Instant reaction: Seahawks lose opener in Denver

This could be a long season.

If this is a year where the offense has to pick up the slack, this type of performance isn’t going to get it done. This was a mess — and a missed opportunity to beat a poor Denver team.

Yes there were highlights. It’d be wrong not to acknowledge Will Dissly’s brilliant debut, the impact of Brandon Marshall, Tyler Lockett’s long touchdown or the flashes from Chris Carson.

Unfortunately, the negatives far outweigh the positives. Seattle needs the offense to step up during a year of defensive change. This was a concerning start.

Russell Wilson had one of those games. He was sacked six times and most were on him. That common complaint that he holds on to the ball too long reared its head again. On two occasions he tried to extend plays unnecessarily, only to run into the grateful arms of Von Miller. He threw a bad interception, looked jittery throughout and struggled — even on a day with three passing scores. He didn’t trust his reads or his protection.

The Seahawks were 2/12 on third down, managed only 13 first downs (compared to Denver’s 25) and recorded a 2017-esque 64 rushing yards.

That last stat is particularly worrying. The stated aim in the off-season was to fix the run. Yet here we are at the start of the new season and the same old problems persist. There’s simply no fluidity or rhythm to the running game. It all looks so unconvincing and familiar.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is their inability to establish the run. At the very least you’d expect a degree of commitment there. Instead they passed 18 times in the first half and ran six times. By the end of the game they settled on 33 passes and 16 runs. The Broncos had twice as many runs.

For a team that is so clear and direct in their desire to run the ball — why are they so incapable of following through with it?

First round running back, new offensive coordinator, new O-line coach, new tight ends. Same confusing and contradictory plan.

The final drive was fitting. Just over a minute to go. Plenty of time to get into field goal range — or at least attempt to. One completed pass, one mishandled snap, one penalty. Drive and game over.

A mess.

The offense can’t afford to play this way in 2018. They need to be better. They are the identity now. Everything needs to be better.

It’d be wrong to solely blame the offense though. Sebastian Janikowski had two tries to kick a manageable field goal before half time and missed both. The Seahawks lost by three. The defense kept the Seahawks alive at times but had stretches of weak play. Case Keenum’s game-winning touchdown drive was too easy, the pass rush was practically non-existent throughout (aside from one Frank Clark sack) and the tackling was off for the most part.

That’s somewhat understandable though. Look how different the defense is this year. This isn’t the LOB any more. They’re going to give up frustrating drives. They’ll make some plays too — probably because they’ll be challenged in a way the LOB wasn’t (thus, three generous interceptions from Keenum today).

The offense doesn’t have an excuse. Wilson will want to become the best paid player in the league in 12 months. It’s a unit full of experience and talent. They have clarity on what they want their identity to be.

So why was it such a struggle at times today against a Denver opponent that was eminently beatable?

The hope has to be it’s just some early-season growing pains. There was a lot of bad football across the league today. There often is in week one. This result doesn’t need to set the tone for a bad season.

They need to improve though — and fast. They set their stall out this year to avoid these days where they get nowhere near 100 rushing yards. This was more of the same from last year.

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  1. Matt

    Ugly, ugly game and you are right; it’s going to be a long year.

    Quick hitters:
    Russell Wilson was wildly inconsistent. His good was good. His bad was real bad. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that he a) still has one of the worst OLs in the league and b) this WR corp is below avg.

    Rashaad Penny…yikes. I didn’t love or hate the pick, but that was less than inspiring for a R1 RB. He look slow and undecisive. This is a totally unfair comment to make, but the Seahawks are in their current predictament bc of wasting R1 picks. It’s WAY too early to say that about RP, but physically…he looked really underwhelming.

    Pass Rush? Denver has a terrible OL, yet Case Keenum had all day to throw. Not much more to say.

    Run Defense? Yikes….they gashed us.

    Shaquem Griffin? That was really tough to watch. Great kid…but that was a historically bad performance by a LBer. Missed tackles. Blown assignments.

    Tre Flowers? Some really great plays and some really awful ones.

    Will Dissly? Amazing debut. If he can find a way to get 500 yards, with his blocking…you are talking about a real valuable building block.

    Ugly game…but it’s a transition year. Enjoy the highs, don’t get hung up on the lows. This team is not doing much in 2018; so let’s see the young guys get valuable experience and prepare for a great 2019.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think he has one of the worst O-lines in the league. Not anymore. Time will tell there.

      I think the big problem is Wilson is incapable of just getting the ball out quickly, finding the weak spot in a defense and consistently exploiting it and managing the game. Throughout his career it’s been boom or bust. The good thing is — he’s so talented that when everything clicks he’s one of the most unique and exciting players in the history of the game. When he’s bottled up and ‘off’ (like today) it’s massively frustrating. There was no rhythm, fluidity or consistency to the offense today. Awful. And god knows what the game plan was. The production and end product screamed 2017 offense.

      • Aaron

        On Russ,

        Let’s just hope Schotty holds his feet to the fire. Russ must be willing to accept feedback. That was the one part of the SI article I agreed with, that Russ wasn’t being held accountable the past couple seasons.

    • SeventiesHawksFan

      Denver was running lots of max protection against our four man rush early in the game. And sending two to three receivers into routes with only one primary target. The other two were usually dummy routes to clear out the zone or get the match up they wanted.

      This is now a pretty routine tactic used against our scheme. And will not change until we adjust. You cannot send just standard four against seven and eight blockers. While seven guys are on the back end but six are taken out of the play by route design. At that point it’s just a numbers game completely stacked against us.

      I’m not advocating a blitz and stunt happy defense. But math is math. Our four against their six to eight up front isn’t going to get home.

      We finally started to run a few stunts and more creative blitzes in the third quarter and crowd the LOS which made it harder for Denver to know who’s coming. And it worked beautifully.

      Then we went away from that again and Denver scored with ease. Baffling.

      I hope Pete and Ken Norton just accept that we aren’t going to get regular pressure with just four. And will continue to invite those max protection packages that give their QB time find the open spots on our back end. Their scheme is getting a little toooo easy to exploit at this point.

  2. Austin

    Ifedi was terrible. He ruined multiple drives by himself. He’s as bad as we all thought he was in the regular season. I realize it’s Miller but Killer isn’t going to get 9 pressures every single week. This will be one of his best weeks of the year. I have a hard time saying most of these were Wilson’s fault. But I’ll admit Wilson needs to play better

    • Rob Staton

      Well I wondered how long it’d be until Ifedi got the treatment.

      What do people honestly expect?

      He was up against Von freaking Miller. Wilson ran into one sack on Ifedi’s side and the other, Miller flat out beat Ifedi from a wide starting point.

      If people were expecting a shutdown performance, you were never going to get it.

      • Austin

        No not shut down but he he gave up almost double digit pressures. You don’t think that’s worth mentioning as a problem? This will be one of Miller’s best games of the year. Ifedi was bad today. Mentioning that doesn’t make me or anyone else a terrible fan, it’s an objective take. It also took Dissly out of the game plan because he had to stay back and help on the line. I love ya Rob but your defense of Ifedi is odd. Heck the espn article mentions the players being pissed thT he was constantly terrible and always got a free pass with no competition and these guys watch the game tape every week.

        • Rob Staton

          I think Ifedi is a convenient scapegoat.

          • Rob Bailey

            Sweezy was worse, holding on Carsons big play when Carson was already past him, he was also beaten badly on several run plays which are supposed to be his strength.

            • Rob Staton

              And it was a totally unnecessary hold too.

              I think the O-line did better than people are suggesting. For me, the big issue was Wilson being so jittery.

            • Drew Castleberry

              Agreed. I would rather give his roster spot to Roos when Fluker is healed up.

      • STTBM

        I expected Ifedi to struggle, but not to look as if he had no place in the NFL. He looked utterly incompetent. The guy fell flat on his face multiple times! I expected him to look like a third year first round pick T, and what he looked like was Garry Gilliam.

        • Rob Staton

          This is an overreaction. Ifedi was nowhere near as bad as you suggest.

      • Pedestrian

        Think they needed to keep a blocking tight end to help him on every snap though… miller is too fast for ifedi’s slow feet

        • Mark Souza

          I agree, and it looks like they did help Ifedi out by keeping a tight end on his side most of the time. The lineman who really stunk up the joint today was Sweezy. What a horrendous game from him. But, as Rob has already said, about 70% of the blame goes to Wilson for not getting the ball out on time.

          A couple years ago, or maybe it was three, I thought he’s turned a corner during the Pittsburg game. The ball was out on time and on target, and because of it, we racked up the yards, and their blitzes couldn’t get to him, despite a patchwork line. And he finished the year that way. Then the next year, and since, it was a regression, holding onto the ball too long, scrambling to extend plays that probably shouldn’t have been extended.

          He passes up short open routes hoping something long will open up. An example of that today was when we had 3rd and short. Penny came open almost immediately shallow, but deep enough for the 1st down. Wilson didn’t throw, waiting for something bigger. When he was forced to throw, he picked Vannett about twenty yards downfield with a Bronco close to him, practically throwing it over Penny who was still open for the first down. Wilson has got to fix his game.

        • Rob Staton

          Von Miller is too fast for every tackle in the league.

      • Joshua Smith

        Ifedi gets unfairly scrutinized. I’m guilty of this sometimes as well. We don’t treat him like we do other offensive linemen, we go in looking for him to make mistakes and then confirmation bias runs wild. The guy is trying his best and it wasn’t his fault that he was drafted as high as he was. You are one of the most level headed and non-knee-jerk-reaction fans I know Rob, and I really appreciate your thoughtful insight. The last thing that we as hawks fans need to do is to argue amongst ourselves about the offensive line once again. I really appreciate the good work that you’re putting into the blog!

      • Kyle B

        Yeah I have to agree with Austin’s frustration here. The response of “What do people honestly expect?” (In reference to going against Vin Miller), is corny and a cop out response. Dude played like trash up and down the field and was penalized twice. I really don’t wanna hear shit about “what did we expect”. Nobody said anything about shutting down VM. I just expect him to be competent and it hasn’t happened on a consistent basis from him at any point. Pretty sad that we are handcuffed by the fact that there is simply not a better option on this team currently.

        That being said, Russ is every bit as responsible for quite a few of those sacks and I’m sorry, I currently have a hard time justifying 30+ to him.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s not a cop out — and please mind your language.

          Ifedi was never going to win every snap vs Von Miller. Nobody talks about the good plays only focuses on the wins for Miller. It’s a bit tiresome.

      • HawkfaninMT

        Hi Rob~ I know you are tired of the Ifedi bashing. I also think that there is a bias towards everything he does wrong because there is a microscope on him right now. Furthermore, I feel like expecting him to go up against miller and have a general positive day would have been setting our hopes too high.

        With that being said, my frustration with Ifedi is the coaches inability to scheme properly for having a below average RT. The coaches should know better than us that they can’t put Ifedi on Miller and hope for a generally positive day. I liked seeing Dissly catch those passes as much as the next guy. But hated watching see RW taken down and pressured even more. How there was not a TE or RB on that side chipping (at the very least) on almost every passing play is silly to me. I think they did more of that in the 2nd half, but goodness they should have seen that issue coming. Hopefully something that will be given more attention next week against Mack.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Ifedi wasn’t the weak link on the OL today. It was Sweezy. Fluker being out hurt considerably in the run game. At least that’s what I’m hoping, because otherwise what was this offseason for? Also, Wilson was as much responsible for the offensive woes as anybody.

      There’s plenty good to look at though. Dissley, Lockett, Carson (when they used him), even Trey Flowers had a good show for his first pro game, and at CB to boot.

      About that last drive – how many times have we seen that scenario before? SEA down a FG or TD late with just enough time to make some magic. But a botched snap, then a penalty, then game over? C’mon man.

      • Rob Bailey

        + one million

    • Fivespot

      I can’t claim to have watched Ifedi on every play, but on at least two occasions he did a good job of diverting Miller to the outside, so he’d have to go farther to get to the Qb. Both times, though, RW chose to turn his back and drop deeper, running right into Miller’s path

    • Ashish

      Russ can’t hold the ball for ever and expect OL to hold rushers. Most sacks were on Russ he need to throw the ball. Russ is the big reason why OL gets bad name. Enough is enough Russ needs to take responsibility.

