. Of the meagre 67 run attempts they’ve defended, 17 were designed short-yardage runs or scrambles by Cam Newton or Dak Prescott. Several more were goal-line carries after opponents passed deep into the red zone. When you’re playing a team on track to give up 6890 passing yards in a season, you don’t need to run.

— Look at it this way — if the Seahawks had given up 350 rushing yards on Sunday to Zeke Elliott, would anyone be praising the pass defense for limiting Dak Prescott to 120? The Seahawks are simply too easy to throw against for the run defense to be relevant.

What do the PFF grades say?

Key performers on offense:

Russell Wilson — 89.1
Mike Iupati — 85.2
Jacob Hollister — 77.6
Greg Olsen — 71.5
Duane Brown — 69.1
Tyler Lockett — 68.8
Will Dissly — 66.5
Ethan Pocic — 64.7
Travis Homer — 64.4

Iupati’s pass blocking grade (89.5) was exceptional. Ethan Pocic (81.9) and Chris Carson (80.3) also excelled in pass-pro.

Poor/average performances on offense:

Jamarco Jones — 40.8
Jordan Simmons — 49.7
David Moore — 55.8
Chris Carson — 57.5
Freddie Swain — 58.6
Brandon Shell — 59.4
Carlos Hyde — 60.4
D.K. Metcalf — 60.6

Jamarco Jones received a 22.4 grade in pass protection which is appalling. Jordan Simmons’ run blocking grade was only a 39.6 but he faired better in pass-pro (67.0). Duane Brown was credited with giving up a sack, a hit and three hurries but overall graded well.

Key performers on defense:

Shaquem Griffin — 85.6
Bobby Wagner — 82.5
Ryan Neal — 80.8
Poona Ford — 79.0
Ugo Amadi — 77.3
Jamal Adams — 68.5
Shaquill Griffin — 68.1

Shaquem’s high grade is due to a 90.4 in coverage. His pass rushing grade was a mediocre 60.9 (which, to be fair, passes the eye test for me). It’s worth noting that for that 90.4 grade he was only credited with five snaps in coverage and 12 as a pass rusher so I’m not sure why PFF gave him such a positive overall score. Equally Shaquill’s grade is elevated thanks to an 82.4 grade as a tackler although PFF did give him a decent 67.8 grade in coverage (which doesn’t pass the eye test). Ugo Amadi received a terrific 82.3 grade as a tackler and a 78.7 grade in coverage. This was a big game for Amadi.

Poor/average performances on defense:

Jordyn Brooks — 29.1
Damontre Moore — 34.5
Tre Flowers — 38.8
Benson Mayowa — 45.0
Cody Barton — 48.7
Quandre Diggs — 49.5
Anthony Rush — 53.5
Jarran Reed — 54.8
Bryan Mone — 55.6
Alton Robinson — 57.2
K.J. Wright — 58.7
D’Andre Walker — 59.7
L.J. Collier — 60.9

This was an alarming grade on debut for Brooks but he was coming into a struggling defense. Benson Mayowa received a 28.1 grade for his tackling and a 52.3 grade as a pass rusher despite having fewer snaps this week. Bryan Mone’s run defense grade was a paltry 48.3 yet as a pass rusher he received a 68.2 (which is weird). Alton Robinson’s debut was graded as a 66.1 in run defense, a 73.6 as a tackler and a 61.0 as a pass rusher.

Re-assessing 3-0 by looking at the opponents

This has been an unusual start to the season. No fans, lots of injuries and for the Seahawks they have a record setting offense (in a good way) and a record setting defense (in a bad way).

The teams they’ve played add to the uniqueness of it all. What to make of them? Winning in Atlanta is good. They have a potent set of weapons and a good quarterback. Yet they’ve since imploded, throwing away two games to start 0-3. Dan Quinn might be back in Seattle in a few weeks as a defensive assistant.

The Cowboys equally have a talented offense with an assortment of skill players. They have a good (not great) quarterback. Yet they’re incredible flaky — as we’ve seen in all three games — and seem to have a really muddled identity.

It’s hard to decipher the quality of either win.

Really good? Expected? Modest?

The one victory that looks unquestionably impressive is the New England one. They handled the Raiders. The NFL’s best ever Head Coach has got them organised, disciplined and on-point. Cam Newton is playing well. The Patriots are going to be tough to beat all year and look like a clear playoff team.

It’s just a shame Seattle’s defensive woes had to turn what should’ve been a relatively comfortable victory at 35-23 into an avoidable nail-biter.

Positive injury news

It was a relief to hear none of the injuries were serious. The dreaded ‘ACL’ didn’t emerge like last week.

The NFL really needs to act on Trysten Hill too. That kind of thing needs to be kicked out of the game. A fine alone isn’t suffice. A one-game suspension would be more appropriate along with a severe warning.

If you missed yesterday’s ‘instant reaction’ podcast check it out below…

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  1. Brian

    How did PCJS not see this coming when ordinary fans like myself did?? To me, there is no excuse.

    • GerryG

      They did see it coming. That’s why they came out blazing in Atlanta.

      Now, why they didn’t spend some money on the DL to prevent this, that is an astounding question we will probably never get a straight up answer on.

  2. AlaskaSouth

    Another great article. Thanks Rob!

    • dj 1/2 way

      Agree. I was going to say that the instant reaction this week was the best writing here in nearly double digit months. I think this one is better. Thanks, Rob. Competent, rigorous, intelligent and very mature. The elegant tip toe of telling the truth and not turning off your audience too much is impressive.

      • Ghost Mutt

        Completely agree, the last couple of pieces have been outstanding Rob.

        This is such a strange team – otherworldly on offence and putrid on defence. I can understand anyone that wants to focus more on the positive side of the ball, but we knew coming into the season that they had the potential to be special. The work that needed to be done was on defence, and it’s clear the FO have failed in that regard.

        You’re managing to stick to your guns by telling it like it is, while still offering praise where it’s due. Mightily impressive. Hopefully it all leads to a more harmonious comments section, and the unwarranted criticism dies down.

  3. cha

    If the Seahawks are even considering going the FA route they have to get going this week. They’ll have time to get the player through the protocols and get him 3 games of action to properly evaluate. Guys like Snacks and Clay Matthews haven’t had an offseason or a training camp to get up to speed. Not even talking about their weight…how many games will we need to see the “real thing” of what the player offers before the trade deadline so they can decide whether to go all in on the trading deadline?

    No time for lallygagging. Get moving guys.

    As for Snacks and the run stopping unit, I agree Rob it depends entirely on price. I’d venture he’s better than the 50-something PFF’s the Hawks are getting from Mone and Rush, and would be a great depth piece for the stretch run, especially if injuries keep piling up.

    But he’s not the solution to all of Seattle’s defensive problems by a longshot. Therefore, they can’t offer him a big contract.

    • Rob Staton

      No transactions today apparently.

      • cha

        They’re monitoring.

      • Elmer

        Well said, Rob.

        This is not meant as a criticism, but in your opinion is it possible there is a disconnect because the PC/JS working relationship is not running as smoothly as it once did? Particularly in light of what could be an ownership vacuum. It just feels like talent acquisition has not been totally congruent with team needs. No disrespect intended.

