Over the past two games, the Seattle Seahawks defense has been shredded by the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings, giving up 985 yards and 63 points in back-to-back losses.
The Seahawks now are 1-2, in last place in the loaded NFC West and preparing to head to San Francisco to face a 49ers team fresh off a heartbreaking loss to the Green Bay Packers.
While Seattle's defense has been leakier than an ancient Egyptian rowboat early on, star safety Jamal Adams is promising a new D on Sunday in the Bay.
"Just going forward. Just getting back to who we are as a defense," Adams told Seattle media Thursday when asked how the Seahawks fix their defense. "Our mindset hasn't changed, we understand who we are and we just have to get back to believing in that. Everybody. Playing our style of play. Starting this week things will change."
Adams, the highest-paid safety in the NFL, has been held in check through the first three weeks, notching just one tackle for loss, zero sacks, zero quarterback hits while being a relative non-factor in the opening games. This comes after Adams recorded 9.5 sacks last year, the most ever by a defensive back in NFL history.
“Obviously, they’re going to slide a protection my way or they’re always looking for me,” Adams said. “I’ve got to disguise a lot and do what I do best. The coaches are putting me in those positions to make those disguises and whatnot. I understand who I am as a football player, and I understand what the opposing offensive line or quarterback is going to do. It’s just how the game goes.
“It’s not an excuse for me. I’m all about making plays and doing whatever I can to help the team win.”
After getting beat deep by Julio Jones and A.J. Brown in Week 2, the Seahawks' secondary played soft coverage against the Vikings and were picked apart underneath as Kirk Cousins went 30-for-38 for 323 yards and three touchdown passes on what were mostly easy throws.
While it's still early in the season, Sunday's 49ers vs. Seahawks game feels like a must-win for Seattle and close to a must-win for San Francisco as neither team wants to fall too far behind the undefeated Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals who will also play Sunday.
The 49ers-Seahawks rivalry has produced some epic games over the last decade, and there is every reason to expect Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson to be on their A-game on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
But they'll need Adams and the defense to show up in order to have a chance to win.
The star safety is confident a new-look Seattle defense will get off the bus Sunday in Santa Clara. But if it's the same unit that has shown up during the first three weeks, Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo should be able to make life miserable for Adams and the Seahawks and push their rivals further down into the NFC West cellar.