Huard: The Seahawks defenders facing the biggest challenge vs Chiefs
The Seahawks have dropped four of their last five games and it doesn’t get any easier this Saturday when they head to Kansas City for a date with the AFC West-champion Chiefs.
A big reason why the Seahawks have gone from 6-3 and leading the NFC West to 7-7 and currently outside of the NFC playoff picture is the play of their defense.
After some early season struggles, Seattle’s defense rebounded in a big way and played a big part in the Hawks winning four games in a row. But since Week 10 in Germany against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that side of the ball has been largely unable to stop opposing offenses.
Now, the Seahawks face a Chiefs team that ranks first in points and yards per game.
“Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton,” Huard said. “That’s a problem. That’s the challenge.”
Brooks and Barton are the Seahawks’ two inside linebackers in the team’s 3-4 defensive scheme, and both have played nearly every snap for Seattle this season. Simply put, Huard things those two will have their hands full on Saturday.
“Because these linebackers are going to have to play run – (Kansas City’s) little seventh-round running back (Isaiah Pacheco) who runs 4.4 and is a little freaking muscle ball from Rutgers University is difficult to stop. And then here comes the screen game,” Huard said.
Additionally, the Seahawks struggled last week to stop star San Francisco tight end George Kittle in the passing game as he scored two touchdowns. Now, Seattle face one of the best receiving tight ends in NFL history in Travis Kelce, who is star quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target.
“What Kelce and Mahomes do is just not fair at times. It’s on the playground and they draw stuff up on the fly,” Huard said.
Safety Ryan Neal will also have a lot on his plate, Huard said.
“Because he’s going to be down as he’s been a bunch of last three or four weeks having to come into the box to help against that run game,” he said. “But the run, the screen, the play-action, say a prayer for Jordyn and Cody because for any linebacker tandem in the league, this is as difficult as it gets for a team that’s coming back for home cooking, for a team that wants to be the No. 1 seed, for a team that’s watching tape of this Seahawks defense going, ‘Oh, OK, well what do we want to pick on? Do we want to pick on the interior of that D-line? Do we want to pick on the edges? Do we want to pick on these linebackers?’ And then they’ve got years and years and years and years of experience under their belts to get to all of those things within their offense.
“This is going to be a tough, tough challenge on Christmas Eve.”
Listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player below.