Instant reaction: Errr… what was that?

December 22nd, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Merry Christmas, 12th man

The Seahawks, often referred to as ‘unbeatable’ at home, are no longer invincible at Century Link.

They had been warned.

Seattle probably should’ve lost at home to Tampa Bay. They toiled with Tennessee. Now they fall against the Cardinals on a weird afternoon of football.

It was fitting that the game ended on a bizarre bicep interception.

A first defeat on home turf since the 24th December, 2011.

I’m not one for overreactions. Seattle still has a shot to go 13-3 next week and tie up home field advantage and the NFC West.

But this week is going to be agony.

Now they have to host the St. Louis Rams. The same Rams that under Jeff Fisher have played the Seahawks hard every single time they’ve met. And you just gave them the incentive of ruining Seattle’s dreams.

(assuming the Niners deal with Atlanta on Monday)

(and they will)

That is frightening.

And they have nothing to lose.

In the last three weeks Seattle has already lost to two different NFC West rivals. Both San Francisco and Arizona simply appear to be playing better football right now.

For the first time in a few weeks, Seattle showed serious signs of weakness.

The offense stank the place out. Russell Wilson was antsy all game — constantly trying to bail out of the pocket immediately and nearly always scrambling into problems. The game plan couldn’t slow down a vibrant Arizona pass rush. The running game never got going and the receivers didn’t make enough plays.

We do have to remember how good Arizona’s defense is. They’re #1 against the run and create pressure every week.

But that’s still no excuse for what Seattle did today. And there’s one great big white elephant of a problem that is becoming more and more of a concern.

What has happened to Marshawn Lynch and the running game?

Is he just dancing too much in the backfield? Or does he not look right?

He isn’t hitting the line with a purpose, he doesn’t look like the player we’ve come to appreciate. Is the blocking good enough? Or is Lynch starting to look like a guy who’s spent eight seasons playing the most physical brand of football you can imagine?

The stats back it up.

He hasn’t topped five-yards-per-attempt for five straight games. It’s one thing having a tough day against Arizona, but they haven’t played the #1 run defense in each of the last five weeks.

vs Minnesota — 3.2 YPA

vs New Orleans — 2.8 YPA

vs San Francisco — 3.6 YPA

vs New York Giants — 2.9 YPA

vs Arizona — 3.9 YPA

That’s an average of 3.28 yards-per-attempt for the last five weeks.

Lynch only has three 100-yard games in 2013 — against Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Indianapolis. His best game (145 yards) came against the #29 ranked rush-defense (Atlanta). That was also his last 100-yard performance.

This is Seattle’s offensive identity we’re talking about here — running the ball with a purpose. Feeding ‘beast mode’.

Right now it isn’t happening. And it’s a big worry.

When you can’t dominate with the run, it puts more pressure on your quarterback. For so long Russell Wilson has been able to handle that, but he’s not a miracle worker.

Today the passing game was equally as bad as the running game. Part of it was Wilson, who played like he’d spent all week having nightmares about Arizona’s pass rush. Part of it was the receivers — who were given plenty of opportunities to make plays and failed.

The Cardinals did a great job taking away any ambition to use the read-option by putting a man on Wilson and hitting him every time he gave that look. They basically took it away from Seattle, whether they wanted to use it or not.

Did it impact the gameplan? Possibly. But the Seahawks couldn’t find other ways to hurt the Cardinals.

One solution seemed to be to take shots downfield when Arizona blitzed — but again, the receivers didn’t make any plays for the quarterback.

When the offense finally put together one drive at a crucial moment, the defense couldn’t make it count.

Having limited Arizona for so long, forced four interceptions and bailed out the team to the tune of three paltry field goals — they gave up an eighty yard drive to lose the game. That included a bizarre Carson Palmer (suffering with a high-ankle sprain) run-and-throw to a blocking tight end on third down and Byron Maxwell getting beat for a long score (although in fairness, Michael Floyd made a great catch).

Today is not on the defense. But Seattle lost games last year because they couldn’t close. That’s two out of the last three games where the defense has given up a big drive at the end to lose.

If you want to be considered the best unit in the NFL, that’s where you prove it.

Let’s get on to special teams — an unmitigated disaster this afternoon.

Steven Hauschka shanked an easy field goal to end the first half. He also had an extra point blocked and got away with it thanks to a dubious penalty.

John Ryan’s punts consistently failed to switch field position in Seattle’s favour. It was a pretty safe game plan against Patrick Peterson, focusing on not giving up return yards instead of really trying to flip the advantage (they lost the field position battle all day).

And then there’s Robert Turbin.

Oh, Robert.

Pete Carroll was asked recently why Turbin was fielding kick off’s. “Ball security” was the answer.

So it was with some surprise to see him running out of the end zone waving the football around like he was shouting, “Cooo-eee!” and trying to catch somebody’s attention.

Why was he so loose with the football?

He was lucky to get away with one fumble — his forearm grazing the turf just as the ball came loose. No such luck on the second — a shambolic untouched drop.

