Instant reaction: Rams fool Seahawks, Seattle drops to 3-3

If Percy Harvin still played for the Seahawks, he would do this

After a quick scan of Twitter, people are reacting one of two ways tonight. And neither quite hits the right note for me.

The sky isn’t falling after back-to-back defeats and a 3-3 record. That much is true. But neither is this a defeat to ignore and put down to raw bad luck. The Seahawks can bounce back — but there are issues that need to be addressed if this team is to have any chance of returning to the playoffs.

There’s a tendency at times to try too hard not to overreact. Let’s not paper over the cracks here, even though the NFC West certainly wasn’t lost today.

This was an ugly, avoidable defeat against a bad 1-4 team slumping towards another top ten pick. The game was played in a mostly empty stadium. The Rams, built around their pass rush, had only one sack in their previous five games.

Seattle shouldn’t have needed a second half rally to make this a close game. The big problem with the ‘it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish’ mantra is it’s open to interpretation. Seattle didn’t ‘finish’ the game particularly well and had a chance to win. Yet when you spell a team a 15-point first-half head start — how can you pin the entire defeat on a trick-play fake punt at the end?

The Seahawks looked like a sloppy and somewhat broken team in the first half. The offense jumped into life after half time thanks to the playmaking qualities of Russell Wilson. It’s tempting to look at Wilson’s virtuoso performance and take solace. He was sensational. He was also a rare bright spot, alongside the efforts of Doug Baldwin and Cooper Helfet.

The defense is struggling. Yes, injuries hurt. And yet there’s Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, K.J. Wright, Michael Bennett, Brandon Mebane and Cliff Avril. Healthy starters who would feature for nearly every team in the league. Austin Davis dinked and dunked his way to a winning performance. He was barely troubled, barely pressured. And while Wilson did his Atlanta-playoffs act on offense, the defense never looked threatening.

Did they do their job at the end, to give the team one last opportunity to win the game before the fake punt? Kind of. A missed sack by Malcolm Smith possibly set up the fake given it was a short yardage play instead of fourth-and-Montana. In the previous drive the defense coughed up an 80-yard romp for a touchdown.

Seattle spent three years under Pete Carroll trying to find a consistent pass rush that didn’t rely on Chris Clemons. They got there last year. This season? Back to the drawing board. Clemons is gone and the Avril and Bennett combo isn’t getting it done. They need help from the interior — but without Clinton McDonald’s impact inside they aren’t getting any. Not pressing elusive quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo is one thing. Peyton Manning is too quick-minded to trouble. But Kirk Cousins and Austin Davis had two easy games against this defense.

If you want to question why the Seahawks aren’t forcing turnovers — here’s your problem. If you aren’t unsettling an opposing quarterback, they’re not going to make mistakes. Last week San Francisco dominated the St. Louis offensive line and Davis struggled to complete a pass in the second half. Eventually he threw a pick-six. Here he had the most comfortable game of his short career.

Despite all the spluttering on defense, it was special teams that had the biggest contributing factor on the defeat. It started with bad tackling on Benny Cunningham’s big return that eventually led to St. Louis’ opening touchdown. What followed was simply astonishing — and somewhat embarrassing.

How can you fail to track the football on a punt, get fooled by a redundant returner and allow a huge touchdown return? When does this ever happen? Everyone on the coverage unit ran to Tavon Austin, who flopped to the floor grinning like a Cheshire cat. On the other side of the field Steadman Bailey sauntered, untouched, almost the length of the field for a touchdown.

If Cunningham’s run was the starter, Bailey’s touchdown was a pretty filling main course. There was still enough room for a big creamy desert.

If you’re like me, you didn’t celebrate Richard Sherman’s crucial third down stop at the end of the game. You were telling yourself “let’s see the punt first.” Having already fooled Seattle once in this game and in a previous meeting two years ago — surely it wouldn’t happen again? Sure enough there it was. A fake punt. The type of fake a 1-4 team can attempt. What is there to lose? Punting the ball to Wilson was suicide given his second half form. A fake made total sense.

Let’s give the Rams credit for a brilliant play design, executed perfectly. It was hardly unplayable though. A short pass into the flat behind the line of scrimmage by the punter. Mugged again by Jeff Fisher. The play to win the game.

