Seattle's third down defense also stinks again
Here we go again. Only one season since 2018 have the Seahawks ranked as good as 13th in the league in third down conversions allowed. In 2020, Seattle was 27th in the NFL and allowed 47.1 percent. Giving up first downs nearly half the time a defense has a chance to get an offense off the field is defeating both emotionally and in a game. But like the offense, Seattle hasn't been horrific on first or second down defensively.
But just when you think things are as bad as they can be, 2023 happens. Seattle is currently 31st in third down conversions allowed and is allowing 52.4 percent of third downs to be picked up. This might imply several bits. One is that the run defense, while statistically good isn't as good on third and short situations. Another is that Seattle still gives up far too many first downs when a team throws a quick out route or a pass over the top of the linebackers.
Seattle also doesn't get enough consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Week 4's performance against the New York Giants vastly skews Seattle's pass rush statistics. Even after getting 11 sacks and 14 quarterback hits on Daniel Jones, the Seahawks are eighth in sack percentage (8.8). But in the first three games, Seattle's sack percentage was just 4.1 percent (which would rank 28th in the league over the course of the entire season so far).
As far as defensive EPA, Seattle ranks 2nd in the league on first and seconds downs, but that falls to 31 on third down. The Seahawks coaches obviously know about this issue but so do other coaches in the league. Think Seattle has a chance against teams like the 49ers or Eagles if Seattle continues bad third down defense? They don't.