The Seattle Seahawks lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 17-13 in Week 6. The game was one Seattle could have won, but they failed to convert on scoring opportunities once in the red zone. Plus, a slow start defensively ultimately doomed Seattle.
Seattle is still 3-2 with losses to an NFC West rival and a team that has made deep runs in the postseason in each of the last two years. The losses are forgivable. But some of the reasons Seattle lost need to be fixed.
On a more positive note, the defense overall looks a lot better the last two weeks. Maybe the unit has finally evolved into a good one. But they still need to be better prepared to start the game. That is one of the three disappointments that follows.
Seattle Seahawks started too slowly on defense
Overall, the defense was fantastic, of course. After the Bengals' second drive of the game, Cincinnati only got 73 total yards. They did score 3 points after a Geno Smith interception (that appeared to be more the fault of DK Metcalf), but after Cincinnati took over possession, they got zero yards but were already in Seattle territory. So, yes. The defense was good enough to win the game after the Bengals' first two drives.
And the first two drives of the game for Cincinnati were enough to win the game as it turns out. Quarterback Joe Burrow was getting the ball out excessively quick which made the Seahawks pass rush nearly invisible. There are two issues with this. One is that Cincinnati receivers were immediately beating the Seattle defender off the snap. Two is that even if Burrow is getting the ball out quickly, Seattle's defensive line still could have beaten their man quickly and gotten some pressure on Burrow, at least enough to disrupt the timing of the play.
This changed in the second half, of course. And it wasn't because the Seahawks started blitzing more; They blitzed plenty at the beginning of the game. Seattle actually began playing more people in coverage which meant Burrow didn't have an immediately open receiver so he had to take more time to throw. This allowed the Seahawks to get home a few times while also playing well in coverage. I just wish the change had happened after the first drive of the game.