Instant reaction: Seahawks blow 17 point lead vs Bengals

October 11th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

The Seahawks led 24-7 going into the fourth quarter. For the fourth time in six games, the Seahawks failed to hold a fourth quarter lead.

It’s not just on the defense — although it played a big part again today. After a tepid start to the game, Seattle’s defensive counter worked to perfection. They were creative with blitzes and smothered the run game. Andy Dalton looked rattled.

Cincinnati found a way to counter themselves — and the Seahawks sadly had no answer this time. It’s hard to tell on the first viewing but it looked like the Bengals quickened things up, worked the middle and exploited the slot. Dalton’s two touchdown throws were identical with Kam Chancellor and/or Earl Thomas responsible for a similar blown coverage.

It was all too easy with the Bengals facing a desperate situation. They had to score quick and big. Big play after big play followed. There was little resistance as Cincy edged to a 24-24 tie as time expired and overtime.

The offense was equally responsible. Like the Super Bowl — they had an opportunity to help protect a two score lead. Even a modest drive with a couple of first downs would’ve aided the cause. Instead they were impotent and lifeless when it mattered. The Seahawks punted six times in a row to end the game, barely mustering a first down in the process.

And all this with the offensive line playing very well.

Two third and short plays stand out in regulation, with the Seahawks leading. The first provoked a low percentage fade down the right sideline to Jermaine Kearse. The second was a slow developing throw where Russell Wilson heard footsteps, tried to step into the pocket and was sacked.

The temptation is to ask why didn’t they run the ball on 3rd and 3/4 — I suspect Cincinnati expected the call and were prepared. Throwing the ball was probably the right thing to do. It’s the types of throw that are hard to fathom.

Some of the critique surrounding the Jimmy Graham trade has been asinine and poorly researched. He’s been Seattle’s most targeted receiver in the opening quarter of the season and this is a very different offense to New Orleans’ with Drew Brees.

Even so — this is surely the exact reason they brought Graham in at great expense? Two third and short calls with the game on the line. Maybe Graham was the initial primary target on both plays? Perhaps. But the fact is the Seahawks haven’t crafted the types of plays in those money situations to make their big investment worthwhile after five games.

Graham in Seattle wasn’t about 1500 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was about improving red zone and third down efficiency.

Surely they had a play to get a minimum of four yards from their new asset?

While the Bengals made adjustment on offense and featured their athletic tight end against a supposedly elite defense, the Seahawks had no answer. In six drives.

It cost them a vital game.

The next part of the schedule is favourable. None of the following are gimme’s, but there’s scope for a long winning run:

Carolina (H), San Francisco (A), Dallas (A), Arizona (H), San Francisco (H), Pittsburgh (H)

Heading into that with a 3-2 record intact sets the Seahawks up for a real tilt at the NFC West and possibly a first round bye. Instead, they drop a second heartbreaker on the road after a similar meltdown against the Rams.

On both occasions the defense couldn’t hold and the offense couldn’t counterpunch.

It’s still too early in the season to be too critical, but there are several big questions that have to be asked right now:

— What can this team hang its hat on offensively during a vital portion of a game? They have a lot of big name playmakers. But what are they?

— How much longer does the offensive staff need to create a series of plays to get the best out of Jimmy Graham? Especially on vital downs. Some would argue it’s already taking too long. It’s not about 35-yard gains or touchdowns. Can he at least convert a short third down or two?

— I don’t want a comments section filled with ‘Fire Bevell’ because it’s a lazy go-to reaction. Every team that lost today has a rabid fan base screaming at either a.) the quarterback b.) the Head Coach or c.) the offensive coordinator. Seahawks fans have established their target but let’s try and talk football. Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson are not blameless either. That said — Bevell must take a portion of responsibility for this defeat. The offense had no counter in the fourth quarter when they needed a couple of first downs to snatch back momentum. The six punts to end the game were as costly as the big plays given up on defense. At times like this — you want and need a counter.

— What is wrong with the defense and why are they so streaky? In the last two games they’ve dominated high-octane passing games and limited the run. Then when the game is on the line, they’ve given up big plays. Against the Lions Kam Chancellor bailed the unit out with a huge fumble. They weren’t as fortunate today.

— Why has this team, built on the foundation of ‘finishing’, suddenly become so incapable of ‘finishing’. They’ve been outscored 53-13 in the fourth quarter in 2015 and threw away leads in all of their three losses.

— Do the Seahawks know the best way to use their quarterback? They own the best mobile thrower in the league, with an exceptional arm. Yet Wilson’s play is rarely consistently focused. Is the constant switching from read-option to pocket passer to scrambler to whatever he’ll be next week eliminating any hopes of their QB finding a rhythm? And do they know what they want Wilson to do in key situations anymore? They’ve struggled with two overtime possessions this season, usually a plus point for this team.

— The defensive personnel is very similar to previous years and they’ve shown flashes. It feels like the key to this season is ultimately sorting out the offense. Around this time last season they turned to the run game and Marshawn Lynch and rediscovered what they are. It felt like today they similarly returned to the run. But will they allow themselves to keep doing this with a lingering storyline wearing #88 being given incredible scrutiny every week?

— On the positive side of things, the O-line played much better (run and pass). Thomas Rawls had a terrific game and showed the Seahawks can be competitive minus Marshawn Lynch. There’s little Lynch could’ve done today to prevent the six consecutive punts to end the game. Rawls ran with authority behind a well-organised O-line.

It’s very difficult to finish with 12-13 wins every season. The teams that have managed it consistently are those with the very elite quarterbacks playing in weak divisions — the Colts/Manning, Patriots/Brady and Rodgers/Packers. Teams in recent years have been able to win Super Bowls with the following records:

2012 Ravens (10-6)
2011 Giants (9-7)
2010 Packers (10-6)

Nobody will want to face the Seahawks in the playoffs. If they can get to the post-season they’ll be a threat (health permitting) with a shot to win it all. However, their margin for error to get to even 10-6 is running low after the tight defeats in St. Louis and Cincinnati.

Based on their last three road trips against difficult opponents, they’ll need to find a way to win these types of games if they do reach the post-season and have to travel.

Credit the Bengals for the comeback — but this one will sting all week.

305 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks blow 17 point lead vs Bengals”

  1. Colin says:

    If the offense doesn’t get things fixed, there is no shot at making the playoffs. We can’t continue to ask the defense to score us points and keep do most of the heavy lifting.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The offense feels like a jumbled collection of parts. Today the run was established for pretty much the first time. The passing game jolts between explosive plays and impotency. Yet they have the weapons in the passing game to establish consistency — hard to understand why they haven’t achieved it.

      • Hughz says:

        Was there a reason they didn’t use the read option? I feel like it could have been a game changer in the 4th qtr.

        • CharlietheUnicorn says:

          The Bengals were defending it pretty well, but then it was not called many times in the 4th quarter. The lack of a screen attack was also odd, since Seattle normally throws about 5-7 a game. I kill Bevel for it, but this was a game which it could have had a larger impact.

          Graham was routinely double covered, so I understand why RW went away from him.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Didn’t see any reason personally. They had some read-option plays but Wilson never kept one. Noticed Michael Johnson set the edge well on one play — possibly just schemed well against it and put Wilson off.

          • bigDhawk says:

            Actually he did keep one that I saw, but the point stands that the RO keeper was not used nearly enough.

      • Alex says:

        Also worth considering, in 2012 we established the run in a loss against the Cowboys, finally, and the season took off from there. With our easier incoming schedule, it isn’t improbable.

        • rugby lock says:

          Have to agree here overall. I thought the Oline was much improved this game overall and does give some hope. What is very troubling is our lack of ability to close out games now. If they can’t solve that we’ll have our weekends free in January…

    • JeffC says:

      This was a tough loss because we got everything we asked for. Running game, efficient passing, and a defensive adjustment that was shutting down Dalton.

      I wonder how everything turned when Lockett didn’t drag his right foot on that long pass from RW. When that happened, I thought, “Oh no…momentum changer.” Small details. Remembering you are in the pros, not the colleges. He makes that catch, the field position, the energy, the momentum, everything is pointing downhill for Cincy.

      A lack of detail gave them new life.

    • glor says:

      Wilson was tucking the ball and bailing after one read, and not ever looking JG’s way in the 4th.. The play on 3rd down where JG’s defender fell down is especially notable.

  2. Rawling says:

    Fans have wanted Bevel fired for 3 seasons now, this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction. @nflosophy talks about QB purgatory, where a team’s QB isn’t bad enough that they know they have to move on but is also not good enough that they know they’re set. We have been in offensive coordinator purgatory for 3 years. Keep in mind that Bevell was hired when the Seahawks had multiple losing records and the position was undesirable. We could get a much better one now.

    That being said this is mainly an offensive line issue. Hopefully the Seahawks go offensive line in 3 of the top 5 picks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      But this just proves how dumb the ‘fire Bevell’ movement is if they’ve been calling it for three years. Seattle made the Super Bowl the last two years with a top-ten offense according to DVOA. They won the Super Bowl with a second year QB.

      Anyone calling for the OC to be fired after those results is just looking for something to complain about.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        It’s funny because they won the Super Bowl by using Percy Harvin to run sweeps and bubble screens, it was a new look for Seahawks and caught Denver by surprise. The next season teams knew how to counter the sideways moving plays. Seahawks weren’t gaining many yards with Harvin and never chose to use him as a receiver downfield. By mid season Harvin had self destructed and was gone. The point of all this has to do with coaching and play design. Both were a failure with Harvin the next season.

        This year I thought trading Michaels and Tirbin, and using Rawls would be a good change to the running game and have been pleasantly surprised by him. Sometimes you just need a change. Likewise it wouldn’t bother me if they got some new offensive coaches in the off season.

      • bigDhawk says:

        Why is it dumb if it’s something that’s been obvious to the fan base for three years? We had a top 10 DVOA offense and won the SB with a 2nd year QB because we asked Russell to do what he does best. We had little other choice. Having Beastmode at the height of his powers and a historic defense didn’t hurt, either. Is it possible we achieved those heights in spite of Bevell, not because of him? You questioned his legitimacy yourself in your perfectly posed bullet points, all of which I echo my feelings perfectly, I might add.

        I concur, a thread full of #FIREBEVELL is boring, but only because it’s a valid argument that has gone unresolved for too long.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Not making a play is the players fault. Not being prepared to make a play is the coaches fault. It was with some relief that I saw the offensive line was prepared to block this week.

          • bigDhawk says:

            Yeah, the OL thankfully was not our biggest problem this week.

            • rugby lock says:

              What do you think the chances of Lynch returning next season? The guy has back issues and might start to think about actually being able to move normally after retirement. Maybe they take that cash and invest some in the oline… Hopefully the Oline play we saw today continues…

              • bigDhawk says:

                Much of that depends on how he performs the rest of this season after recovering from his current injury. If he starts balling out in time to make another strong push into the postseason there’s a good chance we see him for one more year. If he is unable to return close to form this season it might be the end, especially if a hungry Thomas Rawls keeps putting up performances like he did yesterday.

                Another possibility, if his ability significantly declines, is to trade him to Oakland where he can finish his career in his hometown. I think his contract pays him $9M next year so there will probably be incentive on his end to try and eek out one more year somehow.

        • Rob Staton says:

          “Why is it dumb if it’s something that’s been obvious to the fan base for three years?”

          Because the assertion that an offensive coordinator should be fired after…

          — Going to two Super Bowls, winning one
          — Fielding a top-ten offense
          — Helping aid the development of a rookie QB to a fairly elite level
          — Doing it without an elite O-line or elite level wide receivers

          ..is misplaced. Sorry, but it is. Nobody deserved to be ‘fired’ after all the success the Seahawks have had. The problem is, they’ve been so good people expect perfection. And with the defense playing lights out the obvious place to turn is the offense.

          It’s silly and yes a little dumb to call for anyone to be fired after all this relentless success. It’s fair to criticise after a given game and ask questions. I’ve asked them in this article — they need to work Graham into being effective on third down. Are they managing Wilson properly? But it’s OK to criticise and not also demand a man lose his job for an unnamed replacement.

          • JeffC says:

            The hardest thing for a fan is not the hope of breaking thru from the mediocre 8-8 level, but managing the expectation of success after you’ve been to the top of the mountain. I haven’t learned to deal with it yet myself.

            Look at SF fans.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Fantastic point Jeff.

              • rugby lock says:

                Expecting a deep playoff run with this roster is a reasonable expectation. Whiner fans still cling to a greatness that hasn’t been around since two years before this years HS graduating class was nothing more than an itch in their Daddy’s pants. If I’m that pathetic twenty years from now I hope someone puts me out of my misery… 🙂

          • bigDhawk says:

            Reasonable minds can differ whether Bevell is responsible enough for the successes you outlined to the point that he should be retained when they are no longer the case. As for an unnamed replacement, I’ll name one.

            Mike Shanahan.

            • Alex says:

              Mike Shanahan does run the ideal offense that Carroll wants (ZBS run heavy, West Coas), but you can’t be seriously expecting Shanahan to take an OC job. I can’t see him taking anything less than a HC job.

              • bigDhawk says:

                That’s certainly possible. But maybe he doesn’t want the hassle of a HC after the flame-out in Washington. His record as a HC is checkered, but his record as a coordinator is impeccable.

                • Alex says:

                  Well, I just can’t see it. Off the top of my head, the last time he was OC was 20 years ago for the 1994 Super Bowl winning 49ers.

                  It’s not so much that Shanahan’s HC is checkered, but rather you have to make sure he is only the coach. Starting from the Denver job, he’s always demanded full personnel control. I’ve read from various executives (from articles 7-8 years ago) that he is as good as a head coach as anybody ASSUMING the talent is there. The problem is that he is a much lesser GM and he actually hinders himself in terms of getting quality players on his own squad. The reason he had that dominant run in 97/98 was because he inherited a highly talented squad in 96 and basically added Terrell Davis. Once that Super Bowl group left, Shanahan entered that twilight zone because he could never get the exact personnel he needed.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Is it realistic? Does Mike Shanahan really want to be an offensive coordinator? At his age, with his money?

              • Phil says:

                If he thought that he would replace PC at some point in the future, he might go for it …

              • bigDhawk says:

                Only Shanny can answer how realistic it is or if he want’s to be an OC. We really don’t have any idea. No one would be shocked if he’s decided he’s at the point in his life where he’s done with coaching, but he’s open to the idea at all, there is no denying his offensive prowess and coordinating chops.

  3. Hughz says:

    I love Kam but it seemed like he was on the wrong end of quite a few big plays by the Bengals.

