Instant reaction: Seahawks need to find balance on offense

NFL fans should be embarrassed by what happened tonight. Sure, the Seahawks will take the win. Seattle is now 2-1 against the odds and with a bit of extra luck against a red-hot Arizona team they’d be unbeaten. The fact still remains – nobody can watch that replay and say the final play of the game tonight was anything but an interception. The league is a laughing stock this evening. That’s not taking anything away from the Seahawks who have endured a fair share of misfortune over the years, but they caught a break tonight.

It wasn’t just the final play either. The Packers’ touchdown drive was extended by a farcical pass interference call against the Seahawks. Likewise, Seattle’s penultimate drive benefited from an equally stupid flag. An ugly, messy, difficult game got the ending it deserved.

This is a Seahawks blog though and not an officiating blog, so let’s look at the team. The ending kind of masks a big issue facing the Seahawks. They clearly possess one of the league’s best defenses – it could even be #1 in the NFL. But they also possess one of the worst offenses and that has to be a big concern. It’s not about individuals either, it’s about a severe lack of balance.

The Green Bay Packers failed to score a point in the first half as Seattle sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times and shut down both the pass and the run. It was a massacre, like a home game against the Rams over the last few years. Completely one sided. Most other weeks it’d be the precursor to a comfortable and maybe even emphatic victory. But the Seahawks offense wasn’t playing ball.

At half time the Packers planned to slow down the pass rush by running the ball up the gut. Once they’d established the run, it afforded Rodgers more time and he got things moving. Throw in two no-huddle drives and momentum had shifted. The Seahawks needed to respond. It became a game where the Seahawks needed to keep up. They didn’t just fail, they failed in a big way.

I’m still trying to work out the play calling. Even with a bigger lead than 7-0, you can’t expect to beat the Packers by being ultra conservative. We know the Seahawks want to run the ball and make that the identity of the team. That’s fine, but you still need balance. Russell Wilson barely threw double digit passes going into the final quarter. You can’t do that against the Green Bay Packers with a slender lead. You can’t do that against most teams. Not unless your running back is on the path to a 200-yard game which he wasn’t. The Seahawks are essentially playing without a passing game at the moment. At best it’s a token gesture.

Do they not trust Russell Wilson as a rookie quarterback? Is it merely a misguided game plan? Whatever it is, they need to take a long look at what they’re doing on offense and try to establish a passing game of some form. Next time there won’t be a favorable refereeing decision to bail the team out. The game plan in the second half was almost as difficult to stomach as the replacement officials.

We try to look at needs on this blog because the people who visit want to talk about the draft and the future of the team. Seattle’s greatest need right now is to review the offense. By all means keep the run game at the heart of what you want to do – Marshawn Lynch had another great game today. But you have to be prepared to mix it up a bit, get creative, trust Russell Wilson and the playmakers on the team. How can we criticise the quarterback when he isn’t throwing the ball? How can we criticise the receivers when they aren’t involved? Why bother paying Sidney Rice and Zach Miller $13m this year if you’re not going to use them? Or Golden Tate… or Anthony McCoy…

And let’s not kid ourselves this isn’t a rare one off stumble. The offense stuttered mightily against Arizona and was poor in the first half against Dallas. The Cowboys were beaten into submission in the second half last week and they duly waved the white flag – but that won’t happen every week especially against the top teams. This is one of the most unbalanced offenses in the NFL, too heavily weighted towards the run. Time to take the training wheels off the passing game and use it.

This game will always be remembered for the referee’s. The most important thing Seattle will get out of it other than a notch in the win column, is to have a serious look at the offense before next Sunday. They need to if they’re going to max out their potential this season.

And Roger Goodell and the NFL owners need to sort their own mess out long before Sunday.

Note: For what it’s worth, this is the first argument I’ve seen made for justifying why the referee’s called it how they did.


  1. John

    Part of me feels almost dirty for this win. But the part of me that feels the worst, is that one of the most impressive defensive showings by any team at any time will be overshadowed by this. Even if Seattle had lost, there would be talk about how much of a “mauling” Seattle put on GB. And honestly, this offense is pathetic. Russel Wilson isn’t Tim Tebow… He can throw it. I cannot believe Bevell is allowed to play like that. I don’t know if Carroll wants to play with absolutely no rythem but this was PAINFUL. If you’re not going to let Wilson play. If you’re not going to bootleg him, or take advantage his mobility. Than put Flynn in. Or maybe they simply think Golden Tate is going to turn into Calvin Johnson and be open every play. But there is just disgusting feel to this offense. There is ZERO creativity. If things keep going like this the Defense is going to start getting hurt after playing 80 minutes of a game. Lynch is going to get hurt. And then what do you do?

    Part of me hope Reid gets fired in Philly and comes to be the OC in Seattle. Impossible I know. But come on. I feel terrible for this team. To have such a talented Defense, and then to play so vanilla on offense. To do NOTHING to help your Def out. Game Ball should go to Ryan. He kept us in decent position that whole game.

    I’m sorry about the rant. And a wins a win. But Seattle needs to do something about this. Our offense is a joke right now. And something NEEDS to happen. I just can’t understand how Russell Wilson goes into the 4th qtr. With 11 attempts. That’s garbage. If you don’t trust him, put Flynn in (and to be honest I would take Wilson everytime over Flynn). Quarterbacks can do great things when you just TRUST them. Newton, Dalton, Luck, RGIII. Let the kids play. Your offense is never going to improve playing like this.

