The Seattle Seahawks blitzed on the final two snaps of their divisional-round playoff loss in Atlanta before the Falcons kicked the game-winning field goal. Neither blitzer got home, and quarterback Matt Ryan moved Atlanta into field-goal range with completions of 22 and 19 yards.
That was a common theme as the Seahawks failed to sack Ryan once, and their world-class cornerback duo of Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner couldn't cover forever. Coach Pete Carroll said that is the team's biggest offseason need.
"We need another pass rusher," Carroll said, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune. "We really do. That's why we went out and got Jason (Jones) last year. And we're going to have to double it up. We need a couple of guys."
The Seahawks had the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL, allowing only 15.3 points per game, but they tied the Buffalo Bills for No. 18 in sacks. Chris Clemons had a team-high 11.5 sacks and rookie Bruce Irvin had eight, but no one else had more than three.
This is a pass-first league and no matter how talented it is on the back end, a defense has to put pressure on the quarterback. The Green Bay Packers had a similar problem in 2011 when their defense gave up league-high 411.6 yards per game and huge chunks of yards in the passing game. The secondary had talent with Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson, Sam Shields and Morgan Burnett, but the lack of a pass rush outside of Clay Matthews put tremendous pressure on the secondary. The Packers subsequently took outside linebacker Nick Perry in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft and four front-seven players in their first six picks.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.