Instant reaction: Seahawks lose, drop out of #2 seed

December 24th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

The Seahawks were certainly in a festive mood today.

Atlanta and Detroit, Merry Christmas.

With two wins against slumping opponents, the #2 seed would be Seattle’s. First round bye, home game in the divisional round.

Now they’re left hoping the Saints upset the Falcons in Atlanta (not likely) and the Cowboys defeat the Lions on Boxing Day.

It’s tempting to say it doesn’t really matter. The Seahawks are not playing well. Do they deserve the #2 seed? Over someone like Atlanta or Detroit?

You don’t need me to tell you the answer.

Two straight forward wins against Carolina and Los Angeles — both mired in dysfunction — didn’t mask anything. The defeats in Tampa Bay and Green Bay were ugly and this was a home clunker.

This latest loss was arguably more galling than the ones in Green Bay or Tampa Bay. Seattle wasn’t facing an in-form opponent, red hot and making a run. They were at home. They controlled the #2 seed and just had to handle their business. And the rally at the end made for an unlikely slice of Christmas agony when Arizona marched downfield to kick a game winning field goal.

All three units played poorly at various times. The offense didn’t function in the first half, largely due to the struggling O-line. Quick passes, read-option, running the ball, play action. They tried everything and nothing worked. The early turnover by Marcel Reece led to seven crucial points. The late, desperate comeback shouldn’t gloss over how inept the offense was in the first half.

There shouldn’t be any grandstanding from Richard Sherman this week. The defense gave up the last minute drive to lose the game. They conceded 34 points overall and had the four-play touchdown drive straight after a Seattle score made it a three-point game. The pass rush continues to be streaky and it often feels like they can’t create pressure without blitzing the two linebackers. That’s despite having Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Frank Clark on the field.

The special teams had another miserable day. A blocked kick, a blocked punt and a missed extra point. The two missed kicks cost four points — inevitably crucial given the margin of victory for Arizona. On the missed PAT the snap was slightly high and there was pressure off the edge. You still expect the kicker to make it. Questions have to be asked about Steven Hauschka given his disappointing season in a contract year and the decision to change long snappers.

The game also highlighted Seattle’s three consistent problems:

1. The offensive line is not good enough. There are probably reasons for that — three of the five are starting for the first time this year, Justin Britt is a first year center and there’s a game of musical chairs at right tackle. But it was impossible for the offense to function in the first half with the way this O-line played. It’s hard to imagine this is a situation that will be improved by yet more inexperience (aka rookies) in 2017. You want to believe this unit will grow over time but it’s hard to invest faith in that happening after today.

2. They can’t run the ball how they want to and they know it. They came out throwing again today because they can’t establish the run. They’ve become thoroughly one dimensional and the old glass cannon theory was accurate once more today. Impact the pass and this offense shatters into pieces. They’re relying on a passing game and can’t pass protect. It’s not a good combination. Plus Thomas Rawls picked up his latest injury today (shoulder) and you have to ask — is he ever going to be able to stay healthy?

3. The Cardinals O-line has struggled for weeks, it’s banged up. The Seahawks didn’t exploit it at all. Arizona on the other hand had Seattle’s O-line for dinner. It’s a truly confusing and baffling situation given the talent in Seattle’s front seven. Why do they so infrequently smother opponents with pressure? Why are they so often dependant on the blitz?

You can list other things too — but I focus on these three because they’re consistent. And they generally lead to other problems such as red zone woes, backup defensive backs getting burned for 80-yard scores, Russell Wilson missing throws he’s made for years and Jimmy Graham being a non-factor.

This loss also didn’t just cost the Seahawks a straight path to the #2 seed, they also blew the opportunity to go unbeaten at home in the regular season.

The Seahawks will be in the playoffs as the NFC West winners but sadly there aren’t many reasons to believe this will be a Championship season. It’s not unheard of for a team to stumble into the post season and catch fire. Yet it feels like there’s just too much work to do and not enough time to do it.

This team needs an off-season to try and get right and get healthy. Unfortunately that might come sooner rather than later.

I’ll end with this — some things are more important than football, like enjoying time with family and friends and having a nice Christmas. Try not to let this game ruin your holiday, enjoy yourself and I’ll see you in a few days.

182 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks lose, drop out of #2 seed”

  1. Trevor says:

    Love you last point Rob!

    Have a great Xmas and enjoy your family over the holiday season.

    Thanks for a another great year of SDB!

  2. Michael (CLT) says:

    Merry Christmas, Rob. Been a strange year. Looking forward to draft season

  3. Trevor says:

    Agree completely with all your points. This is the first PC team I have seen with no identity. Hard to think they are going to find it in one week before the playoffs.

    I for one really don’t think the whole Sherm controversy last week helped anyone get ready mentally for this week and it showed. That is one of the few times I have seen this team just simply not show up.

    This is an historically bad OL that has cost us two seasons now in the middle of a championship window. Something drastic needs to be done this off season because what they are doing is not working in any way shape or form.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not convinced the Sherman thing had any impact to be honest. I just think today’s game merely highlighted how he has no place to talk. When the defense is giving up four-play touchdown drives for the length of the field, you can’t really complain about the offense.

      It’s going to be very difficult to sort out Seattle’s issues in one off-season. I think it’s more than just adding a couple of pieces to the OL. It takes time to establish a running game. It’s very rare you see a team be bad at running the ball then come flying back the next year with an elite group. They got a spark with Marshawn back in the day, that trade kind of set the tone for everything. They need another piece of magic from somewhere, somehow.

      • Trevor says:

        Hard to argue with that. Both sides of the ball really have glaring weaknesses and the star players are not getting younger.

      • Volume12 says:

        I disagree they didn’t show up today. They battled every second.

        Arizona has the personnel to match up with us.

        We’ve lost 6 home games in the RW era, coincidence that 3 of those are against the Cards? Don’t think so.

        • Trevor says:

          I disagree. IMO they did not show up that 1st half. The initial fumble was miscommunication then they just looked out of sorts. At halftime they pulled things together. If Arizonas personnel was so much better they would have dominated the 2nd half as well. From the OC on down they were not prepared for that 1st half IMO. I have never seen an uglier offensive half in the NFL.

          • Volume12 says:

            I agree about the 1st half. They couldn’t do anything. That O-line is awful.

            Protect your investment. They’ve gotten RW killed this year.

          • C-Dog says:

            I think it should also be noted that the early fumble involved a player who is still getting newly acclimated to the offense, even if he’s a veteran. I think, especially, for an offense, it takes players who have together over time, and Seattle just doesn’t have enough of that right now. It’s not lack of effort.

      • LordSnow says:

        One thing about the lynch trade: it was not a slam dunk “we’ve got a hall of famer” until the Beastquake playoff run. He had a so so first year. The team was still Matt Hasselbeck in the eyes of the fans. Lynch was still giving interviews on 710 and was accessible. After that run, the entire football world changed, but it took awhile.

  4. 75franks says:

    ty for all your work rob. merry Christmas all! go hawks

  5. Ed says:

    What a Christmas eve it would have been had SH made the extra point. A home game versus GB or NY it is.

    I really think a philosophy changes needs to happen next year. The zone scheme with unseasoned OL and average RB is not working. They have the size and mentality, so maybe turn to a man on man and just beat people up like Dallas and Oakland. Yes, they have more talent on the line, but having to think and get to an area really impedes what they need to do, which is just bowl people over.

    A FA OL (Kalil/Bell/Zeitler) and DL (Campbell/Poe/Short) would be fantastic and open up the needs for the draft.

    Say goodby to SH and Kearse too should save another 8 million

    • 75franks says:

      “so maybe turn to a man on man and just beat people up like Dallas and Oakland”

      I agree. keep it simple. plus maybe the pool of players we could choose from would be larger instead of just the top TEF guys. doubt they will change but I do think it would help.

    • Volume12 says:

      I think we would’ve seen GB or the Giants regardless.

      • Rob Staton says:

        But the difference is it would’ve been beating either to get to the NFC Championship game. Now they win that — they end up having to go to Atlanta or Dallas for the opportunity to go on the road for a second time.

        The silver lining on the inconsistent, messy play was the #2 seed was there for them. And winning one home and one road game (or two home) to make the Super Bowl wasn’t beyond even this disjointed version of the Seahawks. Winning three PO games with two on the road? So much harder.

        • Volume12 says:

          Yeah Hauschka might’ve just cost himself a job here.

          That LS is bad too. High snap on the blocked punt and on the XP.

          • Al4. askaHawk says:

            Maybe someone can explain why they need a long snapper to me again? I guess he is so special and different that a regular snapper like Britt can’t do it? Ummmm right.

            • drewjov11 says:

              It’s a highly specialized skill and most centers don’t do it because it’s so vastly diffeeent than regular snapping. That’s the main reason kickers don’t punt and vice versa. We had a solid one and we replaced him for no good reason. The new guy has been inconsistent.

              • Greg Haugsven says:

                I think we’re going to end up with the 3 seed playing against the Redskins. If theCowboys beat the Lions and the Redskins beat the Giants the Skins will be the 6.