  3. Aaron

    The most worrisome thing to me today was not committing to the run. That’s been the whole emphasis and talk this offseason and then this…inexcusable. The second most worrisome thing was Russ padding the Broncos’ sack stats. In reality, the line gave up three sacks. That’s a fair performance. Russ has to be better or he will not net the money he wants after this season. The third most worrisome thing to me is the youth and inexperience on defense. I will withhold judgment on this defense until later in the season though.

    Final thought, if the Hawks go 7-9 or worse, is this Pete’s last ride? I think so. On to Chicago and Kahlil Mack…yeesh!!!

    • Rob Staton

      I think this could be Pete’s last ride. We’ll see.

      • jdk

        Holy moly, I have been absolutely crushed for suggesting Pete might be on the hot seat this year (not in this forum, admittedly).

        The obvious issue here is that Pete went all in on the rushing game, then didn’t follow through by committing to the run in a game that was never more than one score. Does anybody else feel that feeding Carson all day long, despite his mistakes, was the appropriate play?

        It just feels like the team is rudderless.

      • Pedestrian

        You really think so? I’ll admit Pete doesn’t look completely dialed in..

        Perhaps Russ having a rough season makes his next contract much more team friendly thanks to a down year?

        • Rob Staton

          I think it’s more likely they just go year to year with Wilson.

          • Pedestrian

            As in franchise tag Wilson rather than give him a new deal? I’ve been wondering the same as Wilson seems he hasn’t corrected mistakes he’s had for awhile now – holding the ball too long looking for the big play / not trusting his receivers (granted all new faces).

            If that’s a serious consideration, do you think harder about trading him? It just feels like this team needs a new slate from top to bottom. New coaching new QB. A lot of lingering vibes of 2015-2017, same old confusion and frustration over super bowl 49…

            • Rob Staton

              Yes, year to year with the tag.

              I think they’d struggle to trade him. He’s exceptional but you have to be willing to tailor your entire offense to what he is (and isn’t). Very tough to do.

              • Pedestrian

                Very interested to hear the sentiment change from you, Rob. Pete hasn’t looked dialed in, and I have to wonder if every player/coach on this team has beem haunted by SB 49, unable to move on… Hopefully it doesn’t infect the newcomers.

                I agree with tagging Wilson. You want to be sure before you move on from your franchise QB. Curious about the possibility of really going after another franchise QB in the draft, you’d need to work at it asap if you do plan to go that route and tag Wilson.

                One last point,the Seashawks seem to have been figured out by the rest of the league. That plus previous drafts haven’t produced a single “mega star” to carry the team to the next level. The bad trades of Harvin, Graham, Richardson have come to back to bite them. I liked the aggressiveness of the trades, but poorly executed in terms of fit on this team for all those players mentioned… They’ve rode on the success of the 2012 draft for too long now. 2018 will have more questions than answers about this franchise.

              • Pedestrian

                I don’t think too many teams would hesitate to take Seahawks up on the offer. For one, Jacksonville would chomp at the bit to get him – paired with Fournette it would be reminiscent of Wilson + Lynch. They’d be instant contenders with that defense and running back

                If it were to ever happen, I’d think 3-4 first round picks would do it.

                • Rob Staton

                  I think fewer teams would be interested in a deal than you think. You literally have to change your entire offense for RW. And the cost of the deal would be astronomical.

                  • Pedestrian

                    I agree it would be tricky to get done. But tempting for sure. We’d probably have to resign him before beginning to shop him to avoid another Earl Thomas trade dynamic with 1 year remaining.

                    Also want to say I really appreciate your seeing this team for what it is. Too many people want positivity and are stubborn to holding on to what remains of the old seahawks. Like it was with Harvin, better to make the correction sooner rather than wait for the team to become completely undone. Why wait? Use the players that still have trade value to rebuild

    • Matt

      After today…I’m kind of thinking 7-9 will be a positive year. Our defense has so many holes. Pass Rush is nonexistent and Shaquill Griffin was a little too prematurely-annointed as a no 1 CB. He’s a nice CB…but he is nowhere near shutdown and doesn’t create turnovers.

      It’s going to take the offense carrying this thing…and I just don’t see it.

    • Volume12

      Pete has been running on empty 3 years now. He’s done.

      • DC

        Who do you want next?


        • Drew Castleberry

          After watching almost every game Dabo has coached at Clemson, I would love for him to replace Carroll. He’s almost Carroll 2.0, but does have a bit of mean in him. He’s not always happy go lucky like Pete, which I like.

          • Matt

            Dabo is amazing, but honestly – he seems like a guy who would never leave the college game. He has a chance to make a real impact on young men and he won’t get much of that in the NFL.

            He also has a completely perfect set up going for him. He’s the it coach at one of the it schools in a rich recruiting territory. Basically, he has a chance to make a ton of $, impact a lot more young men, and go down as one of the best ever.

            It’s worth a shot…but I doubt he ever leaves.

          • Rob Staton

            Dabo to me looks like a tough transition to the pro’s. Great in college but not sure about the NFL.

            • Pedestrian

              Any college coaches you would be interested in? I actually really like Scott Frost, went undefeated at UCF (coached both Griffin bros). Thoughts?

              • Rob Staton

                There’s no college coach that stands out to me right now. Unless you want Harbaugh.

            • Gohawks5151

              Scott Frost if he can keep winning

        • smitty1547

          Jim Harbaugh

    • C-Dog

      I think the team would have to go on a massive collapse for it to be Pete’s last ride this year. I do think that if they go 7-9 or worse, there’s going to be a ton of pressure to right the ship in 2019, and that could be his last ride if they don’t get it done.

      • red

        This was to be kind of a bridge year all along. Pete will stick around for 2019 i would imagine 65 mi of cap space and a ton of solid Dline talent in the draft could make for a nice 2019. This year allways felt like 8-8 season with ups and downs from week to week. I think the goal was to develop the younger players and rookies for a second run starting next year.

  4. Volume12

    What did Seattle do to Penny? Pete was excited about his weight gain? My man has no explosion and looks like he’s running in quicksand. Yes it’s only 1 game, but Carson is clearly more talented.

    RW can’t throw hot to save his life. Leaving pockets to play backyard football continued today.

    Not a good D-line, CBs are a big weakness. TBF, Tre Flowers looked like the 5th round rookie he is.

    Janikowski seems to be washed.

    Hate to sound this way, but this ain’t a very good team. Said it a month ago.and I still believe it. A top 10-12 pick is on the horizon. And honestly? That might be needed.

    • Rob Staton

      Agreed. It’s one week so I’m loathe to overreact — but this all feels like it’s heading a certain way. And maybe a bigger change is required than what we saw during the off-season.

      • Pedestrian

        Care to share what thoughts on a “big change” entails?

        • Rob Staton

          That’s for later in the year.

    • icb12

      I’ve been wondering that about penny since I saw him take the field for pre season g1.

    • McZ

      Come on, we were debating, that Penny is a unrefined gem. To death. There is nothing wrong with that, if that is what PCJS were searching. I dispute, that such a player can be a R1 pick, but that’s sunk history.

      Clearly, the fandom expected immediate impact. We were debating other RBs, and only Kenny and me were high on Royce Freeman, who yesterday ran consecutive times with three or four defenders on his sleeves. Must review his stats, but he must have 40 yards after contact. And this smallish other guy is just weird, but he has the same measures as Tyreek Hill, who sank the Chargers (this, and a home crowd wearing red). There must be something to it.

      I also think, it’s a bit unfair to blame the RB corps. This OL is considered #29 in the league, it has played like #31 (even the Fins and Texans did well). The last time this unit was overachieving was SB48.

      There is some religious, deeply entrenched problem at work here. We have to sort this out, and because our FO is piss poor evaluating OL talent, and we are short on picks anyway, it will take a bit of FA money. I fully expect Russell to make improvement in this regard part of his contract negotiation, as yesterday showed he starts to loose some tack.

      • 12th chuck

        its too early to label Penny a bust, but lets face it, the draft record for running back is terrible

    • GoHawksDani

      Now that’s just an overreaction.
      1, Agreed, Penny seems like a 7th round pick and Carson (apart from the fumble) looked like a 1st rounder
      2, RW has some major limitations and I really hope he won’t get a big deal. I’d rather trade him for a really good RT and RG and some picks. He’ll never be a regular QB that climbs the pocket and throw quick hitters with some deep balls. And he’ll get older where it’d be harder to escape from pressure. Last year he was wildly inconsistent. And yeah, he’s under a ton of pressure, but sometimes he just can’t read the defense, or make horrendous reads. He cannot step up in the pocket, because he wouldn’t see through the OL. I’m not saying lets trade him. But giving him a record deal would be a suicide for this team.
      3, DL had “some” issues. BUT I really liked the CBs. Coleman played OK, Griffin played well, Flowers played well for a rookie 5th rounder transition project. He has a long way to go, but he didn’t make many big mistakes. If he has some more experience and will play the ball more he could be a pretty good CB.
      4, Janikowski was awful to watch. I could mean jitters or something, but he’s a vet. Seemed like snap and hold was OK on the kicks.45-55 yards in the Mile High is more like 35-40-45 yards. It should be easy FGs.

      McDougald played pretty great. Yeah, it’s Keenum, bad those weren’t awful throws, McDougald made some nice reads and reacted quickly

      • Pedestrian

        I’ve been saying this since last year!!! I also said it may be wise to trade some of the LOB before they aren’t worth much in a trade the year before that, and nooo one listened. “You don’t trade your franchise QB” and all that.

        A third contract takes you into his 30’s, and how much faster will Wilson be then? Last night was a great example of how much Wilson relies on his legs to make something happen. I know it’s crazy because it is so difficult to find a franchise QB, but do you want to roll the dice with 2-4 1st round picks to build your team or pay RW top dollar, constricting your team and hope we produces for several more years.

    • Dylanlep

      Yeah Vol that’s one thing I really wish media would ask about is Penny. They were so enamored with him as he was in college, why the 20lb weight gain then? Was that something the staff asked him to do? Why not let him be what made him effective in college? Just strange.

  5. Rad_man

    Carson : hungry and fast.
    Penny : fat and sleepy.

    • Elmer

      Penny might be Christine Michael II. Too early to tell.

      How about those other rookies?

      Dickson and Dissly were outstanding. Griffin and Flowers had tough days, in spite of the tackle stats. Don’t remember seeing the other ones.

      It looks like the offense is going to have to score 30 points a game in order to win. I hope they find a way.

      Denver’s ability to run the ball was disturbing. If you can’t win the battle on either side of the line of scrimmage, the outcome is generally unfavorable. And no! Not more missed field goals,

      • Rad_man

        C mike at least looked fast, even if he played dumb. Penny looked like the fat slob they paid a bunch of money to last year, Eddie Lacy.

        Ifedi and Sweezey did their part in undoing the game plan. Ghosts of Cable past.

  6. Volume12

    The officiating was so bad today. Do better NFL.

    • Joshua Smith

      I was watching the NFL Redzone channel before the Seahawks game came on and in almost every game I saw several roughing penalaties – and most of those were from defenders just making good footballs plays. They weren’t hits to the head or anything egregious. This is going to be the death of the NFL.

  7. Chris

    After 7 yrs russ still can’t see an obvious blitz and find the hot read
    There is no excuse for this! At least half our sacks were on him. What happened to our new running offense?

    3rd and inches and we throw the ball. Pete says we want to be a physical team but we throw it twice as much as we run it and our defense plays soft. I’m really confused as I’m sure the team is as well.

    • rad_man

      The play calling on 3rd and short was laughably bad. Hope they get that sorted out.

  8. lil'stink

    Wilson’s “boom or bust” play style/performances are so frustrating. I might be in the minority but I think people are so wowed by the “boom” aspect of his game that they downplay or don’t even recognize the “bust” aspects. And yes, those “boom” moments are impressive. He makes plays nobody else can. But he also doesn’t make plays than every average QB does (or at least should).

    It’s obvious teams have learned how to defend him. I can’t imagine Pete or Schotty are encouraging him rely on his backwards spin move. Yet he still does it, only now the results are becoming completely skewed to favor our opponent.

    The play where Chris Harris sacked Wilson? Any league average QB would have seen it coming and responded accordingly. Shift the protection, yell at Prosise to maybe change his blocking assignment, etc. Wilson did absolutely none of that. He’s not a dummy but I wonder sometimes… He really doesn’t seem to have the same poise he did when he was backed up by a #1 ranked defense.

