Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Hawks run ‘D’ needs improvement

Post by Eric Williams on Nov. 6, 2012 at 8:01 am with 26 Comments »
November 6, 2012 8:01 am
Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson breaks away from Seattle safety Earl Thomas en route to a 182-yard rushing performance on Sunday. Seattle won the game, 30-20. (TONY OVERMAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

The focus of my story today is the Seahawks struggles defending the run the last, few weeks.

Two of the past three weeks, the Seahawks have allowed a 100-yard rusher. They allowed a 100-yard rusher twice in the 22 games before that.

The runners to top 100 yards recently are two of the most talented backs in the NFL, San Francisco’s Frank Gore and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.

Still, at the midpoint of this season, the Seahawks were considered one of the top defenses in the league. But that moniker is now being questioned because Seattle’s defense has given up an average of 167.3 rushing yards a contest over the past three games.

The Seahawks had been holding teams to an average of 70 rushing yards entering the Week 7 game in San Francisco, good for No. 2 in the league.

“It wasn’t similar style of runs,” Carroll said about his defense’s struggles against San Francisco and Minnesota. “But it was similar in that we made errors. So the good part for us is that they’re really easily corrected.”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says that Seattle’s defense is on the decline. O’Neil: “But after Peterson did everything but leave skid marks as he sped around Seattle’s defense during the first half Sunday, it was evident that this was more than just an aberration. Seattle has some issues, and the question is not whether Seattle has an elite defense, but whether it can be fixed.”

Clare Farnsworth of notes that it was next man up for Seattle against Minnesota, as John Moffitt, Mike Morgan and Lemuel Jeanpierre all had to jump into the starting line up because of injuries last Sunday.

ESPN’s Mike Sando writes that Russell Wilson is on pace with New Orleans’ Drew Brees in terms of his production through the first nine games of his career. Sando: “Brees completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 1,663 yards (6.4 per attempt) with 10 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and 11 sacks during his first nine starts, made with San Diego in 2002. His team posted a 6-3 record.

“Wilson has completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,639 yards (7.0 per attempt) with 13 touchdowns, eight interceptions and 15 sacks through nine starts. Seattle has a 5-4 record.”

Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus takes a statistical look back at the Seahawks-Vikings matchup. Interesting note on Marcus Trufant. Elsayed: “He gave up a penalty, but after that Marcus Trufant allowed only three of four passes into his coverage, for 9 yards.”

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk interviewed Russell Wilson on Monday, which you can check out here.

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said his team is working on some changes in preparation for Sunday’s game against Seattle. “We will be doing some different things,” Ryan said. “Again, I don’t want to get into the specifics of it. I hope you understand that if there’s an advantage to be gained, I want to gain that advantage without letting our opponent know. We’ll be looking at a lot. There are several things to improve and I’m excited about trying to implement some of these things.”

The Seahawks remain at No. 11 in the latest power poll at

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports ranks the Seahawks No. 12, up two spots, in his latest power rankings. Prisco: “Russell Wilson is much better at home than on the road. At 5-4, they are in the thick of the playoff race.”

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 26
  1. HawkfaninMT says:

    Stanford Routt was mentioned in the last thread and he is interesting to me. I definitely do not want him picked as a starting corner and definitely do not want him paid as such. Which would mean he needs to clear waivers first if I remember correctly.

    But if Thurmond is not going to be a ble to play, I feel like Routt would be an upgrade at Nickel CB.

  2. pabuwal says:

    Unfortunately, the Defense hasn’t really improved from last year which makes me wonder if it has maxed out.

    Fortunately, I think the Offense has a long way to go towards maxing out and will eventually be the unit that carries this team (just like 30 other teams in the National Fantasy Football League).

  3. pope411 says:

    This is a serious question, can anyone point to a single player/group that is responsible for these RBs gashing the D? I didn’t watch close enough to know. It seems the DBs miss some tackles and Kam’s play has dropped, but I don’t think the RB should be making it to the DBs anyway. Is it the LBs or the DL?

  4. All of the Trufant bashers should read the PFF article linked to put a little bit of ‘balance’ in the conversation.

  5. pabuwal says:

    I actually think every element of the Defense has some responsibility here except for the 2 starting CBs.

  6. I also think we need to lean more on the offense to win games since the D is clearly vulnerable at times. But the WR situation needs to be addressed to go far with the offense. I don’t have any confidence that Edwards is going to be a factor the rest of the season and despite Rice’s comments, Kearse has iffy hands. Of course, maybe he was thinking of the other Kearse when he said that. The team needs to dump Edwards and find someone who can be a Welker style reliable 3rd down possession receiver. I don’t know why they don’t consider Butler.

  7. We got gashed when Wagner did not maintain gap control. At least that is what I saw in a couple of those cases where AP got into the defensive backfield. Wagner being a rookie is a factor there, no doubt.

  8. How a Jets fan blogger sees the Seahawks:

    Almost like he wrote it 4 weeks ago when RW was iffy and the D was dominant.

  9. mojjonation says:

    It was Minnesota. It was Ponder. It was an injured Harvin. Saying Tru belongs on Seattle seems a bit misleading. He’s lost a step and is a liability when he is on the field. As much as I like the guy, I really don’t think he brings anything to the table when it comes to playing the better teams in the NFL. Other than AP and Harvin (who was visibly limping), who does Minnesota have that is any kind of threat to do anything regarding YAC? Their team started and stopped with AP.

  10. OregonHawk says:

    Pilot: Did you forget about Doug Baldwin’s performance last year? That is what is missing.