I don’t want to pile on Turbin. He seems like a hard working guy. That’s probably the edge he has over Christine Michael — who had questionable work habits at Texas A&M, fell out of favour with his coaches and overslept through two arranged meetings at the combine.

But Turbin’s such an unspectacular player. He had one redeeming quality — reliability.

Not any more.

At a time when kick returns have drifted out of the game, the Seahawks have found a way to make it relevant by their own poor execution. Leon Washington was Mr. Consistent for three years — and good for the occasional big play. Seattle waved goodbye to him when Percy Harvin came in, but he’s never healthy.

The two stand-in’s — Jermaine Kearse and Turbin — have both coughed up fumbles this year.

Most kick off’s result in a touchback these days. I find it incredible that Seattle has turned the ball over twice now in an area of the game that is barely relevant.

Doug Baldwin’s smart returns late in the game will swing the job his way for next week. However, I feel like I’ve seen enough to judge Turbin now. He’s a very average running back and shouldn’t be returning kicks.

If only they’d spent a high draft pick on another running back who could maybe play instead.

Oh, wait…

Penalties were a major problem again, summed up by an idiotic retaliation flag on Tony McDaniel in the fourth quarter. That was the pick of the bunch, but there were others. Malcolm Smith had a big hold on a third down, a false start penalty led to Hauschka’s miss before half time and on Seattle’s first scoring drive — 3rd and 3 became 3rd and 8 in the red zone after a delay of game flag.

It was another 100-yard day for the NFL leader in penalties and I’m wondering if this will ever ‘not be a thing’ for this team.

You could sum up the game like this…. The offense was bad. The defense didn’t get a stop to win the game. The special teams was awful. Too many penalties.

That’s how you lose despite picking off the other quarterback four times.

I hope there are positives to take from this. The automatic response of a lot of people will be to say, “better to have this type of game now” and think there are lessons that can be learned.

I can’t think that way. Not today, anyway.

I find it frustrating as hell to lose an unbeaten home record stretching nearly two years with such a rank bad performance. I wanted to believe it was impossible to beat Seattle at Century Link. I wanted to keep the #1 record in the NFL and top all the power rankings.

Going 14-2 for the first time in franchise history was something to aim for.

I wanted to sit back over Christmas knowing that everything was tied up. I wanted to feel comfortable knowing they could pull Russell Wilson at any point in week 17 if the Rams pass rush got a little too hot for comfort.

The offense has only looked this bad in one other game in 2013 — in St. Louis. The Rams are currently on a nice little streak having beaten New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

Next week is going to be fierce. And it really needn’t have been.

I’m legitimately worried about Marshawn Lynch and the running game. Seattle needs to be able to run in the post season. Hell, they need to run to function as an offense. It’s what they do.

And we discovered what we all kind of knew anyway — Seattle is not invincible at home.

Today was as bad a day as you can have following a 12-3 football team.

Merry Christmas.

79 Responses to “Instant reaction: Errr… what was that?”

  1. Michael (CLT) says:

    Seattle offense has been exposed. Keep Wilson in the pocket, play man with single safety high. Maintain your lanes. Wrap up Lynch on first contact. Take advantage of the piss-poor pass pro.

    Seattle is Houston 2012.

    I am sad

    • Colin says:

      Should’ve known you’d show up with some raggedy ass pathetic comment.

      • Michael (CLT) says:

        Do you have a rebuttal?

      • Michael (CLT) says:

        Lose next week an we face Cutler or Rodgers. Then on to Carolina/NO or SF. Tough sledding. Good thing we lost to SF to keep our “edge”. I’m way effing pissed.

        Seattle was out-coached. No team will be calling for Cable. No need to give him a raise.

        • Colin says:

          Seems like you’re pretty well convinced this team is going to lose next week.

          I’m glad we have you to tell us today was solely on Cable. Couldn’t have been the guy calling plays at all…

          Stop overreacting. it’s bad for the health.

    • Austin says:

      I’m far from an expert but the offense looked about as creative as a vanilla preseason one today. Like Rob said, Marshawn isn’t getting in “Beast Mode”, and I bet it’s because he’s saving it for the playoffs. Beast Mode is only unleashed when fully motivated and he knows they haven’t needed it to reach their end goal.

    • DJ says:

      Or,

      We played a legit defense and a team fighting for a playoff spot. Lots of problems on our side, but Arizona played well. Contrary to Rob’s statement, I did not see many open Seattle receivers from my position at the stadium.

      • Rob Staton says:

        This may be a miscommunication — in which case fair enough — but I did want to clarify I haven’t made any statement about receivers being open.

        I think in the first half in particular the receivers had opportunities to make plays in 1v1 situations and failed. There were at least a couple of drops and one pass went through the hands of Kearse (who later made a very good play on the TD drive). But this wasn’t a good game overall from the WR’s and they didn’t help Wilson much.