    It’s early in the season. You don’t base everything on one game. But Wilson did nothing to convince me today that it would be a smart move to pay him Aaron Rodgers money.

  9. CaptainJack

    Well, that was pretty much what I expected.

    Will Dissly was phenomenal in the first half. Not sure why they didn’t try to factor him in in the second half.

    The defense wasn’t an all out disaster. The pass rush was bad but that’s what we were expecting. The linebackers not named Bobby Wagner were iffy. Shaquem Griffen did not look good. Austin Calitro looked like a nice find, even though he had some missed tackles. The secondary wasn’t an all out disaster like I feared it would be.

    Maybe this is a bad Denver team, but if it wasn’t for some awful calls we might have won this game.

    I don’t think we will beat the Bears, unless Wilson plays better. Honestly it is time to bench Ifedi in favor of Fant. And I am not sold on Schotty’s playcalling. But then again it’s hard to run the ball when you keep going three and out.

    Penny was a major disappointment, when I heard that pick. His competition in college was awful. To me, he looked slow and unathletic, kind of like Eddy lacy. Not worth a first round pick at all in my eyes.

    Dissly is already better than Graham, a receiving threat who is willing to block.

    Trey Flowers all things considered had a decent game.

    Overall, this was a better debut than we saw a year ago in Greenbay, with far less talent on the roster. I am willing to say we improve, after dropping a few early.

    Another thing: who else has a giant draft crush on Raekwon Davis? I just don’t hear this blog talking about him.

    • LooseSasquatch

      I think Dissly spent the second half helping Ifedi on all the pressure they were bringing on the right side of the line unfortunately. Then Wilson goes and does his whirlybird spin right into the pressure instead of quickly getting rid of the ball.

      One of the things Schottenheimer was praised for was holding his players feet to the fire, so I hope Wilson gets roasted. He needs to go back to his 2nd half of 2016 style where he was a damn point guard QB who occasionally made a crazy play and kept the defense honest and the chains moving. He’s gotten so far away from that that I’m not sure he can come back. . .

  10. icb12

    2 negatives from me:

    3rd and inches and they throw the ball? Ugh.

    And the extra pounds they put on penny?? Why? He looks so much slower and less explosive than he was at 220. I don’t understand having him put on weight.

  11. Guy

    No mention on the best single game punting performance since the Chargers Mike Scifres? 59 yard average on 6 punts. 4 placed within the 20 yard line. Truly terrific stuff.

    • Rob Staton

      Yes, the punter played well.

  12. STTBM

    Carrol had his chance to hire young, innovative Coordinators who believed in similar principles. Instead, he brought back Norton, who failed utterly in Oakland, and hired an old pals son to run the offense. Schotty senior did a piss poor job coaching in the playoffs and wasted years of a great team. Schotty Jr was even more conservative and showed less guts, and was coaching qb’s on a terrible colts teal last year.

    The worst thing is that the changes in staff and players resulted in the same old problems in all phases of the game–nothing has changed.

    Seattle has struggled since Carroll began messing with the offense too much–first by making terrible trades and influencing offensive personnel decisions, then by messing with offesnive play calling, and finally by messing with offensive staff. So far his meddling has done nothing but cause a downward slide every year.

    If Wilson doesn’t run, Seattles offense doesn’t work. Period. His running is what makes him special, and it appears they have phased it out. He’s a mediocre qb without running.

  13. Uncle Bob

    On the one hand I’ve expected the Hawks to be 1 and 4 over the first 5. The way Dallas looked today that should be the win. I am not happy to be right though, for all that the final score looks close, and Seabass muffed a double shot the look of the play and the feel of the flow said there was a lot bigger difference between the performance of those two teams. Those turn overs were very helpful and overdue.

    Third down conversion troubles and red zone impotence look like their right out of the Bevell paybook…… maybe it is partly on RW. He should be made to look at how that slant play worked so well and engrain that in his game. Carson was okay, sure spectacular on the hurdle, but not the beast we’d hoped for. Penny probably should be cut just a bit of slack as a rookie, and not having played much yet. Which could hold for just about the whole squad. I’ve only picked 5 games out because my hope is this rather young crew is still trying to jell. The more time together in battle the better they should get.
    D. Jordan played pretty well for a guy who most thought wouldn’t play at all this early. Flowers is raw, but more effective than not. Calitro slightly outplayed Quem, but we miss KJ. Uncle Will is a delight, wonder if Graham will break 100 yards tonight………….sweet if he doesn’t. Thought it interesting to not see Prosise until the last series……..didn’t want to break him?

    Yep it’s going to be a long year, the sixth game being in London (it’s all in your hands Rob 🙂 ) should be tough for a team that often doesn’t travel well, except they’re playing a team that might even be worse. From then on let’s hope these guys get some synergy going, the coaches become more effective, and confidence takes over.

    • Rob Staton

      I thought they’d be 2-3 going into the Raiders game at Wembley and still think that now.

    • Drew Castleberry

      As for Prosise, I think they aren’t playing him much, other than on ST, due to making him wait and earn playing time.

  14. Pedestrian

    Lack of pass rush was very obvious. Depth on both sides is very worrisome, now Baldwin has two bum knees. The way Chicago is playing, I’m worried about Wilson’s health – Chicago looks like it may be the real deal this year.

    Looking at this year as developmental. If we continue to see the lack of run game, you have to wonder what is needed to really fix it. More picks and FA money on o line? Wrong scheme? Personnel changes needed? Very frustrating

  15. neil

    As he continues to get older, RW will continue to lose speed and quickness. In the past he may have been able to escape a couple of those tackles. I don’t know about a big contract, think how much slower he will be in three years. Unless they come up with an all pro o line, RW may hav already reached his peak.

  16. John_s

    At least for this game the offense was no different than last year.

    First play – pass, sack, 2nd and long
    Second play – incomplete

    With all of the talk the run game they start with a run.

    I don’t get it how Pete talks one thing and does another.

  17. C-Dog

    A few thoughts.

    While I didn’t think he had a great game, by any stretch, I actually didn’t think this performance was near as bad as a hand full of ones Russ had last year. I expect Schottenheimer to be coaching him hard this week, especially looking at that fourth quarter tape. I might be entirely wrong on this, but as far as season road openers have gone in RW/PC era, putting up 24 points in a hostile environment against a pretty tough defense isn’t horrible. The whole offense needs to clean things up.

    I’m not so sure Denver is that bad of a team.

    Defensively, I thought there was a few positives. I thought Bradley McDougald played well. I thought Jarran Reed beasted out against the run playing DT like a middle linebacker. I thought Flowers held up better than I thought would happen. The missed tackles at the end were brutal, but that was the story against the Titans early last year. I’m willing to give the coaches the benefit that they can get these players to clean things up.

    Pass rush was brutal to watch. Brutal.

    Why was Nazair Jones a healthy scratch? Is he in the doghouse? I thought he was a player last year that had impact inside.

    I’m going to be one of those annoying ones to some and say that not only do I want them not to trade Earl, I want them to extend him.

    It’s early. It was an annoying road loss, but looking at this schedule, I wasn’t expecting this game to be a win. Denver is a tough place to play. If they bounce back against the Bears on MNF and get a win, things will feel better.

    • Rad_man

      I think Russ has developed a few bad habits and instincts as a result of playing behind a bad O line for years. This is a problem that has undone quite a few young QBs in the NFL over the years and I have to think the several seasons of crapola in front of him has impacted his pocket presence and reads. He seems to have regressed, not progressed, and I’m inclined to think it’s because he’s been consistently among the most pressured, hurried and hit QB in the league since his year 2.

      • C-Dog

        He definitely gets the jitters early at times. I think they can correct this. That’s what Schottenheimer was presumably brought in to do. IMO, it’s about fighting the desire to find the big play when it isn’t there. He took some check downs early, which were effective, but then got away from it. I don’t think he trusts the right side of his line.

        • Rad_man


          All that said he made some terrific plays and magnificent throws. But he has to reduce the big mistakes and become a better situational QB.

    • McZ

      What should he coach him?

      Wilson is no game manager. With a lead in 4th and multiple possessions, he is not able to work the clock. Keenun took over 7 Minutes from the clock with his last drive and soaked all timeouts. He smothered our D with long possessions.

      Wilson has no patience and no confidence in his supporting staff bar a couple of preferred targets. Going for 15+yd, when all you need is 4 is depressing.He desperately searched for Marshall. Only one dart to Brown, where was Moore?

      • C-Dog

        Wilson has shown in the past that he is precisely a game manager. I think you coach him to get back to that, I would presume.

    • Rob Staton

      I think this is a 5-6 win Denver team.

      • C-Dog

        Time will certainly tell, but I think Denver has a pretty talented defense at all three levels that added the top defensive lineman in last year’s draft along along with an offense that added a capable veteran game managing QB. The was pretty much the receipt that one them a Super Bowl just a few short years ago. Not say they are that team again, or close to it, but they could be getting closer back to that than being closer to the team that they were last year.

    • Mishima

      Denver is trash. Broncos will finish last in their division and be lucky to win 6 games.

  18. Jeff

    I had three main takeaways from this game. The first is the offensive line still need work, mainly the inside. How many more chances is Ifedi going to get. Also the inside protection was horrible. On some of the sacks Wilson couldn’t step up and he was actually forced to role out.

    The second thing that I learned is that Wilson was slow to start another season and he stills responds to pressure in some of the most headache inducing ways. He will escape and makes a great play and then at another moment he holds onto ball and roles into sacks, that he easily could have avoided. He needs to either trust his early reads or throw the ball away the ball away, bit he just refuses to give up on any play. It what makes him exciting to watch but what makes him so frustrating to watch when The opposing team can consantly pressure him. The one thing I do notice is that he always improves that during the year.

    Finally is that I think the defence can be better than expected. The turnovers, Whether that is because offenses are going to take more chances or not was good to see. The team misses KJ to help sure up the tackling. The pass rush is still a disappointment but Jordan did miss all of camp, though I saw some good moments of pressure from him. He needs to get some speed back but I think that will come, after all he missed all of camp and preason. I think if they can find consistency at CB opposite Griffen the defense can only get better.

    Going forward the offense has to improve, and they need to find a way to run more, especially if that is meant to be What the offense is about. I am hoping fluker will help in that regard as I never like sweety much in the running game. Also I think Carson needs to be the feature back. I think Wilson will get better during the year as he always does, but I think we will never be rid of Wilson hanging into the ball. The only way to fix that is for him to have better protection up front So that we see less of these moments.

    • seaspunj

      Jeff I agree with you that the Seahawks should just pick 1 starting RB and go with it throughout the game. Carson hurdling the defender was fun to watch and I just think Carson should get the majority of the carries and go with it.

      if this is PC last hurrah it will be sad bc I can’t see another coach come in and start over again

    • Rob Staton

      I thought the protection was mostly perfectly fine. This is a good D-line in Denver. Wilson was jittery and anxious throughout and he didn’t need to be.

  19. CHawk Talker Eric

    I said last week I wanted Mack badly but not for 2 R1 picks. I think I changed my mind

    • John_s

      Using a John Schneider term, he “tilts the field”. There’s not many defenders who do and when you have a chance to do it, you do it.

      He’s the different between a 7-9 team and a 10-6 team.

    • Glor

      Hindsight is 20/20

    • DC

      Chicago has a roster that is ripe for Mack. Seattle is a ways out on that.

  20. CHawk Talker Eric

    I said previously that I wanted Mack badly but not for 2 R1 picks. I change my mind 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Anyone know why Naz wasn’t on the game roster? The DL was abysmal today. Poor run defense and nonexistent pass rush.

  21. Glor

    I don’t put this on the on-line, Wilson had time on plenty of plays.

    The pass first offense and no commitment to the run was the number one issue in my book. It could have resulted in Wilson bring more comfortable, etc. He has got to learn to dump off to a hot read…

  22. Tyler

    The offensive line seemed to play decently well considering what they were up against.

  23. 12th chuck

    lack of pass rush, letting them run easily. We were able to get turnovers, which is a big plus, but we gave away nullifying them. If our offense improved, it could only help a patched up d, and yes it will be a long year. doesn’t look good for next week as well.

