Monday, October 20, 2014

Time to panic? Seahawks 26 @ Rams 28

Just days before the game, word came out that Percy Harvin was being shipped to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick. At the time, it seemed shocking to most Seahawks fans that they would part ways with a dynamic player that they'd given up so much just to acquire-- only to receive so little in return. In the few days since the move was announced, it became more clear as to why the team was so anxious to admit their mistakes and move on from the Percy Harvin era in Seattle before he had a full season with the team.

There are numerous reports citing people close to the situation claiming that, in short, Percy Harvin was a real asshole.  Dating as far back as his high school days, Harvin was not well thought of with regard to his locker room demeanor. He fought with teammates and coaches alike, including a story that says he body slammed Golden Tate before the Super Bowl, giving him a black eye that is visible in post-game pictures.

It seems like the first few games of the season were spent kissing up to Harvin in an attempt to pacify him at the expense of the team. With Harvin out, hopefully the locker room will find peace, but getting rid of that headache doesn't begin solve the myriad of issues the Seahawks seem to have this season.

For starters, the team absolutely has a target on it's back.  Not just from every opponent they encounter that can't wait to get the best of the defending champs, but also from every official as well. This Rams game was a perfect example.

My opinion with officiating is pretty simple-- either let the teams play or call every possible penalty.  All I ask is that you be fair about it.  Calling every miniscule infraction slows the game down and kills momentum, which is detrimental to both players and fans. Letting the teams go at it is great unless it starts to get ugly. Whatever you do, just be consistent.

The officials yesterday were anything but consistent.  The Seahawks offensive line has been sloppy all year and clearly misses Paul McQuistan and Breno Giacomini, but there were some awful calls against them on Sunday.  The Rams had similar penalties, as well as more flagrant examples, that went unpenalized. 

The game ended with another horrible exhibition of poor officiating that rivaled the incompetence of what we see regularly in the PAC12.  Rams running back Tre Mason clearly fumbled the ball before going to the ground and from what we could see in the replay, Richard Sherman recovered it.

The officials moved the ball to the spot of the fumble and returned possession back to the Rams.  The Seahawks had no time outs and the refs refused to review the play.  The Rams quickly took a knee and ended the game.

Still, even if the poor officiating was removed, the issues with the Seahawks would continue to persist.

This team simply doesn't have the depth of talent it had on its Super Bowl run.  Because of that, we seem to be lacking the swagger displayed last season and we cannot seem to overcome key injuries.  Furthermore, we seem to have lost or forgotten our identity.

Seattle finally tried to get back to running the football, but injuries to Derrick Coleman and Max Unger affected that.  Add in the penalties and absence of swagger and you basically have Marshawn Lynch out there alone.  Lynch finished with 18 carries for 53 yards.  At times, the offense moved swiftly and efficiently at times, but something always caused them to stray.  Wilson ran too much and opened himself up to far too much unnecessary harm.

Special teams was absolutely horrendous yesterday.  Ultimately, they blew it for the team. For the second time in two years, Jeff Fischer burned us on a fake punt.  Now, I am not an X's and O's type guy, but I'd like to think that it wouldn't hurt your return coverage that much to keep someone in the middle to spy specifically for a fake. Same goes with the punt returned for a touchdown-- how do you not discuss in the huddle which corner you plan to kick the ball to before the play? That was embarrassing.

Our defense, which is supposed to be the heart and soul of this team, looks a shadow of its former self. Sherman looks like the only reliable cornerback on the roster, Cliff Avril has been a complete non factor, our linebackers cant cover and aren't pass rushing either. Injuries have been a factor, but not enough to be an excuse.

Seahawks have another tough road game against Carolina next week before they get two winnable home games against the Raiders and Giants.  In order to right the ship, this team needs to have a serious Tell The Truth Monday today.  They need to remind themselves that it's once again, them against the world.  They gotta get scrappy.  Defensively, they must pressure the quarterback early.  Offensively, they need to go back to what has always worked best for them-- keep the defense guessing.

Seattle was never more dominant than when opponents weren't sure what they were going to do.  Are they going to pick you apart with short passes to Baldwin and Kearse?  Are they gonna stretch the field with Harvin?  Are they going to run Lynch right at you or is Russell going to keep it and go the other way? 

Seattle excelled when they mixed it up and moved quickly.  They need to get back to that and before they find themselves playing for a Wildcard instead of repeating as Division Champions. 

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