    • Elliott A says:

      I really think they need to let Cable go, I understand he hasn’t been dealt the best hand as far as players to work with and the college level talent lately has been somewhat lackluster, so not everything is his fault. But damn something has got to change, this offensive line has been historically bad to mediocre pretty much every week for the past several years. And at this point, I think Cable is part of the problem and not part of the solution.

      Also, I don’t disagree with Cables/seahawks strategy of drafting athletic offensive lineman with high upside, but maybe Cable just isn’t a good coach or his scheme doesn’t work well with his personal. Since it doesn’t seem like our players are reaching their potential.

      Finally, I’m not entirely sure if a different offensive line coach could come in here and fix our offensive line issues but think at this point its a risk worth taking. I honestly don’t think a new coach could do any worse.

  6. daniel says:

    On the bright side Collins seemed to play well

  7. Kelly says:

    Also sealed our fate on having the best scoring defense for 5 years straight. 16 completions for almost 300 yards is not a good look. May have to CB up to the #2 need after OL. Russell missed an open Jimmy Graham a few times today. He is an amazing player but a 9mpy player should be making an impact every game and with an OL that can’t protect having to have a star player like JG have to help with that is a waste. This team needs to change something. I would almost be ok with Seattle moving on from Graham and spending that 9 million elsewhere. Whether is is OL or trying ot get a DT like Sheldon Richardson. Or trying to Pick up Dominique Easley in the offseason if possible. The offensive tackle situation HAS to be fixed asap though.

    • Rob Staton says:

      OL, DL, RB. Those are the big needs. Without improvements there they won’t come good.

      This isn’t a problem a cornerback will fix. And that’s why I wouldn’t consider it a big need. When they are playing without a running game and can’t create pressure without a blitz — those are fundamental issues for the identity of this team.

      • Nolan says:

        OL needs some veterans who are not just available but desired. I have rooted for and been a fan of the current strategy but this problem is just not getting fixed this way.

      • Kelly says:

        I just don’t see RB as the culprit. The Offensive line is impacting the game. Why I have Harped on the OL for years. Marshawn had to deal with bad offensive lines as well. Just Marshawn could just magically turn a 1-3 yard loss into a 1-2 yard gain to still keep the offense on schedule. Look at McFadden in Dallas last year. Seattle won’t be able to get an offensive line like Dallas’ right away. But they should be able to at least get a serviceable one to where every running play has a better chance to get at least a yard or two rather than current 0 to -2 yards we seem to be getting out of it.

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          Might need WR as well, looked like Lockett broke the tibia and fibula. If there is any Sounders fans here and they remember Stee Zakawani. This injury could be career threatening

          • C-Dog says:

            I can see WR being a target. It will be interesting to see what PRich continues to bring now thrust into a bigger role.

        • Rob Staton says:

          RB is still an issue because look at Collins in this game. Suddenly he was hitting the hole, making gains. Rawls has played tentative all year due to the injuries and Prosise, as well as he looked, has not been able to stay healthy either.

          The Seahawks do need to improve the OL, of course they do. But it needs to go hand in hand with a RB that can set the tone and enable this team to be what it wants to be.

          • Radman says:

            Collins was hitting the hole in the 2nd half be sued there was a hole to hit.

            Rawls doesn’t look tentative to me at all. He looks like a guy getting swamped. Last night he regularly had three cardinals in his face at the handoff. The situation changed marginally in the second half and Collins did well. But the line of scrimmage situation was different.

            This team has all kinds of skill players but it gets completely dominated on the line of scrimmage at time, making those skill players all for naught. Of a list of top ten needs I’d put O line need #1-5, D line 6-9, and RB tenth.

            This team is not a bully. They get completely dominated at the line of scrimmage on a regular basis. If you need a HOF level running back to run the ball and not be dominated at the LoS, you need s new damn run scheme

            • LordSnow says:

              Really hard to argue with your takes on this.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I just got a sense from Rawls all night that his body language was wrong. And then Collins went out there and ran with a purpose. Maybe the blocking was suddenly night and day better, but what reason is there for that? I genuinely think the blocking probably was a bit better, but so was the RB play.

            • LLLOGOSSS says:

              Agreed. I’m starting to think Cable’s ZBS is not the answer.

      • drewjov11 says:

        Aside from Sherman the corner position is average at best. Teams are targeting Shead and for good reason. He’s just got some questionable ball skills. He also takes bad angles in run support. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen him in good position and then he goes for a move and ends up giving up his edge and the runner gets positive yardage. Kevin King could help this defense. He’s a younger Sherman and he excels in run defense and tackling as well. Shead is nearly useless and frankly, Lane isn’t great either.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Yeah, but if they want King it sounds like they’d need to take him in R1. And that’s the issue here. Upgrading Shead might be something they want to do. But it pails into significance compared to actually having a functioning OL, running game and pass rush.

  8. Austin says:

    I think this team does catch fire and wins the whole thing. I won’t go over all the bad things but I will say I loved the fight in this team. Showed lots of character in the 2nd half. They are still as dangerous as any team in it. What a weird year.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I admire your optimism.

      • Austin says:

        well to be fair I’m in the Christmas spirit so it could end up being short lived. They will need Richardson to step up big time and Prosise to come back and be a difference maker as well. He will help the running game and the offense as a whole with Lockett out.

  9. Volume12 says:

    That O-line was awful in the 1st half. They looked lost.

    Haushcka leaving 4 points off the board hurt. As did that early TO. And the fact they couldn’t punch it in from the 1 yd line.

    I hate injuries. God they suck. Heart breaking to see Lockett like that. He’s a big part of this offense. At least P-Rich stepped up. We’re gonna need him.

    Collins looked pretty good. Has he maybe figured things out? Finally looked like he did at Arkansas. Good hands and he’s nice pass protector.

    RW missed some throws, but he was slinging it today.

    I get they need Jimmy Graham as an extra blocker, but why don’t they use another TE to help out and use Jimmy as a WR?

    #2 seed, 3 seed, 4 seed whatever, I’m gonna enjoy these last few weeks because we spend more time waiting for and missing football than we actually do watching it. 17 weeks fly’s by. In a couple months time we’ll all miss it again.

    Merry Christmas SDB!

    • Trevor says:

      Merry Xmas Vol! Thanks for a great year on the blog.

    • sdcoug says:

      re: Jimmy. Some of us have been saying it for over a season. its criminal to use him in-line against good Dlines. if anything, lining him up at WR makes that D readjust, even if its quick slants or hot routes. N.O. used him as a WR and we know how that worked

      • Volume12 says:

        They have to use him against good D-line because this O-line is hot garbage.

        Britt is a stud, Glow is average and we can get by with him, Fant is a damn basketball player so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt at the hardest position to play on offense s except for QB.

        RT? Joke.

        Ifedi? I’m holding out hope, but I have a feeling he won’t work out if he doesn’t make huge strides.

        • sdcoug says:

          you just said the same thing as me in your bullet-points. you can use a different TE to block more frequently and flex Graham out or let him release

      • lil'stink says:

        it would be nice to see them target Graham more early on, especially if they are coming out passing. Even if it’s shorter stuff, it sets up manageable 2nd and 3rd downs. If we are going to use the pass to set up the run Graham should be more of a focal point. That said, he’s been an amazing story this year. The injury comeback, and his improved blocking. I admit to being skeptical when they signed him, but now I don’t want to imagine our offense without him.

    • C-Dog says:

      Totally agree about not using another TE as a blocker. Did it hurt the team today not having Vannett active for that emergency role?

      • Hawk Eye says:

        Why not use Graham as a 6 ft 7 receiver and bring in Vannett as a blocking TE. Is Vannett a better option than Kearse as a blocker and receiver? Can hardly be worse.
        Graham is a mismatch on a linebacker or a CB, but not if you don’t throw to him.
        What team wants to face Baldwin and Graham at WR?
        Time to shake things up. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results

  10. sdcoug says:

    Hard to consistently beat good (in this case a rival) opponents when you consistently give away entire halves. Been a problem for several years.

    Disappointed we didnt blitz up the gut that last drive. You have the most immobile qb in the league and a sack would have sent you to OT. If he beats you fine. in this case he beat us anyway.

    Selfishly i lost my two favorite hawks the last several weeks. Miss you earl. Already miss you too Lockett. Heal well fellas.

    Merry Christmas all. Be safe.

  11. Trevor says:

    Doug Baldwin is a beast! So glad we locked him up last season can you imagine if he was hitting the FA market this off season.

    • Volume12 says:

      Yes he is. So is Lockett. Devastated to see him like that. He’s my favorite player too on that side of the ball so it adds extra impact.

    • lil'stink says:

      Props to Baldwin. He really is amazing, and so fun to watch. If he has 3 catches next week he will be the Seahawks all time single season record holder in receptions and touchdowns. Let’s get him to 100!

