Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on 44-34 loss to Bills

Nov 8, 2020, 2:21 PM | Updated: 3:28 pm
Seahawks Bills kickoff...
The Seahawks were on their heels from the start after Andre Roberts' long kickoff return. (Getty)

The Seahawks lost their second straight road game on Sunday, falling 44-34 to the AFC East-leading Bills to drop to 6-2 on the season.

Bills 44, Seahawks 34: Bills bully Hawks all day | O’Neil’s column | Recap

As we do after every Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions of the hosts of 710 ESPN Seattle. Read them below, and remember this is just a taste of all the reaction you’ll hear from them throughout the day Monday on the station beginning with Danny and Gallant at 7 a.m. and The Pete Carroll Show with Seattle’s head coach at 9:30.

Jim Moore – Bob, Dave and Moore

Unless we see games like this week after week, I like to think it was more of an aberration than the start of a disturbing trend. The Seahawks had won seven of eight games before they got to Buffalo, and their only loss came in overtime.

Yes, it was a much different storyline against the Bills. Josh Allen threw for 282 yards in the first half, the most by any QB in the league in the first 30 minutes this season. It’s hard to understand how the defense, which made strides last week against the 49ers, could look like their historically bad selves again this week.

What makes it even harder to understand? The Bills had allowed only 13 sacks in eight games. The Seahawks had only 12 sacks in seven games. So what happened? The Seahawks came up with seven sacks, including 2.5 by Jarran Reed, and all of that harassment of Allen didn’t really make a difference.

It’s particularly puzzling because Jamal Adams returned after missing the last four games because of a groin injury, and pass rusher Carlos Dunlap, making his Seahawks’ debut, registered one of the seven sacks.

Maybe things will change this week against the Rams, especially if Shaquill Griffin returns from his two-week absence from concussion and hamstring issues.

But we’re halfway through the 16-game schedule, and expecting Seattle to look appreciably better in the second half of the season rates as delusional now.

There were issues on the other side of the ball as well. Typically when Russell Wilson throws for 390 yards, we talk about how great he looked. But he was under siege all day, knocked down 16 times and sacked five times, part of the reason why he threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles.

The Seahawks usually win the turnover battle but the Bills posted a 4-0 win in that department, improving to 7-2 record-wise as a result.

For those who think the defense will prevent the Seahawks from getting to the Super Bowl, this was a game they’ll use as a great example why.

Tom Wassell – Tom, Jake and Stacy

Yeah, that wasn’t pretty. Sacks galore and they allow 44 points.

Here’s the thing about sacks: Timing is important. A defense can change the game depending on when a sack comes, like when they take an offense out of field goal range for example. Otherwise, if you get seven sacks, it’s just seven plays out of roughly 60 plays. The remaining action saw the Bills free to roam wherever they wanted, green grass everywhere.

Is it confusion? Scheme? Health? I can’t accept that Quinton Dunbar is fully healthy with the game he played. He’s a veteran. That’s inexplicable. It’s rare that I feel bad for an athlete after a rough performance, but I wanted to give the poor fella a hug today. He needed one.

For a minute there in the third and early fourth quarter, the defense was just stingy enough to allow the offense to crawl back into the game with a series of big plays. Seattle’s quick-strike ability is always apparent and the Bills were never in a situation where they were playing soft, hoping to run out the clock. But on this day, Russ and his offensive line were far from perfect. Turnovers led to points, especially after that last interception that put the game away.

I’ll point to the Bills’ third-and-16 situation in the fourth quarter as the one play that broke us today. Consecutive stops by Dunlap (tackle in the backfield) and Flowers (on Diggs) demanded that Josh Allen make a big play – and he did. A short completion to John Brown, who he took off for 33 yards to the goal line, led to a touchdown.

Third-and-16??? It was a point in the game where the Seahawks were only down 27-20. If they got the ball back without allowing a score, or even just a field goal, they’d have had a good chance at completing the comeback. Who knows, maybe the defense still would have given up more points? I don’t know. But the one chance they had, the one play they had to make, they did not execute.