  24. KD

    On the positive side, Dissly looked great and Dickson was absolutely spectacular

  25. seaspunj

    49 snaps 16 rush 33 pass attempts

    14 RB carries 2 QB rush
    Technically 35 pass plays since RW ran on 2 attempts

    this game was close and I have to ask about the at what point did the Seahawks abandon the run and why?

    2:1 ratio pass vs run when the 12s were told by PC they would run more. unfortunately this game didn’t prove that.

    I was hoping for 25 to 30 rush plays and 20 to 25 pass plays

    this team needs to run the ball and have RW as a game manager

    anytime the Seahawks were on 3rd down I had zero confidence the Seahawks would convert

    I would say the Seahawks had a chance to win on the final drive despite all the mishaps

    I was disappointed about Janikowski missing 2 times on a FG and I think the Seahawks can’t afford any mistakes if they want to make the playoffs

    Rob do you think the Seahawks will go back to running the ball like when they had Lynch or go air it out?

    • GerryG

      ((Jim Mora Sr voice) playoffs!? Playoffs!?

  26. HawkfaninMT

    Went to the game today and saw a lot of the same things you all have spoken to. Earl looked great coming back minus the miss on sanders TD (which was a big one). I think he just took a bad angle there.

    Flowers played hard, but he was chasing his WR all over the secondary. Usually it was Sanders, Burbank flowers just didn’t have the technique yet to cover someone like him. Needed some extra help over the top and I feel like that adjustment was made at halftime.

    Calitro and Griffin seemed in over their heads. Maybe first game jitters… KJ will do wonders to help out.

    I didn’t expect a perfect game from Ifedi, but the coaching staff needs to recognize a mismatch and plan for it. Did they plan for Ifedi to play a serviceable game against the NFLs top pass rusher? If so, that’s on them. No fluker hurt as well.

    RW had tons of space on some read options… think he was told not to run?

    Lastly, Denver fans are welcoming hosts. Don’t stress going to an away game there (but wat beforehand!)

    • Mark Souza

      Your take on Earl is interesting. He was both good and bad. In the first quarter, his instincts on where the ball was going and his early break on the ball resulted in an interception. On the play you mentioned with Sanders, that was one Earl gave up, not Flowers. The play started with two receivers on the left, one of them Sanders. One receiver broke inside shallow, Sanders broke inside deep. Flowers was playing outside position on Sanders and was supposed to have help from Earl inside and deep. But Earl got a twinkle that the ball was going to the short crossing route and abandoned the deep part of the field leaving it wide open. He was wrong. Flowers did what he was supposed to by following Sanders across the field since there were no longer receivers on the left half of the field, as Denver flooded the right half. But the help he expected from Earl wasn’t there.

      • HawkfaninMT

        Interesting… I will admit that what I saw was Flowers being incapable of trailing the speedier WR across the field, but will be quick to admit if he was expecting help from ET then it is on ET moreso than Flowers. I prefer your scenario than mine of course. means that with more time together, and ET being more disciplined, the secondary (and Flowers) will continue to improve.

        I did feel that there were some flashed from Flowers in the outside developing routes, 9s fades, even back shoulders to an extent. He was running in the guys hip pockets pretty well. It just seemed like he was slow on the breaks for the in breaking routes, causing him to have to try to play catch up. But, as you pointed out, if he was expecting help, then that would be a fair reason for the space.

  27. Chris A

    Today was ugly, but how about Michael Dickson?? Holy moly this man kept us in it

  28. Pran

    Tre Madden? How did he do. Thought Carson’s fumble is partly on him. He could now slow down von for a split second.

  29. Ishmael

    I don’t want to read too much into the first month, let alone the first week, but that was pretty blech. People are bitching about the O-Line, but the big concern for everyone should be Wilson. When was the last time you could safely say he’d really taken a step forward and improved his game?

    There are guys out there who really wouldn’t be starting for a decent team but it is what it is. I think we’ll see a lot of games like this. Frustrating failures in key areas with just enough glimmers of hope to keep us interested.The commitment to the run and the third down conversions are a complete disgrace.

    No idea why Seattle packed all this weight onto Penny. He looks fat and slow. How many players are they going to have to do it to before they give it up? Clark, Wilson? Sure there have been others as well.

  30. Adog

    Just say it baby…do not resign Russel wilson. This is a shellflaccon of a good team. Russel is a great qb on a rookie contract…he is a slow burn on a second contract. Money ball has arrived! The benefits of signing Russel to a 3rd contract are next to nothing if we’re talking about having a complete team again. Everyone knows Wilson is great…but he cannot carry a team. The franchise qb is a fucking delusion! How bout that punter!

    • Ishmael

      Don’t disagree with this to be honest. Either that or find him a business that the team can pay millions of dollars a year ie. the Brady model.

    • Dylanlep

      Man, I think I agree. Feel crazy saying it but if he is asking for Rodgers money, sorry he ain’t Rodgers.

  31. Ishmael

    Watching the late game, Trubisky is basically a much worse Alex Smith. Really not a fan, has the awareness of a potato. Stunning that he got taken second or whatever it was.

  32. CHawk Talker Eric

    The Legend of Aaron Rodgers grows. Seriously, what a competitor.

    My way too hot take: barring injury, CHI will make the playoffs and go as deep as the NFC Championship

    That team is loaded with talent

  33. Pran

    Did Russ admit his poor play or the same positive blah blah.

    • SeaHusky

      He said that some of the sacks were definitely on him, but he usually says that after every game. Russ is usually very willing to critique himself while putting an overall positive spin on everything, but it’s still disheartening to see him still make some of the mistakes that he makes in his seventh year.

  34. Ashish

    I agree with @Rob more negative than positive but I don’t see as very bad game. Russ is the reason we start slow on offense he has more experienced now to take responsibility. Run defense was awful and so was pass rush. With few fixes and little bit of time things will change in jiffy. May be too optimistic but that what I have seen from Pete.
    I hate some of the play calling, touch down call initial fumble.

  35. Gohawks5151

    Not trying to be a Russ apologist but jeeze…. Half of the sacks that he “ran into” was due to interior pressure as well. Wolfe had a day against Sweezy. Yeah he will hold the ball long at times but who exactly was running free? Dissily was open til they realized they should cover him. Marshall had to push of on half of his catches. Doug was out early. Tyler was a non factor outside of the TD. I didn’t even know Vannett or Brown was playing. The quick game is also not a forte of schotty. He runs a lot of deep routes. We have been seeing them all preseason. There aren’t many 1, 2, 3 step and throw plays being called. No question he needs to be better but as much as schotty needs to hold him to the fire, the staff needs to hold themselves accountable as well. Commit to the run. Chip and help in protection. Make the game easy. Lots too fix. But lots to build on

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      The problem is that Wilson needs to learn when to just get rid of the ball. Instead of just dumping the ball, he tries to make something out of nothing and instead of 3rd and 10, they end up in 3rd and 20 territory. When it works, it works great, but when it doesn’t it puts the team in a deep hole.

  36. sdcoug

    I think Ifedi should be cut some slack here for two pretty big reasons:

    1) Von Miller. Probably not a worse possible matchup for week 1.

    2) I think Sweezy played a big part in the lack of cohesiveness and surely didn’t do Ifedi any favors. He looked terrible, which is pretty much how I remember him from the first go around.

    Dickson. Wow. Without him we may not have even been in shouting distance. Penny has played, what…2 professional games? Give the kid a chance before you tear him apart. Russell…I don’t know what to say anymore. Not sure I’ve ever seen him hit one hot-read, and rarely does he seem to manipulate a defense. If it’s not drawn in the sand, he’s not comfortable with it.

    • C-Dog

      Ifedi is going to be facing Khalil Mack all game in Chicago. It could get really ugly.

  37. Matt B.

    Encouraging game in my mind, I think the areas we struggled made sense considering who we were missing. O line was ok, Sweezy was the worst in my mind allowing a lot of interior pressure and I think that makes sense considering not a lot of time to practice, new scheme, etc… defense saw Flowers and Griffin get picked on, but again, tough when you’re throwing rookies out there. Missing Fluker, Wright and Maxwell/Johnson is rough for the first game and you expect to see some difficulties. The interceptions were great and until the very end our run D was really pretty solid. Lacking pass rush but I’m hopeful with Clark, Jordan getting healthy and getting Green more comfortable we’all have more success. Russ made some great plays and some poor plays, wish we would’ve given him a bit more play action bootlegs on those 3rd and longs since he’s trying to extend and is more comfortable knowing where the rushers are that way. I really wish they had stuck with Carson as the primary back, Penny looked ok, just missed some holes and that comes from missing that time in the preseason. It’s a young roster with lots of potential but also gonna make some mistakes. Compared to our road opener the last few years this didn’t seem like a horrible start to the season. Go Hawks!

  38. 80SLargent

    “This could be a long season.”

    It will last just as long as last season; might as well just find whatever entertainment value we can find and wait to see where they’ll be drafting in 2019. I long for the technically longest seasons of 2013-2014. Those “long” seasons are getting smaller in the rearview mirror, and the Seahawks look a pretty long ways from getting back.

    The complaint about them not running the ball enough, that’s what happens when a defense can’t stop anybody, mostly due to a non-existent pass rush. It’s a symbiotic relationship; the more opportunities the defense gives the offense, the more chances they have to get the run game going.

    For the people complaining about Rashaad Penny, seriously, did he even have any room to run? It sure didn’t look like it to me. Plus, he’s only played part of one preseason game before today’s game.

    I figured that hopefully they brought in Schott to coach Wilson harder, and get some of that whirly bird BS out of his system. He ran into at least 3 huge sacks that I remember. Good quarterbacks step up into the pocket and away from that pressure, get rid of the ball quicker, and it would be awesome if Wilson would actually learn to do those things. Ifedi getting his lunch eaten by Von Miller was a given, so the failing was on the team not mitigating that reality. It’s not going to be any different next week…or the week after…or the week after… Either learn from it, or suffer the same results.

  39. gmoney

    Very depressing. And it is not because (somewhat expected) road loss at Denver but rather a sad realization that Seahawks will NEVER BE A LEGIT CONTENDER TO SB with RUSSELL as a MAIN QB – especially when he’s being paid like one.

    Few important things have changed since 2012-2014 campaigns:
    – RW is not on a $800k rookie deal
    – he’s not 12-13th best player on a loaded team
    – nfl’s defensive coordinators have a clear way of keeping him in a pocket, containing with outside pressures and forcing him to running into horrendous 10 yard+ loss sacks on regular basis

    I’m not with Sherman’s camp and I really like RW but we need to take rose color glasses off and see what’s going on. What’s the last time RW was a functional QB within an offensive plan?! Answer: sole 5 games in 2015 against shatty teams in a 7 year long carreer. We can change coaches, coordinators etc but the truth is that there is absolutely NO PROGRESS whatsoever when it comes down to RW commending the pocket and getting the ball out on time. It’s boom (backyard football scramble) or bust and since nfl DCs have a defensive blueprint, nowadays we’re left with bust more often.

    I really hope that our front office will realize that RW is definitely special kind of player but absolutely not worth top 10 QB money if you think about building a winning franchise. It will simply never work to pay RW 15-20% of salary cap and expect to win. He is NOT Brady, Rodgers or Brees and never will be.
    I much rather we took ‘game manager’ on average/cheap and build a monster DL/OL with pounding attack – ala Jaguars now with a crap show of Bortles they’re still highly competitive.

    I’m really tired of RW excuses, blaming:
    – coaches
    – OL especially Ifedi (who’s horrible I know) when RW holds on to the ball for 6 sec and runs into pressure
    – run game
    – weather
    – Ciara
    – nanobubbles
    – gameplans/ playcalls

    At some point we have to look at a common factor and unfortunately it is Russ. Add to that a fact that he is really weird and his teammates do not respect him or see him as a good leader – not just defense but seemingly all exit interviews (including Luke Willson) omit RW as a leader on the team.

