Seahawks’ aggressiveness poses a problem against the run

Nov 19, 2014, 7:55 AM | Updated: 9:42 am
Jamaal Charles ran for 159 yards Sunday, the most Seattle has allowed to one player in two years. (...
Jamaal Charles ran for 159 yards Sunday, the most Seattle has allowed to one player in two years. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks’ game on Sunday was the first time in four years they played without Brandon Mebane in uniform, anchoring the middle of their defensive line.

When Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles rushed for 159 yards – the most the Seahawks had allowed to a player in two years – the correlation seemed fairly clear.

The loss of a key component in Seattle’s run defense turned the team’s most consistent strength into a liability. That’s not a conclusion Mebane’s teammates were jumping to, though.

“It always hurts when you don’t have Brandon Mebane,” said defensive lineman Michael Bennett. “But to be honest, they didn’t really run the ball up the middle today. So that’s usually where Mebane was at. Today, he wouldn’t have been any help on some of those plays today, either, because they were just running on the outside.”

So what happened, then?

Because while Mebane was out, the Seahawks did get strong safety Kam Chancellor and linebacker Malcolm Smith back in the starting lineup and yet a team that had allowed 3.2 yards per carry through the first nine games – the lowest in the league – allowed the Chiefs to average 6.3 yards per carry.

“It’s our aggressive nature, man,” safety Earl Thomas said. “We’re so aggressive and we want to stay on the attack. It poses a problem against us when we play a patient running back that can jump cut, that can flow with his O-line. They might not even be doing all that, but it’s the running back.”

The Chiefs rank fourth in the league in rushing yards per game. Seattle’s opponent this week – the Cardinals – rank No. 30.

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Seahawks’ aggressiveness poses a problem against the run