    • MJ

      Well said. Feel the exact same way about the offensive play calling.

    • glor

      I totally agree, except for feeling dirty for the win. The only thing about the win that makes me feel bad is that it might somehow justify this insanely BAD offense we have. (ranked DEAD LAST) It is absolutely garbage… honestly, what have we gained over having Tavaris in at QB? If anything I feel we have regressed offensively (and we surely have regressed based on the 2nd half of the season last year). This is just downright pathetic. Why are we starting Russell if we aren’t going to let him play ball… and from that stand point, on the few plays I have seen Russell throw, he looks scared as hell of making a mistake, taking the easy check downs 90% of the time even if we do have guys WIDE open in the backfield…

      Biggest need? Offensive coordinator, and if the Head Coach is the guy imposing his will on the OC to play like this? Then I just can’t suppose Carol. I will take Jeremy Bates’s play calling any day of the freaking year over this crap we are putting out there.

  2. Colin

    Darrell Bevell should be ashamed. I seriously detest him. How can you justify “run, run, pass, punt” four or 5 times over???? Despicable.

    • MJ

      Completely agree. Bevel l’s play calling has become a liability. RW is like a pinch hitter in baseball. Don’t do anything until the absolute difficult situations arise. They need to let RW open it up and find some rhythm.

      The ironic thing is, they think they are making it easier on RW, when in fact I think they are making it much more difficult.

      • Rob Staton

        The passing game is an after thought and that’s not acceptable.

    • AgentJ

      His play calling also made things more difficult for the defense, which had to contend with more Green Bay offensive possessions and less rest. It is important for an offense to at least buy some time, work some clock, and a handful of completions (and first downs) runs more time than three runs in a failed bid for a first.

  3. Mark

    I am worried now that every time we get in the red zone, we will just struggle to convert. How long is it going to take all the defenses in this league to work out that on 3rd down with an empty backfield – RW will look for the short pass. And if nothing there just roll out to his right. It was so easy to read!

    I do give credit to Green Bay’s D but let’s get creative the same way we do on the other side of the ball.

    PS I’m done feeling guilty for the win. It’s nor our fault Tate made a play, it’s not our fault the refs got it wrong. I’m taking the win and enjoying it.

    • Rugby Lock

      After Testeverde’s head being a football, the magical 30 seconds in Baltimore, the ref falling down and tripping Bobby Engram in St Louis, Rapelesburgers “touchdown”, the offensive PI that wasn’t and the “hold” on Locklear you’re going to find it hard to wring much sympathy out of me…

  4. andy

    Agreed somewhat with the lack of throws. Although it seemed on the few passing plays the receivers were not getting open. In regards to the last play i agree with Eric Davis interpretation, TIE goes to the offense. Tate had both hands on the ball. Now he did have a rather blatant push off though……

  5. HopScotch

    So how should Seattle open up their passing game?

    • MJ

      PA on first down. Let RW throw earlier in the game. Set up short completions. Maybe run a screen sometime. It’s about establishing rhythm. There is no flow in the passing game bc it is being completely neglected by PC/DB.

    • Rob Staton

      I think it starts with a willingness to go to the pass early. Right now it’s not a case of ‘how’ to open up the passing game, it’s simply about throwing more passes. What was it? Ten attempts going into the fourth quarter? In pre-season we took some shots and let Wilson move it around, but in the regular season he’s been reeled in big time.

  6. Brian Miller

    Here is what I saw – Let’s not cloud this because we all want the REAL NFL officials back on the field! At the height of Jenkins leap he had control of the ball and Tate had 1 arm on the ball – however, for it to be a completed pass/interception he has to come down with complete control and two feet in bounds! If you watch the replay close you will see that by the time Jenkins came down with the OFFICIAL definition of a completed catch – Tate had 2 hands on the ball and by definition, because of control and contact to the ground, had a simultaneous catch. It doesn’t matter that Jenkins had control in the air – he hadn’t completed the play until he hits the ground! By the time the play hits the ground it was, by definition, a simultaneous catch. It is just a real shame that 1 play can taint the effort of the Seahawk D. What would be a bigger travesty is if Goodell reverses the outcome for the first time in NFL history!

    • Mark

      Thank you Brian. All the sports commentators have been praying for this to happen for 7 weeks and are jumping all over it without breaking down the whole play. This is exactly how I saw it. At one point Tate has the ball in his gut and two feet on the ground. In the end zone that is immediate play stoppage. During the broadcast the play-by-play announcer called it simultaneous. None of the replays have also done the sound.

      What about the PI on Chancellor on GBs touchdown drive. Maybe the final score should have been 7-6. What about the last stand by the defense to get the ball back with a minute to play. What about the PI for Rice that the defended clearly had hold of his jersey for 20 yards, but it shouldn’t have been called according to the announcers. What about holding GB (regarded as the most powerful offense in the NFL) to 12 points. All good things that will get lost over a partially manufactured controversy by the sports media.

