Seahawks: Losing Mebane proves costly
In 2013, the Seattle Seahawks defense was arguably one of the best defenses in league history, taking the team all the way to Super Bowl victory. However the 2014 defense is not quite the same vintage. It’s still been better than most defenses in the league, but not the elite unit it was one year before.
Free agent departures have contributed to the drop off, they lost frequent starters such as Brandon Browner, Chris Clemons, as more significantly, run-stopping defensive end Red Bryant. With 21 stops and an 8.4 Run Stop Percentage (RSP), Bryant ranked fifth-best among all 4-3 ends, and his work on early downs helped create favorable down and distance scenarios for the Seahawks aggressive secondary.
The recent loss of Brandon Mebane make this defense even more vulnerable. Mebane role is relatively simple, stop the run and command double teams. He finished 2013 with 22 stops and an 8.3% RSP, prior to his injury this season he had 9 stops and a 6.3% RSP. Commanding double teams enables the Seahawks’ linebackers, like K.J. Wright, to fly around untouched and create havoc; Wright’s 11.4 RSP ranks fourth among 4-3 outside linebackers. However with Mebane absent against the Chiefs in Week 11, Wright had zero defensive stops and Jamaal Charles ran for 158 yards.