Losing for only the second time in their last 20 home games, the Seattle Seahawks failed miserably in their attempt to overcome defeat against the Dallas Cowboys. Unable to stop the Cowboys’ running game, the Hawks allowed 162 yards rushing; accounting for 115 of those yards, RB Demarco Murray had another solid game and continues to lead the league in rushing. Without the solidification of a rushing defense, the door was opened for the Cowboys’ passing game, and with no clear answer to the opposition’s aerial threat, the Hawks had no way of stopping them. On the offensive side of the ball it wasn’t any better for the Hawks as they managed to produce only nine first downs and 206 yards on offense.
The inability to move the ball started when the Hawks coaching staff relentlessly attempted to get Harvin in space on first and second downs. Touching the ball six times yesterday and netting -1 yard, Harvin’s performance was abysmal, calling into question the predictability of runs around the edge and bubble screens involving Harvin. Regardless of Harvin’s lack of offensive output, the Hawks were collectively pathetic on offense. Russell Wilson had very little time to make anything happen and as a result completed only 50% of his passes for 126 yards no touchdowns and an interception.
Blocking a punt, recovering a muffed punt, and returning a kick for 46 yards, the lone bright spot for the Hawks was their performance on special teams. Down 0-3 the Cowboys were forced to punt after failing to convert on 3rd and three. In on special teams to block the gunner on the play, Doug Baldwin shifted over at the last second to attempt a punt block. His attempt was successful and Mike Morgan returned the blocked punt 25 yards for a touchdown. At that point in the game, it looked as if Doug Baldwin had given the Hawks the momentum they needed to carry out a marginal victory against the Cowboys, instead the Cowboys went on to score 17 unanswered points, leading 17-10 at halftime.
After such a valiant effort, it was no wonder Doug went off in the locker room after the game criticizing his own team for their lack of production. A reporter asked Doug if the significant difference in time of possession played a factor in the outcome of the game, Doug responded by saying, “We had plenty of time to make plays. We’ve got too much talent not to be moving the f—— ball.” Relatively blunt, Baldwin spoke the truth, and it was nice to see some recognition of their self-inflicted loss.
However, despite a majority of the game being “self-inflicted” there did seem to be a lack of penal equality when it came to pass defending. Following Sherman’s pass interference penalty (in which he merely placed a hand on WR Dez Bryant’s back) the officials failed to flag a crucial deep left pass from Wilson to Willson in which Cowboy’s defender Kyle Wilber failed to turn around whilst putting his hand on Luke Willson’s facemask. The negligence involved with the officiating wasn’t the primary reason for the loss though, and the only way the Hawks can bounce back is if they can get healthy in the secondary and return to their basic offensive strengths.
After Wilson started the game by rushing for 45 yards on a touchdown drive that lasted only 2 min. and 16 sec. it looked as if the Hawks were going to win with ease. Unfortunately that was not the case, and although John Ryan is a fantastic punter you never want to see him punt the ball 6 times in a game and you never want to see 13 penalties for a total of 90 yards. Although those lackluster traditions (punting and penalties) were common in the dark ages (post-Holmgren/pre-Carroll era), they are something I don’t want the eyes of bandwagon-ers to see, because witnessing those traditions will make them feel like they’ve been fans for more than a minute. Despite witnessing the tragedy of three Percy Harvin touchdowns negated by penalties, they will never be able to sympathize with the horror of having your leading rusher of 2009 score only two touchdowns in a season.
Speaking of horrifying rushing performances, the ‘Skins RB Alfred Morris was held to 29 yards rushing and no touchdowns on Monday night, a stark contrast from Wilson’s 122 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Russell’s rushing performance was complimented with 201 yards and two touchdowns passing. B Wags had equally impressive statistics on defense recording 8 tackles, 3 for a loss, one for a sack, and two pass deflections. But despite Wagner’s performance, there remain some key concerns on defense, specifically how well the secondary manages and contains speedy receivers like DeSean Jackson. DeSean had 157 yards receiving including a 60 yard touchdown in which the Hawks zone coverage failed. The Hawks now rank 22nd in passing yards allowed which is an unacceptable statistic if they’re to maintain their status as best defense in the league. Right now, solidifying the secondary is completely dependent upon Jeremy Lane’s recovery time.
