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?

We’ve said this many times: When the line is a mess (and when isn’t it?), the Hawks really should use more misdirection and tempo changeups to keep defenses off balance.

Other teams beat the Hawks with quick, short passes. Why don’t the Hawks do that? Aaron Rodgers offset Seattle’s great D-line with a lot of quick slants. It was a big part of why he and the Pack beat Seattle.

Wilson threw quickly less than a handful of times. Yeah, Wilson is too short to see through the linemen a lot of times, but isn’t that why Seattle got the 6-foot-7 Jimmy Graham? Why not use his height to advantage?

The Seahawks don’t have to go up-tempo all game, as some would like. But they can plot quick-hitting plays that don’t require Wilson to hold the ball for long.

Darrell Bevell should let Wilson run more misdirection, too — play action off sweeps, bootlegs, fake reverses, backside screens, etc.

Wilson also needs to realize he needs to bail from the pocket faster. Against Green Bay, he waited too long at times, hoping for a target to emerge, and the running lane closed by the time he decided to run. He should make the run his third read — if the first two targets are covered or not in sight and he has a running lane for a good gain, he should take it.

The offensive line is going to struggle through the first few weeks — maybe all season. Carroll, Bevell and Wilson should just assume that will be the case and use plays that put defenses off balance and give Wilson a chance.

If they don’t, they probably won’t have any shot at catching the Packers for home field.


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