Atrocious. That is just one word to describe just how bad the Seattle Seahawks defense overall, but specifically the tackling, was in a Week 17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-23. What we saw in the first half against the Tennessee Titans with Tennessee being bullish and literally running over the Seahawks turned into an entire game of the Steelers doing the same to Seattle. And the count of how many missed tackles Seattle had is likely still ongoing.
Seattle wasn't helped by terrible clock management from Pete Carroll near the end of the game either. He threw a challenge flag that he was clearly not going to win with under 4 minutes left. That cost Seattle a timeout. Then after Seattle kicked a field goal, Carroll decided to go for an onside kick with 2:01 left.
Has kicker Jason Myers kicked the ball into the end zone, no time would have run off the clock? Seattle would have then had the two-minute stop the clock after the Steelers first play and the Seahawks would have still had two timeouts. The onside kick made a short field for Pittsburgh and a field goal would make the game a two-score game again. That is exactly what happened.
Seattle Seahawks' defense looks like one of the worst units in the NFL...again
But Week 17 was not really a coaching issue. Seattle knew the Steelers were going to run the ball a lot, and many times Seattle defenders were in the correct spots; they just kept missing tackles. Pittsburgh's offense appeared to want to win the game more than the Seahawks defense did.
Pittsburgh finished with 202 rushing yards and a ridiculous 468 total yards. That was because since Seattle learned quickly they could not stop the run, they had to cheat and bring safety Julian Love closer to the line of scrimmage. This left one-on-one coverage that Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph easily took advantage of. Rudolph completed 15 of his last 17 passes and threw for 274 yards.
Seattle's offense struggled a bit more after losing right tackle Abe Lucas and center Evan Brown, but Geno Smith played mostly heroically. If anyone you know says Geno Smith was the problem in Week 17 that is simply because that person dislikes Smith so much he or she cannot see the truth. Smith went 23 of 33 for 290 yards and a touchdown and he also ran 3 times for 33 yards. He did have a fumble when he was stripped, but he was under pressure most of the game.
Now Seattle is 8-8 and still has a chance to make the postseason but needs other teams to lose as well. But are the Seahawks really a playoff team? The defense is too much of a mess to think Seattle even has a chance to beat the Arizona Cardinals in Week 18.