JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Where the Seahawks stand after blowing lead to fall to 1-1

Sep 20, 2021, 4:02 PM
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll paces the sideline during Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Go back a year. Remember the Seahawks’ early-season game against the New England Patriots?

Pete Carroll Show: Too many fixable miscues sink Seahawks vs. Titans

Cam Newton brought the Patriots back from a big deficit and had a chance to get a score at the Seahawks’ 1. The Seahawks stopped him.

That didn’t happen in Sunday’s 33-30 loss to Tennessee. Derrick Henry took the ball up the middle from the 1 late in the fourth quarter and sent the game in overtime, where the Seahawks lost.

Sunday’s loss was a downer, and it needs to be a learning experience. The Seahawks blew a two-touchdown lead in the second half. They made too many mistakes.

Let’s break down some of the blunders.

• Penalties were brutal. Seattle had 10 penalties for 100 yards, and they were self-inflicted wounds. The Seahawks had taunting penalties. They made late hits. They had false starts. That has to be fixed.

• Cornerback Tre Flowers missed a tackle and let Henry go untouched for a 60-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. It will be interesting to see if coach Pete Carroll makes any changes.

• The offensive line struggled in the second half, but it was understandable. Left guard Damien Lewis was trying to play through a quad strain and had to rotate with Jamarco Jones. Then Brandon Shell went down with an ankle injury. The line became thin and the Titans were able to get a pass rush going against Russell Wilson.

• The Seahawks didn’t do well on third down (4 for 12), and that shouldn’t have happened. Last year, the Tennessee Titans were the worst team at stopping on third down, giving up conversions 51.7% of the time. In Week 1 against Arizona, they were the fifth-worst in the league as the Cardinals converted on 7 of 13 third downs (53.9%). The Titans reshuffled their roster and working through having six new starters on defense.

• Wilson threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns and had a 128.8 quarterback rating. But he wasn’t as effective in overtime and was trapped at the 1, allowing the Titans to get good field position after Michael Dickson’s punt from the back of the end zone, leading to the game-winning field goal.

• As great as Jason Myers is as a kicker, he needs to clean up his extra points. His missed extra point potentially cost the Seahawks the game, and it allowed Tennessee to send the game to overtime by just making a PAT after Henry’s last TD run instead of a 2-point conversion. He missed four extra points in 2020, four in 2019 and three in 2018.

• Fortunately, the Seahawks won’t face a running back like Henry for the rest of the season. After holding him to 35 yards in the first half, Henry exploded after halftime and finished with 237 yards of total offense.

• The Seahawks need a bounce-back game against Minnesota next Sunday. They have done well against the Vikings lately. A missed field goal Sunday put the Vikings in position to lose to the Arizona Cardinals. Just like Sunday was a critical game for the Titans, this game is vital for the Vikings.

• On the positive side, wide receiver Tyler Lockett is great at making the big play and separating from defensive backs.

• The Seahawks had some injuries but came out OK. Shell should be back. Same with Lewis. Wide receiver DK Metcalf has been playing with a sore knee but should be fine.

• Carroll said Monday that the Seahawks are working on safety Jamal Adams’ aggressiveness. He said it was a work in progress.

More Seahawks coverage from 710Sports.com

Heaps: Importance of running game to Seattle on display in loss
Groz: Why defense is the big concern after Week 2 loss
Rost: Blame for gut-punch loss shared between offense, defense
Good, Bad and Ugly: What stands out from the loss to Titans

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