Curtis Allen’s third quarter report card

December 14th, 2022 | Written by Rob Staton

This is a guest post by Curtis Allen…

Record: 1-3

Thoughts

What a frustrating quarter. The Seahawks entered it on a high note, having completely swept the second quarter. They exit with more questions than answers. That 4-0 quarter now appears like an aberration in a resetting year.

Were they the beneficiaries of poor play by the Cardinals, Chargers and Giants? Or was it a game of perfect matchups and timing, where all the pieces just fell together for one sweet month?

Which Seahawks team is the true one? The first and third quarter one or the second quarter one?

The weight of the evidence suggests the Seahawks are more the former than the latter.

MVP

1.Tyler Lockett

A touchdown catch every single game this quarter. Fifteen first-down catches and 298 total yards, including 107 yards after the catch.

Geno Smith has a 105 QB rating when targeting Lockett.

Again, Lockett is headed toward one of his best seasons as a pro with Smith throwing the passes.

He signed an extension last year and is already outperforming it. He is the 20th-highest paid wide receiver in the NFL. He has been everything the Seahawks could have hoped for when they drafted him.

2.Tariq Woolen

Two interceptions this quarter on only eleven QB targets. Only 54 yards conceded in four games. Only ten yards after the catch allowed. Seventeen tackles – a quarter high for him.

But it is so, so much more than that.

It is the tough tackles. It is the vision and awareness to break off his man and teleport across the field to break up a pass to a wide-open receiver his teammate had blown coverage on in the Carolina game.

Woolen is doing everything asked of him at a high level and more. His star will not stop ascending.

3.D.K. Metcalf

Thirty catches, eighteen of them were first down catches. Two touchdowns, including the winner against the Rams and Jalen Ramsey. 359 yards, nearly 90 per game.

The branching out is still happening. He can be a short, move-the-chains weapon, a go-to receiver in tight spots and a deep threat. And it is not just all feasting on poor corners — he can be productive when matched up with the other team’s top corner.

Honorable Mention: Geno Smith

Ten touchdowns against four interceptions this quarter for a 105.9 rating.

A slight dip in his completion percentage to 68.28% – which if he threw at that rate for the whole season, would still be the best in the NFL.

He has had a couple ‘old Geno’ moments this quarter with some questionable throws. But let’s not forget he had very little run support (he had 67 rushing yards to Kenneth Walker’s 79) and was constantly battling a poor defense and for the most part still delivered.

There has been a distinct air of putting down Geno’s performance of late from fans. Perhaps it is an overreaction to the calls for Geno to get MVP votes all year.

At any rate, he is still playing at a high level. Do not be surprised if the Seahawks move to give him a contract this offseason.

Rookie of the Quarter

1.Tariq Woolen

It is happening. The league is catching on. A season-low eleven targets this quarter, just under three targets per game. He still managed two interceptions.

Teams are avoiding Woolen. Again, I feel it needs to be said — 13 games into the career of this fifth-round rookie, NFL teams are starting to actively avoid him. Unreal.

There are so many poor elements to this defense, why even bother going after the one player who is playing at such a high level?

Everybody Else

Other than Woolen, there was not much that was praiseworthy from the rookies this quarter.

Cross and Lucas have played just about every snap and their play has not dipped drastically but neither have there been signs of progression. Lucas had a rough game against Maxx Crosby and it cost the Seahawks.

Coby Bryant had no game-changing turnover plays this quarter.

Ken Walker hit the ‘bust’ part of a Rashaad Penny-like boom or bust streak. He was constantly very close to busting a big run but kept getting bottled up.

Boye Mafe’s snaps have vastly decreased. Why?

Successes

1.The game-winning drive vs LA

It was a thing of beauty. Geno Smith’s sparkling season had been dogged by one nagging omission: a signature game-winning drive. He delivered wonderfully.

He was 5-for-8 and drew an illegal contact penalty on Jalen Ramsey. He targeted five different receivers and the touchdown-scoring play was a beauty. He glided in the pocket to buy time and threw a perfect pass to Metcalf with Ramsey draped all over him.

