3 Takeaways from Seahawks' Week 8 Win
The Seattle Seahawks rebounded nicely from Week 7's loss to the Arizona Cardinals. They handled the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, notching a 10-point victory to pick up their sixth win of the season.
With the Cardinals on bye and the Los Angeles Rams losing Sunday, the Seahawks are still in control of the NFC West. They also remain one of the best teams in the conference, though there are some glaring concerns. A defense that surrendered 20 fourth-quarter points to the 49ers is one of them.
Seattle is dead last in pass defense and ranks just 24th in points allowed. The defense largely held through the first three quarters but showed in the fourth that it isn't capable of playing shutdown football for an entire game.
Russell Wilson and the offense is going to have to carry this team if it is going to make a run at the Super Bowl. That's not a revelation. Here are three things we did learn during Seattle's Week 8 victory.
The Pass Rush Remains a Problem
Prior to Sunday's action, the Seahawks swung a trade for Cincinnati Bengals edge-defender Carlos Dunlap. They are going to need him because the pass rush remains one of Seattle's biggest weaknesses.
Yes, the Seahawks got to Jimmy Garoppolo three times, knocking him out of the game with an ankle injury. However, the defense failed to adequately pressure Nick Mullens, who threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Had Mullens played the entire game—or if the Seahawks did not already have a sizeable lead—the inability to pressure him could have cost Seattle a win. This has been a lingering issue, as the Seahawks have just 12 sacks on the season. However, the team should have been able to generate more pressure on a squad that had surrendered 19 quarterback takedowns coming into the game.
The reality is that adding Dunlap might not be enough. If the Seahawks hope to be Super Bowl contenders, they need to start getting to opposing passers without relying heavily on the blitz. This may prompt the team to make another deal before Tuesday's trade deadline.
The Defense Was Impressive Through the Opening 3 Quarters
While the defense did collapse during the final period, it was stout through the first three quarters. It got to Garoppolo three times, produced an interception and limited the 49ers to just 111 yards in the first half. While NFL teams obviously require such output for all four quarters, the Seahawks can build off of this performance.
"We're getting there, and we're going to keep getting better," head coach Pete Carroll said, per Stacy Rost of 710 ESPN Seattle. "I know I keep saying that to you, but it's because it's going to happen."
The Seahawks have enough offensive firepower that they can win games with a defense that is good but not great. If the team can start pressuring the quarterback with some consistency and avoid full-on shootout scenarios, they are going to be a tough out for any opponent.
The next step will be putting together a complete game of sound defense. With tough games against the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams coming up, Seattle can hopefully do so sooner rather than later.
DK Metcalf Is an Elite Wide Receiver
While second-year wideout DK Metcalf has been impressive all season, he showed Sunday that he deserves to be mentioned among the NFL's elite.
The 49ers rank fourth against the pass and 10th in points allowed. However, they had no answers for Metcalf, who dominated the San Francisco secondary from beginning to end. He was targeted 15 times and finished with 12 receptions, 161 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
This marked the sixth time in seven games that Metcalf has produced at least 90 receiving yards.
Wilson remains the centerpiece of the Seattle offense, and the Seahawks are going to go as far as he can take them. However, Metcalf is quickly becoming arguably the best wideout Wilson has ever played with, which should be a frightening thought for the rest of the NFC.
Metcalf lasted until the second round of the 2019 draft, but he's already one of the most unstoppable receivers in the NFL.