I’ve seen enough.
This is the third season in a row that I have written a column demanding the ouster of Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. He was given a reprieve with improvement towards the end of the 2020 season. Even the optimists blindly realized that this was due in large part to playing superstar quarterbacks CJ Beathard, Dwayne Haskins, Carson Wentz, etc.
The Seahawks’ defense got off to a good start with their performance against the Indianapolis Colts. Only 16 points allowed, several saves on 4th base, an efficient passing rush, a solid defense against the run.
Turns out the Colts are a bad team.
Those two games against the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings were the real tests for this unit. More than competent quarterbacks, quality running games, elite wide receivers.
Failure rating. Massive failure rating.
In losses to Tennessee and Minnesota, the Seahawks forced a grand total of four punts in 20 kneeless practices. One of those punts against the Vikings came after Minnesota had lost most of the remaining time in the 4th quarter, with the game in hand. This is how the other possessions ended:
- 6 touchdowns
- 7 field goals
- 1 failed basket
- 1 turnover
- 1 turnover on duvets
13 scoring records out of 20 possessions is the worst defense in the bad NFL type. Don’t let the second half of this Vikings game fool you by holding Minnesota out of the end zone. They were awful. Minnesota’s three goals took 39 games combined and they only had 6 3rd tries in the process.
The Vikings had 9/14 on 3rd base, including a touchdown on 3rd and 13 to Adam Thielen while there was still a 17-7 lead over the Seahawks. Only one of Cousins’ 38 attempts was defended, and it was Carlos Dunlap who deflected the ball for Minnesota’s only punt in significant playing time.
Over the course of three games, the Seahawks made 5 pathetic defended passes on 116 shots. It’s the second week in a row they’ve allowed a 100-plus-yard rusher, and Alexander Mattison’s only 100-yard games have both been against Seattle.
This is not the defense we should have after a “normal offseason”. There’s supposedly All-Pro security (which the front office acquisition looks worse with every game), Pro Bowl security, a future Hall of Fame linebacker, and promising young talent on the defensive line. They look like one of the poorest and most disorganized talented groups in the entire NFL. Pretty much every screen shot they’ve encountered this year looks like the first one they’ve ever encountered. And this has been a constant problem against any offense with a pulse throughout Norton’s tenure.
A defense that absolutely needs everything to go well and that everyone from the assistant coach to the rotating player is available is not a defense that works well. It’s not a defense that can be part of a playoff contender. It’s a unit that can sabotage an entire season.
Ken Norton must be fired and I will not come back to that. He’s been a poor to downright terrible coordinator both here and with the Raiders. All you need to know about his tenure as a DC is the fact that with Khalil Mack as a potential DPOY in 2016, the Raiders finished 24th in DVOA. He was sacked in the middle of next season after the Raiders went half of the season without an interception.
At least Seattle was a playoff team despite poor defense in 2019 and 2020. With that turbulent start and the struggles of the attacking second-half, they could absolutely miss the playoffs if things don’t improve. .
And yes, I will go there, if Pete Carroll doesn’t let go of his friend anytime soon, then he shouldn’t be the head coach of the Seahawks in 2022. It’s plain and simple.