What Is Up With The Seahawks?

The Seahawks have had their chances to win games. But in those crucial moments that can change the game, Seahawks have been coming up short.

Seahawks fans are accustomed to experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions this season. The defense appeared similar to the vaunted Legion of Boom, Wilson looked to have found his favorite toys, and Seattle finally established a run game. Averaging 23.5 points a game and only allowing 19.5, one would assume that the Seahawks are unstoppable. So what is going on?

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Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 9.49.54 AMBased on the first impressions, it appears that the Seahawks are not doing as bad as many assume. They have been able to blow out the Raiders and Lions, and keep their losses within one score, averaging 5 points per loss. But when it comes to score by quarter, the Seahawks are still struggling at the start of each half. The Seahawks have also been shut out in at least one quarter for 75% of their games. The Seahawks do find their success in the 2nd quarter. But outside of the first half, Seattle limps home with an average of 10.8 points in the second half.

The Offense

The Seahawks are also still working on fully implementing a new offensive system by coordinator Brian Shottenheimer. 

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With a more balanced approach to the game, the Seahawks find themselves in a position where they can trust their running backs and offensive line. Something the Seahawks cannot say about in the past few seasons. But when the Seahawks have faced playoff teams, such as the Rams, Chargers, or Bears, the offense has struggled to put anything together. The Seahawks have had their chances to win games. But in those crucial moments that can change the game, Seahawks have been coming up short. Quarterback Russell Wilson is still struggling to throw the ball away when he has become acustomed to making plays happen on his feet. With an offensive line that has slowly solidified, he needs to start identifying different targets that are wide open instead of forcing throws into dangerous situations. 

The Defense

This is not the Legion of Boom of the past, and we are starting to see what happens when the stars are gone. Yes, Frank Clark, Shaquill Griffen, and Bobby Wagner are still making headlines. But with the Seahawks entering the LOB 2.0, open-field tackles are being missed, and touchdowns of at least 30 or more yards are becoming a trend. 

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The Seahawks have allowed 6 scores from 20 or more yards out and 4 from 30+. In the last 2 games, the defense has allowed 3 scores of 30 or more yards on the ground and in the air. The defense is one of the better groups in the league. But against playoff bound teams, their weaknesses are becoming more exposed. 

Penalties

It is no secred that the head coach Pete Carroll is rather acceptable of laundry being thrown. While penalties can hurt a team, it also does speak to their competitiveness. After all, the mantra of Pete Carroll is “always complete”. 

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As of late, the Seahawks have seen an increase of flags and penalty yards. In the last  3 games alone, the Seahawks have had 25 penalties accepted on them for 258 yards. It’s easy to blame refs various calls. But penalties are due to competitiveness or sloppy, unnecessary plays that did not require the extra antics.

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The main culprits for penalties come from the offensive line. While the Seahawks are happy to state that Germain Ifedi has drastically improved in his offensive line play, it is still worrisome that the 3 starting linemen have had 22% of penalties called on them. With the Seahawks yet to face the most difficult portion of their schedule, the Seahawks will need to fix their penalty problems if they want to increase their odds of ending the season at or above .500.

Verdict

The Seahawks are not as bad as people are stating, but it is clear that this is not a playoff team just yet. The Seahawks are in the midst of a rebuild with the replacement of multiple coaches and the loss of stars on the defensive side of the ball. The chemistry on the team is starting to show, but the Seahawks still have work to do. There is plenty of football left this season. The Seahawks haven’t been blown out of any games yet. If they can fix their errors, they may be able to enter the playoffs as the 6 seed.

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