At 3-3 the Seahawks are not out of the NFC West race. Far from it. But they’re trending one way at the moment. Again, this is not a good Rams team. When they played a good team last week (Dallas) it was pretty ugly, even at home. The injuries are stacking up and questions remain over the lingering impact of Percy Harvin’s presence and eventual trade. They’re on the road to inconsistent Carolina next week. 3-4 is as realistic as 4-3. Flip a coin.

Contrary to popular belief, Seattle didn’t win a Super Bowl last year because they ran Marshawn Lynch into the ground and didn’t use a lot of short passes. They won a Super Bowl playing fundamentally good football in all three phases. Two out of the three phases played very poorly today. Two out of three phases played poorly last week. Are the Seahawks capable right now of playing well across the board? And can they find an edge on defense, plus some pass rush?

The next two or three weeks are going to be very interesting.

They need to show they can play through adversity. The 49ers dealt with story-lines about their Head Coach and a spate of injuries by winning three in a row. Seattle heads to Carolina next week trying to avoid losing three in a row.


  1. Jarhead

    Watching what little I could, I must say that my continuing underlying narrative of really one-sided BLATANT officiating continues. The hold called on Bailey was ridiculous. I forget who it was, but on a first down pass the receiver was taken down by a Dick “Night Train” Lane clothesline tackle and no call. These egregious calls are starting to pile up and even the announcers are starting to scratch their heads. Maybe the fix is in. Two, we are playing a bunch of back ups. 4th string tight ends, 4th string DBs. When we start getting some of these guys healthy I think that the difference will be remarkable. And as my final point, no one has seemed to mention this yet- but are we suffering from the dreaded “Madden Curse”? It seems that luck certainly is not in our favor this season for certain… Stranger things have happened

    • Rob Staton

      I’d take the angle of unfair officiating more seriously if the Seahawks cut out all the self inflicted, deserved penalties they’re collecting. They’ve had some tough ones recently, but they’re also constantly shooting themselves in the foot.

      • Jarhead

        True enough Rob, if they commit a penalty then it is a penalty. But a lot of the calls- which have been drive killers- were pretty sketchy and in many cases cost us points. And every team commits penalties, but does that mean we warrant more suspect and missed calls? Which is what I have seen from the last few weeks. It almost appears as if they are sending a message. Also, if the few names that have been popping up very frequently lately- Carpenter and Okung- are playing that sloppily and poorly, then their fit within this team needs to be strongly evaluated. Those two seem to have been flagged more than any other players over the course of a couple weeks

        • neil

          Yes it was a poorly played game by the Hawks for three quarters, but I believe their is a conspiracy going on here. Call me a lunatic if you want but I believe the NFL does not want to see the Seahawks in the Super Bowl again next year. Too small of a market, with too small a fan base across the country. They would much prefer the 49ers, cowboys, Packers etc. I believe the officials have been told not to give the Seahawks the benefit of the doubt in close calls. What other reason for not reviewing the fumble in the last two minutes ? The call last week on Sherman for tripping was a complete fabrication. Thats my story and I am sticking to it!!

      • AlaskaHawk

        I wonder why they wouldn’t review the fumble at the end? Also agree that a few of the holding calls have been marginal. A few of the hits that Wilson takes would be flagged if his name was Peyton. What was with the hit on his slide. That was a blatant attempt to take him out of the game.

        • Rob Staton

          I think even on review, it’s tough to overturn. Not sure how Sherman didn’t recover it cleanly… it was right there. On another day he has that pouched and it’s a killer turnover.

          • Barry

            The issue I have is they rules the Rams never lost it as a fumble. That was the statement but the leagues officials. Pretty sad.

    • Nate

      I don’t think the Madden Curse is in effect, Sherman has been playing fine. It’s the rest of our defense that is falling apart right now.

      • Jarhead

        There was one year, and I think it was Ray Lewis, where he played fine and wasn’t injured but the Ravens weren’t able to even make the playoffs and finished 3rd the division. I hope it is not the case and have never really believed in it before, but our luck, where the ball just bounces our way, has been awful this year. Sometimes a little luck can turn a loss into a win

        • Jake

          Luck always has an impact, most games include luck and except in the case of a blowout – decide the winner of most games. The Rams got lucky on the fake punt because Shead COULD have covered Cunningham giving Hekker no where to go and the Hawks kill the clock and win with a FG. The Rams got lucky that the fumbled ball didn’t bounce into Sherman’s hands on the run so he could just run it back for a TD. The Rams got lucky that Kam was hurt earlier in the season, which opened up the underneath routes. I could go on forever, but luck is always a factor. It’s the nature of football, which is why coaches often preach rallying to the ball to increase the odds that the lucky bounce goes to you.

