Rost: 3 things that stand out after Seahawks’ 17-0 loss to Packers
The Seahawks’ postseason hopes are alive but running on fumes following Seattle’s 17-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Here are three things that stand out from Week 10.
The Seahawks didn’t make up ground on second-half goals.
Last week, I identified three second-half goals for the Seahawks: improve on third down, get to the quarterback, and find a rhythm in the run game. If they want to get to the playoffs (they do), then they must improve in all three areas.
Consider Seattle 1 of 3 here. They had just one sack of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but the defense did have five quarterback hits and disrupted the Packers’ offense enough to keep Rodgers out of the end zone (more on that in the next section).
But offensively, third down and run game struggles continued, this time without any relief from quarterback Russell Wilson, who accounted for both Seattle turnovers. The numbers on third down here are a bit misleading. At 7 of 15 (47%), Seattle was in good shape on paper, but three of those conversions came on the final drive.
Meanwhile, Seattle had just 43 rushing yards without Wilson’s scrambles. Struggles with the run game may not have been the reason for the loss, but if there’s a common theme between the offensive struggles this year and last year, that’s it. Without Chris Carson – and without a consistently effective replacement – Seattle has struggled to sustain drives.
So far, so good for defensive improvements.
The Seahawks’ defense took a massive step forward in terms of yards allowed, points allowed, and third down efficiency over their last couple games. But that was against a Jameis Winston-led Saints team with few weapons outside of Alvin Kamara, and a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars offense led by rookie Trevor Lawrence. What would this group look like against a premier passer?
The answer? Still pretty good.
Seattle allowed the Packers to move down the field but gave little away in the red zone. The Packers were held to a single field goal in the first half and scored on just two of their five trips inside the 20. Another Packers’ drive ended with an end zone interception by safety Jamal Adams (his first as a Seahawk).
Seattle might’ve had another turnover go its way if it wasn’t for a questionable fumble recovery by the Packers in the first half. It was the fewest points scored by a Rodgers-led Packers team since they were throttled by the Saints in Week 1.
Can someone explain to me how this isn’t a clear recovery by Darrell Taylor? pic.twitter.com/ksCsgxxzyc
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 14, 2021
While the defense did allow a pair of Packers touchdowns, both came in the fourth quarter in a game where Green Bay controlled time of possession two to one.
“I thought the defense was great tonight,” Russell Wilson told reporters postgame. “They were physical in the run, Jamal (Adams) got that pick on Aaron… I’ve got to give us a chance in that moment.”
Let’s get to that.
Russell Wilson’s surgically repaired finger is still a factor.
Wilson cut his recovery time from surgery to repair a ruptured tendon and broken bones in his finger in half, which is an impressive feat, though it’s also perhaps why he didn’t look to be at full health on Sunday.
Wilson threw 20 of 40 (50%) with some uncharacteristic misses. There was also a pair of interceptions, one of which resulted in a Packers touchdown. The offense also played heavily out of the shotgun, a decision Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed was made with Wilson’s injury in mind (though both Carroll and Wilson stressed that it didn’t have an effect on play calling).
“My finger felt fine,” Wilson said. “The problem with tonight was I had two bad plays. That’s what it really was, it felt like. We were moving the ball pretty well … I tried to make a throw to DK (Metcalf) and (Packers cornerback Kevin King) made a play.”
Walking reporters through the play, Wilson explained that he saw that King’s back was turned and so he tried to sneak the pass into Metcalf, but King turned and made a play on the ball. It’s a decision that becomes uglier under further examination, especially since King appears to turn a few seconds before Wilson’s pass.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 14, 2021
Wilson’s second interception was a pass intended for Tyler Lockett in the end zone in double coverage. It’s a play a fully healthy Wilson has probably made before, though the quarterback admitted it wasn’t one he shouldn’t have tried to make Sunday.
“If I could do it again, I’d check it down probably,” Wilson said. “It was late in the game, felt like we needed to make a play and was trying to make one and it didn’t work.”
Two weeks after a stellar performance against the Jags’ 31st-ranked defense, the offense as a whole struggled against the more staunch Packers. Seattle was held to just 86 net yards and 20% third down efficiency in the first half.
“It just didn’t go our way, and that’s on me,” Wilson said.