      • Austin says:

        Yeah playing a good defense was definitely a major factor, but there was zero trickery as far as I could tell, which used to be common at least once a game. I always enjoy a trick play like a Lynch toss back flea flicker or a Tate pass like we’ve been accustomed to in the past.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Well. They absolutely did not keep Wilson in the pocket. I don’t see any evidence correlating keeping Wilson in the pocket to beating the Seahawks. Russell is a dynamic player. He wins from inside the pocket.

      They were wrapping Lynch up, but not bringing him down on first contact.

      The pass pro was not bad considering this is one of the best dlines in the nfl. Carpenter didn’t look good against Calais Campbell, but outside of that we underachieved against a terrific defense.

      I didn’t take much notice of the coverage shell.

  2. Austin says:

    Nice write up. All I can possibly add to it is that Malcolm Smith held in order to defend a push off that occurred approximately six yard’s down field, so I think he made the right decision in taking the risk that it would be a non call or the initiator of the contact (the receiver) would get called instead. Penalties like that, which are calculated risks, I just can’t knock, unlike Tony McDaniels bone head late retaliatory push.

  3. Colin says:

    Bevell at his finest. Again.

    Deep, long developing routes. Forget the pitches to the outside that worked so well. Don’t run any screens whatever you do.

    Ugh. What a shitty game on offense.

    However, let’s not a make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    We were saying this EXACT same thing about SF last year. They peaked too early. Seattle was better, SF was lucky to be backing into the #2 seed…

    And that was all well and good until Seattle lost that heartbreaker and SF got to play at home against a team with zero defense.

    Let’s cool the jets a minute. Every team goes through a real stinker… it’s just unfortunate that it was today.

    It doesn’t change the fact that we have to beat the Kellen Clemens led Rams next week for the #1 seed.

    Perhaps today was a blessing in disguise.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not too concerned by the Kellen Clemens bit…

      It’s the Robert Quinn/Chris Long bit that worries me…

      • Michael (CLT) says:

        Quinn vs. Bowie will be epic.

        • Rugby Lock says:

          Quinn vs Okung…
          Long vs Giacomini..

          Sounds a WHOLE lot better than:

          Quinn vs. McQuistan…
          Long vs. Bowie…

      • Colin says:

        It’s a fair concern, but only if Bevell forgets to leave guys in for protection and forgets how to call plays that don’t take 4 seconds to develop.

        • Michael (CLT) says:

          How did Bevell miss the 3rd string safety that started the game? Fischer will bring the hounds. RW will be really effing sore, win or lose, next Sunday.

          Philly looks unbeatable at home right now. I’m just saying… this team is starting to fray.

          • Michael (CLT) says:

            Rob may relate to this. I expect Arsenal to have a similar end to the current BPL year to Seattle.

    • Matt says:

      I was never a fan of Bevell until last year. I guess it was just all Wilson. Oh and why isn’t Michael playing? I thought he would have been a good spark for this offense.

  4. KyleT says:

    Totally agree with the write up. Worse then loosing is how we lost. We didn’t just get out played, we saw the worst fears of our “swept under the rug” weaknesses become sharply in focus for 60 minutes. What hurts more than the loss is the direction we are heading offensively.

    I am tempted to blame the running game woes on the o-line simply because of the timing on when we started playing bad and the eye test of how often lynch is fighting in the backfield to turn a 3 yard loss into no gain.

    The passing game is a mix of Wilson looking off and receivers just not making catches they have in other games.

    The one positive here is that no matter what we are playing 2 more games and our play can turn around from week to week. When we are at our best under the bright lights we make great teams look normal.

    This is still a young team that tends to play up or down to the moment. Lots of big moments coming up!

  5. mj says:

    I have serious concerns about this team. The offense is bad. RW is seriously worrying me. He’s seeing ghosts, throwing inaccurately, and has and a bunch of poor decisions. The run game has looked “off” all year. The OL is struggling and Lynch seems to be missing a lot of reads. I thought he had 2 TDs today but made the wrong cut.

    I’m glad you brought up Turbin. Not an overreaction to a bad fumble, but he has no place being active on game day. Really, what does he do? A big return was mitigated by him tripping, again. And, that fumble is one of the worst I’ve seen, well maybe ever.

    I hate the “draft OL” talk, but it needs to happen. They are so spectacularly mediocre and with a team built around the run game, we can ill afford to be mediocre for weeks on end. It’s a clear trend at this point.

    Lastly, there are weeks I love Bevell, and others where he drives me nuts. There seemed to be no adjustments made despite AZ man-handling us all night. It’s this stubbornness that scares me when we get to the playoofs.

    I hope this is a wake-up call, but the poor offensive play is becoming a disturbing trend. If they can’t find a way to win next week, I think we will be one and done in the playoffs.

    • Michael (CLT) says:

      RW has thrown some prayers these past few weeks that were thwarted by pad CB hands. RW… is starting to look like a rookie. He is starting to look like a guy that has been hit too much.

      Defend away! His 108 yards are monstrous. This team reminds me of two experiences:

      1) 2012 Texans
      2) 1994 Sonics

      Go M’s

      • Rob Staton says:

        This is the type of overreaction we should avoid IMO, even in jest.