    • 12th chuck

      not to mention the added stress/pressure it puts on our d. I don’t think our d had 1 3 and out today, and you could fault the o for some of that. He was struggling to throw a screen passes today, and now I have a better idea why Bevel never called them. I don’t think he is the root of the problem though, give him a better o line, that can produce a decent run game and it will only help. I hope we can get a run game going, especially with Baldwin out

    • Rob Staton

      I think this post is brutally accurate for the most part. It did cross my mind, for the first time, that this offense probably functions better with an Alex Smith type than a Russell Wilson type at this stage. But there’s no realistic chance of any change any time soon. And regulars will know how much admiration I have for Wilson. He is incredibly talented. But a big decision is forthcoming. If you’re paying him big money in the future, he better be able to deliver. Otherwise you’re just delaying the inevitable.

      • Trevor

        I love Russ too but I agree and I think that is why JS has started really scouting QBs before last years draft.

        I think right now that Pete and Russ are tied together. If this year is a bust and really is Pete’s last rodeo as Rob mentioned yesterday then I could really see the Hawks going a different direction at QB.

        The idea of paying Russ $30 mil per year does not seem like a wise decision at this point but if they don’t what are the options this off season?

      • C-Dog

        Wasn’t the whole selling point of the Schottenhiemer offense supposed to be how much better of a fit it was going to be for RW than the previous?

        • Rob Staton

          Indeed C-Dog. However, I’ve made this point for a while. This is Pete Carroll’s offense. He has a bigger say than we all think. And yesterday looked just like the last two years.

          • 80SLargent

            Nail on head.
            When I think of Russell Wilson, he does not strike me as the kind of guy who doesn’t play exactly as he’s coached. He’s playing just like Carroll wants him to play. That boom or bust style of play and offense puts a tremendous amount of stress on the defense. That’s great and wonderful if you have a defense that can stonewall the other team, but even the most dominant defenses are going to break down sometimes. Then, when you have a young defense that basically can’t stop anybody and get off the field, this is exactly what we get.
            Remember back to 2010 and the first half of 2011, it looked an awful lot like the current team. Even with Lynch and the young talent on defense, they still weren’t very good. Then, in the 2nd half of 2011, that young defense started coming together, and not coincidentally, Lynch started reeling off touchdowns and 100 yard games. Then Seattle drafted Wilson, Carroll finally had the kind of QB he wanted for his offense, and they started winning big.
            There’s definitely more talent on this team than there was back in 2010, but as long as they have a defense that can’t even slow down mediocre offenses like Denver’s, they’re going to have a really hard time winning games – especially with a head coach hell-bent on running this boom or bust offense that puts the defense on an island.
            A big part of me thinks Carroll, while he’s a defensive genius, has a real blind spot when it comes to offense, and for that, I think the team would be better off if he would swallow his pride, get out of the way, and just run the defense.
            Back to the point of having to “tailor an offense to Wilson”, I couldn’t disagree more. I think Wilson is capable of playing and succeeding in ANY offense. He set an NCAA record for passing efficiency in more of a pro-style offense than he’s ever operated for Seattle. He’s not Kaepernick, or even Cam Newton. Mark my words: the Seahawks would move on from Pete Carroll way before they move on from Wilson.
            Like you said, this is Pete’s offense, and

      • gmoney

        @Rob I’m totally with you on this. And we should look at Pete’s system history. He was able to create a winning programs with average (or flat out crappy) game managers like these guys:

        – Carson Palmer
        – Matt Leinhart
        – Mark Sanchez (seriously?!) drafted #4 overall

        So we know Pete is actually excellent in building a winner without a superstar QB. What seems to be more important is to stay within a game plan and get the ball out on time with some explosive plays out of play fakes.
        Dominant defense with strong run game.

        Russ showed promise early in his career but has regressed since and DCs know his weaknesses well by now.

        I think it is time to move on (trade Russ for high picks) and install back Pete’s winning formula.

        • shawk

          Carson Palmer, Matt Leinhart, and Mark Sanchez were not game managers in college. They were superstar QBs among they best in college football and instrumental to their success.

  40. Pran

    Did Procise play? Seems like regressed based on preseason.

  41. UkAkex6674

    Should we sign Dan Bailey?

  42. Del tre

    Man, reading these comments it’s like we lost 55-0, Russell took about 5 sacks he shouldn’t have and jankowski missed a field goal, Denver is 18-1 in home openers and still bolsters an impressive defense. I think everybody needs to take a deep breath on this one. Russell had all the time in the world to throw today and didn’t put it together on multiple plays, he stalled drives with bad reads (despite underneath receivers being open), overall it was a hugely disappointing return for Russ. On a side note, the amount of passes on first down was ridiculous, most certainly should be running the ball, it will be interesting to see if that trend continues. KJ is going to be a much appreciated presence allowing for more flexibility at the third linebacker spot, this is a young team, it is going to stumble at times, the Hawks have to trust that their young players will develop, Shaquem blew coverage on a TD and Flowers had a brutal day, what did we expect of late round rookies?
    I think this team is going to be competitive, i didn’t know that Denver was a poor team, last i checked they still have an elite front 7 and just got a massive upgrade at QB. Most of the negativity feels centered around the sports illustrated article because Russ blew the game today. We should have expected to be sloppy against a well conditioned Denver team in high altitude.
    I suppose i should be prepared for more dred and woah tomorrow when the Rams take down a weak Raider team.

    • UKAlex6674

      Agree with much of the above. Denver’s D is good (where they top 5 run D last year also?) and their 1 and 2 WR are deadly. I didn’t have them penned as a poor team at all. So for us to play so patchy and only lose by 3 is ok. We stuck around until the end and gave ourselves a chance (although it was a damp squid that last drive). Same thing happens each year – the rookie class are anointed the next heroes and then when they play and make the rookie mistakes they are supposed to they get slated and its the worst draft class in history etc. It’s Week 1, we lost on the road at Denver by 3 and gave ourselves chances to win it despite growing pains. I’ll take that. Let’s just hope we make the right adjustments for Chicago.

    • red

      I agree sloppy game but KJ Wright, DJ Fluker, did not start, Doug played like a half Johnson went on IR 3 days before the season started. It was at altitude and 88 degrees at kickoff, if we came into this game healthy we probably win by a touchdown or so.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s certainly true that we need to wait more than a week to truly judge this team. My concern, however, is that the issues we saw in week one are a continuation from last year. And while admittedly they’re in the middle of a re-set, who are the young players to build around? Is Russell Wilson worth +$30m a year? Have things gone stale? I think these are legit questions.

      • Del tre

        Those are legit questions, but quite frankly i feel if we had won yesterday, the story is about our new high flying offense that scored 27+ on Denver, the new look defense needs work and KJ can’t be back soon enough.
        Marshall puts it well
        I think this can be corrected, we never have to play on Denver again, i think we make it to 1-1 next week.

        • Rob Staton

          I can honestly say — if we’d won yesterday my tone wouldn’t have been any different today. I just would’ve noted the obvious positive of winning a scruffy road game. The issues go far beyond the result of a single game IMO.

    • 12th chuck

      for myself, it has to do with more of the doesn’t seem like they fixed any of the issues that they consistently have had for 3+ years. we made a sub par team look good IMO. It is going to be a long season at this rate, and add that Baldwin will miss time, and having a “knee issue all year”. Unfortunately I think the best of Baldwin days are behind him now and we don’t seem to have an answer at reciecer

  43. H

    Im definitely more in the chill out camp after this one. How many people had the Seahawks winning this one? At the hardest stadium to go to week one in the whole NFL, with a team that is notorious for playing poorly week 1. And, even with some crappy officiating and a missed FG, we still only lost by three?

    There were some concerning performances from players and coaches, no doubt. Ifedi wasn’t good (but how ’bout you dont put him on an island with Von Miller?) the defence was infuriatingly inconsistent, especially whenever we took the lead (growing pains have to expected there though, what with 2 5th rounders starting off the bat) and a lack of pass rush is well noted, need more stunts and blitzes from this group please Ken. Russel Wilson’s flaws are his flaws and this was a game where they showed up more often, he has to be better. I think he will be.
    Biggest concern of all though was the lack of commitment to the run. What was that all about? Was it just the gameplan for this week? Next week Carson needs 20 touches minimum, Im sure Pete knows this though so Im not getting to worried about that just yet.

    All that being said, Uncle Will is an absolute monster, i thought his RAC ability was an underrated aspect of his game that really showed up today. Michael Dickson is the best 5th round pick we’ve had since Sherm, best punter in the league already, we just need a defence that can force 3 and outs when we’ve got them in their own 5. Carson is a beast, see above. Brandon Marshall rolled back the clock with an great performance. And for all the, “move on from Russ talk” this dude still made some plays only a rare QB can make, 3rd down pass to Marshall threading the needle between 3 defenders was sick. Who remembers last year when we didn’t move the ball at all until the 4th quarter? is was certainly better than that.

    Bears will be a tough out next week, need to give Ifedi more help against Mack than he got against Miller. Need to run the ball more. Really sucks to have 3 road games in the first month. I believe in the team, they aren’t a superbowl team, probably aren’t even a playoff team in a hyper competitive NFC. But lets just chill out for a few weeks before we really know what this team is.

    • Rob Staton

      I expected to lose in Denver. I didn’t expect Wilson to look so poor or the offense to basically be 2017 in game plan and execution.

      • H

        I completely agree with regards to offensive game plan, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me why we ran so little after spending an off season trying to re-establish the run. I was particularly bemused during the red zone possession after Dissly’s long run, we run a pitch then call two pass plays. Down inside their 5 just ram it down the middle. I can only hope it was a one off and we head to soldier field next week with a mind to run it a lot more.

        Execution-wise though, I’m gonna have to disagree. It wasn’t great but 2017 was an absolute joke for the first 3 quarters. We scored 17 points in the first 3 quarters of this game, the thing that was missing was Russel’s heroics from last year when the game mattered most.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s got to the point where it’s hard to even imagine the Seahawks running the ball with authority.

          My point about 2017 was the end product. Many more passes than runs, only 64 rushing yards. Very similar to a year ago.

  44. H

    And I just missed out on tickets for the London game, that’s got me down way more than losing this game. Freaking page froze right at the final stage and now their all gone.
    If anyone knows another way to get hold of some please let me know.

    • UKAlex6674

      Ticketmaster and Stub Hub still have a few but be quick – although with the time delay they will probably be gone by the time you read this 🙁

      • H

        Resale venders are a massive rip off, there’s still loads available on those sites at like 10x face value. I just can’t afford that.

  45. SeahawkeyezSubj80

    This would have a completely different spin if our kicker makes his kicks. we win an ugly win.
    1. sign dan bailey
    2. move ifedi to guard/backup quard/ backup swing tackle
    3 fant at right tackle
    4. cut sweezy
    5. run more carson and penny

    • Rob Staton

      If people think Fant vs Von Miller would’ve been any better, I’ve got news for you…

      • SeahawkeyezSubj80

        IMO. better than idedi with a higher ceiling. Ifedi does not have the feet to be a average tackle. he is a guard.

        • Rob Staton

          There’s no evidence for the assertion that Fant is better.

          I think he would’ve had a nightmare against Von Miller. Because it’s Von Miller.

        • Mishima

          Ifedi did a JAG job against one of the best edge rushers in the league. Often, RW dropped into the arc or held the ball too long and stepped into the counter. Same things happened to Brown last year: RW lacks awareness /anticipation and steps out of protection and into the rush.

  46. Georgia Hawk

    Man, where to start on this one?

    – I can probably let most of the issues pass as early season growing pains and playing against arguably the best pass rusher in the league (though that will be tested next week….). What I really have a problem with is the overall game plan and play calling on offense. one particular egregious instance as a 3rd and 1 and they got an incomplete pass 20 yds down the field. Just…why? There were times I thought maybe Shotty had gotten himself in a rhythm, then you’d see 3 pass attempts in a row again.

    – “Perhaps the biggest surprise is their inability to establish the run. At the very least you’d expect a degree of commitment there. Instead they passed 18 times in the first half and ran six times.”
    This is spot on to me. 6 rushing attempts at half, when Carson was averaging 7 plus a carry. Yes, he missed some time, but how much of that was by choice and how much of it was the coaches forcing Penny to get touches? Part of the problem here is penalties on early downs, setting up 1st and 20, 2nd and 15 etc. Hard to run out of that.

    – Russ had some of the more boneheaded plays I’ve seen him make, repeatedly. 20 yd sacks? Come on Russ, you HAVE to be better than that. Fumbled snaps in the 2 min drill. Just awful.