The Rams were beat up and fielding a mash unit of a team. The win was more symbolic than something to build on. But beating the Rams and answering that one dogging drive question is always a good day’s work.

2.Two great kickoff returns by Godwin Igwebuike in the Carolina game

Deejay Dallas’ injury was the Seahawks’ good fortune in this game.

Practice squad elevation Godwin Igwebuike put a charge into the team with 105 return yards on three attempts.

He had a 50-yarder and a 35-yarder, as well as a standard 20-yard return.

The Seahawks have been lacking a real return game for years. The offense (with this poor defense) has had to scratch and claw for every yard.

Seventeen of the Seahawks’ 24 points in that game were from drives started by an Igwebuike return.

It would be malpractice if the Seahawks do not elevate him to the team and use him on every kick return from here on out.

3.Jason Myers was perfect

He appears to be back to his high standard of play this year.

He was perfect on both field goals and extra points this quarter.

On the year he has only missed one of each.

It may not be exciting but he is doing everything that is asked of him.

Struggles

1.Run Defense

838 yards conceded on the ground this quarter. That works out to 209 yards per game.

They are conceding 160.5 yards per game on the ground this year.

In the last ten NFL seasons (that is 320 team-seasons) only three teams have done worse on run defense.

Once again, the Seahawks are leading the NFL in a dubious stat: Most snaps faced. The defense cannot get off the field, and their run defense is why.

2.Run Offense

They had 594 yards rushing in the second quarter.

This quarter? 240.

As much as you could see Pete Carroll’s vision coming to fruition in that quarter, this quarter you can see how much the team struggled when they could not run the ball effectively. The defense saw more snaps than they should. Geno Smith was under more pressure than he should be.

The circle was broken this quarter.

Ken Walker struggled to get on track and then got hurt. Depth players Deejay Dallas and Travis Homer also were banged up and ineffective.

The Seahawks are the 21st-ranked team in rushing this year. They are a bad game away from dropping into the bottom ten.

3.Turnovers

The team was -1 this quarter. They have seven giveaways and six takeaways.

Four interceptions and three fumbles.

When you cannot run the ball effectively, and the defense cannot stop the run, giving the ball back to the opponent is a multiplier that takes chances away from the offense and simultaneously forces them to rely on increasingly riskier plays.

Next Quarter Games

San Francisco TNF
@ Kansas City Saturday
New York Jets
LA Rams

Goals

1.Fix the Defense

I hate repeating myself. It’s lazy that I cannot find something new and interesting to say. But I have to crib my first quarter report card goal:

Something. Anything. Give us something to believe in.

With the way the offense is playing, we do not need the defense to be a top-10 unit. Just middle of the pack.

Start slowly and build.

Have the guys knowing their assignments one week. Minimize the penalties the second. Work on creating some pass rush the third. And so on.

The Seahawks responded and delivered a great defensive second quarter.

They need to respond again. It is the only thing that is going to prevent this fourth quarter from being an unmitigated disaster.

2.Manage the Rookie Wall

College players usually play 12 or 13 games. This last quarter Lucas, Cross and the crew will be asked to go above and beyond for the first time.

Now is when those workouts in June and July pay off. When these young players forego hamburgers and french fries in favor of fresh fruits and baked chicken.

Now it is when their professionalism needs to show up.

3.At least be competitive in the two division games

Is that too much to ask? San Francisco steamrolled the Seahawks in Week Two. The Seahawks must respond.

The Rams? I don’t care if they are depleted, sweeping the Rams after the last five years of absolute agony against them would be an achievement they could take into 2023 to build on.

49 Responses to “Curtis Allen’s third quarter report card”

  1. Roy Batty says:

    Mafe disappearing has the stink of Alton Robinson all over it.

    Is he so bad at his assignment that no matter how poorly the defensive line plays, has Pete already given up on him?

    It reeks of Pete’s BS “always compete” lie. It’s as if, no matter how useless Taylor has been, Pete still wants him to get Mafe’s snaps.

    I guess, when they are eliminated from playoff contention, Pete will allow Mafe to take the field in the final two weeks.

