Seahawks need to shake up offensive philosophy


20 points. Zero turnovers. That is all the Seattle Seahawks have ever asked out of their offense. Do that and the team will win.

They take no chances. They control the ball, try to be efficient, and run the clock. They let the defense control the game.

That is why Marshawn Lynch has been so important to the Seahawks. His ability to grind out yard and first downs is invaluable. He can turn bad blocking into a three-yard gain and help avoid putting the team in situations where turnovers happen.

Oct 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks have never asked Russell Wilson to throw the ball a lot. They don’t want him to, not because he can’t, but because Wilson throwing 35 times means that they aren’t running the ball well. It means they aren’t running out the clock.

It is why Wilson cannot shake the game manager label. People who do not watch the tape and only look at his stats see a limited player. Watch the games though, and you see a dynamic playmaker capable of carrying a team.

Seattle’s philosophy is also the genesis of another stat that haunts Wilson. The Seahawks are 0-14 with Wilson when the defense gives up more than 24 points. When you’re only trying to score 20 per game, you aren’t going to win when the defense gives up 25.

That is Seattle’s offensive philosophy. For the most part, it works. Since drafting Russell Wilson, the Seahawks are 15-4 when they score 20 and don’t turn the ball over. Expand that out to score 20+ and just win the turnover battle, and the Seahawks are 31-10.

This is the reason we see the team run on third and 5 and just take the field goal. It is why they’re ok with running a draw on third and 11 and punting the ball. They take no risks. They only need 20 points, so they play it safe.

This is also the reason behind most of the misguided hate of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. He’s an easy scapegoat when fans think the team should be scoring more points, but they don’t realize that the team isn’t trying to score more points. Bevell’s hands are tied by the philosophy set by Pete Carroll.

Be conservative. Protect the football. Don’t take any risks. Let the defense win.

That philosophy no longer works.

This season the Seahawks have scored over 20 points and won the turnover battle in four games. They’re 1-3 in those games. The only win was against a completely inept Chicago Bears team.

Seattle’s defense isn’t the same. They aren’t going to win games for the team on their own. They simple aren’t good enough to do so.

The defense isn’t good enough to win that way any more. Lynch and the running game aren’t efficient enough. There are too many three-and-outs on offense, and not enough on defense.

It isn’t working. Nothing is working. The Seahawks are 2-4. The team needs realize that times have changed.

It is time to open up the offense.

It is time to get back to what the Seahawks were doing in 2011 and for parts of 2012 when the defense was still bad. They need to push the limits a bit. They need to set their sights on scoring 30+ per game.

This team can no longer afford to hold back. They must push the limits and try to get the maximum points out of the offensive talent each and every week.

They were willing to do so with Tarvaris Jackson under center. It is time for coaches to let a significantly more talented Russell Wilson do the same.

This squad is flawed in unique ways that it different from the teams from the last two seasons. The formula that led to two straight Super Bowl appearances isn’t working.

Until Pete Carroll recognizes that and does what must be done, the Seahawks will continue to disappoint.

Next: It is a new era for the Seahawks

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