Sept. 8, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) drops the ball in the endzone as Arizona Cardinals defensive back Michael Adams (27) pursues during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The good the bad and the ugly of the Seahawks first game


As with all wins or losses, its rarely all good or all bad.  You could say that about the Seahawks/Cardinals matchup on Sunday.  Yes, it was a loss for the Hawks.   And yes, there is a lot of disappointment.  So after we’re done crying in our beer, let’s take a step back and try to figure out what happened and where the team goes from here.

The Good.

Special teams, especially the work of one Mr. Leon Washington.  His two long returns of punts kept the Seahawks in the game and clearly inspired the team in the second half.  The kicking game was pretty good, not excellent.  Missing a field goal in the first half created the situation at the end of the game where the only way to win the game for the Hawks was to get the touchdown.  But having a long field goal attempt blocked by the player with the longest arms in the NFL is probably nothing to be concerned about.

Also in the “good” category is the way the team bounced back from a miserable first half, somewhat figured out the Cardinals blitz package, and gave Russell Wilson a little more time in the pocket.  While it wasn’t a flawless performance, at least it was enough to put them in the lead and have a chance to win the game.

You have to like the way the offense took the ball down the field on the final drive with the game on the line.  That was like the chocolate shake with whipped cream.  All that remained was to put the cherry on top with a Doug Baldwin catch for a TD but the gods of friction and gravity intervened to pull the ball away from Baldwin and give him a set of sore ribs and lungs devoid of oxygen for a few breathless moments.  Also good is he walked off the field on his own afterwards.

The defense looked mostly pretty solid.  The Cardinals did seem to have them figured out on a pair of drives in the first half until Seattle turned the tide and had everything going their way, right up to the point Cardinals QB Skelton got hurt.  As sometimes happens when the starter has to leave the game, the backup comes in and gives his team a different look and feel, a little lift, and suddenly they’re back in it.

Russell Wilson had a miserable first half but the good part was how he kept his composure and bounced back in the second half, made some great throws and got the team a couple scores.

The Bad.

The offensive line.  Especially in the first half but also at key moments in the second half.  There were a lot of times when they allowed unblocked runners into the pocket to harass Wilson.  This disruption of the pocket made Russell Wilson look like the rookie he is.  But you can’t lay the blame on Wilson.  The O line was simply terrible.  The second half was better, but there is clearly still a LOT of work to do for that unit.

The Cardinals had the Hawks blitzes well blocked.  Pressure on the Cardinal’s QB was practically non-existent.

The Cardinals had 3 long drives for scores that were fueled in part by the fact that both their QB’s had enough time to find Larry Fitzgerald who somehow found himself one on one against a Seahawks’s linebacker more than a few times.

The Ugly

Two backwards passes to covered receivers in the flank.  They did it twice, and both times the Cardinals defense sniffed it out and one time recovered the fumbled lateral.  It would have been two times had the first pass not gone out of bounds.  The players seemed not to know it was a backward pass and didn’t make an attempt to fall on the ball, which makes me believe the play was not run properly.  Pete Carroll needs to banish that play from the play book, or re-design it to make it a little less obvious.

8 Shots at the end zone from inside the 15 for the offense and they couldn’t come up with a score.  The Hawks have to get one of those, they just have to.  The didn’t so they lost.

Penalties!!!  There were several drive killing penalties, and WAY too many penalties total.  I lost count after 13 penalties.  That’s just unacceptable.  If the Seahawks have HALF as many penalties, they win this game.

The Officiating.  It was just horrible.  Too many pass interference calls and what the heck happened on that late game time-out???  Very inconsistent, and they seemed to be listening to all of Larry Fitzgerald’s whining every time he claimed interference on an incomplete pass.

Maybe we can chalk this game up to the inability of Carroll to find a starting QB until after week 3 of the preseason.  The team looked unprepared for the blitz and Wilson could have used another week of practice as the designated starter.  The O line will have to start gelling sooner than later.  Their next opponent, Dallas, just beat the Super Bowl Champs on their home field, and San Francisco just beat Green Bay in Green Bay, so the Seahawks have their work cut out for them.  Other teams studying this game’s film will undoubtedly keep on blitzing Russell Wilson until the Seahawks figure out how to turn those blitzes to their own advantage.  Until then, expect more of the same.

 

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals NFL Week One Pete Carroll Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks

  • Hanley H. Bonynge

    Best way to counter the blitz is with a Pro-Bowl running back. For some reason our OC decided that wasn’t the way to go.

  • Hawk_Eye

    The second half defensive changes were good, but the offensive game plan today was pretty bad. There was way too much pressure on Russell Wilson. I always thought the best way to slow down the blitzes was to run draws, screens and quick dump off passes to the running backs. I didn’t see one of these type of plays run.

  • ricefield

    Agree with your assessment. The O-line looked terrible protecting Wilson. I quit watching after the 1st half. Saw part of the 4th quarter and thought the Hawks would pull it out, but there were at least 2 drops by Baldwin and 1 by Edwards. The D looked great against the run but zero pass rush. If they don’t at least split the next 2 games this season could get very ugly fast.

  • Scott 711

    No draw plays or screens to keep those blitz packages honest. Very vanilla play calling made it to easy for an experienced defense to get to the QB. OC needs to get more creative in schemes and disguise plays better. OL needs to get on the same page, to many times they did not seem to know who was blocking who.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-C-Brown/100000526564064 Alan C Brown

    Trade Matt Flynn to another team – Matt plays PRO ball — Wilson plays “rah-rah” college ball. If the offensive line will not block, Wilson will be running all over the field to keep his head attached to his body. If the Seahawk receivers are too dumb to learn their route options/cuts like those taken by Green Bay, New England and the other top teams always in the playoffs; then let Flynn go. Flynn had better PRO receivers who knew what they were doing when he was at LSU. T.O. also stunk up Flynn’s work during preseason; two weeks of wasted time spent on T.O. Competition is one thing – stupidity in using your two QB and calling it “competition” is something else.

  • hawkman

    OK- I am probably in the minorty , BUT RW looked like a rookie and had many bad reads and missed oppurtunitys in the pass game. Yes he can scamble and the O-line did not pass block well ( starting Sweezy ?) BUT Matt Flynn would in my opinion done better. As I am hearing tonight on Monday Night Football – A GOOD starting QB MUST be able to THROW the recievers OPEN! That is what Flynn DOES!!!!
    153 yards passing? Plus What the He!! happened to the D when Kolb came in?
    Good points- Marshawn looked fine and Rice looked good, plus Leon! I stand by the FACT that the QB competion was scripted for RW to play against a weak KC D and look good so PC could think he would look like a GENIUS! Flynn never played with the same play calling NOR WR’s that are even still on the team (for the most part)!
    It better change immediately or we will know that PC screwed the pooch!!!!!!