Dominated up front again, Hawks keep regressing

A bunch of things – almost none of them good — happened in the Seahawks’ embarrassing 40-34 loss to the Raiders.

Seattle fell out of a playoff spot and showed it really is just an average team that will have to scramble to remain in the playoff hunt. The defense got blown up by Josh Jacobs (303 total yards, an opponent-record 229 rushing yards and the winning 86-yard run in overtime) – the second straight game the defense has been dominated in the run game as it focused instead on the passing attack.

Seattle’s running game was dismal again and now has just 104 yards in the past two games – losses to Tampa and Vegas.

Geno Smith also failed in two late tries to win in the clutch – extending doubts about whether he really should be extended.

Continue reading Dominated up front again, Hawks keep regressing

Post-bye review of the roster

As the Seahawks get ready to play their final seven games, they are in a position few (if any) could have imagined – tied for first place in the NFC West at 6-4 and facing a coming three-game stretch that could see them hit nine wins before mid-December.

Geno Smith has been hands-down the most surprising player on the team – stunning everyone by leading the NFL in completion percentage (72.8) in a season that looks very likely to end in an unexpected Pro Bowl.

While Smith has yet to prove he can rally his team in the clutch – he failed in Munich against Tampa Bay – he has been a steady hand for most of the season.

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Was Munich just a bad trip or a bigger sign?

The Seahawks are 6-4 and in front of the rest of the NFC West as they hit their bye, but – in the wake of a poor performance in Munich — the question remains: Can they sustain it?

The Hawks have outperformed expectations so far – they are two games better than we projected (we had them 4-6 on the way to 8-9) – thanks to Geno Smith and a surprising offense that ranked fourth in scoring through nine weeks.

A win in Munich would have solidified the Seahawks as contenders (especially considering the extreme travel involved), but their disappointing performance in a 21-16 loss to Tampa Bay left questions. Was it just a bad European vacation, with poor prep? Or was it a sign that the Hawks have peaked and cannot really hang with playoff contenders?

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Lots of credit to go around so far, including Waldron

The Seahawks had a heck of an October, going 4-1 to leap into first place in the NFC West, and credit has deservedly been shared by many players – Geno Smith, Kenneth Walker III and Tariq Woolen pulled a trifecta of monthly NFC awards.

Clint Hurtt also has gotten a lot of credit for flipping the defense – since Week 6, the Hawks have cut points allowed in half (30.8 to 15), rushing yards almost in half (170 to 92) and passing yards by a quarter (260 to 198) while tripling their sack total (six to 19).

But another guy who should get some credit is Shane Waldron. The second-year OC took some heat early in the season for getting too cute – the worst example coming when he trotted out four RBs against the 49ers and DeeJay Dallas threw an INT at the goal line.

But Waldron has presented a variety of formations and some great concepts that have helped Smith and the offense succeed beyond anyone’s preseason projections. They are the No. 4 scoring offense in the league, at 26.3 ppg – behind only AFC powerhouses Kansas City (31.9) and Buffalo (29) and undefeated Philly (28.1). The Hawks are the No. 7 unit by DVOA.

Continue reading Lots of credit to go around so far, including Waldron