There was no shortage of hot takes to comb through following the Seahawks 44-34 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 9. Seattle allowed the most points of any game in the Pete Carroll era, which is a bit of a coincidence as it came out on Sunday that Carroll had been extended through the 2025 season.
Let’s dive into the takes. Thanks, as always, to those who participated.
We’ve gone down this road before, and a majority of the responses this week were once again calling for Ken Norton to be fired. I picked this one because it’s more nuanced, and there’s no sense in talking about something that isn’t going to happen. As I wrote on Sunday, the Seahawks coaching staff needs to do some serious soul searching this week, and everything should be on the table. That includes Pete Carroll taking over play calling responsibilities and getting opinions from outside sources. A fresh perspective and a different set of eyes, even in an unofficial capacity, could certainly help.
Perspective is important. The Seahawks are 6-2 at the midway point of the season and in control of their own destiny the rest of the way. Seattle’s defense is alarmingly poor, but when assessing the Seahawks deficiencies, it’s important to understand that every team in the NFC is flawed. The Green Bay Packers have two losses. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just got embarrassed by the Saints. New Orleans has looked mortal for most of the season. There isn’t a team in the conference that is definitively better than the rest.
That’s why my take on the Seahawks continues to be the same: Seattle is good enough offensively to beat any team in football but poor enough defensively to lose to anybody as well. Thus, getting bounced from the postseason in the Wild Card Round is just as possible as a Super Bowl run.
It’s pretty simple: Jamal Adams has been proficient as a pass rusher and a liability in coverage. We’ve reached the point where it’s worth trying different things in order to figure out which adjustment will help the Seahawks defense. If Seattle moved Adams to linebacker, he’d probably get attacked relentlessly in the running game, but if teams aren’t running the football against the Seahawks, maybe that would be a moot point?
Allowing Adams to play in the box while putting two safeties behind him is something worth trying. In theory, it would allow Adams to rush the passer without leaving such a void in the secondary. This move, of course, would cut into the playing time of Jordyn Brooks and/or K.J. Wright.
The status quo isn’t working, which is why I’m all for Seattle getting creative defensively. After allowing 44 points against the Bills, the Seahawks really don’t have much to lose.
Over a span of three weeks, the Seahawks have had one game without a single quarterback hit and another without a single pass defended. Seattle’s problems defensively have been vast and varied. Sunday’s seven-sack outburst was impressive, but I’ll wait to see it again before saying the defensive line is no longer an issue. Remember, prior to Sunday, Jamal Adams was still tied for the team-high in sacks (2.0) despite missing four games.
Seattle hopes that Carlos Dunlap will continue to be the cure. Dunlap was tremendous in his Seahawks debut with a sack and three tackles for loss.
The reason why this isn’t an overreaction is because there are far more reasons for optimism regarding the defensive and pass rush as a whole. Conversely, it’s hard to find a silver lining for the secondary. Nobody has played up to expectations this season coverage wise. That includes Shaquill Griffin and Quandre Diggs. Quinton Dunbar has been inconsistent at best, and now he’s clearly laboring through a sore knee.
I’ve been justifiably hard on the coaching staff, but players need to step up as well. Elementary mental errors have led to busted coverages throughout the season. It has been a comprehensive failure when it comes to Seattle’s pass defenses.
I do not believe Russell Wilson is the front-runner for MVP any longer. Patrick Mahomes is the new leader in the clubhouse. But it’s premature to throw in the towel at this point. Half of the season is left to play, and Wilson will be jockeying with the Chiefs franchise quarterback throughout the remainder of this campaign. Wilson carrying a historically bad defense will help his case as long as Seattle avoids a losing streak.
I maintain this take: If the Seahawks win the NFC West, Russell Wilson will win MVP.
This is purely subjective, of course. You may be right. But I’d be shocked if this was the case. I think it’s far more likely that Wilson is pressing a bit with the understanding of how much of a liability Seattle’s defenses is. Wilson’s turnovers are uncharacteristic for him and could easily be attributed to trying to do too much. It’s hard to blame him if he does feel that way given the Seahawks have scored 34 points in each of their two losses.
The Dolphins went 3-1 against the NFC West this season. Additionally, Seattle’s best win was probably its road victory in Miami earlier this year. John Schneider and Pete Carroll need to make sure Brian Flores is on their Christmas card list this year for beating all three of their division rivals. Surely Flores and the Dolphins are annoyed with Seattle for laying an egg against the Bills.
Jadeveon Clowney doesn’t have a sack through seven games, and he’s now dealing with a knee injury. I will absolutely own that I was totally wrong on that one as I viewed letting Clowney walk as a huge mistake. Carlos Dunlap is a massive addition at a far cheaper cost.