The Week 15 primetime matchup against the San Francisco 49ers was supposed to mean everything for the Seattle Seahawks. A victory would have kept them alive in the divisional race as well as insert them back into the playoff picture. But, yet again, the Seahawks got punched in the face and didn’t fight back.
It felt as if Kenneth Walker III was going to emulate the Return of the Jedi as the Seahawks run game has been non-existent over the last month. Putting too much on the shoulders of Geno Smith is not the secret sauce to a winning recipe. In fact, it is going to result on the kitchen being set on fire. Isn’t that the reason we traded Russell Wilson? He wanted to be in a pass-happy offense with an offensive-oriented head coach. Pete Carroll wants to run the ball and run the ball and then run the ball some more. Yet, he seems to continually allow Geno Smith to cook. Or, at least, try to.
Geno Smith’s magical season is starting to settle back into reality as he has shown over the last month that he cannot put this team on his back. To his credit, not too many would be able to put a struggling defense and non-existent run game on their back and defeat the 49ers, who by the way, have the best defense in the NFL.
Evaluating Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith’s Week 15
It seems to me that during this rough stretch in dropping 4 of their last 5, Pete Carroll has gotten really repetitive at the podium after the game. He discusses the imbalance on offense, which affects the third down efficiency because of the distance they are consistently facing in order to convert and keep the drive alive. Well, that imbalance hasn’t been addressed and was once again on full display in Week 15.
Listen, I get it, the Niners’ defense is stout. They are fast, athletic, and physical as hell. But, when you truly believe in what you do and who you are, you must stick to it. Early on in the season, the Seahawks’ run game wasn’t always dominant. However, Shane Waldron was very consistent in keeping the running game alive. Now, it just feels as if they are asking Geno Smith to do everything.
Haven’t we figured out that isn’t the answer? How many more times we do need to do it? In Week 15 against San Francisco, the opportunities were there for the Seahawks. Defensively, they did a pretty solid job against the run. Outside of the two big plays to Kittle, it felt as if this defense was actually giving the offense a chance to win this game. I know many are upset with the Homer fumble before half as they felt Seattle had a chance to maybe even take the lead on that drive. But, let’s be honest, that one play isn’t the reason the Seahawks lost.
Why did they lose? 44 pass attempts to 14 rushing attempts. It probably isn’t the smartest idea to triple the passing attempts in relation to rushing attempts when you are facing a dominant defensive line. That isn’t balance. That is asking Geno Smith to do way too much. As I’ve complained in weeks past, his decision-making seems to be affected by that. This is no knock on Geno and the season he’s had. He’s an incredible competitor who leads this offense well.
However, when you ask him to be something he’s not, it is going to result in negative plays. The pick-six he threw got called back on a roughing the passer penalty that was pretty soft. Seattle caught a break there or else this one would have been really ugly. Early on in the season, the run game and short passes guided Geno and gave him more confidence so that he can hit the big play when it appeared.
Sitting at 7-7, this team has lost a lot of its identity and they are running out of time to fix their problems.