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Pass rush: How did Hawks turn strength into weakness?

Next to the offense’s total faceplant, the lackluster pass rush has been the biggest surprise of the Seahawks’ season.

Although the defense has improved markedly in key areas since Week 4, it has been somewhat stunning that Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder and the rest have not been able to get to quarterbacks. This unit was easily the strength of the defense entering the season – yet has underperformed expectations.

But it is not simply a matter of those guys suddenly stinking. A lot of the blame lies with Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. They have eschewed the pass rush at times and simply have not created any chemistry because they keep mixing and matching rotations.

Continue reading Pass rush: How did Hawks turn strength into weakness?

It’s adjust or bust

A year ago at this time, the Seahawks were in the midst of an offensive meltdown that had started in Week 9 and dragged on for most of the rest of the season because Brian Schottenheimer and Russell Wilson stubbornly refused to play ball the right way.

The only time they altered philosophy was in a Week 15 game at Washington, where they used a quick, short passing game to pull off a 20-15 win.

Now, nearly a year later, the offensive funk has protracted across a new offensive coordinator as they head to Washington again. Will Shane Waldron and Wilson make the adjustments like Seattle made last year – and then sustain them?

Continue reading It’s adjust or bust

Lockett & Wilson see failure differently, which explains a lot

In the wake of a familiar pathetic offensive performance in a 23-13 loss to Arizona, Tyler Lockett and Russell Wilson’s words illustrated exactly why the Seahawks are struggling.

Lockett spoke the truth: The Seahawks rely on big plays and are not good when those fail because they are bad at making in-game adjustments.

Lockett also told FOX 13 Seattle that defenses are playing the Seahawks differently than they play everyone else, based on the film the Hawks watch in preparing for each game. “They’re not giving us the same looks that they’re consistently giving every other team.” Lockett said the Hawks then do not adapt quickly enough.

Wilson, on the contrary, said he didn’t see the Cardinals do anything different, that it was all stuff he had seen before and adjustments were not the problem. “We just didn’t play clean,” he said.

The difference in viewpoints explains a lot about why the Seahawks are failing on offense.

Continue reading Lockett & Wilson see failure differently, which explains a lot

Last chance for Wilson to prove he has not hit his ceiling

In the wake of Seattle’s embarrassing shutout loss in Green Bay, the topic of Russell Wilson’s future with the Seahawks came back to light – with numerous national media revisiting the prospect of a split after this season.

While plenty of fans and media still cling to the myth that Wilson has been failed by the franchise and is a victim of mismanagement and poor coaching and personnel, that’s the bass-ackwards way of looking at it. Wilson is a double-edged sword who always has been half the problem, and he needs to adjust his play if the Seahawks are going to flip things around over the final eight games.

We do agree with all of those people on one thing though: This should be the final test of whether Wilson should stay Seattle’s quarterback going forward.

If he can’t adjust – if he and Shane Waldron cannot agree on how to proceed, if he remains a one-dimensional passer, if it becomes clear he has hit his ceiling — it may indeed be time to trade him.

Continue reading Last chance for Wilson to prove he has not hit his ceiling

Wilson’s ego leads to shutout as Waldron continues to struggle

Russell Wilson’s ego led to the first shutout loss of his career, and Shane Waldron did not do his part to stop it.

Waldron put the game in the hands of Wilson, who was Russ-ty as he came back from a month off and played in frigid weather in Green Bay. The result: 17-0, the first shutout loss of Wilson’s career.

The Hawks were running the ball well and needed to do it a lot more. Alex Collins was over four yards a pop. Lanes were there.

But Waldron let Wilson throw air balls, wobblers and end zone interceptions instead of mixing in the run to keep it manageable for the still-recovering QB.

Continue reading Wilson’s ego leads to shutout as Waldron continues to struggle

Will Wilson and/or Rodgers make it back for Week 10 meeting?

Earlier this year, there were huge questions around whether Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers would be on their teams – and thus facing each other in Week 10.

Well, they are both still with their clubs, but there are still questions about whether they will face each other. It will be the big drama next week, with Rodgers now in the Covid protocol and Wilson trying to rally from a broken finger in time to face the Packers in Green Bay.

Continue reading Will Wilson and/or Rodgers make it back for Week 10 meeting?

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.

Continue reading Holmgren, Hasselbeck started this era of winning

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.

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

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.

Continue reading Time for pass rush to catch up