First-half offense has held Hawks back

At Los Angeles logoA quarter of the way through the season, the Seahawks are right where we figured they would be: 2-2.

It’s what you have to expect from a typically slow-starting offense that is once again trying to build an offensive line.

“We have been close to doing a lot of good stuff; it just hasn’t clicked like we like it,” Pete Carroll said.

If they could have added a few more points in the first half, they easily could be 4-0. Instead, they have been Seattle’s worst first-half offense after four games since Russell Wilson arrived in 2012.

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Win over Colts was painful for Hawks

Seahawks bandagesThe Seahawks’ 46-18 blowout win over the Colts on Sunday night was costly, as they lost Chris Carson to a broken leg and high ankle sprain, Rees Odhiambo to a bruised sternum, Cliff Avril to a spinal injury and Jeremy Lane to a groin injury.

The Seahawks put Carson on injured reserve — which means he will be out at least eight weeks. It also means Thomas Rawls should return to the starting role — after being inactive vs. the Colts. Mike Davis could be elevated from the practice squad to replace Carson, unless the Hawks are comfortable with Rawls, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise and J.D. McKissic.

Prosise is expected to be available this week, but McKissic’s big game vs. the Colts (a rushing and receiving TD) could keep Prosise on the sideline.

Whoever carries the ball going forward might be doing so behind a new left tackle. Odhiambo reportedly suffered a cardiac contusion when he was hit on an interception return in the third quarter. Odhiambo finished the game but then reportedly collapsed in the locker room afterward and was taken to a hospital. Early word was he could be out for several weeks, but Pete Carroll said he suffered a bruised sternum, not heart, which would bode well for a quick recovery.

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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?

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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.

Continue reading When will Hawks’ O-line investments pay off?

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