  4. CC says:

    I’m not sure if the team is physically or mentally tired after going to the SB 2 years in a row, or if they have a false sense of confidence, or have they become complacent? Something is off. It is almost like the team expects to win, so they check out at times and think somehow someone else will make a play and they’ll win.

    There is a coaching element here that is lacking. To their credit, the O line seems to have realized that they have to give 100% effort on every play and as a result the O line play was better. But on defense, you had a few guys go off script – Bennett with another stupid pf and an offsides (even if he made up for it on the strip fumble). Kam was out of position several times and had players run through his tackles. Cary Williams – well, he isn’t as good as other DBs we have had before, but he was getting picked on over and over again. Shead made a couple good plays and a few bad – but that is expected.

    Maybe Russell has had to run away too much, but he is now your highest paid player and wants to be THE guy – and he has to make better decisions. He has to make plays. Was there 1 read option play?

    Thomas Rawls was the one guy who seemed to understand that he’s fighting for his future – he ran tough and strong.

    I’m a bit worried about what is ahead – this does have the feel of a 5-6 loss season if they can’t get together.

    • Forrest says:

      5 losses sounds about right…I still think 12-4 is reasonable, but this game would have to be what the KC game was last year…

      • JeffC says:

        12-4? That means they have to go 4-1 on their remaining road games. I don’t see it. 10-6 is more realistic.

        • Forrest says:

          On the road against SF the flying shitshow, injured Cowboys, meh Vikings, questionable Ravens, and a Arizona team who we play pretty good against on the road…4-1 or 3-2 is my call. Ravens will be tough, but it is a prime time game, and the Vikings game is another 10 am game…everything else is very winnable. They SHOULD also win out at home this season…12-4 looks at least possible. 11-5 is most likely though…

          • JeffC says:

            Here is my prediction. If you are right (and I totally hope you are) and they go 4-1, they will destroy teams on the way to the super bowl. Because for them to go 4-1 at this point, that means everything we’ve seen gets fixed. The oline gels, RW starts making better decisions (at least gets back to what he was two years ago), the defense plays all four quarters of games, and beastmode makes it back (Rawls is nice and its awesome he will finally give ML effective rest but I don’t see him as a franchise bearer), and they stay healthy.

            Either way, next week is a must win against a well rested Carolina team with a guy who is the first quarter MVP in the NFL.

            • Forrest says:

              Yeah I agree with you on winning against Carolina. Carolina, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and @ Arizona are all going to be tough “must win” games. If they can win the next 3 games then I think they’ll be fine.

              I except a hard fought Carolina game, and two hard but not too bad road games. After the bye week 3 games in a row at home look pretty. Then Vikings and Baltimore…Then Browns and Rams…Then Arizona…

            • Alex says:

              The basis for Forrest’s prediction is more related to the quality of road opponents than improvement from our side. Our toughest road games this year are GB, CIN, & ARIZ. I guess you can throw in STL since we always struggle over there. We’ve already been to 3/4 off toughest road games (granted, we’re 0-3).

              The remaining games are much easier. You have a self destructed 49ers, a Romo-less, Murray-less, and Bryant-less Cowboys team, a Ravens team that is far weaker than it has been in recent years, and finally a mediocre Vikings team. If we add in ARIZ, we should go 4-1. At worst, I see us losing to the Ravens if they dramatically improve over the course of the season and that puts the road record at 3-2.

              • JeffC says:

                I understand his points. But our two wins have come against teams that are collectively 1-9, and we beat them at home. We are in no position of judging other teams being weak sisters when we’ve basically sucked as well this season.

                • Alex says:

                  Well, if there’s any redeeming factor it’s that we’re also competitive with the two 5-0 teams (GB, CIN) and had a lead in the 4th quarter at some point. The talent and ability is there. The issue is something nebulous I can’t grasp at.

                  Also, the veterans aren’t playing with the same edge as the younger players such as Rawls or Lockett.

              • Forrest says:

                Exactly!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think it’s tiredness — I think they’re struggling to execute in key situations and the offensive identity is extremely cloudy. We know what they want to be on offense. They aren’t close.

      • Phil says:

        “We know what they want to be on offense.” I’m not so sure we do know …

        I think the offense is at a transition point. PC and Bevell are looking to the future and they see Beastmode gone from the picture and I think they are questioning what the strengths of the team will be going forward. I think — as you have said in the past — that they see RW as the primary playmaker going forward, but I think that PC would like to see RW develop more as a drop-back, pocket passer instead of a scrambler. I think PC worries that RW’s career is going to be shortened if the Seahawks continue to rely on the read option and his scrambling.

        If I’m right, yesterday’s game has to offer some encouragement. Rawls looked good running behind a much improved OL. And, in the first half, it looked like RW made some good calls at the line of scrimmage and he was able to connect from the pocket to some wide open receivers. The OL actually picked up the blitz on a couple of big plays. In the second half, the offense took their hands off the throttle thinking that the defense could hold a 17-point lead, When they couldn’t, the offense couldn’t get it going again.

        I’m an optimist by nature. I saw some improvement yesterday against a good team.

  5. James P says:

    I’m not suggesting this is the main reason for our malaise (I actually think the offense is more to blame for the poor results this year), but the D do not seem as fired up as in previous years. We’re 5 games in and I swear I haven’t seen Sherman trash talking anyone. All his fire seems to have gone out. With a couple of notable exceptions (Bennett, Wright) the superstars on defense are all sub-par. Not bad, just 90% of what they were. And all those missing 10%s are adding up. I really hope this isn’t the case but it looks like they’ve all got a ring, all got paid and (maybe even subconsciously) are just cruising. I really hope that’s not the case, but the body language isn’t that inspiring at the moment.

  6. Forrest says:

    I think defensive penalties also played a large role in this loss. Offense does need to find consistency, but O-Line looked great, and the everything else was running properly in the first half, just not in the second. I would say the reason the offense is so inconsistent is 65% play calling, 25% execution, and 10% being outplayed. The defense on the other hand has a bad penalty problem, and they seem to slow down significantly in the 4th quarter. This goes back several years (including 2013), and really does lose them a lot of games. Give credit to Cincinnati, they played to win.

    Lynch coming back should spark a little more life into this consistently inconsistent offense, and the defense should have fun against Cam. SF is a shitshow, Dallas is banged up, Arizona is a glass hammer, and Pittsburgh probably won’t handle C-Link very well. By then Seattle should be hitting their stride and winning games. At this point all I care about is winning the NFC West. Anything after that is great.

    It should be a fun journey…Go Hawks!!!

    • Alex H says:

      I don’t recall the 2013 defense tiring out that much. In 2013, when the team did lose, it was because they weren’t as focused that week. 2014, sometimes, but not a lot. 2014’s defense had more issues with injury at the front end of the season and end of the playoffs (more specifically the Super Bowl). In between, when everything was rolling, they were lights out.

      The 2012 defense occasionally had problems closing out games (e.g. the Division game against Falcons), but I believe that was due to the lack of pass rush rather than pure fatigue. That team only had one true consistent pass rusher- Chris Clemons. When they added Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril in 2013, that was solved.

      In 2015, I’m not sure what’s wrong, but the defense is just falling apart. It could be fatigue or it could be play calling (Richards is a new DC).

      • Forrest says:

        2013/12 had several games where the defense kinda shut down (for some parts of games), the one in particular that comes to mind in TB at Seattle in 2013. The difference between then and now is two/three years (older players) and an offense that’s more inconsistent, not necessarily worse, just not as “matter of fact.” Also the 2013 games did have one other striking difference from 2015 games (so far), they started off bad in a lot of games from 2013, but then finished the games strong for the most part…in 2015 it’s the opposite for both offense and defense. I think things can turn around…

    • Phil says:

      Speaking of penalties — what was with Bennett mauling Dalton after the pass interception? I know the QB is fair game in this situation, but it wasn’t the kind of play I am used to from the Seahawks. Really a cheap shot in my mind.

  7. Alex says:

    On offense, it really feels like this team hasn’t “gelled” yet. Wilson and Graham don’t have a rhythm yet, the o-line sometimes just implodes, and our running game was weak in every game until this one.

    On defense…two seam throw touchdowns HURTS. It’s either a scheme failure, a Kam failure, or a Kam/Earl assignment failure. I feel like Kam missing so many practices has hurt the entire defense, that and DT injuries in this game.

    I agree that the reactions to can Bevell are knee-jerk, and much like 49er fans regret canning the whole coaching staff, I suspect we would too. Bevell is doing exactly what Carroll wants.

    I think we need to figure out a role for Jimmy Graham. If Russ and Jimmy get a rhythm going, we could become unstoppable, especially with the flashes the run game and pass pro showed today against a stout Bengals defense. It all hinges on Russ and Jimmy improving their chemistry.

    • Forrest says:

      I think I’m in the minority, but the Wilson-to-Graham connection is pretty solid…it’s true, Graham isn’t being utilized to his full potential, but it’ll get there. It took till the middle of last year for Willson to get settled in, so I expect the Graham process to really start solidifying late this year…

    • bigDhawk says:

      We’re five games in. Like Rob suggested, how much time do we need to gel on a 3rd and 2 completion to Jimmy for a first down?

  8. Ed says:

    I will respect your request Rob, yet that still leaves so many things wrong with the Hawks. Since Rivers ripped them apart in week 2 last season, we have been exposed. Wilson at times has been able to bail them out, but usually when it’s street time.

    -Oline looked better, although Okung and Gilliam struggled the most (Gilliam is still young, Okung I think just needs to move on)

    -Dline looked good early. They still seem to get too much push on the outside, with not a lot of push in the middle.

    -Simon is done. Williams has moments (as did Maxwell), but he hasn’t made many splash plays like Maxwell did (excluding the sack in STL). Time for Smith?

    -Wilson is a veteran, time to let him play. Maybe he holds the ball too long because he doesn’t want to make a mistake. The elite QB would have thrown the ball to Lockett right off the bat. The safety was floating the other way and the CB/LB sat on the short route. Instead of Wilson throwing him open, he pulled it down, looked left then tried to make the throw when he saw that he was wide open.

    -While everyone forgave Chancellor after last week, his lack of playing really costed the Hawks today.

    Time to circle the wagons Pete. This could be the beginning of the end, or the first step to a third trip to the SB

    • Forrest says:

      I think we might see Smith soon. Williams looked great last week, but really got abused this week.

    • Phil says:

      Regarding the DL — where is the Clark we saw in the pre-season? He seems to have turned from being a beast into a pussycat …

    • rugby lock says:

      Question… who do we replace Okung with? He is a starting caliber NFL LT and those don’t grow on trees and aren’t available where we draft. I really think that we Hawks fans got spoiled watching Big Walt take multiple pro bowl DE’s, put them in a brown paper bag and whip their ass for three hours, then give them back at the end of the game when he was done abusing them. Walt was a generational talent that we’re not likely to see again.

      • smitty1547 says:

        Not sure about that were 2-3 and play with know heart or passion we might be drafting a lot earlier than usual.

  9. It was painful to watch Eifert kill the Seattle defense with routes and plays designed for him – chiefly because Seattle couldn’t come close to doing the same thing with Graham.

    Yes. The Graham acquisition was supposed to help red-zone efficiency. It was supposed to give Seattle a high-percentage option on critical downs. Agree with Rob – it’s not about chunk plays with Graham. It’s about sure-thing stuff, stuff the defense can’t prevent.

    I don’t know whose fault it is – I don’t really care. Blame is not important. Solving the problem is important. Going back to last year, the same pattern persists: the offense lacks a short- to mid-range passing game, and that makes no sense to me. I see long balls and fade routes and scramble drills to Kearse and Baldwin, and not much else. If you can’t execute plays for Graham at 3rd and 4, something is wrong. Brady-Gronkowksi can do it. Rodgers can do it with nobodies. Romo can do it with Witten. Dalton did it with Eifert. Figure it out.

  10. Ray bones says:

    I think you do your followers a disservice by calling them “dumb” when they express dissatisfaction with the offensive coordinator. I would suggest that the Seahawks finished as highly rated offensively as they have the last few years in spite of Darrell and not because of him. This team has been consistently bailed out by superb individual efforts by exceptional athletes. They are stale and predictable right now. Russell Wilson has regressed in my opinion. They have not figured out a way to use their shiny new toy, Jimmy, yet. They are disorganized and incapable of delivering in the clutch right now. All of that points directly at coaching. After all of the turn over on the defensive side of the coaching ranks the last few years we should expect a few growing pains but the offensive group has remained the same and yet they are the ones who are struggling. As Harry Truman once said ” the buck stops here!” I don’t endorse firing a coach ( coordinator) mid season unless the situation is untenable and we aren’t there yet. But if this were to continue there’s no way you can bring him back next year.

    • JeffC says:

      I liked the Jimmy trade when it happened. In hindsight, it was a mistake. A different kind of mistake than the Harvin trade. Posters here and analysts have complained about his effort at blocking. Sorry, if you traded all that capital for him and are paying him 8 mill/year for him to do something he sucks at, then the failure is on YOU PC because you knew what he was going in.

      For years we’ve heard over and over that the seahawks don’t care about a players’ faults, they care about their strengths and are masters of coaching to those strengths. Now we will see if this is going to be true about Graham. 8 million a year is a lot of coin.

      They should have shelled out the money for Cameron at TE and kept Unger and that first rounder. If they end up releasing Graham at the end of the season or trading him for a 7th rounder to get rid of him, Pete would need to explain himself to the fanbase, and no quotes from Win Forever are going to work.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I said it was dumb to be calling for his head for three years. Three years in which they’ve fielded a top-10 defense and gone to two Super Bowls.

      In fairness RB a lot of what you say just highlights that people will cherry pick in this debate (and it’s why I don’t want it today). You’re willing to criticise and say Wilson or the team has bailed Bevell out. Yet there’s no credit for Wilson’s development from rookie starter to second year Super Bowl winner. There’s no credit for the way this offense has combined tough running with explosive plays for three seasons with Bevell at the helm.

      People also love to exclude Carroll or Cable from any blame, like they have no input on the offense. The delivering in the clutch you speak of — presumably execution is all on Bevell rather than the players? When Luke Willson drops a catch on a short conversion in the fourth quarter is that Bevell’s fault?

      Bevell has his flaws but rarely receives praise for the success. He’s a classic scapegoat.

      • franks says:

        I wouldn’t credit the OC with fielding a top ten defense, as well as the offense has controlled the clock. I see that defense as the driving force behind the superbowls, and the offense as something that has been in the way.

        RW was Super bowl caliber his first year. Has everyone forgotten the comeback against Atlanta and the half season before that? To me the biggest improvement Wilson has made was from the first half of that season to the second when they took off the training wheels.

        I love your blog Rob but can’t see eye to eye with you on this one. What specifically would you give bevel praise for?

