The Seahawks season turned on injuries
It wasn’t just the injury to Penny that hurt the Hawks. Kenneth Walker III was ready to step up and have his own spectacular year, it’s true. He’s certainly one of the best candidates for Rookie of the Year. Of course, one of his main competitors for the award is his teammate on the other side of the ball, cornerback Tariq Woolen. Without a doubt, Woolen was absolutely amazing.
The problem is that Seattle lost another critical starter in that very first game versus the Broncos. Safety Jamal Adams was gone for the season after just 15 snaps. How badly did his loss affect the Seahawks’ defense? Consider this: he had three tackles, one quarterback hit on his only blitz, was targeted twice and allowed no completions, and broke up a pass, all in those 15 plays. Jamaal Adams was fir, and the Hawks D never quite recovered. When Ryan Neal eventually took over at Adams’ spot, all he did was earn the top grade at safety from Pro Football Focus.
The problem with that is that the Hawks planned to play a lot of sets with three safeties. Losing Adams was a tremendous blow to the Hawks, one that has been overlooked far too easily. Despite that, the defense came into its own in week six versus the Cardinals. Seattle played by far their best defensive ball of the season as they held Arizona to just nine points. That evened their record at 3-3 and began their improbable run that had every 12 dreaming of a significant playoff run. The Hawks ripped off three more wins, and the future appeared to be happening right now before our very eyes. And then they took a little road trip.