Huard: Seahawks’ defense ‘on its heels’ and has ‘significant’ issues

Dec 1, 2023, 3:03 PM | Updated: 3:04 pm

Seattle Seahawks...

CeeDee Lamb of the Dallas Cowboys catches a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 30, 2023. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks didn’t punt against the Dallas Cowboys while scoring 35 points. Unfortunately for the Hawks, they didn’t force any punts, either.

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The Cowboys scored 41 points to win the game, and in their 11 drives, they scored nine times. One of those drives was when Dallas took kneel downs at the end of the game. The only other drive that Dallas didn’t score came when Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb dropped a ball on fourth down.

It was hardly a banner day for the Seahawks on defense.

“Defensively, you had no answer. When a team possesses the ball for 37 minutes on you, when a team puts up 33 first downs, when a team goes 80% on third down when a team runs it 32 times … I mean, you just have to evaluate what you’re doing defensively,” former NFL quarterback Brock Huard said during Friday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports.

Huard said Seattle’s defensive game plan appeared to be one we’ve seen a lot in recent years: Keep the ball in front and don’t allow the big play over the top.

The Next Day: Seattle Seahawks’ investment in defense still not paying off

“You kept everything in front of you and you still gave up 41 points,” Huard said. “It’s hard for me to watch this defense right now because I think they make it far too easy, far too simple.”

Huard thinks what the Seahawks are doing schematically on defense allows for very easy reads and decisions in the passing game for opposing teams’ quarterbacks and play-callers.

“If we get this look, we’re gonna throw here. If we get man (coverage), we’re gonna throw at Jamal (Adams). If we get zone, we’re gonna throw against Bobby (Wagner),” Huard said. “We’re gonna take advantage of these vulnerabilities … Tough night defensively, man. Really, really hard when you give up that kind of productivity.”

This most recent loss now marks three in a row for the Seahawks, who will enter a key rematch with the San Francisco 49ers at 6-6 on the year, and the team’s playoff hopes have taken a dip as a result.

Huard called Seattle’s issues on defense “pretty significant.” It’s also not anything too new.

“There’s significant issues, Salk,” Huard told his Brock and Salk co-host Mike Salk. “This defense has not been elite for how long? And the numbers just tell you that.”

“I see it through a quarterback’s lens,” Huard later added. “And I know the hardest thing for a quarterback is a defense that is just a conflict defense … One that presses, one that changes looks, one that stunts, one that moves, one that pressures, one that makes you process, speeds you up, makes you think, one that has tight windows that I’ve got to throw into and not gimme completions and wide open spaces.”

Huard pointed to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s day being far too easy. He completed 29 of 41 passes for three touchdowns and just under 300 yards.

“I mean, Bobby’s not within five yards of a crosser and then they throw a double post and Quandre (Diggs) is nowhere near getting out of center field and then I’ve got Jamal Adams on a tight ends. Good luck,” he said. “… When you’re facing good quarterbacks and good systems, I see a defense that’s on its heels consistently.”

Listen to the full second hour of Friday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Good, Bad and Ugly: Seattle Seahawks sunk by flags, defense in loss
• Seahawks Instant Reaction: What went wrong in loss to Cowboys?
• The Big Plays: Seahawks lose 41-35 to Cowboys, fall to 6-6

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