Aug 13, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor (52) on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
The Seahawks are 1-1 to start the 2022 season but it somehow feels that they are worse than that. Three players, specifically, need to improve fast.
The three players on this list are players the Seahawks thought they could count on in 2022. The 2022 version of Seattle football was loaded with question marks before the season began so getting the most out of players Seattle thought were known commodities were a must.
But this hasn’t been the case with many players. The rookie tackles? They haven’t been great but they haven’t been terrible either. And quarterback?
Say what you will about Geno Smith. No, he isn’t exciting to watch but he is doing what the team has asked of him so far. He leads the NFL in completion percentage at 81 percent and is 9th in quarterback rating. Smith isn’t the issue so far this season. But the three players that follow are.
Taylor’s most consistently good games have been the first five of 2021. He had 4 sacks in those five games and those were the first games of his career since he missed his true rookie season of 2020 with an injury. Taylor finished 2021 with 13 quarterback hits and 6.5 sacks. So far this year, he has zero sacks. He does have 2 quarterback hits somehow but he has not been a force in his one strength: Pass rush.
But where Taylor has been atrocious is in run defense. Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Taylor has a ghastly run support grade of 43.4. His coverage grade is a horrible 26.9. Taylor’s overall grade is 80th in the league at 30.5. Compare this to edge rusher teammate Uchenna Nwosu – 10th overall (86.8 grade), run defense is 87.4 and pass rush is 74.9 – and one can see the issue isn’t scheme, it’s player.
It’s too early to give up on Taylor, of course. But he does need to improve in areas like run defense and coverage that he has shown no ability to do well in while being a professional football player. If Taylor doesn’t get much better, he may not be in Seattle after 2023, and that happens to be the final year of his current deal.
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