Sunday, November 07, 2010

Seahawks Pounded Again, Outscored 74-10 in Last Two Games; Fall to 4-4

There isn't a lot to say in the last couple of weeks for the Seahawks, except that those clamoring for Matt Hasselbeck's demise might consider that with the offensive line injuries, retirements and poor play that we've seen these last three seasons, I don't think any big time QB would do much better.  I recall being at the Kingdome for a game against the Vikings way back when, and seeing Fran Tarkenton scramble between 30-35 yards backwards and god knows how far laterally before eventually completing a pass.  There are very few Fran Tarkentons, and very few quarterbacks who could survive, let alone consistently get points on the board with this line play.  I'm not calling out the line, exactly, since it is tough enough to play well when there is unit cohesion and time in a system (this line has had more shuffling in the last three years than most decks at the Muckleshoot Casino, and three systems in the past three years.    Matt Hasselbeck has done his best - which is still damn good - and better than most, but there's only so much a guy can do with no seven step drops possible, and two steps protection on a three step drop.

Another indication of O-line play is the half yard a game drop in average yards per carry for Marshawn Lynch since he's arrived from Buffalo.  Yep, the Bills winless Buffalo Bills managed to block consistently better for this running back than the Hawks have (each over a four game period).  And I have never seen a more ballsy, tough, inspiring run that one particular play Lynch had today.  He broke several tackles and then pushed a scrum of at least seven defenders forward another four yards.  It was as if he were saying to the rest of the team, and the O-line in particular, "Come ON, guys, let's go!". 

When reserve Charlie Whitehurst - playing for the concussed Hasselbeck - made his throws, it is easy to see the arm strength and poise that made Carroll want him.  He's reading defenses a little like a QB making his first start, but the man has an arm, and stays calm.  There were drops, including the painful bobble but Mike Williams in the end zone that not only killed the touchdown opportunity, but gave the Giants the ball and deprived Seattle of any points.  Especially when the QB is under such pressure, the receivers need to make big plays, and damn near every one of them let balls go through their hands, bobbled, dropped and tipped passes that were perfectly catchable. 

And while the defense has been pounded, to their credit the Hawks defense has held strong early in games, but with time of possession ratios like sixteen minutes for the opponent and nine for the Hawks, they are bound to wear down.

Luckily, when you play in the NFC West, 4-4 puts you in a first-place tie, and the Vikes OT win over Arizona gives both the Rams and the Hawks a bit of a cushion. 

So, halfway through the season, what do I think of the Pete Carroll stewardship?  I think that he will build a consistent and tough winning team, given time.  His enthusiasm, very good staff, excellent attention to both sides of the ball and the special teams, and most especially the willingness he's shown to let competition decide the starters, and even the roster, and to make as many transactions as it takes to get the best team he can on the field, I believe the Hawks will do very well over the next four or five years.  I hope the owner gives him that sort of time.  I hope that the QB coach is as good as Holmgren was, and Zorn became (as QB coach under Holmgren), because I'd love to see touch, reading defenses, check-down decision-making and great footwork added to the cannon of Whitehurst.  I want Matt to get one more shot at the big one, and that won't happen without an O-line.  And when Matt hangs 'em up finally, it would be great to see a guy groomed, practiced and ready to step in (Aaron Rogers style).  I actually thought the Hawks would be more like 3-5 at this point, and a few things break right they could just make the playoffs,  Even a first round loss would be a good step back toward the great teams the Hawk's have had in the past.

NFL Game Center: New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks - 2010 Week 9

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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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