Week 1: Seahawks vs. Panthers Post-game Recap

Sunday’s game against the Panthers left Hawks fans satisfied with a victory, but not elated with their team’s offensive output. Although the game ended with a Seahawks 12-7 victory, the Hawks showed that there is room for improvement on both sides of the ball. The Hawks couldn’t generate a consistent rushing attack and defensively they had trouble stopping the run. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch only gained 43 yards on the ground while Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams racked up 86 yards on the exact same number of carries. Despite their inability to stop the run, the defensive secondary had another spectacular game, allowing only one TD through the air.  S Earl Thomas contributed in a huge way to the Hawks secondary success, leading both teams in tackles and causing a fumble that clinched the game for the Hawks. The positive output from the secondary was matched by the Seahawks ability to pass the football. WR Doug Baldwin led the team in receptions and his performance was a big reason why Wilson and the Hawks had success through the air.

    However, the Seahawks running game was far from magnificent on Sunday. The O-line clearly deserves a majority of the blame, considering that the backs had virtually nowhere to run throughout the entire game. Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll expressed his discomfort with their rushing performance in the post-game press conference and acknowledged, “We didn’t run the ball as well, and in our program that’s a huge focus, so we were disappointed in that and we plan to go right back to business and get it done this week.” Pete also mentioned the offensive line’s inability to push and move the defense, saying that they tried various blocking schemes, but still weren’t able to create any holes. Overall, the team’s failure to generate anything on the ground, resulted in a team total of 70 yards rushing and 2.7 yards per rush.

    Surprisingly, the Seahawks inadequate rushing performance was identical to their inefficiency in stopping the run. Without starting defensive lineman Cliff Avril, Chris Clemons, and Bruce Irvin, the Hawks Defensive Line was banged up, and the remaining front four had no answer to containing the rush. Running back DeAngelo Williams and the Panthers, had the exact same number of rushing attempts as the Hawks, but racked up almost twice the amount of rushing yards.  With the Seahawks allowing 134 yards on the ground, the Panthers averaged 5.7 yards per rush. Thankfully, the Seahawks secondary picked up the slack.

    The Legion of Boom was without CB Brandon Browner this Sunday, but because of their depth at the corner back position, they were still successful in shutting down the Panthers pass attack. The Seahawks held Cam Newton to only 125 yards passing and a single TD. They played terrific in man to man coverage and it seemed as if Earl Thomas was everywhere. E. Thomas recorded 10 combined tackles and caused a fumble that sealed their victorious fate. Excelling at finding space in the Panther’s zone coverage, WR Doug Baldwin had a big game as well, catching 7 passes for a total of 91 yards. Baldwin was a huge part of Russell Wilson’s success through the air against Carolina. Wilson completed 25 of his 33 passes for 320 yards and a TD. Wilson’s only TD pass to Kearse was a great example of the Hawks’ ability to expose the opposition. Following an unsuccessful pass completion to WR Stephen Williams, Wilson and the Seahawks recognized that the Panther’s CB Josh Thomas was getting beat when he faced Seahawks receivers in man to man coverage. On the play after the incompletion, Kearse breezed by Thomas and ran a go up the right side-line. Wilson went right back to Josh Thomas’ side of the field and threw a perfect ball to Kearse in the end zone.

    Last Sunday the Hawks were able to capatilize on their own strengths and their opponent’s weaknesses. If the Hawks are to continue last year’s success they need to be successful across the board and minimize their own weaknesses. They also have to play better against defenses that like to blitz. The O-line has to do a better job of handling pressure from the blitz and making the pocket a comfortable place for Russell Wilson to throw the ball. On the defensive side, the Hawks played very well in the secondary and played decent as a whole. They were missing three key guys up front and need their D-line healthy in order to compete with more dominant teams. Although they did get the win this week, there is still a lot to learn. This Sunday night they will have to play to their full potential and attempt to learn from Week 1, as they face their NFC West division rival, San Francisco 49ers.
Stay tuned this week for the Hawks upcoming Week 2 forecast!
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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Week 1: Seahawks vs. Panthers Post-game Recap

  1. Thomas Martin

    Good wrap up! Could be a big win for them later in the year.

  2. I hope the Bills can contain Newton like you guys did. Nice, thorough and insightful recap.

    • Yeah I hope so too, I’m pulling for you guys. Tough game last week, but I liked what I saw against the Pats. I like E.J. Manuel, and I’m hoping he has a good year as well. Thanks, glad you liked it!

      • We’re really hoping we finally found our franchise quarterback. I think he’s got it all, he just needs to make it all work at the same time. It was nice to have an exciting game against the Pats like we used to. The AFC East is a tough division because of New England. We always say, you gotta beat them if you want to be a good team. The NFC West is shaping up to be really competitive again this year. I think it was a shame we couldn’t get Tavaris Jackson to work out as a back up. I always liked him in Seattle. I guess you can have him back haha Speaking of Buffalo to Seattle, I don’t know if you watch that show The League but there was a reference this week that went “Marshawn Lynch was originally from Buffalo but became a poet in the Northwest.” We still pull for Beast Mode here! I even drafted him on my fantasy team haha He’ll always be the one that got away. I’m happy he found somewhere that he’s not getting handcuffed by bad play calling and a cut-rate O-line.

      • haha yeah gotta love Marshawn! Tarvaris looked really good in pre-season too. Hoping for great seasons from both teams!

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