The Jacksonville Jaguars played this game like they’d all been on one of Urban Meyer’s ‘special’ nights out on Saturday.
‘Dreadful’ hardly feels like a strong enough word to describe them. It’s Hallowe’en, not Christmas. Yet this was a gift for the Seahawks. A free win to take into the bye, avoiding a fortnight of questions about the future of the franchise.
Seattle didn’t even have to play that well to get a blowout win. They had only 229 total yards — 80 fewer than Jacksonville’s 309. The Jags had 12 penalties for 93 yards, a 1-4 conversion rate on fourth down and their general ineptitude made this a fairly bland, dull encounter. I think I averaged three yawns per carry myself.
Pete Carroll and co. will be able to talk up a corner being turned. And some may well decide to believe it. The schedule will be poured over. What if they win this game or that? What if Russell Wilson returns for the Green Bay game?
The reality is the Seahawks played a disgusting opponent today and face the Packers and Arizona next. Even with Wilson rushing back, this is arguably the two toughest games they’ll face coming right after the bye.
Anyway. That’s a conversation for another day. It was good to see a win and some points. Initially I was glad to see the game-plan, too.
The Seahawks offered some creative thinking in their formations early on. They were aggressive on first and second down by featuring D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. They didn’t just run into a brick-wall like they did last week three times in a row then punt.
Yet the more I thought about this, the more frustrated I became.
Where was this last week? Or even against the Steelers?
I’m going to ignore the Pittsburgh game. It was the first one without Wilson and a period of adjustment was to be expected.
Yet against the Saints, the game-plan was so mind-numbingly conservative. They were the total opposite of aggressive on first and second down. They did nothing to feature their two stars at receiver. They were boring.
The Seahawks played not to lose. They played to keep it close and a field goal-type game.
It’s OK being big and bold against a hopeless opponent when you’re desperate. Why not use this plan last week?
Just because you have a backup playing doesn’t mean you give up on offense. Heck, the Saints took it to the Super Bowl champs today with Trevor Siemian replacing Jameis Winston in the first half.
This is what frustrates so many people about Carroll, including — I suspect — Russell Wilson.
Take the bloody handbrake off. Get your foot down.
So yeah. Great to see it against the Jags. Would’ve been nice to ask the Saints a few more questions a week ago too.
The other lasting thought I had from this game is that while the Seahawks certainly aren’t a good team without Wilson, they’re at least not a really, really bad team.
The Jaguars look absolutely useless under Urban Meyer’s leadership and they should make major changes in the off-season to salvage their fortune in being able to draft Trevor Lawrence.
And while acknowledging the Seahawks ‘aren’t as bad as the Jags’ isn’t saying much, I did think today was further evidence that Seattle can turn things around quickly in the off-season if they make the necessary changes and shift resource to the trenches.
In particular, just look at Metcalf and Lockett. Two incredible assets. Darrell Taylor makes a splash play every game and brings light to an otherwise rubbish pass rush.
They are the future building blocks, along with the franchise quarterback.
Now, as noted in Friday’s piece, it’s time to get Seattle’s answer to Matt LaFleur.
One final thing. It’s the trade deadline next week. If anyone has any old socks they don’t want, the Seahawks will take them for Rashaad Penny and L.J. Collier.
Penny is absolutely terrible, isn’t he? He’s basically out of football but, you know, still sort of playing. He had seven carries for seven yards today, after nine yards from six carries against New Orleans.
Just cut him and promote someone from the practise squad.
As for Collier. It’s one thing to be bad. He’s now been inactive six out of eight games.
The only thing worse than this pair is the NFL’s awful ‘taunting’ and ‘roughing the passer’ rules that are ruining the sport.
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