    • BK26 says:

      This has worried me all year, other than Abe and Walker, I hadn’t been this excited for another draft pick in a while. Partially because I am a Hawkeye fan and know Big 10 football so much better and knew him.

      I do remember that he was supposed to need some seasoning, a lot of positional coaching changes, but he still should be out there more. Is it better to watch Taylor look lost? To have Collier still be getting chances? Nope.

      Throw them in the fire like they did 10 years ago.

    • DCSeattle says:

      It has been a big let down seeing Bruce Irvin get a ton (like 70%) of snaps while guys like Mafe are barely on the field. At this point, Bruce is a great veteran presence, and guy who’s on field impact is leadership and 12-15 “let loose and make a play” snaps. Whether this is performance, competition, scheming, whatever, it does merit some explanation.

      • cha says:

        Bruce Irvin and Boye Mafe have nearly the same amount of snaps logged this year.

        Irvin did not join the team until Week Seven.

        Lord Almighty.

        • DCSeattle says:

          Last two weeks alone, he has twice as many snaps as Made and Taylor COMBINED. When I looked at snap counts from last week my jaw dropped seeing Irvin had 78% of the defensive snaps. Just obscene amount for him. And again – I like Bruuuuce, but at this point of his career he is at his best as a low-snap spark plug, not a guy out there nearly every play.

  2. Bankhawk says:

    You’ve hit it bang on, Cha. Another great post here.

  3. Comfect says:

    Rob does so much for us on this blog and it’s amazing, but one of the most impressive things has to be his openness to actually sharing his platform with someone else’s work–and he’s clearly chosen well, because (like always) cha really brings amazing content as well. Thanks for this comprehensive review of a fairly awful quarter-season.

  4. TomLPDX says:

    Curtis, I was really dreading reading this report card. Thank you for keeping it balanced and on point. Thank you!

    We have to remember that Cross and Abe ARE rookies and they will have tough games, especially against people like Maxx Crosby! I hope they are able to regain their footing and get their second wind and finish strong. Same with K9. Get healthy dude, plus we found a new kickoff returner!!!

    Isn’t it so cool that Tariq Woolen is even in the conversation of DROY with the like of Gardner and Hutchison. I think Sauce wins it but Tariq is doing all he can to take it.

    We struck a vein of gold with Tyler. The dude is just amazing. I know he has been making some business decisions but I don’t fault him for that. I’d rather have him available all year instead of IR. Keep your perspective about that.

    Really happy Myers is this year’s “Hausch” money (I miss that guy). Keep it up!

  5. Elmer says:

    Cha, with regard to the run defense at what positions do you see the greatest need for improvement, and so the greatest need to commit resources?

    DL (DT, NT, DT)
    ILB
    OLB

    This is asked with the understanding that the position groups on the defensive team are not independent of each other.

    • Ashish says:

      Good question. I guess once season is over, they should do retrospective on defense scheme. Do they really want to continue with 3-4 defense? If PC is going to stay it is better we play 4-3 defense.

    • cha says:

      That is a great question Elmer.

      Most importantly I think the Seahawks need to do what they haven’t done in the last three seasons: Determine what they want on defense and pursue it with vigor in the preseason. No more of this disjointed mess they’ve pursued in the recent past.

      Absent that, I think they need to quit pussyfooting around on the defensive line. They have invested but not seriously enough in recent seasons. An effective DL makes the LBs better, the OLBs better, and the DBs better.

      It seems obvious to everyone but PC and JS.

  6. Jabroni-DC says:

    Interesting to see that McShay has Tyree Wilson as his #4 overall prospect. Dude just looks like a guy Seattle would draft. Especially if we drop a little from the #2 pick.

  7. Jabroni-DC says:

    Argentina vs France…
    Quite a matchup. My daughter keeps picking the winner but usually waits 5 minutes in before picking her team.

  8. LouieLouie says:

    A good breakdown of Q3, Rob. The 1st and 3rd quarters illustrate what is, at the present time. Q2 represents the upside of where this team can be. There is great need to improve the interior trenches this off season. It is between the tackles that they can’t run, or stop the run.

