Playing to lose
Coming into Week 7, it was no secret that the Seattle Seahawks were going to try and establish the run. It was glaringly obvious against Pittsburgh as Geno Smith barely threw the ball in the second half and they started the half down two scores! I touched upon it last week when writing about the Pittsburgh loss that playing too conservative will ultimately lead to you playing from behind.
Lone and behold, for the second straight week the Seattle Seahawks started off the second half losing. Possibly the most frustrating part about the Week 7 loss is that in a must-win game, the Seahawks attacked the Saints greatest strength as opposed to their greatest weakness. The injuries to the Seahawks offensive line didn’t help, but with no Chris Carson and a hobbled Alex Collins, it was a near-impossible feat to get the ground game going against the 2nd best rushing defense in the NFL.
Throughout the season, the Saints defense struggled with the short, intermediate routes. This is why Shane Waldron was hired in the first place as that was a glaring hole in Seattle’s offense in 2020. Yet, the Seahawks failed to attack that. Let me say this, I get the idea of running first because Geno hasn’t played a lot of football over the last couple of years.
But, in what was deemed a must-win game, you have to take shots. In the Seahawks only positive second-half drive, they were able to move the chains when they threw the short passes into the zone. One of the adjustments made by New Orleans was running two high man and doubling D.K. over the top. The counter would be to run crossing routes over the middle.
With Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, it was mind-boggling to see Seattle just continually run into the brick wall of the Saints front. Even though Marson Lattimore is regarded as one of the best in the game, Metcalf was able to get in his head early on. He also has 4 inches of height and about 40 pounds of weight on him. Why not scheme a play to get him the ball early? I think Seattle ran one screen last night and it was to Gerald Everett.
In spite of all of that, Seattle really should have won the game as Meyers missed two field goals. Regardless, the point is, the Seahawks put themselves in that sluggish position with poor play calling early on.