Hawks are doing some line dancing

Logo -- San FranciscoThe Seahawks left themselves light at defensive tackle when they cut down to 53 players, choosing instead to keep 10 offensive linemen and J.D. McKissic.

It almost came back to bite them Sunday vs. San Francisco, as Carlos Hyde ripped off two big runs as he became the first back to go over 100 rushing yards twice against Pete Carroll’s defense in Seattle. So Carroll decided to beef up the middle again, calling up Garrison Smith from the practice squad to replace David Bass.

It’s the first of what could be two or three moves in the trenches this week.

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After same start as 2016, will Wilson run more?

Logo -- San FranciscoThe Seahawks are off to the same poor start on offense as 2016, and it’s really up to Russell Wilson to decide whether they take basically the same course as last season or do it better.

In 2016, Seattle scored one touchdown in 22 possessions vs. Miami and the L.A. Rams. This year, the Seahawks have one TD in 21 possessions vs. Green Bay and San Francisco.

In 2016, with new starters at four line spots, running backs averaged just 3.2 yards per rush in the first two games (149 yards on 47 carries), and the line gave up five sacks and 18 QB hits. This year, again with new starters at four line positions, running backs are averaging 3.6 yards per attempt (147 yards on 41 carries), and Wilson has been sacked six times and hit 17.

The Hawks converted 31 percent of their third downs (9 of 29) in Games 1 and 2 in 2016; they are at 35.5 percent (11 of 31) this year.

As you can see, it’s almost a carbon copy. The big difference: Wilson is healthy. Will the Seahawks use that to their advantage?

Continue reading After same start as 2016, will Wilson run more?

CHAWK LINES -- 49ers at Seahawks

The Seahawks can show the opener was an aberration — or reality.

The Seahawks are 7-0 in home openers in Carroll era, winning by an average of 17.4 points. Here’s a look back at all seven.

Three matchups, including Brian Hoyer vs. the home crowd.

Five things to watch in the game.

“If there’s a matchup where they can get some pressure, it’s this one.” — Analyst and former offensive lineman David Diehl, on the 49ers’ D-line vs. Seattle’s O-line.

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No early returns from 49ers-Hawks draft deal

Logo -- San Francisco If Pete Carroll’s club plays the 49ers as well as John Schneider did in April, the Seahawks should have an easy time of it Sunday. Of course, neither side will have any of the players drafted with the picks from that first-round trade.

As you might recall, Schneider strung along the 49ers as they repeatedly tried to trade back into the first round to get linebacker Reuben Foster.

Schneider ended up parlaying Seattle’s first-round pick into five players, the deal with the 49ers eventually netting Malik McDowell, Tedric Thompson and Mike Tyson.

As it turns out, none of the players drafted out of that deal are expected to play Sunday — McDowell recovering from his ATV accident, Foster out with an ankle injury, Tyson on Seattle’s practice squad and Thompson likely to be inactive again.

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When will Hawks’ O-line investments pay off?

Logo -- San FranciscoTalking about it is tiresome, but it’s really the only thing hindering the Seahawks from winning another Super Bowl, so, until the Seahawks fix their offensive line, it will remain the topic du jour.

People can talk all they want about Kam Chancellor’s 2015 holdout or Earl Thomas’ 2016 injury being major factors in the Seahawks not advancing far in the playoffs those years. But the simple fact is: If the Hawks’ offensive line had been anywhere close to average in those seasons, the Hawks would have had a great shot at winning the Super Bowl — even with the issues in the secondary.

So now here we are again, coming off a significant opening loss to one of Seattle’s top NFC rivals, and the offensive line remains the biggest hindrance to Seattle’s success. And we have no idea if it will become any good, despite the insistence of Pete Carroll and Tom Cable that it will.

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How to make the offense go behind this line

Seahawks at Packers helmetsThe Seahawks’ offense picked up right where it left off last season — in the gutter. And the result was a 17-9 loss to Green Bay that put Seattle in an early hole in the chase for home-field advantage.

The performance of the supposedly much-improved offensive line was just more of the same sewage at Lambeau as the Hawks lost there for the eighth straight time. The unit gave up three sacks and seven QB hits and put together a horrible effort in the running game (53 yards on 15 running back carries).

It was another one of those games in which Seattle’s offense was so pathetic that the defense (which also had problems on third downs) was on the field for almost 40 minutes. As Earl Thomas said, “It has been like this for eight years. We understand that sometimes our offense is not going to be in a rhythm like they need to be.”

Pete Carroll said Monday that he doesn’t think this is indicative of what Seattle has on offense and he expects the unit to show better going forward.

But the reality is this will continue to be a problem off and on for at least a few weeks. So how do the Seahawks fix it?

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Home field already on the line as Hawks open with familiar Pack

Seahawks at Packers helmetsOne game won’t decide a season, but — if the Seahawks and Packers are really the two best teams in the NFC, as Vegas thinks — home-field advantage might already be on the line when they open the season Sunday.

And that means the Seahawks are going to need to buck some bad history at Lambeau Field.

The Seahawks have lost seven straight games in Green Bay, by an average of 18.9 points. That includes last December, when Russell Wilson threw five interceptions in a 38-10 blowout that was the Hawks’ worst loss since 2011.

As we have chronicled previously, the Seahawks and Packers have been one of the best non-division rivalries in the NFL for the past two decades. This will be the sixth meeting in six years and the 14th since 1999 (the Hawks are 4-1 at home, 1-7 at Lambeau).

On top of that, they still have a thriving pipeline — Eddie Lacy the latest to go from one team to the other. He’ll face his former Packers teammates Sunday.

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