        • bigDhawk says:

          I’m guessing he meant to say “”top-10 offense”. He said as much in a previous post above.

          As for Rob crediting Bevell with Russell’s development, many are starting to wonder – even on this thread – if Russell is regressing. To my thinking, what was being called development during our ascension to championship power was really just running an offense confined to what Russell does best – play action on the move and keeping defenses honest with his feet.

          Now, what we are starting to call regression is really just running an offense that asks Russell to do a lot more of what he doesn’t so best – making reads while standing in the pocket, and a very poor pocket. That all comes down to scheme and play calling, which heavily implicates the OC. I agree with Rob on the point that Cable doesn’t get enough of that heat. He should get more. But Bevell is only a scapegoat if he is not actually part of the problem, which I think he is.

          • Rob Staton says:

            “As for Rob crediting Bevell with Russell’s development, many are starting to wonder – even on this thread – if Russell is regressing”

            A fair question to ask. We will soon find out. And if he regresses in 2015, further questions need to be asked. But it’s a very small sample size at the moment and let’s not forget the O-line situation.

        • Rob Staton says:

          According to DVOA — http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2014/final-2014-dvoa-ratings

          Seattle had the #5 offense last season. The defense may be the teams identity — but the offense was elite based on that ranking. I think it’s harsh to exclude the OC from any kind of credit for that.

          What would I praise him for? The times when the plan has worked but he receives no praise. There are two reactions. Either the offense played well, or it didn’t and therefore ‘Bevell sucks’. When they were gashed by the Chiefs last season nobody called for Dan Quinn’s head. But when they were tepid on offense? Watch out.

          Ultimately Bevell has been able to produce a pretty explosive offense and he helped nurture a rookie QB into a champion without the supporting cast of a fantastic O-line and elite receivers. It’s often forgotten that the passing games has succeeded with a short third round rookie QB and UDFA’s at WR.

          • Phil says:

            My hat is off to Bevell for what he has done to date. But, his play calling has become predictable.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Fair point on the five games so far.

            • Glor says:

              Has the play calling been predictable, or has Wilson checked to a predictable play. Or has wilson tried to force it to the predictable / comfortable option.

              on every play there are many options, Wilson likes to choose the option that doesn’t include Jimmy, and that is on him.

          • franks says:

            Yeah but that chiefs game was an outlier. Our performance on third down yesterday when it mattered was abysmal and it’s been that way all season. Last season wasn’t a lot better. The is a trend but of course we can only speculate on the cause. We leave a lot of yards on the field.

            It seems like speculation as well to credit bevel with Russell’s success. I look at the offense of past years and I see a good core of receivers, the best RB in football, an O Line that drives defenses off the ball and the second coming of Joe Montana. With a defense that is always forcing punts and turnovers. The talent is top five and we shouldn’t have these punt-punt-punt-punt successions.

          • bigDhawk says:

            “Seattle had the #5 offense last season. The defense may be the teams identity — but the offense was elite based on that ranking. I think it’s harsh to exclude the OC from any kind of credit for that.

            What would I praise him for? The times when the plan has worked but he receives no praise. There are two reactions.

            Another angle I feel is worth adding to the discussion of how much credit Bevell deserves for the successes of our offense is the fact that during the offseasons following those top-5 DVOA rankings, Bevell barely got a sniff from other clubs for HC positions, while our DC’s were highly sought after. I find it rather revealing that if Bevell’s coordinating and scheming were significantly responsible for DVOA rankings we achieved, that the rest of the NFL collectively though it would not translate to head coaching success.

            That tells me other teams recognized the true strength of our coaching as an organization was on the defensive side and that our offensive success was less about Bevell and more about the talent on that side of the ball (mostly Beastmode) along with PC’s overall offensive philosophy.

            • bigDhawk says:

              Ugh…why don’t I ever catch this stuff on my proofreads…

              “for DVOA rankings we achieved” should read “for theDVOA rankings we achieved”

              “collectively though” should read “collectively thought

      • Alex says:

        And again, it seems very clear that Bevell is implementing the exact style Carroll wants. If someone is calling for Bevell’s head, they’re in all likelihood calling for Pete’s head too. If that’s how someone feels, we can have that debate, but saying “just fire Bevell” might just be intellectually dishonest.

        • JeffC says:

          Even though I don’t like Bevel, I have this nagging fear that then Sarkisian ends up as our Ocoordinator. Then I think we’d want Bevel back…

        • bigDhawk says:

          No argument that Bevell is implementing Pete’s general style. It’s the sequence of plays within the style that is suspect, for all the reasons Rob outlined above in the OP. I do think Pete has to be held responsible for allowing this to continue if it ends up costing us another shot at the SB.

      • David says:

        IMHO the real issues with Bevell and why he is taking the most heat, is because he is the one who designs and calls the plays. And as much as execution was an issue (Wilson could have had Lockette deep for TDs twice in this game with a well thrown ball) the Seahawks play design is so incredibly basic that it seems like that is why they have issues executing the 3rd and short game plan. Notice that nearly every intermediate pass they make comes from Russell scrambling and the WRs getting open on the scramble drill. The timing passing game doesn’t allow that and just isn’t there. There is no creativity from Bevell in 3rd and 2/3/4. Bevell seems to have a few concepts that he likes and runs them over and over in different formations. The play action boot w routes to the flat and crossers over the middle. The corner route. The fade to Kearse. The read option off of wide splits. They ran that twice today. When was the last time they passed in the wide split formation. Yes, Wilson got a touchdown vs the Eagles last year in that formation but where is the creativity? Where are the quick run routes that you saw the packers run over and over against us in the 4th quarter. That’s why I think Bevell should be fired.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Well said David. Great teams find opponents weakness and run routes that take advantage of it. Witness Seahawks getting burned in the middle of their zone. To do that you have to design plays and change to what works. I just don’t think the Seahawks offensive staff can design new plays. They are more focused on running and it shows.

          Training of players. The offensive line is finally getting better, but why does it take all preseason and 4 regular games. That is partly coaching. Player drafting and starting them immediately points to desperation from bad decisions in past drafts.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Bevell certainly deserves criticism for some of the points you raise David. But I don’t feel the need to call for his job. It’ll be the same offense with the same personnel with the same conservative attitude. Bevell isn’t flawless but the Seahawks had the #5 offense last season http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2014/final-2014-dvoa-ratings

          • Hawkfan086 says:

            I wonder if it has more to do with the fact we have two offensise coordinators. Bevell for the passing game and Cable for the run game who is the “assistant head coach”. It feels as though there is a disconnect in the offense ane clearerly the oline. I just wonder if the two dont fight eachother as to what is best. Who is in charge really and how does the hiarchy line up? The offenses chemestry screams confussion from all angles most of the time. I think the offense is generic but I honesty dont see Bevell as the issue. I see clearity as the offenses issue and only a strong hiarchy will move this offense towards greatness. Russell Wilson makes mistakes and cant carry this tem any more than Bevell calling perfect plays tbat are not blocked for or routes that dont see blitzes and flow through hot reads. Its a collection of mistakes or failures that doom Seattles offense.
            I want to see Matthews get thrown to deep like 8n the suoer bowl I want to see the same plays for Graham and Willson like the Cardinals game where we utilize our streangths against other teams.
            I digress…Seattle has the option to get better or worse either way I am a Hawk fan but this middle ground hurts more than losing.

  11. smitty1547 says:

    Are D is way over rated, true are O is terrible and does not do them any favors. We were lucky against Detroit but when they needed it at the end of the game they were able to move at will just like Cincy today and just like Patriots during SB. We have lost are killer instinct to finish, not sure what you can do to get it back when everyone seems to be fat happy and greedy. Sorry as easy as it is and as badly as you don’t want to hear it, Beavell needs to go, the only plus in keeping him is we no longer have to fear he will be hired for anyone’s head coaching job.

    • JeffC says:

      The D has pocket pushers, but no finishers. Like a closing burst that gets the qb before the release. I for one, won’t think much of Irvin and him getting his 7 million a year elsewhere. He’s a mediocre pass rusher with one move only. He sets the edge well, but that’s about it. You don’t pay top dollar for him. With KPL constantly hurt, they have to look at lb early in the draft.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I thought Irvin got good pressure on Dalton today. Maybe he wasn’t effective in 4th quarter? I guess the money might be justified if he is a defensive end?

        • JeffC says:

          To me he’s a pocket pusher, but not a finisher. He needs more than one move. This defense really misses the young Chris Clemons.

  12. franks says:

    So, we’re 2-3 and for we’ve lost five 4th quarter leads in a row… I wish Pete knew what was going on in the fourth quarter because I believe he would’ve fixed it by now. But he doesn’t know…

    One thing is apparent, and that’s that our overall performance is a notch down from where it’s been, the past coupe years. And when the system keeps every game this close, that notch down has been huge. The offensive line was impressive today and for the first three quarters, we looked like last years team. If that was the main difference, you have to wonder what out third would be if we’d had Lewis in at center early on. Would steadiness at that one(key) spot have made the difference in one or two of the losses? And if not, is getting Novak etc. Ready for the playoffs worth a loss or two, and possibly home field advantage?

    Bevel makes good calls when the momentum is going our way and crumbles under pressure. This has been apparent long enough that his still being here is unacceptable, and a knock on Pete’s track record. Also, the kind of in game adjustment Pete made to his system, when he started matching Sherman up on either side of the field, is something I’ve never seen bevel do.

    Without looking at the take, my big question now regards the press to One E in it. He was open and the games over of the ball gets there. Was Russ running around out of necessity, or should his eyes have been up field?

    I thought Rawls showed what he’s about today, which the jury was still out on him, for me, after the bears game. Really happy with Tarvaris on the coin toss as well, it’s too bad we didn’t take advantage of it.

    • franks says:

      Five 4a leads in games we weren’t facing Jimmy clause.

    • franks says:

      Without looking at the”tape” I’m wondering about the pass to locket in OT.

      • franks says:

        Game over if Russell gets him the ball.

        • Ed says:

          I said it a few comments back. Great QB throw WR open. When Wilson first saw him he could have easily thrown him open for a TD, he looked left then came back once he was wide open but it was too late. Take the reigns off, let him make mistakes so he can gunsling it at times. The D isn’t the same, so quit worrying about Wilson throwing INT

        • smitty1547 says:

          he still got both hands on ball and should have caught it, could have caught one in the end zone last week too, it was a more difficult catch though. This weeks should have been caught.

    • Forrest says:

      On the Lockett play it looked like Wilson saw him, but was adjusting to throw…sure he probably could have just chucked it right away, but I think Wilson wanted to get solid footing to throw it.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Wilson consistently under threw the long passes today. Lockett was open but the pass short

        • Forrest says:

          Just a thought…when he throws deep he usually stands still for a split second to “plan” his throw…that’s what it looked like he was doing to me…

        • franks says:

          He did. Used to overthrow them all the time. It seems like he’s thinking too much.

  13. CharlietheUnicorn says:

    I do want to “throw a bouquet of flowers” to the OL. They looked more like a starting unit than we have seen the whole season. The pass blacked and run blocked decently overall.

    Rawls should get a game ball, he played about as well as can be expected. He looked fatigued near the end. I wonder why they didn’t take him out and plug someone else in for a few plays.

  14. line_hawk says:

    The defensive issues seem like a scheme issues with teams consistently exploiting short underneath zones. I feel that PC is being stubborn and not changing things. But it does seem like you can no longer trust this defense to stop anyone.

    The offensive issues also seem to be related to PC’s conservative philosophy. This is a passing league & we are not throwing enough. 23 passes & 220 passing yards per game are fine when you pay peanuts to your quarterback & have a loaded roster everywhere. But, now that we don’t have enough mismatches, the offense is incapable of scoring with just running the ball.

    I don’t think we can change anything without making philosophical changes. Bellichick relied on his defense in the beginning to win super balls but he unleashed Brady when the defense was no longer great. I think Seattle is at a turning point & they have to decide if they are gonna pay a quarterback 22 million for 23 passes a game.

    • Trevor says:

      Good point about needing to be open changing things up and opening up the offense a little to utilize our weapons.

    • Steele says:

      Well said, agree with all of your points here. But I also think there are problems with individual performance, as well as collective/scheme/coaching issues. Russell is clearly off. There seem to be more problems on D. A D line that was supposed to stronger this season gives up positive yards easily. Kam, Earl, Sherman are worse.

      Cary Williams is an obvious liability, and he is going to get toasted every week.

      • line_hawk says:

        The defense just does not seem to have as much fire as the last couple of years. I feel that’s understandable; they have given their all the last few years & you are bound to see fatigue & wear & tear with multiple playoff runs. They also have many injuries in the secondary. Mediocre 2013 & to some extent 2014 draft means we don’t have the depth we used to when we dominated teams.

        I think they need a change in strategy to give the team a jolt. Try to utilize the strengths like a young offense instead of relying on the older & injured defense.

    • Phil says:

      I have not gone back to look at the games the Seahawks have lost in the 4th qtr. this year, but my suspicion is that the offense is as much to blame as the defense. We have gotten so that we rely so much on the big play that we seem unable to sustain a clock-killing long drive when we need to. The defense looked tired in the 4th qtr. and the offense could have bailed them out by sustaining drives.

  15. smitty1547 says:

    Also let me be the first to say it and i know people are gonna say I’m over reacting, Lynch can be Wally Pipped for what that worth. Is he great yes, should he be in the ring of honor 1 day and possible hall of fame yes. Spend the money next year on letting him go on a veteran lineman or 2 make big splash trade up in draft to get new left Tackle and move on.

    • Ed says:

      Yep. Let Lynch, Okung, Sweezy, Kearse, Mebane, Rubin and Graham (if we continue to misuse him) go.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Not Kearse – he mAkes some big plays. Gilliam has to improve by end of year or he will get moved to guard .

      • Forrest says:

        -_- Really…Lynch, Graham, and Kearse…that’s pretty much all of the offensive production gone. Lynch is the only one I would “let go,” and that’s only because it looks like he’s hit the wall. Kearse can be traded, and you keep Graham for at least two full seasons…you don’t “let him go” because he isn’t producing 12 catches a game every game in a run first offense.

        He’s been targeted (and caught) almost as many times a Baldwin, and that’s as a TE. Plus, if Lynch does retire or they “let him go,” the offense will most likely shift to pass first. If ya get rid of Graham and Lynch at the same time, then you might as well flush Wilson, cause he won’t be producing much without at least one of those two around (hypothetically speaking of course).

        I do agree with Okung, Mebane, and Kearse (to a lesser extent) though. Sweezy can probably be kept for cheap, Rubin is a wait and see for me, Lynch will probably retire, and Graham will get used properly at some point…he’s been misused, but that’ll change.