    • mrpeapants

      couldnt agrre more! not to make excuses for the hawks lousy play, but the officials really do seem one sided this year. especially to not even review that fumble at the end, thats just bs.

    • Madmark

      This offensive line are killing the drives with pre snap penalty as did the defensive line a few times. The onlt penalty that bugs me is the face mask penalty on Simon. This is what I saw and that’s off settting penalty repeat down. In that play Simonis trying to running away from the receiver that hold his jersey and pulling on thim and pulling Simon to him. Simon is trying to push with his hand starting on his that is sliding up and pushes his helmet off. Its as clear as day that the receiver was pulling simon into him.

      • Arias

        Agreed. Simon was all sorts of terrible, especially on penalties.

    • Phil

      My first impression was how lethargic the team looked in the first half. I think that there are some players on the team who thought that it was going to be easy to duplicate the success that they, and the team, had last year. Now they are finding out that there is a big target on their backs and that even mediocre teams can take solace in beating the reigning superbowl champs. I know this is a cliche. But’ the reality is that everyone on the team has to rededicate themselves to winning and to their team mates. It’s going to take additional effort and the jury is still out as to whether or not the commitment is there.

      I was impressed with the offense in the second half, but the defense has looked uninspired for most of the year. It’s time for Thomas, or someone, to take the leadership role that Red seemed to assume on last year’s team.

      • ChrisC1182

        For me, it’s not the penalties against the Seahawks that bug me. It’s the other team is not being called for the same ticky tack calls we are. I saw a lot of defenders held and pulled to the ground. No call. In fact there was one play where the defender was laying on the ground looking at the official with his arms in the air as if saying “hey look, he just tackled me” nothing.

  2. PatrickH

    I think the injuries to the defense starter contributed to the special team woes today. Guys who normally played special team started on defense, and 3rd-string, 4th-string guys who usually didn’t play got pressed into duties on special team. Their inexperience plus the mis-fortune of facing a crafty special team opponent led to them being fooled. Hopefully with more experience this problem will be fixed.

    The lack of pass rush, on the other hand, is much more troubling. With the available personel, there will be no easy fix.

    • Rob Staton

      Pass rush is a big concern. They’re not even getting close to big plays there.

      • John_S

        Cliff Avril –

        I don’t have any stats to back it up but it seems like Avril is strictly a LDE on this team. I’m sure he has lined up on the right side on occasion but I think i’ve seen Michael Bennett and Bruce Irvin lined up as RDE more times than not.

        I think the loss of Chris Clemons has hurt as well as Clinton McDonald as Rob has pointed out.

  3. CC

    Special teams were awful – and have been for several weeks. The O-line is a disaster, even if there are injuries – D line is struggling to get pressure.

    But coaching is part of the problem here too – how are they not coached up for the fake punt?? We’ve been beat on it before!!!

    We have some serious problems and I’m not sure whether we’ll get them fixed this year.

    The positives – PRich looked good, ran nice routes made some good catches. Baldwin put his game where his mouth was and played great. Marshawn looks out of sorts – either he’s pissed or tired of having penalties every time he has a good run – but he looks irritated at everything.

    I said yesterday that we were going to find out if they are a team that is together or not – but I don’t think this game answered that for me.

    On to Carolina – a team that was beat badly – so who wants it more? We’ll see.

    • Rob Staton

      “I said yesterday that we were going to find out if they are a team that is together or not – but I don’t think this game answered that for me.”

      So true. This game, if anything, just created more questions.

      • CC

        Waiting to hear more on the players’ take on Percy – sounds like the locker room might be a bit divided on him too. Not good

        • Rob Staton

          Doug Baldwin said after the game the trade had an impact on the first half. I don’t know whether to appreciate his honesty or call foul that the team let it have any impact. Sherman was asked about Harvin and said he had no issues with Percy. The coaches need to get hold of any issues here and make sure it doesn’t undermine the team in the way Baldwin suggests it undermined Seattle today.