        • Michael (CLT) says:

          Fair enough. Everyone here realizes AZ was playing a 3rd string safety all game. And Bevell did nothing to isolate this guy. I found it dumbfounding. This loss has long-lasting effects written all over it.

          The pucker factor next Sunday will be huge. Injury likelihood is also very high. Season derail-er.

          Paint it pretty if you wish, but this team has faltered in handling success.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I wouldn’t be too concerned about Russell Wilson. His receivers really didn’t help him today. And while he was far too skittish in the pocket and always looking to get out of it too early, this was a rare off day.

      The big concern for me is the running game and Lynch. The offensive identity is built around that. For the first time since early 2011, Seattle isn’t running the ball well at all. So is it scheme, O-line, Lynch or a combination of things? Either way that is the big worry for me.

      In the past Seattle would’ve imposed it’s will on Arizona, ran for a lot more yards (even against a top run-D) and let the pass work off that. Today, the only team imposing it’s identity on anyone was Arizona.

      • Colin says:

        I’m irritated we’re not seeing Michael get any carries- that’s inexcusable, really. Considering the blowouts we’ve had in the last month, he’s only had like 3 carries.

        Oh Percival, if you could get better, that would be great.

        • Rugby Lock says:

          At the very least he should have been returning kicks as having Turbin back there is just surrendering that phase of the game and condemning your offense to start at the 20 or worse… Or giving the ball to the opponent…

      • Phil says:

        What’s happened to the read-option? I haven’t re-watched the game, but I can’t recall an instance where we ran it. Ever since MRob’s return, it seems like we have reverted to an I-formation backfield and our success at running the ball has gone down at the same time. I can understand that we may be trying to protect RW but when the game is on the line (remember the game at Chicago last year?), the read option has been a big change-of-pace for us.

        * * * *

        I’m a huge supporter of PC & JS, but I continue to think that the trade for Harvin may turn out to really bite this team. Lots of Seattle supporters seem to have this “just wait until Percy takes the field” mentality, while in the real world, with every week that goes by, there’s a diminishing chance that he will have any impact this year. Sure, we can dream about how much better the team would be with Harvin returning kickoffs instaed of Turbin, but so far it is just a dream. The real hurt will come in the off season when we lose key contributors because we have so much $$ invested in a guy that has a sore hip.

        • Madmark says:

          I’m just hoping that the Harvin trade doesn’t turn out like the Deon Branch trade did. You spend that money and draft pick and the player comes in and can’t stay healthy and on the field.

      • bigDhawk says:

        The run game has been an enigma to me. We all know the core of PC’s football philosophy is speed and physicality, with an emphasis on defense and the run game. We have seen that realized magnificently in our defense, especially the secondary. But at no point in PC’s tenure could it ever be said that our OL’s were physically dominating. In fact it is easy to argue they have been overall a very average group at best. For a coach who values a punishing run game as much as PC, I find it odd that after almost four seasons the OL shows no signs of being built to dominate the way our secondary does now. Perhaps in the same way that fixing the pass rush was a priority last offseason, beefing up the OL will be a priority this coming offseason. But forgetting the practical implication, not having a dominant OL this far into the PC regime is slightly disturbing just from a philosophical perspective, given what we know about his core football values.

  6. Nolan says:

    That was a terrible game, the offense was garbage all day I wasn’t impressed with any aspect run game passing game the whole thing was ugly. The game plan was ugly to it seems like the only passes they through are deep plays, when they through screens they have had a lot of success but they have not used these plays often enough. Wilson was terrible in this game missing throws and being off target all day. He also had happy happy feet I thought the line played ok probably better then any other unit of offense not that that’s saying a lot. Lynch is still fighting hard for yard but he hasn’t been able to break through don’t know why but I agree they better figure it out. The offense was ugly today but it’s been ugly since New Orleans. SF our offense sucked, New York our offense sucked, and today they sucked.

    I have a hard time blaming the Dfense they constantly made plays and harressed the cardinals in to making mistake after mistake. Did they run out of gas in the 4th quarter maybe they did but hard to blame them when they had to carry the whole game. It still took a hell of a catch from micheal Floyd to beat them maxwell could not have played that much better he slapped the ball twice a Floyd had the concentration and hands to make the play any way it was a fantastic play and that’s all you can say. The margin for error shouldn’t be that low at home when the defense already created 4 turnovers . The only penelty that was tough to live with was the McDaniel one the other defensive penalties seem to come based on the legion of boom rep.

    Special teams was definitely ugly there have. Been hiccups in the kicking game with blocking all year. How did hushka miss that damn kick at half..

    We made a cushion now we are using it, I really hope we get back on track soon it would be nice to inject some life into this offense either with Harvin or christin micheal or lynch returning to form even if Wilson just returns to form though we will still be tough to beat. Let’s start a new streak next week go hawks.

    • Nolan says:

      “Confidence is overrated. It’s when we’re uncomfortable and looking for answers that we learn and grow the most.” Thought this quote might befitting for the week

  7. JW says:

    I want to review the film on the last few games but I suspect the running woes are strongly linked to defenses stacking against the run. Baldwin, kearse and Tate are fine players. But top defenses can contain them. Rice presented just enough of a concern to spread defensive resources somewhat thin. But without him, the balance has shifted.

