For instant reaction thoughts after the New Orleans loss click here.
The Seahawks aren’t a finesse team. They might be a ‘wannabe’ though. Their desire is to be the bully. The reality is somewhat different.
Replacing (Marshawn) Lynch will be the toughest thing this franchise has to do in the post-Super Bowl era. You could argue running backs are easy to plug into an offense. How else can you describe 29-year-old Justin Forsett posting 5.4 yards-per-carry in Baltimore as the fourth most productive runner in the NFL? I think for most teams it’s a valid point. But not for Seattle. Not with Lynch.
He is so integral to this teams’ identity. He is a phenom, a truly unique runner that deserves to be remembered as fondly as any other running back since the turn of the century. His physical style, ability to break tackles, his attitude on the field. These are not easily replaced by just plugging in another player. The moment Seattle loses ‘Beast Mode’ the team will also lose a part of its identity. There’s no getting away from that.
Lynch is long gone in Seattle but his absence is still felt. They’re not just missing Marshawn’s exceptional running ability and talent. They miss the way he set the tone for everything and connected the offense to the defense.
It’s easy to forget how good Lynch was. Go back and watch the videos from 2011 onward. On a Mount Rushmore of Seahawks stars, he’d be a lock alongside Walter Jones.
He’s not the only one they miss. Kam Chancellor provided a similar dynamic on defense. Everything was geared around being bigger, faster, stronger and tougher than the opponent. Teams feared Marshawn and set up their defensive gameplan to stop him. Opponents feared Kam. Crossing routes? No thanks.
They were surrounded by an angry, pissed off, undermined group of misfits. Richard Sherman slighted by lasting to round five. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril — failing to receive respect in free agency as they remained on the market in 2013.
The cumulative sum was a team so determined to prove a point both on the field and off. The Seahawks were the toughest team in the league. They were also the loudest — but they backed it up. The bark and the bite were equally strong.
Something is missing with the current team. There’s no doubt they’re talent rich. Russell Wilson is an exceptional quarterback. Bobby Wagner is the best linebacker in football. Tyler Lockett is incredible.
They also have a couple of extremely physical players such as K.J. Wright and Duane Brown plus some emerging young talent.
They’re not bullies though. They’re not scary. They’re not intimidating anyone. They’re not imposing their will.
Where’s the attitude? The fear factor? The intimidation?
The Seahawks have gone from the LOB to a much more welcoming environment in the secondary. The cornerbacks are no longer challenging routes and beating up receivers. Where are the turnovers and the hits? In the last 19 regular season games, Bradley McDougald consistently looks like the only one capable of making a pick or a big play.
This isn’t what you expect from a Carroll secondary. Clearly they need more talent and that will likely be a big emphasis in the off-season. They also need some dogs, too.
The reassuring thing is they clearly know it. They drafted Marquise Blair in the second round for this very reason. He’s a hitter. They know the secondary needs an edge. The quicker he gets up to speed and into the starting line-up the better.
It’s not just the secondary though. The front seven aren’t creating much pressure or challenging opponents. The secondary needs help.
On offense they want to run the ball but they can’t convert at home in the rain on 3rd & 1 or 4th & 1 from midfield. Chris Carson — who is capable of being a tone-setter and a dynamic physical presence — has fumbled three times in as many weeks. The big hulking offensive line that was so praised during the summer has been more hype than results after three games.
The Seahawks aren’t playing clean football this season. That can be tidied up. They’ve never been the fastest of starters.
The bigger concern for the long term, however, is how the physical edge is currently lacking. They simply don’t have enough BAMF’s.
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