  7. #1 Seahawk Fan in New Jersey

    So, after 35 years of getting every close call go against us – we finally get a gift (still would rather have the Super Bowl that was stolen though)
    It was the wrong call – but clearly not even the worst call in this game. The Packers should have never gotten their TD if not the brutal interference call. So officials gave a gift TD to each team…Sounds even to me…

    I hope they left Wilson air it out more. He has proved twice in 4th quarters when he had to throw, he is up for the challenge.

  8. AlaskaHawk

    I am real concerned about the passing game. The Russell Wilson I see in these games is not the one that I expected, he seems indecisive at times, and he is bailing out of the pocket right into a defender. Then he gets flustered and calls a waggle play instead of an end zone play. I don’t know what’s going on with him, maybe the lack of throws makes it hard for him to complete when he is required to.

    Or, maybe it is the lack of good routes. Why was GB completing passes over the middle but our receivers always seemed covered? Is it play calling? Is it lack of speed in our receivers? I do have a bias against PC for not picking more receivers in the draft (Tate is only high round pick in last three years), but I give him credit for trying to find receivers in free agency. Still, how do you call a hail mary and only have two guys down there? Should have been at least four in the area, especially wiht GB only rushing three.

    Lastly, while we are focused on the last call, the entire game had some bad calls on both sides. Pass interference by Kam Chancellor was one. Rice should have got an offensive pass interference but got the call instead. Both low hits to QBs was legitimate and they equaled out. When will Okung start playing like a first rounder? I prefer his replacement.

  9. Hawksince77

    A couple of quick comments:

    1 – the game was decided by the officials, on both sides of the ball, with the exception of the final play. As has been noted above, and by official NFL review, the call made on the field was defensible, if not out-right correct per the rules. In other words, it could have been called either way on the field, and probably not reversed in either case. And it turns out, possession in the endzone IS reviewable, and was reviewed by a non-replacement ref, and the call on the field upheld. That controversy should be over. The truly terrible calls that ended/kept drives alive for both teams should recieve all critical attention.

    2 – the first half was nearly perfect for Seattle. Total domination on defense, and the long pass play for a TD we have been waiting for. Perfect.

    3 – for all the bitching and moaning about the final play, both teams are to blame. If Seattle maintains a drive or two, the game takes on an entirely different complexion, and Seattle likely doesn’t have to depend on a final second miracle play. On the other side of the ball, all GB has to do on their final drive in the shadow of their own endzone in gain a first down to end the game in their favor. What do they do? Amost fumble on second down, and run it again on third, even when it’s obvious Seattle is selling out to stop the run. You have the best QB in the league and some of the finest WRs: on second or third down, throw the ball. Not only do you make a first down, odds are you score. While Seattle’s defense gets the credit for forcing the punt, GB should be hanging their collective heads in shame for allowing it.

    4 – Seattle is one dropped pass away from being 3-0 having started a rookie QB, and that against 3 quality opponents. From the tone of fan comments all across the board, you’d think the team was 0-3 with zero prospects for any future success.

    5 – The collective hang-wringing is truly odd. As has been pointed out, for whatever reason, very little has yet been seen from the passing game (although the collective numbers, while not large in terms of yards and TDs, are respectable). They have two impressive wins and one very close (and come to find out) respectable loss. Will anyone be surprised if they beat NE at home in a couple of weeks? What do you think Tom Brady and Belichek think about coming to Seattle to play?

    6 – Pete Carroll has done exactly what he said he’d do: improve the pass rush, and dominate in the run game. As far as Wilson’s inability to find an open WR in several drop-backs, it’s hard without analyzing all-22 why that is. Could it be the quality of the defense? Or the inability of the WRs? Or the predicitability of the play-calling or route-running? Or is Wilson missing reads, making poor decisions? Regardless, he’s not throwing picks, and he has scrambled for first downs on occasion. For what it’s worth.

    7 – For those calling for Flynn to start: really? You think Flynn makes that 22-yard strike to Rice to set up the final TD? You think Flynn avoids the pass rush of Arizona, Ware, Mathews? You think Flynn has any better options running routes, or better plays called? The decision has been made; Wilson is the starter. Get over it.

    8 – Three times now (twice last night) Wilson has led come-from-behind drives that ended with passes in the endzone for potential wins, giving his team opportunities under very high pressure. Multiple 3rd/4th down passes that were either completed, thrown away, or hit his receiver in the hands (or would have, in the case last night when Tate went up and deflected the ball intended for Rice). I am not sure what more you can ask from your QB.

    9 – For the first time this season, Seattle plays a non-elite NFL team in the Rams (the Cards, Cowboys and Packers might all be considered to be top-10 teams right now). Seattle should dominate, and perhaps they will take the opportunity to open up the play-book for the offense. That would be nice to see, in preparation for meeting the Patriots the following week.

    • Hawksince77

      New rankings just in:

      Cards – 7th
      Cowboys – 12th
      Packers – 4th.

      I’d say Seattle has done all right so far, and we should expect improvement from the offense.

      One last comment: glad they’re not playing the Texans or the Falcons. Not sure that Seattle matches up well with those two. Against the pass-first teams, PC has built a contender (which is why I am optimistic with NE comes to town). Against a team that can run, throw and play defense, not so much.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Good points HawkSince77. Green Bay came out and admitted they should have ran more with their heavy package in the first half. Overall it was a fine defensive effort by the Hawks, I was surprised how much energy they still had when they shut green bay down on the 2 yard line and forced them to punt. Well done defense!