        I know they are in a tough spot now. They don’t have a lot of cap room in the face of potentially declining cap next year, so they can’t freely spend big money. Lord knows they need all the depth that they have, so trading can be risky. Even so, this defense is ugly. You are right, something must be done.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t think so. Or at least I see no evidence of a disconnect.

          I do, however, firmly believe they badly miss having someone to hold them to account. Based on what I’ve read over the years, Paul Allen was pretty hands on. I think he challenged PCJS in a way they are no longer being challenged. I suspect they have carte blanche now to do whatever they want but without the perks of a wealthy owner pulling out all the stops.

          I bet if you ask PCJS they might also admit they miss having someone who probes and asks them to justify decisions and makes them feel like they have to reach a certain standard of performance. Everyone needs that. It’s missing in Seattle and will be missing until someone buys the team.

          • dj 1/2 way

            That is why this site is the best. Something I never considered and Rob explained it in such a way it is now obvious. Of course it is different. We miss you Paul.

    • GerryG

      Non guaranteed 2-3 Mil year deal wont eat up too much if it is just for a few games. If/when someone else comes available they could move on. I’d hate to miss the opportunity to add talent hoping something comes along by the trade deadline. That is the approach (partly anyway) that got us into this mess.

      Getting a deeper, solid rotation should help the other guys. They are playing worse in the second half at the end, so less snaps for Ford/Reed should help at the end of games.

  4. Steve Nelsen

    Moore’s poor grade matched what I thought I saw. He might get another game at Miami if JS isn’t eyeing some other prospect on someone’s practice squad.

    Mone looked like he was getting some push and I think that is what you see in his pass rush grade even if it didn’t translate into sacks. I think he is our Al Woods replacement and eliminates any urgency to add a veteran DT.

    We need some good news on Green and/or Taylor and everyone to stay healthy between now and the bye week.

    Totally agree on punishment for Hill. The league has cracked down on other players who evidenced a disregard for player safety. There are enough injuries this year without dirty play adding to the total.

    As far as the run defense goes:
    1. The job they have done so far doesn’t show a need to spend scarce resources.
    2. The run defense has not been needed much in the first three games because teams have found it so easy to pass. But, I think sooner or later, teams are going to stop trying to beat Seattle in shootouts and start trying to beat Seattle with ball control and keeping RW on the bench. SF isn’t going to win a shootout with Seattle. If you are Minnesota, do you like your chances of winning with a big game from Dalvin Cook and Mattison instead of Kirk Cousins outplaying Russell?

    As far as the pass defense goes:
    1. Yards don’t count on the scoreboard. As many yards as Seattle has given up, they rank closer to middle of the pack (22nd?) in scoring defense after playing some pretty potent offenses.

    • Rob Staton

      “Yards don’t count on the scoreboard. As many yards as Seattle has given up, they rank closer to middle of the pack (22nd?) in scoring defense after playing some pretty potent offenses.”

      They’ve given up the 11th most points.

      To be honest I don’t care about that stat. There’s no reassurance to take from that when we can clearly see teams can do what they want in the passing game.

      They gave up a 45-second, 75-yard drive on Sunday — a week after doing something similar in about 90 seconds.

      You can’t be on pace to give up 7000 passing yards in a season. There’s no way to diminish that.

      They are just far too easy to pass against.

      • Pran

        there is the chicken and egg situation.
        Hawks needs to score early and often. Opponents are forced to match that by passing even more putting pressure on defense. As much as Hawks wants Russ to cook, they need clock killing balanced drives as well.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t think they do. They’re scoring 30-40 a game. If you’re doing that you don’t need to be balanced on offense. There will be games where the weather’s crap or a particular opponent dictates that running more is a solid idea. Overall though, they don’t need the balance.

          What they do need is to actually field a vaguely competent defense.

          • Pran

            Competent defense is out the door unless they can trade which may be a few weeks away. They need one pro-bowl caliber DE and Quinton Dunbar, Adams to come back healthy.

          • dj 1/2 way

            If you assume the next two games are easier and both wins and a chance to get healthy, then it is the five game stretch that follows that may define the season. Bookended by away and home games with the Cardinals, they get SF at home and buffalo and LA on the road. All look tough any year, but with this defense they could lose four. With Russ cooking, they could sweep them.

            Since this is all entertainment, I love the drama and especially love the speculation and consideration found here. So, lets all enjoy the ride and be thankful for this season, for Rob and this site and the excellent comments section.

            I think vaguely competent is a reachable objective. More specifically, I want a sporadically excellent defense that can keep us in the game, make some great plays and let Russ win in the end.

            • Rob Staton

              I think the next two games are a real challenge. Miami are very capable of beating anyone. The Vikings are getting desperate now and can put up yards.

        • Simon McInnes

          This is where the offence needs to able/allowed to run ball/clock controlling drives Dallas ran 80 plays on offence Sunday, and in week one Atlanta ran 77. The Pats ran 70. A good example from Monday night was the Ravens being limited to 54. If those numbers can be reduced, you are at least giving the defence a chance to cover some of the weaknesses.

  5. cha

    Monday press conf Pete Carroll

    “3 consistent games with style. Statistically same, well on offense, well enough on D. Wrap up first quarter with game this weekend. Really excited with RW and the TD passes. Defensively, took the ball off them 3x plus the safety. Made kind of game to win. Good opp to come back to Clink to be in the environment. Miss fans desperately, totally different factor for opponent, but getting used to it. Make best of 2 day trip and get another win.”

    [corbin] Shaquem role, what more does he have to do? Too many bodies in front of him? “Got a chance to play and did great. No storylines there. Hauling butt all over the field. Played him unique situation. Really fired up about play.”

    [bob condotta] Tackle on Carson, informed league about? “No. Haven’t done anything.”
    [bob] Hope something done? “No.”

    [curtis crab] Injuries serious? “Initial reports from MRIs and tests, none of guys got banged up seriously. Go through the week and see how it goes. No surgeries upcoming. Dodged a bullet. Get back on Wed, see where they are, what they can handle. Jamal hard time w groin strain. Chris looked good this monring, Pocic look good, Lewis has a chance. No IRs though.”

    [tim] Jordyn play & candidate to replace? “Didn’t have opps, got toppled on a pass rush and knee banged. Played after shows toughness. Barton next guy up if Jordyn can’t go. Wait and see.”

    • cha

      [tim] Cody at SAM and KJ WILL? “Have a choice, let you know.”

      [] DK’s mentality bounce back from mistake? Costly fumble last year too? “dedicated to being great, battling. Just don’t see him sinking. Determined to be at his best. Great opp to get back out. Really bad play for us. Lousy play. He knows it. Preaching to finish for a long time. Guy once in a while gets lax. No problem coming back to focus. GW TD from RW all about effort. Explosion, across the field. Great competitor won’t hold him back.”

      [john boyle] Schotty’s year so far w scheme? “Normal ascent of guys working together and staying together. Schott calling a great game for us. Great plans from staff. Working well w RW. Good collaboration, logical growing together. Really helped going upstairs, RW in command of all situations. Talk right to RW headset.”