  12. rowdy says:

    Christmas wish list. Arizona fires Bruce Arians and seahawks sign him as OC.
    Upgrade oline in free agency, more rookies won’t help

    FA/draft
    DT
    LB
    S/CB
    WR
    RB’S plural

    • Forrest says:

      FA:
      Focus OL (one or two cheap vets or one big splash)
      Maybe DT (if the right one comes up)

      Draft:
      DT and RB early (rd 1-2)
      WR (rd 2 OR 3)
      S/CB later (rd 4-5)

  13. Mylegacy says:

    LOCKETT -His leg has to be severely broken in at least one place – I suspect in at least two – and not a mention so far…

    We have SO many great, wonderful players – but we are just not a Great Team this year. We might even go all the way – but there are least 10 teams playing better now.

    However, this loss means nothing in the grand scheme of things. It’s time now to enjoy this Holiday Season and realize how important our families and friends are. Football is a diversion. Our families are our priceless gold. Go for the gold everyone, Merry Christmas!

    • Rob Staton says:

      With these pieces, I try to offer more insight than just a list of events covering all topics. It was of course very sad to see Lockett break his leg.

      I disagree this loss means nothing in the grand scheme of things. This is the difference now:

      Path to the Super Bowl with the #2 seed:

      1. Beat one wildcard team at home
      2. Beat one more team, at home again if it isn’t Dallas

      Path to the Super Bowl as the #3 or #4 seed:

      1. Beat one wildcard team at home
      2. Beat Dallas or Atlanta on the road
      3. Beat a third team, possibly on the road again

      The route to the SB is so much harder without the #2 seed. A dysfunctional Seahawks needed that bye and needed the easier route.

      • Radman says:

        Yep. This loss was huge and cost them basically everything they wanted. I don’t think that’s overstating it.

        I’m done with the ‘Britt is a stud now” talk, too. He’s average. But on this line that’s stellar because everyone else is a damn disaster.

  14. House says:

    This loss was very reminiscent of the loss to ATL in the ’12 Divisional round. The team took a butt-whooping and came back. Took a lead in that game (I know it was tied tonight), but the defense gave up 2 plays and were on the “L” end of a field goal.

    The loss of Lockett was excruciating. The kid is all heart and effort. He was developing a special niche on offense and now he’s gone for the rest of the year and probably going to miss time next season. The OL looked HORRIBLE.

    Can we find a way to bounce back? I do believe we can. Kearse has looked awful for the majority of the season and it’s about time he kicks it into gear. Richardson will need to get on the field and someone else will need to STEP UP…

    #gohawks

    • Rob Staton says:

      There are similarities to the Atlanta 2012 game — the comeback etc. I do think, however, that there are striking differences. In that Atlanta game the offense tripped over it’s own feet. Lynch had a big fumble, they botched the clock at the end of the first half. It wasn’t like today when the entire unit failed to function because of the OL.

      Also, the Atlanta Falcons were a 13-3 team playing at home after a bye week. This was a five-win Arizona team playing in Seattle, with the Seahawks competing for the #2 seed.

      • House says:

        Very good points Rob. Totally agree with you. Everything you pointed out makes today’s loss even suck more.

        I remember Wilson’s post game speech… There was a FIRE. We need that fire and help from DAL and NO, not to mention we can’t afford to squander another game.

        I’m hoping we get it, but if we don’t, after a home game in SEA, we must become ROAD WARRIORS

  15. bankhawk says:

    Theyre My Hawks when they storm the ramparts and stand above the world-monarchs of all they survey, and theyre My Hawks just the same when they struggle in the dust to rise above. The real positive is that SDB has given me a community that has taught me that I can cherish the process as PC/JS and our guys do the work to get back to where they want to be rather than drawing my sole satisfaction from current results.

    Today was a setback but Im far, far from a wait-for-next-season concilliatory stance. But hey, Ive got this forum and a whole lot of spirited and well ìnormed and well reasoned dícussion in the offseason ahead-and the Hawks are alive and battling in the hêre and now.

    So Rob, SDB brothers alike-thank you for the pêrspective and balance you bring. And be well with your families over this holiday season. Chéers brothers!

  16. Matt says:

    I have said this before, but this is just a broken team/organization right now. This is the least enjoyable season in the PC era, for me. We are a talented team, but we are certainly not a very good team.

    What needs to change? Honestly, I think there are some personalities (coaches and players) who probably need to hit the road in the offseason. Also, we need to either get rid of Cable or Bevell. It’s not working. How can you be the worst offense in the NFL for 2 quarters, then literally be the best the next 2 quarters? Seriously, how is this possible? The lack of consistency, IMO, is on the coaching staff. And quite frankly, it’s time to pick Cable or Bevell. This duo is not working.

    Also, what the hell is going on with Gilliam being inactive, then Sowell? How does this help? I’m beginning to think that Cable is really the source of the problems on offense as a) these are his guys and b) he has tons of influence being the assistant HC. And if these aren’t “his guys,” then need a monumental shift on how they evaluate talent. They have basically lucked out on Britt and swung and missed on everything else, including what’s looking like a colossal train wreck with Ifedi. Frustrating to watch.

    Bottom line, it’s a broken team that needs to make some tough decisions this offseason. I hope eking into the playoffs due to a down year in division doesn’t make these guys think everything is hunky-dory.

    Besides that…I really do hope everyone has a great holiday season and while I may sound perturbed with this team, I have to admit I’ve grown numb and have grown disconnected with this group over the last season and a half.

    • Volume12 says:

      I’m beginning to wonder if Bevell and Cable clash.

      One is a QB, the other wants to pound the ball.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      My pet peeve with the coaches is that every year the offense looks lost at the beginning of the season. I blame that directly on lack of good coaching. It galls me to watch New England come out and look like the same team as went to the playoffs, while the Seahawks struggle and look like the Browns.

      For the last three years the only thing that has saved the Seahawks has been defense, and now because of injuries that looks vulnerable too.

    • Hughza says:

      I think the O-line is scheming too much. They seem to have a hard time finding a guy to hit when they shift around. I’m no expert but sometimes you just need put a hat on a hat and see who’s stronger.

    • Radman says:

      Matt, I think you’re on it here. I think the staff has gone stagnant to some degree and it’s a time for change.

      I fully agree on cable. I personally have found him egotistical and I see a ton of hubris in his decision making and explanations to the media- virtually none of them working out as he predicts or hopes. From wild and cocky transition/development projects to shifting players and positions behavior that deeply contradicts his ” they just need consistency to gel” defense of crap play. Sometimes it’s not even talent- players missing assignments and blocks in ways I just don’t see othe NFL lines do it- at least not in that level of regularity.

      The team and org needs a fresh approach.

      And I’m tired of the ” explosive athletic measure” of O lineman. When did you ever watch a lineman and think ” gosh, he’s super explosive!” . These guys are nice jumpers. They’re garbage o lineman.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      The Seahawks knew that they needed to find a tackle in the off season. Somehow they ended up with Sowell, Gilliam and Fant.

      Gilliam did look decent by the end of last year but regressed this year. I love the story line of Fant, but he is not a football player, is it too much to ask for him to spend a year on the practice squad learning the position? And Sowell – I guess he is adequate considering who is available.

      Meanwhile draft picks Idhiambo and Hunt sit out the season learning their trade. It’s very frustrating when the Seahawks don’t draft or find an adequate free agent in positions of need, and don’t take the time to coach/train rookies that obviously need to learn the position.

      There was a massive fail in picking tackles and training them this year.

      • LordSnow says:

        Now it looks like they’ve dug a hole for themselves. Will their be any free agents to sign that are any good? Probably not. And if they draft anybody, here we go again on waiting for development. It’s a bad situation that will take a miracle to get themselves out of. And if what they have develops as they hope, how long will that take? By that time, all the core players they currently have will be on the downslope of their careers are heading elsewhere.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I’m not sure if I would extend any of the ones they have. I kind of like Britt and Glowinski, but I’m not in love with them. Some fans love Britt and think he should be extended, I would like to see an objective evaluation of how he is playing at this time of year. He seems good and lord knows they need some player continuity- but I want that objective look at his performance. Plus why did they draft center Hunt in the last draft, where are they going to use him? Will he be a good backup? Why not use him for long snapping?

          I don’t know what is going on with Ifedi, he is a big strong player but is slow to react to unexpected defensive stunts and blitzes. I think he will improve, but as a first rounder he has already slipped below what I would expect. Maybe he will be better at tackle?

          As far as drafting tackles, the bar is so low that it can be done even in the mid rounds. I’m surprised they didn’t draft a tackle last year.

  17. C-Dog says:

    Great post, Rob, and happy Holidays!

    I will say this, while things feel bleak for a championship run this post season, sometimes a struggling team can catch fire at the right time, and really, that team just needs to get in the playoffs. I don’t feel all is hopeless for Seattle to be that team, but that’s me.

    A few thoughts:

    1.While the run game and interior rush are probably gong to be the high priorities in the offseason, I thought Alex Collins provided a spark, and Jarran Reed had another nice game, and I think continues showing some promise. It’s always good to see rookies making plus plays. With the Latest Rawls injury, it feels like it is clearly Collins’ time now.

