Spotty pass rush
Seattle does get some pressure, so they aren’t terrible in this regard. What the Seahawks lack is consistent pressure. It’s a big contrast to what they had with Bennett and Avril leading the line. Frank Clark has been downright dominant at times but hasn’t become a consistent force. Dion Jordan has been what he’s always been, an injury prone player who can occasionally make a play. He is nothing special or consistent. That is of course when he can get on the field.
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Currently Seattle has 16 sacks through six games (2.6/game), however, Clark accounts for a full third of that total, and Jarran Reed currently adds four, which surpasses his career sack totals from all other seasons combined. In essence, two-thirds of Seattle’s entire sack total comes from two players, and one of them is having a career year, six games in.
A lack of steady pressure has left Seattle 25th in sacks this year. As I’ve often professed, sack totals can be misleading. A sack is nice, but pressure causes errant throws, interceptions, bad reads and limits downfield throws. Personally, I prefer a hit arm in the throwing process as opposed to a sack. It’s here that Seattle faces its biggest challenge.
Far too often, there has been more than adequate time for an opposing quarterback to go through his reads comfortably. He’s had time to read a good book, make a sandwich, and then go through his receiver progression. No defensive back is going to succeed when this occurs, second-year player or All-Pro in his prime.
So the question becomes, how are they Seahawks now succeeding on defense? Are they simply riding some obscene lucky stretch? Have the other team’s offenses imploded? Smoke and mirrors? Scheme alone?
I don’t believe any of those things are correct or accurate. Seattle has found another way to limit mistakes that occur when there is no consistent pressure and the defense is young and mistake prone.