Holmgren, Hasselbeck started this era of winning

With the current Seahawks in a big hole and the playoffs looking slim for 2021, it’s good timing that the team is giving fans something to cheer about by honoring the two guys who took Seattle to its first Super Bowl.

Mike Holmgren will join his longtime QB, Matt Hasselbeck, in the Ring of Honor this Sunday. Hasselbeck was honored Monday night (see his speech).

These are the two guys most responsible for bringing the franchise out of its 1990s slump, getting it to its first Super Bowl and establishing a winning culture that has persisted for two decades.

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Without Wilson, Hawks are losing the close ones — and the season

We always knew the Seahawks could not make the playoffs if Russell Wilson missed many games.

They have never had a good enough backup QB, whether it was Tarvaris Jackson or Trevone Boykin or Brett Hundley or Geno Smith.

We did have hope this time, however, that Smith might be able to win a couple to keep the Hawks’ playoff hopes alive until Wilson returned from the first sidelining injury of his career.

Unfortunately, Smith has been what we knew him to be – inaccurate and turnover-prone – and has gone 0 for 3 in comeback opportunities in close games the past three weeks. He got no help from an overmatched offensive line in a 13-10 loss to New Orleans on Monday night, and he looked a lot like Wilson sometimes does as he took game-killing sacks.

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Time for pass rush to catch up

The Seahawks’ pass rush has been largely neutered over the first six games by quick-draw quarterbacks, but Seattle’s rushers might finally have a chance to make more impact the next two games – and hopefully beyond.

It’s not like the Seahawks have been terrible in the pass rush. Yes, they are tied for 22nd with just 11 sacks and are 19th in pressure percentage (23.9). But they are 10th in pass rush win rate, beating blocks within 2.5 seconds 45% of the time, per ESPN’s tracking.

So, the Hawks have been around the QB around half the time; they just have not been able to get sacks or as much pressure as they need to because the ball has been getting out even faster than they can get there.

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At 2-4, season is not over, but Hawks have no room for error now

“Postponing judgment is a powerful tool.” – Pete Carroll

As much as some fans might want to put the nails in Seattle’s coffin after just six games, the simple fact is the Seahawks (2-4) are still breathing – the season is far from over.

But they are going to need to win their next two home games if they want to stay in the playoff hunt.

Continue reading At 2-4, season is not over, but Hawks have no room for error now

Irked Carroll should make more changes

Pete Carroll has a history of fixing his defense on the fly, and he is going to have to do it again — NOW.

In his day-after assessment of his defense’s total meltdown against the Rams, Carroll bemoaned his defense repeating the same mistakes. Carroll is ticked off, which means more changes should be coming to Seattle’s defense during this mini-bye.

“We have to clean stuff up across the board so the same issues don’t show up,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN. “When we’re really not doing well is when you see the same problem continue to show, and that’s something that pisses me off.”

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Geno-sis: A new start for Hawks’ offense

Plenty of fans were hoping the Seahawks would trade Russell Wilson in the offseason, moving on to another quarterback who didn’t have the same deficiencies. Well, those people are about to get their wish, for a few weeks anyway.

Seattle apparently is going to be without Wilson for 4-8 weeks after he suffered a finger injury on his throwing hand against the Rams on Thursday and had surgery Friday in Los Angeles.

That gives Geno Smith, the former Jets second-round starter, an early birthday present as he turns 31 on Sunday: A starting quarterback job once more. And he will start it off with two prime-time games.

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Forget Wilson; priority is fixing the defense

For some fans, the sky is always falling. So, you can imagine the reaction after the Seahawks lost to the Rams yet again – and Russell Wilson got hurt along the way.

The Hawks are now 2-3, and some people are writing their 2021 obit. But the season is far from over.

The Hawks were not expected to beat the Rams – not this time, not with an inconsistent offense and discombobulated defense. The only surprise in the 26-17 loss was the finger injury to Wilson, which actually improved the offense as Geno Smith led the Hawks to more points in one quarter (10) than Wilson had in three (7).

Smith’s steady performance – minus the unfortunate interception at the end – assuaged any concerns that the Hawks cannot win without Wilson. In some ways, Smith was better (e.g., he worked the middle of the field and threw a successful screen pass).

The big problem Seattle must fix over the next 10 days – before a Sunday night game in Pittsburgh – is a defense that once again is off to a historically bad start. Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. have got to seal up the cracks – again.

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Rams week is why Waldron is here

“We have a lot of respect for what they do, obviously, so much that we brought it here.” – Pete Carroll, on the Rams and Seattle’s own ex-Ram, Shane Waldron.

Shane Waldron had an inconsistent first month as Seattle’s OC and clearly has not yet found his rhythm as a playcaller – the offense has failed to play a complete game as the Hawks have started a disappointing 2-2.

But, like it or not, his warmup is over and it’s show time. His former team is in town for a nationally aired Thursday night game, and it’s time to show exactly why Carroll and Russell Wilson brought Waldron to Seattle. He’s here to beat the Rams, first and foremost.

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Hawks still figuring themselves out, but they avoided 1-3

The Seahawks may be getting closer to fixing their weaknesses. Until they do, though, we’ll get shaky games like we’ve seen the past three weeks.

The throwback 28-21 win over the 49ers looked a lot like Russell Wilson’s early days, with the offense struggling and Wilson making a couple of magical moves that helped him keep alive his streak of never losing three straight as the Hawks beat the 49ers for the 13th time in 15 games and avoided a dreaded 1-3 start.

Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. finally made some alterations on defense that helped them largely shut down the 49ers (other than a rough start and one big mistake in the third quarter). And the offense picked up the pace to get out of an early funk.

Continue reading Hawks still figuring themselves out, but they avoided 1-3