        Good point about Tate blocking the pass to Rice two plays earlier. We could have won the game with that play!

    • glor

      Nice write up, quick comment on #6
      I don’t call last night’s performance domination in the run game. We had how many 3 and outs?

      Hawks Rushing 1st downs = 6
      Green Bay Rushing 1st downs = 6
      Hawks passing 1st downs = 4
      Green Bay? = 11

      Hawks 3rd down conversions… 2 of 11

      This was a pathetic excuse for an offense.. I would agree we would have a dominating Run game if it had a passing game to help out. otherwise, Lynch better be running for over 200 a game, and that sure isn’t happening..

      • Hawksince77

        Agree completely with your clarification. What I meant by ‘dominating’ is that the run game for Seattle ‘dominates’ their offense, in that it takes center stage. I didn’t mean to say (although I didn’t make this clear) that Seattle’s run game ‘dominated’ the Packers, because it didn’t for exactly the reasons you state. I used the wrong word: I should have said something like “PC features the running game as the center of his offense.” That would have been more to my meaning.

  10. adog

    i would like to see Bevell put in some different formations in the back field. Split backs, single back, different formations of the I…anything to make the plays a little less predictable. It seems to me from just watching these three games that the seahawks either run an i formation out of which they run 80 percent of the time and a shot gun from which they pass 100 percent of the time. They need to get creative with their routes also. I think because Wilson almost every time on a pass extends the play with his legs(bails the pocket for better or worse)…they should be running more drags and receiver option routes, and less timing routes.

  11. glor

    I would also like to add this, and this is on Pete Carroll 100%

    We were up 7-0 at the end of the 2nd quarter.. 1:30 left on the clock at the (lets say) 18 or 20 yard line with two timeouts..
    And what do we do? Be aggressive to WIN the game and run a no huddle two minute offense to try to get into field goal range? Hell no, we instead run out the f-ing clock, knowing we are kicking off to GB to start the 2nd half..

    If they believe in Wilson so little to do this crap, then we might as well have Charlie Whitehurst playing QB, or better yet, the guy we are paying 10mil guaranteed to.. Matt Flynn..

    • glor

      1-10-SEA1 (2:17) M.Lynch left tackle to SEA 5 for 4 yards (R.Pickett; C.Matthews).
      2-6-SEA5 (2:00) M.Lynch right tackle to SEA 5 for no gain (M.Burnett; E.Walden).
      3-6-SEA5 (1:19) M.Lynch right tackle to SEA 14 for 9 yards (C.Woodson).

      At this point, why not take some shots? when you have two timeouts left and you have a 1st down?
      1-10-SEA14 (1:05) M.Lynch right tackle to SEA 20 for 6 yards (E.Walden).
      2-4-SEA20 (:32) M.Lynch left tackle to SEA 22 for 2 yards (R.Pickett; S.Shields).

      • Hawksince77

        I would like to have seen more agression, especially after making the first down.

        HOWEVER, I understand why they didn’t. The only way GB gets back in the flow of the game at that moment is by forcing a turnover and scoring points. Even a field goal changes the entire complexion of the game going into half-time, and I understand why PC doesn’t take a low percentage opportunity (scoring from that deep in their own territory) and risk changing the momentum of the game.

        From his perspective, he has GB cold. My concern going into half-time was, “What adjustments do the Seahawks make?” They played a great half against one of the premier teams in the league. Keep doing what your doing, is likely what gets said. And that worried me, cause sure as shit that’s not what GB was going to come out and do.

        PC admitted he expected them to run the ball after the half, and he says they didn’t handle it well. That made me feel a little better, in that they actually anticipated GB’s adjustments, but didn’t execute.

        As for the offense, I was disappointed to see very little change. I thought that starting the 3rd qtr, they would take advantage of GB’s expectations and do something more creative offensively. Oh well.

  12. Colin

    Anyone who hasn’t listened to Pete Carroll on 710 ESPN Seattle today needs to do so.

    • Rob Staton

      For anyone who missed it, he took responsibility for the struggles on offense and justified the lack of passing on his desire to protect the ball and also Wilson. While those points are certainly logical – I’m still not convinced why we have to be so protective. Yes – we want to avoid turning the ball over. But that can’t fly in the face of actually maintaining a balanced and threatning offense. We’re wasting talent at the moment and considering how strong Wilson has looked as a passer in college/pre-season, I’m not totally convinced why we’re being so protective. 120-140 yard passing performances need to turn into 180+ passing performances and they have to be willing to throw the ball for that to happen.

      • MJ


      • Hawksince77

        Agreed. And what I am concerned about is their willingness/comfort level in opening up the passing game in the middle of the game when they need to, without having made it a regular part of their offense. Sure, they turn it on in the last five minutes of the game, but that’s a helleva way to play. But that’s what Pete said in that interview (and thanks Colin for the heads up): “It’s gonna be close!”

        PC also pointed out that they would employ the same ‘go-slow’ approach with Flynn, given his lack of experience. He also pointed out (tellingly, I think) that Wilson now has more real-game experience than Flynn.