Should be a fun week (cough). I expect all of you to be present and accounted for on the airwaves tomorrow (lol). Love will keep us together.

Offense: C-
Defense: D-

The Groz – 11:45 a.m. every day with John Clayton

For the first time this year, the Seahawks were really outplayed in every facet of the game, and the result was quite naturally a defeat.

The game exposed the value of sacks as the Seahawks had seven but were picked apart by Josh Allen in frankly their worst defensive performance of the Pete Carroll era. Allen had nearly 300 yards passing in the first half and this is a guy who had been struggling the previous four weeks. Meanwhile the Bills got five sacks, but their 16 hits on Russell Wilson was the real story as Wilson suffered through a four-turnover game that knocked him from his perch as the clear MVP favorite.

There were bright spots like DK Metcalf and Carlos Dunlap, but it wasn’t nearly enough against a Bills team that is good. The lack of a threat from the running game is going to be hard to overcome against good teams as the Seahawks are unable to control the clock and play action is rendered useless. That will change in a week or so. The defense? I’m not so sure.

The Seahawks hit the halfway point at 6-2, which is good, and they have two key games upcoming in the division with the Cardinals and the Rams. This game was so uncharacteristic of the Seahawks that there is no point to dwell on it, but there are certainly concerns – especially on defense – which need to be solved somehow.

Bob Stelton – Bob, Dave and Moore

What do you really say about a game like that? This is a great example of the stats being incredibly misleading. It was BY FAR the worst performance of the year. And as I have been saying, this offense cannot have an off day. There is zero slack when a defense is playing this poorly.

And despite putting up 34 points and Russell throwing for 390 yards and two touchdowns, it was an off day. Russell turned the ball over four times with two interceptions and two fumbles.

It was the worst game of the year for an offensive line that had been playing better than any Seahawks line in quite a few years. Russell was sacked five times and hit somewhere south of 20 times.

Despite run defense being the weakness of this Bills team, the Seahawks managed just 57 combined rushing yards.

As for the defense, they had a season-high seven sacks: 2.5 for Jarran Reed, 1.5 for Jamal Adams, and Dunlap, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright with one each. Despite that fact, Josh Allen threw for three touchdowns and 282 yards … in the first half! That’s the most by any QB in the first half this season. That’s more than any Bills QB in the first half since 1991.

The reality is that for whatever reason, this defense is atrocious. I don’t know if it’s scheme or lack of talent. I’m guessing its combo of the two. But once again the real problem is that the Seahawks don’t seem to know either.

Paul Gallant – Danny and Gallant

You can’t win the game in the first quarter, the second quarter, or the third quarter. But you REALLY can’t win when your defensive backs can’t stay within two yards of opposing receivers. Or when your quarterback gets sacked five times, with an NFL-high 16 knockdowns adding injury to injury. Throw four Russell Wilson turnovers on top of that stinky smorgasbord and it’s easy to see why the Seahawks fell to 6-2.

It’s important to note that the Seahawks were again without three important players defensively – CB Shaquill Griffin, CB Ugo Amadi, and DE Benson Mayowa – and are starting a clearly injured Quinton Dunbar. Improvement is possible. They had seven sacks Sunday – plus one nullified when Seattle accepted a Buffalo penalty, and another one negated by a Jamal Adams illegal contact call – and slowed the Bills’ seemingly unstoppable offense in the second half.

Carlos Dunlap looked well worth the seventh-round pick and B.J. Finney it cost to get him, while Jarran Reed and Adams got some good shots in on Buffalo QB Josh Allen. Unfortunately, blitzing as much as the Seahawks makes big plays possible. Credit the Bills for dialing up some timely screens that eventually broke Seattle’s back.

But that first half was inexcusable. The Hawks were caught flat footed. And no matter how explosive their offense is, they can’t afford to fall in 24-7 holes to anyone with this defense. Because when the game comes down to getting stops, they’re not capable of consistently getting them.

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Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on 44-34 loss to Bills