      • JeffC says:

        Kearse is really winning me over with his play.

  16. AgentJ says:

    The offense could have been better, but when you are putting as much money on the defense as Seattle does you’re expecting they limit an opponent to less than 20 ppg. All three losses have been in the high 20s. Our offensive attack isn’t meant to score that big. Lets not forget Bennett’s shenanigans at the end of the first half may have cost the team four points.

    • Forrest says:

      That, the PI, our weekly Bennett offside, and a few other defensive gems. Defensive penalties are killers.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      The offense just needed to pick up some first downs and run the clock out. In four drives they got two first downs. They just couldn’t do it.

  17. Trevor says:

    I am not sure why every is so confused about what our problem is with regards to holding leads in the 4th quarter. It is incredibly obvious to me.

    In order to hold a lead in the 4th quarter in today NFL 2 primary things need to happen.

    1)The offense needs to be able to run the ball and eat up the clock with the QB making some key short 3rd and 5 or less throws to move the chains.

    The 2015 Seahawks have not been able to do this. In the past we have been great in this regards with Lynch and Russel’s scrambling magic. It is just not clicking yet with this unit and Russ seems to have lost some confidence IMO since the SB

    2)The Defense needs to be able to pressure the QB in obvious passing situations in the 4th quarter in order to either get sacks or hurried throws to get off the field.

    Much like in last years SB this unit is getting no pressure on the QB in the 4th quarter and they are sitting back and picking us apart. I think this is the single biggest issue with our defense and why Richards has resorted to more blitzes. I really feel Marsh and Clark need to play more in the first half of games because Bennett and Avril who dominate in the 1st half seem gassed in the 4th quarter.

    On that note has anyone been watching Jabril Shread rushing off the edge for the Pats. How nice would he have looked in our rotation and they got him cheap.

    • Steele says:

      Yes, spot on, on all of this.

      I am frustrated by the offense, but at least the o-line was better today.

      The defense has been, to me, the most serious problem so far this season. It looks positively soft. Sure, there are some trademark plays, but on the whole, they are giving up big plays—some huge plays— and allowing opponents to march pretty easily downfield, in ways not seen in any of the previous seasons.

      • Trevor says:

        I know they are playing a defensive scheme that is designed to bend not break and avoid giving up big plays. The problems is they are givng up the big plays as well as the underneath stuff. Our run defense has been pretty good IMO opinion but some adjustments need to be made in the back end.

        • Old but Slow says:

          With the inability of the offense to move in the fourth quarter, the defense looked gassed. I am not sure why the offense looked so lost and tired in that quarter, but it led to the loss. One more first down and we are in glory, instead we are starting to tear the team down.

  18. Trevor says:

    I said earlier in the the week that this was the 1st game in the last 3 years I really thought we were a true underdog with almost no shot. A short week, early east coast game against a team with weapons that we don’t match up well against.

    After the Wagner fumble return TD I was thinking that this was the most impressive win by this team over that span and a credit to their resolve. Then that 4th quarter happened.

    It really was all 3 units that let the team down. If the punt coverage is better we win. If the Offense gets one more 1st down on 3rd and 4 we win. If the defense gets one stop we win. Also with so little time on the clock why did Irvin knock Dalton down. Why not drag him to the ground and keep him there for a second. Those 4-5 second could have been the difference in the game.

    For a team with so much character, experience and poise they just seem rattled and unsure in key situations. I really believe that SB loss still lingers and in key moments doubt now sets in where only confidence did before.

    • JeffC says:

      This may not be the same team anymore. We may be looking at something new as the rest of the NFL has caught up. There shouldn’t be so much poor communication between earl and Kam, but there is. They should be like ham and eggs at this point, and they looked like two rookies today.

      Cincinnati may just be the better team, as was Green Bay. We might be back with the rest of the pack. Super bowls are so rare. As a fan I’ve only got one (2013) win in 41 years. Dynasties are even rarer, esp now. What New England is doing, as much as I hate them, is incredibly special. We may be following the same pattern as our enemies down in SF. I hope not, but they were at the top of the hill for awhile, and it slowly eroded away, and then this offseason, totally collapsed. All thru the slow decline, fans hang on to the peak and expect it to return if just one thing goes right, one player gets added, etc. But it never happens and the decline continues until you find yourself with a Jim Mora team.

      I hope that’s not what we’re seeing here. I hope that the “best offseason in the NFL with the acquiring of Jimmy Graham as a true difference maker” does come true for us.

      But I have 40 years of skepticism nawing at me. I apologize for being a pessimist, but that’s what being a Viking, mariners, and a seahawk fan (other than 2013) does to you.

      • Trevor says:

        With regards to Kam and Earl. Tht will happen when one of the two sits our the entire preseason and the start of the season. There is a reason even vets participate in training camp.

      • Steele says:

        You are right, Jeff. This is not the same team. In addition to new players and new coordinators (it is not insignificant losing Dan Quinn), veterans have also underperformed, are not playing with the same swagger and intensity.

        This is no longer a scary team. Really, it hasn’t been. Just average with a few flashes of old.

        I think the attrition from consecutive deep playoff and Super Bowl runs has taken a toll, physically and mentally. Which is why losing that last one was so terribly important.

        And then there is the problem of evolution. Has this team become predictable? When dominating physicality is no longer there to cover up the lack of creativity, opposing teams develop a blueprint that works. This season, the same things have resulted in wins for the “bad guys”. This is on PC and JS. Adapt or lose.

        Yes. The Patriots have succeeded by adapting every single season, and their last offseason was phenomenal in terms of stocking up the roster. They are a machine.

        • JeffC says:

          Every one of your points is something for fans to ponder, because the mathematical reality is that we are very likely in the midst of a decline. That comment would anger the positive spin from posters on this board, but it is the historical reality – in most cases (and I hope to be wrong on this). What can be done about it? Nothing, because the traditional route that teams take is to plug fix and ignore the breach in the dike.

          One of those breaches may be that when you whiff on your early 1st and 2nd rounders for what, 3 straight years, it has to catch up with you. We can love all the late picks all we want, but those early ones are your foundation picks, and are we really so far ahead of the NFL in acquiring draft day talent anymore? That is debatable.

          Another breach just may be that the franchise qb has peaked out, and did so two years ago. I hope this is not the case either since he’s no longer cheap.

          The coaching, play calling, the design, the execution, all need to be looked at. Will it change? Historically, teams on the decline do not adjust well. They do what Holmgren did, who kept running the WCO “since it works, we know it works, and we’ll keep doing it because it works.” I remember him saying that very well as he was questioned on seattle coming apart post 2005.

          I try to read every post on this board and at fieldgulls. The tone sounds eerily familiar to 2006 and 2007. Makes it all the more real to treasure 2013 for what it was.

          • bigDhawk says:

            Yeah, regardless of what happens going forward, we have PC/JS to thank for the four best years in franchise history. Nothing will ever take that away, or the flag flying in the CLink.. That means a lot to those who have rooted for this team for decades.

  19. AlaskaHawk says:

    What hurts most is that the Seahawks have been ahead in the 4th quarter in all the games they lost this year. They just can’t finish.

    Today the offensive line and Rawls played their best game of the year. RW was typically efficient through 3 quarters, but couldn’t lead the offense anywhere in the 4 th. Meanwhile the defense was good but like a leaky bucket in pass protection. My only observation is that opponents were open up the middle a lot. We don’t seem to have very tight coverage unless we are holding onto the receivers arm. Basically a failure on both sides of the ball.

    • Trevor says:

      Russ was efficient but not dynamic today. Seemed unsure and slipping alot for some reason. I really think his confidence is a little shaken. Just needs a couple of solid breakout weeks to get rolling.

      The OL was definitely improved and that is vital with Car coming to town.

  20. Trevor says:

    Final note. Either Russ has not progressed and is unable to run an advanced NFL passing offense or the coordinators are afraid to run a more advanced scheme because of our problems with pass protection. Whatever is the case it has to change. We need to start looking like more than a high school team with our route tree and combinations. It is embarrassing at times.

    I want to blame Bevel but I actually think that Russ had so much success in the scramble drill that he now relies on it and has simply not progressed as a passer and the coaches just stick with what has worked in the past. Well it needs to change and fast. We need to scheme to get Baldwin, Locket and Graham the ball. You think if NE had these weapons they would punt 6 straight times?

    Finally I know Pete has a system that wins and has been successful. Run based low turnover offense and Solid defense with basic scheme and no big plays. It has worked very well for us and we have an SB and almost another. But sometimes when I watch teams like the Patriots that plan and change to exploit each teams weakness I am jealous. I actually like that Richards blitzes a little more and wish all our units would sometimes try more to really focus on what our unique skills are and the weaknesses of the other team. I am not saying change the culture or style. But sometimes a little change up or creativity would be nice.

    Still think we are a playoff team but it is going to be a grind as Home field looks almost impossible now.

    • Alex says:

      This is the most disturbing possible angle for me, and I kind of see the possibility.

      Sometimes, Wilson shows flashes of Drew Brees with legs, and other times, he looks like Colin Kaepernick staring down a receiver. I do suspect the Bevell’s conservative play calling might be dictated to him as a way to cover up for Wilson’s flaws.

      If that’s true, there’s no easy way out. Either we have to just open the playbook up and hope Wilson has the chops, or we have to accept that this is the Seahawks offense.

    • Steele says:

      I am jealous watching the Patriots too. Belichick is ruthless, but also brilliant in how he always adapts, never takes things for granted, always get the best out of his personnel, no matter what, even in years when his talent is not topnotch.

      We love Pete, but the rah-rah positivity is not going to solve the problem right now. Serious changes, serious adjustments, are needed in order to salvage the season. They look like a questionable .500 type of a proposition at the moment.

      Carolina could be even tougher than Cincy.

    • bigDhawk says:

      A big part of the problem is we no longer have the personnel to just do what we do and enforce our will. We no longer have Beastmode at the top of his game or a top 5 run-blocking OL. We no longer have the pass rush rotation of 2013 or that team’s depth in the secondary. And we don’t have a QB that can win games purely with his arm like we’re now be asking him to do. As for NE, constantly adapting to take advantage of an opponent’s weakness works like it does for them because they cheat and know what’s coming before it happens.

  21. Trevor says:

    Hate to say this but Arizona looks like us in our SB year. Lots of depth, a defense that is hungry for turnover and big splash plays on offense. I thought they were a paper tiger last year but this year I am genuinely concerned.

    • Rob Staton says:

      In fairness though this Detroit team has laid a massive egg today. The Cards have enjoyed an easy start to their schedule and lost at home to the Rams last week. They will be tested down the line.

      • Trevor says:

        True but they definitely look hungry and I love how aggressive they are on both offense and defense. I think think we have a better roster and until the beat us we still are top of the NFC West but for the first time in 3 years I am nervous.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          We should be nervous about Arizona. They blitz a lot and have a good defense, and they have an excellent veteran QB who likes to pass. That is a bad combo for the Seahawks.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Regardless of the individual talent on their roster, DET is a team in free fall.

        And yet they came within a play (and a missed call) of beating SEA in the CLink.

        • Forrest says:

          Didn’t they bench Stafford at some point?

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            Just pulled this excerpt from a DET news outlet:

            “Stafford finished 20-of-32 passing for 188 yards, one touchdown and three picks before getting the hook. Orlovsky, getting his first snaps since 2012 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was 21-of-38 passing for 191 yards, one touchdown and one pick in his place.

            By the end of the game, Orlovsky was facing Cardinals backup QB Drew Stanton at a virtually empty Ford Field.

            The crowd cheered when Arizona tailback Andre Ellington broke off a 63-yard touchdown run. It even did the wave, with only a few thousand people left late in the fourth quarter. It was a surreal sight.

            Something straight out of 2008.”

  22. Trevor says:

    Rob I know your were high on Jabril Sheard as a free agent. Looks like the Pats got a steal for what they signed him at. Another nice call.

    • Steele says:

      Sheard was on the short list of FAs I wanted them to pursue. Sheard clearly wanted to play for NE, because he signed very quickly without checking out other teams.

  23. Chris Calvert says:

    This question for out to al who have been to a home game in Seattle. I attended my second Seattle game today, this first being 2 years ago in Indianapolis. Like that day in Indy, I walked away seeing a Hawks loss. And on both occasions, I felt harassed leaving my seats. However, leaving the Bengals today was worse. I’ve never had so many hands in my face and yelling in my ear about a loss. I also had someone trying to take a picture of me with my back turned, I had to tell this man to leave me alone, only for him to continue trying (and succeeding unfortunately). My question is, do we do the same type of things to our opponents after a win? I keep telling myself, that I hope we take more pride in the win rather than going after others.

  24. Rory says:

    This is sort of going out on a limb, but not being able to finish games may have to do with last year’s super bowl. You see super bowl hangovers all the time, especially with how we lost.

    I would guess the team rallies around Russells belief that we will always win. Maybe he doesn’t believe that as much anymore. Now that a few games have been lost late, the team no longer believes they will close it out. They may be thinking “here we go again,” instead of knowing someone’s going to make a play.

    I don’t think we need to fire bevell, or radically change the offense, or change who’s playing, it might be a culture issue. It may just take time to fix. This might be a down year, at least by seahawk standards

    • Steele says:

      Rory, I don’t that is a stretch at all. Consecutive deep playoff/SB runs take a toll. Losing a heart breaking SB, the way they lost it, takes a toll. They had to take a special Hawaiian vacation just to clear the air. That aside, we have to wonder about motivation. Is this team hungry anymore?

  25. Steele says:

    I just held my nose and watched the tape.

    – Cary Williams was singlehandedly responsible for many big plays. If not for a holding call, you can add another AJ Green TD to that list. He will not do.

    – Sherman, ET, Kam did not play well.

    – Pass rush was lacking. A modicum of pressure isn’t enough.

    • Thy Hawk which is most Screeching says:

      A lot of people were praising Cary last week. It’s the NFL every game is different every week and you just can’t predict how it’s going to go. I’m guessing that Earl and company are pissed right now and hopefully this game just lit a fire to cook up some kick ass. I still believe in our team and expect nothing less then a Super Bowl 50(L) win. Everything is gonna be alright!

      • JeffC says:

        If losing this game after leading by 17 doesn’t light a fire under their asses to turn it around, nothing will.

        • Thy Hawk which is most Screeching says:

          That’s exactly what I’m expecting JeffC! Sometimes a loss is a win in the grand scape of life. A toast to going undefeated the rest of the year, oh shit I need to go get some beer!

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Williams had a terrible day. Tight coverage means little if you continuously give up the reception. But some of that is on ET and/or Kam. There was ZERO safety help today (except ET’s INT).

