On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks pulled a Dennis Schröder by fumbling away what appeared to be a guaranteed victory at halftime. Coming out of the locker room for the second half, the Seahawks held a firm 24-9 lead over the Titans. At least that’s what the Seahawks and their fans figured, for a while.
The crowd in attendance at Lumen Field watched an epic collapse on the part of the Seahawks. In the second half, the Titans buckled down and outscored the Seahawks 24-6, including a game-winning field goal in overtime. The Seahawks’ defense allowed the Titans to rack up 532 yards on offense. Tennessee rushed for 212 yards, with Derrick Henry accounting for 182 on 5.2 yards per attempt and 3 touchdowns.
Not taking anything away from the Titans’ big comeback win, but this may have been more about what the Seahawks failed to do rather than how well Tennessee played in the second half. Before Sunday, Seattle had not blown a lead of 15 or more points since 2004, when coach Pete Carroll was still at USC, enjoying an epic run with Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, and this Seahawks franchise was still a year away from making its first-ever Super Bowl appearance.
A record of 1-1 to start the season isn’t the worst thing in the world. But in a division where the other three teams have combined to lose zero games thus far, every single loss is so much more important than in any other division in the NFL. Losing a game at home in that fashion just can’t happen. And playing in such a tough division, the schedule isn’t going to get any easier.
Next up, the Seahawks head to Minnesota to face the Vikings, who also lost a tough one Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals, 34-33. The Vikings are 0-2, but don’t expect them to lay down for the Seahawks at home. This is a game the Seahawks will be favored in but certainly can’t take lightly.
In weeks 4 and 5, the level of competition jumps up a couple notches as Seattle plays back-to-back division games — the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4, then the LA Rams in Week 5. The last thing Seattle wants is to be 1-2 heading to the Bay Area to play the Niners. So tightening up that defense against the Vikings in Week 3 is a must for the Seahawks. Yes, I know they faced last year’s leading rusher on Sunday, but you don’t have to let him rush for nearly 200 yards.
Against the Titans, the Seahawks couldn’t stop the running game, and on offense, they couldn’t run it. Chris Carson carried the ball 13 times for Seattle, gaining a whopping 31 yards. That’s 2.4 yards per rush. Carson did rush for two TDs, but more balance will assuredly benefit the offense and defense where time of possession is concerned. The Titans had the ball 20 minutes longer than the Seahawks. No wonder the defense can’t stop anybody — they’re on the field most of the game. Carroll and his staff have got to get this figured out. Otherwise, this season could end up being one of the worst of Carroll’s tenure in Seattle.