This Seahawk team has become increasingly hard to figure out. Sandwiched between impressive wins against superbowl contending Giants and Ravens, the Seahawks lost 3 very winnable games to very average teams.
It’s time to hand out the grades for this week:
Tarvaris Jackson: B+
Jackson made some amazing plays in this game. Seeing him throw the ball 50 yards down field while running to his left and hitting Doug Baldwin in stride left me speechless. Seeming him float the ball into Golden Tate along the sideline with amazingly perfect touch left me screaming with excitement. Seing him force the ball into double coverage trying to get the ball to Mike Williams when Zach Miller was open left me shaking my head in disbelief.
Marshawn Lynch: A-
Beast Mode was in full effect Sunday. Lynch also added 5 catches for 58 yards. Combined, Lynch accounted for 51% of the Seahawks offense. Lynch also gets a bonus for juking Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson out of their shoes when the Seahawks were desperate for a first down at the end of the game.
My only complaints were the 3.4 yards per carry average (needs to be up above 4) and the the fact that the longest run was just 8 yards. I know that this was against a very good Ravens defense, but if Lynch wants to get an A, he needs to break a couple decent runs at some point in the game.
Offensive Line: B
The left side of the line: Okung, Gallery and Unger, had their best game of the season by far. Those 3 are really starting to come together as a solid foundation for the future of this team. RG John Moffitt was doing well, and would have been added to that list, but he hurt his knee and it appears that his season is over. Moffitt’s backup, Jeanpierre Lemuel, was a liability in pass protection but was pretty good in run blocking.
RT James Carpenter on the other hand struggled in this game. Even with plenty of help from the TEs and RBs, Carpenter struggled in pass protection and generated little push in the running game. Carpenter seems to be regressing at this point in the season.
Run Defense: B
The good news: the Seahawks only gave up 75 yards. The bad news: they gave up 6.3 yards per carry, about twice their season average. The fact that Ray rice only had 6 carries helps, but it’s also because the Seahawks have a good run defense. It’s clear the game plan was to avoid the run defense and try and take advantage Seattle’s porous pass defense.
Pass Defense: B
The Ravens threw the ball 53 times, and only averaged 4.7 yards per pass. The 248 passing yard given up is actually reasonable considering how many passes the Ravens attempted. Granted, part of the success of the pass defense was because Joe Flacco was wildly inaccurate at times. Richard Sherman looked great, especially since he was lined up against Anquan Boldin all afternoon.
On the negative side has to be lack of a pass rush. Flacco was rarely pressured and only sacked once. The Linebackers also continued to struggle against receiving TEs. Dickson had a career day with 10 receptions for 79 yards and 2 TDs. Brandon Browner added 2 more annoying penalties and a tendency to leave his receiver open, a trend that dates back to the pre-season. If Flacco didn’t twice miss a wide open Torrey Smith who had gotten behind Browner, the Seahawks do not win this game.
Special Teams: B+
Best performance from this unit all season. No big returns given up, 2 forced fumbles, it was a good day for the kick coverage team. The most telling stat of the afternoon for the special teams was that the Ravens’ best starting field position was their own 35 yard line. That doesn’t happen unless both the kickoff and punt coverage units have a good day. Hauschka going 5 for 5 on his FGs deserves a mention as well.
The only reason that this grade isn’t an A is because of the lack of any decent punt and kick returns for the Seahawks. The special teams still have room for improvement in this area. It’s simply been too long since we’ve seen Leon Washington break a long return (or at least a return that wasn’t called back via a penalty).
I’m becoming a huge fan of Gus Bradley as a defensive coordinator. His schemes worked very well to stop a pretty good Baltimore offense. He’s also managed to cover up the pretty big weakness the Seahawks have at CB. People are beating up the Baltimore coaches today for only running the ball with Ray Rice 6 times, but a big reason for that is that Seattle took away the inside running game.
13 penalties. That alone almost made the coaching grade an F. There’s no reason for it. It’s just poor discipline and lack of accountability and attention to detail by the coaches. The “this is a young team” excuse is just that, an excuse. Raheem Brock had 2 defensive offsides penalties. He’s not young. Brandon Browner had 2 more penalties; He’s not a young player either. This problem wont go away until fixing becomes a priority of the coaching staff.
This was a good win against a very good team. You don’t do that unless you manage to do a lot of things very well. Still, as encouraging as the this game is, the penalties and the inability turn red zone possessions into TDs almost cost the Seahawks the win.