      [maz veda] Collier progression? “Really fired up, doing great. Really active in every game, factor in crucial situations, he’s really rolling in the midst of everything. See how much improved he is physically and mentally with a good offseason. Great shape. Quicker, more understanding. A lot of upside for us he’s going to show.”

      [art thiel] Offense ahead of defense league-wide, early season deviation or league abandoning need for balance? “time off effective time to prep effected defense moreso. Offenses taking adv a little bit. Started faster. Haven’t balanced run and pass as much as we do – because we’ve been so effective at passing. Long term balanced fB crucial to success. Ref’d 400 yard never beat us stat. Isn’t necessarily winning FB. Need to catch up. Not been nearly as effective. Dallas gave up big plays too. Can be fixed and adjusted.”

      [joe fann] Shaquem didn’t get a spot out of camp? Saw beyond speed and pass ability? “Brooks #1 pick coming in affected it. Shaquem not let up for a second. Thrilled about it for him. No big plan, we added one guy and he’s a top pick and that spot went that way. Now with injuries, excited to see him play again this weekend.”

      [gregg bell] COVID measures for Miami game? “Can’t let environment make us vulnerable. Every precaution possible. Home twice now. All negative tests. Hopefully this week too. Miami doesn’t make a difference. Steer clear of those not part of our bubble. Stick to rules and be disciplined.”
      [gregg] Hotel ? “working with them.
      [[[[[cha ed – good grief gregg bell]]]]

      [michael shawn] Throwing a lot, not a lot of pressure front for. Not a PC team. Feel? “Never did think it was my team, can’t answer. Always trying to adapt and grow. Not giving up on the thought we’re gonna be knocking these yards in half. Games different. Factor felt by opponents. Offense moving the ball. They’re not sticking with it. Hold Zeke to 20 yards rushing, big accomplishment, gets them out of balance. No set formula other than believing game is best played with balance.”

      • cha

        [michael shawn] Dunbar hurt game vs NE? “Came out sore, treated him, couldn’t quite make it Sunday. Ongoing sore knee we have to work with. Developed out of last week, see what’s happening.”

        [joe fann] Shaquem playing again…flexed or active roster spot? “Yes. Earned it.”

        [jackie] Think of run D? “Really good. 20 yards QB got too. Really solid. Play on goal line for safety. Great LOS and tackles for losses. Better on perimeter, fly plays, out and around. Throwing game – big plays have to get out, drop by the wayside.”

        [brady] Long TD pass, KJ Wright matched up? “Zone he has the 3rd WR, supposed to be other help. Busted it, mistake.”

        [curtis crab] Play of CBs through Week 3? “Frustrated by 5 INTS in our hands. Dunbar 3 in first 2 games. On the ball for some plays. Doesn’t look right when we get ball thrown over head 2x in same game. Haven’t seen that much from us. We should be on both. Never gonna be satisfied until deep ball not part of game.”

        [jackie] Ugo at nickel spot? “Fantastic game. Big plays downfield. Really active, seems like he’s all over the field. 2 pt conversion tackle he made. Play at his spot hasn’t fallen off at all. So much juice to him. Golden horsehoe in back pocket, makes plays.”

        • hawkfanforetenity

          Thanks Cha for putting these together for those of us who don’t get the chance to hear them. It’s also great to hear so many pointed questions about the Dline. gag.

        • Rob Staton

          Another poor press conference with the exception of two questions — one about the cornerbacks and one about this not looking like a Pete Carroll team. Some clumsily worded questions and some irrelevant questions.

          • Elmer

            Pete sounds pissed at his Pop Warner defense. “…they can’t throw the ball over our heads”

  6. Nick

    I really appreciate how you’re staying true to yourself amid all of the pressure to change, Rob. You’re still focusing on the sublime (Russ) while acknowledging the awful (Pass D/Pass rush). Keep it up.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Nick.

      The offensive productive is remarkable.

      Sadly, so is the defensive SNAFU.

  7. Noah Parker

    Rob, glad to hear that there might be some external opportunities to support the D. Who are you thinking outside of the names you have already mentioned (Cox, Kerrigan, Snacks)?

    • GerryG

      A few of us have floated Nguake, since they could get back some of the draft capital they spent on him. Cha brought up good point that Vikes could still franchise him, which maybe makes that less likely.

    • Rob Staton

      Anyone on a hefty contract playing for one of the teams mired in cap hell who might have a losing record in three weeks time.

      • Steve Nelsen

        New Orleans, Atlanta and Philadelphia are the three teams clearly in cap hell next year.

        • Steve Nelsen

          Unfortunately, even as bad as Philadelphia is playing, they will be in hunt for a playoff spot in a terrible division. And New Orleans won’t give up on this season.

          Atlanta is hard to figure out because of the potential turnover at coach/GM. An under the radar guy I like on their roster is Tak McKinley. They know he is gone next year so he wouldn’t cost much in draft compensation. He’s young and hungry heading into FA next year. He might be a one-year rental but he could be a helpful part of an edge rotation.

  8. Steve Nelsen

    The next two games will be important for Russell establishing himself as the clear front runner for MVP and for Seattle to set the foundation for the rest of the season. These are both games they should win and where RW should show well. If RW loses a shootout to Fitzmagic or Cousins or Minnesota runs Seattle into the turf to steal a game, then Seattle might not be more than a 10-6 wildcard.

    Coming out of the bye, Seattle has a 5-game stretch where they play 4 divisional games (Arizona twice) and a tough Buffalo team. That looks like a (the?) key stretch in winning the division. If a 5-0 Seattle team comes through this stretch 8-2 or 9-1 and beats Buffalo, then they are probably right at the front for a top 1-2 seed in the playoffs.

    • cha

      I hate early season games in Miami. Seems like every single year the Dolphins steal one they have no business winning. The environment has an impact.

      84 degrees and thunderstorms forecast with high humidity.

      • GerryG

        I hear the Covid is lovely this time of year though

    • Volume12

      Rams are right there. Those 2 games might end up being the most important all year. Cards are really good, but probably still a year away. Won’t count the 9ers out even if they’ve taken a step back.

      3 elite teams in the NFC so far IMO. Pack, Hawks, Bucs.

  9. Noah Parker

    Anyone know how Clowney has been grading out? See that he had a few TFLs last week.

    • cha

      Watch him handle a triple team while the rest of the DL swarms

    • Rob Staton

      Clowney is currently graded at 72.9 after three games.

      FYI — that’s a higher grade than Jamal Adams currently.

      • Rob Staton

        The whole Clowney saga is still really baffling to me.

        The calling him a priority, then not getting it done, never really moving on and signing anyone good in replacement, insisting you’re ‘still in it’ right to the end but then watching him join the Titans.

        The Seahawks don’t have anyone disrupting consistently or generating any kind of attention. The line is worse than last year. The Seahawks badly, badly miss Clowney.