    2. I think a good point is raised about adding another rookie to the OL next year and going through the growing pains again. Should Seattle consider adding a legit starting caliber vet who isn’t a bargain basement deal? How do we feel about Fant after this game?

    3. With the depth of this coming draft looking more and more like its on the defensive side of the ball, is this game an illustration of why Seattle might use it to bring in a number of players there next year? Pass rush feels like it will be forever talked about, but how do we feel about the coverage today? The broken containment that lead to that backbreaking Johnson run when the game was 18 to 21? Was that all Johnson?

    4. You are JS next Spring, do you make a splash play in FA and the draft to acquire big time help at DT and RB? Or do you make a couple mid level veteran talent additions, and trade back a bit trying to fill your roster with more solid players but perhaps less dynamic ones? This is where I struggle as a fan a bit.

    • Volume12 says:

      Johnson is an unbelievable talent. Has he been stopped by anyone? Kid is special.

      Collins looked nice. Hopefully he’s figured things out.

      • C-Dog says:

        Johnson is definitely legit. Collins got me excited. It was be a very Seahawky storyline if he were to emerge and help this team go on a deep playoff run.

  18. Troy says:

    The most consistent thing about this team this year is their inconsistency. How is this the same team that beat the Pats? The Achilles heel of this team is demonstrably the offensive line. Imagine if Rus had the time to throw today that Palmer did (and they had how many back ups playing???), if the RBs had more space to run where they were not hit in the backfield consistently.

    I’m not sure if or how the front office will do it but the Oline needs to be fixed in Free agency if this team wants another shot at a super bowl. Whether that be through a trade, or a free agent, or something else it has to get done.

    Also the most disappointing thing about that game was seeing Lockett go down. It looked really bad for his foot/ankle/leg, I hope he can come back from that. Seeing Doug’s reaction really showed how serious and injury it was.

    No matter what, if this is ultimately the decline that had to happen eventually, at least we can all look back at an amazing stretch of football for the last few years that brought us multiple super bowls, and a Championship. Hawks fans have been lucky to witness these last few seasons that have by far been the best of the franchise.

  19. Coleslaw says:

    Lane looked awful again today giving them field goal range on the last drive. Shead never gets his frickin head around.

  20. LordSnow says:

    Terrible terrible day for injuries in the NFL. The titans and the raiders both saw their playoff/sb hopes dashed today.

  21. 503Hawk says:

    Frustrating, but not surprising. ARZ & LA (& GB) hate Seattle, think they are better, and they don’t back down.
    Why get rid of Graham? Why not design plays where he (& Doug) are one v one and throw to them first and foremost…
    Brutal, really brutal injury to such a fine and up coming young player, and an even better young man.
    Philosophical change… Yah, been thinking that for awhile. However, I doubt it will happen. As much as I love PC & Co, I don’t see it happening.
    Because of my background, I’ve always loved the O-line more than any other unit. Last year I stuck up for Britt. This year, him at C. But, the rest of the unit is horrible. Can’t build on the interior three because there is no foundation to build around.
    Is it the multiple injuries, is the constant pounding, is it the change in family responsibilities… I’ve said it all season long… There is something off with Russ this year. Can’t put my finger on it… Something is just off.
    How many additional games (because of playoffs) have the core players played in since 2012 season. “Always compete”, absolutely! But, maybe this team needs a down year to catch their breath and rest their bodies. The NFL makes consistent runs nearly impossible. (Unless you are Belichick & Brady)
    Hope & pray Tyler’s career isn’t finished.
    Enjoy next the next two weeks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I suspect the reason for Wilson’s down year are the injuries. He still doesn’t look 100% even if he is running more now. Hard to play through a high ankle sprain and a slight MCL tear, plus a pec injury. He did it, somehow, but it’s taken it’s toll I fear in terms of this season.

      • Nolan says:

        Hopefully it’s not a perm at situation I’m worried he might be spooked from this season something like PTSD because when he does have time he still doesn’t use it. Hopefully we can get him atleast a decent line by next year and he will chill but he is under so much pressure to be perfect this year with no run game weak line and inconsistent defense I just hope doesn’t scar him for his whole career

    • Volume12 says:

      Its just not their year.

      O-line isnt good enough to play or win consistently. Maybe this game gets them going though. Rather the 2nd half.

      Injuries have decimated this team.

      Lost a huge leader and a back that made everyone look better in Lynch.

      • GerryG says:

        THey have not been injured anymore than other teams, and I would argue less than the team that just beat them.

        But the OL and lack of DT depth (pass rush) has made them an average team.

        • Volume12 says:

          So losing ET, RW being hobbled for half the season, Bennett and Kam missing a handful of games each, Lockett hurt earlier in the year, losing Prosise. Not to mention all the injuries that the guys play through who aren’t hurt.

          Those are all impact players that make a difference and tilt the field in our favor.

          • GerryG says:

            Not saying they haven’t been injured, but have been really lucky with IR vs short term injuries, and every team has injuries. They have been hit at every spot all season long, but I’m guessing their total games lost to starters is average. I could be wrong.
            And I also hate to diminish the loss of ET and Kam.

            To my earlier point, AZ has been ravished by injuries, yet their patchwork OL outperformed Seattle’s first team.

            • 503Hawk says:

              Are there any O lines that are worse than Seattle’s this year. It just amazes me how often and instantaneous the opponents penetration into the backfield occurs.

  22. Forrest says:

    Honestly the defense was more disappointing than the offense for me. The defense started out looking good, but then regressed and gave up multiple key drives. The offense clawed its way back and succeeded on multiple key drives. Here’s the stinger: If the Hawks can fix the OL, then the offense will likely function more like 2nd half of 2015 offense. The defense on the other hand has a major need for DL pressure up the middle, and their secondary is aging rapidly…

    OL should be the focus in FA, and if they can land a big time DT then they should do it. How likely is it that they trade their 1st for a dominant DT?

    The draft should focus on finding a workhorse RB who won’t be injured often, a WR for competition (McEvoy is very intriguing, but Kearse is streaky and Richardson is not utilized enough to know how good he is), and secondary depth (especially if ET retires).

    I said this a few games ago, but I think it’s time for the FO to start housecleaning a bit. Who is contributing? Who is hungry? Who is dragging others down (if anyone)? These are the sorts of questions that PC and JS should be mauling over this off-season. Better to do it now while the team is still good. Onward, beat the 49ers, then buckle up for some playoff games…go Hawks!!!

  23. GerryG says:

    Merry Christmas everyone! Great spot of Hawkdom on the internet.

    This team is not very good. The worst in the RW era. That is proven by the 6 non-wins, multiple offensive stinkers, probably out of the top 10 in DVOA for the first time since 2011.

    The CBs are not the problem, it is the the pass rush. The pass rush has been mostly absent the second half of the year. CBs are basically rendered worthless after the first 3 seconds, it’s nearly impossible to cover someone after the QB goes schoolyard (we know that better than any fanbase). And even great coverage can be beat when the QB isnt rushed/hit/hurried.

    The OL is an embarrassment of epic proportions. We really dont need to argue or discuss this. As Rob has pointed out, it’s not like they have not invested draft capital…Okung would have been nice to have, despite his weaknesses.

    Russ, for whatever reason is not great: inaccurate, too aggressive at times, shaky in the pocket. Not too surprising considering the beating he has received this year, and how one dimensional the offense is. We have seen plenty of great QBs turn into turnover machines, and suddenly look mortal once the team isnt balanced and they feel they have to do everything (Rivers, Rome, sometimes Eli, Flacco, Ryan etc).

    Playoffs do not matter IMO. This team cannot win against a top notch DL.

  24. Hawk Eye says:

    very disappointing game, they keep starting slow too many times. Seen that movie a few times the last few years. Can’t always come back and the other team also wants to win.
    Offensive line could be good in 2 years, but could be just as bad. If Britt is not extended, then they will have more changes in 2018. They need to get at least a new right tackle, and a rookie is too big a gamble. Can Glow and Ifedi improve next year to be at least average?
    Pass rush needs a stud inside, and you won’t find that in free agency (I can’t see them getting Campbell). But they can be drafted and have a quick impact, and it would make a big difference on the d, imo.
    I think they need another corner back, someone quick and fast. The tall and long thing is great until they have to cover someone really small and quick. Talib and Harris in Denver seem so much faster than Hawk cbs.
    With 8 players on defense capable of making the Pro Bowl, maybe it is time to look at the coordinator or the scheme. If it is not the players…….

    Cable and Bevel. Can we at least agree to say they should be analyzed and see if they are part of the problem? The o line does seem to be able to run block or pass block with any consistency so is it talent, scheme or coaching? Az o line is as bad as ours, but they played a lot better than ours. My issue with Bevel is lack of Graham and too much Kearse, or is that on Russell? Russell seems off this year, and injuries play a part, but he seems to make more bad decisions and have more throws off line than before.