          • JeffC

            This will likely linger for awhile. I suspect if we do win in the next few weeks it will be a struggle and one of those ugly games where not all of our three units click. I said last night that we are in the midst of a major crisis. We are, the toughest stretch of the PC era. It may take a complete overhaul of some of our units to bring us back to what we were. That will take time, some JS skill, and perhaps a little luck

          • AlaskaHawk

            I didn’t see any way that Harvin would have improved our performance today. Most of the offensive troubles start with the injured line and penalties. At best it would have been a repeat of his game where he had 3 touchdowns called back. Lynch is probably getting tired of that too.

          • John_S

            The team came out flat and with no energy in the first half. It showed and StL took advantage of it.

            I don’t really see it as an issue going forward. They had less than 48 hours to process the fact that Harvin was traded plus it was an early start game to boot.

            The only person I would worry about is Marshawn. He seemed to be really tight with Percy and I think if you combine that with his contract status , how is he going to handle the lack of touches in the future? I specifically wanted to see how he handled his two big runs being called back for penalties and I really couldn’t tell.

          • Arias

            Why would Sherman have issue with Percy? Was that reported somewhere? Based on the documentary they did together last year I thought they were closer to best buds than adversarial.

            I guess it depends on what Baldwin was talking about with regards to having an impact in the first half. If it means the offense was having some problems playing smoothly without the central cog that they’d prepared through pre-season and the season so far to focus their offense around that’s perfectly understandable. The trade was announced while the team was on its way to the airport and they had already prepared and game planned all week thinking Percy was going to be in on 60% of their offensive plays.

            If Baldwin was referring to something else with regards to how it affected them in the first half, like the attitude of certain players, that’s another issue entirely.

            • JeffC

              I suspect we don’t know the whole harvin story and never will

  4. Belfasthawk

    I came in from an evening at the rugby on Friday and was falling asleep to the Stephen Nolan show and who do I hear…that’s theENGLISHSeahawk talking on Ched Evans! What a pleasant pre-sleep event.

    Thanks for your balanced perspective here.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks for listening!

  5. Jarhead

    As frustrating as this losing streak and season has been, one thing that really makes me happy as a fan every week- Russell Wilson is amazing. HE truly is the MVP in my opinion. Because I don’t see us being remotely competitive without him in a lot of games. Baseball has a bunch of B.S. made up measurable statistics, but one I think is very applicable to RW. WAR- Wins above Replacement. I think his is immeasurable. A lot of times, he IS the entire offense. He has truly learned how to take this team on his back and carry it. With a dearth of supreme weapons. He doesn’t have the cast the Rodgers, Manning, or even Kaep has. HE just goes out there and imposes his will on defenses- with almost zero support in pass pro from an underacheiving and porous o-line. Wilson deserves all the credit he gets, and there is a reason why every single mouth breathing, drooling NFL fan boy simpleton inundates the FB feed on every game with hate. We seriously have more haters than any other team in football. Maybe it shows we are still doing some things right

    • Hawkspur

      He’s pretty damned impressive. So happy he’s on our team.

    • JeffC

      He is showing he will get the twenty million dollar deal and they will happily pay him

  6. Hawkspur

    2 of the things I really thought we could count on – the defense and the special teams have been decidedly subpar so far. It really does bring us back to the pack.

    What are your thoughts on Cable? I’ve given them a LOT of time, but this O-line kills me, penalties in particular.

    • Rob Staton

      I think I’d like to see Joel Bitonio on this team.

      • Jarhead

        Haha I have been dreaming of Bitonio in the first, Britt in the second on a classic double dip. Richardson is whatever, but Bitonio has been a monster for the Browns. And they are leading the league in Rushing. Britt is having growing pains, but with Bitonio at LG and Britt at RT I think we would have a combo to take us into the next 5-7 years of rushing dominance. Oy…

        • JeffC

          Bitonio at left tackle and okung, I don’t care where

    • Nate

      Honestly, I think Cable should be fired on the spot. Terrible pass-protection with above average run blocking is something I could stomach (even if I’m not a fan of that approach). However the run-blocking was horrible today also, which is completely unacceptable. Combined with all those costly penalties and our O-line is a flaming dumpster fire right now.

      • Rob Staton

        Nobody should be fired on the spot. They won the Super Bowl this year.

        • jw

          Bitonio looks great. He sure would look good at guard for this team instead of ours just blatantly whiffing on run blocks and looking lost on pass blocking all too often. What did lynch have, about 50 yards and a TD called back on holds? Yuck.

