No defense for Seahawks' past two and a half games
There was an underbelly to the victory, though. Something that might turn out to be just as important when it comes to gauging Seattle's trajectory for the rest of this season because for the third consecutive week, the Seahawks came out of this game with some pretty serious questions about the defense that appeared to be this team's overriding strength for the first month and half of the season.
When San Francisco's Frank Gore rushed for 131 yards against Seattle at Candlestick Park on Oct. 18, the 49ers were credited for their wiliness. They ran a trap repeatedly in the second half, which was responsible for a good number of Gore's 92 yards rushing in the second half.
When Detroit's Matthew Stafford passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns last week, it was chalked up to scheme. The Seahawks had stayed back in the secondary, believing that Stafford would eventually throw downfield instead of constantly settling for the check down like he did.
But after Minnesota's Adrian Peterson left skid marks on Seattle's defense on Sunday at CenturyLink Field, a trend has clearly emerged.
This defense that was so good for the first six games of this season has been not-so-good for the past two and a half. Now, the question isn't whether this defense is elite, but whether it can be fixed.
Consider that at halftime of the San Francisco game, the Seahawks defense had allowed a total of six offensive touchdowns and 77 points in the 26 quarters it has played. Seattle has given up seven offensive touchdowns and 61 points in the 10 quarters since.
Scoring is just one manifestation of what appears to be an across-the-board regression:
Game | Carry
Yards | Pct.
|First 6 1/2 games||26||77||6||73.5 | 3.4||216.2 | 56.9|
|Last 2 1/2 games||10||61||7||186.8 |6.6||182.4 | 65.8|
And for those who point to the second half of Sunday's game as a sign of progress, well, please remember that while Minnesota had 59 yards of total offense in the second half, Seattle never really stopped Peterson so much as the Vikings found themselves in a double-digit deficit with 4:09 left in the third quarter and had to start throwing the ball.
Peterson carried only five times in the second half, gaining 38 yards on those carries. Given those results, Seattle's defense is fortunate the Vikings weren't in position to hand him the ball more often in the third and fourth quarters.