Home USA News Ryan Neal wasn’t as hurt as the Seahawks feared. Noah Fant’s...

Ryan Neal wasn’t as hurt as the Seahawks feared. Noah Fant’s mistake

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Seattle Seahawks guard Ryan Neal (26) walks through the tunnel on his way to the field before the start of the NFL game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks guard Ryan Neal (26) walks through the tunnel on his way to the field before the start of the NFL game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle.

Pete Custer/The News Tribune

A key injury that caused the Seahawks to lose their second straight game may not affect the next one.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that strong safety Ryan Neal, with a badly bruised elbow and injured shoulder, is better than the team initially feared when he was injured in overtime Seattle lost 40-34 on Sunday in Las Vegas.

“His elbow is the main concern, but he also hit his shoulder, so we’ll look after both. They think he’s going to be fine,” Carroll said.

The coach said there may be more to Neal missing than the one defensive snap he missed against the Raiders. Neal may be able to start again on Sunday when Seattle (6-5) tries to snap a two-game losing streak against the Los Angeles Rams (3-8).

“He might miss a couple of days here, but I think he’ll have a chance to play this weekend,” Carroll said.

“It’s really good news for the way it looked. We were concerned that it might be more than that.”

Neal missed Josh Jacobs’ win

The only play of the 77 defensive tackles Neal missed on Sunday was a crushing one.

Neal suffered a bruised elbow on Las Vegas’ third possession in overtime. Daniel Carlson missed a 56-yard field goal on the next play.

After a Seahawks punt, Josh Jones replaced the injured Neal at strong safety. In Jones’ first game, he was the last Seahawk with any chance of stopping Rhineback Raiders Josh Jacobs in a straight-line sprint through the entire defense. Jones was like his 10 other teammates. He didn’t touch Jacobs on his game-ending 86-yard run that put Seattle out of the first place in the NFC West outside the entire conference playoff picture for seven days.

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Seattle Seahawks running back Jordin Brooks (56) runs down the sideline after Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scores the game-winning touchdown in overtime of an NFL game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle. Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

The Seahawks’ breakdowns on Jacobs’ run are over. Defender Puna Ford turned away from Jacobs with a block at the point of attack. Linebacker Cody Barton pounced, only to be blocked on the opposite side of the lane that Jacobs was leaping through.

Carroll said he wanted Jones and Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs to save the rest of the defense and the team by preventing Jacobs from winning the game.

“We get to the line of scrimmage and when the ball is broken, the two deep safeties have to help us, clean it up and make the tackle. We’ve got to knock him down,” Carroll said, unusually bluntly singling out the players. “The ball really broke the line of scrimmage, it went through, so guys have to knock it down.”

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Fans react as Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in overtime of an NFL game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle. Las Vegas beat Seattle 40-34. Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

Carroll also said, as he did Sunday night after the loss, that the Seahawks’ game plan, centered on a mix of coverages and matchups with the Raiders’ elite receiver Davante Adams, torched Seattle in Las Vegas, rushing for 283 yards and Jacobs for 229. .

Including the final game.

“We were in a coverage situation looking for something,” Carroll said, “and that was one of the plays I thought we weren’t in a good position against the run. We just didn’t play. If the ball breaks, we expect him to make eight to 10 yards or something like that. Not everything.”

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Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) celebrates as he runs into the locker room after scoring the game-winning touchdown on an 86-yard overtime run in the NFL against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle. Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

More mistakes by the Seahawks

The Seahawks’ only offensive possession in overtime ended after three plays.

The latter was a third-down pass in which Travis Homer ran through midfield to the right sideline and likely rolled far enough behind the line to get Seattle, who might have been in range for Jason Myers’ game-winning field goal.

But quarterback Genea Smith never had a chance to accurately throw the wide-open homer.

Max Crosby, the Raiders’ premiership, pounced on Smith and made a throw that narrowly missed Smith’s hands incomplete. The Seahawks had to punt. Jacobs scored on the next play.

On Sunday, Crosby passed Seahawks rookie Abe Lucas, who was hit multiple times in one game for the first time in his 11-game career. But Lucas was waiting for help, which he never got.

Tight end Noah Fant had to “catch” Crosby’s block, hit him and slow him down before releasing for a short pass. Lucas was checking passes inside, waiting for Fant to block Crosby, then going outside to pick off the slowing Crosby.

That was the plan. Not punishment.

Fant barely got his hands on Crosby before releasing him on a route. He didn’t slow him down at all, let Crosby block. The only chip that was in this block was a cow chip.

A small fundamental, for example, is why the Seahawks are 6-5 instead of 7-4.

“We were there to chip him, but we didn’t,” Carroll said. “They counted on this coordination. But it wasn’t as clean as it should have been, and he took advantage of it.”

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Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Max Crosby (98) sacks Seattle Seahawks quarterback Gene Smith (7) during the fourth quarter of an NFL game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle. Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

Greg Bell is a Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019, he was named the Washington State Sports Journalist of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. He began covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season in 2005. In the past, he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the US Army, so he might ask you to give it up and give him a 10.

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