How the Seahawks’ defense can get even better heading into the playoffs
To say that the Seahawks have flipped the switch on defense over their last six games would be quite the understatement.
After an extremely poor showing in 2019, all eyes were on Seattle’s defense – especially after offseason trades for safety Jamal Adams and cornerback Quinton Dunbar – to see if that group would be good enough to help the Seahawks and their elite offense get back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2014.
Through the first six games of the season, it seemed obvious that if the Seahawks were to fall short of a Super Bowl title, it would almost certainly be due to the play of the defense, just like last year. But over the last six games, Seattle’s defense has been playing lights out and looks like one of the best units heading into the postseason
Former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob went through and looked at the defense’s numbers over the Seahawks’ first six games of 2020 and over their last six games. Simply but, the difference is staggering.
In the first six games of the season, the Seahawks faced the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals. During that span, Seattle allowed an average of 480 yards per game and 28.6 points per game.
Over the Seahawks’ last six games, they’ve faced the Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, New York Jets, Washington Football Team and Los Angeles Rams. Since facing the Cardinals in Week 11, Seattle’s defense has allowed 287 yards per game and just 13.6 points per game.
After beating the Rams to win the NFC West in Week 16, Adams said the Seahawks’ defense now is the cream of the crop in the entire NFL.
“To me, we’re the best defense in the league,” he told reporters after the win. “… I believe in these guys, I believe in this coaching staff and what we bring to the table day in and day out, so we’re just going to continue to get better because we haven’t even played our best football yet, and that’s the scary part.”
Wyman said he has heard some people’s skepticism about the defense’s play as it came against teams that aren’t doing very well in this season. The combined winning percentage over the Seahawks’ last six games is .380. But, the opponents in Seattle’s first six games had a pretty similar combined winning percentage at .440. He said good defense is just that – good defense.
“I think playing good defense is playing good defense regardless of the opponent,” he said Tuesday. ” … I just think if you’re playing good defense, you’re in the right spot. And regardless, they’re all professional football players. I just think there may be something to what Jamal Adams said.”
Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus was on air with Wyman on Tuesday for Bob Stelton, and said he thinks people get too hung up on the opponent when looking at hot and cold streaks in the NFL.
“I think sometimes people get caught up in the logo and what the record is,” he said. “… I see a defense that’s where they’re supposed to be when they’re supposed to be there, whereas when you look at those first four or five games, we’re like ‘who’s supposed to be in the flat? Who has the curl? Who has contain?’ We’re asking all these questions and I feel like we’re not asking those questions right now.”
During his postgame press conference, Adams mentioned that not only were the Seahawks the best defense in the league, but they can get even better. The yards per game and points per game over the last six weeks have been elite, but Wyman said there is something missing that could make Seattle’s defense even more dangerous in the playoffs.
“The takeaways have kind of dried up a little bit,” Wyman said. “In the first six games … they had 12 takeaways. Only six (in the last six games) right now.”
Even for all the faults last year’s defense had, the Seahawks finished the year with 32 takeaways. Entering Week 17, the Seahawks have 21.
“If they can get a hot streak going with taking the ball away … in addition to playing the good defense, that’s something to me that could really put them over the edge in this last game against the 49ers and then into the playoffs,” Wyman said. “… That’s what they lived on last year. They were pretty much bottom of the pile in pretty much everything except for takeaways.”
Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.