What We Learned: With Bobby Wagner hurt, Seahawks’ defense reached its breaking point

Dec 12, 2017, 9:36 AM | Updated: 11:06 am
Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner's status for Sunday is in doubt due to a hamstring injury. (AP)...
Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner's status for Sunday is in doubt due to a hamstring injury. (AP)

So that victory against Philadelphia didn’t turn out to be a launching pad for Seattle after all.

The Seahawks went out and failed to score in the first half. They missed a field-goal attempt, suffered a slew of penalties and committed three turnovers and a week after the Seahawks demonstrated how hard it was to beat them if they played a clean game, Seattle showed how easy it is to suffer a defeat due to self-inflicted wounds.

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Here’s the top three lessons from Sunday’s loss in Jacksonville:

What we learned

1. There is a breaking point with Seattle’s defense.

That breaking point occurred when Bobby Wagner left Sunday’s game because of a hamstring injury. The Seahawks had been able to maintain without safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Richard Sherman, but when Wagner left the game in the third quarter, the dam broke. Jacksonville scored three touchdowns in the span of three offensive plays. Granted, there was a 72-yard punt return mixed in there, but Jacksonville’s easy in getting into the end zone speaks to the fact there is a point at which Seattle’s defense will no longer be as effective. They’ve already lost three Pro Bowlers to season-ending injuries: Chancellor, Sherman and Cliff Avril. Wagner has not practiced at all this month and don’t expect him to this week. The Seahawks will still be holding out hope that he’s ready to play Sunday against the Rams, though.

2. The Seahawks’ running back is like Spinal Tap’s drummer.

They keep getting injured. First it was C.J. Prosise, who sprained an ankle. Then Chris Carson broke his ankle. Then Prosise sprained his other ankle. And Eddie Lacy strained a groin. And now, Mike Davis, who has showed the possibility of at least being a respectable threat on the ground only to strain a groin muscle against Atlanta and now suffer bruised ribs during the loss in Jacksonville. Seattle is hoping he’ll be able to play, but perhaps the Seahawks should inquire and see if their running backs qualify for special protection under the Endangered Species Act.

3. Germain Ifedi needs to get control of his emotions.

Ifedi is the most penalized player in the league. He has been flagged 17 times this season with 13 of those being accepted. No other player in the league has had more than 10 penalties enforced against them. Eight of the penalties against Ifedi are for offensive holding and six are for false starts, two groups of penalties that can be generally assigned to his attempt to compensate for a lack of foot speed. Three of those penalties are for extracurricular activity, including verbal abuse of an official on Sunday, which are utterly unnecessary. That’s too many penalties to tolerate from a guy even if he was the best offensive lineman in the league, and Ifedi is a long way from that.

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What We Learned: With Bobby Wagner hurt, Seahawks’ defense reached its breaking point