Seahawks are the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the NFL

Just when fans might have thought that this team wouldn't lose another game this season, just when we thought that the offensive lines issues were solved, just when we thought that our running game was going to get back to the level we were accustomed to seeing... the Seahawks lay an egg.

While we can't blame the loss on solely on Thomas Rawls, the offensive line or Darrell Bevell we can point out that this is the Hawks' third game without a touchdown. This third one would not be as alarming if it came maybe two weeks ago against a team like New England, but it is alarming because it came against Tampa Bay, a defense ranked in the bottom third of the league.

At first glance, Seattle did get decent production from the running game, with 127 yards on 22 carries. Although 80 of those came from Russell Wilson, and I doubt all eight of his carries were designed runs. Apart from Russ, they ran only 14 times, so we can't point the finger at the run game.

What we do know is that the Hawks were trailing the entire game, and that means there was more emphasis on the air attack, which if you watched the game wasn't so much of an attack as it was an idle threat. 

All game long something looked off with Russ. He was constantly miscueing throws to open receivers, holding on to the ball too long and not feeling the rush particularly well. A few times I felt like he even went to his patented spin move to his left to avoid a pass rusher way too soon a couple times. There were at least a couple instances where we used that move, when really the danger had not yet arrived in earnest, and he could have instead stepped up into the pocket and made a throw, or tuck it and run.

It's perplexing because much gets said about how the Seahawks always finish the season strong. So strong that the word strong would be an understatement, and Russell is as healthy as he's been since the first two weeks of the season. Sure there were numerous injuries, but the most critical were on the defensive side of the ball, and the D was still able to limit a Jameis Winston-led offense to 14 points while get two on their own.

We didn't see a consistent ground game, and I think that will be what makes or breaks this team come playoff time. We saw last year what they were like while Marshawn was sputtering and before they handed the keys over to Rawls, and that may be how they perform until Rawls is back at 100%. 

Photo: Flickr/Ben Rea




is the possibility (probability?) that our Core Players (Sherman, Thomas, Wagner, Chancellor, Bennet, Avrial) on defense genuinely are that important to this team's performance week-to-week.

It never fails--never!--to have Chancellor out for a game or four, and then as soon as he's back in there he makes 2-4 game-changing plays.  Wagner's absence is less visual, but when he's out the defense surrenders something like ten more points than they do with him.  It makes me wonder if this defense really is all about those core players, and if it requires them in order to function at a high level.

I know, I know; the offense was the bigger problem against TB.  But this offense has laid eggs before, and will continue to do so it would appear, so I don't worry so much about that aspect of things.  They don't have a legit #1 WR, no matter how much you like Graham or Baldwin, and they did overpay Baldwin (in my opinion) but what was the alternative?  It's not like Julio Jones types hit the market during their prime; everyone recognizes the value of that type of player, whereas slot receivers like Doug are less universally valued.

I think if the defense had been able to stop those first drives, the offense would have been more relaxed.  Without Prosise or a legit red-line threat in the WR corps it's going to be incredibly difficult for this team to come back from big deficits.  A guy like Mike Evans can get you back into agame with one play, which he (or those like him) actually manages to do on a weekly basis.

Not worried about the loss, but not encouraged either.

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