Seahawks: 10 takeaways from a back-breaking Monday night loss to the Saints

The Seattle Seahawks had home-field advantage, the NFL’s best record on Monday Night Football and more than enough motivation coming into this game. It seems the old magic just isn’t there anymore, though.

Even with their opponents missing a few of their most important playmakers and the officiating errors in their favor, Seattle couldn’t come out on top. The New Orleans Saints were able to steal a 13-10 victory tonight at Lumen Field, dropping Seattle’s record to 2-5 on the season and dealing what is likely a lethal blow to their playoff probability. Here are 10 takeaways from what was a back-breaking loss.

The Seahawks’ season is screwed

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Cancel the Super Bowl parade and go ahead and book that vacation for January, because you can pretty much forget about this team playing meaningful postseason football this year. With a win this evening, Seattle’s odds of making the playoffs would have jumped to 31%. Instead, they drop to under 10%. Russell Wilson can probably make it interesting down the stretch once he returns, but expecting a magical comeback run from this team as presently constructed is now officially in fairy-tale territory.

D.K. Metcalf has become uncoverable 1-on-1

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Whatever else goes wrong with this group, they have a legitimate superstar developing in wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. He inspired some hope early by making a highlight-reel 84-yard touchdown catch after shrugging off Marshon Lattimore and making Marcus Williams miss a tackle. However, Metcalf was bracketed the rest of the game and finished with only two catches. He did bait Lattimore into a couple of 15-yard penalties, though.

Geno Smith was under a lot of pressure

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One of many differences between Wilson and Smith is the former’s ability to escape pressure. Smith does some things well, but he simply doesn’t have Wilson’s wheels or internal clock. That has exposed the Seahawks’ pass protection issues, especially on the interior. Smith’s shaky pocket presence didn’t help matters either and he had to throw a lot of balls away. Geno was sacked five times and his line for the night was 12/22 for just 167 yards.

The Saints shut down the run game

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New Orleans came into this week with the No. 2 ranked defense in terms of DVOA in rushing. Clearly that was no accident, as the Saints totally bottled up Seattle’s run game. Alex Collins and Rashaad Penny combined for only 44 yards on 22 carries. Their best runs came on a scramble from Geno Smith and misdirection calls for Gerald Everett and Travis Homer.

The Seahawks’ pass rush is pathetic

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Once again, the pass rush was unable to make a positive impact. Having team sack leader Darrell Taylor sidelined with a shoulder injury didn’t help, but at this point it’s a systemic problem. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. just isn’t finding ways to produce pressure consistently. The Seahawks defense managed just four QB hits and Jameis Winston was only sacked twice, one of which was a classic coverge sack.

The Seahawks’ coverage was superb

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On the bright side, the coverage on the back end of the defense was excellent. Safeties Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams kept a tight lid on New Orlean’s deep passing attack and the corners were mostly able to keep the Saints’ burners in front of them. The Saints’ passing game eventually became 100% reliant on dumpoffs to Alvin Kamara.

Seattle’s defense could not stop Alvin Kamara

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Speaking of No. 41, Kamara did an absolute number on the Seahawks’ defense. They did a great job of containing him as a rusher (especially the defensive tackles). However, they were completely unable to stop him in the passing game. While he only totaled 51 yards on 20 carries, Kamara posted 10 catches, 128 yards and a touchdown as a receiver.

Tre Brown and Sidney Jones alternated series

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Rookie cornerbrack Tre Brown had a brilliant debut last week against the Steelers. Apparently, it wasn’t enough to earn him the full-time job, though. Sidney Jones started at left cornerback once again and he rotated series with Brown throughout the game, an interesting choice to say the least.

Jason Myers missed twice

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Seattle officially has an unreliable kicker problem. In his defense, Myers made a 50-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-10, but he also missed two shorter kicks that turned out to be absolutely devastating. It’s a thankless job but you’re only as good as your most recent work and Myers’ is lacking.

Pete Carroll’s coordinators are failing

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

It’s past time to admit a painful truth: both offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. have been a disappointment. In Waldron’s defense he’s missing a QB who’s carried every playcaller to come through Seattle in 10 years, but his gameplans have gotten increasingly stale and tonight’s establish-Alex-Collins attack was bogus. As for Norton, the defense’s continued inability to cover running backs or make the necessary adjustments has become unforgivable.

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