Good, Bad and Ugly: What stands out from Seahawks’ loss to Titans
It looked like the Seahawks were in line to start the 2021 season 2-0 after jumping out to a 24-9 lead at halftime, but miscues on both sides of the ball allowed the Tennessee Titans to claw back into the game and win it 33-30 in overtime SUnday.
The disappointing loss makes the Seahawks the only team in the NFC West with a loss, and it stings even more because it’s a game that they were in control of early on.
There was some good, bad and ugly in this one for Seattle, so let’s look at what falls into those categories from the Seahawks’ Week 2 loss.
Good: Lockett and Swain shine
DK Metcalf is an emerging superstar. He showed what he can do last year when he set the Seahawks franchise record for receiving yards in a single season and scored 10 touchdowns. But in two games this year, Tyler Lockett has been Russell Wilson’s go-to target and Seattle’s clear No. 1 receiver.
Metcalf has still played well in Seattle’s first two games, catching 10 passes for 113 yards and a score, but Lockett has been one of the best receivers in football so far. In Week 1, Lockett caught just four passes, but he totaled 100 yards and two of the catches were touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts. Lockett followed that up in Week 2 in a big way, catching a game-high eight passes for 178 yards, which also paced all players in the Week 2 showdown with the Titans.
He started things off with a big 51-yard catch that set up a Seattle field goal on the first drive of the game, and in the second quarter, Wilson found Lockett deep again, this time going for 63 yards and a score with Lockett eluding two defenders after the catch.
Guess who?! 😏@TDLockett12 takes it to the end zone for this 63-yarder!
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 19, 2021
Lockett gets slept on for a number of reasons, and Metcalf’s presence doesn’t help, but he caught 100 passes last year (also a Seahawks single-season franchise record) and has been great for the Seahawks to start 2021.
Lockett wasn’t the only receiver to find the end zone, either, with second-year receiver Freddie Swain being the beneficiary of a blown Titans coverage for a deep touchdown.
SIXTY EIGHT YARDS@Freddie_iball2 WAS WIDE OPEN 🙌
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 19, 2021
Swain finished the day with five catches for 95 yards and the score, and that was big as the Seahawks were without rookie Dee Eskridge, who figures to have a big role as the team’s No. 3 receiver in 2021.
Swain’s big day is good news for a Seattle team that, for the last few years, lacked weapons behind Lockett and Metcalf.
Bad: Offense after halftime
The Seahawks jumped out to an early 24-9 lead at the half, but they managed to score just once in the second half and were outscored 24-6 from the third quarter onward in part to Tennessee controlling the clock on offense.
Making matters worse for the Seahawks, the only reason they scored in the first place was because Tennessee blew a coverage that allowed Swain’s score.
That was an issue last week, as well, with Seattle scoring 21 in the first half and just seven in the second half.
“We just weren’t as clean as we needed to be. Third downs didn’t go in our favor,” coach Pete Carroll said after the game.
Lockett tipped his hat to Tennessee’s defense but made it clear that the offense needs to do a better job coming out in the second half after starting hot.
“We just weren’t able to get in a rhythm in the third quarter. It kind of goes the same as the first game, too,” Lockett said. ” … We’ve just got to be able to come out in the third and fourth quarter and be able to finish. We’ve seen what we can do in the first half and we know what we’re capable of. We’ve just got to be able to continue to learn how to be able to play when we’re on top.”
The Seahawks had chances in the second half and overtime to put points on the board, but that lack of rhythm both in the pass and run games was obvious, especially compared to the great performance that unit had in the first half.
Ugly: Defense in general
The offense’s second half struggles were bad, but the defense had a rough outing, especially in the second half.
Before we get into the ugly, the Seahawks did some good against the Titans on defense.
Bobby Wagner was an animal, tallying 20 tackles, a sack and two quarterback hits.
Alton Robinson had a big strip sack to set up a Chris Carson touchdown in the second quarter.
Kerry Hyder Jr. had two quarterback hits and had some nice pass rushes.
But the Seahawks allowed 532 yards to the Titans, including 212 yards on the ground.
Carroll pointed to some key penalties that the Seahawks had on that side of the ball, but that doesn’t change the fact that Julio Jones had 128 yards through the air, and Derrick Henry ran for 182 yards and three touchdowns after a relatively slow start.
Just what the doctor ordered 👨🏽⚕️ @KingHenry_2
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) September 19, 2021
“The defense did some great stuff,” Carroll said. “We were really aggressive and on the attack. To hold them down in the running game when they really were trying, that was a good effort … They stuck with it and stayed with their philosophy.”
One area that was disappointing for the Seahawks was the pass rush, which was a strength last week against the Colts. Plus, the Cardinals dominated the line of scrimmage against the Titans last week, and they were without their starting left tackle on Sunday.
Seattle still tallied three sacks and eight quarterback hits, but it was inconsistent. Carroll said he expected more from the defensive front.
“We really thought that we would get more pressure when just watching what happened last week, but they did a nice job and we didn’t do as well as we needed to,” Carroll said.
Honorable Mention: Missed PAT
Jason Myers missed the extra point try after Swain’s touchdown, and that proved costly with the game going to overtime.
Yes, the Titans would have still had a chance to try a 2-point conversion attempt to force the game to overtime had Myers made the kick, but that’s just it – they would have had to try.
Myers is still a great kicker who was perfect in field goal tries last year, but the missed extra point was one of many mistakes Seattle made in the second half that added up to a comeback win for the Titans.