          BTW, just for yucks, I’ll point out PFF has Bitonio as front runner for their rookie of the year award, and the 3rd highest grade of any guard in the league in their scoring system.

          • Rob Staton

            Not surprised on Bitonio. Such a terrific player at Nevada.

      • Arias

        Unger out with injury really hurt the run blocking this game. Schilling was terrible. Carpenter was even worse. He’s done, no way he’ll be re-signed given the quality of his play.

        Britt was a turnstile in pass pro yesterday. Sweezy is a below average guard, and I think we’re seeing him at or close to his ceiling. I don’t think we can expect great improvement from him.

        I think the entire philosophy of obtaining personnel for the offensive line has to be re-evaluated. I think it’s time to go out and buy an anchor at left tackle instead of trying to develop one, that could help stabilize things. It sure would have been nice to have gotten a Brandan Albert last year who’s doing an excellent job manning the fort in Miami, though I realize the team wasn’t really in position to splurge like that. Cutting Okung next year could make it more feasible if an Albert-quality staple is available in FA.

        • JeffC

          I totally agree with this

    • John_S

      JSPC has given Cable the freedom to draft the olinemen that he wants. He inherited Okung and Unger, but he’s picked Carpenter, Moffit, Sweezy and Britt. That’s a very underwhelming group of guys. I think Britt has the chance to be an average RT and Sweezy, I have to remember that it’s his 3rd year playing on offense but he isn’t good IMO.

      It’s time for Cable to be held accountable for 1) the guys he’s picked 2) the lack of discipline by his guys and 3) the below average pass blocking by his guys.

      I won’t say that he should be fired, but I don’t think he should have final say on who is picked for the OLine.

  7. dave crockett

    The defensive front four has just been weird this season.

    Go back to Green Bay, San Diego, and Denver, and you see all kinds of interior pressure that made those QBs re-set their feet. Beginning with Washington, the interior pressure has been non-existent.

    Add to that so many missed sacks, when we have gotten close we haven’t gotten home.

    And good heavens has KJ Wright been exploited in coverage this season. He looks to have lost a quarter-step and teams are seeking him out with their backs and TEs.

    • JeffC

      I wonder if his poorer play makes the hawks lower their resign offer

    • Barry

      Agree, KJ looks injured. Every tackle he looks like he’s barely able to get back up.

  8. Hawkspur

    At least our last couple of losses have been close, where the mood of the game really felt like the Seahawks were getting hammered. It feels like (and prior evidence would indicate) they are a lot better than they have shown of late. Let’s hope they can get it clicking before it’s too late. Still a lot of good opponents coming up.

  9. Rob Staton

    Watching the Cardinals here vs Oakland. Without a doubt Arizona/San Fran have done a better job dealing with injuries on defense so far.

    • Nate

      I wish we had the Cardinal’s DC. He seems pretty good at dialing up blitzes and getting pressure with the personnel they have.

    • Chris J

      Rob, how do you see SF dealing with the mauling in Denver? Are they ready to implode or will this bring them together?

      • Rob Staton

        I think Denver would’ve hammered any team last night. Had a real edge and with the record achievable for Manning it was always heading their way. San Fran won their last three before that game.

        • Barry

          You saying at home and circumstances? Or preordained lol

          I will say the first TD on the ref pic was one of the most interesting plays I’ve ever seen.

  10. James

    Players are on IR, players missed the game injured, others played hurt, others played out of position, some even played hurt and out of position, we have CBs on the field who should be on a practice squad somewhere, Tharold Simon played, what?, about six plays and left injured again (Korey Toomer redux). Okung and Unger are hurt yet again, and the whole OL reflects the discombombulation. Only two DLs can rush the passer, two less than last year, and not enough to win games. The guys tried their best…. but, the coaches are not on IR, the coaches are not playing hurt or out of position. The special teams errors are beyond red faced and into shame territory. This collapse is a coaching collapse, combined with personnel decisions leaving the team bereft. Pete should call his coaches into work at 4 am tomorrow morning and fix this or else. Fix the OL, find a pass rush even if you have to blitz the entire LoB, find the play calls to get receivers open more often …coach your way out of this mess!

