Bevell’s Conservative Game Plan Just Won’t Do It


Sep 24, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) carries the ball against the Green Bay Packers during the 2nd half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Green Bay 14-12. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

There has been a great deal of reaction to the events of Monday night. To be honest I don’t even want to go there. Instead I’d rather focus on any other part of the game. There are two things the Seahawks showed in this game. The first is an intimidating and dominant defense that is fun to watch and scary for opponents. That would be a treat to write about and research further into. Unfortunately that’s not what I will be doing today. Instead I will be taking the role of the glass half empty guy and discuss the Seattle’s offensive performance. There are a lot of words that came to my mind while I was watching the offense attempt to move the ball on Monday but most of them aren’t appropriate for this forum. There is a lot of blame to go around but I’d like to lay some at the feet of one man in particular: Darrell Bevell. I understand that it is hard to determine exactly the effect of a play caller because it is hard to say what is poorly designed and what is poorly executed. That being said I’d like to compare a couple numbers from Monday’s game.

Stat line #1 5-8 70 yards 1 TD 130.2 Passer Rating

Stat line # 2: 1-7 3 yards 39.6 Passer Rating

If you guessed that the first line belonged to Russell Wilson on 1st down and the second was Wilson on 3rd down then color me impressed. I do understand that it is easier to throw the ball on 1st down than 3rd down but at the same time the difference is too stark for that to be the only factor. I found Bevell’s run, run, pass play calls absolutely infuriating. The main reason I couldn’t stomach it is because the next thing in the “run, run, pass” sequence is punt. In fact the Seahawks had 3 separate possessions that were literally run, run, pass (incomplete) and punt. I understand that Seattle’s conservative game plan fits with its excellent defense and its rookie quarterback. I understand that the Seahawks have a premier running back. These two things make Bevell’s point of view defensible but they do not make it right. If the Seahawks are going to move the ball they cannot simply try and ram Lynch down the throat of opposing defenses on every first and second down. That will leave Wilson in 3rd and long situations he is unlikely to convert at this point in his career, especially against the quality defenses of the NFC West. Wilson showed the ability to complete some passes on first down including his beautiful 41 yard touchdown toss to Golden Tate in the first half. He did this under favorable circumstances because Green Bay was expecting the run, but he did it nonetheless. Bevell has to run the ball on first down sometimes to make Wilson’s 1st down passing work, just not every time. There was a stretch in the middle of the game where the Seahawks ran on 9 out of 10 possible 1st downs. That is too predictable, plain and simple. It just is. I hate to take it out on the play calling but sometimes the facts speak for themselves. If the Seahawks are going to score some points they need to be a little bit more aggressive passing the ball, otherwise their offense will be both unsuccessful and difficult to watch.