Whenever I have to sit through an awful Seahawks performance I get the urge to write, and thanks to NFLgirlUK.com I get to do just that for you lucky people to read. For the 2nd time in 6 matches this season the Seattle Seahawks have failed to score a touchdown, they did not even have a play in the opponents half until an exciting blocked punt in the 4th quarter.
The match itself has been lauded as one of the greats. Its clear that the defensive efforts put up by both the Seahawks and Cardinals were a joy to behold. As a fan of a team involved however it was a tough watch. It felt like Superbowl 49 where after the game I knew I had witnessed something great, I just couldn’t be happy about it.
Early on Sunday during the Giant vs Rams at Twickenham, Mike Carlson said quite freely “the Seahawks are going to win the West”. I am going to get somewhat lambasted for writing so negatively about a team which is 4-1-1 but you do see the same problems every week, and the playoffs are difficult, no one there is going to gift you a win – unless your name is Blair Walsh.
So what is going wrong with the Seahawks offence this season? The simplistic answer is that Russell Wilson is not as fit as he would have you believe, he does not move around the pocket any longer, and with porous pass protection (which is being kind to them) he will not have much success. Let’s break down the offense into its parts.
Firstly we will get it out of the way and talk about the elephant in the room – if only they played a bit more like un-moveable elephants – the offensive line. For some reason Tom Cable is often touted as one of the best assistant coaches in the league, granted he can take a bunch of misfits and have them do just enough to get the Seahawks to where they want to be. The unit is simply built to run block, these enormous athletic players are brought in specifically for their physical traits and trained up to play a position. Pass protection however is a different skill, and the Seahawks are seriously lacking, all the while Russell Wilson is immobile we will continue to see these mediocre offensive performances because he cannot extend the plays when rushed.
Left tackle and ex Cardinals reserve Bradley Sowell was injured last night and could spend some time recuperating. His replacement George Fant – a rookie project who played basketball and a little tight end in college, is learning the position looks to be a huge liability in pass protection. John Schneider may need to reach for his phone to search for some help.
The run game misses Beastmode, Christine Michael Sr is a good back, and Thomas Rawls has potential, but neither have looked particularly good this year against a better than average defensive line such as the Rams or the Cardinals, they are easily stopped from gaining much more than 5 or 6 yards at best.
Finally the passing game. Russell Wilson’s bread and butter, his most often utilised play is to take a trip out of the pocket and throw a simple pass to a tight end or running back who have made a tricky move from the back field – this seems to have been worked out now by the opposition, coupled with Wilson injury this quick out has gone all but gone from his game this season. Another common play is the deep ball to a speedy Tyler Lockett, but as discussed already, the line seem unable to protect Wilson for long enough.
Doug Baldwin has now earned himself coverage by a team’s top corner, somewhat removing him from the game in recent weeks, this has seen Jimmy Graham’s resurgence from injury and being used as Wilson’s favorite target. Jimmy Graham was one of the league’s top red zone targets for some years, but now for whatever reason red zone offence seems to be the biggest problem in the Seahawk’s game. This is possibly because of a lack of variety in play calling, any decent opposition coordinator will know now that the first 2 plays are always the same – a run up the middle followed by a receiver fade to the outside for a lobbed up pass. Speaking in November 2015 Russell Wilson said “It first starts with me. I have to do a better job, I have to find ways to get the ball to the right guy … and find ways to communicate better down there.“ Personally I would suggest some communicating with the Offensive Coordinator Darryl Bevell and come up with something new.
Is there an answer? Well perhaps yes, reports on Sunday suggest that the Cleveland Browns are looking for a 2nd round draft pick in exchange for All Pro Left Tackle Joe Thomas. A player of that caliber compared to the lottery of the second round picks in the draft is no contest, a portion of the Thomas cap space will have been paid for already this season by the Browns so the team could afford him. The only drawback would be future seasons, already close to the wage cap, the Seahawks have Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett already begging for new deals.
All in all the offence is a bit of a mess, almost every offensive drive was ended after a penalty for 3rd and long on Sunday night, however hope comes from the defense which despite looking absolutely exhausted are completely determined to keep the team in the game. Do not expect many blow out wins or losses in the coming weeks, being a Seahawks fan will continue to be a tough watch.
The Seahawks travel to New Orleans for an early game this Sunday.