    I did not agree with Rob about getting a stud running back, as I think the o line may be easier to fix (ha ha) than to find a star runner, but if Rawls and Prosise are injury prone, then maybe it has to be done. Or is there someone who has worn out their welcome somewhere else that fits in Seattle (like Lynch and Blount)

    just seems like too many problems to fix in one off season.
    Good news is they have some cap room and they don’t have to worry about compensatory picks since they are not losing anyone who will bring one back. Can they find a decent, experienced tackle like Whitworth to solidify one tackle spot? Fix the o line, somehow, and a lot of other warts may go away.

    also, no other great dominant teams out there. So they can come back.
    NE is really good, but they can be beat and one day Brady will be mortal and retire. Or act his age. Anyone else wonder how he is so good at an age when others are finished. Just because he does not eat strawberries?
    Every other top team seems to have weaknesses. I expect Dallas to fall back next year, like Carolina. They are having a good year, but sometimes things go your way and then they don’t. Other than their o line and Zeke, I don’t see overwhelming talent. All the other top teams also have flaws nd may not be as good next year. And there will be some new good teams next year.

    need a good draft, a few good FA pick ups, and some luck. Fix the lines and maybe they are dominant again.

    oh well, just a game, don’t beat the dog or the kids, have a great Christmas and let’s hope for some luck in the playoffs. Probably won’t happen, but it could.
    Go Hawks, and thanks Rob for being the voice of reason.

  25. Dawgma says:

    At some point, they’re going to have to admit that Cable’s method for scouting OL talent just doesn’t work. The OL is just a non-functional train wreck. Again.

    It’s time to reduce Cable’s input in the OL scouting, drafting, and valuation process. The results just speak for themselves.

    • GerryG says:

      There have been plenty of documented deficiencies in draft OL talent brought up here, but I think this point has merit. The team is cutthroat with players that don’t perform, what about coaches?

    • Rob Staton says:

      What if his role is no more than input like any other position coach and he doesn’t pick the OL like everyone assumes?

      • GerryG says:

        I would argue at this point everyone involved with OL scouting needs to be evaluated. Obviously we aren’t firing JS (nor should we, just in case someone thinks I’m saying that). But OL talent scouting is not looking great. Draft position hasn’t helped, maybe it’s time to consider moving up?

        I know most every team has OL issues, but Seattle has arguably the most problems of any decent team, despite having arguably the best personnel dept in the league. Crazy.

      • Nolan says:

        Then we are really screwed lol, I agree rob he is the scape goat and nobody knows how much his fingers are in the pudding or if he is justtold to do the best with what he is given. I think they need a veteren on that line somewhere sombody who has accomplished things in this league and is primed to accomplish more not someone on last legs or career wash out

        • Radman says:

          I don’t think he’s the scapegoat. The org puts him out there as the spokesperson for the line at their offseason events. They gave him titles. He is tauted as coaching them up. He makes claims about them. He owns this. They own him.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            When you run a business and parts of it are failing you have to make changes. You can train up the personnel you have, you can switch personnel, or you can change the way you do business.

            I would advocate for bringing in a new offensive coordinator with some fresh ideas about how to run an offense. And finding someone who can evaluate offensive draft choices. It was nice to watch someone like Buffalo run multiple plays out of different formations. Seahawks keep going back to same old tired plays – bubble screen anyone? They need to find an opponents weakness and bring out the plays that exploit that weakness.

            • Rob Staton says:

              It’d also help if the defense didn’t conceded 34 points, the special teams didn’t allow three blocks and the OL could competently give said OC the opportunity to call the kind of plays you’re talking about.

              Bubble screens — yeah, they do those a lot because it’s a way to get the ball as far a way from the LOS as possible as quickly as possible before the pressure comes.

  26. 12thManderson says:

    If anyone thinks this team has a shot to beat ANYONE in the playoffs now… Best get the softest teddy bear you can find… Because your walls will thank you in 2 weeks time.

    No Lockett means no return game, see Walters, PRich, C-Mike, Earl and Baldwin.
    Also means WR has sky rocketed up our Draft Needs.

    The OL is cooked, I’m serious. This isn’t about 2 division rivals knowledge of eachother, or talent being better. This is about too much individual issues for 5 guys, in 5 new positions. Cables ZBS has cost us some pretty decent development issues, between the lack of quality product outside of the 1st Round. You’re asking players to win by Thinking, rather than Out Muscling. We’ve never been able to afford a Big Time F.A, so we’ve been resorted to solely Build By A Hampered Youth. By the time they figure out the scheme, or a position. Their contract expires(Breno,Okung,Sweezy) or they’re trasitioning to a new position(Carp RT/LG, Gilliam RT/LT/RT, Britt RT/RG/C)… That’s alot of wasted time in preparation for the mind and body in their offseason/preseason preperations.

    Bevell, I live in MN.. I’ve seen his entire coaching career. Viking fans Loved the day they rid themselves of him. Between the Predictability of his play calling, to the squandered talent on offense(Favre, A.P, Percy, Sydney, Shiancoe, and a good OL AND NOW IN SEA), to his untimely cutesy B.S. He’s had some serious Talent and Big Tine Plays mask his short comings. Russ was lucky to have Bev in the beginning, can’t argue that, but after 5 years the time has come to change systems, both offensively and in the ZBS. Between SB49, The Fan Hate, The Now Player Hate, and The wide array of cutesy down wasting, Redzone Squandering short comings are finally at full force.

    Team Needs now that the reality has shown This Super Bowl is just out of the question…
    RB….. Fournette PLEASE
    WR… Lockett will not be Lockett for an ENTIRE HEALTHY Season.
    DT/DE Pass Rush… For obvious reasons stated on this Blog
    S… From this moment forward Kam&Earl will on avg miss a total of 6 games, that expectation is valid until proven otherwise(Budda/Obi/Eddie Jackson)

    If we could go to a Power Scheme, I think in yr 2 our OL could be much improved
    Fant/Odhi/Britt/Glow/Ifedi
    F.A has some intrigue in Berry, Collins, Wagner, Calais,A.P, and Lacy… The time to bet is now because Our Train Derails after 2020… The New CBA

    My brain teeters between Realist and Pessimist, and I know that’s alot of negativity, but if change is made and the right pieces are acquired… This Run doesn’t have to end, just yet.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      That’s a pretty good post.

      Somewhere I’ve read that Cable never ran a successful offense either!

  27. Golfstud84 says:

    Obviously the d-line pass rush and o-line consistency are a major problem but to me the two main problems with this team are lack of creativity on offense and secondary corners.

    How many times are we going to continue to have our second best pass catcher as a blocker. Why not use one of our other TE as a blocker and split JG out as a split end. He is a matchup nightmare outside but they continue to use him as a blocker. Then why do we only use hurry up when we are behind or late in halves? We move the ball much better but refuse to go to it even when our offense is drastically sucking.. That to me is on bevell and RW for not checking out to a new play. I thought he did a masters course in the offseason? This is his worst season so far

    Second point is this.. Why is everyone all over Shead’s jockstrap.. He is terrible in coverage and never I repeat never turns his head towards the ball. He either gets beat or gets lucky if the ball hits his back. He should be called for PI every play and lane isn’t any better. For us to get to where we want to be, we need a secondary corner in a bad way.

    I don’t think we are that far off and I’m hoping with a new OC and better secondary players we can get back next year. Rob, can you do a piece on the best secondary players, I doubt we have a shot at Sidney jones but who else might be available? If I’m Seattle I use FA for OL and DL and I draft CB and S in first two rounds since our defense is predicated on ball hawking secondary.

  28. LeoSharp says:

    I find it hard to believe that Darrell Bevell is not in some way at fault for how bad this offense can look at times. The screen game is so limited. lineman getting outside to block just seems be a natural fit when using an athletic offensive line. There’s starting to be a trend of poor line play in the first half, the running game look great for the first drive in the second half, then it being basically a non factor for the rest of the game. This oline is talented enough be very good but it it can start so bad it can derail a game before they have a chance to settle in. There just seems to be a disconnect between the coaches and the players and what they will be capable of at any given moment.

    Extra questions:
    Why was Kearse the first read on the goal line play.
    Why couldn’t Graham run the exact same route with Willson taking his place
    Why is Graham the best blocking TE
    Why is Baldwin not the focal point of this offense every week, he has the perfect skillset

  29. 503Hawk says:

    I would love to hear Jim Moore, or any other reporter, ask in a professional manner about the O line. How they grade potential draft picks, do they contemplate changing schemes, if not why not, etc.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It would be nice to hear some pressing on this matter, among other things. The post-game press conference revealed nothing really. I’d like to hear PC pushed on the direction of the team overall. Maybe that’ll have to wait until the end of the season. But still.

  30. 503Hawk says:

    Isn’t it interesting every time Seattle is in a position to make one of their game winning drives, I say to myself, “Don’t score too soon”. I don’t know why such a great D has such a difficult time closing out games. It goes all the why back to the 2012 Atlanta playoff game.