  11. redzone086

    I think the biggest thing being missed.from this embarrassing loss is how well the online played when the third string center entered this game. They actually stopped the pass rush from st Louis in the second half and looked good. That’s a great sign. I think the defense was terrible most of the game. No rush = no pass coverage. They aren’t limiting the opponents option with anything they do except don’t throw deep on Sherman.

    • Arias

      That’s only a great sign if the team decides to keep Schilling off the field. That guy is terrible in pass pro.

  12. Dumbquestions

    Simon played with ego he hasn’t earned, hurt his team, hurt himself and tweeted foolishly after he was called on it. It doesn’t *matter* if he was lured/baited. That happened because the other side *knows* he’s easily lured/baited. He has to be smarter than that. Is he (to use a tired phrase) man enough to be smart enough? Or is he just another hothead hung up on respect who refuses to be accountable? So far, he’s spent two years on this team and played one quarter. He needs to make it through one game – hell, one series – without committing a penalty or getting into a fight.

    RW played great. Historic stats. The offense was better, sharper, more fluid.

    Everybody’s suggesting that the fake punt near the end was a gutsy call. I suppose it was – but it was the *only* call, wasn’t it? Was it that hard to predict? Everyone watching knew that RW was going to score or drive for a FG if he got the ball back. The Hawks had already been burned on one trick play for a TD – given that, given the game situation, how do you get fooled on a fake punt? I put that on coaching, all the way.

    The defense. The defense. I don’t understand it. I get the loss of depth on the line. I get the injuries. Wagner is more important this year than last. I understand the secondary is hurting. Yet everything feels undisciplined.

    No, it’s not panic time yet. So much of the season so far has been luck – and similar situations went the other way last year. But two straight losses is bad. This one should have been a win.

    • CC

      Agree not time to panic, but all is not right in Hawkville – let’s hope we can get a few wins in the next few weeks

    • AlaskaHawk

      Simon was grabbing every play. He got one call to go his way and the rest against him. If he ever plays again I hope they duck tape his fingers together first. I think Wagners loss has hurt the team in many ways. But especially stopping the run.

      • Arias

        I think the grabiness is a natural product of being on the field for the first time and getting his feet wet, he should improve as he gets more familiar. I remember when Browner first came here he was very grabby and was flagged constantly for holding. Kind of like in penalties in basketball, it seems like refs flag CBs for holding more initially then they do once becoming familiar and seasoned.

  13. FacetheSlayer

    This pass defense…

    Avril and Bennett are overworked. Avril in particular was not a great overall player in Detroit and desperately needs to see a drastic reduction of snaps if he’s to be as effective as he was last year again. I really miss the solid if unspectacular work from Clem at LEO.

    Not sure how much I’m buying Irvin as an every down player. KJ is a huge liability in pass coverage.

    Also, Kam’s visibly playing hurt, the CB corps is decimated, and the interceptions just aren’t coming this year. All of a sudden, we have a below average pass defense, even with the best corner and the best FS in the game. Yikes.

    Draft priorities on D should be something like:

    – LEO of the future
    – OLB
    – Interior pass rush and/or edge rush specialist
    – CB depth

    What’s everyone else thinking draftwise for the D at this point?

    • David

      I think an inside rush DT is number 1 need on D, example was aaron donald today he was a beast. We need someone to collapse the pocket to help Bennett and avril. Though i agrree with the rest, get a CB or 2. On O, get another TE even with the nice production of Helfet, then i say grab some O-line, we improve our protection that would help the O a ton, and grab another WR.

    • SunPathPaul

      We have 7 overall picks now.

      I think 4-5 should be used on OL/DL, 1 on a blocking/catching TE if possible, 1 on Cornerback…maybe 1 more drafted WR…

      Seattle looked lost today…

  14. connor

    Last year the Seahawks ranked first in percentage of pressures on QB drop backs. This year they’re dead last. I don’t know if thats over simplifying but that very well may be the difference between 3-3 and an above .500 record. Some of it has been quicker throws but not enough to excuse the performance to this point.

    I think you can see teams are attacking Seattle’s cover 3 much more effectively this year. Flooding with deep routes and hitting delayed routes underneath. Just to my naked eye it seems we’ve been more effective in man coverage this year. I feel like Pete and DQ may have to adjust a little and maybe take a page out of the AZ Cardinals book and just play cover 1 press across the board while bringing 5 almost every play.

    Obviously that would go against what made us successful last year, in terms of giving up underneath stuff and making teams sustain long drives without making a mistake. But the execution in zone coverage and the pass rush aren’t the same as last year and the way teams are attacking us is not the same as last year.