    This team needs another weapon on the edges. Harvin. Their O line can’t dictate to an extent to overcome their lack of threat in the pass. They’re like SF w/o crabtree. But without the dominant Oline. Good defenses can lock down the run and gamble on 1v1, hoping there’s misses on the times they beat coverage.

    That said, hawks could play better. First and goal at the 1? Come on. This was a sloppy game. And I do think weeks of bad/subpar pass pro is impacting Russell. It does every QB.

    I like Bevell but the playcalling today was bad. He had a bad game.

  8. Connor says:

    I don’t want to turn this into a bash the OC session but why does Bevell continue to come out in empty back field sets on 3rd and short? 3rd and 3 or less and we come out 5 wide constantly. And the same result over and over all year, instant pressure on Russell with only one or two seconds for the receivers to get separation. Even when we do convert from empty sets its usually a tough catch in traffic.

    Don’t understand why you would let the Defense off the hook and not use the play action game and even mix in some runs on 3rd and short to set up the play action game later. Puts more stress on the D to account for BeastMode, then Russell’s arm, then Russell’s legs.

    Also would be nice to see some more pick/rub route combos against man coverage from bunch/compressed formations, instead of relying so much on our receivers to win one on one match ups.

    But I still think this team wins next week. No doubt the Rams are good and have played us tough but I don’t anticipate the same offensive ineptitude we saw today. I think this team will be as motivated as ever to come out and perform and we know how the Seahawks play when people doubt them.

    By the way how fun would it be to watch RW3 and Seattle’s offense run Chip Kelly’s offense. I think it would be lethal.

  9. Michael (CLT) says:

    On a positive note, our local boys took down the behemoth in New Orleans at home. One more win at the ATL, and another Seattle loss, and we are the #1 seed.

  10. Nolan says:

    I don’t think that’s accurate only niners or hawks can be number 1

    • Michael (CLT) says:

      Panthers hold the win/loss over Niners. Panthers hold conference record over Saints. Panthers, with a Seattle loss and a 49ers win next week, are the #1 seed.

      Otherwise, they are #2 and SF is #1.

      Seattle has to beat STL. If Seattle loses and SF loses and CAR beats ATL, CAR is #1 seed.

  11. Nolan says:

    Is car and seattle are tied seattle takes number 1 seed

  12. chris says:

    connor, i agree i’m very frustrated at bevell right now. i seen multiple plays where arizona blitzed both of its middle linebackers and there were no defenders in the middle of the field, but there was no recievers running 5-8 yard crossing patterns to take advantage of their blitzing. how about some bunch sets if our wr cant get seperation or maybe a couple screens to slow down the blitz. of course wilson also stunk it up today so that also makes bevell look bad. i also think its time for some self scouting on our offensive problems/ scheme.

  13. Burner says:

    The chickens came home to roost tonight. All our shortcomings were exposed. Indiscipline. Shoddy O-line play and absolutely nothing at WR.

    We’ve got our first play off game against the Rams next week. We need to raise our game and prove we are truly #1 seed in the NFC. We cannot afford to play like this again otherwise we are toast.

  14. House says:

    Bottom line is the offense didn’t execute today vs a good defense. Our DEF played well, but didn’t finish strong.

    STUPID Penalties seem to be our achilles heel and we HAVE to win next week vs STL. It is much better tp lose today, get sh*t together and play Seahawks football next week. We need not worry about this team winning or losing, we simply need to beat STL.

  15. Mylegacy says:

    I’m a glass half full kinda guy…

    On the play 41 was beat on for the TD I thought Maxwell had a great try at it…Maxwell looks like the real deal. Trubin (he of the never fumbling fame) is finished as the KO returner – great news – now we can get some returns. The defense was at it’s swarming take no prisoners best on the overwhelming majority of plays. You throw it – we – catch it. Coulda had a couple more interceptions besides.

    My only non-easily fixed worry is that Marshawn, while still looking looking brutally strong, looks like he’s protecting a nagging injury. The play calling needs more screens and more moving pockets to take advantage of Dangeruss’s mobility and excellent vision downfield when on the move. Where was Willson across the middle?

    Next week – we reestablish dominance. I guarantee it. Now, time for a Scotch (single malt of course) and I think I’ll make it a double.

    IM(H)O – today’s loss was 100% on the lack of any inventive offensive play design.

    • Michael M. says:

      Agreed on Maxwell. Can’t really defend that pass much better (unless your name is Richard Sherman) Floyd just made a great play.

  16. Stuart says:

    Obviously today was a very poor played game by the Offense, Special Teams, Penalties and Offensive play calling. We didn’t play to win, rather, we played not to lose. Like many of you I watched the game at home on my large screen HDTV.

    After we win next week, all this will be forgotten and we will be talking about the record breaking regular season by our Seattle Seahawks. Then we will discuss who we might play in the playoffs and who we match up better with etc.