    • GerryG says:

      Yep. This D isn’t great though.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s a fair point. I certainly had a similar though.

      • Hawk Eye says:

        The d is good, but is not dominant and teams are not afraid of them anymore. Can’t stay on top forever, but the offence has not picked up the slack and improved to make up for a natural decline in the defense. They are getting beat on the line on both sides of the ball and I think that is where the focus should be to be a Super Bowl team.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Right now the secondary has weakness in safety and two corner positions. It makes it easier for teams to come back. Add in that the Seahawks will be facing great quarterbacks and receivers in the playoffs and it spells disaster.

  31. WALL UP says:

    The positive side of this lost is that it helps the draft status of landing Bolles. But, I’m not sure that will solve the OL’s woes.

  32. Cameron says:

    Earl Thomas has tweeted that he is definitely coming back next season, so we can take FS off our draft radar I guess.

    Consider this scenario – We sign Calias Campbell in the off-season taking care of our interior DL pass rush need. Also late in the 1st round there’s no OT or RB worth drafting, what do we do?

    Call me crazy but should we not at least consider going BPA and taking an edge rusher or corner (like Sidney Jones). Our secondary would be scary good.

    • Ed says:

      The thing is, Shead doesn’t really get toasted. He is usually in position most plays. Lane on the other hand is another bad CB signing (Williams).

      One thing I have noticed, is the corners no longer play bump and run at the line. In the golden years (ha ha that was like 3 years ago), they would always maul receivers at the line. Watching them the last two years, they don’t even put a hand on them when they are up tight. The philosophy has changed and it needs to go back real quick. Sherman and Shead are big CB, let them manhandle receivers, it’s what made the D what it was. Legion of Boom has turned into Legion of Gloom.

      • bankhawk says:

        Wondering ì any of that flows from a change in emphasis regarding the calls by the men in stripes.

      • Cameron says:

        I’m not trying to be snarky here but I get this a lot on message boards where we shouldn’t draft X because Y is ‘adequate’. Except for the OL. Everyone agrees we need to draft someone(s) for the OL.

        The thing is we are looking on how to improve this team. If a Sidney Jones is a significant upgrade of DeShawn Shead (and I’m not saying he is) should we not consider him?

        The adage ‘you can never have enough defensive backs’ happens to coincide with one of the deepest classes in recent memory. The shift league wide to 3 WR sets has necessitated having 3 or 4 quality corners. This is one reason why I’ve previously made a case for Budda Baker (to play slot), even with Earl Thomas announcing he’ll be back.

        We talk a lot about ‘identity’ on this blog. Seems to me that one enduring identity of this team has been the ‘LOB’. May be time to add to it.

        • GerryG says:

          I don’t disagree with this, and I really like it. But as stated previously the best coverage still needs a pass rush. So up the coverage, but get some DT help too (QJ back next year?).

          • Cameron says:

            And I agree, but in my original question I am assuming we fix this issue via free agency. I understand this is a draft blog, but the Seahawks may very well address some of their needs during free agency and even a trade.

        • Rob Staton says:

          The thing is — you can’t address every need. If this was a team with a functioning OL and running game, plus they were able to create pressure with four rushers, I wouldn’t be against drafting a CB early. But it’d be like replacing the tires on a car with no engine. If you put a first round rookie cornerback on the field against Arizona, nothing changes. If you put a running game and OL on the field, now you’re in business. If you stop Carson Palmer throwing an 80-yard lofter because he doesn’t have all the time in the world, now you’re in business.

    • bankhawk says:

      Now that í some d… fine news! Link, anyone?

      • bankhawk says:

        Re Earls tweet, that í.

          • Volume12 says:

            You can’t really press anymore. The NFL changed that rule because of us. I mean you can press, but once that receiver gets 5 yds from the LOS, theyll call it every time now. Seatlle used a loophole in officiating. Refs use to hate throwing flags, they’ll get sick of it. Now? Its luike theyre looking for reasons to throw one.

            Its a soft league.

            Shead is a good corner. His only problem is ball location. He never gets his head turned around.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I would consider adding another DL in that scenario. This is a good class for DL.

  33. Ed says:

    Hey Rob, enjoy your Christmas day then give us something to forget this horrid performance like you did a few weeks back. Don’t remind me of how bad the OL line, or the DL pressure, or how PC has failed to get this team to gel. I will continue to hope they get it together this year, but want to get distracted by all your wonderful content on what we can look forward to after the win the SB this year (ha ha).

    Have an amazing Christmas day with family and get back to work (ha ha).

  34. ROBERt Las vegas says:

    Thanks for article Rob I agree with you we need help up front the OL and Stand one things that concerns me is the lack of turnovers we receive.I have heard Pete say we need more .do you agree with this

    • Rob Staton says:

      I do. They’re not, however, creating anywhere near enough pressure up front to force mistakes. They are desperately in need of an interior disruptor.

  35. GerryG says:

    I believe we are even on turnovers for the year now?

    Pete has said they need to be +10 to be successful. Another metric of how far off this season is.

  36. ROBERt Las vegas says:

    And Rob I wish you and your family a very MERRY Christmas

  37. Football is a 4 quarter game, the team scored 31 points, this loss is on the defense. Yet no one has mentioned Richard. Everybody knows the Hawks play a vanilla defense with a few variations. They depend on the players to play it well. It seems teams have figured out how to take advantage of it even if is played well, especially over the middle. Time for some more creative defensive packages. As I see it now, if the Hawks win in San Fran and the Lions lose to the Cowboys and Packers, the Packers will e 4th seed and the Hawks 3 seed. I believe 3 plays 6 and 4 plays 5. The way the Packers are playing now, they could easily be the nfc champs. You have to admire their fight to stay alive.

  38. Litl Gravy says:

    This was a troubling loss, but not without some value in its shedding of light on some problems.
    O-Line: in terms of execution and talent, they’re the absolute pits. Glowinski (the famous Technician) is no physical match for a Tackle like Campbell. Ifedi, (the physical specimen) makes consistent and repeated mistakes of what really appear to be a very fundamental nature.
    They whiff on blocks, miss assignments and/or get beaten physically on nearly every play. They simply cannot be relied upon to protect the pocket nor to get a push in the run game.
    D Backfield: at least three of the big plays were directly attributable to Terrell missing assignments or tackles. The corners must adjust to playing without ET, and the staff must explore ways to coach Terrell up, scheme around his lack of instincts, or replace him.
    Scheme: as has been the case since Russell Wilson’s first game as a pro; the hawks have two offenses. One,in which the qb has demonstrated himself as a threat to run with the ball, and one in which he has not.
    The drive on which Lockett was injured began to pop when Russ kept it on a read option. Once this happens, the opposing D has to wait to attack. This is the only chance an offense with such deficiencies up front has for success.
    The predictable and repeated frustration here is in the waiting to display that threat. Today it was into the second quarter, but it’s gone on for entire games this season.
    I don’t know how they cover for Terrell, but they already know how to cover for that atrocious line.
    It would be lovely if they would put that knowledge into action right off the bat in next week’s game
    and any games that may follow.

  39. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Interestingly enough…. currently

    #1 Seed are the Cowboys
    #2 Seed are the Falcons (assumption)

    #3 Seed are the Seahawks (with win next week)
    #4 Seed are the Packers (with win next week)

    #5 Seed are the Giants (pretty much locked in)
    #6 Seed are the Redskins (for funs)

    1st round: #3 vs #6 and #4 vs #5 – Packers would have a huge challenge facing the Giants.
    2nd round: #2 vs #3 and #1 vs #4/5

    This is not as bad as it would seem, except for the lack of rest period. Seattle sustained a few major injuries today, but at least it was a “key” player, such as the QB. I can’t remember so many front line starting caliber players on Seattle facing major injuries in one season. The playoffs have already been changed due to multiple injuries today, not just on Seattle, but throughout the league.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The opponent in the wild card week isn’t really the issue for me. It’s the way the overall picture changes. Instead of a bye week followed by a guaranteed home game to make the NFC Championship (which could be in Seattle), now you have to negotiate the wildcard and win a road game to get to the NFC Championship — which would likely be another road game.

      Seattle is 0-4-1 on the road vs the NFC.

      Even with Seattle playing as poorly as they are — winning one home playoff game to get to the NFC Championship offered some hope. Imagining them winning to road games to get to the Super Bowl, after playing in the wildcard, feels like a major stretch.

      • I agree,, the chances of the Hawks beating the Falcons in Atlanta should be about 20%

        • Trevor says:

          Agree completely Neil. I think they are one of the teams along with GB and NYG who can expose the Hawks missing Earl most on deep routes. It is not a good match up but the way we played yesterday GB, Dal, NYG and Atl are all bad matchups.

  40. Kenny Sloth says:

    Merry Christmas, brother. Take it easy, now.

  41. Volume12 says:

    ET’s tweet was much needed.

    Terrell was burned bad today. On an easy, high school level post route.

    This game needs him and IMO HD needs this game. The off-season rehab sessions with him and Lockett should be crazy intense!

