Seattle Seahawks' defense not putting pressure on quarterbacks

By The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 14, 2016 at 8:09 AM
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RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks were tied for the league lead in sacks through the first 11 weeks of the NFL season. They've managed just one sack in the three weeks since.

Ahtyba Rubin's sack of a gimpy Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers is the only sack in three games for Seattle. The Seahawks were tied with the Buffalo Bills with 31 sacks apiece through the first 11 weeks of the season, but Seattle has since fallen to ninth in the league.

"I'm disappointed in that because our numbers were rolling just before in the last few weeks," head coach Pete Carroll said.

The Seahawks were unable to sack Jameis Winston or Cam Newton in the prior two games before traveling to Green Bay last Sunday. Because Rodgers is stellar when opponents blitz him, the Seahawks elected to rush with just their front four for the majority of the night. The problem was that Seattle just could not get to him.

Rodgers was sacked just once and hit three times. In addition to Rubin's sack, Cliff Avril got a pair of hits on the Packers' quarterback. Forget sacks, Seattle has hit opposing quarterbacks just 10 times in the last three games.

Rodgers and the Packers made it difficult for Seattle to substitute normally. Whenever Seattle would try to rotate defensive linemen, Rodgers would try to quickly snap the ball to catch the Seahawks offsides or with too many men on the field. It forced Avril and Michael Bennett to play more snaps than normal as Frank Clark and Cassius Marsh were not able to play as many snaps.

"We have to get after quarterbacks no matter what the circumstances," Avril said.

With Bennett back from knee surgery, the Seahawks pass rush should be getting better. Carroll was excited last week about that possibility given the increased experience Clark gained by starting in Bennett's place for five weeks. However, it has yet to manifest itself with pressures and sacks in games.

"I am concerned about that," Carroll said. "We would like to get those numbers back to going like they were. Just a week ago we rushed really well against Carolina and caused the quarterback to have a lot of problems and throw the ball quickly and all of that. The sacks aren't always the indicator, how the QB performs, but last night Aaron Rodgers pretty much did what he needed to do and we weren't able to offset that at all."

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