Huard: ‘Heat is on everybody’ to get Seahawks’ defense on track

Dec 6, 2023, 12:34 PM

Seattle Seahawks...

Seattle Seahawks densive coordinator Clint Hurtt and head coach Pete Carroll on Sept. 24, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

After a few slow weeks, the Seattle Seahawks’ offense turned things around with a 35-point showing against a tough Dallas defense last Thursday. The defense, however, had maybe its worst game of the year in a 41-35 loss.

Rost: Reality is Seattle Seahawks have no choice but to be a playoff team

The Cowboys had 11 possessions and scored on nine of them. One of the non-scoring drives was when Dallas kneeled to run out the clock, while the other was a failed fourth-down attempt where an open receiver dropped a pass.

The numbers have not been good for second-year defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt’s defense this year.

“Revisiting your preseason question about Clint Hurtt, he was the guy you said had the most to prove. Where’s he at?” Mike Salk asked former NFL quarterback Brock Huard during Wednesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports.

Replied Huard: “Not good. I mean, not good at all.”

The Seahawks have played “really good” and taken advantage of favorable matchups when facing bad offenses or backup quarterbacks early in the season, Huard said.

“As the schedule has toughened, as you’ve faced now (Rams quarterback) Matthew Stafford twice, as you face San Francisco, as you faced (Cowboys QB) Dak Prescott, (the Seahawks’) scoring defense is 25th, total defense is 23rd, rush defense is 21st, pass defense is 23rd, third-down defense is 29th, red zone defense is 25th,” Huard said. “And this is not out of 133 teams like the FBS. This is out of 32 teams. You’re in the bottom 10 in almost every major defensive statistical category.”

You don’t even need to look at those statistics to know Seattle’s defense is struggling mightily, Huard said.

“It’s what your eyes see. It’s your eyes that see offenses that have just toyed with you, that they’ve been able to dictate (the game) … It just sickens me that Dallas can go up and down the field and score 41 points and do whatever they want to do. San Francisco, save for a couple of drives in the third quarter, went up and down that field (against Seattle on Thanksgiving). Matthew Stafford with the game on the line took care of business and took it right out of your hands. And oh, by the way, you have San Francisco and Philly the next two weeks.”

The Seahawks have now lost three in a row and four of their last five, falling to 6-6 on the year. Playoffs seemed like a near-lock for Seattle last month, but those hopes are starting to slip away.

“I think the heat is on. The heat is on everybody,” Huard said. “But in particular with all of the assets and all of the resources (on defense) and the fifth pick in the draft and the highest-paid safeties, bringing Bobby (Wagner) back, trading for Leonard Williams, paying Jarran Reed, paying Dre Jones more than any other Seahawk in free agency – the resources are there. The production and the return on that investment is not happening.”

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

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Bumpus: How DK Metcalf had big game for Seahawks in Dallas
• Seahawks’ third straight loss brings playoff hopes into question
• Huard: Seahawks’ defense ‘on its heels’ and has ‘significant’ issues
• Carroll talks through Seahawks’ failed fourth downs vs Cowboys
• Rost: Why isn’t Seattle Seahawks’ investment in defense paying off?

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