The Seahawks turned in a less-than-stellar defensive performance on Sunday.
Here’s a news flash, 12s: the Seahawks defense isn’t very good. That responsibility lies squarely on the shoulder of DC Ken Norton Jr. Stunning, I know. Even before Sunday, when they gave up the most points ever under Pete Carroll, the defense was bad.
At the halfway point in the 2020 season, Seattle ranks 30th in points allowed and dead last in yards allowed. In fact, at this rate, they’ll give up 7,292 yards. Considering that the Saints currently hold the ugly record of most yards allowed, at 7,042, that isn’t good. Certainly, no one is more responsible for this than the defensive coordinator, Ken Norton Jr.
I’m hardly the first to say Ken Norton Jr. isn’t the answer for the Seahawks. We certainly aren’t the only ones to call for a replacement, but we aren’t exactly late to the party, either. Norton still hasn’t seemed to adjust to the fact that the NFL is a passing league. You’d think since he sees Russell Wilson in practice all week, it might dawn on him, sooner or later. The Seahawks seemed to have forgotten the slot corner existed in 2019. Yes, I know they had injuries, and have them this year, too. Every team has injuries; it’s part of the game.
Debacle in Buffalo
I will say this about Sunday’s debacle in Buffalo. Russell Wilson was a major factor in that loss. He turned the ball over four times, three of them resulting in very short Bills scoring drives. Those Buffalo drives went for 23, 3, and 19 yards. Yes, the Hawks defense was miserable and allowed several long drives. But how often will you win a game when you give up 17 points like candy? Not very often at all.
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Consider that Wilson’s first turnover was in the Bills’ endzone, and Buffalo converted that into a touchdown. Yes, the Hawks fell behind 17-0, I know. I also know Wilson failed to put seven on the board with one of his picks, then gave the Bills another 17. That’s a 24 point swing, and a quite possible 41-27 Seattle win. Don’t laugh; we gave up over 500 yards to both Dallas and Atlanta, and 34 points would have won both of those games.
A lot of fans went a bit off the deep end after the game in their reactions to the news of head coach Pete Carroll’s extension. I wrote that it was great news, and I wrote that after the Bills loss. Yes, I agree that was a terrible game. Yes, I also agree that Carroll and Norton should have known the Bills would be pass-happy. Mookie Alexander of Field Gulls knew it, after all. How could you not expect that gameplan?
Here’s the thing those fans seem to have forgotten. Pete won 106 games before that. Yes, he’s made some questionable decisions, but he’s made far more great choices. the 12s know that Carroll will adjust and make the right call. We just have to hope he makes that call on the defensive coordinator soon.
Bad game, bad gameplan, the bottom line is that this defense is historically bad. I’ll say this for Ken Norton. He was a fine linebackers coach and a fine linebacker. But as a defensive coordinator, he leaves a lot to be desired. His defenses have never cracked the top ten in points allowed. The best ranking he’s had was 11th with the Seahawks defense he inherited in 2018. He’s never been higher than 20th other than that one season. I have no doubt that the turning point in this game – and maybe this season – is the fact that Ken Norton Jr. was still on the sidelines.