    The atmosphere of this game felt identical to a playoff game. Thank the Lord this was only regular season! We know what we can do and we are finding out what we cant do. We have to keep the faith in our coaches that they will use what they learned today and use that information to prepare us for the playoffs.

    We have all off-season to bitch and complain, and we will. But right now, stand tall. All our pre-season goals are attainable with a win next week.

  17. Nate says:

    So…this was a painful game to watch. While there were many weird things going on, the main concern is obviously the offense and special teams. Here are just my impressions:

    Running game: When we were playing with our “makeshift” o-line, our YPC over the first 11 weeks was (2.5, 3.5, 4.1, 5.8, 6.0, 3.7, 4.3, 2.9, 6.0, 6.0) for an average of 4.48 YPC. Good enough to keep the chains moving. After weekour YPC for rushing dropped off sharply (3.2, 2.8, 3.6, 2.9, 3.9) for an average of 3.28 YPC. Call me crazy, but our week 11 and further drop-off coincided with the return of Okung and Giacomi…Whatever the reason, we need to jumpstart the running game somehow, as Skittles don’t seem to cut it anymore.

    QB: I understand that this is completely subjective, but in my opinion, Wilson has been off for the past few games (2nd half San. Fran and New York, most of today against the Cardinals). He’s been somewhat out of sync with his receivers, and also seems to have “happy-feet” in the pocket, sometimes attempting to escape when there is no need to. Maybe he relies on the “broken play” a bit to much? For me, he hasn’t been passing the “eye-test”. Again, full disclaimer that maybe I’m just seeing ghosts here, but its just my opinion.

    Playcalling: This lies on Bevell. For the past few games, I have no idea what the heck Bevell is doing. Vanilla playcalling all the way through (especially this game). The run-run-deep pass formula has been barely deviated from. What happened to the “flea-flicker”? Slants? The bubble screen pass to Tate in the Atlanta game that went for 40 yards? Bevell seems to be ramming his head on a brick wall again and again (especially this game) without attempting to adapt.

    Passing: A side of me says that our WR’s couldn’t keep making those “circus” catches at the rate they’ve been doing, but I have saw some catchable passes dropped. Since I think that this is influenced by playcalling/qb play, I won’t say more on this.

    Special Teams: What to say/where to start. Hauschka has been skewing his field goals attempts pretty wide for a quite a few these past few weeks (usually wide-left from what I saw). Not sure whether it is a holder problem or just the way he kicks, hopefully he gets it fixed so he doesn’t miss ones like that 26-yarder again. Ryan has been out of sorts, his punts don’t seem as good as they were earlier in the season. Punt returner was fine. Kick returner…only bright side is that today’s game showed that there is no way in hell that Turbin should be returning kicks. One near-fumble and one actual fumble when there was no on around him. Ridiculous.

    Whatever funk the offense and special teams are in right now, I hope they pull out of it soon so the defense doesn’t need to keep bailing them out and getting gassed in the late game.

    • John_S says:

      To be fair to Hauschka, the snap was high and Ryan wasn’t able to get the ball down and the laces out in time.

      This was the game like Tim Ryan said to utilize Zach Miller and Luke Willson in the middle of the field and the Hawks failed to do it.

      Also, RW3 did make some questionable plays, the one that sticks out to me is the 3rd down play where he scrambles to the left and is able to get the 1st down, but instead throws it for an incompletion.

  18. Matt says:

    We really need to be more creative on offense. We need to start getting players involved and not focusing on giving the ball to Lynch and nothing but Lynch. We have a play maker in Tate and we aren’t using him. We only go deep, and with 5’11 WR’s that isn’t going to be very successful. Turbin is a good 3rd down back and needs to stay as that. When Lynch isn’t moving the ball we need to mix it up… I thought that’s why we drafted Michael. It’s actually starting to concern me that we aren’t using him. Is he really messing up that bad and did we waste a 2nd round pick? I really hope not because I think he has a couple rushing titles in him. If I was Bevell I would try spreading the field out and try running some 5 WR sets. Get guys like Tate and Baldwin in open field so they can make plays. Help the Oline out and get the ball out of Wilson’s hand quicker. We have the weapons to get this offense going. Maybe run some no huddle, do something because doing the same old thing in the NFL won’t get you anywhere.

  19. andrew says:

    The team’s Christmas party was Friday night. Not everyone T totals like Russel.

  20. Michael M. says:

    I don’t wish injury on anyone, but if Robert Turbin were inactive for the rest of the year, I honestly think that would be addition by subtraction. He should literally never touch the football.

    • MJ says:

      I second this. He’s by far the worst player on this team and literally offers nothing. How can a professional athlete trip so much?

  21. Jon says:

    As far as the draft is concerned. We must be looking at a WR and OL in the first two rounds. Protection on OL and Separation from the WRs are both key points that are a common and consistent weakness for this team this year.