        I would like to see an effective passing game in the next couple of weeks, when the opponents are bringing a top-10 defense to the game. Sure, the QB will throw an interception on occasion – the best in the league do. But without ever exceeding the limits on occasion, they will never know exactly where they are.

        • Hawksince77

          “…NOT bringing a top ten defense…” is what I meant to say.

          • AlaskaHawk

            We will never know how good Flynn would have been – until we trade him to a team that will play him. Not to knock Wilson but he’s only thrown a few passes that impressed me. The first touchdown to Tate was one.

    • JC

      I heard on the radio that Wilson was 6 for 8 on first down throws. It’s not rocket surgery work play action early when everyone is looking for a run.

      • A. Simmons

        Exactly. What’s the use of having a strong run offense if all you’re going to do is run. Having a dangerous running attack makes play action on first and second down money. It’s the reason you do it. We’ll get more yards if we can make the defense play honest pass defense and spread them out so we can gouge them for bigger chunks of yards.

  13. Darik

    Hey I’m surprised people haven’t said this much on the site. A catch has not happened until not only has a player gained possession of the ball but got two feet in bounds. If you look at the replay in slow motion you can see that when either player had two feet down with the ball, both had possession. The rule isn’t equal possession or having as much of the ball as the other, but it is simultaneous which is both having some amount of possession of the ball. It doesn’t look like the right call at first glance, but by the rules it isn’t a catch until there are two feet down and when that happens Golden Tate had gained possession of the ball along with Jennings.

    • Rob Staton

      I would argue, and this is only my opinion, that the defensive back makes the pick and in the process of landing Tate tries to gain joint possession. I think we can argue the thing for the rest of the season, if that had gone against Seattle we’d be seriously, seriously pissed.

      • AlaskaHawk

        You can have a clear conscious now that the NFL verified the touchdown call.

        • Rob Staton

          It may be a sceptical view to take, but the NFL really has no choice but to verify it. If they admit that was a huge error that cost Green Bay the game, they lose all leverage in negotiations with the real refs. And the most important thing to the NFL is $$$$ and saving face in these negotiations. All the NFL did yesterday was take the sting out of the clamour for a deal to be instantly sorted out.

          • Hawksince77

            The other dynamic coming into play is the opinion of the locked-out refs, who by report insist the call was made incorrectly. They have a vested interested in saying so, so not sure how valid their opinion.

            • Rugby Lock

              The NFL want to avoid the refs having a defined benefit package where the legacy cost, while very minor now, will be enormous 20-30 years from now as the airlines and auto industry have found out. That is the real sticking point and a valid concern on the NFL’s part. The refs need to get real and accept a defined contribution plan, like a matching 401k.

              • AlaskaHawk

                In a multi billion dollar industry it is not that big a deal to pay refs a retirement. But if you want to be a cheap skate – go right ahead.

          • A. Simmons

            Leverage has nothing to do with it. They admit mistakes or change a game outcome due to a bad call, they open a huge can of worms that will probably never be opened. Because this is fresh in people’s minds and with all the bad officiating over the the past three weeks, it seems far worse than it actually is. The NFL has seen questionable calls decide games for years. Calls that were later on determined to be illegal plays like The Immaculate Reception or The Tuck Rule. They have never overturned a win or admitted a mistake because of it. I knew they wouldn’t now. They do it once, they will have to make a policy of it. Which means anytime a bad call occurs, they will have to overturn. I guarantee you that controversial calls that decide games will happen again and the NFL will react exactly the same way. It will not change in your lifetime. What the NFL did they did to maintain consistency. Even though the officiating was awful, the NFL showed consistency backing the referees they hired to call the game on the field. It is what they have always done.

      • rrrhawkout

        The point is that the call that had to be made was not as “obvious” as people seem to be suggesting. It’s certainly debatable, and with the tie going to the receiver in those cases, Seattle has a legitimate argument that any level of confusion or debate on the catch should go their way by rule.

        It reminds me more of the Calvin Johnson non-touchdown against the Bears last year, where by every measure he caught the ball for the touchdown but then used the ball to push himself to standing after the touchdown, and was ruled that he hadn’t completed the catch. Visually, he had the TD, but technically, he didn’t. In this case, visually, it looks like Jennings had the interception in the air but technically there was simultaneous possession at the moment they hit the ground.

        The ruling was reviewed by a _non-replacement ref_ in the booth, and they could not find evidence to overturn it. Which means you could make a case for either point of view. And tie went to the receiver.

        I don’t think this would have blown up this big if it weren’t for a) the national popularity of the Packers which had most of the country rooting against us, b) the announcers calling it the other way right from the start, c) Monday Night Football, meaning there was no other football stories to cover at the time, and d) the TD negating a solid comeback by the Pack after having given up 8 sacks in the first half, ruining a nice story.

        • Rob Staton

          I think those are mostly fair points but I always think of things this way – how would I/we react if we were the Packers. And we’d all be pissed about this. Very pissed.

          • A. Simmons

            You’re right. But why think about it that way? I think about it this way. I would prefer all games be called as accurately and fairly as possible. But they aren’t. Did the Steelers or the Jets apologize to us for their wins against us when a bad call or calls went against us? No. They did not. They in fact ridiculed us as whiners and pointed to other aspects of the game as giving them the win. That’s the nature of the game. Questionable calls decide games sometimes. Fan bias will affect how each call is perceived.