        • Noah Parker

          Hardest part to fathom is the money required to bring him back. Considering the money we paid along the OL (Finney), doesn’t make sense that we couldn’t afford to make the best offer when it came down to the wire. I am settling my mind that it was out of their hands and that Clowney knew he would struggle playing alongside the guys we have, having to take on doubles, triples. However, looks like that may be happening to him in TEN anyways.

          • Rob Staton

            I started the season thinking the line was so bad that Clowney probably wouldn’t make much difference anyway.

            I was completely wrong.

            Having one person who generates double teams, commands attention and that the QB has to be aware of is vital. Seattle’s defense was crap last year but there was always a chance of a huge play or a huge game from Clowney. Now they have nobody who can do that and the defense is worse.

            This off-season was basically the front office version of that interception against the Pats.

            • Noah Parker

              I agree that the FO duffed it as a whole. But I am beginning to think (or rationalize) the Clowney saga as simply him not wanting to play for the Hawks. As soon as Reed took back #90, the writing was on the wall. I know that may seem silly but I think they knew there was a good chance that he wasn’t coming back at that point (which was pretty early).

              • Rob Staton

                Clowney said repeatedly he was keen to return.

                I’m not going to rehash the whole conversation we had for months. Ultimately he wanted X amount, nobody was willing to pay it, that’s why he didn’t sign anywhere.

                By the end I think he probably felt let down by Seattle. They called him a priority and then never made the move he was expecting or hoping for to commit. But I sense had they pulled out all the stops they would’ve still been in the running. The Seahawks seemed to spend a year dipping their toe in, waiting for value and then they came away empty handed with a crap D-line that looks like a total embarrassment for Carroll and Schneider given what they said about it being the priority.

                • Wade

                  To be fair… what was he supposed to say? That he didn’t want to resign? Think of the leverage that would have got him.

                  Sure, no doubt he resigns if Seattle offers him the huge 20m+/y multiyear contract he’s dreaming of eventually getting. But the hawks didn’t seem keen on doing that. Clowney wanted out–this was the opposite of a “hometown discount.” P/S thought that at least he’d settle for hometown market rate–and this was their error that ruined their offseason. Clowney must have been frustrated all year last year with his sack numbers and the triple teams, and said: unless SEA gives me that dream contract, I’m going *anywhere* else to get my numbers and I’ll try again next year.

                  Whether they should have given Clowney a monster contract…who knows? Probably. Maybe. I think the real issue was the Clark offseason. Should have paid him or not moved down in the draft. They’ve been drafting terribly on the line for too long and it’s catching up to them. You don’t have much room for error on any position group after the QB’s off the rookie contract.

                  • Rob Staton

                    People have found all sorts of weird and wonderful ways to try and excuse away why Clowney didn’t sign.

                    The suggestions he didn’t want to be back in Seattle is a big load of bollocks.

                    Maybe in the end. Maybe he told them to get stuffed. At the start? No chance. All parties said they wanted a re-sign. The Seahawks and everyone else didn’t match his demands leading to the long hold out. It’s really that simple.

                • cha

                  By the end I think he probably felt let down by Seattle.

                  The game of footsie they played with him in the press all summer was a miscalculation.

                • Huso Liszt

                  Looking ahead, He may have picked the team where he thought he might amass the best stats.

            • Scott

              Or maybe Flowers gimme interception turned first down reception.

              • Rob Staton

                That is also a good comparison for PC/JS’s off-season.

                Perhaps more so given that it ended up with the opposition getting an explosive play.

        • Submanjoe

          Even the patriots signed Gilmore, I recall being surprised they signed him a few years ago. It is baffling, just paying Clowney or someone else more than what they wanted too, would’ve been worth it if only for the security and stability, and because he obviously can play. Hopefully, this experience is a gut check for Pete…

          • Rob Staton

            I said all along — I accept the concerns with Clowney and why nobody paid him what he wanted.

            But I’d rather pay Clowney and that deal be considered a ‘gamble’ that ‘might not’ work out, than go the other way and gamble that Benson Mayowa will be enough to avoid wasting a season.

            They saved money but who gives a toss if we’re sat here in January having the same conversation we had at the end of last season?

            • Gohawks5151

              Ultimately I think he was annoyed by their offer. Maybe he kind of blames them for lowering his cost. If they had him all year and have all his medicals and only rate him at 17M then is there something wrong? After week 2 it was clear he was going to be a hitman for hire. 1 yr deal and who can give me a chance to stay pad and get paid next year. Seattle not the best spot for that. I think that’s all really

            • Submanjoe

              I’m fine with them signing Mayowa, as a rotational piece, as depth. The Irvin signing is just too nostalgic for me.

            • Spencer Duncan

              As has been discussed ad nauseum, we could have avoided signing Finney, Ogbuehi, Hollister and Mayowa/Irvin and had more than enough for Clowney or one of the other DEs.

            • Quinn

              You said it yourself Rob, on last week’s pod. This defence, as bad as it is, would be transformed (to mediocre instead of terrible) with the addition of one top DE. I think PC/JS agreed with you. My feeling is that they were fairly certain that Clowney would honour their ‘gentlemans transition tag’. This would have been the case only if the agent had continued to indicate this to the Hawks throughout the whole saga. All their moves were peripheral ones, with the idea of Clowney as the centrepiece and from all the reports we heard – the Hawks had the best offer on the table. It now seems clear that there was no chance that he was going to accept the Hawks’ offer, as he took less money to go to Tennesee to play OLB in a 3-4 defence. Yet (I suspect) they continued to indicate that he would re-sign here – as they needed that contract offer in place to negotiate with other teams.
              It is inconceivable that the Hawks would have planned to go into the season with this defensive line. But rather than neglect as the explanation – I think it was trust in an agreement they made with Clowney, who subsequently screwed them, that is how we come to this dire situation.

              • Rob Staton

                I don’t think it necessarily played out like that. I think basically the Seahawks and Clowney parted on good terms at the end of last season. I think they correctly identified that his market wasn’t as hot as he was expecting and made a good offer — just not an offer he was prepared to accept. I suspect they believed he would agree to terms with their offer when he realised, in time, what his actual market was. But he didn’t. He unpredictably held out.

                Thus, that put the Seahawks in a bind. I think they full intended to bring him back. But they had to start adding other bodies. So in comes Benson Mayowa — a cheap rotational piece but ultimately, someone who can play DE if they are desperate. Time ticks on. Suddenly the draft is here. They end up reaching to trade up for Darrell Taylor who is a major injury gamble — but again it’s a cheap addition who adds a body because they’re desperate.

                I suspect by that point they were frustrated with the Clowney situation. Schneider and Bus Cook are close. I suspect Cook was just as frustrated as the Seahawks and other interested teams that Clowney didn’t simply take the best offer in March. I suspect they held out hope it could still get done but their confidence waned with every passing week. They’d spent a lot of money and any offer to JC was reducing, not increasing. By the end that possibly played a part. Tennessee pulled out all the stops to get him. Seattle, by August, didn’t have to money to do that. Clowney firing Bus Cook again was probably the final straw, given how close he is to Seattle’s FO.

