Still, the Seahawks’ pass defense has been much improved from last season, when Seattle finished last in the league in passing yards allowed and gave up a league-high 59 pass plays of 20 yards or more.
“Don’t look now, but the Seattle Seahawks’ pass defense is ranked second in the NFL after the first two weeks of the season.
Through two games, Seattle has given up two plays of 20 yards or more through the air, best in the league.
But that could change in the next few weeks, with the Seahawks facing strong-armed quarterback Jay Cutler and Chicago on Sunday then traveling to Indianapolis to take on the high-powered Colts’ offense in two weeks and a home date against Arizona looming Oct. 18.
Seattle’s secondary has to be pleased with the results so far.
“I think just the fact that we were ranked last last year really brought it to the forefront that we need to step up,” said cornerback Kelly Jennings, who likely will start this week with cornerback Josh Wilson suffering a high ankle sprain against San Francisco. “We’re really embracing that. We’ve got to get better. We’ve got to play tougher, and we’ve got to play closer to the receivers.””
Part of the reason for Seattle’s improvement in the secondary has been an improved pass rush, with Seattle getting seven sacks in two games.
The addition of Ken Lucas also has been a key part of the defensive backfield’s success. The 30-year-old veteran cornerback was expected to pair with the Seattle’s top corner, Marcus Trufant, to give the Seahawks big, physical cornerbacks on both sides of the field. However, with Trufant starting the season on the physically unable to perform list and out for at least six weeks, Lucas has been counted on as the team’s top corner. So far, he has lived up to the expectations.
Lucas returned to Seattle with a chip on his shoulder after Carolina released him during the offseason in a salary cap move. Lucas, who started his career with Seattle from 2001-04, wanted to prove that he still can play.
“I’m just happy to be a part of an organization and a team where you feel like you’re wanted,” he said. “I’m trying to do my best to take care of my body so I won’t have any nagging injuries or anything. But of course when you play this game you will have some bumps and bruises, so it depends on how fast you recover. But I’m going to try and prevent those serious injuries from happening.
“But I worked my tail off this offseason to get strong, get faster, quicker – everything. So I hope it pays off, and I just want to be a difference-maker on this team.”
One thing Seattle’s defense has not accomplished is creating turnovers. The Seahawks do not have a single interception or fumble recovery on defense, with Seattle’s lone turnover coming on a special teams play, when Lance Laury hit St. Louis kick returner Donnie Avery on the opening play of the regular season and Will Herring recovered the fumble.
Lucas almost had an interception against San Francisco, but Isaac Bruce knocked the ball down before Lucas could get to it. The Seahawks forced two fumbles by the 49ers but couldn’t recover either one.
“We’re going to try our best to get some of the balls going the other way and helping our offense out by getting them the ball back,” Lucas said. “Right now, we haven’t been doing a good job of that.”