Heaps: Key for Seahawks’ defense in Week 4 is making Fitzpatrick ‘earn it’
It’s no secret that the Seahawks’ defensive struggles from 2019 have carried over to 2020 through the first three weeks of the season, as Seattle is allowing nearly 500 yards per game, far and away the worst total in the NFL.
Luckily for head coach Pete Carroll, his defense has been aided by perhaps the best offense in the league, with quarterback Russell Wilson tossing 14 touchdowns through the first three weeks of the season, which is an NFL record.
The good of the offense and bad of the defense was on full display in Week 3 against the Cowboys, as the Seahawks allowed 522 yards but Wilson threw five touchdowns and had no turnovers.
This week, the Seahawks have a better matchup with the Miami Dolphins, who are 1-2 this season. What are the keys for Seattle to come away with another win? Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps shared his thoughts on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy on Friday.
The key for Seattle’s offense, Heaps said, is continuing to stay aggressive. He said that would directly help the team’s struggling, heavily-injured defense.
“If you can get yourself up to a good, commanding lead, then what it should lead to for your defense is stay in front. Keep everything in front, OK?” Heaps said.
A big issue for the Seahawks this season is allowing big, explosive plays through the air. Against the Cowboys, Dallas had three passing touchdowns of 40 yards or more. The Cowboys don’t have the same weapons that the Cowboys do offensively, but Seattle’s secondary will be without its starting safety in Jamal Adams and cornerback in Quinton Dunbar, who are both out with injuries.
“Don’t let anything get behind you and make this easy for the Miami Dolphins. No freebies, no cheap ones in terms of scores into the end zone,” Heaps said. “You want to keep everything in front of you and make (Dolphins quarterback) Ryan Fitzpatrick earn it all the way down the field.”
Heaps knows Fitzpatrick, who has been in the league since 2005, from when he was with the New York Jets and was Fitzpatrick’s teammate. Fitzpatrick is known as one of the most hot and cold quarterbacks in the league on a regular basis.
“We’ve talked about ‘Fitzmagic’ and how hot he can be and he’s the style of quarterback or type of quarterback that can torch a defense,” Heaps said. “Yes he can, but also historically, he can throw interceptions and give gifts to defenses like it’s Oprah’s holiday giveaways. You get one, you get one, everybody gets one!”
Fitzpatrick has four touchdowns to three interceptions in 2020 and has 25 total interceptions the last two seasons in 23 games. Heaps thinks the Seahawks, who even with their defensive struggles have shown they can take the ball away, can force some bad Fitzpatrick throws if they take away easy deep throws.
“If you can make Ryan Fitzpatrick earn it all the way down the field, then there’s oftentimes going to be opportunities for this secondary to take advantage of things,” he said.
Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.