In the two games in which the Seattle Seahawks played without All-Pro safety Kam Chancellor last season, they were able to walk away with a win both times. Sunday’s matchup against the St. Louis Rams, however, was a different story.
While Chancellor continued his holdout in hopes of receiving a new contract, the Seahawks allowed 352 yards on Sunday in their 34-31 loss to the Rams — 84.9 more than the team’s average yards allowed in 2014. Seattle was able to shut down the Rams’ rushing attack for the most part, but Nick Foles accounted for 297 yards through the air — the most passing yards the Seahawks have allowed in a regular season game since last year’s Week 3 matchup against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Making matters even worse, the Seahawks’ offense looked helpless against the Rams, putting that much more weight on the defense to carry the load.
Chancellor’s absence was the difference against the Rams and the Seahawks realize it, which is why he will have a new deal as soon as possible. Even with stars like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Bobby Wagner playing at a high level, I think it’s becoming pretty evident that Chancellor is the engine that really makes this Seattle defense run.
It’s only Week 1 and this could all be an overreaction to what just so happened to be a very good game between two very good teams, but if Seattle doesn’t get a deal done with Chancellor and these issues persist, I think it will be pretty obvious who has the leverage in this contract dispute.
Chancellor 1, Seahawks 0.