    I expect them to get their asses kicked by San Francisco and Kansas City. It’s the Jets game that will show how they stack up with the up-and-coming tier of NFL teams. If they beat the Jets, or have a solid performance, then the future is looking bright. If they get their asses kicked by the Jets, then there’s more work to be done.

  9. Greg says:

    Rob, what would you think of a draft that consisted of Jalen Carter, DeMarvion Overshown the LB from Texas, and JL Skinner? The range where they could be taken will be heavily scrutinized along with their fit on the team. But aside from Carter being a force on the interior, Skinner and Overshown are guys that fly around the field, make plays, and want to knock someone’s head off. Who even has that instinct on the current defense?

  10. Gomhawk says:

    A very Seahawk thing would be to somehow beat the Niners, split the next two tough games, then totally blow the game against the Rams. Let’s see what the quarter brings!

  11. Mick says:

    Nice writeup cha. It’s so depressing to think at what it could have been, and it’s more depressing not knowing if it’s gonna change any time soon.

  12. Trevor says:

    Huge game for Geno tonight. If he excels and plays well against a quality SF defense in December then the idea of signing him longer term is something that should be considered. If he struggles against SF again and the Hawks lose another one then that discussion needs to be put on pause IMO.

    • BK26 says:

      I think their plan will be to sign him back either way. He’s been one of, if not the best quarterbacks in the NFC this year and a veteran. Pete will eat that up.

      And he should be signed for 2-3 years. He’s shown that he can play in the system well. He just needs to real it in a little, which he said. He won’t be that expensive to resign. He’ll just wait until the 12th hour to sign again.

  13. Tallyhawk says:

    What does it say about the DL that Bruce is playing so many snaps? I’m with you cha wondering why Mafe isn’t out there more. Taylor too for that matter. Maybe it doesn’t matter since they can’t stop the run but they’ve got to be able to find more situations to get those guys on the field. As for stopping the run why isn’t more being done to actually do it? The panthers ran the same play over and over on the game killing drive and it wasn’t until they got into the red zone they changed anything. Same play from the same formation and yet the LB’s continued to line up 5-6 yds off the ball. Absolute madness! Put your DBs in man and everyone else in the box. Dare Sam fucking Darnold, and tonight whatever QB the niners pull off the street, to beat you.

    • Ok says:

      For all of the raving about the rookie class, Mafe’s playing time/development has not been referenced by the coaches, or asked about by the media, that I have seen. Earlier in the thread someone very accurately wrote ‘the stink of Alton Robinson…’ When the coaches rely, heavily, on Benson Mayowa’s, and the unit doesn’t play well, it leaves me less confident about the coaches. If Taylor and Mafe cannot play this scheme, maybe the scheme is the problem. Hawks seem to be going in the opposite direction on the line: taking talented players and receiving poor results, meanwhile those with the playing time are JAGs.

      The investment in the lines, from 2012-2014, vs now, is shocking. Finesse team, without the ability to scheme.

  14. bv eburg says:

    Thanks again Cha for your quality content that you add to this blog.

    On another note, I enjoy listening to the KJ Wright show when he’s on with Brock and Salk on Wednesdays. KJ provides a lot of insight into the current team and the teams of the LOB era. The last two weeks were really interesting. Halfway into yesterdays show KJ had Sherman on as a guest, I’m curious what everyones takeaway on that was?

    • 206 says:

      I wish they would replay what Salk’s takes on Sherman were that Sherman is referencing. I don’t remember. But i am not surprised one bit, Sherman is a grudgy person.

      • 206 says:

        with that being said, still one of my favorite Seahawks of all time, I really don’t care if he doesn’t like Salk or not.

      • Roy Batty says:

        The guy is obsessed with the ending of SB49.

        Obsessed.

        • Ashish says:

          That one damn play, hate to hear about it. It has changed everything what hawks was heading too. Many times i felt a loss against Green bay in conference championship would have been ideal. Just move on.

      • Group Captain Mandrake says:

        Sherm is one of my favorites too, but he is extremely petty. He wouldn’t talk to Salk because of something he said years ago, but Sherm has no problem saying whatever he feels like about other players on Thursday nights. Do as I say, not as I do situation.