    • John_S says:

      I will tell you what, Cordarrelle Patterson is going to be a stud in the NFL for a long time. He’s been brought along slowly by Minnesota and the past few weeks has shown glimpses of breaking out. He leads the league in KO return yard average with a couple of TD’s, He’s run for a couple of TD’s and has caught a couple as well. I really hope we get to see what Harvin can do because right now, a younger, bigger and at this point healthy version of Harvin is set to burst on to the scene in Minnesota.

      • Rugby Lock says:

        Lets be real… Harvin had major surgery in training camp and realistically should have been expected to miss the entire year. Getting him back early has really been a pipe dream. Carroll said he could play a game but were worried about him being able to recover. I think they were trying to save him when they thought they had the #1 seed and home field all but sewn up. Well, now they don’t so they need to take him out from under wraps for the Rams as they have to get this game and the bye or you can almost forget about the SB.

  22. adog says:

    i’ve been concerned about the Lynch ever since the playoffs last year when he started to put the ball on the grass. Not sure if fumbling is an indicator of age, health, or acuity, but that’s when i started to wonder about Lynch. He’s misreading run after run especially in the last two games. The misreads i noticed today came at the 2nd level of the defense, and i think cost the team at-least one touchdown on the first field goal drive. Turbin rarely makes a good initial read in the zbs scheme. As for the offensive game plan…not so sure why they went with shotgun formation for most of the game. That’s not their bread and butter. The fullback did not see the field much today, and i’m sure that is not helping Lynch when he’s making his zone reads. When you put a full back in front of him, it is the full back who makes the initial read for him, and so maybe this is why Lynch is misreading the zone blocking at the 2nd level? They need Harvin desperately, the WR depth is looking thin right now. Both Baldwin and Tate looked to get banged up today, but what can we expect with undersized receivers? Kearse has been disappointing the last two games. He looks exactly like the Kearse who played at the University of Washington, dropping routine catches, and making circus grabs…very frustrating. This offense is not growing, it is regressing.

  23. Madmark says:

    1st the run game has lost its identity. They run right or they run left out of the pass pro. What happen to the power I game. the play calling was the same o same o and the defenses have picked up on this. Every game they do fake left and roll out RW to the right and throw to the tight end. in the last 3 games that play has not worked since the DE is already breaking on RW before he’s even got turned around. On 3rd and long they blitzed aggressively and the screen is usually very effective slowing them down but they did a quick receiver screen ,not one of those with beast slipping out. The worst of all of it was 1st and 3 yards to go after interception. They just couldn’t punch that ball in showing me this offense has reverted to the one we saw the first 8 games last year.
    I’ll not mence my words here, so I will just say it, I’ve never like Robert Turbin as the 2nd back he lacks the speed, agility, and quickness in and out of the hole. When he runs he’s just ordinary getting his standard 1 to 3 yards. but he can block and catch the ball but will never break it the end zone.
    The Defense did a great job today and definitely earn a A- in my book. You can’t expect them to be on the field as much as they have been let alone score. That’s suppose to be the offense’s job to score and not just field goals when your setup on the 3 yard line. There’s a pattern going on and they need to break it and that is it all right to score in the 1st, middle of the 2nd(not at the very end), and in the 3rd quarter. They got that saying you win in the 4th quarter and they play like it but I’m sorry guys this is the NFL and if you keep waiting to the 4th your going to lose. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE its playoff time and if you don’t get it together we can still lose the division and home field advantage.

  24. Ukhawk says:

    Run game is the only concern. We’ve lost our identity and with it goes our ability to keep the ball, dictate on offense and keep the defense fresh and working from good field position. Fix it and we’ll be humming. Already wincing for the Rams

  25. David See says:

    While i do agree it’d be nice to see maybe Christine Michael back there returning kicks ( still am not sure why he isnt unless injured) didnt he do that in College some? I do have to bring up that Turbin hadnt fumbled the ball at all and I think he was like only one RB to not have done it in a certain number of carries, like i said though the way he carried the ball today was very nerve racking, looked like he was holding it very loosely, I would like to see (if Harvin isnt ready) Christine Michael taking Returns back. I’ve seen people suggest Lockette too, and i wouldnt mind that either. I didnt like Turbin back there as a bust through and get a TD guy, but up until today he hasnt been totally unpreductive (22.1 yards) but heres to hoping for more Baldwin or Michael or hell even Lockette.

    And to Bevells play calling, while i do agree some of it can get annoying, i cant remember when it was but the back to back runs to set up a 3rd and long, (nothing new) but next week if the hawks blow out the Rams or something of the sort and its all Offense, we will be singing the praises for Bevell, Hawks fans have been doing it all year, I know i dont speak for all of em but its happened quite often this season haha.

    I will prolly get blasted knowing I’ve semi stuck up for Bevell but go easy on me haha

    we got a game next week, another chance. last time we played the rams we were missing our bookend tackles, and Long and Quinn ran right around McQuistan, think it will be different this time around.

    GO HAWKS!

    • Alex says:

      I don’t have that much of a problem with Bevell. What was he supposed to do? We run twice and we get maybe 2 yards (forcing a 3rd and 8) or we pass twice and miss twice (3rd and 10). The players simply weren’t getting it done.

