Seahawks Takeaways: D does its job while Russell Wilson, offense fall flat
The Seahawks returned from their bye week as healthy as they’ve been in weeks and in a great spot to get a win and start a run towards a playoff push. That’s not at all what happened, though.
Seattle lost to the Green Bay Packers 17-0 in a rather ugly showing for the Seahawks, especially considering they were coming off the bye week and had that extra time to prepare on both sides of the ball.
Well, one side showed up while the other fell flat.
Let’s look at what happened in the loss that dropped the Seahawks to 3-6 to start the 2021 season.
Defense’s surge continues in big way
Let’s start with what looked good, which was the defense. That unit did its job.
Sure, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was returning after a week off due to COVID-19 and had some moments where he appeared rusty or out of sync, but he still did a fine job directing a Packers offense that is among the league’s best.
Seattle allowed just 17 points, with seven of those coming at the very end on a game-sealing drive for Green Bay after a horrid interception (more on that later) and with the defense absolutely gassed. As has been the case for most of 2021, the Seahawks’ defense was on the field for far too long, this time for roughly 40 of the game’s 60 minutes.
Still, credit to the defense for keeping the Seahawks in the game.
Rasheem Green was a standout, recording a sack and hitting Rodgers in the third quarter, which forced an interception in the end zone.
And speaking of that interception, the man who caught it? Safety Jamal Adams.
.@Prez WAS RIGHT THERE FOR THE PICK! 😤
📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/BlvyrYegqw
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) November 14, 2021
That was the first of his Seahawks tenure, and it came at a huge moment with Seattle down just 3-0 at that point. Adams also had some nice rushes from more disguised looks and made his presence felt in the running game.
Rodgers finished the day with just under 300 passing yards, but 123 of them were thanks to screens or quick dump-offs to his running backs. Aside from an early long completion to Davante Adams and a 41-yard snag by Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Seattle’s secondary didn’t really allow for much to get going in the passing game.
Both of Green Bay’s touchdowns were by running back A.J. Dillion in the fourth quarter after the defense had been out on the field for far too long.
So the good news from this win? It looks like Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been right when he’s said that the defense has turned the corner after a brutal start to the season. Some had questioned whether that turnaround was for real because of the level of competition the Seahawks had faced during that surge, but they certainly were up for the task against Rodgers and the Packers.
The bad news? The Seahawks didn’t get the support they needed from the other side of the football, which continues an odd trend where the offense and defense haven’t been able to perform well at the same time.
Wilson’s return falls flat
The presence of Russell Wilson after missing three-plus games had to have been some sort of emotional boost for the Seahawks. But as far as a boost on the field, that wasn’t the case as Seattle was shut out for the first time since a 24-0 Week 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011. That was Carroll’s second year in Seattle, and the year before Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner were drafted. It also means the Seahawks haven’t won at Lambeau Field in the 21st century, with Seattle’s last road win over Green Bay coming in 1999.
So what in the world happened?
Well, simply put, Wilson didn’t look like he should have been playing.
Despite a statement from his doctor saying he’s “better than ever” after surgery on his right middle finger, it was clear Wilson wasn’t at 100%, or really even close to it.
To be fair, Wilson himself said he wasn’t quite at 100% in the buildup to the game, but it was thought and expected that he’d be back with minimal limitations.
Well, Wilson missed some easy completions to Tyler Lockett on the sideline. He underthrew multiple receivers deep downfield on throws that we’ve grown accustomed to him making.
Worst of all, though, was Wilson’s decision making, which cost the team points at least once if not two times.
The first came when the Seahawks were in the red zone in the third quarter. It was the first drive of the game where Wilson looked to be in any sort of a rhythm and the first time the offense knocked on the door when it came to scoring.
But on third-and-10, Wilson made a bad decision when trying to find DK Metcalf, who was covered in the end zone. Packers cornerback Kevin King came down with an interception, though many questioned whether he made a full completion.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 14, 2021
That cost Seattle at least three points at a time when the team was down just 3-0. That was only Wilson’s second interception of the season.
Then came his second pick of the day, which, to be honest, was probably worse.
The Packers had just scored a touchdown to go up 10-0, but the Seahawks were in Green Bay territory and any score would make it a one-possession game. But on first-and-10, Wilson went for a home run ball to Lockett even though he was in blanket coverage. Adrian Amos came down with the pick.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 15, 2021
The Packers then went down and scored right after this interception, making it 17-0 and ending any thoughts of a Seahawks comeback effort.
The offense was tough to watch as it was clear that the Seahawks appeared, once again, caught between what they wanted to do and what they could do.
The intermediate game, especially to the tight ends, was working. Will Dissly and Gerald Everett combined for 10 catches for 85 yards. The running game with Alex Collins was also solid as he averaged over 4 yards a carry. Green Bay has one of the best overall defenses in football, but they’re susceptible against the run.
But Wilson, in his first game back and in cold and snowy conditions, passed the ball 40 times, and the Seahawks kept looking for the explosive play downfield even when the game was well within reach.
Despite looking deep many times during the game, Wilson’s longest completion was to Dissly for 28 yards, and that was on more of an intermediate route where most of Dissly’s yards came after the catch.
Overall, Wilson finished the day 20 of 40 for 161 yards and the two interceptions. He was also sacked three times and had 32 rushing yards.
All in all, it was a puzzling, troubling game and gameplan for the Seahawks offensively, and it begs asking the question of if Seattle would have been better off starting Geno Smith again and allowing Wilson to have one more week to recover.