    I would take the risk to try and get some more pressure and also force teams to try and beat us over the top, where are corners are unique and actually succeed in that area.We might give up a couple big plays and might have a couple PI’s, but at least were not giving teams so many easy yards underneath and allowing teams to get into 3rd and short situations which they are converting at a high rate. Also could help keep opposing offenses from being on the field so long with these sustained drives that have become a little too frequent.

    I hope by the time Jeremy Lane comes back Maxwell and Simon will be healthy. If all three are healthy at the same time all the sudden are depth at corner is back.That could make a difference. But overall I think this season will come down to our pass rush and there’s nowhere to go but up right now for that unit.

  15. Mike K

    Seriously, how many times do the Rams have to pull special teams shenanigans in the games played in St. Louis before Seattle is actually ready for something non-standard? They win that game if they are ready for the fake punt.

    Also disappointing that St. Louis knows Jon Ryan’s tendencies better than the Seahawks do. Unreal.

  16. franks

    This blog is so clutch, so many weeks the voice of reason. We’ve been strangely vulnerable to these fluke plays with Pete, and Fisher always has something up his sleeve with us, why don’t we ever see it coming? The offense looked better with Bevell calling normal plays than it did praying for Percy every down. One day I hope he’ll do something obvious that’s good like keeping a running threat in the backfield on the shorter third downs.

    Cable reminds me of Holmgren when he was the HCGM and he should get back to coaching, he isn’t John Schneider or Gandalf and we need to put more resources into the O-Line. Although first-rounding a RT with guys like Patterson and Benjamin available sounds questionable, even if it is Bitonio. Asinine if it’s carpenter. I think PCJS are overthinking the easiest pick when they should just draft the best player no one else has the balls to pick. There’s one every year, trade up for him if you need to.

  17. Dumbquestions

    Awright, a nugget for the sake of optimism:

    Go ahead, name the top team in the NFC.

    You gonna pick Dallas? It’s reasonable – but think of what you’re saying. Above all, the first seven weeks have shown that no dominant team really exists, and that’s good for Seattle.

    If anything felt certain at the beginning of this year, it was that the NFC East would be weak, that Philly would dominate the division and everyone else would suck. That hasn’t happened, largely because of the Dallas resurgence, which no one predicted, and I’m still not a believer. Dallas will fall. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but it will happen. They’ll make the playoffs, but someone will take them out.

    On the other hand, the NFC South really does suck. That’s also good for Seattle. I picked the Saints to run away with that division at the beginning of the year, and look what happened. That’s a dog division. You won’t see a wild card from there.

    NFC North? It’s Green Bay and Detroit, isn’t it? Who else?

    And then, finally, the NFC West. Arizona looks great right now, but they still have to play Dallas away, the 49ers away, and Philly and Detroit at home. Plus they have to play us twice, and even if we’re ragged and screwed up, those won’t be easy games. The NFC West is very much undecided.

    Bottom line: The division is still up for grabs, which means home games are still possible. All this hinges on the Hawks untracking themselves. If they can do it – and they’ve just been humiliated in two straight games, which raises the ego factor – their chances are very good.

  18. John_S

    2015 NFL Draft –

    It’s too early, but here’s some guys I am looking at, admittedly I’ve really only watched the Pac 12:

    Ty Montgomery – WR – Would love to see him on the Seahawks next year. He brings a dimension of physicality (see TD against UW this year) and explosiveness that this team lacks. Watching the Cowboys this year, I am jealous that they have Dez Bryant. I won’t say that Ty is Dez, but he has the build and physicality of Dez. Only question I has is I haven’t really seen Ty go after 50/50 balls.