                I’ve said from day one I don’t blame the Seahawks for reading the situation correctly and ultimately missing out on Clowney. However — I do blame them for putting all their eggs in one basket. They HAD to be prepared to move on and do more to add to this pass rush. It’s unforgivable that they went into the season with this cast of characters. People can mention Everson Griffen’s PFF grade all they want. Nobody is going to convince me they wouldn’t be better off with him rotating with Mayowa from week one off the edge, rather than giving Mayowa 90% of the snaps.

                • Quinn

                  That’s fair. With Clowney clearly being the best available option and the one they wanted, AND knowing that they had made the best offer, when would you have cut your losses and signed an alternative? With the cap space they had towards the end of free agency it was only going to be one guy. I agree with you 100% that it is inexcusable to end up with neither Griffen nor Clowney. I honestly thought it was set up for us to get both.

  10. God of Thunder

    Busy busy but somewhere I heard that RW averaged over 3 seconds of protection. Nice that the OL isn’t as big a worry as the secondary.

    Hopes for the next few weeks: that the injuries aren’t bad, that SG and Flowers pick it up, maybe Neal is an option?, that we go 5-0 into the bye, that we pick up some help from a floundering franchise.

    • Volume12

      I think Pete’s right. He sees it. The TO’s for this D are coming. No idea how Flowers dropped that pick.

  11. dcd2

    Those numbers and pace are terrifying. Hopefully Dunbar and Adams are back soon.

    This bizarro season is so appropriate for 2020.

    • Rob Staton

      “This bizarro season is so appropriate for 2020.”

      Very much so.

  12. Jawbreaker

    It sure would be nice to have a better pass rush but it seems that our secondary is much worse than expected. How much has the it contributed to our awful pass defense? For the attention that is rightly given to the d-line, the secondary hasn’t looked very good at all particularly at CB.

    Since PFF gets brought up a lot. Here are are the season grades:
    Quandre Diggs 47.0
    Tre Flowers 45.6
    Shaquill Griffin 59.2
    Quinton Dunbar 57.7
    Jamal Adams 68.0
    Marquise Blair 48.5
    Ugo Amadi 69.1

    • Rob Staton

      It’s a combination of both.

      Players in the secondary are not playing well enough.

      But the fact is the Seahawks have basically revolutionised what they do. They’ve never been a big blitzing team. Now they rely on the blitz to create any pressure because the D-line stinks. That in turn exposes your second and third level defenders if you can’t get home — and Seattle’s sack percentage is a crap 3.1%.

      So everything connects. If the Seahawks had a viable four-man rush then the entire scheme would be functioning differently. You’d see pressure without needing to bring 6,7,8 bodies to the line. It’d be harder for quarterbacks to settle and find open targets with more men in coverage and more pressure coming from the D-line.

      The Seahawks signed their own certificate on this one by having without doubt the worst off-season of the Carroll era (lest we forget some in the media called it a ‘fantastic’ free agency period).

  13. Chris Alexander

    Curious how much you think the lack of fans in the stands is affecting Seattle’s defense (and offense, in specific situations). My take is that it’s had a HUGE effect.

    Opposing teams can hear the QB in the huddle, can audible and make adjustments at the line, don’t need to use a silent snap count, don’t have the noise beating down on them when they’ve got the ball near their own goal line, aren’t getting false starts, etc.

    On the other side of the equation, while Seattle’s offense hasn’t really needed the crowd to help “pick ’em up” (since they’ve seldom trailed at home so far this season), the crowd would have been VERY focal when DK was sauntering toward the end zone yesterday with the defender closing on him from behind. Whether or not that would have resulted in him securing the ball better, we’ll never know; but it certainly MIGHT HAVE.

    Personally, I’m skeptical that the state and county governments will sign off on having fans at the Clink this season, but it would (in my opinion) be really, REALLY nice if they did – especially if they were able to starting November 1st (when the Whiners come to town).

    • Rob Staton

      “Curious how much you think the lack of fans in the stands is affecting Seattle’s defense (and offense, in specific situations). My take is that it’s had a HUGE effect.”

      I think it’s having a big impact across the league. That’s a major advantage home defense’s had that no longer exists.

      But the impact of no fans pales into insignificance compared to the impact of not enough talent on the D-line.

      • Robert

        I find it crazy that when you have a 70000 seat stadium that you are not able to have fans in the stands. It would be easy to spread them out. You could just have them sit there.

        • GerryG

          It’s the bottlenecks getting in and out CLinki is concerned about (so I have heard)

    • Chris Alexander

      NOT trying to “shift the blame” away from the poor defensive play and glaring holes, just thinking that neither home game would have come down to the final play if there were fans in the stands. (i.e. that Seattle may have been up by 2 or 3 scores rather than protecting 5 and 7-point leads, respectively)

    • cha

      For the record they surrendered 28.6 pts per game at home in 8 games last year. 61 points in 2 games vs NE and DAL for a 30.5 average so far this year.

      • Rob Staton

        So basically they’ve just had a crap defense for the last 10 home games.

        • cha

          The noise is overblown. It’s a fun story that but hasn’t been relevant in years.

          14-10 at home the last three years.

          It’s not near as noisy in the LOB years. The Rams game last year was the noisiest it’s gotten in a long time and that one wasn’t even close. Even the 300 section (where I usually sit) they’re much more docile.

          • GerryG

            I only get back home for maybe one game a year, and that’s been my observation as well.

  14. Jeff

    I’m really worried about the Seahawks defensive talent evaluation.

    D-line: Supposedly the top priority going into the offseason, and yet it got… worse? LJ Collier is in his second year and still isn’t really producing much of note. For all that he was talked up, Alton Robinson has mostly been riding the bench.

    Linebackers: this group looks solid, but that’s mostly owing to Bobby and KJ. PCJS hit it out of the park with those two, but they’re kind of riding old glory there.

    Secondary: what a mess. Just looking at the starters at the beginning of the season, there is one (Shaquill) who came up as a Hawk. Every other starter in the secondary was a trade. And I don’t know that Shaquill is actually any good! He had a solid rookie season playing opposite Sherm, and his 2019 was good. But his 2018 was not good and 2020 is also off to a not good start.

    Pete’s reputation is as a defensive (and especially DB) guru but it’s real hard to see in the on-field product in recent years.

    • Rob Staton

      All fair points.

      They’ve had three off-seasons to re-set and rebuild the defense.

      This unit being the end-product is a damning indictment of their work.

      They had Frank Clark and Jadeveon Clowney too. Imagine if they’d focused on retaining those two with the $50-60m they spent this off-season. How different would things be now!

      • BobbyK

        Rob – you’re making a mistake here. If they had Clowney AND Clark, there’s no way they would have been able to afford Irvin, Mayowa, and Finney. Think how bad the team would be if they didn’t have those guys? I mean – who would take Finney’s spot on the bench? Would that player be able to sit on it as well? Lots of things to consider here, my man.