      In fact, leaving aside that red zone INT and one other splash tackle, ET was a non-factor.

      If ET was a non-factor, Kam was invisible. Like, literally on those 2 Eifert TDs.

      I don’t agree about Sherm though. After PC/Richard made the adjustment to have Sherm follow AJ Green, he shut down one of the top 2 or 3 WRs in the entire League for the rest of the game. That’s worth repeating: once Sherm started covering Green in the 2nd qtr, AJ had only 1 more reception all game (including OT) and it was inconsequential because CIN punted on that drive.

    • CharlietheUnicorn says:

      AJ Green is one of the most explosive deep ball threats in the NFL. Cut the guy a break.

      The safety play seemed a bit off…. either not dropping far enough into a “zone” or a step late on a few plays. But, they held the Bengals down for 3 qtrs.. so can’t place much blame on them.

      The pass rush dried up as the game went on. This might be due to change of blocking upfront by Bengals or they went to a few quicker passes. This is worth harping on some more imo

  26. John_s says:

    This team has played on the razors edge for the last three years. More times than not they have come out on top. This year, it’s caught up to them.

    The offense and defense both share blame in the loss

    Wilson cannot throw an INT in the Redzone. I was perplexed why they went hurry up on the play. It seems like at that point you slow it down and get it right. The lack of rushes for Rawls in the late 4th and the opening drive in OT makes you wonder.

    Micheal Bennett’s absolutely idiotic penalty on Earl’s INT cost the team big time. Instead of driving for a TD from CIN 30 with 50 seconds left, Seattle has to drive the whole field for a TD.

    Kam was awful today. Absolutely awful. He was awful in pass coverage he was awful with his tackling or lack thereof.

  27. Cysco says:

    To my untrained eye everything starts going to hell once opposing teams have to give up on the run. The D is great when they can expect a first and or second down run. Once teams have to play catch-up and go away from the run something seem to change and the defense is on its heals. Maybe opposing offensive lines change their protection. Maybe routes change. I don’t know, but when teams say “screw it, we’re gonna pass all over the place” there’s nothing we can do about it.

    I think there’s something to this on offense too. It’s interesting that the team can go virtually the entire length of the field in less than a minute at the end of the half but put the team in a position where the other team knows what’s coming at them and they struggle. When the offense plays not to lose and runs predictable plays, bad things happen.

    • Steele says:

      “…when teams say ‘screw it, we’re gonna pass all over the place’, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

      Yes. This has been the achilles heel of the Hawks D for too long. Dink-dunk. Seam routes.

      Eifert looked like a god today. If it was Gronk or Demaryius Thomas out there, it would have been even uglier.

  28. bikerdude says:

    It has been 11 years since the Hawwks squanderd a 17 point lead in the 4th qtr. One first down in the 4th qtr i believe. 17 points surrendered. I think Jimmy Johnson on the fox pre game show hit the nail on the head when asked ” what is wrong with the Seahawks this year” , his response ” with all the holdouts and grumbling about money this year, they have gone to ME first instead of team first, and Russell Wilson has a Starlett on his arm”. Meaning, just as I have said the past two weeks here, RW seem’s distracted and doesn’t have his head completly in the game. It may be RW has fallen prey to the million dollar playboy curse. I hope he will not turn out to be Tony Romo of 7 or 8 years ago.

    • Steele says:

      Well, I think Jimmy Johnson’s statement is somewhat glib and superficial. It is much more complex, not just selfishness.

      Even the team-first veterans, the once-reliables like ET and Sherman, are not playing that well. The collective fire is not there. It’s that, plus issues with schemes and play calling.

  29. Trevor says:

    The Super Bowl hangover is a real thing. This team laid it all on the line last year emotionally and physically to bounce back from that bad start. To loose the way they did was devastating particularly to a group of individuals who had such confidence and felt like they almost could not loose. The fully expected to score on that last drive and celebrate another SB.

    To loose the way they did had to be a tremendous blow. It has obviously impacted Russell’s confidence level. You can see it in the way he plays. I dont think it is the girl friend it the the realization that he can loose and is not infallible. He is a tough guy and has bounced back before. I think he will again. But he definitely needs to get the magic back and start reading defenses and getting the ball out quicker.

    The defense just lacks fire. They all have gotten paid and cannot cling to the underdog card. I really think the Kam holdout hurt and did irreparable damage to the brotherhood of that unit. I still think they have th talent to make a run but they need to get the passion back. The defense just seems lifeless even when playing well. I miss mouthy Sherm and Earl.

    If they can get the confidence and passion back then this team can make a run for sure. The problem is most teams once they loose it cannot. As a fan I hope our team is different. Next week will be a challenge for sure.

    • JeffC says:

      You are pointing out my main grief for the play call in the sb loss. I don’t care that they failed on a 4th and 1 this season running Marshawn. In that sb game, in that moment, it’s one of those John Madden moments where you win or lose with your best and are you tougher than the other team and impose your will. I[ve seen all the analysis on the pass and yes, if executed correctly, Lockette gets the td. It’s not the point for me. And I think it’s carried over because in that moment, PC chose coaching cleverness over his players and the talent, the effort, to accumulate the ones you want to win with. I just have to believe that there are still hard feelings over that call. It drained them then and it is quite likely they have not yet recovered from it.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Did you see a lot of quick slants up the middle today? No? Maybe because the Seahawks never run quick slants. So why does the coaching staff expect it to work in the super bowl?

        • JeffC says:

          I’ve heard Bevel’s explanation and it sounds like when your wife goes out and buys something she doesn’t need, won’t use, and you can’t afford and tries to tell you the logic of it.

  30. Forrest says:

    Can we all just acknowledge that the Browns beat the Ravens today in Baltimore!!! O_o

  31. Tien says:

    On the one hand, I expected the Hawks to lose today, what with the early away start as well as going up against a really good Bengals team, so we played better than expected but on the other hand, we had them and just couldn’t close the deal!?

    For most of the game the OL played much better, especially in the running game, but towards the end of the 4th quarter and then OT, their play regressed, especially in pass protection. I’m hoping that this is a sign of real and permanent progress for the OL because an OL that plays competently in spurts (like the Hawks did in this game) will be a liability throughout the season. Rawls ran really well today and showed me that when there are holes, he’ll exploit them. The receivers played well for the most part, catching almost every catchable ball. Locket did have that nullified catch on the sidelines but if Russell hadn’t lead the ball so far outside, he would have had an easier chance to drag that second foot. Like everyone else, I’m really frustrated that the Hawks still haven’t been able to use Graham as Russell’s outlet for short yardage or in the red zone. I saw part of the Patriots/Cowboys game today and Gronk just physically dominated the Cowboys CB, Jones, that covered him. We need to just throw the ball to Graham 4 or 5 yards out and let him make YACs. For now, he’s not much more effective than Luke Willson (who I also like) and if this continues, we will have wasted salary cap $$ & draft capital on another dynamic receiver that we can’t fully utlilize. For most of the game, I thought the play calling was fine but it appears that when we’re at 3rd and 3 or 4 yards, we like to throw a long pass, that is usually not complete, and like Rob, I question the sideline pass to Kearse towards the end of the game. The OL really improved this week and from what i hear, Gilliam, has a lot of upside but damn, he seems to get beat really easily sometimes when in pass protection. Russell frustrates me. He scrambled around, extending plays that most QBs couldn’t behind our line, and I really want him to be our franchise QB that can close out games for us but through 5 games, he’s been too inconsistent for me to have much confidence about it. I think the reason why we haven’t been able to convert first downs to hold leads at the end of the games is because we haven’t discovered our identity yet. We want to be that team that batters other teams with out running game and then mixing up with the occasional big play action passes but due to Lynch being hurt, the OL sucking, Jimmy not yet becoming our third down/red zone target, and Russell not playing all that well yet, our running game isn’t the consistent threat that it’s been in the past and we end up almost desperately throwing the ball on third downs to try to get first downs. In past seasons, even when it was third & 5 or 6, I thought that we had a legitimate chance to get it even if we handed it off to Beast Mode and I think that threat of the run game helped Russell whenever he needed to pass.

    Despite the offense’s issues this season, if our D was playing like it did the last couple of seasons,, we would still have won this game. I can’t pinpoint the reason(s) but we are not nearly as good as in previous years. We’re still giving up too many big plays, either with completed passes or PIs, and I don’t think our defenses is as intimidating as before. On both the TD passes to Eifert, Kam and/or ET screwed up as he got wide open and that’s a little disheartening to realize that your All-Pro safeties got confused like that. The pass rush finally got some sacks this game and good pressure on Dalton but he also had plenty of time to throw for over 300 yards against us also. I don’t think Cary Williams had a terrible game and alot of the time, he was in great position and good coverage when passes where completed on him or PIs were called but for whatever reason, teams this year are more successfully picking on him than on Maxwell last year. We have to hope that Burley is healthy next week or we need to call up or sign another slot CB. One of the problems we had in the 2nd half & OT was that we couldn’t stop Sanu, their slot receiver. The defense needed to carry us during this early part of the season while the offense is struggling but so far, they’ve played well but not yet to the level that we’ve needed to win.

    It’s still early in the season and there’s time to make the necessary improvements on both the O & D but unless I see huge improvements soon, there will be no gimmes the rest of the season and I think it’ll be a struggle to even reach 10-6. I really hope I’m proven wrong!

    • JeffC says:

      10-6, I’m with you. A wild card. And hoping that Art Thiel’s prediction comes true.

    • Steele says:

      Good thoughts, Tien.

      In case any of you did not see it, Gronkowski had a ridiculous day. Caught everything, and the Cowboys could not stop him. Rumbled downfield with multiple guys grasping. I agree that Jimmy Graham must be utilized fully and creatively in this offense, but unfortunately he is not Gronk. Jimmy is a more finesse oriented player.

      I disagree about Cary Williams. He was successfully targeted throughout the day. He flatout got beat, and on the plays where he was “close”, he was still outpositioned, forcing him to resort to PI. His technique remains suspect, his reactions slow. Even if for a split second, that is enough to get burned.

      Very discouraging seeing Kam, ET and Sherman not playing well. They should be the stalwarts of the defense and the team, but they are getting beat quite a bit this season.

      • JeffC says:

        If Cary Williams were even playing avg, seattle likely maintains the standard scheme rather than have Sherman blanket Green. With no running game, we knew what was coming and still couldn’t stop them. On Monday, the LOB needs to really own up to their performance.

    • David says:

      I’m not necessarily against throwing deep passes down the sideline on 3rd and short, especially if the defense is showing a double A gap blitz with the corners playing press on the outside (basically the whole defense on the line of scrimmage except for maybe one deep safety) for two reasons 1) best to get the ball out asap vs this look and 2) this is the look that opens up the deep play down the sideline assuming you have someone who can beat a cb 1v1 on a go route consistently. Lockett showed he can do it on the OOB pass earlier but Kearse has never shown he can do it which is why it’s a baffling call. Play the percentages, who is mostly likely to succeed on that play?

  32. Forrest says:

    I made the mistake of wandering to others sports related websites (NFL and ESPN) to read analysis, and my God their comment sections are pure unadulterated cancer…

    With that being said: Thank you Rob for doing what you do (much appreciated), and thank you SDB community for being level headed and overall great fans! I’m glad this place exists!

    • Thy Hawk which is most Screeching says:

      I’m glad you exist Forrest! Very true everyone on here are well informed, passionate and most importantly good people it seems! I thank you all as well. We’ll get em next game guys! Thank you Rob Staton, and Go Hawks!

    • Jarhead says:

      Oh yeah brother. I mentioned that on a previous thread. I will go nowhere near an ESPN or NFL site for at least 3 weeks and that is only after a 3 game winning streak. The trolls were already coming out of the wood work when Cincy was closing the gap. The NFL community aside from NE who could care less about anyone else, seem to love to pollute any Seahawks article regardless of whom we play. It is the best example of the pro sports fan sewage river in which we exist

      • Forrest says:

        It really does suck. I do have to say though that most football fans I meet (irl) regardless of their favorite team are generally cool people…but then along came the internet -_-

  33. Michael (CLT) says:

    Wilson going the way of Kapernick. Seattle is trying desperately to make Wilson a pocket passer… He is not, nor ever will be. Get Wilson to the edges, and put pressure on the defense please.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      This will be sacralige but I feel like Wilson is a bit off on the long ball and hasn’t improved in his passing game since the Super Bowl. The lob to the corner should be his bread and butter in the red zone. It is all about timing and placement, and a tall receiver like Graham will go up and get it. But he hasn’t ever thrown that pass, and it’s a basic one for QBs. I thought he played a very efficient first drive and third quarter. Unfortunately he faded in the 4th.

      • Steele says:

        Well, it isn’t really sacrilege to point out the many flaws in Russell’s game. They have been known for some time, and have not been much improved. In fact, he has regressed this season. I also think they still miss Sid Rice and Golden Tate.

  34. Frank says:

    We have physical abused teams to get fourth quarter wins for the last few years. We continue to go for speed in the draft and thats great, but we are missing that big tough guy presence. Missing Geno, Alan Branch, Carpenter, Hill, Miller not the players themself, but the type of player. All big tough dudes that made life tough for sixty minutes or more on both sides of the ball. Our smaller fast players are getting beat up by the end of the game, we have lost our identity to some extent and I just remember how when Pc, & JS first showed up they had to add more size and physicality, its time for that movement again.

    • Old but Slow says:

      I tend to agree with this. Our pattern the last couple of years has been to beat teams up for 3 quarters and then win in the fourth. The current team seems to be out muscled in the last quarter.

      • nichansen01 says:

        Are current strategy is to hang on in the first half, dominate in the third and collapse on the fourth. We we don’t collapse enough in the fourth, we make sure to fail even harder in overtime.

  35. Ed says:

    Rob, I won’t go on about on the field stuff, because that can take a long time, especially with how I feel about Bevell and the offensive philosophy. Let’s talk your blog, the draft.

    The Hawks have found some gems (Kam/Sherman/Wilson), but as a whole the first 2 rounds have been bad for awhile.

    This could be the last 3 drafts

    2015 1st D. Beckham-Green 2nd (will stay with Lockett)
    2014 1st J. Bitonio 2nd J. Landry (trade up 1)
    2013 1st D. Hopkins 2nd E. Lacy

    Now I know those are a lot of WR, but more about the extreme talent you pound the board about, that has performed at very high levels, that the Hawks continue to trade down and take Britt or other reaches. Maybe the draft philosophy should change as well, stop being cute and just take high ceiling high talent players.