Let’s hope the Seahawks clean up their act, otherwise they just might want to trade for Pierre Garcon. Garcon’s dirty antics weren’t enough to pull a dread from Sherman’s head, but hopefully his actions were enough to light Sherman’s fire. Sherman is long overdue and picking off Romo isn’t hard to do so let’s hope the ball finds its way into Richard’s hands on Sunday as the Hawks face Jerry Jones’ Cowboys at Century Link.
Despite their most recent 45-14 loss to the NY Giants, the Washington Redskins can throw the football, which provides a challenge for a team that has struggled in the pass defense category so far.
Ranking 4th in passing yards, QB Kirk Cousins and the ‘skins should provide a test for a Seahawks secondary that has already faced Rodgers, Manning and Rivers on the year.
Equipped with a defense that has allowed the 5th fewest rushing yards, the Seahawks should be able to stop opposing RB Alfred Morris on the ground.
The challenge lies in covering Cousins’ targets and applying pressure.
Always reliable offensively, the key to the game lies in the hands of the Hawks secondary.
Following their exhilarating 26-20 overtime victory against the Broncos, the Seahawks were able to reclaim their spot atop ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings. Traditionally a “second half” team, the Seahawks scored 17 points in the first half of regulation and just a single field goal in the second half. Despite the fact that the offense mustered only three points in the second half, the defense was to blame for the collapse.
Holding the Broncos to only ten points prior to their game tying touchdown drive, the Seahawks defensive performance was reminiscent of the Super Bowl. The Seahawks absolutely dominated the Broncos running game holding them to only 36 yards rushing. However, Manning and the Broncos aerial assault proved a challenge for the Hawks late in the game. With only 59 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter Broncos QB Peyton Manning conducted an 80 yard drive to force the game into overtime. Before converting their two point conversion, Broncos TE Jacob Tamme caught a 26 yard touchdown pass on the final play of that 80 yard drive which resulted in extra minutes. The culprit on the play was Hawks OLB K.J. Wright. Struggling the previous week against Chargers TE Antonio Gates, Wright just couldn’t stay on Tamme. Wright’s inability to cover opposing tight ends in consecutive weeks almost cost the Seahawks another victory but thankfully the always calm and collected Russell Wilson led a methodical OT touchdown drive to win the game.
Capping of their OT performance was RB Marshawn Lynch, who scored the team’s game winning touchdown on a six yard run. Marshawn Lynch contributed in both the passing and rushing attack, obtaining 88 yards and a touchdown rushing, and 40 yards and a touchdown receiving. Also contributing to the Seahawks passing game was WR Doug Baldwin. Equipped with impeccable playmaking abilities (especially on the sideline), Dougy Doug led the team in receiving yards with 56. Catching a 39 yard touchdown pass and leading the team in receiving TDs on the year, WR Ricardo Lockette continues to impress.
Although WR Jermain Kearse had the highest QBR, it’s safe to say that Wilson was the Hawks best passer on the day. Wilson had 258 yards passing and two touchdowns against the Broncos, his only interception resulting from a tipped pass. Despite throwing his first INT of the year Wilson and the Hawks were successful in their super bowl rematch. Thankfully the game was a lot more exciting than the previous matchup and the Hawks head into their bye week with a record of 2-1.
Sitting atop ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings the Denver Broncos come to Century Link field with hopes that the nightmares resulting from their 43-8 super bowl loss will discontinue with a victory. Equipped with the second to worst passing defense in the league (statistically) the broncos will have no answer for Hawks wide receivers Percy Harvin, Jermaine Kearse, and Doug Baldwin. And if evidence from the past provides any sign of the future, RB Marshawn Lynch shouldn’t have any complications either.
