Whether the Seahawks not make the playoffs in 2017, the team will need to make some changes. Seattle shouldn’t change the quarterback. It should change the offensive coordinator.
I don’t want to be want of these people who bash Seahawks’s offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. I don’t think he has been horrible. He made one of the most horrific calls in the history of making calls, though. Bevell will forever get grief for having Russell Wilson throw the ball instead of handing it to Marshawn Lynch in Super Bowl XLIX. And he should.
But that play is not why Seattle needs a change. Every coach becomes stagnant when in one place for too long. Bevell has been the Seahawks OC since 2011. The highest Seattle has ranked in points scored in that time is fourth in 2015. Four times, including 2015, Seattle has ranked in the top ten of the NFL in scoring. That’s pretty good.
In 2016, though, Seattle ranked 18th. And this season Seattle is 13th. The problem is the evolution of the offense. Seattle went from a run-heavy offense to a pass-heavy one. In 2015, for instance, Seattle was 28th in the league in pass attempts at 30.6 attempts per. In 2016, Seattle ranked 18th (35.4). This season the Seahawks are 11th (36.1). And Seattle has no running game except Russell Wilson.
It’s not like Seattle is having to throw the ball to come back late in games. They are not getting blown out so early in matchups that they need to come back by passing. Seattle simply abandons the run early. One reason they do this is because there is absolutely no imagination in Seattle’s rushing scheme.
Last two games
The Seahawks have failed to gain more than 149 yards of total offense in each of the last two games. This is never acceptable for a profession team, but at least against a good Rams defense is isn’t unforeseeable. Against the Dallas Cowboys, though?
And all year long the offense has struggled in the first half, expect for possibly the Houston Texans game. This shows that the offense is not properly prepared to open a game.
Recently, Mike Davis has been pretty decent when running the ball. The few times he is actually given the chance, that is. Throw out the Rams game. That’s the outlier of outliers. Remember the end of the first half against the Jackson Jaguars? Davis to the left for 21 and then for 13 and then for 10. Those three runs accounted for 20 percent of Davis’s carries that day. Too few. Because Bevell gives up on the run too early and too often.
In the win against the Cowboys on Sunday, Seattle’s third drive got off to a decent start and then the play-calling got bad. First play, Mike Davis over the right side for eight yards. Second play, Davis over left for six and a first down. The Bevell called a play he loves but never works. Wilson throws out wide to a receiver, this time it was Doug Baldwin. The play gained two yards. The next play was a run on second and eight that lost yards. On third down, Wilson was sacked.
The last two plays were set up by the pass to Baldwin. A play run too many times that results in negative or minimal yards for Seattle to keep running it. Is Bevell waiting for that one time the plays works so he can say, “Look! I knew it would work!”?
Bevell, of course, has also struggled with incorporating new players into the offense. Jimmy Graham wasn’t very good until his third year in Seattle, for instance. And don’t even think about Percy Harvin.
Seattle has a quarterback with unusual skills that do not fit in a conventional offense. Wilson could make that fit but it would limit him. Wilson isn’t going anywhere and he shouldn’t. He is a great quarterback. The change should be made at who is calling his plays and preparing the game-plan. The Seahawks simply need someone with more creativity than Bevell.