Sep 29, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Seahawks guard Paul McQuistan (67) walks off the field after the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

How Bad Is the Situation at Tackle?

 

Anyone with a half decent pair of eyes, ears, or really any functional senses can tell that the Seahawks have serious problems at offensive tackle right now. The pass protection for this team is in shambles and that was on display Monday night more so than ever with seven sacks allowed. Robert Quinn and Chris Long are a very good set of defensive ends but there’s still no excuse for that. There aren’t a lot of teams that are stashing a couple of starting caliber offensive tackles on their bench so it doesn’t exactly qualify as a surprise that Seattle’s replacements have struggled so far. However, at 12thmanrising we like to do a little more than state out the obvious, so the question isn’t whether the Seahawks replacement tackles have struggled it’s the extent to which they’ve struggled. Thanks to the fine folks at Pro Football Focus it’s possible to see just how horrifying the situation is. Here are the pass blocking stats for the disastrous duo of Michael Bowie and Paul McQuistan compared to Okung and Giacomini’s from 2012:

Player

Sacks Allowed

Hits Allowed

Hurries Allowed

Paul McQuistan

8

3

18

Michael Bowie

5

2

10

Russell Okung (2012)

1

2

13

Breno Giacomini (2012)

5

2

36

 

It’s downright frightening that Bowie and McQuistan have allowed 7 more sacks in half a year than Okung and Giacomini did all of last year. When you look at it on a rate basis the difference is pretty remarkable:

Player

Sacks Allowed%

Hits Allowed%

Hurries Allowed%

Paul McQuistan

3.6%

1.3%

8%

Michael Bowie

2.7%

1.1%

5.4%

Russell Okung (2012)

0.2%

0.4%

2.9%

Breno Giacomini (2012)

1.0%

0.4%

7.5%

 

These numbers help outline how Giacomini isn’t exactly a superstar either but even he is a major improvement over Bowie. The difference between Okung and McQuistan is a vast chasm. Getting Okung back is going to make all the difference for this offense.

The discussion about Percy Harvin’s upcoming return is going to dominate the headlines because he is the type of player who dominates headlines. Even with the loss of Sidney Rice the need at wide receiver doesn’t come close to the need at offensive line right now. Seahawks fans should be considering throwing parade for the return of Russell Okung, even Giacomini will make a significant difference for this team. The success of this team depends on those two men. The Seahawks can’t go far with the guys they have playing now. They can barely beat a Kellen Clemens led Rams team with the guys they have playing now. Ultimately, that’s the greatest indictment of all.

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