The Seattle Seahawks’ defense is outstanding, but it is no secret that they have been getting gashed by the run for the last couple of weeks. Yes, the Seahawks have been successful at stopping the run against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and Arizona Cardinals, but that is all in the past and the recent trend is reason enough for concern. A couple of weeks ago, Zac Stacy absolutely destroyed the Seahawks’ defense with great patience and powerful runs through the line; nothing flashy. This past Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers clearly took note and RB Mike James was able to find the same type of success as Stacy only a week before. Together, Stacy and James ran over the ‘Hawks for a total of 292 yards. What’s even worse than that is the fact that the Seahawks have allowed a total of 405 rushing yards in the past two weeks when you add up the total from other RBs and QBs. As it stands right now, stopping the run is the biggest weakness for the Seahawks’ defense, but can it be fixed?
Pete Carroll addressed this very issue yesterday morning, and recognized that the issue needs to be fixed this week. Earl Thomas III called the last couple of weeks a “humbling experience” for the Seahawks, and placed much of the blame on himself. Look, Stacy and James deserve a lot of credit; they were fantastic. Stacy, in particular, has been an absolute stud since becoming the starting RB for the St. Louis Rams. With that being said, the Seahawks should never allow a team to dominate the rush so bad with the guys they have on their roster. So why is it happening? I think that Thomas said it best: the defense acts like a string, in a way, and when every guy is doing their job correctly the defense works beautifully. However, if even one person makes a mistake, it can create a giant whole in the defense that allows the running back (or QB) to find daylight. That is exactly what has been going on for the last couple of weeks.
It was just three weeks ago that the Seahawks held the Cardinals to just 30 yards rushing. At the time, the Seahawks were ranked sixth in the NFL in defense against the run, and there was no real concern. To give you a better impression on just how bad the ‘Hawks have been the last couple of weeks again the run: their rankings have free-fallen all the way to nineteenth! In total the Seahawks are now allowing an average of 116.2 rushing yards a game. If there is good news, it is that in those two weeks the Seahawks’ defense did not allow a rushing TD, which is huge. However, no question that the sooner the Seahawks are able to get back on track against the run, the better.
Carroll is a fantastic defensive minded coach, and I trust that he will make sure the issue against the run will be fixed. Additionally, the Seahawks take great pride in their defense and they have now been embarrassed for two weeks straight. No doubt that they will want to fix that before they take on the Atlanta Falcons this upcoming Sunday. The Falcons, by the way, average just 64.4 yards rushing a game, which is good for dead last in the NFL. If the Seahawks are unable to show improvement stopping the run against the Falcons, then I think that this may be an even bigger issue than Pete Carroll, and most everyone else sees it as. Failing to stop the run against the Falcons would be especially concerning with Adrian Peterson lined up to face the Seahawks the very next week.