The Seahawks' defensive nightmare: Dud performances and defensive back woes

The Seahawks fell to 6-7 with a Week 14 loss to the 49ers.

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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Yes, the Seahawks did have some studs, even in a loss this bad.

The Seahawks' interior defensive line came to play. Yes, they could have done more to slow the onslaught of Christian McCaffrey on the ground. But they got virtually no support from either the linebacker corps or the secondary. As Tim Weaver reported for USA Today's Seahawks Wire, Pro Football Focus gave the Hawks' interior defensive line four of their top five grades for defense.

A peak inside PFF's numbers (sorry, paywall haters) shows why. Dre'Mont Jones had a sack, a hurry, three tackles, and three stops. Jarran Reed duplicated those numbers, with an added sack. He now has six sacks on the season, by the way. And Leonard Williams continued to show up with the Hawks' third sack of the game. He added three quarterback hits, three tackles, and a pair of stops. If the secondary had played as well as the interior line, Seattle would have won this game. Not could have, would have.

Speaking of the secondary, it wasn't the entire unit that stunk it up. To no one's surprise, Devon Witherspoon balled out again. He was only in for seven snaps before leaving with an injury, so it might be a bit much to say he was one of Seattle's studs. But consider that he was targeted once and broke up the pass. Then consider how the secondary played in his absence. I have to include Mike Jackson here as well. He did allow one completion and missed a tackle, but he also broke up the other two targets that came his way.

In a game where the Seahawks surrendered 527 yards, we'll take the studs where we can find them. Seattle has an extra day to try to turn things around before facing another team that's suddenly reeling. The Eagles have been pancaked for two straight games now, and won't be taking the Hawks lightly. Hopefully, this squad can turn it around with a better effort all around.

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