  42. swisshawk says:

    Two thoughts who came to me (again) after this game:

    -why do you want to save something like 500k for a longsnapper who has an impact on every scoring play? (you just lost by 3 and your longsnapper threw one low/high at e FG and EXP…, yes SH is to blame for miss but…)
    -in the drive you get something from the running game with collins and after that you flat out abandon the run? (yes we had to score fast and plenty, but throwing on every single down?)

    I love JS and PC but sometimes I just don’t understand why they are doing things this way. Has someone an answer?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Very valid questions, Swisshawk.

    • Ed says:

      Many more things than that for me, but the same premise. Why do they some of the things they do? I say this all the time in life in general though, what I find to be common sense isn’t so common anymore. If something is working, keep doing it. If something isn’t, try something else.

      They overcame a lot of these issues (bad OL, bad playcalling on both sides of the ball, no discipline at times, etc…) because they had Lynch. I hope they realize fast it’s time to adjust either the in game philosophy or out game philosophy (drafting/FA).

      • I still feel the defensive adjustments during the game are not adequate. I referenced the Packers earlier and their late season run. Credit the coaches for their willingness and ability to adjust offensive and defensive schemes weekly in accordance to their opponents weakness” not relying on the same old schemes as the Hawks seemingly do.

    • Trevor says:

      Cutting the long snapper whom worked so well with Ryan and SH to save $500k as always been a mystery. I thought they did it to fee up some money to make an OL signing or something but it never happened. They were well under the cap all season.

      I think it has cost us two games. So basically JS saved Paul Allen one of the richest men on the planet $500k and it cost us two games. There is no other way to look at it because it was not for needed cap relief.

  43. EranUngar says:

    This season has been anything but stable and consistent. There was the new “work in progress” OL, early injuries to RW and Lockett and missing Rawls and C.J. . Every time we felt like we are finally about to get healthy and consistent, something happened. Injuries to Kam and Bennett, Earl lost for the season etc.

    There was the hope that late in the season, the Seahawks will find their footing as they did in past years but it is not happening so far and the season ends next week.

    It’s time to look at what we have rather than what I hoped it will become. This is our team.

    This OL will not become solid or functional this year. I’m not sure it would be much better next year without valid, NFL proven talent. RW getting sacked after holding the ball for over 4 seconds repeatedly behind this OL is a Bevell/RW issue. Setting Rawls to run up the middle of this line is a Cable issue. Why come with a game plan you can’t execute?

    The DL was unable to pressure Palemr enough (behind a make shift ARI OL). Expecting it to miraculously be able to pressure the likes of Rodgers, Ryan etc. in realistic. The secondary is fragile without Earl. Great LBs are not enough.

    In other words, after being hit or sacked on 75% of his drop backs behind a pathetic excuse for an OL, RW managed to tie the game with 60 seconds left. All that was left was for Special teams to kick the extra point and for the D to keep ARI scoreless for 60 seconds. Both units failed.

    This is our team a week before the season ends. SAD.

    • Volume12 says:

      75%!? That’s sad and flat-out pathetic.

      For all his inconsistencies this year, there isn’t one QB I’d rather have right now.

      350 passing yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs behind that line is unbelievable. Sometimes I think RW is the best player on the planet.

      • DC says:

        He is definitely one of them. If I’m an opposing defense working to hold a 4th Q lead for the win there are 3 QBs that keep me awake at night. Rodgers, Wilson & Brady. That’s elite company. Our boy is a baaad man and one hell of a competitor. Yes he has a few limitations but Russ really is our championship window. We lucky!

  44. 1976Hawk says:

    RS: as usual all your points are spot on. SDB is an excellent read, the community always brings superb conversation and provides a lot of thought provoking rational. IMO, this season has provided answers to questions. Is Rawls a bell cow back (as many thought based upon 7 games of a rookie season, myself included)? Now we know, no. Can the 12’s rely on a second half surge (based upon previous seasons performances? Now we know, no. Can we rely on TC to be a “zen master” with linemen? No. Is DB too cutesy and in a lot of instances too predictable with his play calling within the red zone, yes. Have good teams (and the team we played yesterday) figured out how to beat our zone scheme in 3rd and long downs, yes. Is insanity doing the same thing year in and year out expecting the same results? YES! RS: I agree with your assessment of needing a RT. Draft Bolles, heck, even a local kid like Banner from USC. We need a bell cow back. PC is and has always been right: balance on offense is the key. There will never be another Lynch. But, there are excellent rb’s in this draft. Please draft one, because being one dimensional isn’t working. Is a 4 man rush always the answer to putting pressure on the opposing qb when we don’t have an inside rush guy? Now we know, no. So please draft a DL who can get inside pressure, this way we can hopefully solve our 3rd down and long situation as RS suggests. Is TC a good evaluator of OL talent? No. Mike Salk asked on his radio show if TC is a “tinkerer”? Yes! Is this an equation for OL success? No. How can we fix that? Either let him go or take his input away when it comes to drafting OL. Please don’t tell me every NFL team suffers from bad line play, because RW and ML have covered up a lot of the deficiencies the past few seasons for what has been a complete mess of an OL. Dump this ZBS. Why? The majority of teams best athletes are on the defensive side of the ball. A hat on a hat is the quickest way to solve this because there is not enough time for OL’s to be passing DL’s from one OL to another. Will PC/JS do some evaluation and be willing to make some tough calls either with coaches or players or schemes this offseason? That is the question we don’t have the answer to yet

    • Ed says:

      I didn’t even like the ZBS when it was working OK for ML and have been wishing they would move to a power scheme like Oakland and Dallas. Just blow people up.

      On D, go back to manhandling receivers at the line of scrimmage. Even when they are up in press, they hardly even chuck the receiver.

      Go man blocking scheme
      Go back to chucking all outside receivers
      Get 1 FA OT (Kahlil/Bell)
      Get 1 FA OG (Warmack/Zeitler)
      Get 1 FA DT (Campbell/Short/Poe)

      A few more bad JS moves. (Lane $7.7 million next year and Kearse $3.6). Probably too much money to eat. trade partner maybe?

  45. Wall UP says:

    A consistency that reared it’s head at the end of games is the lack thereof a dominating pass rush. As mentioned, the 4 man rush was not able to get or pressure the QB.

    I think their gassed. Avril and MikeB are used too much on early downs where teams are now pounding them and it is tiring them out by the 4th qtr. Lack of pressure by the front 4 puts more pressure on the back 4 that is missing a key ingredient.

    Perhaps against teams that feature a run game, the front 4 should go big initially, and bring Avril in on 2nd downs. Playing them less on early running plays will help their stamina for that late push at the end of games when needed. Their not getting any younger either.

    That’s the only way they do beat Dallas. Having a front of Rubin, Reed, TMac, Bennett or Marsh initially will keep Avril fresh later in the game. The draft should feature a 5Tech more suitable than Rubin or Jefferson.

    • sdcoug says:

      I was disappointed we didnt blitz up the gut that last drive, especially after watching KJ destroy palmer earlier on pressure. Only one minute left and we let the most immobile QB in the league stand tall and pick us apart when a sack would have sent it to OT. We’ve seen too many teams march down the field in this situation to not be more interested in dictating what the QB does

      • lil'stink says:

        They may not have been racking up the sacks when we blitzed but they were getting to Palmer, making him get the ball out quick and forcing him into some bad throws. The blitz was working, so of course we choose not to in the last minute. IIRC we had the same strategy on that last drive in the Falcons game. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    • John_s says:

      I don’t think we’ve seen enough of Jefferson to make judgement if he’s a suitable 5 tech or not. Seattle traded this years 4 to pick him in the 5th rd so they saw a lot of him to move a pick. Also he showed very well in the preseason. He made plays consistently

  46. vrtkolman says:

    Merry Xmas all! Before this season started Carroll wanted to get back to being the bully. The year is almost over and the O and D lines are in the worst shape they have been in the PC era. I think the defense needs multiple DTs in the off season. Aside from Reed, everyone else is a JAG. We should also start building a pass blocking line if we are going to throw 30+ times a game from now on. I’m fine with that, but we cant do that while Cable builds a zone blocking unit.

    I’m thankful we get to watch another playoff home game. I hope you all got to see family this weekend and have a great Xmas!

  47. Mylegacy says:

    I’ve read several million blogs now about the Slaughter in Seattle and I’ve seen several comments, on various sites, calling for Cable’s head.

    For YEARS now we’ve given Tom pieces of eight and told him to turn them into golden douboons. Amazingly, by mid-season he usually has. This year – not so much.

    Now we KNOW we need more talent on the OLine. Tom will finally get at least one, perhaps two offensive linemen who can chew gum and tie their own shoelaces. By Hawks standards a wonderful improvement. When we give Tom some actual near prime time talent – NOW – we’ll see what magic he can perform when he’s given some actual real OLine guys.

    Next year Thomas will be back. Next year Lockett will not. Personally, I suspect his career is over. DangeRuss will be healthy, C.J. Prosise will be healthy, Rawls will be healthy. The OLine will have at least several actual players on it. The Hawks will soar.

