Analysis: 5 Best Seattle Seahawks Storylines Through First Half of 2021

After the whirlwind of off-season the Seahawks had this year, it was only natural that their season would be just as chaotic. There were many reasons for their 3-5 launch, some of which we’ll address in a future article, but there have also been some promising developments that have at least kept them afloat in the NFC wilderness. Map image.

With the team enjoying a much-needed goodbye week, we’re going to go through five of the best storylines from the first half of the year.

Seahawks remain competitive with Geno Smith as quarterback

The unusual sight of Russell Wilson, unable to grab a soccer ball and standing on the sidelines after a tendon rupture in his right middle finger, will forever burn itself into the minds of Seahawks fans. It was the first time in 10 years that they saw their team play meaningful minutes without his superstar quarterback, which forced Smith to battle the Rams for nine points in week 5 with the offense to 10 points in the fourth quarter. That eventually set the tone for Smith’s three subsequent starts, during which the Seahawks remained competitive but couldn’t finish the job. They lost their next two games against the Steelers and Saints each by a field goal, although the offense had possession in the final minutes and had a chance of a win. Eventually, however, they sealed the deal convincingly, blasting the doors for the Jaguars with a 31-7 win in Seattle when Smith threw two scores and hit one with his legs. Thanks to the one-sided affair, the Seahawks scored a difference of plus-18 points with the ninth passer-by below the middle. With the growing likelihood of Wilson returning after parting, Smith and the team should be commended for delivering a respectable couple of weeks of football in unprecedented circumstances.

DK Metcalf takes another step forward

Metcalf started slowly – by his standards – while struggling with an ailing knee, but has shown considerable growth in his game over the past few weeks, mostly without Wilson’s throw. He’s defeated elite cornerback talents like Jalen Ramsey and Marshon Lattimore, scored seven catches for 194 yards and three combined touchdowns against the Rams and Saints, and made several plays that are exemplary of a more sophisticated pass catcher. He may not get his second all-pro selection in a row, but given the circumstances, it could be argued that this is the best Metcalf that has ever played. The fact that after halfway through his third year in the NFL, he’s getting better and better every week is a scary sight for the 31 teams who passed him on in 2019.

Darrell Taylor makes his debut a year after his draft and impressed

It’s been a long road for Taylor, who missed his entire rookie season after suffering multiple setbacks in his recovery from a lower leg surgery. He looked understandably green during the preseason, but as the games started to count he quickly became a factor in Seattle’s defense. In the first half of the season, the pseudo-rookie holds the team lead in Sacks with 4.0 and is in second place with 18 in the press. Perhaps the best part of his breakout year, however, is that he can keep playing it. In the team’s 23-20 overtime loss in Pittsburgh, Taylor was carted off the field with a scary neck injury. But in the end it turned out that no serious damage had been done and he was released for return two weeks later. Upon his return, the Seahawks had their best pass-rushing performance of the season, registering 30 pressures on Jaguar quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Taylor had four of them, including a pair of quarterback hits. That was on par with the rest of his season; He’s been Seattle’s most consistent pass-rusher and keeps finding ways to make an impact.

Poona Ford, Al Woods is leading the turnaround in Seattle’s express defense

The Seahawks are still near the bottom of the barrel in rushing yards allowed per game (127.1), but the past few weeks have marked a clear turnaround. They limited Najee Harris and Alvin Kamara to a combined 132 yards on 44 carries in consecutive weeks and also kept the Jaguars on the ground to 82 yards. A big reason for this was the high profile game between Ford and Woods, along with Bryan Mone. Seattle’s defense is currently caught in a four-way battle with the Dolphins, Ravens and Rams at the top of the league in ESPN’s run-stop win rate (33 percent). Woods himself ranks seventh among all defensive tackles in the same category (43 percent). He and his teammates have been playing great ball in the trenches lately and looking more like the fifth-placed unit the team pitched in 2020. It was urgently needed.

Seahawks seem to find a winning cornerback combo with DJ Reed and Tre Brown

After weeks of trial and error, the Seahawks seem to have finally found an answer to their problems in both outside cornerback positions. Reed’s return to the right has resulted in top results and Brown has been a revelation since arriving in Week 6. The two combined to allow only three catches for 15 yards against the Jaguars in their first game as Seattle’s starting duo. They also posted similar numbers working in tandem before Brown was added to the line-up full-time. Fans have the right to be cautiously optimistic considering how disastrous the cornerback situation in Seattle has been this year, but it will be a fun situation to watch the rest of the way.

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