Welcome back to Hawk Tawk,
This week I would like to start with this:
Wednesday was the 11th of September, a day that is forever a solemn day. Innocent lives were taken on that day 12 years ago. The actions taken by terrorists that day have shaped a new world that we live in. I am an active duty Soldier, serving in the United States Army Infantry. Just as I write this article to help quench my love of the Seattle Seahawks, I serve you to quench my love for our country, and for my family. I serve out of respect for those who have served before me. I sincerely hope that you took a moment out of your day to stop and think about those we lost, their families, and the service members who are still fighting to prevent it from happening again. You will never be forgotten. You will never be alone.
Okay….now let’s Tawk. That was one nail-biter of a game to start the season off with fellow 12ers. But now that I have those pesky fingernails gone and out of the way, let us get down to our business of Tawking some Hawk. I want to Tawk offensive line. I want to Tawk about the offensive line’s effect on the running game. I want to Tawk about the lack of any kind of pass rush or quarterback pressure. I want to Tawk about how the read option is now more of a play action 3.0. I want to Tawk about the game plan for San Francisco. I want to Tawk about Hauschka and the special teams play. I want to Tawk about what I got right and wrong last week and, lastly, I want to Tawk about a 49ers running back who has never gained more than 70 yards in one game calling the Seattle Seahawks the She-Hawks. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Last week, I perhaps over-emphasized my lack of comfort with the play of the offensive line. They really didn’t do anything to change my mind. Penalties still accumulated (though not all O-line) and the running game never really got off the ground. Not that it is supposed to leave the ground, then the running game would be the passing game. Well, maybe it did get off the ground then, because that is what happened. I understand that Carolina has an excellent defensive line. I just do not understand how Pete Carroll and company can be happy watching their offensive line get pushed around like they have been. If Russell Wilson was not behind center, that game would have been much, much uglier for the quarterback. They look porous to me and didn’t show the toughness I had Tawked myself into expecting. The play selection in the fourth helped a bit, but come on, when is Seattle going to get their offensive line back in form? I hope that answer is yesterday, because our biggest rival is coming to town, and we need them.
The running game really stumbled out of the gate, as did the entire offense. It almost appeared that there was no real commitment to run the ball like I expected. It looked like they tried a few times and said, “Well, that ain’t gonna work, let’s try throwing it.” I expect more this week. Seattle has to commit to the ground game in order to keep defenses honest. The ground game opens up play action, and play action opens up Stephen Williams and Jermaine Kearse behind the defensive back field. Think I am lying? What happened on Seattle’s last scoring drive? Nuts and Bolts are what the machine is made of. You have to have nuts and bolts to make a good machine, right Coach Carroll? Running equals nuts, blocking equals bolts. Please coach, remember that we have three, that is right, three punishing backs that can all contribute. Please put the Skittles machine back together coach. Please.
Cam Newton had all day to sit back and look for receivers who could drop the passes he threw. He was only sacked once, and not really pressured on a regular basis. This was seriously disappointing. I expected it though. Two of our (hopefully) top pass rushers were not in the game, and one member of the Legion was out. Overall, I was pretty happy with the pass defense, but seriously disappointed in the run defense. Seattle has to find a way to get to the opposing quarterbacks. Without an elite pass rush, the defense is not truly elite, at least in my not so humble opinion. I have my fingers crossed that we have Avril back this week, and that he is ready to smash some quarterback. I also am hoping to see Browner back, as Seattle did fine without him, but we all know how much Kaepernick is depending on Boldin now. Seattle’s starting corners should be able to make Kaepernick find a new friend.
Did you notice the lack of effectiveness in the “real” read option plays ran across the league on Sunday? Rush ends have caught on and are disrupting what was the original read option. I have read, listened and watched many programs Tawking about how the read option is slowly transforming into the newest twist on play action. I am a believer because quarterbacks can be tackled without the ball on read option plays, they are making quicker decisions and not letting plays materialize like they have in the past few years. This allows the rush ends to cue on the quarterback and go strictly after them, not worrying about where the ball really went. It is interesting to see how the option is now being twisted into another wrinkle of play action, giving the defense three possible ball carriers to concentrate on, instead of two. We will see how it all plays out.
Against San Francisco, I hope to see an improved pass rush. Even if it isn’t sacks, at least put some pressure on Kaepernick to get rid of the ball. If he chooses to run against Seattle, so be it. I will take the Seattle safeties and corners against him any day. Press man as Seattle plays it, should slow down the Boldin connection considerably, and a little pressure will most definitely prevent another 400-yard passing game for the 49ers. Gore is a great running back, and that will have to be reckoned with, regardless of how successful Seattle has been in the past. A good pass rush can have a huge impact on the running strategy of San Francisco too, so let’s go get ‘em Hawks. What do you say? I am not too concerned about covering their receivers, but Seattle will need to improve the defensive front line and linebacker play to be successful on Sunday night. I am hoping to see a little more creativity on the defensive side of the ball, a little less creativity on the offense, and a “keep doing what you’re doing” on special teams.
The special team play was phenomenal…Tawk about winning the length of field advantage. The Special teams play so far is awesome. I swear that punt traveled 75-80 yards in the air. It only came out as a net 68 yard punt (I think) and it is fun to say it was only 68 yards. The punt returns were respectable for Tater, and there were how many touch backs by Hauschka? No worries on special teams if they keep bringing the A game like they did.
I thought Seattle would make an example out of the Panthers, but I think the Panthers made Seattle wake up a little and realize that the season has indeed started, and that Carolina is indeed a good football team. Overall, I used my 12th Man heart a little too much in my expectations for the game and really missed on about every prediction. Except one. Seattle won, and that is all that matters.
Last but not least, Anthony Dixon Tweeted this.
“Extra weight on the racks all week getting less sleep preparing for these She-Hawks I love hostile environments Imma feel right at home.”
Mr. Dixon, do you know what is going to happen to you if your coach actually lets you carry the ball against the Seahawks? Oh, Anthony. Poor, poor, poor choice of words young man. I feel bad for you.