        • Rob Staton

          Point taken

  15. Justaguy

    I don’t have Twitter or follow social media toilet bowls and I haven’t read every comment on this blog but I do enjoy Rob’s coverage more than any other shit I read on the internet. I also agree with Rob that this teams pass rush will prove costly in the end. My take on the defense is it will find its’ way and he alright in the end. Even if that means trading more draft cap.
    After rewatching the game and paying attention to the injuries in my opinion the field was not prepared well. Dudes were slipping and sliding more than any other home game I have seen. Maybe that sounds crazy but I do feel like the field was no cap to blame for some of the injuries.
    Had to use my new slang picked up from some eavesdropping on my kids school zoom meetings…

  16. BobbyK

    This is what it must have been like to be a Chargers fan in the late-70s and early-80s with Air Coryell.

    You have an offense second to none that will excite you beyond belief but you have a defense so bad it will prevent you from the Super Bowl.

    I actually envy the happy 3-0 fans. They’re living in the moment. It’s so much more fun to be happy and it’s healthier, too. It’s sincerely not a knock against them – I’m actually happy for them (and a bit jealous).

    Those of us disappointed with the defense (and the lack of ability from the front office to improve an already bad group) are the sorry ones. We have the ability to critically think about a long-term vision (winning a Super Bowl). We’re bothered by what we knew beforehand to be a colossal mistake and it’s bothersome to see this pre-known scenario play out.

    People say being educated is a great thing (this isn’t defined by a college degree). I disagree. It makes you more of a critical thinker with ability to see things that aren’t always fun to know, whereas just being happy go lucky when you don’t have a clue makes for happier people. They don’t know they don’t know. One of the purposes in life is to be happy and I’m envious of the happy 3-0 Seahawks fans right now. I mean this in a good way.

    Getting Diggs really improved things last year. Maybe Schneider can find another Diggs (someone who can have an impact for minimal cost). Something needs to be done.

    • Rob Staton

      100% agree

    • Noah Parker

      Edjumacated.. who do ya’ll have tonight? Ravens or Chiefs?

      • BobbyK

        LOL! I use that one from time to time!

        I’ll go with the team that scores the most points.

        And I’ll never bet against Patrick Mahomes (unless, potentially, he’s going against Russ and an improved Seahawks defense).

    • cha

      Well said

    • Huskyboy

      Diggs was not great against Dallas! Terrible communication with KJ.

      • BobbyK

        Did Diggs help the defense last year after he was acquired? Yes or no? Low cost, effective acquisition. Not too many times are you going to be able to get a Randy Moss in his prime for a 4th round pick.

        • Huskyboy

          It was an excellent trade & I love Diggs. I’m pissed because our secondary knows they have to step up because our DE’s are green and the secondary (Diggs & Quill) Didn’t do it! I’m willing to go easy on Adam’s mistakes cause he’s new & cut Flowers some slack because he’s new to the position. I’m excited about Ugo & satisfied with Hill & Dunbar. Diggs & Quill however are not playing at the level that they should be playing at & Quill acting as if he’s such a great player really pisses me off.

    • Gohawks5151

      I disagree. I think it is 100% about who a person is mentally. Not a diss at all btw. From a general point of view many would use their education to give them opportunities to make their life easier and therefore happier. From a football point of view I think many on here are happy to be 3-0 and also disappointed in the way that we have played on defense. Fans should be happy to win games at this early juncture before the difficult part of the schedule comes. It gives ourselves a healthy buffer to at least get a shot at a bye. Critical thinking should also in include that there has been no pre season and a lot of injuries. Many miscues on both teams yesterday were of the alignment variety. Just one more forced punt makes this a two touchdown win. Stuff like that can be cleaned up without talent additions. At least 4 new starters and many more playing the most minutes of their careers. The season only becomes disappointing if things stay exactly the same

    • TJ

      I remember the Air Coryell days. I was a Chargers fan as a kid and couldn’t understand how Fouts, Winslow, Joiner, Muncie, etc. couldn’t get out of the AFC playoffs. As my football IQ improved, it was crystal clear. I think your comparison is spot on.


      Great post.

    • Tien

      Funny enough, after yesterday’s game, I also thought that this year’s version of the Hawks is similar to the Dan Fouts Chargers from the 80s. I was still a Seahawks fan back then but I also loved the Chargers’ high flying offense and that playoff game with Miami is still a classic! But despite their great offense, I never thought those Chargers were serious SB contenders, mainly because their D was so awful. I think this Hawks offense is even more potent than what the Chargers had (mainly because of Russ) and I truly believe that this offense can’t be stopped unless we stop ourselves with mental errors/penalties. But I also think our D is so putrid that I just don’t see us going far in the playoffs…so sad! Having said that, I’m still going to enjoying see the Hawks score and score and will cross my fingers that a decent pass rusher drops in our laps as some of the other teams drop out of playoff contention.

    • Quinn

      This seems to have gone down well but I find it quite patronising. This paints those who have found joy in being 3-0 as being unable to think critically. Being happy to be 3-0 and being disappointed with the defense are not mutualy exclusive. Being able to enjoy beating two playoff teams does not mean that you fail to acknowledge the realities of the team, nor does it mean that those who express this view are unreflective, basking, or indifferent to winning a Superbowl. Fandom comes in many shapes and it would be weird to cast people who feel differently to you as not having a clue.

  17. BobbyK

    I’m going to do my best “happy person” post:

    Pete Carroll generally doesn’t allow early-round DEs to play much as rookies. Frank Clark didn’t play much (not nearly as much as he should have and Carroll acknowledged it). Collier didn’t play much but that’s probably because he’s not any good (the excuse people will say he got hurt in training camp so that’s the reason he’ll be allowed to “develop” for 15 years before being labeled a bust). We’ve seen this continue with Robinson being unexplainably inactive the first two weeks.

    However, Pete wants those young ends (either side) to be able to do everything (stay home and stuff the run, rush the passer, play assignment sound football). Maybe they need a year to develop mentally (and physically – though Collier is older than some rookies).

    But if the Seahawks are going to be up by 10-15 points going into 4th quarters… there’s got to come a point where Robinson and a healthy Taylor (he needs to get healthy – and, remember, I’m being Mr. Happy on this optimistic post) can rush from the edge in those 4th quarters. As it is now, we know all our DEs suck. But Robinson and Taylor at least have potential to not suck at rushing the passer. And if the Seahawks have leads… they can pin their ears back more and not worry about every assignment as if it were a 17-14 game. It’s possible we can have a pair of rookie ends making big plays at the end of games throughout the later part of this season, which would be huge carrying it over into the post-season.

  18. Donuts!

    1. The 2011 Patriots finished 13-3 and went to the super bowl. Just saying.
    2. While the lack of pass rush was the defining subject of the off season, Russell Wilson is clearly the defining subject of the season so far.
    3. Yards don’t matter.
    4. Yeah, I get the defense has big problems and it will likely catch up with them. But there are other things happening and reasons for cautious optimism.

    • Rob Staton

      1. Brady, Belichick, AFC East
      2. The defense is just as defining only for the opposite reasons
      3. Yes they do when your are on pace to give up nearly 7000
      4. The defensive performance shouldn’t be dismissed like that or brushed off

  19. charlietheunicorn

    Ravens at home, bet with both hands on them.

  20. Huskyboy

    Last few years Chris Carson has been our defense!! Now that we are throwing the ball & our D is spending more time on the field it’s getting exploited. Our guys are not as good as they think they are now they have to deal with it!! Are they going to put in the time or are they going to fake it?

