Coming off the bye week, the defense picked up where it left off, but the offensive problems remained prevalent for the Seattle Seahawks. In Week 1 against Los Angeles, the offense couldn't move the ball in the second half. In Week 3 against Carolina, the early red zone struggles kept the game closer than it had to be. In Week 4 against New York, the defense propelled this team to a dominant victory.
The struggles in the red zone and third down efficiency were the biggest questions surrounding this team heading into their bye week. Despite a great opening drive and a slight improvement on third down in Week 6 against the Bengals, red zone failures resulted in a loss. With all that said, it felt as if the Bengals escaped this game with a victory. So, there were certainly good things to take away from this game.
However, the growing concern remains finishing drives with six. Granted, the offensive line remains banged up and RT Jake Curhan had his worst game as a starter this season. If the Seahawks were able to finish drives with touchdowns, chances are, they win this game. One play early on in the second half resulted in Seattle surrendering points and ultimately, altered the outcome of this game.
Turning point in Seattle Seahawks Week 6 defeat
Pete Carroll's slogan "It's all about the ball' helped Seattle steal momentum in the second half. Down 14-10 with Cincinnati starting the third quarter with the ball, breakout candidate Tre Brown, intercepted Joe Burrow on a go route, targeting Ja'Marr Chase. Seattle was handed an opportunity to get its first lead back since the first quarter. Or, at least a field goal.
It seemed as if Seattle was on pace to do exactly that. Following the interception, Seattle pieced together a 10-play drive that got them into the redzone. But, on the 10th play, that same Pete Carroll slogan worked against Seattle.
In a sense, this play illustrates what went wrong with Seattle's offense. Maybe it was because of all the hurries Cincinnati generated, but Geno Smith's eye discipline wasn't what it typically is. Throughout the game, it felt that Geno didn't trust his eyes or he fell into a habit of locking in on one wide receiver off the snap. In the interception above, Geno did the latter. Once the ball was snapped, Geno hones in on Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
When reviewing the film, Geno is going to want this one back. Not only was Smith-Njigba covered pretty well, but there was safety help over the top. If Geno dumps it off to Kenneth Walker, with Colby Parkinson in front, this play might have resulted in a touchdown. With only one linebacker to block, Kenny probably would have been able to get the penalty yardage back, at the very minimum.
The throw was uncharacteristic of Geno Smith. In his tenure with Seattle as the starter, he has been exceptional at going through his progressions and taking what is given to him. Entering this game, the Seahawks led the NFL in giveaways, with only one interception. With two interceptions, the second coming in the 4th quarter on a miscommunication with D.K. Metcalf, the Seahawks offense did itself no favors.