    – I don’t know where everybody else stands on Earl at this point, Lord knows I’ve been all over the place on it over the last 6 months. But yesterday more or less cemented my opinion that we need o pay the man now and call it a day. I don’t remember the exact numbers on this, but there was a graphic shown, that with Earl off the field for 2 drives, Broncos got 2 TDs in like 11 plays with 170+ yds. With him ON the field in like 5 drives they had 230 something yds and 10 pts.

    – Kicker. It makes my skin crawl knowing somebody like Dan Bailey was available late in the year, and Pete was cool with Seabass. Sunk money, or not.

    – Carson HAS to stay on the field for this team to have a hope. I have no idea why, but it looked like he couldn’t be stopped, but Penny couldn’t fall forward a yard. As valuable as Russ is to the team, I would argue that Carson is more valuable to the game plan.

    So much to digest. I am highly encouraged that the offense put as many points on the board as they did, considering the struggles. Defense had 3 INTs! Who saw that coming? Gonna be a long week sifting through the film and planning for Mack and Co.

    • Rob Staton

      Some fair points there.

      On Carson though — he HAS to have better ball security. Von Miller should not be taking that football away. Far too easy. And combined with the fumble in LA in pre-season, this is threatening to put a rain cloud over his sensational talent.

      • Georgia Hawk

        Yeah, that was definitely a sour point. I wonder if it is something in the way he carries the ball, in the same way Tiki Barber had issues early in his career. I’ve not seen an in depth look at his carry style though, could just be due to sample size, but it may be worth looking at. It should never be that easy to take the ball from a RB.

        • Rob Staton

          It was bizarre. Von Miller just calmly took it off him.

  47. Shane

    Had our defense not gotten 3 turnovers (should have been 4) theres no way this game is close. Denver is not a great team and the rest of the season will work that truth out. Our defense is rebuilding and our offense sucks. How many 3 downs with very manageable distances did they have not convert? I cant rember one 3rd and 3 or less that they convrrted. If Wilson wants Rodgers $ he’d better start cleaning that up. There was no rhythm that good offensive teams are founded on. In fact as Rob stated earlier the offense is very much 2017 like, and it appears defenses down. Case Keenum outplayed Russell today and he wasnt good either.

  48. Rob Bailey

    Why in the world were Poona and Naz Jones inactive on a day we needed ANY inside presence (and got NONE). I sure hope they learned something there, giving a game roster spot to a gimped Doug Baldwin. Now he’s going to be out several weeks.

    Also did anyone see Chicago?…They are going to squash us like bugs.

    • Sean-O

      Naz being inactive was a little surprising. Isn’t he our best pass rushing DT?

      I saw Chicago. They’re working through some stuff just like SEA is. SEA better focus on Cohen catching passes out of the backfield. He’s a weapon.

    • C-Dog

      It was really odd to see Naz as a healthy scratch. They also seem to have made no attempt to make him a factor in the competition of starting nest to Jarran throughout the preseason.

      I don’t know if he has regressed in practice, or is somehow in the doghouse, but this guy was a positive factor inside for us last year. Would love to have one of the reporters ask Carroll about him today.

  49. peter

    Rob, first absolutely awesome work this off season! I’ve loved all the podcasts/ google hangouts and the articles coming at a great pace.

    Now on to business:

    I’m here for the Wilson 30 million crowd. I Get your money-balling concerns. I really do. And I hate the 20 yard sacks.

    But what I have yet to see here or on any other sites is the “maybe John Schneider, the FO, and the scouts are actually bad at their jobs?”

    Before I continue with the wilson and his feet to the fire and boneheaded plays comments I’m trying to see how a guy who sucks at trades, can’t see the shelf of players and loses both dead money and gets nothing for them as they leave the door is going to ignite some rebuild in a post PC/Wilson era. I’m not joking I actually think JS might suck at his job. Just squandered trades, getting worked on the lane deal, bad contracts…it’s not a good look.

    Also isnt it he and pc’s job to assemble the scout staff? Who seemingly can’t find Olinemen, are having a hard time proving that they can find and develop running backs (not til carson stops getting stripped/fumbling and stays healthy…sorry) No WR’s of note developed and Richardson leaving basically when he finally gets decent. NOt exactly great at finding Dline talent but we give that a pass because they pick so late, I suppose. Terrible choices for back up QB.

    Sorry to vent I’m just sort of surprised that the answer to all this is maybe not pay Wilson and the boat will right itself. I guess it’s hard for me to believe that not paying Wilson and signing players to one year deals is going to magically be the thing to fix everything that ails seattle.

    • Rob Staton

      Vent away, Peter. That’s what we’re here for 🙂

    • Volume12

      Seattle is one of a handful of teams that let their scouts in on the draft process after February. Most teams cut them out after that month. It’s not them. They do a great job identifying talent the rest of the league passed over.

      PC and JS absolutely deserve blame. Pete is so stuck on 1980’s football it ain’t even funny. If you don’t have one of these young, offensive minded play callers your playing catch up. Chess to checkers. Pete did this at USC and it sunk the ship. He made hires/promoted from within and flat-out shows nepotism. Same thing here.

      Go get Lincoln Riley and paid him with RW.

      • dylanlep

        Wow Vol, love Lincoln but you must be talking as HC right? Doubt he would leave to be an OC. But yeah, he seems cut in the same cloth as McVay/K Shanahan – offensive innovators.

    • Matt

      What I find hilarious with the “RW is actually not good, let’s get rid of him crowd”…who are you going to get? This isn’t college. We can’t just recruit the 2 QBs we want every year until we get it right.

      I’m gonna call out Davis Hsu here. His argument is that “RW ain’t Tom or Aaron!” Yea, not sh*t, Sherlock. Let’s pick out the 2 best QBs on planet earth…one who is 34 and one who is 41. Boy…isn’t that interesting…2 guys…7 years apart…5 years older than RW. It’s almost like they don’t grow on trees. So weird, huh?

      It’s almost as if playing QB in the NFL is really tough and finding elite QBs takes a ton of luck. If the bar is Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers…then I would suggest people just stop watching this team. The odds of finding those guys is so incredibly low and it’s 99.9% based on luck.

      What we have…is a young QB, who is a top 5 player. RW can and should improve…but the idea that we just need to throw him to the wayside for….Brett Hundley or Alex McGough? Deshone Kizer? Who are you going to replace him with? I’m dying to know.

      I have an idea…let’s package our 1st and 2nd rounder to trade up for an unkown commodity…oh wait, we don’t have a 2nd? And we need a willing trade partner as well…oh and Aaron Rodgers was a late 1st. Brady in the 6th. So that doesn’t solve our woes. Who is said QB going to be throwing to? Who is going to protect him going forward?

      Let’s take one of the brightest spots on a subpar team and get rid of him…because that’s how you get better. Getting rid of your best players at critical positions and hoping you luck into Michael Jordan.

      Sorry for the rant…I find these people comically stupid and I’m annoyed by the self-appointed expertise of Seahawks Bloggers not name Rob Staton. So thank you Rob, for actually providing great substance while not pretending you are Vince Lombardi.

      I’m being very sincere when I say this website is the last bastion of sanity when it comes to Seahawks football. It’s not positive. It’s not negative. It’s realistic and doesn’t pretend to have all the answers.

      • dylanlep

        Matt, i hear you to an extent. My issue is that RW is likely going to want A Rod money. In my view, if he wants A Rod money then he has to play like it. Otherwise he will completely hamstring the organization’s ability to field a super bowl calendar roster. So if it comes down to cutting him loose versus making him the highest paid QB in the league, Ill be honest I lean towards the former. Would it be tough? Painful? Absolutely. But its the kind of bold decision making required to get this moving back in the right direction. I am pretty confident that you would get a solid package of picks if you traded him. Combined w a top 12 ish selection this year (which is not impossible based on the talent level I see on this team), you have a shot of grabbing a qb for the future and then also restocking the talent at other deficient positions.

        • Matt

          All fair points…and my rant wasn’t intended for a level-headed take like yours. It was aimed at the folks who casually pretend that RW is replaceable and that he’s the problem.

          Without RW…this is legitimately a bottom 5 roster in the NFL. If you are going to get rid of RW, then you have to deal Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas. Might as well rip the band aid off and accumulate draft capital.

          Which brings me to my next issue…in this scenario…I’m assuming PC/JS are gone. Correct? If not…what good are those extra high draft picks going to do? They have been downright lousy in the last few drafts.

          I understand this take…I would simply caution folks that this team could very easily turn into the Browns for the next decade. QBs are extraordinarily hard to find. Recreating a legendary defense is extraordinarily hard to do.

        • peter

          Not even joking here but what exactly has Rodgers done that Wilson hasn’t?

  50. Drew Castleberry

    When was the last time we’ve seen Russell actually throw the ball away?

    • Edgar

      I think his last pass……it just got picked before it made it out of bounds.

  51. neil

    Just watched the RW press conference. Once again I did not hear Wilson say ” I could have played better” He did not mention his and the teams lack of ability to pick up third downs. as usual he put a happy face on the whole thing. It gets a little taxing to hear the same rah rah after losses.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d just recommend not watching. Russell is who he is. He isn’t going to be negative. I accept that and to be honest, staying upbeat helps his game. I didn’t need to hear him admit he had a crap game. We could all see it and I suspect he knows it all too clearly.

    • Volume12

      This is why I think some guys say he’s ‘unlikable.’ Is he a great human being? Seems to be. But he’s so damn robotic and vanilla.

      • Mishima

        He’s a brand.

      • Matt

        Russell is a victim of the times. I personally don’t want a QB to point fingers at everybody. I think in the social media age, people want the soundbite/video clip. It comes across as petulant.

        And I agree with Rob…just don’t listen to RW. I like the guy but I know his pressers are terrible. That said, I’m glad he doesn’t call out people in that setting. It’s not in his character and I don’t know what it accomplishes.

        I’m sure the likes of Richard Sherman would not like him if he started calling out RS/Defense by name. It’s always great to call people out until it’s *you* who is on the receiving end. Weird analogy, but it’s like taxes…yea, I want everybody to pay more…but I definitely don’t want to! Same idea.

      • mac

        he’s a congressman.

  52. Logan Lynch

    So, I didn’t get to watch the game at all yesterday. Maybe that’s a good thing?

    Just reading different reports/game analysis, how am I supposed to feel? Frustrated? Encouraged? Both? As someone who watched a grand total of zero minutes of the game, here’s what it looks like to me.

    This was a game very few of us expected to win given the DEN home opener record and the SEA road opener records under Pete. By all accounts, SEA could have won this game and possibly should have despite some glaring problems and significant players being out. Wasn’t this kind of expected? This team will have growing pains and will be frustrating to watch for much of the season. I just hope to see some growth and improvement. Maybe it was the fact that some of the problems that showed up were ones we hoped would be fixed with the new coaching staff. I guess I’m just not overreacting to this as much as some other people (as of today at least, because when I found out they lost yesterday I was pretty angry!). We’ll see what Chicago brings.

    • Rob Staton

      Personally I would choose the words ‘underwhelmed’ and ‘slightly concerned’ about the direction of the team.

      But it’s week one. We’ll know more in three weeks.

      • Logan Lynch

        Makes sense. It just seems like we all talked ourselves into lowering expectations and then there was a tidal wave of vitriol when the team had a poor game.

        I agree about not overreacting in week 1. Hopefully the next 3 weeks show us something positive because the schedule only gets tougher from then on.

    • AlaskaHawk

      A lot of fans are frustrated because it was a winnable game – if only the offense had shown some resemblance to a cohesive unit that could march down the field and score a touchdown. But is it really surprising they couldn’t when just being at high altitude should be enough for Denver to go 8-8 each year? And they haven’t lost their home opener in forever! The 4th quarter Seahawks were out of gas and showed it.

      Like the others, I saw big issues with the right side of the offensive line. Sweezy and Ifedi = needs some work. Is it really surprising considering the minimal practice time that is called preseason? You know it will only get worse if they shorten preseason.

      Anyway – Sweezy didn’t even get a lot of practice before starting – and Ifedi has already been sat down once in preseason. They were facing a very dynamic pass rusher in Von Miller. And that trend will continue for the first half of the season with Mack being the next one up.

      Defense was predictably disjointed at times, but also made some good plays with three interceptions.

