Both sides of the ball were never in sync
After the stunning defeat, I was thinking of ways of reflection for this irregular 2020 NFL season. LB Bobby Wagner was able to summarize it well in his final press conference of the season. He simply stated that when the offense was humming, the defense was struggling and when the defense was able to piece it together, the offense lost its rhythm. Essentially stating that the two sides of the ball were never in sync.
Coming into the playoffs, many considered that possibility and because of that, never counted the Seahawks out from making it to Tampa Bay. In fact, if this offense and defense were able to hit their stride together, then they would have been the favorite to win the Super Bowl. Think about it like this: in the first half of the season, the Seahawks had one of the most explosive offenses, if not, the most explosive offense in the NFL while their defense was historically bad. In the second half of the season, their defense ranked near the top of every statistical category and the offense failed to score over 20 points per game.
The irony in all of this is that Pete Carroll resorted back to what this team had done during their two Super Bowl runs. During that two year span, the defense led the way. They held most of their opponents to under 20 points and created some turnovers for the offense to capitalize off of. But, when you think about it, this was supposed to be the year that this offense finally opened up more. This was supposed to be the year that Russell Wilson finally got to cooking. And, he did. But, ask yourself, what happened?
The Seahawks were 5-0 for the first time in franchise history. This offense seemed nearly unstoppable until they suffered injuries to key players. When both Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde went down with injuries, defenses began to play this Seattle offense differently. With not having to worry much about the rushing attack, they dropped two safeties and took away the deep ball. Seattle failed to properly adapt and as a result, started scoring fewer and fewer points. Subsequently, the defense was beginning to piece things together and thus, Seattle took the ball out of Wilson’s hands. In the back-to-back losses suffered to the Bills and Rams, Seattle was still letting Russ Cook, despite not having key offensive linemen and a backfield.
As a result, he tried doing too much and made some unforced errors. With the emerging Seattle defense, Pete Carroll decided to go old school and allow this defense to carry the weight of this team. If there is anything we have learned over the last 5 seasons, it’s that Wilson needs to be cooking in every single week.
The Seahawks should have never taken the ball out of his hands. What I mean by that is, they should have adapted to the way defenses were playing. Work more on the short, intermediate routes. Work on the up-tempo offense, in which you could catch a defense sleeping. They resorted back to the mediocre offense that has been in place for the last 5 seasons. That must change this offseason.