A look back at Hawks’ most inefficient ‘long’ drive of the season

Cooper vs Carolina
Cooper Helfet can’t quite get back to a pass thrown short of him at the 5-yard line in the third quarter at Carolina.

The Seattle offense was a total tease against Carolina, with two of its most time-consuming drives of the season ending in disappointment.

Bad enough was the 13-play drive at the end of the first half that ended in an interception off the hands of Marshawn Lynch. The 13 plays tied for the most in a Seattle drive this season.

But even worse — and more mindboggling — than that was the bizarre drive to start the third quarter, right after Marcus Burley had intercepted a pass by Cam Newton.

How does a team manage to hold the ball for six minutes and 12 plays and gain just 29 yards? With a very entertaining combination of good and bad plays.

Drive chartThe Hawks had a 10-play, 29-yard drive against the Rams that lasted 6:07 and ended in a punt, but their three other drives that had lasted at least six minutes this season all had ended in touchdowns. Until this one.

On the first play, Kawann Short blew right by Alvin Bailey to drop Marshawn Lynch for minus-3 yards. Bailey was subbing at left guard for James Carpenter, who had departed with back spasms.

After Lynch gained just two yards to set up a third-and-11, Carolina cornerback held Ricardo Lockette before the receiver pulled in a 7-yard pass. That kept the drive alive.

The next play was something we will see a lot more going forward. With tailbacks Robert Turbin and Christine Michael flanking Russell Wilson in the shotgun, Turbin took a draw up the middle for five yards.

Lynch carried the next two times for another first down, and then Wilson overthrew Luke Willson with pressure in the quarterback’s face.

That set up one of the Hawks’ biggest missed chances of the day. It was almost an exact duplicate of the double option the Hawks ran against Green Bay that resulted in a nifty touchdown pass to Lockette. Wilson faked the handoff to Turbin and started to run left. That drew the cornerback off Cooper Helfet, who suddenly was wide open at the 5-yard line. But Wilson short-armed the throw incomplete.

“I just fumbled the ball a little bit, trying to get it out quick. So that’s on me,” Wilson said. “It’s one of those things I can practice on Monday.”

Wilson made up for that gaffe on the next play, scrambling for 14 yards down the right sideline on third-and-10. He took a huge hit at the end, but it was worth it.

After Willson was called for holding on a short run by Lynch, setting up first-and-goal at the 18, Wilson backed away from pressure and tossed a pass to an open Willson at the 2, but Luke Kuechly blasted the tight end and dislodged the ball.

On second down, Wilson hit Doug Baldwin with a short pass over the middle. But on third down, Wilson rushed a throw with a jump pass that was behind Helfet at the 1. It fell incomplete.

Thus, after 12 plays, the Hawks had gone just 29 yards and had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka.

It was the most inefficient drive of the season for the Seahawks.

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