Clayton: Seahawks can’t afford another loss this week after falling to 3-6
Despite the return of Russell Wilson, the Seahawks had an ugly loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
The team did well on defense, holding Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to just three points in the first three quarters. While Seattle did give up 398 yards, the cornerbacks did well in pass coverage, and the pass rush got a sack and five hits on Rodgers.
The one problem on defense can be blamed more on the offense: the defense wore down by the fourth quarter because it was on the field for 39:09 of the 60 minutes of play. That’s too much.
Sunday’s loss was the first time Wilson has been shut out as Seahawks QB. You could see a lot of his passes were less accurate, which is to be expected coming off the middle finger injury he recovered from. The Packers also played a Cover 2 defense that gave Wilson problems. He targeted Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf eight times each, but they combined for only five catches.
To get by coming off the injury, Wilson had to play a different game. He wisely didn’t take snaps from under center because that could have caused problems with the finger. He worked from the shotgun and pistol.
One of the problems I noticed is that the Seahawks threw the ball too much. Remember, that was a problem last year. They were a 60-40 pass-to-run team in 2020 and Wilson threw too many interceptions.
On Sunday, Wilson threw 40 passes and completed only 20 for 161 yards. He was also sacked three times and threw two interceptions. Running backs had only 11 carries for 43 yards. Wilson was forced to scramble a lot to gain yards, getting 32 yards on five carries. Overall, the Seahawks had only 208 yards of offense.
It can be said that the Packers’ defense was very good. I thought they were going to struggle more with their defense this year, but it’s actually been better than Green Bay’s defense last year. They were very good in coverage even though they didn’t have their best cornerback, Jaire Alexander, who has a shoulder injury. The Packers also had a decent pass rush even though they didn’t have their best pass rusher, Za’Darius Smith (back).
Wilson took the blame for the shutout, but this was a team loss. While the defense played well, the Seahawks still had trouble with penalties that took away good plays.
At 3-6, the margin for error is getting thinner for Seattle. The Seahawks can still get to nine wins if they go 2-2 in the NFC West the rest of the season and take care of business in winnable games against Houston, Chicago, Detroit and Washington. But they really need to win the game this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. They can’t afford to drop to 3-7.
Wilson will have the week to fix his mistakes and get more comfortable with throwing the ball with his surgically-repaired finger, but the Seahawks really need the return of running back Chris Carson. They need to run the ball more. The good thing is that it’s a home game, and the Cardinals are coming off a very bad loss to the Carolina Panthers. But the pressure is on.