Sign Da'Ron Payne to fix "the'run game"? It's not very Seahawks-like
15 free agent DL who make more sense for Seahawks: Seaside Joe 1420
Generally speaking on an individual basis, I don’t have a lot of negative criticism for the defensive linemen on the 2022 Seattle Seahawks. Generally speaking as a unit, the defensive line sucked for the 2022 Seattle Seahawks.
Not only did the Seahawks rank 30th in rushing yards allowed and 26th in yards per carry allowed, per FootballOutsiders, Seattle’s defensive line ranked 25th in adjusted yard lines allowed (“Adjusted Line Yards formula takes all running back carries and assigns responsibility” based on rushing yards gained), 25th in stuffed rate (“percentage of runs where RB is tackled at or behind the LOS”) and 24th in open field rushing yards allowed.
The Seahawks were unsurprisingly 25th in rushing defense DVOA.
This would be less disconcerting if we could attribute Seattle’s run defense failures to an overemphasis on using resources to stop the pass—like say the Philadelphia Eagles, who rank 21st in run defense DVOA, but first against the pass—but worse yet we know that if anything, Pete Carroll has used more resources on this aspect of football than most any other head coach in the NFL.
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He and John Schneider drafted a first round off-ball linebacker, traded for and then restructured the contract of Shelby Harris, re-signed Al Woods, extended Bryan Mone, and Poona Ford was the highest-paid player on the 2022 salary cap.
These five players combined for eight sacks and 28 pressures all season—which is understandable because none of them were expected to be pass rushers. They were expected to be run-stoppers, as was 2019 third round pick Cody Barton (two sacks, two pressures), but the Seahawks were one of the worst run defenses in the league.
I get why Seahawks fans will look at each of these players individually and say, “Well, I like that guy!” and “I love this guy!” and “This guy? This guy rocks.”
But collectively, we cannot ignore the results, we cannot ignore Seattle’s lengthy stay near the bottom of defensive ranks for the last five years, and we cannot hope that Pete and John repeat the process moving forward. If the Seahawks are going to emphasize run defense with their upcoming moves, which is to be expected, then they have to do it right.
Or, if they are going to exert more energy this time on improving the pass defense—pass rush, coverage in the box, shutting down tight ends and running backs and slot receivers—which hasn’t ranked in the top-20 since 2019 and hasn’t ranked in the top-10 since 2015…then they’re going to have to do it right.
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