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Falling Short of 'Ultimate Goal,' Jamal Adams Left Disappointed After Great Individual Performance vs. Packers

A valiant effort by the Seahawks' defense and safety Jamal Adams will unfortunately be overlooked after the team was shut out by the Packers, 17-0. Nevertheless, the All-Pro safety and his teammates put together a performance deserving of a win and answered some questions along the way.

After 22 games in a Seahawks uniform, Jamal Adams finally got his first interception on Sunday. But as the team dropped its sixth game of the year, in its first shutout loss since 2011, the All-Pro safety could not have cared less about his personal accomplishments. 

"Man, it don't really matter," Adams told reporters following the defeat. "Obviously, you know, it's a good feeling. But the ultimate goal is to win, so I'm not really focused on [the interception] right now."

Disappointment aside, it's hard to ignore how well Adams and his unit played against the defending MVP, Aaron Rodgers, and a high-powered Packers offense. Despite being on the field for roughly 19 more minutes than its offense, Seattle's defense held Rodgers and company to just 17 points. It kept the deficit at 3-0 through the first three quarters of the game, only to finally—and understandably—break down as the offense continued to run in place. 

The aftermath of Adams' interception, which came on an errant throw from an under duress Rodgers, offers a prime example of how one-sided the Seahawks' efforts were on Sunday night. The turnover resulted in a touchback, setting up Russell Wilson and the offense at their own 20-yard line. Three plays, one DK Metcalf drop and 86 seconds later, the defense was back on the field. 

Green Bay's ensuing drive went in unsurprising fashion, ending in the game's first touchdown on a three-yard rush by running back AJ Dillon. Nearly six minutes were wiped off the expiring game clock as the body blows of the physical Dillon proved too much for Seattle's gassed defense to endure. 

Prior to the fourth quarter, the Seahawks held the Packers to just 80 yards on the ground. And aside from the two scores, Dillon's late-game efforts netted just 26 rushing yards. But as has been the case all year long, the defense was burned by Green Bay's running backs in the screen game.

The Packers completed five screens on the night, several of which were absolutely backbreaking. Along with Dillon's massive 50-yard gain on Green Bay's final scoring drive, Aaron Jones also logged a pair of successful screens that went for 24 and 23 yards, respectively. In all, the five screens accounted for 119 of Rodgers' 292 passing yards. 

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"Screens, they work around the league," Adams explained. "I mean, you gotta understand situational football. You gotta understand where they're gonna take their shots, as far as screens and wide delays and things like that. But, you know, it's just playing situational football. Understand where they're gonna take the shot. And we're gonna continue to get 'em because we gave up explosive plays in that regard. But as long as we put out the fire and keep working at it—because we haven't put out the fire yet; they got a couple on us tonight—that's when teams will stop running them. But until we stop it, it's gonna be a long day. We gotta continue to work hard at that."

Although the Seahawks are now 3-6 and faced with an unlikely path to the playoffs, Adams is staying optimistic about what's ahead. He's encouraged by the play of his unit over the past four games and has good reason to hang his hat on his own individual performance on Sunday night. For the impact he made in every phase—from coverage to run defense and pass rushing—it was arguably the most complete game he's played with Seattle. 

To go along with his interception, Adams finished second on the team in tackles with 11, trailing only linebacker Jordyn Brooks (13). He also put together his best pass rushing performance of the year with two quarterback hits on three called blitzes. 

"When my name is called, I'mma make the opportunity happen," Adams stated, confidently. "And that's all I can control. Obviously, you know, everybody wants a lot more opportunities in the game of football. But it doesn't happen like that, you know? It's a team sport. And at the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to win and we didn't come out victorious."

Frankly, Adams needed to have a game like the one he did, and it's a shame it was all for naught. He's been a polarizing figure during his tenure in Seattle, particularly for how his season started. Film buffs love him, but a large portion of Seahawks fans have lambasted the trade that brought him to the Pacific Northwest—along with the decision to make him the NFL's highest-paid safety this summer—as an utter failure by the team's front office. 

"I think he's been playing really well," head coach Pete Carroll assessed of Adams. "Everybody's been wondering why he doesn't have more sacks; he's a fricking DB. It's hard to get those guys sacks. Phenomenal effort that he made last year that we were able to get that done and he was able to take advantage of it, but he's been playing really well. For the last five or six weeks he's been great."

Say what you will about Adams, but know that his contributions are often not found in your average box score. While the superstar-quality numbers haven't been there so far, the night he had in Green Bay proved he's certainly capable of taking over games in that capacity.

Now that Seattle's defense has found some answers to its early-season woes, specifically in the secondary, Adams should have more free rein to do what he does best: make plays. As the unit continues to progress, the former first-round pick looks poised for a strong second half of the season.