The Seattle Seahawks are in last place in the NFC West.
Seattle squandered away a 15-point halftime lead for the first time in 17 years as the Tennessee Titans beat the Seahawks, 33-30, on a 36-yard Randy Bullock field goal in overtime.
The last time Seattle lost a game leading by at least 15 at halftime? A 33-27 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams in Oct. 2004. They led that game 27-10 with 8:42 left to play before losing 33-27 in overtime.
Seattle did blow a 17-point lead against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2015 as well. The Seahawks took a 24-7 lead over the Bengals in the third quarter before losing in overtime, 27-24.
The Seahawks were explosive on offense, stout on run defense and made big plays when they needed them. Up until all those things stopped happening. The final four offensive drives of the game for Seattle were entirely unsuccessful. The Titans gained over 60 yards on four of their five possessions in the second half with three touchdowns, a missed field goal and a turnover on downs.
"I mean, I hate this. I hate having to... 24-9 at halftime, come on," head coach Pete Carroll said.
The Seahawks were on the positive side of the luck equation in many ways as well. They saw a touchdown pass to Julio Jones overturned on replay despite less-than-conclusive evidence that Jones was out of the back of the end zone. That change saved Seattle four points as the Titans kicked a field goal instead. Randy Bullock also missed a 44-yard field goal wide right.
Nevertheless, it wasn't enough.
With the rest of the division undefeated through two weeks, the Seahawks find themselves at the bottom of the NFC West race. The division is going to be a slugfest and the Seahawks are the first team to be staggered with a shot to the jaw.
Here are the takeaways from Seattle's 33-30 loss to the Titans:
-- Both sides of the ball failed to finish adequately.
It took multiple breakdowns on both sides of the ball for the Seahawks to see a 14-point fourth quarter lead disappear.
Derrick Henry became borderline unstoppable in the second half as a glaring 20-minute time of possession advantage in Tennessee's favor. Henry had just 35 yards on 13 carries at halftime as Seattle's front did a sufficient job of keeping the 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year in check. But Henry would explode for 147 yards in the second half that included a 60-yard touchdown run en route to 182 yards overall.
Henry's 182 yards matches the 182 yards gained by Adrian Peterson against Seattle in 2012 as the most rushing yards allowed by a Seahawks team under Carroll.
Despite being without starting left tackle Taylor Lewan and losing left guard Rodger Saffold to a shoulder injury during the game, the Titans began to reclaim the line of scrimmage. The Titans had five drives in the second half. Four of the five drives gained at least 60 yards with three possessions ending in touchdowns.
But the offense didn't do anything more either.
Seattle went three-and-out on three of their last four possessions of the game. The only truly big play the offense had in the second half came when Freddie Swain was left wide open on a coverage bust for a 68-yard touchdown. Outside of that play, the offense didn't bring much to the table after halftime.
"I don't think that any of us expected to lose a game like that," wide receiver Tyler Lockett said. "... It's a learning experience. Not everything is going to go your way. Sometimes you're going to get knocked down."
-- Tyler Lockett and Al Woods were bright spots in the loss.
Wide receiver Tyler Lockett is off the a stellar start to the 2021 campaign.
After catching four passes for 100 yards and two touchdown in last week's opener against the Indianapolis Colts, Lockett was just as good on Sunday. Lockett caught eight passes for 178 yards and a 63-yard touchdown in the loss to the Titans.
Lockett beat cornerback Elijah Molden man-to-man and then split Moulden and safety Bradley McDougald to spring free for his touchdown in the second quarter. Lockett also made another ridiculous 51-yard catch when he contorted his body to make a catch despite coverage from McDougald in the first quarter.
Defensive tackle Al Woods did his best to hold up against the onslaught from Henry and the Titans offense as well. Woods was frequently finding his way into the backfield as he ended the day with seven tackles for Seattle. He had one of the three sacks of Ryan Tannehill on the day and also drew a holding call from center Ben Jones on Tennessee's final drive of regulation.
Woods opted out of playing last season due to the COVID-19 situation before re-signing with Seattle. He's been a big presence for the Seahawks through two games.
-- Tre Flowers had a rough day.
Julio Jones and A.J. Brown are not Zach Pascal and Michael Pittman. They are far better receiving talents and showed it working against cornerback Tre Flowers.
Flowers was a frequent target of the Tennessee passing game as Jones made several catches with Flowers in coverage. Flowers did break up one pass on a quick slant to A.J. Brown in the second half, but other than that it was a long day for the fourth-year cornerback.
While the collection of receivers in Indianapolis with Carson Wentz were unable to exploit any issues the Seahawks had at cornerback last week, the Titans were a different story.
Jones and Brown also had a few drops as well and Tannehill still threw for 343 yards on the day. Not all of that came in Flowers direction but he was a frequent victim of the passing attack. A lot of throws over the middle of the field against zones were responsible for that yardage as well.
However, Flowers also appeared to have a hand in the 60-yard touchdown run by Henry. Jamal Adams tried to knife into the backfield, which put Flowers 1-on-1 with Henry as the edge contain player. Henry beat Flowers back to the inside and outran Quandre Diggs and the rest of Seattle's defense.
-- Bobby Wagner sets franchise record with 20 tackles.
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner broke his own franchise record by making 20 tackles on Sunday's loss to the Titans.
Wagner held the record already with 19 tackles against the New Orleans Saints in 2019. And just like that game two years ago, Wagner's efforts came in a loss.
"It's cool but we lost so it don't really matter," Wagner said.
Wagner had 16 solo tackles and four assisted tackles in the loss to the Titans. The 16 solo tackles are by far the most of his career, surpassing the 11 solo stops he had against the Los Angeles Rams last year.
Wagner having that many tackles is as much of a product of the defense being on the field for 42 minutes and facing 83 total offensive plays. Nevertheless, Wagner remains a consistently high-level player in Seattle's defense well worthy of his eventual Hall of Fame call.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 19: Wide receiver Tyler Lockett #16 of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by defensive back Chris Jackson #35 and cornerback Kristian Fulton #26 of the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at Lumen Field on September 19, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)