            I’m a Seattle fan. I’m going to back my team. We played well enough to win. Somehow we managed to win. For the first time in a long time a controversial call benefitted us. I’m going to enjoy the win. I’m not going to feel bad about it at all. I’ll leave Green Bay fans to rage against the world and hate us the same way we felt against Pittsburgh after the Super Bowl or the Jets. At least this didn’t cost them a playoff berth or worse a Super Bowl. It’s just an early regular season game they can easily recover from.

            They gotta suck it up. Just like we did when we suffered those type of losses. We get to enjoy a controversial win.

  14. Colin

    If you have the defense that we have, you need to be willing to take some chances. Throwing one nice TD bomb and going “Well 7 points is going to have to be good enough” isn’t going to work. Darrell Bevell tried VERY hard to lose this game. The Pack weren’t killing us in the 2nd half, they just had the ball the whole damn time and that is hard on any defense. Pete needs to be willing to trust this team offensively, because it is the only thing holding us back. The run game has been solid and if the passing game gets going, we are going to be a very, very hard team to beat.

    • adog

      i wonder if there is any credit to the notion that Bevell and Carrol are playing their cards close to their chest on offense so they can wait until an optimal time to play them…ie open up the offense. I think that with every victory they harangue with this defense, special teams and run game plan, the more confident they become in their plan. What is their plan? I think they want to open up this offense a week or two before the playoffs if they can, or four or five weeks before the playoffs if they have to secure a spot and the current game plan is not working as well as they hoped. It is a similar approach they applied in the preseason quarterback plan…one of patience and faith in the strength of the team, so much so that they can rely on it while they groom a rookie qb. The more time to they can give RW the better in my opinion. I don’t think they’re wasting talent as much as letting it develop so that it will be efficient at an optimal time. While i think RW can be a offensive juggernaut like Cam Newton, i don’t think that’s best for this team. What’s best for this team is defense, special teams and Marshawn Lynch, and RW honing his craft until they need him to throw 25-30 times a game. What i mean by “honing his craft” is just playing…being in the huddle…reading blitzes…getting to know his offense without stalling it with youth and inexperience. There is now way PC starts a rookie quarterback no matter how good he is or what his draft position is unless he trusts that his defense is dominant.

      • Hawksince77

        Much of what you suggest is supported directly by PC’s recent comments. He has as much as said that when they need to, they will throw the ball. Until then, it will be ‘very close’.

        Someone posted a long time ago (well before RW was named the starter) that PC was all about ‘peaking’ at the right time. This comment was made (I can’t remember who made it, or where) while considering the possibility of starting RW. His point was similar to yours (maybe you wrote it?) in that by starting RW now, and getting him this real-game experience, despite early growing pains, the offense led by RW would be hitting on all cylinders come the play-offs.

        Not sure about holding back deliberately to wait until later in the season; more like giving RW an opportunity to grow in the position, and then when the time comes, unleash the offense along the lines you suggest.

  15. Belgaron

    With all the controversy, excitement and press, there is an big question that is being missed.

    How can we stop the passing game’s development from being stunted by the emergence of the defense and running game?

    Going against such a strong defense in practice is not helping at this point in its development and the general success of the run game and its clock management benefits is hurting the development of in-game production between RW and the receivers as they are not attempting as many passes as other teams. This seems to me to be the most important question to be answered at this moment to becoming a great team.

    With Tate becoming a star, it’s time to get Baldwin back and get Sidney and the TEs going. A capable pass attack will open up bigger holes for Marshawn and the offense then takes a step to becoming closer to the quality level of the defense.

  16. Jason

    The passing game that everybody is dissing has been affected by the number 1 number 2 and 8th ranked pass offense in the NFL. Dont tell me our numbers affected those to make them ranked so high go through and look at the other games passing numbers. Versus GB Dallas and AZ Pete’s game plan was perfect and with Baldwin back and worse pass D’s coming up it will be fine. People need to look at the numbers better……

    • Jason

      i meant number 1,2, and 7 ranked pass D’s my bad

  17. plyka

    This is the first time i’ve ever said this on this website, but that’s the best article i’ve read on the seahawks this season! Exactly correct.

    My father is a basketball fan. He was sitting there with me. Has little concern with football. Barely knows the rules. How is it that he was telling me what play is coming next? He knew exactly what play was coming: first down, run, second down, run, 3rd and 7, wasteful pass. The only time they even remotely opened it up was the nice pass to Golden Tate for the TD.

    If Pete Carroll cannot trust Wilson enough to even slightly open up the game, then flynn needs to be the starter. This defense is the best in the league. But even with the best defense, in the first half i could tell that it was just a matter of time. How many times in a row are you going to stop a great offense? 5 times? 10 times? It’s like giving someone a million times to hit a 3 point shot. Sure, they may miss 3-4 times in a row. But if they are wide open, eventually they will sink it.

    I am extremely disappointed with Carroll. Have some balls. I’ve never seen a coach be this much of a biatch before.

    • Hawksince77

      “If Pete Carroll cannot trust Wilson enough to even slightly open up the game, then flynn needs to be the starter.”