    • mrpeapants says:

      agreed ed and ty

      • HOUSE says:

        Ed… I will FOREVER watch D-Hop and wonder what it would’ve been for him to be a Seahawk. Going into the ’13 Draft, I wanted to trade up to get him. My favorite reachable-WR prospect in a long time… I accepted the trade for Harvin (proven talent, albeit red flags). The draft capital and $$$ we paid him was unsettling. We win the SB which made things look even better (despite him only playing 2 1/2 games the whole season).

  36. Roland jose says:

    The defense has carried this team for the last 3 years, they have logged more hours on the field than the offense, so of course that takes a toll, it’s damn hard to play defense, the offense needs to start stepping up, the oline only played well in the first half, they regressed in the second half giving up sacks in key situations, but gotta trust the staff will keep working on it, this line has mostly rookies playing gotta keep that in mind, and of course it takes time to gel as a unit. The offense needs to help the defense stay fresh, and injury free due to over use. There are times when the defense isn’t playING well, can the offense take over when needed?, hope so, good thing there are 16 to 17 games in the season to work on it, losing early can be a good thing, let’s a team know what they need to work on to get better and win. GO Hawks!, oline is the key to this offense.

  37. mrpeapants says:

    its amazing to me that a defense with so much talent fades in the 4th quarter. I don’t get it.
    line played better with the exception of Gilliam.
    rawls played great. I love the way he runs.
    Wilson still looks confused. I really dislike that they are trying to make him a pocket passer. what a waste.
    not much a pass rush again.
    no e disappointed today with a drop and not getting both feet in
    graham in my mind is still just being wasted. you can talk about targets or how hes covered all the time or double teamed, but that’s all BS. just throw him the flippin ball!!!
    everything just seems stagnant. was very sad today
    but on a up note, we did start 3-3 last year too go hawks

    • mrpeapants says:

      “they are what we thought they were, and we let em off the hook”

      • Steele says:

        I hate to say it, but Jimmy Graham may be a great player but not in this system, not with this QB, not with this coordinator.

        • JeffC says:

          Agree, not a good fit, and not only do you lose your center, this just adds to the glaring problem of early round pick failures for this regime going on multiple years now.

          They need to stop getting so clever in the draft and just draft damned solid players for once. The late round depth just isn’t cutting it anymore.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          They need to stop trading away their first round draft picks.

        • Bryan C says:

          I think a large part of it isn’t the scheme, it’s around the execution. We all expected Graham to come in and play like he did in New Orleans. What we don’t remember is how bad that went until Graham and Brees got the timing down. That’s all it is and Russell needs to get the timing with Graham down. Once they do, Graham becomes unstoppable.

  38. Donald says:

    The Hawks have the talent, its the conservative – play to stay close – don’t lose the ball- scheme and lack of creativity that is the trouble.

    When the TV announcer can identify to the audience ahead of time that the Hawks are lined up a certain way that they always hand the ball off, and then they do it, then you know the Hawks are too predictable. You know the opposing team can figure it out also.

    It is only because of the miraculous escapes by Wilson, and the tip- toe catches along the side line (Lockett apparently didn’t get the memo), and the amazing plays by the other players (knocking the ball out before reaching the endzone) that the Hawks have gotten as far as they have.

    The Hawks have had success in spite of the predictable, conservative, play not to lose philosophy we see. It is only when the Hawks are behind and in a desperate do or die situation do they get creative and throw caution aside and we see what they can do (2015 NFC Championship).

    • Steele says:

      As Frank points out above, when you are a physically dominating, intimidating team, you can get away with a simpler, more conservative playbook. You can get away with beating the hell out of the opponent. Doesn’t even matter if predictable, if you maintain that advantage, and you’re young, and you execute. This team, the Packers of the 1960s, the 1980s Bears, etc. etc.

      But when that advantage erodes, it gets exposed. Our stars are not on the rise anymore, and each a step slower or less hungry. It is up to the coaching to recognize this. Then either adapt and innovate. And/or start over. Or lose.

      • Old but Slow says:

        Unfortunately, Steele, you are hitting a sore point. First case, at right tackle, Gilliam, a good athlete, a former TE, is blocking like a TE. He has the size and character to improve and I still have hopes for him, but in no way does he have the nasty of Giocomini. Do we have any offensive linemen who want to punish people, maybe Sweezy.

        • Tien says:

          Donald – I/we share your frustration with the team but I think what you’re describing is not really about a bad scheme but more about bad execution. You’re right, the scheme/strategy for the past few seasons have been the same, tough D, tough running game with a few big passes mixed in, and dominate the opponents in the 4th quarter after they’ve been worn down. When we went to the SB the last two seasons, teams knew what we were going to do also but it didn’t matter because we executed the game plan and just overpowered them. We’re using the same philosophy and scheme this year but the difference is that the execution is not there: horrible OL, Lynch injured, Defense losing players through FA and injuries and some of our defenders just not playing as well as in years past etc. IMO, the question that the coaching staff is probably wrestling with is do they believe that the players will ultimately improve and will be able to execute as the season progresses or is there such a gap this year in our players’ ability and performance that they need a change in scheme to better maximize the players’ talent. I don’t know what the right answer is but we need to do something because it’s not the same Seahawks that we’re seeing on Sundays now.

  39. Old but Slow says:

    Further on the subject of physical play, we added 3 offensive linemen in the draft, none who have seen much time on the field. Sokoli, who is obviously a talent in an amazingly athletic, smart man who may be able to play offensive line and seems (?) to be learning (great calves!); Glowinski, who is strong, athletic, quicker than most, smart, and still learning; and we have Poole, who is physical, has size, strength and a bit of nasty.

    As Cable (pretend you are), which player are you finally going to put in there to help the offensive line, where and when?

    My choice would be Glowinski, simply because he is the more developed. Physically, because of his quickness and strength, seems most likely, but the question is about his understanding of the calls and assignments.

    Poole might help because he seems more aggressive and could bring some nasty attitude.

  40. HOUSE says:

    After watching the game back, the biggest thing that needs to be addressed is the “play not to lose” mentality. As many of us have said, the team disappears in the 4th qtr. I’m not about being unsportsmanlike, but its like we step off the gas, rest on our heels and get caught with our pants down. We need to get on the gas pedal and stay on that MF’er. We have proven that no lead is safe.

    I still think that 12-4 is a potential overall season record, but not playing like we did in the 4th qtr yesterday.

    Enough with the negative… Here are some positive aspects from the game:

    OL: They seemed to protect well as a unit as stayed pretty consistent throughout the game. Time will continue to forge them.

    RB: Thomas Rawls was a great find. With Lynch missing his 2nd straight game, Rawls exploded. Minus his BM-jr run, he still had 100+ yds. I think we can feel a little better knowing the potential is there and is present so early

    • Forrest says:

      If it’s any consolation PC made it clear in his press conference after the game that they have got to finish games. I think that will be the focus for awhile…

  41. Willyeye says:

    My tendency this season has been to simply blame the O-Line…they have been bad at times, but yesterday, although not great, there was a huge improvement in the entire line.

    I’ve seen flashes of the 2013/2014 version of the Hawks, but for huge swaths of the games, something is not clicking…not on defense or on offense. I think I’ve been in denial because I’m such a homer, but I’m beginning to think that a number of players have lost their hunger. I’m not exactly sure why…it could be the money or the passion…or perhaps it’s that the drive to win it all is no longer there. Maybe it’s the complacency of “been there, done that”. It almost seems like some players are not putting in 110% or at least not consistently, and definitely not all pieces at the same time. Maybe it’s the old “I got paid and I no longer need to kill myself to get money next year” syndrome. Maybe it’s the “I already got paid because I’m so great, but now I’m underpaid” syndrome. Maybe the passion needed to make it to the top of your profession is a lot different than the type of passion it takes to STAY on top. A lot of people on top lose their hunger.

    Thomas, Sherman, Chancellor (Kam could still be angry that he didn’t get more money, and/or it could be that he’s rusty from being out for so long), Bennett (I could be wrong about Michael being that he obviously wants to get paid again…but he sure didn’t play very well yesterday), Wagner, Mebane…there have been flashes of greatness on this defense…but there have also been flashes of collapse. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but something is not right. Being the #1 defense takes a total team effort. It almost seems like at any given point, there are 2 or 3 cogs in the wheel that aren’t turning. But for what it’s worth, I don’t think these six players have been playing at the same level that they played in the 3 previous seasons. The talent is there. When all six cylinders are sparking at the same time, this D is unbeatable. And unfortunately, when these guy are sputtering, it also affects the play of not only Wright, Avril, and Irvin, but also the offense. When our defense creates momentum, there is no stopping the offense.

    I look at the offense as still a work in progress…there were actually flashes yesterday of an O-Line that was not half bad. Great to see that. I’m not saying fire Bevell, but I think Bevell needs some kind of awakening. Maybe he has become complacent. It just seems to me that in the last 6 games, Bevell calls the wrong plays at the wrong times. Maybe it’s just that opposing defenses have figured him out and they can read him like a book. Maybe having a new OC would mess with those opposing D’s.

    The one other thing I’ve noticed, is that success, and having so many great players, leads to a conundrum, where young players have no chance of breaking into a starting role. Example: Rawls has been great…he’s a UDFA that’s not even making $500,000. Rawls is obviously hungry. You see that extra effort from him constantly…he’s trying to make every last inch on every play. I love Marshawn as much as the next guy…but I have not seen that kind of effort from him this year. Maybe it’s the fact that Lynch had only 3 snaps in the preseason. That could even be why he’s hurt right now. I am definitely pissed that they played Lynch with the calf injury…it’s almost a given that the calf was the cause of the hamstring injury. And we currently have some great young players on D…Hill, Clark, Marsh…maybe even Coyle. Some of these young players might be an improvement over some of the expensive guys we have now, or at least an improvement on how little passion some of these guys might have.

    I’m hoping that the Seahawks can get it together the next few weeks, or this will be a lost season.

    • Bryan C says:

      I agree on Rawls. I met his family at the game yesterday, all great people. You can tell where he gets his drive and passion from. Hell, I’d be happy if he played for about 1/4 of the snaps a game to prolong Marshawn’s career.

    • Steele says:

      Willyeye, I’m with you on the attitude of this season’s team. It is hard to pin down, isn’t it. It does look like “been there, done that”. There doesn’t seem to be individual or collective/cohesive intensity, much less swagger. Even Sherman is muted. Our leaders—Sherm, Kam, ET—giving up big plays. Russell is off. Etc.

      You expect new guys and rookies to take time to get in sync. But the veterans?

      Last season, it was about SB malaise from winning it. This season, about losing a heartbreaker. Has Pete done a good job motivating them to avenge it? Or has the “it’s all okay, we’re fine” positivity been like a form of denial?

      The nucleus of this team should be angry. I don’t see it right now.

  42. JeffC says:

    Listening to the post game comments yesterday: PC, Paul Moyer, Brock, Wyman….everyone is baffled, especially Pete. No one can point to any one thing. The whole fourth quarter was a collective team loss, the defense, the return on special teams, the offense failing to get even one first down to close the game out. Even the run defense (Dalton sprinting up the middle for an easy td). A collective collapse in all phases.

    This may be a thing where coaching has nothing to do with the solution. If the game finishes 24-7 we’d all be on here writing about how they’re finally playing seahawks football again. This may be a thing where the players have to meet again like last year in KC, and decide if they want to be champions again.

    If Kam wants to prove he’s the leader who is worth the money, and RW is the guy who is the leader of the offense making the money, I’m looking at them right now. Rally your troops. Prove you are the leaders. Russell, stop giving us boring quotes and right this ship. The play calling in the 4th was definitely bad (with the announcers calling for a run when the seahawks lined up in a particular formation for example), but with the execution so bad all around, it has to come from the players.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Nice post

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      If PC still thinks that the identity of the team is a running team then there is no reason why they couldn’t get a first down running the ball. Even when the other team knows they will run the ball. Rawls did his part with over 160 yards. Would have been nice to sub in a fresh back in the fourth (someone other then Jackson).

      However that strategy didn’t work in the 4th quarter (even though they didn’t run on 3rd downs). So that should tell PC that the identity of the team can’t be as a running team. A painful lesson that is yet to sink in to the coaches.

      • Volume12 says:

        Or is it a painful lesson for fans that just because you payed RW big bucks this team isn’t a passing first offense?

        It’s no coincidence that every time Seattle runs the ball well, their defense plays good. If they aren’t going to adapt to Jimmy Graham, who and what makes ya think they will? I hate the cliche’ phrase, but RW is at his best when he’s playing PG for us.

        Rawls did hi part. He’s a year ahead of schedule IMO. And as you said, they don’t have no one else to lean in until Lynch is back. The coaches weren’t going to put the ball in Rawls’ hands with the game on the line.

        • bigDhawk says:

          Good point about Rawls, but if that’s the case then why not put the ball in the capable, veteran hands of Jackson, considering how they are built to close out games running the ball? That whole fourth quarter was mind boggling.

  43. Salemhawk says:

    All I know is I’m starting to worry that the larger problem might be the franchise QB and not the OC. Granted this is my impression, I don’t break down tape, but it seems like we have a very inconsistent passing game over the middle. Could it be that Bevell is calling more out routes and streaks because his QB has trouble seeing the entire field? That possibly could be due to the OL giving up ground too quickly. We can all certainly see that. I know there was an analytic posted on TV showing that he has the most passing yards outside the pocket of anyone in the NFL. Physical limitations and OL aside. Has Wilson’s development stagnated? He cam on so strong early in his career I was expecting more of a Peyton Manning control of the field from him.
    If he is limited, then DC’s around the league have figured that out by now. Easier and less worrisome to just blame Bevell.

  44. Old but Slow says:

    Somewhere, it may have been from an earlier post, someone said that they had not seen Sherman get into an opposing player’s face with his usual trash talk. And, not so much strutting around in the defensive backfield. It is difficult to read the mood or attitude of a team, but there are these little hints that suggest that everyone is not “in”.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      He played 3.5 quarters of shut down football vs one of the very best WRs in the League.

      Not sure trash talking is indicative of anything other than immaturity.

    • JeffC says:

      In the super bowl, Denver looked scared and befuddled. Seattle was more physical, dominating, they knew it, we knew it, and there was nothing you could do about it. And this was all thru the season and the playoffs as well. You caught a pass over the middle you were going to get hurt. You had to play to the LOB and make the adjustments. The LOB just did what it did and you could do nothing about it.

      This defense no longer has that.

      • Steele says:

        Yes.This was, and should still be, a defense of intimidation, the best ever seen. This season, it is merely a better than average one, that can be run and passed on. Survive the occasional flashes of old, and a decent offense can beat it.

