Here are three quick reasons to worry for Seahawks fans versus Washington on Sunday.
The Seahawks travel to Washington to play the Football Team on Sunday. Washington is in first place in the NFC East and Seattle is trying to get back to the top of the NFC West. While Seattle is 9-4 and Washington is just 6-7, here is why 12s should be worried about the outcome.
Washington’s pass defense
Washington is good against the run allowing just 107.2 yards per game, 9th in the league. But Washington is great against the pass. Not only have they allowed the third-fewest passing yards allowed in the NFL in 2020 (2,682), but they are 7th in passer-rating allowed (85.9), have the 12th-most interceptions (12), the fourth-most sacks (40) and are ninth in pressure percentage at 24.4 percent. Washington also allows the fifth-fewest yards after catch with 1,328.
This means if Russell Wilson can get time to throw the ball when D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and company do catch the ball then they are likely not going to do much with it. This then means that Seattle will probably have to try to work its way down field methodically. This has mostly failed against Washington this season because the Football Team also allows opposing teams to score on just 33.3 percent of their drives, fifth-fewest in the league.
This is like the Seahawks versus Giants but Washington is better
Remember, 12s, when Seattle appeared to have a sleight of four relatively easy games in a row starting with Philadelphia? Well, Seattle can very easily go 2-2 over this stretch with loss to the Giants and Redskins. New York made Seattle’s offense look stupid and did not have to do much on offense to win while playing with a backup quarterback and basically a backup running back (Saquon Barkley got hurt very early in the season).
Washington’s defense is even better than the Giants. Now it appears Washington’s now-starting quarterback Alex Smith is out with a calf injury and the team’s leading rusher Antonio Gibson might be out with turf toe. This means Washington, like the Giants did, are likely to have a good defense but with backups playing at quarterback and running back. I am having flashbacks already to the New York game.
The Seahawks are likely to have bad field position
Seattle’s D.J. Reed on kickoffs and David Moore receiving punts can get some yards on those returns. But Washington doesn’t allow these kinds of yards. Sure, Washington is 30th in yards-per-kick return allowed at 28.3 but look further. Washington’s kicker Dustin Hopkins has a touchback percentage on kickoffs of 84.6 percent (fourth in the league) and only seven times have opposing teams run any kickoffs back.
(Seattle’s Jason Myers, in comparison, is 27th in the NFL in touchback percentage at 57.3 percent.)
When Washington punts, they allow just 5.9 yards per return, seventh-best in the league. While Michael Dickson is a great punter, Seattle allows 8.1 yards a return, 16th in the NFL. This means that Seattle shouldn’t expect a lot from its return game on Sunday.