Breaking down the turning point in Seattle Seahawks fourth-straight loss in Week 14

Entering Santa Clara without quarterback, Geno Smith, the Seattle Seahawks offense found a way to remain competitive in this game.
Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks season has sort of spiraled out of control over the last month or so. It's amazing how much can change throughout the course of a football season. Whether it's due to injuries or unfortunate breaks that take place during games, things change quickly. The NFL is unforgiving and teams have no problem stepping on your neck en route to step above you.

One word used throughout the locker room to sum up what's happened recently is inconsistency. One example to illustrate that would be coming off their best offensive performance in Week 13 against Dallas, Geno Smith gets hurt in practice which sidelines him for Week 14. Now, let's give credit to Drew Lock for stepping in and playing a solid all-around game given the circumstances of playing against one of the NFL's best defenses on the road.

He was doing enough to keep them competitive throughout the first half. He was instrumental in the response to the opening scoring driving of the 49ers, dropping an absolute dime to D.K. Metcalf. In fact, it was a big defensive lapse that allowed San Francisco to recapture momentum, giving them confidence as the second half approached.

Game-changing play for Seattle Seahawks in Week 14 defeat: Breakdown in coverage

When these two teams met back on Thanksgiving, the Seattle Seahawks defense seemed to have settled in throughout the second half. At that point, it was too late as the San Francisco 49ers grew a large enough lead to halt any comeback routed by the Seahawks. However, Week 14 felt different. I know Christian McCaffrey had a huge run on the very first play of the game.

But, the Seahawks' defense was generating pressure, and accumulating sacks. They even forced a turnover early on in the game. They were tasked (whether fairly or unfairly) to do more than typically required in this game due to the absence of Geno Smith. After that opening drive score, the Seahawks' defense forced back-to-back punts and then created the above-mentioned turnover.

With a 10-7 lead about midway through the second quarter, it felt as if the game was going how Seattle wanted it to. Offensively, they weren't generating a lot of explosive plays, but, they were doing enough to stay ahead. Defensively, they were disrupting any rhythm the 49ers were trying to establish. Until Jamal Adams had a breakdown in coverage on a 3rd-and-11 that resulted in a touchdown.

When Seattle acquired Jamal Adams, they knew that his biggest weakness was coverage. But, he was a great compliment to what they already had in place with Quandre Diggs, an excellent ball-hawking safety. Last week, I know Jamal Adams was under scrutiny for a social media dispute between him and a member the of New York media.

It came after Adams got beat in coverage by Cowboys TE Jake Ferguson, which resulted in the go-ahead touchdown on that thrilling Thursday Night Football game. However, the coverage in that instance wasn't as bad. It seemed like Ferguson got away with a push-off, but the ball placement was what allowed him to make the catch and score. In the clip above, it's just poor decision-making by Adams.

As he admitted after the game, he was sitting on a route in front of him (the dig route ran by number 15 Jauan Jennings) anticipating a quick throw by Purdy due to Seattle blitzing. That was the first mistake at Riq Woolen was there in coverage. But even more so, with a single high safety (Quandre Diggs) tailing Brandon Aiyuk who is running a deep post, it allowed Deebo to sneak behind the flat-footed Adams.

It was a very clever play design by Kyle Shanahan, but one, that shouldn't have been executed. I'm not one to tell Jamal Adams how to play safety, but his eyes were focused on what was in front of him and not examining what was happening around him as you should in zone coverage, especially on that down and distance.

Nonetheless, I am not here to tear apart Adams as a player. As already mentioned, we knew his coverage skills weren't a strength. But, he's a tremendous player outside of that who plays with great energy and passion. The demise of this defense isn't on the shoulders of number 33. They have collectively been bad.

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