        Look back at tape from previous seasons, and the difference is obvious. The old D-lines exploded off the snap, pockets collapsed quickly, QBs sacked. 3 and out, and worse. The secondary shut everything down.

        Sherman could yap because the LOB was that impenetrable. Now? Not as much. There is a difference between merely playing pretty well and being that kind of shutdown. I also believe that after Pete told him to be quiet after Thanksgiving last season that he became a quieter “professional”, on and off the field. He voluntarily gave up the swagger that may have fueled his game.

  45. Dan C says:

    Rob,
    Sorry if this has been brought up before, but what is the possibility that the Hawks are bubble-wrapping Lynch for a trade?
    The fact that he was sitting in a luxury box during the Chicago game and not traveling with the team is a bit funny. Would we face a significant dead money penalty if he is traded? Furthermore, with Rawls producing, perhaps we are willing to take a hit this year for draft capital? (2nd plus a sixth?)

  46. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Seems to me that predicting SEA’s record for the rest of the season is a fool’s errand.

    How many of us thought SEA would lose at home to DET? Nobody, right? Well, they almost did. Many would argue (anyone NOT a Seahawks fan) that SEA should have lost that game, but for the missed call. Either way, how many thought SEA would squeak by with a 3 point win or save the victory on a last second heroic effort by Kam? Against DET, a team in utter disarray headed towards their second winless season in the past 10 years???

    Another question: how many of us would predict a SEA loss when leading by 17 points in the 4th quarter?

    I guess if it makes you feel better go for it.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      I should have finished the thought…

      Next week’s game vs CAR is anything but a gimme.

      • JeffC says:

        It’s a must win. If you lose it, you can’t depend on Carson Palmer getting hurt for the cards to collapse. They are damned good, mean and hungry, and are beating people up. They are sticking the foot on the throat and running up the score on people. They loss to st Louis, but dominated the game in reality. They want a championship and are playing like it.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          St Louis is proving to be a team that beats everyone in their own division but loses to everyone else and won’t make the playoffs.

      • Tien says:

        Agreed Eric. With the way we’re playing, there are no gimmes on the schedule.

        • Steele says:

          This season’s schedule is brutal. It would have been tough even if the team was playing at 2014 level. I see no easy games ahead at all, not even SF. All of the talk about “the worst is over” is not true.

    • Jarhead says:

      I think the one thing to look at is this: this year we drew AFC/NFC North. Arguable the toughest draw for an combined conference divisions. Next year we get the AFC/NFC South. Undoubtedly the weakest. This year’s schedule is brutal. We may or may not make the playoffs. But next year we may just come back like a house on fire and cut a swathe right through our schedule

  47. Bryan C says:

    Back when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, there were no expectations and I believe we won SB48 because all of the core players didn’t know any better. They didn’t know that they weren’t supposed to blow Arizona out 58 to 0 and go on to dominate one of the best offenses in NFL history in SB48. They climbed the mountain top and a dynasty was born.

    The team played last season after the Super bowl run and goes to 3 – 3. The core guys get together to discuss honestly why the team isn’t getting it done. They share their feelings and agree hold one another accountable. Percy Harvin is removed, the guys start to play for one another and in that process come within 1 yard of winning it all again. The team lost SB48 not because of the last play, they lost because the defense that has always been the foundation of the team failed to hold a lead, again. Just like in Atlanta in Wilson’s rookie season. Throw in the bad special team plays, an offense that lost its identity and the ability to hold the ball and we lose.

    Fast forward to this season. All of the core guys have been paid big $ with the expectations that the summit is a plateau, never dropping off. The dynasty is here along with the high expectations that come with it. We as fans have the same expectations, and losses simply aren’t tolerated. But in the back of everyone’s minds (players, coaches, fans) is that little bit of doubt because we as a group still aren’t over the loss in SB49. We collectively have also forgot how hard it was to get there in the first place.

    Part of the reason for the struggles is the play on the field but a large part of it is around the psyche of the team. Wilson doesn’t trust the offensive line. Kam isn’t fully back and ready to make plays even though he’s in phenomenal shape this was his 3rd preseason game. Kam internally is challenged because he is trying to do more than just his job to make up for the 2 early season losses that he wasn’t there for. Some within the team may blame him but haven’t really discussed or addressed it. The head coach states publically that he’s baffled and lacking answers. The defensive line that was supposed to be so dominant isn’t so far. But most of all, the takeaways aren’t there. It’s week 5 and we just had our first interception. That more than anything else always allowed the team to dominate, because it messes with the other teams’ heads.

    I’m not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV, but I think a lot of what needs to happen is some real deep, honest reflection from each player and coach. There is no doubt that the talent is there. There is no doubt that the coaching is there. There is no doubt that the front office is there. Take the time to re-learn what this team is about. Establish the run. Get after the QB on defense. Block well on offense. Execute play action in an exemplary manner. Break the game open with the big play. Force the other team to take risks and then pounce on the mistakes. Don’t fire Bevell. Open up the offense more and scheme some WR open. Manage the expectations. This is a top flight organization that in my opinion comes out of this better for the challenge and struggle.

    Go Hawks.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Sometimes you have to fire or cut someone to make a point to the rest of the organization. If you don’t want to fire Bevell or Cable (and I wouldn’t till the season is over) then you could fire the QB coach and find another. Wilson hasn’t shown any major signs of improving as a passer.

    • Volume12 says:

      Great post Brian. Really well said. I agree. Right now more than anything, it’s about facing the man in the mirror. This team seems to play better with their backs against the wall.

      This game may be the one to light that fire under them. Kind of like the loss in KC last year. If our offense could give the defense more than a 2 minute rest, we’d be 4-1 or 5-0 at this point.

  48. Ty says:

    I’d love to watch the full screen game film. I have a feeling that we had some slow developing routes happening on those late game third downs. What ever happened to some quick slants across the middle, when you had to have it? Golden Tate was that guy for awhile, I believe Baldwin would be perfect for those situations opposite of Graham on a hitch or out or even seam. Jimmy was being squeezed by two defenders on a lot of those critical plays. We needed a solid option #2 for RW to go to when we had to have it

    • Ty says:

      Also, did Rawls get banged up somewhere in that game? Where did he go in the 4th and OT?

      • Rob Staton says:

        He was fine. For some reason went away from him on third down in the 4th. In OT they went hurry up to start with a passing back then didn’t hand him the ball in the second possession (again, baffling).

        • Ty says:

          When Marshawn is around and is rolling, we feed him the rock. Stick with the hot hand until the opposition stops it. The best thing about Beast Mode is that he can close out games. He does just enough to keep the chains moving.

          I don’t believe play-calling is completely to blame for our inability to sustain a drive. However, I’d prefer to see less of the read option in finishing situations, unless RW is going to keep the ball more often. The defense gets a clear view of what is happening in the backfield and as far as play action goes, RW rarely has time to get set after the fake.

          Rob, I’m excited to hear your thoughts and see what scouting reports you share for next year’s draft. Obviously, the offensive line could use some more competition. Also, do you think there is any chance we resign Okung? Is he worth it at this point. I feel Sweezy should be a Hawk come next year.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I think it’s important to retain the two best players on the line if possible. They need to improve the line where possible — not start replacing experienced vets like Okung with another unknown rookie. I hope they find a way to keep Sweezy and Okung but I think Okung walks.

  49. M says:

    So many positives to take away from this game…it’s just hard to believe it didn’t translate into a W.

    The sky is falling commentary surrounding the O-line was quieted (as I thought) by surprisingly strong play through 3 quarters. The defense, excepting the opening TD drive, was just dominating…for 3 quarters. 17 points allowed through 11 quarters of play. This is still the most talented team in the league and for 3 quarters, they looked the part.

    Re Graham, Bevell recently said the object is not to throw to Graham 5,000 times a game. Once again, Bevell misses the point. Nobody expects 5,000 targets, nobody expects a Saints level of production but what you do expect is an offense that optimizes his talents as maybe the best pass catching tight end in football especially in key situations. By definition, that means more than 5 targets in a key game and 3 targets through 3 quarters in the game before. Otherwise, you’re better off with Unger and a 1st round pick. Inexcusable. Period.

    However, the biggest issue by far is that in their last 5 out 6 games, they’ve lost the lead in nearly every 4th quarter (save for a technicality against the Lions)? That’s a consistent pattern of not finishing and whether it’s mental and/or physical, it’s a real concern going forward.

    The silver lining in all of this is that the schedule softens going forward even though the Panthers are a tough test.

    • Volume12 says:

      Graham also has to realize, he opens things up for everyone else. Can’t throw him the ball every time. Forcing him the ball cost us dearly yesterday.

      Whether people want to admit it or not, RW height limits what he can do. And he can’t get out to the right and throw with Gilliam playing as poorly as he is. Run blocking was much improved overall, pass blocking too, excpt when it counted. DTs just manhandling Nowak.

      • Steele says:

        The Jimmy problem is multi-part. We heard all offseason how great the chemistry between Russ and Jimmy was, but we have not seen it so far. Russ clearly isn’t comfortable, for a lot of reasons. Jimmy seems to be running the routes he’s expected to, but not doing enough in the scramble part of it to get open.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I don’t buy that argument – height doesn’t bother Brees, or Vick. Going back further, short stature didn’t bother Doug Flutie or Joe Theismann or Fran Tarkenton or Sunny Jurgensen or Pat Haden or Len Dawson. Dawson, Jurgensen and Tarkenton are HOFers. Brees likely will be too.

        Bottom line – RW is a fine pocket passer when he has a pocket to operate in.

        As for throwing to Jimmy – he was targeted a team-high 5 times yesterday (tied with No-E).

        IIRC, there were a couple of pass plays yesterday where Jimmy just didn’t look back at RW in time for Wilson to throw to him, so RW checked down to another WR, or bailed on the pass entirely.

        Nowak had a decent game, especially considering he was up against Atkins on some of those snaps.

        • Volume12 says:

          I agree about Jimmy. I don’t get the ‘targeting him more’ debate. He’s been targeted just as much here as he was in N.O.

          Height does bother Brees, he’s just learned to play on his tip-toes. The small stature hurt Theismann, Vick, Flutie was ok, Tarkenton was a scrambler too. Dawson, Haden, and Jurgensen all played in an era where D-lineman weren’t as athletic, quick, or as big.

          Fortunately for us, RW is built differently than say an RG3. And he is fine in the pocket, but much better on the move.

          Nowak is decent. Looks like a backup to my eye. ‘No E’ is wide open in OT yesterday, but RW can’t set his feet or climb the pocket because Nowak’s guy is right in his face as usual. I understand it’s Geno Atkins, but he just ain’t the answer.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            Fair enough V12. Height may very well be an issue for RW, but those other QBs I listed nonetheless found ways to win.

            It’s kind of an irrelevant argument however when we both agree (1) RW is at his best scrambling to his right but can’t because Gilliam sucks, and (2) no QB can be an effective passer with a NT/DT pushing the C into his face.

            Maybe time to give Lewis the start. Fortunately this draft is deep with C prospects.

            • Volume12 says:

              Extremely deep. There’s even guys like TCU’s C Joey Hunt, a day 3 guy, who will probably end up a starter for someone in year 1.

              Touche’ about his height really being irrelevant. Like you said about the other QBs listed above, Russ too has found ways too win.

              I just think it’s time for RW to do what he does best. If that means taking off and running when his receivers aren’t open after 3 seconds or so, go for it. Start taking more shots downfield. He’s playing too hesitant right now. Getting Lynch and P-rich back will be big for us.

              It should be time for Lewis. Hoping it is. I swear to god, Brock said that RW couldn’t stand taking direct snaps from LJP, because his a** was so stinky. LOL.

              • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                I wonder who Brock’s source was on that?

                Very much looking forward to PRich’s return.

                • Volume12 says:

                  And just saw on twitter that KPL is back this week as well. Big time athlete and playmaker. Hoping we see some blitzes and him in coverage.

                  • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                    Saw that too – instagram of him one-handing a catch with Wags “covering”

                    Hope he can stay active. I’m concerned about Hill being out.

                  • Volume12 says:

                    Yeah, I didn’t know that until I saw your post up above. How long is he out for? Crosing my fingers here.

                  • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                    Hill expected to miss 3 weeks with a quad strain

          • Steele says:

            Volume, you are right about those shorter QBs. The great and good ones from previous generations, as you say, did not face the same kind of defenders. Moving forward chronologically, Theisman was very good. Brees is the best example of the modern era. He has learned to work around it. Also, Payton has built a system around making sure he has passing lanes.

          • M says:

            To set the facts straight, targets are actually nowhere near Saints level. As expected.

            I believe the stats are 138 targets on average per season with Saints (based on 16 games played so excluding injuries) and he’s on pace for 90 targets this year fully healthy.

            Yes, it’s a different offensive scheme (although I believe the Seahawks are passing significantly more this year) but the issue is number of targets and quality of targets.

            My point is that simply you won’t maximize the value of Graham with 5 targets per game. You’re better off with Unger and a 1st.

            If I were to speculate, I think Bevell is of the philosophy that the ball goes to the “open” player. No favorites. Nothing earth shattering there but I think the Seahawks look to avoid TOs by playing it safer than other teams. However, part of the issue may be that Jimmy Graham being open is different than say, Doug Baldwin being open. The Seahawks just haven’t had a player with his catching radius–it’s a different type of open and one that Wilson may be still adjusting to.

            • mrpeapants says:

              However, part of the issue may be that Jimmy Graham being open is different than say, Doug Baldwin being open.

              so true. how many defenders are gonna out position out jump out anything JG.no one is.

        • Steele says:

          True, having a good pocket does wonders. But I do think RW struggles with certain passes, even with a good pocket.

          These are things that Carl Smith should be working on.

  50. neil says:

    The team can say all they want to about moving on from the Super Bowl loss, but it seems evident their is a carry over to their collective phyche. It could be they are to worried to much about losing late. Strange though, after losing to Atlanta in the divison round in the last 30 seconds, they came back with determination in 2013 to right that loss. We don’t seem to see that this year, I guess because they have already won a Super Bowl. It seems quite possible to be 4-4 at thehalf this year. For some reason we are playing Carolina for the fourth consecutive year. I guess the league knows they always give us a hard time. You can’t go on beating a good team forever at some point the law of averages catches up with you. This is not a gimmie game, neither is the 49’er game, given the way they came to life against the Giants. We won’t win the west this year that is obvious. 9-7 seems like the likley finishing point, possibly 10-6 if they get the ship righted. Will that be good enough for the playoff’s? Don’t know!!

  51. Volume12 says:

    As M said, a lot of positives to take away. Seattle was dominant yesterdy for 45 minutes against one of the most explosive teams in the NFL. 2 TOs, a defensive TD, 4-5 sacks and countless pressures Sure Kam and Cary had a bad game. It happens. AJ Green is going to make plays. Not sure why some say Shern played bad, but whatever.