    Oh ye of little faith. We might still surprise this year and next year we may be back to domination again. Imagine the above and one more interior rusher. Heaven, and we’re not even in West Virginia!

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and/or Bah Humbug – pick your poison!!!

  48. Sea Mode says:

    Merry Christmas, SDB!

  49. Frank says:

    The offense squandered another first half and also the lead for the NFC 2-seed. This script-building approach needs to be seen for what it is: we are throwing away half of the game to build a script for the second half, or the 4th quarter, or even the 2 minute warning. It doesn’t appear that the coaches learned from last year’s playoff loss. This vanilla playbook in the first half needs to stop. It isn’t worth it.

    And I’ll say this, “Win Forever” needs to be reevaluated.

    “Win NOW”. Make appropriate moves to support this.

    -Donald Penn just made the Pro Bowl. Joe Thomas continues to be the best tackle since Walter Jones. 10M was too much to shell out for him but 4M for JMarcus Webb? No problem. Of our 5 starting OL, 1 is mediocre and 3 are bad. The window is closing and the issues holding this team back need to be addressed, not ignored.

    -Rawls is out and Michael was waived for attitude, I assume. So now we have Alex Collins at RB, and that’s it.

    -Lane to my eye has always looked better on the outside than in the slot. Burley was our most/only effective slot corner, and he was good on ST too, and we cut him. Because he wasn’t tall enough? These kind of moves are creating weaknesses.

    -Nolan Frese is not an NFL-caliber longsnapper and he’s hurting us every week. His snaps are slow, and frequently off-target, sometimes they wobble. I can’t imagine Jon Ryan wants to catch the ball in a different place every time.

    Yesterday on the blocked punt, Frese snapped it too high. On the missed PAT (near block), he snapped it in slowmo. It was more of a lob than a snap. Watch how crisp the Cardinals whip the ball out to the holder on the gamewinner.

    Whatever culture war the staff won by releasing Clint Gresham, it has resulted in a team that isn’t as good. FG unit and punt unit not dependable now.

    I wrote this about Frese going into week 12:

    -Last week (11) the Eagles blocked a PAT, after Bennie Logan ran right past Frese. There was a missed 44-yarder, where the snap looked a little short, need a little more air under it.

    -The week before (Wk.10), the Pats blocked a PAT, using Frese as a step-ladder.

    -The week before that (9), the Bills blocked a punt after two defenders blew by Frese at the same time, one on either side.

    -Against the Saints (Week 8), there was a botched snap just before halftime. This was significant, because we were driving to take the lead in the Fourth and had to go for the TD, from the 10. If we had 3 more points, a 28-yard FG would have won the game.

    -Speaking of 28-yard game-winners, against the Cards (Week 7), on the missed chip shot, Jon Ryan seemed a little “off” placing the ball, or out of rhythm with Hauschka. Maybe he wasn’t. But Hausch has been having an uncharacteristic year, and Frese is the new variable. Looking at the replay it feels like the ball gets there a split-second late, it isn’t placed flush and there’s a hitch in Haushka’s movement, as if he expects it farther out. Was the snap inside? To compare, here he is from multiple angles, kicking a 59-yarder snapped by Gresham.

    http://www.seahawks.com/video/2014/08/26/eye-hawk-hauschka-59-yard-field-goal

    Look how clean it was, from the snap to the hold to Haushka running up to ball.

    -The week before that (Week 6), against Atlanta, Hausch misses a 29-yard FG (bad snap) and has a Point After blocked (low trajectory). Carrol said afterward, “We were a little inside with the snaps.”

    -I don’t remember the first four games, but Frese was an unmitigated disaster in the preseason, and so were the other tryouts at LS. Why did they let Gresham go, before they’d secured his replacement?

  50. Troy says:

    Through adversity this team will either overcome and persevere or die a slow painful death in the playoffs. I will say for all the short-comings and areas of improvement that were on display during yesterdays game I find a silver lining simply for this reason… If you play as poorly as they did yesterday and yet still have an opportunity to win. The Cards played extremely well and barely won, the Hawks played sub-par just missed the victory train. That shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated.

  51. Marc says:

    Watching my young sons open their gifts at 6 a.m. this morning, it struck me that the Seahawks are those kids whose parents each thought the other parent was taking care of the gifts. It’s pretty bare under the tree this year.

    The Hawks have gotten average seemingly overnight. They don’t scare anybody. Their defense is more Grover Dill than Scott Farkus. And the Ralphies of the world are punching the Hawks in the nose.

    The Hawks need a lot listed in order of need– three or four new starters on the offensive line. A starting strong side linebacker, a couple of pass rushers, an every down running back, an explosive wide receiver, some young safeties to develop, long snapper, kicker.

    So far, Seattle’s 2016 draft class was average at best. They took a lot of developmental guys, who should improve in the off-season. Seattle needs to figure out where to go from here. They have a franchise quarterback and that gives you a chance every year. But if they don’t start blocking for Russell, his career will be much shorter than it could have been.

    Happy New Year! Go Hawks.

  52. drewjov11 says:

    I’ve seen enough of this bargain shopping offensive line Philosophy. Yes, they have spent some licks but there is no way a NFL contender should start George Fant and Gary Gilliam at the tackles. Period. I don’t even care if they trade way up to get a Cameron Robinson. Also, the ZBS is stupid and it’s time for some power football again. Free agency may be able to help our interior pass rush issues. I do sincerely believe in drafting a couple of tackles and a corner. Not just any corner, but someone who can actually locate the ball and play the run as well. I would do just about anything to have a functioning offensive line again. Ifedi needs work. Glow was really
    Bad yesterday. Britt… good enough that you can’t get rid of him. Cameron Robinson fixes a lot of problems.

  53. M says:

    Seahawks are a complete Jekyll and Hyde team this year. First, it was inter-game, now it’s intra-game. They just can’t seem to find a consistent groove.

    On defense, this team has looked as dominant as ever especially early on. I believe they were number one in DVOA and scoring as of a few weeks ago. For whatever reason, be it Thomas, injuries or fatigue at having to carry the offense–they just aren’t the same especially in terms of giving up explosive plays. On the plus side, this remains a highly talented squad even with Thomas out.

    On offense, Wilson still doesn’t look close to 100% to me which is why they seem reluctant to run the read option unless they have to. As for the O-line, this was always a gambit by Schneider/Carroll and truly an Achilles heel. I can’t say they’ve been terrible all year long as they played surprisingly well against some good to very good D-lines. And then, of course, there are games like yesterday and Tampa Bay. Ouch. At this point in the year, you expect more and I’d even settle for consistently mediocre–at least you know what you’re getting and can scheme around things. As for play calling, I think it’s been generally good this year with some key exceptions such as targeting Graham an average of 3 times a game for the last 3 games. I believe he was targeted once in the first 3 quarters yesterday. That’s unacceptable for a 6’7″ target who is simply a physical mismatch every time out.

    On special teams, the results speak for themselves…and they’re not good.

    For the playoffs, I believe the offense will need to weave in more of the read option (even with Wilson not close to 100%) to give the run game another dimension and more emphasis on the quick strike passing game (which I thought they did a good job of yesterday) to establish an offensive rhythm. Defensively, there’s no reason to believe the Seahawks can’t regain their dominant identity but they’ll need that level to have a chance.

    The NE game indicates that the Seahawks are clearly Super Bowl capable but their body of work over the course of the season indicates that anything goes and anything’s possible…which just may be the best way to describe their playoff chances.

  54. LLLOGOSSS says:

    I might starting to think we need to allocate some money to sign a mauler, all-Pro or Pro Bowl caliber RT. If it’s a LT, then fine, but that’s harder to do and it doesn’t help the run game as much. The number one problem I see is we can’t run. This offense was never meant to rely on pass protection, but without the ability to run we are exposed. RT is the weakest link, imo (at least Fant has the body), and also the most critical to the run game. We need a pro. Relying on another rookie would waste the window we are in. Go out and spend some dough on a tough guy who can blow someone off the ball.

    I’m starting to think Rob was right about needing another RB, too. Live Rawls, but if he can’t stay healthy we need options.

  55. Misfit74 says:

    The question is do we let this ineffective offensive line ‘gel’ and hope they come together since many are younger players and/or player whose switched positions at least once, or do we shake things up with a new OL coach? Do we invest in an OT or two through FA and the draft with a high pick? Somehow we’ve got to fix this issue.

    I also think we should consider a bell cow stud RB through the draft. If not a trade up for Fournette or Dalvin, a Foreman or Perine sledgehammer could work. Since we have Prosise, Dalvin may not be the fit we need. We need a tough interior runner who can smash people and break tackles. We are simple ‘getting by’ with the OLine and RBs we are using now and that’s not what the team is successfully built upon.

    Imagine Russell Wilson behind even an average OLine along with a respected RB. I also think we need another WR. Baldwin is aging, Lockett is injury-prone, and we need a Corey Davis or Mike Williams type.