      According to PC, he’d treat Flynn exactly as he has Wilson, so the play-calling presumably wouldn’t be any different.

      Right now Wilson has more real-game NFL experience than Flynn, with twice as many wins. That desparity will quickly grow in the coming weeks, so hopefully at some point PC/Bevel/Cable get a bit more aggressive and let Wilson loose.

      The sooner the better, IMO.

      • Steen

        You want to compare TD passes, or Yards? How many starts will wilson need to match Flynn’s numbers from 2 starts….17? Hahaha

  18. Brendan

    I disagree with this article.

    The weakness of the GB defense is their rush defense. Their strength is creating turnovers. The seahawks game planned accordingly.

    Watching the first half of football – it looked like there was no way GB could score if they had to go 80 yards. Thus, the seahawks should not take any risks on their half of the football field. We executed this well by taking our shot in GB territory thus minimizes the effects of a mistake (turnover).

    If you re-watch the game – there are multiple penalties against the seahawks that were just flat out bad calls (false starts/ holding). Thus putting our offense in bad position. Nothing the hawks could do. Punt the football and play defense is the right decision.

    Our game plan was working perfectly until the packers game out and changed their game plan to start the second half. We didn’t change to the new look packers and they proceeded to run on us and controlled the ball.

    We only had 2 possessions in the second half with the lead.

    I will say that I think we should have tried to move the ball into fg range after running for the first down at the end of the first half. That would be just about my only critique of the game.

    And I’ll leave you with this: Did you not watch the Bears – Packers game? You would rather have Cutler and the Bears offensive game plan?

    • Rob Staton

      Well we’re talking about two completely different offenses and Chicago were on the road and not at home – which has an impact. Would I prefer a Jay Cutler inspired game plan? No. But I think we have to do more to establish a passing game. I want the happy medium between what we’re running and what Chicago runs. A balance. We have to be prepared to throw, even just to keep a defense honest. Sure, we were playing good pass rushing teams. That’s the NFL.

      And let’s be fair here, we won on Monday because of a freak play and should’ve really had only 7 points on a night where we dominated one entire half of football and our one big play on offense came from a 40+ yard pass. Had we lost on Monday, a lot more questions would be being asked right now of this offensive game plan. Right now we’re not even using a ‘game manager’ type system at quarterback – we’re using a guy who hands the ball off and oh crap! He might have to throw because it’s 3rd and 7.

      • pqlqi

        PC talks about creating an identity. That identity is the identity of the Ravens team that won the Super Bowl. In that 12-4 regular season and in the 4 win postseason to win the Super Bowl, the Ravens had the following passing yards per game:
        196 – w
        242 – w
        144 – l
        215 – w
        160 – w
        139 – w
        108 – l
        255 – l
        139 – l
        236 – w
        258 – w
        229 – w
        214 – w
        166 – w
        37 – w
        78 – w
        118 – w
        85 – w
        172 – w
        133 – w

        9 of the 22 games, the Ravens had less than 150 yards, only once all season did they get more than 250 yards. In the 4 playoff wins, they didn’t exceed 200 yards passing. In the 4 playoff wins, they won by 18, 13, 14, and 27 points – all dominating wins despite a complete lack of a passing offense.

        The NFL has changed? Bullshit. Look at the best passing teams from last season – NOS, GB, Det, NEP – not very successful. Look at the best defenses to end the season last year – SF, Sea, Arizona, Bal – all doing excellently, with 2 of the four teams very limited at QB and Smith and Flacco barely above average as starters.

        Having a passing game that is capable of pulling out a few extra games is nice, but with a staggering defense and a run game, we only need to do what Baltimore did in 2000.

        • Rob Staton

          First of all, it is very interesting to see the passing yards for Baltimore like that. However – that was in 2001. Quite clearly the league has changed significantly since then to favour the passing offense. There’s no getting away from that. The rule changes, the set up of teams – it’s all geared towards passing now. And while SF, SEA, Arizona and BAL all ended strongly, none made the Super Bowl. The two teams contesting the Super Bowl were New England and New York – two teams with high-octane passing games. Let’s look at the SB winners/Quarterbacks since Baltimore won in 2001:

          2012 – New York (Eli Manning)
          2011 – Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers)
          2010 – New Orleans (Drew Brees)
          2009 – Pittsburgh (Ben Roethlisberger)
          2008 – New York (Eli Manning)
          2007 – Indianapolis (Peyton Manning)
          2006 – Pittsburgh (Ben Roethlisberger)
          2005 – New England (Tom Brady)
          2004 – New England (Tom Brady)
          2003 – Tampa Bay (Brad Johnson)
          2002 – New England (Tom Brady)

          So every winner since Baltimore has had a very good or elite quarterback/passing game apart from Tampa Bay – who had (if memory serves me correctly) – three pick sixes in 2003 to defeat Rich Gannon and the Raiders. Even the Steelers who have relied on an elite defense for many years have an above average quarterback who lucked out in 2006 but certainly played very well in 2009.

          Baltimore are pretty much the exception and not the rule. You say we only need to do what Baltimore has done, but pretty much every SB since has been won in a different way. Baltimore looks like an exception that happened well over 11 years ago. I’m not saying Seattle, San Fran etc cannot win the Super Bowl or get to the playoffs… but there comes a time when you have to air it out. Alex Smith proved he could do that when he out-gunned Drew Brees in the playoffs. The 49ers still throw the ball and are more balanced on offense than we are right now. The Seahawks are going to have to establish a passing game and it cannot be an after-thought.

