Moore’s 10 Seahawks Takeaways: Why defense could play differently when Jamal Adams returns
Welcome to Tuesday’s Top 10 Takeaways, a weekly column that takes a look back and look ahead with the Seahawks.
• 10) As much as no one thought the Seahawks’ pass rush could possibly be worse than last year, it has been thus far, at least sacks-wise. They have only six sacks and are on a pace for only 24 after having 28 last year. Jamal Adams continues to lead the team with two.
• 9) Speaking of Adams, he tweeted more than 20 times while he watched the Seahawks-Dolphins game from his home, wearing a helmet, saying: “No matter what, I’m always locked in.” Among his many other Tweets, Adams said: “We don’t have (Phillip) Dorsett or (Josh) Gordon on offense yet. Man, listen here, it could get ugly.” Adams thinks the offense could be even more explosive once Dorsett recovers from a sore foot and if Gordon ever gets reinstated by the league. But I don’t think the Seahawks need Dorsett or Gordon – they’re already a largely unstoppable receiving corps with Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and David Moore.
• 8) One of the more encouraging signs for the Seahawks’ passing attack against Miami – they were still able to produce big numbers without much help from Lockett. Seattle’s leading receiver came up with only two catches and didn’t make his first reception until there was 8:26 left in the game.
• 7) Were the Seahawks somehow better defensively against Miami because they played without Adams? Sounds crazy, but they didn’t blitz as much and limited explosive plays to one, keeping everything in front of them, as instructed to do by Pete Carroll. I like the havoc Adams produces but it might take more time to adjust to his blitzing ways to become better than they have been in pass coverage. It’s a tough one to figure out. You don’t want to take away Adams’ strengths as a versatile defensive player, and he certainly helps a tepid pass rush. But I agree with Dave Wyman, who thinks Adams might blitz less frequently when he returns from his groin injury. A more conservative defensive game plan might be the way to go if the Dolphins’ game was any indication, forcing Miami to slowly work its way down the field and ultimately settle for field goals.
• 6) Even with improvement against Miami, the Seahawks are still last in the league, allowing a whopping average of 401 passing yards a game. That’s almost 60 yards worse than the 31st-ranked team, Atlanta, at 341.5.
• 5) Mike Sando of The Athletic has encouraging news for Seahawks’ fans. Since divisional realignment in 2002, 44 of 53 teams that started the season 4-0 made the playoffs. Sixteen reached the Super Bowl, and all of the 4-0 teams averaged 12 wins.
• 4) The Seahawks have a chance to be the first team in franchise history to start out 5-0. The 13-3 team in 2005 went 2-2 in its first four games before reeling off 11 wins in a row and losing its last game at Green Bay. The 13-3 team in 2013 went 4-0 but lost its fifth game at Indianapolis.
• 3) The 2013 team is universally known as the best in franchise history since it’s the only one that won a Super Bowl. That team had the best defense in franchise history, and this team is on its way to having the best offense in franchise history. How do you think a game between the 2013 and 2020 teams would play out? I’d say the final score would be something along the lines of the 2013 team 31, the 2020 team 13. Why? Remember how that 2013 team throttled the supposedly high-flying Broncos in the Super Bowl? That’s why.
• 2) The Seahawks are third in the league in run defense, allowing 75.8 yards a game. Pittsburgh is No. 1 at 54 yards, and Tampa Bay is second at 64.2 yards. The Seahawks allowed 117.3 yards a game last year. Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay are tied for first, allowing 2.7 yards a carry while the Seahawks are right behind at 3.4, a big improvement from the 4.9 they’ve given up the last two years. Let’s see if that holds up Sunday night against Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook, who has rushed for 311 yards the last two weeks vs. Tennessee and Houston. Cook is averaging 5.7 yards per carry and if he maintains his current pace, he’ll rush for 1,696 yards this year.
• 1) Who’s your most surprising Seahawks’ player one quarter of the way through the season? Plenty of candidates, including rookie defensive end Alton Robinson, who in his two games has produced a sack and three tackles for loss, including a lead-preserving stop of Miami’s Myles Gaskin on a third-and-2 in the fourth quarter. But I’ll go with Ryan Neal, a third-string strong safety, who has shined in consecutive weeks with a pair of interceptions. He also made a nice open-field tackle and blew up a screen. Neal put himself in position to leap-frog Lano Hill and become Adams’ primary backup.
More from Jim: Hawks can win 14 games because who’s gonna stop ’em?