Seahawks: 5 things we’ve learned 5 games into the 2021 season

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The Seattle Seahawks are not who we thought they were coming into this season. Pegged as a deep run playoff threat during the offseason, it’s become obvious pretty quickly that is not the case for this group. After last night’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the team sits at 2-3 in the standings, already three games behind the NFC West leader in the loss column and on their way to a mediocre and disappointing season.

So, how did we get here? Let’s examine the big-picture rot that’s setting in. Here are five things we’ve learned about this franchise from Weeks 1-5.

Home field advantage is gone

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Seahawks used to have the sport’s most formidable home-field advantage. For years, opponents had so little success in Seattle that the league avoided prime time games at home for this team. Now, that magic is gone. Whether it’s corporate seating pricing out hardcore fans or simply a lack of enthusiasm about a team that peaked seven years ago, Lumen Field is now just another destination for NFL teams. Seattle has lost three straight home games going back to last year and six of 10 with fans in attendance.

The defense has finally hit bottom

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long fall from the top of the NFL mountain defensively for this team. From 2012-2015 they were unquestionably the top defense in football. Since then, it’s been slowly declining. Now they may have finally hit bottom and broken. Seattle has allowed 450 yards or more in four straight games, a league record. The advanced stats aren’t kind, either. They rank No. 25 in defensive DVOA.

The offense is completely imbalanced

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks can score in bunches. However, it’s becoming clear the deep ball is about the only trick in their book. Unless Russell Wilson is able to find Tyler Lockett or D.K. Metcalf streaking open downfield, there’s almost nothing going on, here. One might describe this offense as a slugger rather than a boxer. Put another way, Seattle’s offense is like a breakfast buffet consisting entirely of donuts. They’re sweet and satisfying, but there’s no cereal, no bagels, no pancakes, no bacon, no orange juice or coffee. This heavy leaning on explosive pass plays is unhealthy and unreliable.

Pete Carroll is not helping

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Carroll has had remarakble success both in the NFL and in college. However, as time marches on it’s starting to look like the game is passing him by. He has always been too conservative philosophically – last night’s punt on 4th and 3 from the Rams’ 43-yard line is only the latest example of that. Carroll has also become too slow to make changes when it’s clear the gameplan isn’t working. His cover 3 scheme lays in ruins but he refuses to abandon it, or the players who are most responsible for the failures. Errors by coordinators Shane Waldron and Ken Norton Jr. are ultimately on Carroll, as well.

The roster is too top-heavy

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The most concerning element about this situation is just how quick it could all come crashing down. During their peak years Seattle’s roster was deep from top to bottom, especially at the modern game’s most important positions. Now, there are only five pillars holding the entire structure up. Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf carry the offense, while Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams maintain what remains defensively. If any one of those five core pieces malfunctions, disaster awaits. This team simply doesn’t have the depth or range of a true contender.

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