          • Brendan

            To your earlier points:

            I think that everyone (including Carrol… Bevell … Wilson) would like more from the passing game.

            And unfortunately, if we lost, the media would hammer PC and Bevell for their conservative game plan. But that would be short-sighted and, in my opinion, would not have analyzed the game correctly. If you rewatch the game, there is no reason to think that the Packers would be able to score any points from starting on their own 20. The biggest and most important factor in the game is the fact that we got out coached at half time and were totally surprised by the big sets that GB ran in the second half. If GB doesn’t switch their game plan this game would have looked like the Cowboys game – the game that was so highly praised by the same media. The strategy that if you run Marshawn for 4 yards in the first half that turns into 8 in the second half. Then when GB starts moving the ball on our defense – all of a sudden it is the offenses fault for not scoring in the first half? Nah. Thats hindsight.

            No one is talking about this .. but GB came out in the second half and ran the ball down our throats. Long, ball position oriented drives. Look at time of possession in the second half?

            So, one week we are praised for crushing the Cowboys and the next week under the same game plan we are being attacked for being too conservative. Give McCarthy credit for changing their game … Attack PC for not adjusting on D.

            Having said all that, I think that you will see better passing numbers and better offense in the upcoming weeks. We will cut down on the flags with the officials back and be able to move the chains.

            As for the ‘freak play’ which you are implying was a ‘lucky’ win for us. This is just not true. That play just happened to be on the last play of the game. As handicappers know … the true odds of that game were pretty close to a coin flip and really turned that way because of the half time adjustments made by GB.

          • A. Simmons

            Brady’s first Super Bowl year he played New England had a very conservative passing game and a strong run game. Almost every single Super Bowl on there was decided by defense. Ben R. had the lowest QB rating in Super Bowl history the year the Steelers beat us. New York’s pass rush shut down Brady and the powerful New England offense. The teams got there with a strong passing attack. But once they got int he playoffs, it often came down to how well their defense played. Even the year Indy won Peyton had one game where the offense scred five field goals beating Baltimore 15-6. The Indy defense stepped up big time in the playoffs. The year New Orleans won they had an amazing turnover defense. Not saying our QB play doesn’t need to improve, but having an elite defense is equally, if not more, important than having an elite QB. We just need a QB that is good enough as they say.

  19. juliyp

    I coudn’t write it any better.
    You don’t start qb if you don’t trust him. Tarvaris Jackson owned 206.1 Y/G last year. We traded him to get 130 from Wilson? Did they trust T. Jackson more then Wilson?

  20. Jake

    Look, PC thought the running game would move the ball well enough to at least put up a couple more field goals in the second half, so he kept the offense grounded. He also RIGHTLY assumed GB wouldn’t be able to put up a ton of points. So, he came out with a 7 point lead and an assumption of a couple of field goals, while also hoping for a defensive TD or gamechanging ST play to make it a comfortable win.

    The above assumption is completely rational to me, those gamechanging defensive plays will come – there were a couple of close calls against the best QB in the game. PC doesn’t think having Russ chuck it around is the right play, so he doesn’t have him do it. I trust PC to know the team he constructed, but I’ll admit that I hate the grinding gameplay. I think the style of play affects the other teams too though – good offenses like rhythm, there is NO rhythm when you play Seattle – I mean NONE.

    I think the defense knows they need to win games too, that they are the lynchpin and I think PC talks that up to them. They certainly play like they know that – just like that old Baltimore team. They are the stars of this team, it’s obvious to all of us. The whole secondary is becoming household names – the league, ESPN, everyone is finally discovering what’s up. Clemons is beginning to be considered elite by national media, Irvin is now referred to as “1st round pick” not “controversial 1st round pick” – people are taking notice because these guys are good enough to win without an offense. They just destroyed two of the best QB’s in the world back to back.

    This is a winning formula against most teams. We beat one of the best teams in the league (a 15-1 team last year) with this approach. And yes, it’s a win – Once Tate hit the ground he had two hands on it, Jennings had two hands on it – tie goes to the offense.

    Basically, PC thinks they can win with a few shot plays and Lynch getting 25 carries. You know what, I don’t think he’s wrong.

  21. gleads

    It wasn’t a bad game plan against the Packers, for most of the game. What troubled me was how the Hawks couldn’t get back on track when they lost momentum. They couldn’t halt the Packers’ momentum and off balance they couldn’t get a grip easily. Certainly they reeled from a couple of no-huddle plays. Okay, that’s what they are meant to do, but the unease seemed to spread through the team.

    My feeling was GB got over their first half pains better than the Hawks benefitted from handing them out.

    If Seattle wants to win the division (and they can, once Arizona hopefully settle down) they have to be better than a 2-1 team that arguably might have been 1-2 on one call. Having said that, it was a penalty-littered game against GB so it’s hard to judge what a ‘normal’ matchup would have produced. The flags flew both ways and few Seahawks fans would begrudge the odd ray of sunshine here and there.

    So, we’ll take the win and learn from it.

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