With the strong belief that the offense will dominate, the only concern lies within the Seahawks passing defense. Last weekend’s match up against the Chargers was a humbling experience for the hawks as opposing TE Antonio Gates caught seven passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns. Opposing tight end success last week causes much reason for concern this week as the Hawks face one of the best pass catching tight ends in the league. Having already caught 11 passes for 143 yards and four touchdowns in only two games, Broncos tight end Julius Thomas is the most explosive tight end of the 2014 season so far. The key to the Hawks success lies within the Seahawks ability to cover J. Thomas.
Opposite from the Hawks, the Broncos offense relies on their passing game to create a running game. If the Hawks can stop Peyton Manning’s passing attack they should be able to stop Montee Ball and the other Broncos running backs. Whatever the result, the game should be a battle filled with plenty of emotions.
Keys to the game: Stopping TE Julius Thomas
Player(s) to watch: WR Percy Harvin
Prediction: Hawks 24 – Broncos 17
The final score wasn’t very indicative of how the game played out in the Seahawks 31-20 loss against the Chargers. Considering the Seahawks got a free pass on Percy’s 51 yard TD run, and the time of possession was 17:45 to 42:15 in favor of the Chargers. To sum up the entire game, The Seahawks defense couldn’t get the Chargers offense off of the field. Opposing QB Phillip Rivers led an aerial assault on the Hawks that they couldn’t defend. Rivers had a 75.7 completion percentage while throwing for 284 yards and 3 TD’s. All three of Rivers touchdowns were caught by the wily veteran TE Antonio Gates. Along with the three TDs, Gates caught seven passes for 96 yards.
The biggest glaring defensive issue for the Hawks that led to their defeat was their inability to cover Gates. Both outside linebackers K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith got beat countless times and SS Kam Chancellor was unusually late on arrival in coverage. Otherwise, the Hawks did a decent job of applying pressure to the QB and stopping the run. Unfortunately, Rivers did an even better job of avoiding the pressure, stepping up in the pocket and delivering his throws.
With a little over 17 minutes of possession, the Seahawks managed to score 20 points on offense. Their offensive performance wasn’t flashy but they did all that they could considering the short amount of time that they had. WR Percy Harvin had success on his first rushing attempt, but following that was limited to just one carry for negative six yards and one reception for seven yards. However, his performance wasn’t tied to a lack of effort, but rather a lack of opportunity. In fact, the most touches besides Wilson belonged to Lynch who had a total of six carries due to back spasms. One significant area of weakness displayed in this game was the O-lines failure to protect Wilson from pressure. Showing success in our first game against the Packers, the offensive line took a step back with their performance against the Chargers.
Criticized for their week 1 18-17 loss against the also underappreciated Arizona Cardinals, the Chargers prove a tough opponent and obviously deserve more respect from the football world. Looking forward, the Hawks have a couple of issues that need to be resolved (most significantly how they play away from Century Link) if they hope to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
Coming off a dominant 36-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers, the Seahawks are set to face off against the Chargers tomorrow in San Diego.
Having lost two of our cornerbacks (Jeremy Lane and Tharold Simon) the Chargers QB Phillip Rivers will likely attempt to pick on whoever fills in at the nickel cornerback position, that being either Marcus Burley, newly acquired Josh Thomas, or safety De Shawn Shead.
With the Chargers offense rushing for a total of only 52 yards last week (31st in the league), their ability to pass against our backup corners appears to be their only threat offensively.
Defensively the Chargers are equipped with a couple key players that the Hawks need to keep in check if they want to control the football game: LILB Manti Te’o, ROLB Jeremiah Attaochu, CB Brandon Flowers, and FS Eric Weddle.
Playing in his first game just last week, Attaochu was phenomenal recording 4 tackles, a forced fumble and sacking the quarterback.
With veteran safety Eric Weddle in the middle of the secondary, it should be difficult for the Hawks to get any big yardage plays on offense.
Despite the chargers defensive standouts, the Hawks should be able to find ways to beat them on offense.
Keys to the game: playing well at nickelback and controlling opposing LB Jeremiah Attaochu
Player to watch for: WR Doug Baldwin
Prediction: Hawks 31-21 Chargers