The Seattle Seahawks’ perfect start to the season ended with a Sunday Night Football extra time against NFC West rivals Arizona Cardinals.
Russell Wilson threw the third interception of his night with just over a minute behind in extra time, allowing Cardinals the winning goal that Zane Gonzalez converted to give Arizona a 37-34 victory.
It was an unusually idiosyncratic performance by Wilson, who had last thrown several interceptions in a regular season game in week 1 of the 2018 season and had only been intercepted three times in nine seasons more than twice in the same game. While Wilson was uncharacteristically shaky, the Seattle defense was once again borderline nonexistent.
“Wilson made a few mistakes tonight,” FOX Sports NFL analyst Geoff Schwartz tweeted.
“But their defense will cost them their chance to win the Super Bowl. This is not good.”
Wilson made some mistakes tonight. But their defense is gonna cost them the chance to win the Super Bowl. That’s not good.
– Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 26, 2020
Many Seahawks fans agreed with Schwartz and demanded the dismissal of defensive coordinator Ken Norton.
How many more weeks before Ken Norton is fired? It’s been 3 years now and it’s pretty inexcusable#SEAvsAZ #Seahawks
– Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) October 26, 2020
Ken Norton dismissed, the defense dismissed immediately
– LT (@longt2879) October 26, 2020
Nobody cares about firing Ken Norton and exchanging him for a passport robber
– Maxwellð (5-1) (@SpookyMetcalf) October 26, 2020
ken norton does not deserve to have a job
– bef jelgum (@playoffTRawls) October 26, 2020
If Ken Norton Jr. has a job tomorrow, I’m finished. He’s going to cost the Seahawks a Super Bowl with the way he calls the defense.
– Fighting4milk (@fighting4milk) October 26, 2020
We have to replace Ken Norton and swap him for a pass striker.
– Ian Cheshire ð¹ (@IanCheshire206) October 26, 2020
The Seahawks arrived in Arizona after admitting more yards in the first five games of the season than any other team in NFL history since the 1950 Baltimore Colts, according to Elias Sports Bureau data.
The troubling trend continued when Seattle allowed the Cardinals an astonishing 519 yards and failed to dismiss Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, who made 34 of his 48 passes over 360 yards and three touchdowns and scored 67 stormy yards and one point on the ground.
Significantly, no quarterback hits were attributed to the Seahawks, although Murray scored 50 dropbacks during the game.
Norton was the coach of the linebackers in the Seahawks’ legendary Legion of Boom defense, but since his return to Seattle, where he will serve as defensive coordinator starting in the 2018 season, he has not been able to repeat the same magic.
In his first season as Defensive Coordinator, the Seahawks finished 16th in total defense and 17th against the pass, but last season they collapsed to 26th and 27th in both categories, averaging 381.6 total and 263.9 yards per game.
So far this season, Seattle has allowed 479.2 yards per game in the first six games of the season and is at the bottom of the league against the pass with 368.7 yards through the air per game.
Of concern to the Seahawks is the fact that their defense is undermining their outstanding offensive efforts.
After years in which their colors were tied firmly to the mast of the current game, the Seahawks must “boil soot” to borrow a familiar chorus from the first few weeks of the season.
Wilson leads the league in touchdown passes and passers-by scoring, finishing second in passing per game and fourth in finishing. However, some Seahawks fans believe that their team’s shaky defense may ultimately undermine Wilson’s brilliance this season.
The fact that we have to go into every game and expect perfect football on the offensive because Ken Norton is a trash DC…
– Justin (@jtwes12) October 26, 2020
Not really, Russ played great and made some mistakes. Your defense should be able to stop something. You played terrible again and Ken Norton Jr. must be fired immediately.
– Baconator (@TheBaconator77) October 26, 2020
Despite the defeat in Arizona, the Seahawks remain at the top of the NFC West with 5-1, one game ahead of the Cardinals and two games ahead of the Los Angeles Rams, followed by the San Francisco 49ers with 4-3.
San Francisco may be the tail-end of NFC West, but they have a winning streak of two games behind them