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According to an analysis by Larry Holder at the Athletic, the Seahawks (3-6) are among the NFL’s worst teams this season when it comes to pass protection. In fact, only the Dolphins are lower on his list.
Holder has Seattle’s offensive line ranked No. 31 in pressure percentage (31.3%). They’re also second-to-last in the league in sack rate (10%). The dropoff began around Week 3 and the startling decline from left tackle Duane Brown was poinpointed as the worst of the bunch:
“All of Seattle’s numbers have jumped since Week 3. Pressure percentage is up from 29.7 percent (25th overall) and sack percentage is up from 8.5 percent. . . Left tackle Duane Brown allowed only two pressures through Week 3. He’s up to 22 pressures and narrowly missed the 10-worst list. Brown also ranks second in sacks allowed with seven. He’s the clear break in the Seattle pass protection dam.”
According to Holder’s numbers, Brown has allowed seven sacks this year already on 290 pass-blocking snaps and a team-high 7.6% pressure rate.
This is an unfortunate development from a world-class athlete who had been playing the position at a high level for nearly a decade-and-a-half. Brown has been to four Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro once at his peak. That said, right now it seems the front office’s decision not to extend him before the season began is looking smart.
Finding a new franchise left tackle should be priority No. 1 this offseason – assuming that Russell Wilson doesn’t try to force his way out of Seattle over another lost year of proper protection.