RENTON, Wash. (AP)One after another, the pressure came in waves.
Defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs all getting involved to the point that when the game ended, the Seattle Seahawks had put together a record performance.
No one expects the Seahawks to have 11 sacks in a game with any sort of regularity as they did in Week 4 against the New York Giants.
It was just the second time in franchise history that Seattle had 11 sacks in a game and the first time for any NFL team since 2018.
And that lofty number included six of the 11 sacks coming from cornerback Devon Witherspoon and linebackers Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks, all of whom had two each.
But there are aspects of what happened against the Giants that the Seahawks believe can be repeated moving forward, beginning with Sunday’s game at Cincinnati.
“A lot of it is just the guys being around each other and playing with each other. A lot of it is our first opportunities to run some games and do some different things together,” Wagner said.
“As you do it more and more, you understand how somebody likes to do it, you understand how you can trust the person to do it and I think that’s what’s happened over the last four games.”
Seattle enters this week fifth in the league in sacks with 16, but the numbers are so heavily eschewed by the eye-popping total against the Giants that the number doesn’t necessarily represent pass-rush success.
What Seattle wants is to find a balance between a total that’s rarely obtainable such as the game against New York and the first two games of the season when Seattle managed zero sacks of Matthew Stafford in the opener and just two of Jared Goff in Week 2.
“We should be able to affect the quarterback consistently with who we have,” Seattle defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt said.
Seattle’s pass rush flashed at times last season, but the consistency in getting pressure on the quarterback had its ups and downs. Seattle was 7-1 last season in games where it had three or more sacks and 2-7 in games where it failed to reach that mark. Uchenna Nwosu and Darrell Taylor each had 9½ sacks to lead Seattle last season, but only one other player had more than five and the Seahawks’ pressure rate – QB hits, hurries and sacks – ranked in the middle of the league.
As part of the effort to boost the rush, Seattle hired BT Jordan as a pass rush specialist coach in the offseason.
“We’ve never really had a guy that’s specialized in pass rush, so it’s a new experience for us. He’s got a wealth of knowledge about it, he’s got a great way of connecting with the players,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
“They hover around him to try to find out what he’s going to tell them next. It’s a nice part of our scheme and it’s nice to see that we’ve really picked up in these last couple of weeks.”
Wagner noted that he specifically spent time working with Jordan the week leading into the Giants game.
“I’ve probably been coached some of those things he’s teaching, but the way that he communicates it helps me understand exactly what I need to do so that when I’m in the game, I’m not thinking about it,” Wagner said. “I’m trusting my movements and trusting what we’ve practiced. That’s been the biggest thing.”
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