Seahawks bye-week grades: How is the defensive line doing?

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Carlos Hyde (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Carlos Hyde (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks defense has been good, but not great, this year. Still, the Seahawks are fifth in the NFL in scoring defense. How much has the defensive line been a part of that?

The Seahawks have some beasts along the line. Think of the names: Sheldon Richardson, Frank Clark, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. Plus, Jarran Reed is good too. But then there have been games like against the Tennessee Titans when Seattle just was not good. The Seahawks gave up big play after big play. This simply should not happen to a Seattle defense. But it did.

Other than the Titans game, though, Seattle has given up the following points: 17 to the Green Bay Packers (7 of which came after Russell Wilson fumbled inside Seattle’s 10 yard line), 9 to the San Francisco 49ers, 18 to the Indianapolis Colts (two of which came on a safety) and 10 to the Los Angeles Rams. While the Seahawks defense may give up some yards, they also limit points.

Clark has been fantastic since Avril went out with a neck injury. He had an important sack and strip of Jared Goff in the Rams game. Plus, he helped hold Todd Gurley in check with outside containment.

Avril is the big worry. No one knows exactly when or if he will come back from his neck injury.

Defensive tackle Nazair Jones has been very good for a rookie. And Reed has been a good run-stopper. Plus, he has started supplying interior pressure on the quarterback. Against the Colts, and in the fourth quarter against the Rams, he was excellent.

Michael Bennett has been Bennett-esque. He has four sacks and four stuffs this year.

The surprise against the Rams was Branden Jackson. Who is this guy? In nine snaps against the Los Angeles he had four quarterback pressures. This was his first game with Seattle. Weird.

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Still, the Seahawks are 26th in the league against the rush. This is not good. And Seattle is 19th in the NFL in sacks. For Seattle to be as successful as they want to be in 2017, the defensive line has to perform better.

Grade: B-