  21. Roger Davis

    In the Carroll era his defenses (mostly) featured a base D of: four hands in the dirt, three LBers and four D Backs. References have also been made that he wanted to play “a 4-3-4 with 3-4-4 personnel.”

    It seems to me, especially in the second half yesterday, that a LOT of the time his D only had three and quite a few times, only two hands in the dirt. In essence, he was playing a 3-4-4 variation.

    I think this is significant, it means he KNOWS we haven’t got the personnel to have four hands in the dirt. HOWEVER, most of the teams which use the 3-4-4 defense alignment have used it for years and have worked, season after season, perfecting complex rushes, blitzes, etc.

    Carroll’s coaches have not been working, over years, to perfect how to excel with this alignment and they do not have players trained, over years, in how to make these complex blitzes work.

    Carroll has plunged into the 3-4-4 defensive twilight zone; with his coaches, his players and his reputation. I pray they all emerge unscathed.

    Off season, offensive and defensive failures and mistakes now also threaten DangerRuss’ health and his legacy. There is much to play for…

  22. Huskyboy

    Definitely want cap space for 2021 but Fletcher Cox should be worth that cap space.

  23. Easy Answers Hard Choices

    So Dallas shows up with Aldon Smith. Out of the league 4 years, gets three sacks yesterday. Looked rejuvenated and reborn. Did the Seahawks even look at him – probably not. JS and PC are lazy and literally getting out-smarted/maneuvered at every turn…

  24. charlietheunicorn

    Just to note, Fletcher Cox is playing through an oblique injury right now. I’m not sure of the severity, but he may not even be 90%. Very unlikely they trade for him due to that and more importantly long-term cap reasons.

    • Gohawks5151

      Couldn’t tell from the way he murdered Joe Burrow

      • SteveLargent80

        I believe that was Malik Jackson

        • charlietheunicorn

          That is a guy I would like Seattle to get their hands on if they could…

        • charlietheunicorn

          Cox with 3 QB hits (2 tck/ 1 sack) / Jackson 4 QB Hits (2 tck /0.5 sack)

    • Huskyboy

      Then Philly is going to have to release him next year. TV ratings are not good when so many people are stuck at home Salary cap may not rebound in 2022 if TV ratings do not pick up soon. Carroll is on a 5 year plan we might have to wait till 2021 to see a decent Hawk defense if these guys can’t get their act together.

  25. Donovan

    Serious Q: Earl Thomas, anyone?

    Downside: Puts resources toward an area of strength, while leaving DL unaddressed. (Although you could still address DL thru trade.)

    Upside: Most talented player in FA. An Adams/Thomas combo – Wow. Could help with the big over the top plays we’ve seen. We do have the cap space.

    • Huskyboy

      If he’s getting help for his issues I’m open to bringing him onboard then moving Diggs to SS until Adams is ready to go.

    • Steve Nelsen

      Earl burned his bridges when he left. He isn’t coming back.

    • charlietheunicorn

      Read an article earlier today that had 3 points of concern about ET

      1) Free lances too much on the field
      2) Doesn’t play well with others (I before We) / Not a leader
      3) Has too many whacky out of football issues to take on

    • Rob Staton

      I’d rather sign Thomas the Tank Engine

  26. Big Mike

    Schefter just announced Earl to Houston once he passes COVID protocol tests

    • Big Mike

      Announced on halftime of MNF

  27. Darnell

    Good lord Baltimore’s defense is awful. Are there any non-awful defenses in the league this year?

    Patrick Queen, already one of the 5 lowest graded rookie defenders, must have a negative grade tonight.

    • Scot04

      Queen is a 21 year old starter. Obviously gonna have some mistakes, but he flys around the field. Looks like he’ll be a good one for many years. 11 solo tackles, 6 asst, 1 sack, and a forced fumble. Overall pretty impressive for a 21 year old with no preseason to come in and start. I thought he’s looked pretty good. Plus KC has a great offense.

    • TJ

      I think most rookies and younger players are going to have a rough year in general. They didn’t have the benefits of OTAs, camps of any kind, no pre-season, etc. I also think the disruption to the off-season is to blame for the high number of serious injuries.

    • charlietheunicorn

      No offseason
      3rd Game

      I’ll cut him some slack.

      • Gohawks5151

        Do people cut Brooks some slack? He is playing out of position and forced to pass rush when that is not his strength. Now he is hurt.

  28. Pran

    Tedric Thompson playing for Rvens?

    • Darnell

      Chiefs, actually

  29. Aaron

    Is it fair to question whether or not the days of elite all time defenses have passed and with it the mantra that “defense wins championships”? We haven’t seen an all time defense since the 2015 Broncos and 2013 Seahawks. That’s not to say you can’t have very good defenses nowadays, just that all timers are gone. Offenses, when done right, are beyond stupid crazy now. The college game has finally gone mainstream in the NFL.


    • Scot04

      KC did a pretty good job of shutting down the Ravens. It’s amazing to see a Good Defensive line that can create pressure with a Good Offense. I’d be happy with an Average Defensive line.

    • Rob Staton

      KC’s defense was so important in the playoffs last year. Especially the SB.

  30. Brik

    I was just wondering, with Bruce Irvin and Marquise Blair done for the season, do we have more cap room now?

    • DC

      They’re still on the books.

    • Huskyboy

      Irvin will not get 900k in Bonus so yes we can add it back to the cap. But I’m wondering if the practice squad guys get a raise when they get called up. DT Snacks is probably the biggest Possible luxury addition & we should be able switch out or veteran DE’s with someone like Clay Matthews to improve the DE pass rush but it won’t be as dramatic an improvement like Diggs was at FS last year. I believe our only chance to improve the DE pass rush will be on the young guys, Queem looked good too & that guy DE/SAM from TN is also taking up cap space. We could nickel & dime our way in cap space to a cheap stud veteran if they can find one available. We need some luck, if you factor in losing Blair & Irvin with last years RB, TE, & OL bad luck I wouldn’t be shocked if we catch a break this year. It will mean nothing if our secondary keeps giving up big plays which is why I’m so pissed at our secondary, they’re screwing with my hope, I need hope this year or I got nothing.

  31. charlietheunicorn

    Interesting…. that Swain kid is poppin. He has made some really nice plays.

    Of note with the Seahawks’ offensive snap counts from their win over Dallas: rookie Freddie Swain (34 of 76) out-snapped David Moore (31). They were third and fourth, respectively, in playing time among wide receivers behind Tyler Lockett (74) and DK Metcalf (73). The Seahawks clearly like what they see in Swain, a sixth-round pick, and will have a crowded group of receivers when Phillip Dorsett comes off IR and Josh Gordon is reinstated from his indefinite suspension.
    Brady Henderson

  32. Ukhawk

    Saw an interesting headline on ESPN Seattle “ Pete s coaching the defense he has, not the defense he wants…”

  33. Hoggs41

    One intetesting note in these first three weeks. Pete always talks about the magic number of 50 (rush attempts +completions)

    Atlanta…51 (W)
    New England…51 (W)
    Dallas…54 (W)

  34. charlietheunicorn

    Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson calls Kansas City Chiefs ‘our Kryptonite’

    I respect him for saying it during a press conference, but my man, YOU CAN NEVER SAY THAT! Now, the Chiefs KNOW they are living rent free in the Ravens heads.