    Jake Fisher – OT/OG – He’s a guard IMO, would be nice as a LG
    Cameron Erving – OT

    Randy Gregory – DE/ LEO

  19. Ukhawk

    Next years Percy money goes to….? Hopefully one Suh, McCoy, Demaryius T or Dez Bryant

  20. Ukhawk

    Then draft OL, Leo, NG, big WR

    Hawks simply need to get healthy and back to what made them successful. Smashmouth play on both sides of the ball. Move toward a more open offense when all pieces are in place….next season

  21. AlaskaHawk

    I agree the division is up for grabs. The trouble is that we have so many injuries right now. It is just hard to overcome. That is why I am trying not to over react to the last two weeks losses. Both games were winnable even with the massive number of new personnel. We will struggle for the rest of the season with backup players, first string players playing injured, and inexperienced players out of position. It’s just the way this season has become for us. Look at it rationally. On offense Okung is hurt, Carpenter just looks slow on his feet, Unger is out and we are playing the backup center, Sweezy is playing great, and Britt is a rookie that looks good but not excellent. On defense we have numerous injuries in the secondary and our middle linebacker is injured. If you look at any team, the greatest number of tackles are made by the middle linebacker, so losing Wagner is enormous. Top that off with losing one of our interior pass rushers and Williams never getting off the injury list and our defensive line looks average.

    I also agree with Earl Thomas statement today that we are fighting the referees too. They didn’t even review the fumble that Sherman came up with. Any other team and that would have been a celebration over a turnover and perhaps a dramatic comeback victory. It’s just sad. There have been a lot of calls on the offensive line playing too hard, Bailey had a holding call when he drove the opponent back 5 yards. Also three TDs called back against Washington. You can’t run the ball if you get a 10 yard holding call on every play. I know that it comes off as whining but the refs have had a long history of calling critical TDs against the Seahawks. Sure Green Bay fans will bring up the one call that went our way with Golden Tates Fail Mary. I’m talking about now! We are the most penalized offense and it won’t stop until the players fix the small issues and the refs quite being biased.

    • AlaskaHawk

      On the positive side, our offense finally looks like a normal offense with passes downfield to receivers instead of bubble screens and jet sweeps. The passing yardage we gained speaks for itself. Unfortunately the running game didn’t get going, so that is an area to work on.

      • JeffC

        Just have this feeling that after this rough stretch of issues this team will string together a whole series of dominant wins once the Percy effect wears off and players start coming back. Just hope it doesn’t come too late

  22. Adog

    Not sure the division is up for grabs . Arizona has a stranglehold on it. They have depth on their defense …something that Seattle lost this past year. Lb play was horrible against St. Louis. So the depth issue is hurting this team. Sometimes you’ll see teams just open up the floodgates on offense and basically have a shoot out game plan to mask a thin defense. I think this might be what we start to see in the coming weeks…our qb against your qb. The run first and take a few shots game plan will not work with this defense this year. Using offense as defense is the basic foothold here, and Wilson is good enough to make it efficient.

  23. James

    The two primary causes, obvious to most of us, for the three losses this season are the injuries and the Percy trade gone bad.

    With Kam and Wagner hurting, no way our D could be nearly as good, and the decimation of the CB position guarantees giving up key third downs. Okung and Unger are hurt once again, and we can only hope that they return to form this season as they did late last season. But the crushing blows have been to the 2013 draft class, which was to have been our depth. Christine Michael, Jordan Hill, Jesse Williams and Tharold Simon, if healthy, would probably have allowed us to win every game so far. Add Cassius Marsh to the list and we are getting very little from the past two drafts, except for Britt and Richardson, sort of. Luke Willson shows promise but little production, though his blocking was better against Dallas, sort of.

    The Percy gamble was a high risk move that might have made the Seahawks unbeatable, if he had been willing to play to his potential, but alas… The #1 draft choice hurts, but isn’t the cruncher… but the money spent on Percy that could have been used to re-sign Clem and Clint McDonald has left our D line bereft, since Hill, J Williams and Cassius can’t contribute in their stead. It was a coaching mistake to think that Irvin, Schofield and Mayowa could replace Clem.

    Still, our offense has the potential to score 30 pts per game, which should be enough to win, so we go hopeful into Carolina next week.

  24. neil

    I am wondering how you people feel about Carroll throwing Lockette under the bus, saying he got off late on the snap, infering that was the reason the punt was run back for a touchdown. Not a classy move.

  25. Barry

    Rob, whilst you are correct we aren’t getting and pressure you have to consider that the offense is still not showing up for a full game. The second half was nice to see Bevell and Wilson get into a rhythm but we still kept running the ball and doing it with success (Holding call?). I’ve noticed our D struggles are a bit more then no pass rush. We have been playing from behind much of this year and especially the last two weeks. That along with struggles to just dominate the run on the first or second down (Big Red) are putting us in harder to manage rush downs. Before it was obvious when the other team had to pass. Its a factor.

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