JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Defense is showing why the Seahawks wanted to add Josh Gordon

Nov 4, 2019, 2:51 PM
Seahawks beat Bucs...
The Seahawks struggled to get off the field on defense against the Buccaneers. (AP)
(AP)

It’s probably fitting that the Seahawks claimed Josh Gordon.

Clayton: What Seahawks’ addition of Josh Gordon means

After nine games, the Seahawks are showing they are a team that needs to win on offense more than defense. The lack of a pass rush continues to be a problem, as Jameis Winston had too much time to throw in Sunday’s 40-34 Seahawks win over Tampa Bay.

That’s become a weekly theme. The Seahawks have only 15 sacks and the team leaders are pretty much linebackers _ Mychal Kendricks with three and Bobby Wagner with two. None of the defensive linemen have more than two.

In other words, the Seahawks can’t count on rushing four and dropping seven. They are forced to blitz to get pressure on quarterbacks and if the defenders in the back seven can’t get to the quarterback, there are holes in pass defense.

What’s also real is that the Seahawks are 7-2 and have a decent chance to win 10 or 11 games, though the lack of a pass rush is going to make it tough to do much better than that. Plus, the Seahawks are entering the toughest part of their schedule, starting with the Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Let’s review what happened on Sunday against the Bucs.

• The Seahawks knew they would have a better chance to gain offensive yardage through the air than on the ground. The Bucs entered the game No. 1 in run defense but were giving up 285 yards a game through the air.

To make matters worse, Bucs starting cornerback Carlton Davis reinjured his hip in pre-game warmups. They had decided to go with second-round choice Sean Murphy-Bunting as the slot cornerback while third-round choice Jamel Davis, who took over for Carlton Davis, struggled throughout the game.

Russell Wilson threw 16 passes in the first half and had only eight carries. The strategy was smart because the Seahawks eventually were able to run the ball along with making long drives with the help of passes.

• Joey Hunt filled in admirable for the injured Justin Britt at center. Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea combined for only six tackles and two hits on the quarterback. That’s pretty good for being on the field for 68 plays.

The thought is the Seahawks can get by with Hunt at center. So far so good.

• When Luke Willson went out briefly with a rib injury, the Seahawks were down to one true tight end (Jacob Hollister). Hollister ended up having a career day. He caught four passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns and drew an interference in the endzone.

The Seahawks traded for Hollister knowing he was a decent pass-catcher and had 4.55 speed in the 40-yard dash. He was one of the stars who helped to win the game.

• Tyler Lockett continues to make his pitch to go to the Pro Bowl. This season he’s eliminated any question whether he’s a No. 1 wide receiver. He is. On Sunday, he caught 13 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. His ability to twist his body and make uncanny catches is remarkable.

For the season, he has 59 catches for 767 yards and six touchdowns.

• D.K. Metcalf won’t win Offensive Rookie of the Year honors but going to be in the voting. Against the Bucs, he had his first 100-yard day, catching six passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. For the year, he has 29 catches for 525 yards and five touchdowns along with an impressive 18.1 yard per catch average.

• Chris Carson may have caused some concerns with his two fumbles but his running style is perfect for this team. His physical style reminds you of Marshawn Lynch. He has 764 yards on 175 carries and a 4.4 yard average.

• Despite his two missed field goals and missed extra point, Pete Carroll still believes in kicker Jason Myers. Myers is 12 of 17 for the season bu his three for eight on 40-plus yard field goals.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Twitter.

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Clayton: Defense is showing why the Seahawks wanted to add Josh Gordon