Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) breaks free of a tackle from Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward (43) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks need more from the offense to defend title

Over the past few years, the Seattle Seahawks became synonymous with physicality and defense. The Legion of Boom was and still is the anchor of that defense, suffocating opponents and laying out opposing wide receivers left and right.

The Seattle defense will always overwhelm opposing offenses with their physical style. The real question is if the offense will be able to score enough points to give the Legion of Boom leads to work with.

In Thursday night’s preseason game against the Denver Broncos, the offensive line play was horrific to say the least.

Terrelle Pryor was under pressure for most of the night, and that forced him to make plays with his legs. Robert Turbin mustered just five yards on four carries (1.2 yards per carry) while Christine Michael didn’t do much better rushing seven times for 16 yards, although he did add another 12 yards on receptions.

Now I do take into account that it was the first game of the preseason, but Seahawks fans do and rightly should have high expectations for this year’s team.

Offensive line play should have been at the top of the front office’s priority list after Russell Wilson took 44 sacks last year, an unacceptable number for a Super Bowl-winning franchise quarterback.

If Wilson is to improve significantly as a pocket passer this season, the line play must show significant improvement throughout the preseason. The Cardinals, Rams, and 49ers all improved their front sevens, and the Seahawks must have the offensive line play to match.

And the line play will directly impact the running game as well. Marshawn Lynch already has plenty of mileage on his legs and the Seahawks cannot afford to have a Beast Mode not at 100 percent come postseason time. Lynch can make plays when there is seemingly no running room at all, but Turbin and Michael aren’t as gifted as Lynch.

The two backup running backs need running lanes to make plays, and if the Seahawks offensive line can’t do that, a committee running back system just isn’t plausible.

And lastly, there’s the issue of the wide receivers.

Some can argue that the Seahawks’ receiving core is as deep as it has ever been. That may be true, but in reality, Seattle is one injury away from being dangerously thin at the wide receiver spot.

Percy Harvin, when healthy, is a game changing wideout. But he hasn’t been able to stay healthy: Harvin has only played 16 games in one season, and has never topped 1,000 yards receiving or more than six receiving touchdowns in his entire career.

Last year’s leading receiver, Golden Tate, is gone to the Detroit Lions, Doug Baldwin has yet to prove that he is more than a possession receiver who can make catches on third down, Jermaine Kearse has yet to prove that he is more than a receiver who makes the occasional flash-in-the-pan play.

Of course there is Paul Richardson who had a four-catch, 37-yard effort against the Broncos. But the Seahawks fans who closely follow Pac-12 football will know that Richardson tore his MCL in his sophomore year and then his ACL in his junior year at the University of Colorado.

For Wilson to be effective, he needs weapons around him. If his weapons are injury-prone, there will be problems with the Seahawks offense.

With its elite defense, the Seahawks will always find themselves competitive in games. And with Seattle defending their Super Bowl title, the offense has to improve and do its part.

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