      Offense wise, the only eye opener was Dissley catching some long passes and Carson hurdling a defender. The rest was predictably not good enough. It reminded me of the Vikings preseason game. Good enough to compete, but not good enough to win.

      On the role of scouting and GM Schneider. I really don’t know who picks the players – but the team has fallen a long ways. I know they are having a hard time finding enough starters, But also there are hardly any backups that I would feel safe putting on the field. Why don’t I pick on QB for a minute. Hundley and McGough? How did it come to this? I’m not saying that backup QB is all that important – if Wilson gets hurt I would rather just collect a high draft position next year. But that pattern is repeated throughout the other positions. What position do you actually feel has strong backups? Defensive tackle? Maybe wide receiver/tight end? Safety? I’ll remind you that starters get injured every week.

      Lets hope the Bears collapse against Green Bay will occur again next week. I’m sure Mack will be ready for us!

      • Logan Lynch

        As weird as it feels to say this, I was actually really disappointed when they announced Fluker wouldn’t play against DEN. I really wanted to see them try and negate Von’s pass rush by running right at him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fluker being out was part of the reason SEA didn’t run as much. Not that it’s an excuse, he was injured last year and they should have a capable backup to keep the same game plan.

  53. BV Eburg

    Keep hearing Shotty getting blamed for only calling 16 runs. How many runs did he call that Russell audibled out of? That’s the one question I would love to hear answered by Carroll.
    All the chatter on Russ not being held accountable, Sherman questioning why all the passing. Could it be Russell audibling to pass and not being held accountable?
    You can fire all the assistant coaches you want but when the results are the same you have to look at the common denominator.

  54. Heliopause

    The simple reason they passed so much is because they had to. I strongly encourage everybody to ignore Carson’s raw stat line, which is deceptive, and review the play-by-play. Depending on your definition, Penny’s effective runs were either zero or one. Of Carson’s seven attempts only one was effective. 86-94% of the RB runs did not put them at a favorable down and distance.

    • Rob Staton

      Not sure I agree here. That was a close contest throughout and Seattle led on different occasions. 18 passes vs 6 runs in the first half and 39 passes vs 16 runs overall doesn’t make much sense to me if you want to be a smashmouth team.

      • Volume12

        That’s what I don’t get either. He preached all off-season about wanting to get back to being a team that established the run, but the #’s and play calling the past season and one week into one says otherwise.

        Either build around RW or don’t. But to have him spinning his wheels is potentially wasting his career.

      • C-Dog

        This was the most frustrating aspect of the game, IMO. Lack of commitment. Smash mouth only works if it is a commitment.

        • BV Eburg

          But why wasn’t it ran enough?
          Was it Wilson audibling out or Shottenheimer not calling running plays? Bevell may have been calling for running plays also and Wilson audibles out routinely. Is that the lack of accountability ex-players are complaining about, Russell not being held accountable?
          Coaching and team building are more about the jimmy’s and joe’s than x’s and o’s. Players willing to run through a brick wall for each other will go a long way as we saw in the LOB. I don’t get that sense on offense and wonder if throwing 30 million at it will solve the problem.
          I’m absolutely not a Russell hater. He is in the top 3 of Seahawks I’ve enjoyed watching since 1976. But something is off here.

      • Heliopause

        Let me just list all the RB runs and the down and distance that resulted from each of them.

        The Seahawks ran on 1st and 10 nine times.
        A 24 yard gain resulted in another 1st and 10. Great run by Carson.
        Three times they gained 3 yards resulting in 2nd and 7.
        Three times they gained 2 yards resulting in 2nd and 8.
        One run of -1 for 2nd and 11.
        One run of -2 for 2nd and 12.
        So of the nine runs on 1st and 10 eight resulted in 2nd down and 7 or worse.
        One run on first and goal to go at the five resulted in a two yard loss, so 2nd and 7.
        On a 2nd and 3 they ran for seven yards but fumbled the ball away to the other team.
        One run on 2nd and 10 for 3 yards resulting in 3rd and 7.
        One run on 2nd and 8 for 5 yards resulting in 3rd and 3. Of course, most teams will pass on 3rd and 3 most of the time.
        One run of 10 yards on 3rd and 16 resulting in a punt. Completely meaningless as the defense simply conceded those yards.

        That’s all the RB runs. Of the 14, one led to a down and distance situation that was favorable for an immediate followup run.

        The conventional wisdom I learned a long time ago told me that if you run on 1st and 10 you want to gain at least 4 yards for the play to be considered minimally effective. If you buy that wisdom then the Seajawks were ineffective 89% of the time they tried to get a little “smash mouth” going on 1st and 10. That’s why they passed so much.

        • Rob Staton

          I never understand this line of thinking though. It kind of misses the point to me.

          You’re asserting what warrants running on back to back plays based on a yardage difference of a yard or two. I would never ever look at it like that. For me, if you want to run the ball as a feature — like the Seahawks say they always do — commit to it. If it’s 2nd and 7 and you want to establish the run, I’d never feel like I was forced into a throw in that situation. Run if you want to run. They say it matters to them. Prove it.

          • BV Eburg

            I don’t by the 4 yards per run either (early necessarily). If you average 2.5 yards on 1st and 2nd down it leaves you with 3rd and 5. Very manageable. Most backs also argue that they get stronger as the game wears on so maybe by the 4th quarter they are 4 yards a pop. Even more manageable.

  55. Colonel KurtZ

    Love this site and it makes getting up on Monday worthwhile. Glad the bloom came off the flower for our star QB who thinks he deserves to be paid like a HOF player. Too much optimism going around for Seahawk Nation.

    We just lost to a team who will go 7-9, coming up just short, but our two best players were the rookie tight end and the punter. One spent the whole second half blocking and without the other changing the field every time, we give up 45 points.

    But lets go back to RW, cuz its always about RW.

    We were 2-12 on third downs.

    RW ran into four or five sacks cuz he refuses to throw the ball away when he is under pressure.

    He fumbled late in the game to snuff out any comeback.

    My brother played QB in college and we were talking about the three things that make a good Pro QB.

    1) You do what the coach tells you. ( That seems obvious but there are lots of Alpha jocks who have NEVER done that, and gotten paid.) Look at half of Brett Favre’s career or the guy I know best, Chris Chandler. He didn’t get to the Super Bowl until his eighth team and he started doing what the coach told him.

    +/- RW does that to a point. PC tells him not to throw interceptions, but that means RW holds the ball until AFTER the guy breaks open, then he throws it. Often that’s too late in the Pro game. That’s why RW is more comfortable with his sandlot plays….

    2) You have to trust your arm. That means making good reads, anticipating, keeping your eyes down field, then letting it go…. and trusting the ball gets there.

    – I don’t think that RW trusts his arm anymore, whether it is injury to the rotator cuff from so many sacks, or the velocity has just gone away. Look at that weird windup he takes sometimes, like he’s throwing a baseball. He never had that super strong arm that could make those out throws QBs have to make in the league. That’s why the Seahawks took that throw out of this playbook years ago and went with the fade. He also doesn’t keep his eyes down the field, at ALL.

    3) You have to get the ball to your playmakers.

    -/+ RW has never had a great set of playmakers around him, but in the sandlot game he likes to fall back on, his favorite target of all-time, our T-town Husky who is now in New York. His juggling kicking sprawling catch in the Super Bowl would be THE highlight catch of all-time except RW’s next completion went to New England and its like its always been, back to RW.

    Its always about RW.

    He was our best playmaker for awhile, but now that he’s slowed down and defenses know how to contain him, he’s no longer a good Pro QB.

    He will cure childhood cancer. And be a baseball franchise owner. And Ciara’s husband. And…..

    Just not a good Pro QB.

    1 for 3 three on my scale means we are in for a long season.

    I just hope that Khalil Mack doesn’t kill RW next week.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I really want to see more improvement in Wilson’s game before he gets a big extension. And no matter what people say about the pay rate of QBs – his height and passion for running backwards should be factored in for a discount. He can’t throw a slant or a screen to save his life. However I also think the passing game has always been influenced by coaches who are admittedly stronger in designing run plays than pass plays. There is a marked difference in coaching for teams that pass first, like Denver or New England. They keep trying plays until they find what works. And then they stick the dagger in.

      What about Seahawks pass designs? They had something working in the first half with Dissley. What did the coaches do with him in the second half? The Seahawks passing game is predictable and their running game is only working on half cylinders. Lots to work on this week.

    • H

      Jees man, slow down a bit there… not a good pro QB?
      This being the same guy who was in the MVP conversation last year? The guy with the second best career passer rating ever? He’s clearly a step below the Rodgers and Bradys of this world, but those guys are super rare. Our guy has his strengths and he has his weaknesses. But this team is an absolute catastrophe without him.

      This wasn’t a good game by his standards, had he played better we could have won. But this is such an overreaction its not even real.

    • Matt

      Good break down but I’m absolutely going to disagree about “velocity has gone away.” He absolutely stuck several throws, in particular a 3rd and 11 to Brandon Marshall.

      Russell has always had a big time arm in this league; so I’m not terribly sure where you are getting that thought from. I’d contend he’s had a top 8 arm since day 1. He’s a pretty nuanced thrower; meaning he adjusts velocity depending on the situation/throw. He’s always done that.

      Sorry to get hung up on that point – but I just strongly disagree with that assertion. The only throw he’s struggled with is a slant and that’s 100% due to his height (and probably mentally he doesn’t like it).

  56. Pran

    Paul Allen better start looking for a young and innovative HC. Pete seem to be not giving enough freedom for OC and having namesake DC. All good things must come to an end.

  57. Robert Las Vegas

    Interesting game I was hoping that touchdown pass to Lockett would be the game by the way that was great play. I still wonder if Denver last touchdown was really a touchdown.Russ Wilson could improve on quicker decision and slant could be a long year because of lack of pass rush and inexperienced corners. Just my quick take

  58. smitty1547

    Ive never said this or even thought this before, but this loss was on Wilson.
    Yes are D was soft, but Wilson was horrible, 7 years and he still has not learned how to just throw the ball away. He might want to learn the other team watches film too and they are on to the whirlybird maneuver, put it away and keep your eyes down field and run that direction as well. As for running that is the only thing that really makes him great, where was that at?
    Dissley was of course great, I think everybody forgot about Graham already.
    We really need to thank Tamp bay, I think are two best free agent finds here lately have come at their expense, Bennett and now Mcdougald.
    Going to be a long season when are Punter is the lone bright spot.
    All this talk of Wilson getting 30 million is going to come to an end next week when Mack kills him.
    Carson is a beast, if he ever got the ball enough to maintain some rhythm it will be fun to watch.

  59. Naks

    I’d have to rewatch but it seems like there was a ton of interior pressure coming from the left side of the line. A lot of times russ was bottled up from both ends with pressure. I know ifedi was getting killed but so was either pocic or Britt

  60. Cass

    Well, this comment section is depressing. I, too, am seriously concerned about the future of this team. The defense looked really, really flat. Granted, they were playing in high elevation in 88 degrees. In week one. But! Holy moly was the pass rush non-existent. Frank Clark’s sack was the only play I can remember. Where was Reed? Where was Johnson?

    The pass rush will be the undoing of this team. Case Keenum picked us apart because he had ages to go through his reads. Russell simply didn’t have that. Can you imagine what Rodgers is doing to do against this pass rush?

    For the life of me, I do not understand why they abandoned the run game. It’s truly insane. They spent all offseason talking about the importance of the run game…and on 3rd and inches they pass?! Felt like I was taking crazy pills. And for the love of all that I holy, can we stop running the ball on 2nd and 10?

    Ok, vent over. It’s going to be a long season—especially if we lose next week at CHI. If we can pull of a win there, we may be able to get out of this early-season funk. But I’m not holding my breath.

  61. Gohawks5151

    Pretty gloom and doom this morning. It was a frustrating yet interesting game to watch. I guess my first thought after it was over was, no where to go but up. That may seem like a bit of the Carroll optimism but it doesn’t make it any less true. Rookies, new guys and first time contributors include: Flowers, Thompson, Callitro, Griffin, Dissly, Marshall, Brown, Carson, Penny, Dickson, the OC and the DC. I’d even throw in guys like Dion Jordan who hasn’t had half a season of game time with the Hawks. Getting comfortable with the scheme and natural progression should see this team be better over the year.