    Not that we do not need to upgrade our wr as a group, we need a solid #2 and better back up’s

  11. Hawksince77 says:

    More from Sando on Wilson:

    “Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (82.8 QBR, 127.3 NFL rating): Wilson completed 16 of 24 passes for 173 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and one sack. He rushed nine times for 27 yards and three first downs. He was cited for a fumble on a backward pass that went out of bounds. Seattle suffered from three dropped passes, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Wilson, with an 83.1 QBR score over the past three weeks, trails only Peyton Manning (91.6) and Aaron Rodgers (89.0) over that span. Tom Brady (81.8), Matt Ryan (77.9), Drew Brees (75.1) and Andrew Luck (74.5) are next.”

    Nice company to keep.

  12. HawkyHann says:

    Christian Ponder has thrown for under 70yardsnin two of last three games. MN defense gave up 30 points in three of last four games. They suck.

    I hope these guys are preparing very hard for this weeks game. What happened to Kam? Is his ankle causing him to be mediocre? Lets air it out vs Jets. I love watching Russell’s development. He’s a gamer.

  13. tchristensen says:

    Peter King has Bobby Wagner as his mid-season defensive rookie of the year. What a great start.

  14. Another good take on the NFC West QBs, where they have been, where they are and where they are going:

    I agree with much of this article.

  15. I’m really surprised at how many fans seem to be completely aloof to the fact that K.J. Wright was lost to this defense after the first or second play of the game. He might be Seattle’s best all-around LB, and the guy behind him is, well, he’s not what I would call “starter material”. If Wright stays in that game, I have to believe that A.P.’s numbers would have looked slightly different. He probably still gets his 100, but not much more.

    Mike Morgan had better be ready because the Jets are coming right at him if K.J. can’t go.

  16. “Peter King has Bobby Wagner as his mid-season defensive rookie of the year. What a great start.”

    Wagner certainly has had a good rookie season, but he’s also been something of a liability at times; bad tackling, over-pursuit, etc.. For as sensational as he has looked at times, he has also looked very much like a rookie, and Seattle’s opponents have taken advantage of that.

  17. Dukeshire says:

    I think if we’re going to single Wagner out for anything, it’s his poor pass defense at times, which is to be expected from a rookie Mike. Against Peterson he whiffed, yes, but aside from that he’s been a very sure tackler. As for “over pursuit”, I would actually chalk most of those up to not being assignment correct to his gap responsibility. Because honestly, I’ve been very impressed with his patience when pursuing the play. I think he and Wright are going to make an awesome duo for years to come.

  18. Keasley says:

    Re: run defense.

    I think what happened against Gore/SF was quite different from what happened with Peterson/Min.

    Gore/SF was primarily related to an adjustment made at halftime by SF regarding their run blocking offensive line scheme. As I recall, Seattle had done a decent job of bottling up Gore in the first half but got killed by line play in the 2nd half. SF may have the best run blocking offensive line in the league. So probably not a systemic problem but a defensive line scheme issue. As we will have to face SF at least one more time this year, scheming for this should be a high priority.

    AP/Min was primarily a missed-tackle issue on a few big runs. On the 77 yard run, he should have been tackled in the backfield but wiggled away and then broke a couple more tackles. Losing KJ Wright on the 3rd play of the game didn’t help. Again, I don’t think this is a systemic issue, but more a case of some uncharacteristically bad tackling and the fact that this is, by far, the most explosive running back in the league.

    I expect the ‘Hawks run defense to redeem itself in coming weeks.

    In my opinion, the Seahawks biggest issue on defense is their difficulty stopping teams on 3rd down in obvious passing situations. They are very vulnerable to short/intermediate passes over the middle and don’t seem to have a good feel for zone discipline. Age is probably an issue here, especially at linebacker.

    I fear this will continue to be exploited as the ‘Hawks defense acchilles heel.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    I agree with that. Against SF, the scheme is what sprang Gore. Against the Vikings, missed tackles are what primary “sprang” Peterson. And while the d line didn’t play particularly well in either game, I totally agree the reasons for success were quite different.

  20. Skavage says:

    I also think we’re forgetting just how important KJ Wright has become to this defense. Morgan seemed overwhelmed on a regular basis and several times he wasn’t disciplined in his play, over running his gaps and such.

  21. SaigonSun says:

    Keasley, are You Mr.Kenny Easley or, just an imposter?

  22. abqhwkfn says:

    I do not think the entire defense is flying to the ball as much as they were to start the year. I dont think they are playing with the same energy and are know “thinking” rather then reacting. I think this is all due to lack of experience and game plan of the opponent. I believe a comment was made earlier about this defense having “maxed out” which is ridiculous.. Most these guys are barely catching up to NFL speed and scheme.

  23. banosser says:

    What Keasley said…

    Re AD.. He’s the best back in the NFL.. and will make people miss if you don’t hit him square.. take that 70 yarder away and he was held to a respectable 115 or so…

  24. freedom_X says:

    It’s not all about Adrian Peterson being an outstanding back. If it were, then Peterson would be getting 180+ every week. Which he’s not and never has.

    Seattle’s defense needs to be playing its assignments correctly, not flying to the ball. If players aggressively chase the ball without thought for the scheme or assignment, then the defense gets blown up by misdirection or cutbacks. An outstanding player like Peterson will make them pay for that over-aggressiveness.

    I believe Seattle’s defense is getting too amped up and trying too hard to make big plays. They need to do what they’ve been told to do and let their natural talent take care of what’s in front of them. Trust their teammate to do the job.

    Don’t try to be a hero and try to make a play on the other side of the field (before you even know that’s where the play is going.)

  25. Keasley says:

    Saigon Sun:

    Not Kenny Easley or an imposter: just a fan of a great Seahawk.

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