Monday, November 12, 2018

WANTED: Playmakers-- Seahawks 31 @ Rams 36

I don't know how many more of these heartbreaking losses I can take.

I never bought into the nonsense that Seattle was somehow going to completely fall apart after losing a bevy of stalwarts from the team's supposed glory years.  Can anyone point to a single, former Seahawk that is playing at a high level on a new team?  Exactly.

Still, perhaps I was too optimistic in my assumptions as to where this team was at for the 2018 season.

The Seahawks past two performances along with the previous match up with these Rams have made one point painfully evident-- this team is sorely lacking play makers.

See the source imageClosing out games in the 4th quarter was once a specialty of the Wilson-led Seahawks.  Now, it appears to be their greatest deficit. In back to back losses, not only was the ball in Wilson's hands with the game on the line-- he committed costly turnovers to seal the team's fate.

Once again, I'm left scratching my head as I walk my mind back through the team's preseason decision making that got us here.  Instead of the problem being with the running back group, as it has been the past 3 seasons, Seattle's biggest problem is with their pass catchers.

You could say their problem is with pass rushers, and you wouldn't be incorrect in that assumption, but I'm willing to concede that those are the unicorns of the NFL-- hard to find and typically come with a heavy price tag.

The receiver market wasn't much better.  Seattle's outgoing Paul Richardson was one of the top free agents.  They could've improved through the draft, though the only productive receivers this season from the incoming draft class were all selected just a handful of picks after we took Penny.  Improving the run game was a priority, so it's hard to argue there.

I guess the thing that I find most maddening is that, after adding Ed Dickson and Jaron Brown in free agency, through week 10 this team's three leading receivers are Tyler Lockett, a banged up Doug Baldwin and backup running back, Mike Davis.

While Nick Vannett has contributed more than ever before, he doesn't appear to be transforming into the red zone threat we had hoped.  Will Dissley would undoubtedly have made that list had he stayed healthy. If 'ifs' were fifths, we'd all be drunk.

I love the Seahawks commitment to the run, but the NFL has a way of exposing one-dimensional teams. Committing to the run shouldn't mean abandoning the passing game, but it certainly feels like there is no grey area with this group.  They're either running the ball or making Russell scramble for his life, looking for someone down field.

Seattle needs to find their way back to the middle.  Just as the run can open up the play action pass, the short pass and screen game can open things up for the run as well as shots downfield.

I had assumed, incorrectly evidently, that the Seahawks decision to sign Jaron Brown was made as somewhat of a poor-man's replacement of Paul Richardson.  A guy who could stretch the field and take the top off of defenses.  So far, we haven't seen that from him.

It's refreshing to see that Seattle can get 100 yards from whoever they place in the backfield, regardless of the opponent.  It's nice to see that our defense, in spite of youth and inexperience, can keep this team within one score of seemingly any ballgame.  It's incredibly frustrating that nobody, not even Tyler Lockett, can come up with a big play late in the game to put this team over the top.

Four of Seattle's seven remaining games, including a match up with the Packers just 4 days from now, are against team's that will be in the playoff or are otherwise vying with Seattle for a Wild Card spot.  The other 3 are against lowly division rivals that are sure to play us harder than their record indicates.

In all reality, the Seahawks will need to win almost all of these games if they have any hopes of backing into the playoffs.  It's not going to be easy, but the way this team fights, it should be feasible.

We've seen it just about every year of Pete Carroll's tenure-- who will step up in the latter half of the season and emerge as the next star of this team?  They're going to need playmakers if they want to play in the postseason.

By the way-- Seattle leads the league in rushing.  You know you're doing something right if you're frustrating the NFL's best defender to this point.

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