    Fact is, this offense keeps them on the field too long. They can’t convert 3rd downs. It isn’t even about scoring. They need to have 4-5 minute drives to give our defense a rest. Forcing the ball to Jimmy Graham down in the red zone proved to be costly. Rawls had a great game, but their still missing one more back they can lean on.

    The offense just is not getting it done late in games, leading to our defense collapsing. What more could they have done? Failing to convert from 3-6 yards out on 3rd down is a problem. RW can’t roll out to his right, because Gilliam is a freakin’ turnstile.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Speaking of Gilliam, on SEA’s final 6 offensive drives, he gave up two 3rd down sacks and a 3rd down pressure, all of which directly resulted in stalled drives.

      • Volume12 says:

        My point exactly. We all know Russ is at his best the majority of times, rolling out to his right. And every time this year, there’s someone right in his face or barrelling down on him.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          How do you solve that? Line up Trukafoo as a blocking TE?

          Despite his measurables, Gilliam just doesn’t seem to have the quickness (or reaction) to counter the outside speed move.

          • Volume12 says:

            Good question. It’s a legit one. Coleman has not played well at all, except for STs. IMO they’re missing an H-back kind of guy. Even a better FB.

            Yeah Gilliam doesn’t appear to be a 16 game starter at this point. A good guy to fill in and him battling this season is good for his overall game, but their screaming out for another tackle.

  52. AlaskaHawk says:

    Now there is an article about how Wilson has been sacked a league high 22 sacks and that puts him on pace for 70 sacks this year. Youch! It is hard to listen to my coworkers yap about the Seahawks loss this week – especially since they are all rooting for other teams.

    • Volume12 says:

      I get what your saying. Here’s my response to the haters.

      There’s something like 9 teams in the NFC that are 2-3. Really only 4 teams in a strong playoff position. GB, ATL, ‘Zona, Carolina, and the NY Giants. We still control our own destiny. Arizona twice.

      If we get in as a wildcard, so be it. How many times in the last decade+ have we seen wildcard’s run the table and win it all? IIRC we were beat by one of those teams. We’ve seen teams go 9-0 and almost miss out on the postseason entirely. Which leads to my next point.

      Too early to lie down and down or just stop and quit. Our next 8 opponets have a combined 22-24 record, with the majority of the wins coming from Carolina and ‘Zona, who we’ll face 3 teams. Beat those 2, we could realistically go 8-0 or 7-1. Even 11- 5 might win the division.

  53. Rad man says:

    The comments about Wilson regressing- think about why that might be the case. No better way to undermine the progression of a developing (and Wilson is still developing as a passer) is to surround him with O line talent he does not and should not trust. He already had a latent tendency to bail out of the pocket, and it’s been compounded by an institutionalized blatant disregard for pass blocking skill, and a strategic choice to disinvest in the O line from a cap perspective, and to field developmental ‘high ceiling, low floor’ talent on the O line.

    These things have compounded whatever shortcomings RW had as a pocket passer, not alleviated them.

    Also worth nothing that Russell got F’ing destroyed on some of the passes that were near misses. He got lit up on his follow through on a number of pass attempts.

    I remain unconvinced that this approach to developing a 20M a year QB is a wise one.

    I also think a conversation about making an OC and O line coaching change is a legitimate conversation. Citing DVOA over and over again isn’t really a response, because we all know the talent on the roster has been there (Elite playmaking QB, and elite RB). I’ve never been a “Fire Bevell” advocate. But I do think this staff- from HC on down- has done a poor job maximizing offensive talent at various points in games, and this is not a new trend.

    In short, I think Bevell has great talent as a designer of an offense, and he’s also done a fair job in second half adjustments, but I think he is limited as an offensive play caller.

    • Steele says:

      I think Bevell should have been replaced this past offseason, and Cable, possibly also. It is more than a legit conversation, no matter what happens from here.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I’ve hammered away at this issue, mostly because I see it as a drafting and coaching failure. Every year the offensive line gets built up to superbowl level. Every fall they start at zero again. It has taken till game 5 of the regular season to find any continuity in the line. And that is typical of the last three years. I blame that on coaching and their choice of drafting people who have never played their positions.

        I don’t see any hopes that things will magically change and the team will be prepared next year. Unless there is a coaching change.

        • Volume12 says:

          Not expecting anything different either. Don’t know if we’ll see a DL convert selected though, other than an UDFA.

          Right now, I’m just not seeing any OTs that match a late 1st round pick, I’m assuming we pick there of course. The 2nd round looks about right. 8-10 really good C’s this year too.

        • CharlietheUnicorn says:

          There will only be one potential hole to fill, LT. That assumes the rest of the line gels and performs better by the end of the year. If they do, the OL woes will be resolved and Seattle can get off to a more consistent and punishing start to the 2016 season.

  54. Volume12 says:

    I’ve seen/heard this 3 times from 3 different people in 2 days now.

    JS personally scouting Ohio St’s OT Taylor Decker, HB ‘Zeke’ Elliott, and DT Adolphus Washington on Saturday.

    • Steele says:

      Zeke is pretty darned good.

      • Volume12 says:

        Very good. Not my favorite back personally, but he is the best one in this year’s eligible class. And he is growing on me. A complete back. That block he sprung in week 1 that led to Braxton Miller’s spin move was a thing of beauty.

        Decker is a good one too, but probably goes way too high.

        I like Washingon too, but just not sure they’ll go DT first overall. I do think it’s a need, but it’s so deep this year that you could get a guy very close to him in say the 3rd or 4th.

    • CharlietheUnicorn says:

      Elliot: the good/bad news, the guy won’t make it to pick #20. With Gurley looking like he is taking the NFL by storm, there are a few other teams eager for a back that can perform at a high level.

      My guess is the guy they really want is the DT Washington. He is big and powerful.

      I do not see them taking OL high in the draft, sorry everyone.

  55. Forrest says:

    Something I look forward to next week: The Hawks TEa always seem to have big games against Carolina…could be a good sign…

  56. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    A question for everyone who thinks Bevell is the root of the problem:

    How many times in the first 2.5 quarters did SEA run a weakside counter with Rawls? 6 times? More?? And after the first or second time, does anyone really think CIN was surprised when SEA ran it?

    I guarantee after the first one, CIN knew each and every time SEA was running that play. But it didn’t do them any good. Why?

    EXECUTION.

    Rawls got most of his yards on those counter plays. The OL opened up huge running lanes by dominating at the point of attack and sealing off any pursuit.

    SEA ran the same exact play later in the game but without the success they had earlier. Why?

    To be entirely fair, credit goes to the Bengals D for elevating their game in the 2nd half. But the real answer is execution, or in this case, lack thereof, on the part of SEA. They just stopped executing the way they had earlier.

    Even in the passing game – drops by Willson and Lockett, as well as Lockett’s lack of sideline awareness. That’s all a lack of execution.

    A lack of execution is a coaching issue. So it’s fair to criticize the staff in that regard. But putting all the blame on the offensive scheme, when that very scheme had been so successful in the first half, just flies in the face of logic.

    • Steele says:

      I think the answer is both execution as well as the lack of creativity. There are many ways to keep a defense off balance. There are just better play callers than Bevell, who have a better feel for games.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Just my opinion but Bevell is limited in what he can scheme for because the OL is such a mess. Cable shares responsibility for that.

        • Ed says:

          The lack of creativity, the lack of adjustments, the lack of knowing what you have, as well as many other things, get Bevell unsatisfactory marks.

          His offense is about as creative as a pop warner coach.
          He does nothing that fools the D
          He has a weak offensive line, yet continues to have drawn out patterns.
          The zone read should be a wrinkle. Otherwise, use the 2 fullbacks, run down hill, play action and bootleg as you establish that. Or sit back and dink and dunk and actually throw to Graham in the seam.

    • Jarhead says:

      It isn’t necessarily scheme that makes me want to see Bevell gone. It is the numerous times we have commanding leads on teams and where NE would crush their opponents throat and maybe score 50 on a team by being relentless and go for broke every drive- we seem to try and play 19:00 offense and bleed the clock down halfway through the 3rd Quarter. That is mentality. That is not scheme- but it IS a pacifist mentality that drives me insane. What we were doing was working- we were crushing them. And we let off the gas. I saw us blow teams away in 2012- and we could be doing that still this year. But the mentality seems to have changed. That is what I personally find repugnant about Bevell. Don’t let off the gas. Kick them when they are down. This isn’t Pee Wee. If we run the score up, so be it- but that would prevent a team from scoring 17 unanswered points because of a catastrophic momentum shift

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I’m not a big Bevell fan so it’s not like I’m trying to defend him. In fact, I see the same thing, the same effect, that you do. I just ascribe a different cause for it. You say it’s poor OC calling. I say poor on field execution.

        Look at it this way. The 2012 Seahawks that blew away teams did so under OC Bevell. His scheme, PC’s scheme, really hasn’t changed since then. Run the ball, control the clock, look for chunk yardage opportunities. That offensive style predates PC’s time with SEA. He won a pair of NCAA titles with that at USC.

        Yesterday, I didn’t see Bevell or any other coach take the proverbial foot off the gas in the 2nd half. Instead, I saw the players lose intensity. I saw them lose the battle of wills that often decides the outcome of a game. By way of example, through the first 5 weeks, I count 25 games decided by less than a TD. Then there those games won by more than 7 but where the winning team still comes from behind. Yesterday, SEA had CIN on the ropes, but CIN ended up winning the battle of wills, and the game.

        Indeed, credit belongs where it’s due, and CIN deserves their share for not flinching when SEA had its foot on their throat.

        It’d be one thing if SEA ran an up tempo, high octane offense that put up gawdy stats, if not necessarily high scores. But the offense SEA ran (unsuccessfully) in the 2nd half vs CIN was the exact same offense they ran (with success) earlier.

        • Tien says:

          Agreed Eric. I yell at the t.v. also when I see us get stuffed yet again on a run behind the LOS or a short screen but then I remember, oh yeah, that’s what we run and the difference this year is we’re not executing like in years past…primarily due to incredibly bad OL. That’s why I was so shocked and then pissed when we called that slant pass on the 1 yard line in the SB! That wasn’t our identify and not the kind of plays we run. I think we need to decide if we have the players and talent to continue with the current scheme or whether we need to change the scheme to adjust to our players and their performance this year.

        • Steele says:

          Whose job is it to demand better execution in-game when things start to falter? Whose job is it to make adjustments based on not only what the opponents are doing, but the state of your own guys, mentally and physically?

  57. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Throwing a little salt on the wound…Bengals had only 10 men on the field when Wilson threw the redzone INT going for Graham.

  58. Sean says:

    I think part of the reason this team struggles with identity at times is that it does not really have one offensive coordinator, it has a Passing Game Coordinator (Bevell) and a Running Game Coordinator (Cable). When you split responsibility for the offensive design, you run the risk of the two designs not meshing well with each other.

    Cable is also the O-line coach and heavyweight on o-line talent decisions, and he clearly picks run blockers without giving much of a damn about pass blocking. That leaves Bevell to design a passing game with a line that can’t pass block. Result: Lots of shotgun. But that telegraphs the pass unless you run from shotgun too, so now Cable can’t design the run game with much I-formation/power running formation, and Lynch winds up taking the handoff on 3rd and 1 from a dead standing position rather than running downhill, so he gets stuffed on short yardage more often than not, because on 3rd and 1 you’re better off getting to the LOS fast and with power than slow with no monentum. The read option was a great wrinkle to overcome these design flaws for a while, but now that most teams are doing a good enough job of taking it away it becomes unreliable, and there’s nothing else to replace it to make this offensive design work.

    When viewed this way, I see Cable’s myopic overemphasis on run blocking skill and the fact that defensive converts can’t reasonably be expected to perform well on offense without a few years to develop as the primary problems, and almost everything else stems from there. That doesn’t explain why we can’t scheme Jimmy open on 3rd down or why we throw low-percentage fades on critical third downs, but I think it’s the real fundamental problem that has no easy solution. We have no offensive identity because it’s being designed by subcommittee.

    • Sean says:

      This is also why we don’t seem to use play-action like we used to. I remember in 2012/2013 that Wilson regularly displayed a killer play-action fake – he really sold it well – coming from under center. We often threw deep posts,seams, and crosses from this fake with great results. This is just classic usage of play-action capitalizing on a strong run threat.

      But now we’re in shotgun most of the time. Play-action from shotgun is less effective because the QB can’t really hide the ball, because his back isn’t to the defense. It might freeze a lineman for a second but it’s not going to fake out the second and third levels. The whole front seven isn’t going to get faked out and collapse on the downhill-streaking runner behind the bruising fullback. The fullback isn’t even on the field.

      With our current O-line, play action from under center is too risky, because if someone blows their block at the snap (highly likely at present) they can hit Russell before he can even turn around after the fake. Our offense has evolved away from being able to capitalize on Wilson’s play fake, despite the fact that play-action off a power run game is supposed to be the foundation of Carroll’s offensive philosophy.

      • Steele says:

        Russell in 2012-2013 was very decisive and on target. I remember my first impressions of him. I miss the things he used to do with play action. They need to go back to it, I think, at least mix things up. That takes a better o-line. What doesn’t work is anything that leaves Russell a stationary sitting duck.

  59. smitty1547 says:

    Volume 12 I love your post as they are insightful and informative, however the comment about Jimmy being targeted as much as he was in NO is off base and not even close. He got more catches in No than he even gets looks now.

    Jarhead I agree it’s as if instead of going to the usual prevent D, we go to a prevent O which has the same effect it prevent you from winning!

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      It’s the same offense regardless of the half.

      Ya’ll act like SEA has this high powered, high scoring, high yardage scheme that they abandon when they have a lead.

  60. Ed says:

    Look at what SD does with Gates back. Maybe we should get Reich as the offensive coordinator. He designs great routes for receivers to get open. Gates is a slow route runner, like Graham. He had the great 2nd touchdown route, but he also just plodded 3 yards, Rivers threw him the ball, he caught and got 7 yards. Not pretty, but when you dump dump dump, then you have more to play with. Maddening how bad of a scheme and playcaller Bevell is after all these years. If not for amazing individual performances at times from Wilson or Lynch (Kearse on a few big passes too), the offense would probably consistently be bottom 10.

  61. neil says:

    I for one have criticized Wilson on this forum. But after learning his completion percentage, I should take some of it back. Lets face it, blowing leads in the 4th qtr in 3 consecutive games is a defensive meltdown. It is apparent that Kris Richards does not have the fire and motovational skills that Dan Quinn has.