  26. David See says:

    Another thing, i am really surprised they didnt just move McQuistan to RG and Keep James Carpenter at LG, unless a sub happened mid game.

    • KyleT says:

      McQuistan and carpenter are our worst guards. Those 2 and unger are a big reason our running game was so ineffective this game. Bowie was on it. I hope they move him to left guard and Sweezy plays at RG next game

  27. Phil says:

    Hats off to Arizona. They kept in the game despite all of their turnovers and they won a game they had to win. Now it’s up to the Seahawks to show all of us that they can right the ship and get back on course to New Jersey.

  28. Ben2 says:

    Ok, maybe someone said this already but I skipped to the end of the comments because I’ve been waiting to get this off my chest:(1)it appears that our recievers cannot get separation – is it them or the play design? (2) on Fieldgulls I recently read an article on the use of bubble and tunnel screens and such as an extension of the run game used to keep defenses honest and then I watched some of the Eagles game yesterday and just thought to myself: WHY DON’T THEY RUN SOME OF THESE SHORT QUICK HITTING RB SCREENS WITH CHRISTINE MICHAEL- WITH HIS EXPLOSIVENESS THAT WOULD BE AWESOME AND SLOW DOWN THE OPPOSING OASS RUSH!(3) and my last to points bring me to my final point – BEVELL wtf? Bad play design. the Eagles game once again showed an offensive mind for you, Chip Kelly! And it seems like we have almost better personnel to run some of the things that have worked so well for the Eagles….our offense needs to get more creative to be more dynamic Fast!!!!

  29. RJ says:

    Here are the receiving stats from the game. Did we hit on any of the 10 deep balls? Kearse and Baldwin really killed us.

    Seattle Seahawks
    •WR Jermaine Kearse had 7 targets and 3 receptions for 38 yards. He also had 4 deep balls. He had 2 red zone targets. His long was 18 yards. Yds/Tgt: 5.4, Catch Rate: 42.9%.
    •WR Doug Baldwin had 6 targets and 1 reception for 8 yards. He also had 3 deep balls. Yds/Tgt: 1.3, Catch Rate: 16.7%.
    •WR Golden Tate had 3 targets and 2 receptions for 34 yards. He also had 2 deep balls. His long was 28 yards. Yds/Tgt: 11.3, Catch Rate: 66.7%.
    •TE Zach Miller had 3 targets and 1 reception for 11 yards, and 1 TD. He had 1 red zone target. Yds/Tgt: 3.7, Catch Rate: 33.3%.
    •RB Marshawn Lynch had 2 targets and 2 receptions for 5 yards. Yds/Tgt: 2.5, Catch Rate: 100%.
    •TE Luke Willson had 1 target and 1 reception for 3 yards. Yds/Tgt: 3, Catch Rate: 100%.
    •RB Michael Robinson had 1 target and 0 receptions for 0 yards. He had 1 red zone target, including 1 goal line target. Yds/Tgt: 0, Catch Rate: 0%.
    •WR Ricardo Lockette had 1 target and 1 reception for 9 yards. Yds/Tgt: 9, Catch Rate: 100%.

  30. KyleT says:

    After re-watching our running plays I’m convinced Carpenter, McQuistan and unger cost us our effective ground game. Which is partially why we lost. It’s very tough to win games when both the o-line and receivers are having an off game unless your QB is perfect

  31. CC says:

    Turbin has been exposed as well as Dougie and Golden. They are either not running good routes or not getting separation. It woks okay against okay teams, but when you have good teams, it shows up. Now, I love Dougie and Golden, but we have to get better at WR. Maybe it happens with Percy in there, but right now, without Percy, it makes it tough on RW. We all know RW didn’t have a good game, but play calling and dropped passes didn’t help. RW hasn’t been as accurate as he was earlier – someone mentioned that maybe he’s nursing an injury… if that is true, it would make sense. If not, he’s going to have to play better to get past STL. Love our guys, but lordy that was ugly!

    • Robert says:

      Every now and then, I have this little daydream where Steve Largent is hired as an assistant to teach are WR’s route running. His specialty was selling the fake.

  32. Robert says:

    TE’s have gouged the Cardinals all year. Our game plan, or , at least our in-game adjustment should have included TE’s that chip and release at random. Attacking their known weakness and the middle of the field would have given the LB’s something to do besides clogging our running lanes. A few chunk plays by our TE’s and the LB’s will start hesitating to confirm Beast has the ball before they attack and that is critical! Suddenly our Beast game is working. This is how every team is playing us now. So we better start attacking behind the LB’s or they will just continue to stuff 7-8 in the box and aggressively focus on stopping the Beast. Against the Rams, it will be even more critical to use chip and release TE’s to slow down Ram’s mighty DE’s and make the LB’s pay for focusing too much attention to snuffing the Beast…Bebevelled!

  33. Daveman says:

    Everybody needs to chill. This team does not play their best unless they have to. Not a great trait, but they have to be their best from now on. Everybody relax and enjoy this ride to a championship.