    • Huskyboy

      Charlie your dead on especially with Baltimore, they choked last year in the playoffs, I have family in Baltimore baseball & football fans are chokers there. It’s like dropping a match in a California forest Jackson just pissed away any chance of a Super Bowl for the next decade. Baltimore folks expect to lose sometimes being around them gives me the creeps.

  35. Sea Mode

    👀 Do tell…

    Jim Nagy liked
    Matt Miller

    There is a lot of bad offensive line play in the NFL right now, which matches up well with what looks like a very good draft class.

    I have 10 players on the OL with a top 35 grade currently.

  36. Sea Mode

    Ok, so he hasn’t exactly lit up the league in receiving his first couple games, but man my guy Duvernay can fly:

    • GoHawksDani

      And this is only his second best asset. He’s a pretty hard runner after catch too. He’ll be a really nice piece in the Ravens offense

  37. GoHawksDani

    TBH I’m not sure trading for Kerrigan would be a good idea. We need depth and competition at secondary, might need depth at RB, depending on how they see Swain and how Dorsett does we might need depth at even WR.

    I think they need more talented guys in the rotation.
    A solid big guy in the middle to help Reed and Poona.
    Two OK passrushers. Guys like Jacob Martin for example. Someone who could be get for a 4th or 5th, or an older vet.
    Someone like Coleman (not a nCB, but I refer to the trade. Under the radar guy), a CB and maybe a safety too

    If a bigger name gets hurt we’d hurt too big way. With a solid rotation of a bit faster and high motor guys I think we’d be fine (weak passrush but not amongst the worst 5-10)

    I’m really afraid of the future.
    Next year/2 years we need:
    A starting good LT (would be R1 or around 16-20m in FA?)
    A good CB1 (probably R1-early R3 or around 13-17m in FA)
    Maybe even a solid CB2 (might be able to find one in R3-R6 or 10-14m in FA)
    A SAM LB (R3-R5 or 10-13m in FA)
    Probably a starting LG (R2-R5 or 7-10m)
    Probably a starting RT (R1-R4 or 8-12m)
    At least depth at the DT with 2 guys (maybe one of them with a passrush upside) (passrush upside: R1-R3 or 10-13m, run stuffer: R3-R6 or 4-7m)
    At least a solid, quick passrusher at DE (R1-R3 or 15-21m)

    We won’t really have the money nor the picks to make this happen. And I didn’t even mention TE, WR and RB…We’ll have really big problems unless PCJS can steal someone and make crazy moves and find hidden gems in later rounds

    • Rob Staton

      They still need more at pass rush.

      Mayowa isn’t the answer as a starting DE.

      • GoHawksDani

        Agreed there. Just pointing out that we might have more issues to come all around the roster and not sure we’ll have enough resource (cap and/or picks) to fill those holes

  38. Tree

    I was thinking about all the injuries and by the end of the game we were missing 3 of our top 4 pass rushers and 4 out of our top 6 secondary players + our first round draft pick LB. Then you look at all the teams lauded for signing free agent pass rushers: Atlanta, Cowboys, Titans, Ravens and even the Bears were all getting carved up (Bears were the best at giving up 26 points). I don’t think it is as simple spend your free agent $ on DL = good defense. But whether the Hawks plan would have worked minus the injuries (or if an alternative plan would have worked better in theory) is less interesting at this stage in the season than what they should do going forward in terms of who they should be playing and where/how often + who we can sign or trade for. We are seeing that the Patriots, Atlanta, and Cowboys can all rack up points. Miami will hopefully be a game where we can stop the bleeding.

  39. Ryan p

    Nothing big will happen on the trade front till after the bye. The team is far from perfect but I love their spirit. They have been in control of every game that they’ve played. A pick six to start the New England game and dk’s Fumble in this one have made thing a lot tighter than they ever should have been. I think they thought offering Clowney the most money would be enough to sign him. They were wrong. They will pick someone up. It’s ok to enjoy 3-0 a little. If they want to protect the D they could try running the ball a little to shorten the game some!

    • Rob Staton

      Running more won’t protect the defense. They need to keep scoring to apply scoreboard pressure.

      ‘Far from perfect’ is a kind description. Their pass defense is on pace to be historically dreadful. They are on pace to give up about 1500-2000 more passing yards than any other team in history.

      That is very concerning. Everyone is happy the team is 3-0 but it doesn’t mean we should ignore the massive, glaring problems and just ‘enjoy’ a winning start. You don’t get anything for 3-0. I don’t want to be 10-6 or 11-5 again and being dumped out of the playoffs in round one or two because of this disaster of a defense.

      • Ryan Purcell

        I never said ignore. But if you can’t fix the problem then you have to live with the problem until you can fix it. I like the way you are digging for solutions on this blog and am hopeful that something good will come their way once the season shakes out a little more. In the mean time Pete is having to implement some new defensive wrinkles!! Who’d a thunk it. It has been rough to watch but I’m hopeful for some week by week improvement. And a mid-season add of a pass rusher!

  40. Happy Hawk

    Titans have been shut down due to covid-19 outbreak on the team and the team they played on Sunday the Vikings are also being shut down which could impact the Hawks week 5 game.

    • Rob Staton

      Fingers crossed the Vikings have a clean set of negative tests and can carry on as normal.

      Looks like Tennessee and Pittsburgh might have their bye weeks this week.

  41. James P Kupihea

    Not to beat a dead horse, but Paul Allen was also a brilliant strategist, business man, and provided some of the worlds most creative solutions and innovations.

    We benefitted quite handsomely as one of the world’s greatest minds spent his time/energy on the game we all love.

  42. pdway

    On the positive side – the O-line is better. It looks like Shell, Lewis, Pocic are pretty signficant upgrades to last year’s version at those positions.

    In Lockett/DK, we finally have a really high-caliber WR duo – giving us both someone who gets open, and someone physically dominant that you can throw it up to. Russell is Russell, but the offense as a whole is clearly in a better place than last year, and that can get you pretty far.

    I don’t have anything to add re the defense. I’m holding out hope that Robinson can contribute, and maybe Taylor too at some point. I’m all for any of the other options floated here too. You have to know PC/JS are seeing the same thing we are – hoping they have one move left in them this year.

    • Rob Staton

      Brandon Shell — 62.1
      Ethan Pocic — 62.8

      Germain Ifedi — 56.2
      Justin Britt — 62.0

      Let’s not go overboard. It’s an upgrade so far. Significant? Hmmm.

      There were some good moments in pass pro on Sunday. I also seem to remember spending a lot of the game debating in the comments section how the pass rush and pressure had made Russell Wilson jittery.

  43. L80

    I could care less about grades. The EYE test is the best grade and I saw the o-line providing RW with a lot of time more than not.

    • Rob Staton

      So you agree with the grades.

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