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The answer then: It should be.
The answer now: It was, but not by much.
The Seahawks had only 28 sacks in 2009, tied for fifth fewest in the league. That led to the departure of their top five defensive ends—through retirement, free agency, trade or release.
Using Chris Clemons and the DB-heavy Bandit blitz package, the Seahawks have recorded 34 sacks this year, which still ranks in the bottom half of the league.
With 10.5 sacks, Clemons is the first Seahawk to record double digits since Patrick Kerney had 14.5 in 2007. He has been one of the very few bright spots on the entire team.
Raheem Brock, signed just before the season, has 6.5 sacks, and Lawyer Milloy has four. But Aaron Curry has only 3.5, and Lofa Tatupu was surprisingly not used as a blitzer very much; he recorded his first sack last week.
The rush simply has been too inconsistent, and the secondary has been exposed because of it. After getting only 13 interceptions last season, the defense has just 11 this year. After giving up 27 touchdown passes in 2009, the unit has surrendered 31 this year (third most in the league). They have given up the NFL’s most passing plays of 20 yards or more (54) and will probably surpass 4,000 passing yards allowed for the second time in three years.
Many think the Hawks’ top need in 2011, along with a quarterback, is a defensive end who can rush the passer.
We think the top needs are linemen of any kind—along with a defensive scheme that makes better use of the personnel.
Either way, the Hawks have to find a way to get to the quarterback in 2011.