Earlier today we talked about the Seattle Seahawks emerging rushing attack. Now we look to the other side of the ball with the Seahawks defense as we continue to prepare for the Kansas City Chiefs third preseason game.
I asked Danny Kelly over at Field Gulls to tell us something about the Seahawks defense we may not know -- the pass defense is actually better than you'd think.
Many people look at Seattle's front four of NT Brandon Mebane, DT Alan Branch, DE Chris Clemons and DE Red Bryant and assume the scheme is built to stop the run first and foremost. Those are some big men, and the Seahawks were fairly stout against the run, overall, it's true. That's what Pete Carroll espouses constantly and it's one of his core beliefs - if you can't stop the run, you just cannot win in this league. You can't launch comebacks if the opposing team can salt away the game, and you if you can't make stops on first and second down, you can't force teams into tougher 3rd down situations where your defense can create turnovers.
Sounds a little like the Chiefs -- fairly balanced, a lot of individual talent.
However, that said, the Seahawks' pass defense improved leaps and bounds in 2011 over 2010, and per Football Outsiders DVOA rankings, the Seahawks defense was 9th in the league against the pass (10th overall, 12th against the run). This year, with a full offseason for both Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, and further development from Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, the Hawks are hoping to improve on that even more. The pickups of Jason Jones and Bruce Irvin figure to help in that category as well as they force the opposing quarterback to get rid of the ball a little more quickly.
Good test for the Chiefs offense coming up. The offensive line has been impressive through two preseason games and the passing game has certainly had their moments. I want to see the line establish their dominance at the line of scrimmage.
I suppose it doesn't matter, though...Jamaal Charles will just run around them anyway.