I was so disgusted by the middle of the third quarter that I couldn’t even get angry. Seattle managed to lose what was everything but a “must-win” game to go a mediocre 4-4 for the first half of the season. When you have a sterling defense and a garbage offense they average out to mediocre. It doesn’t matter which statistics can be picked to make whatever point because it all translates to a .500 record and third place in the NFC West. I think it is time to start tapering expectations and consider it amazing if Seattle somehow stumbles into the offense.
One bright spot is that Seattle committed only two penalties for ten yards. That is a huge improvement. Calvin Johnson also got very limited opportunities to make a play but he gave a touchdown up by letting it go through his hands. Megatron became Megadrop for at least a game.
The offense also played alright this week. They didn’t play great, but compared to the generally low standard that is being maintained, they did better than that. The defense did not play their best game. They got an interception and allowed Detroit to score a touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the game. Calvin Johnson was held to virtually nothing and Mikel Leshoure had only 46 yards. Titus Young was the receiver that allowed Matthew Stafford to tear into Seattle’s secondary which seemed to play zone coverage (except for man on Johnson) the whole game and never adjust out of it.
The problem for me is that it always depends on Seattle’s defense, no matter what. If the defense has anything but a completely flawless day, Seattle loses. As a unit, the offense is incapable of taking the game onto their shoulders and carrying the Seahawks to victory. Seattle is number one in the NFL in losing really close games. There has only been one blowout, Dallas and the more Dallas struggles, the less impressive that win becomes.
I don’t know if Russell Wilson is the future for Seattle. I’m not knocking him, but I’m sick of “adversity = opportunity” type of quotes. Get on board with how desperate Seattle is for a winning season and let’s show some urgency. I get that they are professional athletes that don’t live or die based on wins and losses. It’s just a day at the office. As a fan, however, I’m getting to the point where I’m considering starting to question the five year plan of Pete Carroll. I’m not actually doing it, but I’m starting to see that on the horizon.
Losing winnable games gets old, and I am seeing no evolution or creativity with Seattle’s offensive play calling or scheme. I see Wilson’s abilities developing but the offense is so far away from being able to win a game with the defense having just an “average” day that the gains are marginal at best in the overall scheme of things. It’s not practical to have the outcome almost solely determined on the defense’s ability to have a great game every Sunday. There will be a smattering of off days and just average days. The offense has to be able to take over now and then. Right now, Seattle is far from that happening.
Right now, I’d say Seattle has a 50% chance of being an 8 win team, 35% a 9 win team, and 15% a 10 win team. They need to win the remaining three division games, all of which are at home, but I see them most likely losing one of them. They also need to clean up against the Vikings, Dolphins, and Jets while maybe, maybe, stealing a game in Chicago. Other wild card contending teams in the NFC will most likely be Minnesota, Green Bay, Arizona, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. The NFC is a ridiculously tough conference and making the playoffs at 8-8 will most likely not happen.
I really hope Carroll can make some magic happen but I’m increasingly skeptical. We chronically under-use one of the best tight ends in the game, Zach Miller, have a sever lacking at wide-receiver (especially now that everyone by Sydney Rice is injured in some way), and haven’t shown an ability to adapt. I’m sure some phone calls will be going out this week to bring in a receiver for the next few weeks which might shake things up. It’s not like our offense is so complex it would take a long time to learn or anything. I think it is safe to say after back-to-back losses to San Francisco and Detroit, Seattle’s season is in peril and I’m not feeling good about the rest of 2012.
Hopefully, I’m wrong, but the defense needs some help and to be able to not have to carry the team every single game. In baseball, the best pitchers, Matt Cain, Clayton Kershaw, and Felix Hernandez for example, can end up with terrible records despite ridiculously low ERAs. That’s because they get no run support and end up losing games 1-0, or 2-0. That’s the Seahawks right now, a great defense with no run support. Defense helps teams go a long way, but can’t win games every week all by itself.