This was an ugly loss for the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle had the postseason wrapped up, but couldn't wrap up the opposition to make it happen. In many ways, it was worse than the blowout by the Ravens or either of the losses to the Rams. There is simply no excuse for being dominated on the field like this.
I do not doubt that today, more than a few 12s would be happy to see the Seattle Seahawks switch places with the Seattle Sea Dragons. The Sea Dragons just learned they would not be part of the newly merged United Football League. Three former XFL teams made the cut, so of course why include a team that went 7-3 and clinched the playoffs?
What really hurts is that this Seattle defense led their league in points allowed, giving up just 17.7 points per game. The average points per game in the XFL was 21.75. Not to get mathy, but the average points per game in the NFL is 22.0, and the Hawks have now allowed 23.9 per game. Does anybody have Ron Zooks' phone number?
No, I actually don't want Zook on the Seahawks staff, but something has to give, right? Seattle isn't really going to keep Clint Hurtt next season, are they? The Hawks' tackling was so atrocious against the Steelers, it's basically all anyone can talk about. The titular question posed in the Seattle Times Four Downs column was if Seattle can still make the playoffs. But the first issue addressed was the topic of the Hawks' run defense, appropriately so. In short, there will be no studs found there.
The Seattle Seahawks had more duds than a crate of soggy fireworks
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here, as I feel I've bemoaned the shoddy tackling ad infinitum. But, dang. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the Seahawks missed a colossal 20 tackles against the Steelers. Add that they needed a ridiculous 55 assists to finally bring the ballcarrier down, and you get 468 yards of offense from a team that hadn't done anything all season. As a point of reference, the Steelers had 35 solo tackles and needed just 11 assists to hold the Seahawks to almost 100 fewer yards.
Among the worst culprits on the missed tackle clinic were Michael Jackson with three whiffs, along with Quandre Diggs and Riq Woolen with a pair each. Jackson compounded that by allowing the reception on all four of his targets for 79 yards total. Julian Love had 14 combined tackles and just one miss, so cheers to him. However, he also allowed completions on all four of his targets as well. Even the normally rock-solid Devon Witherspoon was abysmal. He had as many whiffs (three ) as tackles, and allowed his only target.
It feels more than a bit cruel to continue at this point, so let me mix in a few bright spots with the shoddy performances on defense. Bobby Wagner, Leonard Williams, and Devin Bush each had four stops, so something occasionally went right. Even then, Wagner missed two tackles. Gee, I remember that year when he missed three for the entire season. Bush led the team with 17 combined tackles and was one of the few Hawks who didn't miss once. He also allowed five of five targets, though, so he didn't go unscathed.
Along with Jarran Reed, Williams probably comes closest to stud status. The former NY Giant recorded Seattle's only sack along with a quarterback hit and a pair of hurries. Reed tallied four hurries and two stops as well. Of course, they anchored the line that allowed 202 yards rushing and a 112 passer rating by Pittsburgh's third-string QB, so no awards there, fellas.