"I'm real surprised about that. Never anticipated that would happen" Pete on 15 points in 2 games
— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) September 18, 2016
The Seahawks have a problem at the moment and it’s called ‘offense’.
In eight quarters they’ve managed one desperation touchdown drive to avoid a second consecutive 0-2 start. While the defense is playing brilliantly (19 points conceded in two games) the offense can’t even muster up an average supporting act.
Injuries are an obvious issue.
Russell Wilson put in a reasonable performance considering he’s nursing a sprained ankle. Yet it’s clearly impacting his ability to move around, make plays with his legs and extend plays/drives.
Thomas Rawls, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett left the game at various points due to injury. Germain Ifedi remains out and his replacement J’Marcus Webb was questionable but played. C.J. Prosise missed the game with a wrist injury and Nick Vannett is still out.
Jimmy Graham is also still feeling his way back into football after recovering surprisingly quickly from a serious knee injury.
None of this is helping an offense which is capable of brilliance when there’s a rhythm (weeks 11-17, 2015). Unfortunately when things aren’t working — this is the result.
When other teams have an off day they usually end up on the wrong end of a hammering. It’s to Seattle’s credit that this ugly 9-3 battle is about as bad as they can possibly play and yet they were driving with an opportunity to win at the end.
They need to get healthier and find some production if they want to avoid 2-2 or worse with the battling 49ers and the impressive Jets ahead of a week five bye.
The surprising thing is the running game. In back-to-back weeks it’s never really been established. Christine Michael went 10-60 and Thomas Rawls, before the injury, had -7 yards on seven carries. It’s putting a lot of strain on Wilson to be the offense at the one time in his career when he’s most in need of help. The Seahawks are struggling to set the tone and are being forced into situations (3rd and long) that are not kind for an injured quarterback.
There were also a lot of basic errors in this game. The Cassius Marsh facemask at the end took time off the board and almost ended the contest just when the Seahawks were about to get the ball back. There were a lot of ticky-tacky penalties too but also some costly, avoidable ones. Christine Michael’s fumble was the finishing touch to a disjointed performance.
People will talk about the O-line performance. This was never going to be a kind match-up against an elite front four — even if they had a top-10 pick playing instead of Bradley Sowell. More concerning than the pass-pro is the teams inability to consistently run the ball.
Seattle ended 4/13 on third downs and actually had more net yards than the Rams (306 vs 283). Yet L.A. managed to find the chunk plays to get into scoring position.
There were some positives. Jimmy Graham looked sharp and will be needed as an outlet for Wilson until he’s healthy. Tyler Lockett looked explosive and almost led the comeback with the 53-yard grab downfield late on.
Frank Clark had two more sacks, Marsh should’ve had one but for the penalty and Michael Bennett had one too. For some reason this pressure isn’t leading to even a sniff of a turnover. It’s puzzling why, in two games against bad offenses, the Seahawks have barely looked like taking the ball away.
The key next week has to be to establish some offense in particular the running game. For years the Seahawks could lean on Marshawn Lynch and the run to set the tone. They have to ensure that’s still the case with Wilson injured.