The Seahawks have stumbled out of the gates in the 2021 campaign, and it’s due to issues that have been common within this organization the past three to four years: a lack of defensive multiplicity, scheme and ultimately production.
Through two weeks, the Seahawks rank 24 in the league in defensive DVOA, 26th in pass yards allowed per game and 30th in rush yards allowed per game. Opponents have scored 63 points in the last two weeks.
Following the Week 3 loss to the Vikings on the road, cornerback Tre Flowers voiced his concerns with the team’s defensive scheme rather publicly. Regarding Ken Norton’s scheme, Flowers remarked, “I’ve got a couple questions.”
“It’s a schematic thing, I feel like. I’ve got my own questions to ask. We got to find a way to tackle digs, those in-routes. I got to find a way to drive them or whatever it is. It’s a little gray area right now amongst a couple people. I’ll fix it or someone else will fix it. I guess I got a couple of questions myself.”
Cornerback DJ Reed echoed Flowers’ issues with their defensive performance after allowing over 960 yards of offense in two weeks against the Titans and Vikings.
“It’s frustrating when the team is driving the ball. We couldn’t get a stop. We got to get this shit together. It’s just what it is,” Reed said.
Per Pro Football Focus, the Seahawks lead the league in failing to disguise their defensive scheme pre-snap. On 92% of plays, they execute the scheme they are showing pre-snap.
The Seahawks’ schedule does them no favors in the next two weeks. They’ll head to the Bay Area to face the San Francisco 49ers in a divisional matchup, with a Thursday night matchup against the high-powered and rejuvenated Rams offense looming just 14 days from now.
The 49ers were sluggish in the first half on Sunday night against Green Bay – they face their own deficiencies via shaky quarterback play from Jimmy G, but the slow start can also partially be attributed to a two week stay on the East Coast and the hangover that ensues from that. The Rams, meanwhile, have stormed out of the gates with Matt Stafford at the helm and rank first in the league in offensive DVOA. They’ll need to figure out their issues and ability to mask their defensive schemes quickly with two of the NFL’s most creative offensive minds up next on the schedule.