The not-so-ugly: Run defense leaked but did not burst
The Seattle Seahawks entered the 2023 NFL season with a mission: to address a major issue from the previous year, which was their ability to control their opponents' running game. For much of this season, they seemed to have resolved this concern with a strong and disciplined run defense. However, in their recent matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, a surprising breakdown allowed quarterback Joshua Dobbs to scamper for a 25-yard touchdown, serving as a reminder that even the most improved areas can still have moments of vulnerability.
Last season, the Seahawks' run defense left much to be desired. They were often gashed by opposing running backs, leading to concerns about their ability to stop the run effectively. It was a critical issue that they aimed to address in the offseason, and they appeared to have done so with newfound determination and efficiency.
Through the majority of the current season, the Seahawks showcased an impressive run defense. Their front seven, anchored by stalwarts like Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams, held opponents in check, stifling the ground game and earning praise for their defensive efforts.
However, the NFL is a league known for its ability to expose even the most solid units. In their clash with the Cardinals, the Seahawks had an untimely lapse in their run defense, allowing Joshua Dobbs to exploit a rare opportunity. Dobbs, a talented quarterback, found a seam in the defense and took full advantage, scampering for a 25-yard touchdown that raised eyebrows and, in some ways, stunned fans and analysts alike.
It's important to note that while this play was a rare breakdown, it highlights the fine line that teams walk in the NFL. The most improved aspects of a team's game can sometimes be their Achilles' heel in a given moment. For the Seahawks, the focus on run defense inadvertently created an opportunity for a mobile quarterback like Dobbs to capitalize.