Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Monday Night Madness: Seahawks 31 Bills 25

Let's start by making one thing clear:  it wasn't roughing the kicker.

Once again, ignorance of the rules has allowed the broadcast team of an NFL game to perpetuate a negative opinion of a player.  The final moments of the first half of this nationally televised game were a total shit show. Sandwiched somewhere in between was a play where Richard Sherman jumped offside on a field goal attempt.

Richard Sherman stares down Rex Ryan after his interception.
The play was never blown dead until it was well over-- at least it never came through on the broadcast and both Sherman and Bills kicker Dan Carpenter acted as if neither of them heard any whistle.  Sherman dove toward the ball in an attempt to block the kick, as you're supposed to in those situations, and Carpenter swung his leg right into Sherman.

Carpenter inexplicably feigned serious injury, writhing on the ground clutching his leg, but got up the instant medical staff arrived and sheepishly sent them away.

In real time, it looks like Sherm and Carp collided at full speed.  It's always disconcerting to see your kicker involved in any play that looks like, you know-- a football play.  Those guys are generally slight of build and wear the least amount of protective gear on the field. For those reasons, I get why Buffalo fans, players and coaches may have wanted to see a roughing penalty called.

But to suggest that this in any way, shape or form, could possibly be construed as 'dirty' or 'deliberate' is profoundly absurd.

I love Rex Ryan and I think the NFL is better when he is in it, but he always finds a way to absolve himself of responsibility.  Granted, there was plenty of poor officiating on display, but Sherman was by no means playing dirty.

Coach Ryan has put together a solid, young football team.  I can admit that I did not expect to see Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham convince us so thoroughly of their improved health, but I also didn't expect the Bills to wear down our defense like they did.

The Seahawks defense didn't have their best game, but they didn't play terribly by any stretch.  It looked as if they had game planned to face a completely different team than the once they saw on the field last night. It were as though someone told them that Shady McCoy wasn't going to make the trip, so don't bother scheming for him.

Whenever this defense does anything but dominate, it looks queer to the fan's eye.  We've come to expect nothing but greatness, but we need to remember they are without some of their best players. The good news is that we are showing that we have the depth on the defensive side of the ball to sustain this team through the post season.

I must also profess that the offensive line did a tremendous job in pass protection against a Bills defense that leads the league in sacks-- and they did it all without any threat of a run game.

So, while the passing game is slowly coming into late last season form, we have not only failed to progress in our run game, but it has gotten markedly worse over the past few games. Rawls will be out for at least another week, perhaps longer.

Something needs to be done to spark the run game.  Maybe Alex Collins needs to get the start.  Honestly, if he can't be at least equally (un)productive as Christine Michael-- they need to kick him down to the practice squad and promote Troymaine Pope to the active roster.

As incredibly underwhelmed as I have been with CJ Prosise, I get that they see him as a project and a unique skillset guy and that stuff can take time to develop.  But strait up running between the tackles shouldn't be a skill that takes significant time to develop.  Collins and Michael have given us nothing and its time to adhere to our mantra of constant competition.

The Seahawks face a tough stretch of games ahead and they will need every one to step up their play.  Next up is the Patriots on a short week in Foxborough. As trying and dramatic as this season has been thus far, the Seahawks are in great shape for a playoff run.  We just have to get a little better every week.

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