The way things are going, the Seahawks will get an invite to replace Texas or Oklahoma in the Big-12.
Once again the defense was an absolute horror story — and I’ll come to that in a moment.
Firstly though, the positives.
I really liked the offensive gameplan. There was a lot of misdirection and movement. The Lions couldn’t stop any of the throws where Geno Smith got on the move and one of the receivers or tight ends ran adjacently.
Granted, better opponents will take this away and the Seahawks will need a counterpunch. That is part of their issue, at times. In this game though — the Lions had no answer. The Seahawks filled their boots and rightly so.
They did an excellent job of getting their key playmakers involved too — with D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett heavily involved.
I’ve long thought Smith would perform well in the games against weak opponents and struggle badly to move the ball against good defensive units. I feel somewhat validated in that opinion, given the way the Niners game went and the second half against Denver. Yet I’m also happy to admit he has exceeded my expectations after four games.
The big plus, for me, is that he doesn’t threaten to turn the ball over as much as I thought he would. He’s also been a lot better at spraying the ball around than I envisaged. Smith doesn’t have a massive arm to drive the ball for major explosive plays but he’s been very impressive on the mid-range throws. The ball is getting to the target and he’s completing a lot of passes. They aren’t just relying on the dump-offs and underneath stuff like Kirk Cousins did in the frustrating London game against New Orleans earlier today.
So far Smith deserves credit for the way he has played. He’s not the future but he can be the present.
Abraham Lucas is everything we thought he would be. It’s a total joke he lasted until round three and what a masterstroke by the Seahawks to select him. I paid close attention to him in this game and just loved every minute. Great pass-pro, bludgeoning in the running game but it’s not just the power — he wins with subtlety, technique and athletic quality too. He’s looking increasingly like a top, top player in the making.
Tariq Woolen has two interceptions in two games and the one here — stealing six cheap points — was arguably the difference in the game. It’s the one major defensive play that happened. He is still very rough around the edges in coverage but his upside and potential, due to his physical profile, is extremely enticing. I graded him in round two and again — it’s nuts he lasted as long as he did.
The running game still looks very awkward and inconsistent and relied on big splashy plays today — but kudos to Rashaad Penny for hitting his home-runs. We needed to see a return to that and he delivered.
Now the not-so-good stuff.
Cody Barton and Josh Jones should be benched. Surely there has to be better options than these two? Especially Barton. It’s stunning how they didn’t sign or draft proper competition for him this year. He’s all over the place.
I called for defensive improvements this week and none were found. Detroit were missing their best offensive playmakers and the Seahawks still gave up 520 yards, 5.8 yards per run and 7.9 yards per play.
The Hockenson catch-and-run for 81-yards and the Jamaal Williams long touchdown run — my word. This isn’t good enough. And while it didn’t cost them today — there simply has to be improvement soon or serious questions need to be asked. This unit is appalling. Somehow, it’s starting to feel even worse than the Ken Norton years.
I wish I’d put money on T.J. Hockenson having a career day — it was obvious.
As well as Abe Lucas is playing — I think some of the concerns about Charles Cross voiced pre-draft remain an issue. It’s still early days so of course he has time to improve. I’m not writing him off at all, so don’t think that’s what I’m saying. But he has to get stronger and the technical flaws with his footwork he showed at Mississippi State are still cropping up.
My final thought is — I can sense increasingly people are going to move off ‘draft a quarterback’ and pivot to ‘draft defense’ next year. My response to that would be — tell me which defenders you’re drafting because I haven’t see many blue chippers in college eligible for 2023. And you need a long term quarterback. That will remain the priority for this team until it is solved.
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