        • 206 says:

          For sure, he’s gotta let it go man! Especially something as tiny as this! It’s unhealthy

          • Rob Staton says:

            I thought Sherman sounded ridiculous

            • Roy Batty says:

              The post game panel discussion after the Broncos Thursday night game brought it into view for the entire national audience.

              When your fellow panelists look alarmed at you screaming “Just run the damn ball”, you just know they wish they were anywhere else.

  15. Roy Batty says:

    I have now seen a plethora of comments from other sites stating that Richardson’s ceiling is the 3rd round. They quote places like The Ringer that state it’s a bad QB class with no clear first rounder. Claiming that GMs all over the league don’t see him being a viable high pick.

    Have these people played poker, ever?

    No GM is going to be forthcoming on prospects. There are clear first rounders, and then there are the hidden gems that no one wants to put on display.

    • Rob Staton says:

      If anyone says he’s a third rounder… Jesus wept

    • BK26 says:

      You I are reading the same other sites. WE know that some media spews what teams want them to say, and a lot of the media is a little lazy this time of year when it comes to the draft. No one is watching tape (other than Rob and some of the guys whose opinions he trusts).

      It’s very frustrating seeing that stuff all over. Richardson is bad, he’s a horrible quarterback, 4th round pick, give me Stroud and start him day one. I’m trying to keep my mouth shut, especially when using logic and examples doesn’t work. I don’t know how you do it Rob.

      Imagine what happens if Seattle takes him (or even Levis) with the Denver pick. Complete chaos. It will be like the Walker pick on steroids.

      • BK26 says:

        And Rob, Jesus is a very sad man right now!

      • Rob Staton says:

        Part of the problem is the bigger name draft analysts spend less time watching tape and forming opinions and now spend a lot of time befriending people in the league (GM’s, scouts, coaches) and relay what they’re told (and thus, what those individuals want out there in the domain). I think McShay & Kiper are absolutely tremendous at what they do and watch and read all of their stuff. But increasingly McShay refers to ‘sources’ or people he’s spoken to. In 2010 they just used to argue with each other based on their own uninfluenced opinions.

        You’re not getting analysis as much these days as you’re getting reporting. Some of it will be legit and useful, some of it will be misinformation. It’s all entertaining — but how do we differentiate what’s real and what’s not?

        And I get why it happens. I’ve been a journalist for a long time. It’s a major adrenaline rush when you are getting calls, or can call, big name people within a sport and talk to them. You have to be really careful though because it’s so easy to do the bidding of people with a horse in the race. That happens so much now with the draft.

        I spoke to a 100% legit, top notch source in the NFL before the 2022 draft who said he thought Lewis Cine was a fourth rounder. I never mentioned that because I completely disagreed and thought he would sure go in the first round. I wasn’t being lied to — that was an honest opinion of Cine. But you can’t just relay everything you hear.

  16. AlaskaHawk says:

    San Francisco favored by 3 points. Seems like a good bet.
    Unless Pete whips out his new Double Demon Mafe and Taylor defensive attack.

    Is Walker still sitting on his ass? I’m getting real tired of not having our star running backs. If I were a coach I would consider trading every one of them that didn’t play this year. Every one!

  17. CJ says:

    This is a report card I would hide from Mom for sure. Very disappointing quarter.

    I think the #1 issue is a bit of a cliche but it is toughness. I see a team that doesn’t want to make tackles. They don’t want to hit anyone. They just avoid contact and let someone else try to make the play. Arm tackles, not finishing blocks, not disengaging blockers violently, not getting fired up. On both sides of the ball they just look flat.

    I would exclude a few like maybe DK and Nwosu but the majority of the players on this team look like they’d rather be at home with a cup of cocoa in front of the TV than playing on it. If we had any depth I would say guys need to start getting benched but who else do you play at this point? Mafe for sure. Myles Adams maybe? Gabe Jackson? Who else is there though? This team has very little depth.

    I think that the only way they win against the 49ers is if they toughen up and go all out. Take a handful of Advil and ignore the pain. Otherwise just pray you get a bunch of lucky turnovers because I guarantee the 49ers aren’t letting up for this one and they are much more talented and better coached than the Hawks are.