Happy Blue Friday 12s.
Last Sunday, the Hawks lost to the 49ers. I have chosen those words carefully. They were not beat by the 49ers, they lost. Seattle’s defense looked porous, and often completely confused. The offense showed sporadic signs of fluidity, but also looked utterly confused for most of the game. Against good teams, confusion is not a multiplier, it is a detractor. If they had played half as well as they did against New Orleans, the game would have been a blowout. Yet, here we are Tawking about how they lost. The Hawks have given away two games this year on last minute defensive failures.
I want to point out that, yes, I realize that if the Hawks put up more points than the defense allows, they win. This Hawks team is predicated on low scoring opponents. The defense “usually” holds the opposing team to minimal damage, allowing the offense time to figure out a scheme to get said points. Last Sunday, the Hawks only managed 13 first downs, the second fewest in any game so far except for the Rams game where they only managed seven. They only had 264 yards on offense, also second worst to the Rams game number of 135.
There have only been two games this year where I feel the offense really looked solid for all four quarters. The first was the game against Jacksonville, so it barely counts. The second was the Saints game on Monday Night Football. I know, yes they blew out San Francisco in Week 2, but they didn’t do anything in the first half of that game. I also know that Seattle didn’t do much with the ball against the Saints in the fourth quarter, but that was by design. They were eating clock and in maintain mode.
I understand that Seattle held San Francisco’s passing offense in check for the most part. The run game, however, completely obliterates that stat. Field goals are points, and as such, any points given up by the defense hurt your offense. They gave up two huge plays exactly when they needed to shut the 49ers down. The long TD, and the long run. Seattle was not playing like a well-oiled machine. With the exception of the second quarter, the offense looked completely inept. They sputtered and choked, and they went back to their early season form of inconsistency. When the offense isn’t piling points on, the defense must keep the other team from scoring, and in that they failed. Frank Gore put it to Seattle , and showed why he has been such a successful running back all these years. More so, the offensive coordinator for San Fran allowed him to keep plugging away until he finally popped the big one. That big run cost Seattle the game, and they have no one to blame except themselves.
Against New York, Seattle needs to right the ship and bring their A-game, but you already know that. I will be looking for man coverage, six and seven men rushing the QB, and man press coverage. I hate zone coverage. Seattle’s backfield has the talent to play man 90 percent of the time. Every time they get caught in zone coverage they get burnt, so I refuse to understand why they insist on using it so very often. However, I am just me, not the coach or coordinator, so I am just play a tiny violin all for myself.
I cannot explain why the offense looked so inept for most of the game, but I am sure you have all been thinking about that all week. The one thing I really can Tawk about is the penalties. Seattle went back to early season form in their collection of penalties, some ridiculous calls, some no-brainers. Regardless, that kind of play will get them nowhere. They are no longer the little team doing great things and flying under the radar. They are the best team in the NFL, and everyone is looking to take them down a notch, including the referees. Opposing coaches are getting in the ref’s ears and asking them to pay attention to certain players (Legion of Boom) and to call the penalties more frequently. The Seahawks have to acknowledge that fact and stay away from getting penalized down field.
This week should be another difficult challenge. The Seahawks should win this game, but “should” does not mean anything in the NFL. The Giants have nothing to lose and that makes a very dangerous opponent. If Seattle hopes to secure a first round bye and home-field throughout, they need to win this game. Underdogs at this time of the season always have a bigger bite, and Seattle’s schedule is dangerous for the final three weeks. They need to get the fire back, as last week they looked liked a bowl of ice cubes. Seattle very much needs to pave the road to the Superbowl through the C-link to gain every advantage they can get. Yes, they have won most of their close games this year, but they have lost two games, where they were the better team, and didn’t play like it. In both of the Hawks losses, they looked listless and confused. They never seemed to get it going. The same can be said of several other games that they did win, but in those two, they gave away their opportunity to win by allowing the other team to march down the field in their last possession. I put some of the blame of the defensive coordinators calls, but the bulk of the blame goes to the players that allowed it to happen. At the NFL level, players are no longer able to blame the coach, most of the time. Let’s see how they perform this week.
Since this week was such a letdown, I’m keeping it short. Have a happy blue Friday, and let’s hope the Hawks are better prepared to play football this week. 12thman now, 12thman forever, GO Hawks!