Another season in the books, and another season with a mediocre finish. 20 of 35 seasons in Seattle having finished within 1 game of 8-8, including this one. It’s tough to complain though, this is a very good young team that looks ready to break out and become a powerhouse. So while the results for this season are disappointing, the future seems really bright for the Seahawks.
Tarvaris Jackson: C
Jackson quieted even his loudest critics this season, but he really didn’t do anything to establish himself as someone the Seahawks can depend on in the future either. Jackson was good, but not good enough. This was especially true late in games, when Lynch just couldn’t make a play when the Seahawks desperately needed him to make one.
Jackson ended the year as the 21st rated passer in the NFL out of 32 teams. That’s just not enough.
Marshawn Lynch: B+
Lynch finished the year as the 7th best rusher in the NFL with 1204 yards. After 6 weeks, he had just 264 yards, so almost 1000 of those yards came in the final 10 weeks. Lynch got better as the season wore on, a sign of a good back.
My only problems with Lynch has to do with speed. He simply lacked those big game-changing runs. He also had a tendency to be really slow to the hole at times, giving opposing teams a chance to close up the running lanes.
Offensive Line C-
Early in the year is would have been tough to believe that this grade would end up anywhere except an F, but they really came together and improved as the year went on, especially in the running game. While the sack totals continued to mount, it was clear that there was solid improvement along the line. Midseason injuries to 3 starters threatened to derail that, the line continued to improve. Line coach and assistant head coach Tom Cable proved to be the best acquisition of the past offseason.
Rush Defense B+
The Rush defense was clearly the strength of this team all season. While it faded a bit over the past few games, it was still one of the best in the league. The Seahawks only gave up 3.8 yards per rush, which was 4th best in the league. And unlike the others in the top 5, opposing teams had a lot of carries. They tried to run against the Seahawks and just couldn’t find consistent success.
Pass Defense: B-
The Seahawks pass defense was 11th in the league both in terms of yards and yards per attempt. Thats much better than I thought. This area always seemed like a weakness on this team until the last few weeks. Clearly Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner got better as the season went along, though the penalties remained a major problem even at the end of the season.
The problem with this unit was definitely the pass rush, which was almost non-existent at times. No one besides Chris Clemons was able to be impact-full as a pass rusher, and even he disappeared at times. It makes me wonder who good the pass D could have been if you’d combine the current secondary with a solid pass rush.
Special Teams: C-
This grade might surprise a few people. The Seahawks blocked 6 kicks (3 FG, 1 extra point, 2 punts), which is amazing. The problem is that they also gave up a number of blocked kicks. They also had very few big returns of any kind, and gave up too many big returns to even try and list them all here. Overall the Seahawks special teams were definitely a negative aspect of this team.
It’s tough not to appreciate the job done by the coaching staff this season. New QB, new offense, rookies on the O-line, and then all those injuries, and the Coaches still kept this team competitive and in the playoff hunt until the 2nd to last week.
The reason for the low grade comes from a couple things. First there was some really confusing time management choices made, especially at the ends of first halves. There was also the 61 yard FG attempt that ended up failing and possible cost the Seahawks a win against Atlanta.
The other reason for the low grade is the penalty problem that plagued this team all season. Penalties problems like that are on the coaches. It’s a lack of attention to detail. Every team has a few penalties every game, but the Seahawks were the 2nd worst team in the league in penalties. It was bad, and it cost the team wins.