Two damning issues for Seahawks’ defense: not tough enough, and getting out-coached

The music wasn’t blaring.

There wasn’t any.

The Seahawks locker room that had walls shaking from bangin’ bass immediately following four straight wins from October into November? Empty churches are louder than what Seattle’s room with more than 60 players in it was at Lumen Field late Sunday afternoon.

The noise, the fun are like the wins and even respectable defense for the Seahawks right now. Long gone.

The Las Vegas Raiders steamrolled them Sunday in a 40-34 overtime loss. Josh Jacobs ran untouched for an 86-yard touchdown to win it. Those were the last of his 229 yards rushing, the most ever by one player against Seattle.

“It hurts,” Seahawks defensive lineman Poona Ford said. “It’s always going to hurt to lose a game like that, especially on a run play that hit for, like, 80 yards.

“It’s just unacceptable of us.”

Defensive end Shelby Harris also didn’t need an amplifier to be heard inside the locker room Sunday. Allowing 283 yards rushing and 576 yards total, the third-most in Seahawks history, by a previously 3-7 team tends to dampen enthusiasm.

“We’ve got to be where we are supposed to be. And we’ve just got to make plays,” Harris said.

“That’s just probably the gist of it.”

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) stiff arms Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Al Woods (99) on his way to a rushing touchdown in the second quarter of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) stiff arms Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Al Woods (99) on his way to a rushing touchdown in the second quarter of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.

Josh Jacobs better than Bo Jackson

How bad was what Jacobs did to the Seahawks Sunday?

It was worse than what another Raiders running back, some guy named Bo Jackson, did dragging Brian Bosworth and Seattle’s defense around the Kingdome for 221 yards with an iconic, 91-yard touchdown run into a tunnel on a memorable Monday night back in 1987.

“We did not play the run worth a darn,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Sunday.

That was after his team fell to 6-5 and on the outside of the seven-team NFC playoff positioning looking in.

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There are two chief facts about the Seahawks on defense right now. And they are damning:

  • They haven’t been tough enough

  • They’ve been getting out-coached

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) walks away from the sideline after Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) walks away from the sideline after Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.

“We just have to play more physical,” inside linebacker Jordyn Brooks said. “Guys have got to get off blocks, make tackles. Can’t miss tackles.

“That’s what it is, basically.”

Well, there’s this, too: For the second consecutive game, Carroll’s and defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt’s game plan was the opposite of what the opponent did to Seattle.

In Munich Nov. 13, before the Seahawks’ bye, Tampa Bay’s last-ranked rushing offense ran I formation and power straight at Seattle’s new 3-4 and sometimes two defensive-linemen front. Even when the Seahawks went to their “Bear” alignment of three linemen over the opposing guards and center with outside linebackers up on the edges of the line as fourth and fifth linemen, the Buccaneers ran all over it.

So did the Raiders.

So did the 49ers, in new division-leader San Francisco’s 27-7 stomping of Seattle in week two. So, too, did Atlanta and New Orelans in beating the Seahawks, albeit with more modern formations than the two-back, old-school looks the Buccaneers and Raiders gave the Seahawks.

Wrong scheme. Again.

For Sunday, Carroll and Hurtt schemed to shut down Davante Adams, Las Vegas’ dynamic wide receiver and Derek Carr’s passing game.

In Germany, Carroll and Hurtt planned for taking away Tom Brady’s passing.

Instead, the Buccaneers and Raiders ran the Seahawks off the field.

“What’s different in the last two games, they stayed in regular personnel, used the fullback. More unique than other games we played.,” Carroll said. “That was a problem for us again.

“It’s old-style ball. There’s nothing new about that, at all. It’s just that it’s different and we didn’t adjust to it in either of the last two weeks.”

Adams finished Sunday with seven catches on 11 targets for 74 of the Raiders’ 576 yards.

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) catches a pass from quarterback Derek Carr (4) as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Mike Jackson (30) defends during the second quarter of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) catches a pass from quarterback Derek Carr (4) as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Mike Jackson (30) defends during the second quarter of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.

“We did a lot of stuff to keep him out of the ballgame,” Carroll said. “Remember, had those 40-something targets coming in the last few weeks. Had 10 or 11 of them today. A lot of the ball goes to him.”

So what? Jacobs blew the doors off the Seahawks bandwagon that is losing occupants by the hour.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) celebrates as he runs into the locker room after scoring the game-winning touchdown on an 86-yard run in overtime of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) celebrates as he runs into the locker room after scoring the game-winning touchdown on an 86-yard run in overtime of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.

“Josh was really terrific today. He had a great game,” Carroll said.

“We didn’t tackle him as well as we needed to, didn’t scheme him as well as we needed to.”

Carroll was asked if his new scheme this season with fewer true defensive linemen and more speedy linebackers is getting enough push up front to stop physical rushing offenses.

“It’s not that easy,” Carroll said. “It’s the fits. It’s all of the support and stuff we do from the back end, as well.

“We have to play better than we’re doing against the two-back stuff. It couldn’t be more obvious. It’s as obvious as it gets. Something we’ll take care of.”

They must.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs between Seattle Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (10) and safety Quandre Diggs (6) after catching a pass from quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the third quarter of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs between Seattle Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (10) and safety Quandre Diggs (6) after catching a pass from quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the third quarter of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.

What’s going to keep the free-falling Rams (3-8) in Inglewood, California, this coming Sunday, or Carolina (4-6) then the 49ers (7-4) in Seattle’s next three games from doing what the Buccaneers and Raiders just did to the Seahawks?

Only negligence — such as the New York Giants having the NFL’s second-ranked rushing offense yet passing on five of their first six plays in losing at Seattle last month.

“We have to fix it. Everybody’s going to expose it if we don’t fix it.” Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs said after his first two interceptions of the season went wasted Sunday. “We fixed it for a little bit. It showed its head today.

“At the end of the day, if we don’t stop the run, we’re not going to be able to do anything. It starts with everybody. ...

“Teams are going to see that, and when they see that, you could have run the ball. We have to get those stops. I’m not down on anybody. I’m just saying we have to get those stops.”

Seattle Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs (6) runs back an interception by Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the first quarter of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.
Seattle Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs (6) runs back an interception by Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the first quarter of an NFL game on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.