    As for the offense, it is how it has been like this for a long time now. For all the changes and talk 3 things remain the same. Pete, Russ, and the O line performance. I agree that it looked like little had changed yesterday in the way of effectiveness and decision making. A lot of talk about Russ. There should be if hes gonna be paid but from his perspective it has to be frustrating too. Pressure is and will always be the most effective way to take a QB out mentally and physically. It happens to everyone. Brady, Manning, Ryan, Rodgers. Many have struggled against the pressure that Seattle used to bring. I watched the Patriots-Texans game before Seattle played. Besides the Pats doing their thing, what stands out is how easy they make the game on offense. Brady is great but they also scheme mismatches at every position to get the most out of everyone. They also stick to the weekly game plan whether its running 40 times or passing it 50. What started as going off script every once in a while has turned into no script at all. It has to come from the top down. Russ will never be a three step drop and throw QB as long as the scramble drill is still part of the practice plan. Simplify the offensive plan.

  62. DC

    Russell Wilson is the best QB the Seahawks have ever had. Of that I have no doubt. Marshawn Lynch was the best of quite a good group of RBs that the Seahawks have ever had and imho, the best of all the skill position players in their history. Lynch was the heartbeat, the focal point that defenses HAD to focus on and in that on-field relationship Russ flourished. He needs something like that to be at his best.

    Every DC out there knows Russ’ patterns now. Is he permanently jittery/shell shocked? How well is he reading the defense? Is he going through any progressions? Can he see if he steps up in the pocket? These are all frustrations or questions that I have.

    How many QBs are clearly better than Russ in this league if you are talking about winning a SB this year with no regard for the future? Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Wentz. With a good running game, a quicker passing game and some personal evolution, Russ can be his best. He needs help.

    • AlaskaHawk

      You can add Foles and Keenum to the list. RW – both the best stats and the worst stats. Perhaps if he didn’t try so hard to run backwards to his own end zone…. Plus his game was a lot better when he was fast enough to run the quarterback option. My take is that he has already peaked.

      • DC

        If you are implying that Foles & Keenum are ‘clearly better’ than RW I wholeheartedly disagree.

        As for whether Russ has peaked? On the physical side he’s not going to get better. On the mental side I hope he’s still learning & growing & humble enough to implement changes. There’s room for improvement there.

    • FresnoHawk

      Denver’s pass rush knew where RW was going to be and RW continued to roll into the rush. RW had some bad passes just like he did in preseason we saw the same thing last year, like everyone else I’m getting sick of it and we all know its not worth $100 plus guaranteed when the 2020 college QB class is looking really good. RW added a move that counters his typical move last year I have no clue why he didn’t mix it up? Not to avoid giving credit to Denver’s D & O lines, but we lost because of the missed fumble, RW’s play, and our kicker! Remember the year we lost the SuperBowl we lost early games to Safety’s not coving the TE! We’re starting this year with 3 interceptions that’s pretty good! If our D line gets better were in good shape if not we save $$$ on Clark and rebuild with cheap FA’s and the draft like usual.

  63. Frank

    Raining pianos and anvils today ehhh? New offense for the entire team, historically a slow starting team that comes on stronger as the season continues. Ifedi has always had way more penalties against pro bowl/ 1st round draft types in protecting, not that suprised to see him get beat up not trying to jump offsides. Glad he’s not getting beat before the play starts, but he’s going to have find a happy medium. Of course every time he gets a offsides a collective voice rises in the NW to bench him, trade him, electronic shock him into performance. Penny had no preseason, and I’ll admit I like him lighter, but he’s going to grow into a player. He had great vision in college, just needs to get used to the keys in this system. There will be reason for hope bye the end of the season, but the lack of pass rush is going to be tough to deal with. I wonder if having a healthy K.J. would have opened up the play book to use Griffen as designated pass rusher?

    • DC

      11-1 to start the 2013 season. A historical anomaly…

  64. McZ

    Wilson getting the heat for staying in the pocket, doing Wilson things, while Rodgers is a “competitor”… mmmhh

    A competitor having a rocksolid pass protection in 4th quarter, allowing him to stay in the pocket for 5, 6, even 7 seconds doing Rodgers things. That’s what a quality line does, even against Khalil Mack.

    An average line starts to solidify, when it’s due. This was Denver’s OL in the second half, when our pass rush grinded to a halt.

    Meanwhile, this Seahawks OL was getting burnt all over the front, and never recovered or showed signs of stabilization. Brown got repeatedly eaten by Chubb, Pocic couldn’t stay his ground on a few occasions, as did Sweezy to a much higher degree. Ifedi is being let down, allowed to play without getting the proper technique treatment or unable to learn, trying his best against Von Miller.

    Still, this FO and this fandom ask themselves, how in 4 consecutive years of fixing the run we still have no stable game plan establishing a decent, creative run game, having screen passes, intermediate slot passing aso. We wonder, how our most promising tailback of the day gets hurt early in the season as a rule.

    Then, on Sunday, we saw a Denver team just having an average line exercising exactly what we strive for, with a “non-Seahawky” 3rd rounder RB, who just consistently did what his college tape suggested, a whirlwind of an undrafted, undersized “non-Seahawky” FA RB who just did what Prosise could not do, rounded by a top-notch WR corps.

    The difference in direction and development couldn’t be greater.

    • mac

      I don’t exactly think that assessment is fair. Aaron Rodgers came back from an almost season ending injury to rally his team to victory. The offensive line elevated their play to keep him protected, he could of sat out and not risked further injury but he showed faith in his team and they rewarded him by elevating their level of play to insure he wouldn’t get hurt.

  65. BobbyK

    I’m not going to write off the season based on one game. If they can beat the Bears on the road, they will have started 1-1 with 8 home and 6 away games remaining. That’s not bad.

    If they lose to the Bears though, then I’ll doom-and-gloom this season more than I’m willing to right now.

    I am definitely concerned about the pass rush, but think some of the other things are correctable (like running the ball on 3rd and 1 when you claim to be a running team). Again, not going to write it off yet, however.

  66. FresnoHawk

    We never beat Denver in Denver! Building a winning team is a process, due to injuries this summer & the lack of a veteran QB back up we feel behind in that process! Exceeding expectations is goal for most teams year to year while a select few expectations of the Super Bowl is the goal. Most teams whose goal is to exceed expectations will tell you the NFL season begins after Thanksgiving, that is not my opinion, it’s a strategy that those teams implement! That means playing lots of young players, experimenting with the play book, taking unusually risk, resting certain players, and doing things that don’t make sense to the outside world but make a lot of sense to the coaches!
    Every single player on this team has to get better its all part of a process except Earl Thomas and ET had a bad read that gave up a TD! The Seahawks weaknesses were exposed that can be a good thing. The only concern I have is our Kicker everything else can be fixed easily. (Trades, get better, game plan etc..) Russell Wilson typically doesn’t start the season strong but even if he does finish the season strong like usual, it’s obvious he has to make a jump to the next level. Sometimes you have to let a player play through their issues to figure it out! (RW holding the ball to long & running into the pass rush. And sometimes it’s best to bench a player so he can watch what he’s doing wrong. (Queem running downs) I’d rather be the Seahawks than the Saints right now! Again the goal is not to win the SuperBowl but to exceed expectations for the season not one particular game!

  67. Kenny Sloth

    Despite a pretty bad pass rush and run game, we still had a 4th quarter lead.

    I imagine the season will be no different.

    I predict we tease like we’ll finish strong and miss the playoffs again

  68. JimQ

    I’ve learned over the years to stay off the internet, for a few days after a loss. This year, due to all of the new players/coaches I decided to look at various articles and comments today, after having digested the game. I was surprised to see so much negativity after the first game of the season. A recap of numerous comments on various Seahawks sites that I’ve read today below. = WOW, after 1 game that they didn’t win I think fan “over-reaction” is both blatant & obvious.

    IE: Fire PC?, Fire JS?, 1-st round pick was a bust??? All recent drafts were a bust??? Trade ET because he ain’t good anymore? Trade away RW, because he isn’t a PRO QB????? Many now saying sub 500 for the season, after already predicting the same prior to the start of the season, now after I game they yell that they were right all along see, they lost that game (by 3 points) and that proves their predictions that the Seahawks are a crap team and will lose more than they win ’cause some fans are experts and PC/JS are just plain stupid and need to be replaced? Etc. All of this, after only 1 lousy game that they were 3 point underdogs?

    Many people need to chill. After 5 or 6 games if the Seahawks are not better, you MAY be right, but after the first game of the season with so many new players & coaches that have insufficient time to prepare (Non contact practices are a big joke). Maybe we all just need to chill a little on the negativity and look more at the positives, if we want to remain viable Seahawk fans. Bottom line, there is no where to go but up for our team and they will surely (and hopefully) improve greatly with a little more time to jell as a team.

  69. Forrest

    Every year the early season negativity just gets worse and worse.

    I thought everyone was in agreement that was AT BEST a 9-7 team that was in the middle of a mini rebuild, yet all I’m seeing is “RW is washed up!” Where everyone sees problems, I saw minor improvements. Add the fact that the weather was +80 degrees, and the Broncos Defense is a top 10 pushing top 5; 24 points with mistakes and regrets is a positive for me. Hey, at least this team can keep a game close.

    Listen, I see the same issues as everyone else. Russ holds the ball too long and walks into sacks, but he also throws dimes and keeps the team competitive. The run game was…not really there; that needs to be addressed in the coming weeks, but I at least saw positives. Seabass missed two times in a row, but Dickson was a beast. Despite all the negatives they still only lost by three.

    KJ won’t fix the defense. It’s going to be going through growing pains and different variations all season. Honestly it looked better than last year’s D, which only makes me happy. The thing I notice about new OCs or DCs on any team is that they will either throw their whole playbook out in the first few games and surprise early opponents, or they’ll build up to things slowly. I think Shotty is not going all out in the first game and saving some surprises for the Rams, Packers and Vikings (in particular).

    This team gives me a 10-6 sort of vibe where they struggle early, but heat up and soar later. If the defense can show up against CHI, then maybe that’s a win. Cowboys and Cardinals look dazed and confused. Rams will be the first major challenge, and for me at least, an indicator of how the rest of the season will go. I remain optimistic (even with the negatives on my mind). Go Hawks!

  70. Adog

    I do not expect Wilson to be in Seattle on a 3rd contract. I hope he plays well enough to get us a 1st round pick…maybe two. In the name of Rick mirer…i call out to the football gods…give us two ones and I’ll start standing up from my mom’s couch(my hide a bed)for the anthem. I am studying a strange meteorological mutation …something like a Chinook wind…where local pcnw qbs twist and twirl when approached by large objects in their peripheral vision. In the trailer parks we name such objects…meth monsters. God bless the queen.

    • dylanlep

      I would be really surprised if he couldnt net 2 first round picks.

  71. JC

    they didn’t run much because they were 2/12 on 3rd down. They didn’t have a lot of plays. You hope the running game pays dividends in the 4th quarter after a ball control offense takes hold. Denver’s D could still be fresh because there were so many short possessions, so few 3rd down conversions to have extended drives.

    • H

      They called 41 pass plays to only 14 run plays (if you count Wilson’s two scrambles as pass plays, i can’t remember if they were designed, but i don’t think they were.) So that argument doesn’t really hold up.
      Most notably its the lack running on those 3rd and short plays and in the red zone that has people so confused.

  72. astro.domine

    Just re-watched the Broncos game, takeaways:

    -Pass protection was pretty good overall, a far-cry from last year
    -Ifedi had some very nice snaps against Miller. He didn’t get beat for easy pressure. However, he mistargeted a few times in the run game.
    -Pass rush wasn’t great, but we did disrupt the pocket and make Keenum move; a serious lack of quality edge rushers
    -Carson & Penny dropped passes late in the game
    -Wilson found a groove in the 3rd quarter, but then started trying too hard after we got behind

  73. neil

    There are a lot of comments here about RW not dumping the ball off when the play plan breaks down and you are 3rd an 4yd to go. I say ” he has been in the league 5 years. why hasn’t he learned this? Is he so head strong and full of himself he refuses to do it? another thing. I never see Wilson changing and setting protections at he line of scrimmage. Managing a game properly is the biggest factor in being an ” elite ” QB. Wilson is not their yet and probably will never be.

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