Third downs get such a bum rap.
One of these days, we hope, Pete Carroll and his coaches will realize third-down success starts on first down. They never seem to get that, constantly droning on after losses about how third downs ruined their offense.
It was more of the same after the 24-22 playoff loss to Dallas, with Carroll telling anyone who would listen that their failure on 11 of 13 third downs was what did them in — as opposed to any play-calling mistakes on the preceding downs.
Brian Schottenheimer continued the refrain Thursday, telling 710 ESPN: “The biggest issue that we had — and it was kind of the issue for us throughout the course of the year when we struggled – was third down. We weren’t able to convert on third downs. We weren’t able to get momentum going. We’re kind of an offense, because we run the ball and we throw the deep play passes, that when you’re struggling on third down it kind of hurts your ability to get started.”
It’s true the Hawks put themselves in big holes on third down; they averaged third-and-8 and went three-and-out six times in 12 possessions.
But how do you get into trouble on third down? How do you get into a spot that is too challenging to overcome? By messing up on first and second downs. And the Seattle offense finished the season just as poorly as it started it.
Continue reading Coaches talk third-down failure, but it starts on first two downs
Since training camp last summer, Russell Wilson has said these Seahawks remind him of the 2012 team he led as a rookie, which exceeded some people’s expectations by reaching the second round of the playoffs and then came back to win the Super Bowl in 2013.
While this crew also surprised a lot of people, it didn’t do quite as well as the 2012 squad, failing to win a playoff game. But, even after the 24-22 loss in Dallas, Wilson thought the comparison valid. “If precedence has any truth to it,” he said, “hopefully we can find a way to do something good like that.”
Some think this team is ready to contend in 2019.
“We have everything we need,” Doug Baldwin said. “You have all the pieces. You have all the right mindsets, personalities, everything. It’s just we’re a young team. With the time comes progression, comes growth, comes learning. This team will be better.”
Continue reading Offseason to-do list
“It feels like we are just getting started.” — Pete Carroll
Consider the Seahawks’ next Super Bowl window officially open.
A day after Pete Carroll led the Hawks to the playoffs for the seventh time in his nine seasons, he signed an extension keeping him in Seattle for three more years.
It does indeed feel like the Seahawks are just getting started — both this year and beyond.
Continue reading With Carroll re-signed, playoff-bound Hawks ‘just getting started’
If Russell Wilson had found his receivers more often against the 49ers, the Seahawks quite probably would have won — despite all of the other errors by players and refs in the game.
A lot has been made all season of Seattle’s renewed running game and the magic 50 number (completions plus rushes), but the X factor really has been Wilson’s targets.
Including the loss to the 49ers, Seattle has lost four games despite big rushing days and is just 7-4 when hitting the magic number, so those stats obviously have not fully predicted results.
But Wilson’s targets have: Seattle is 0-5 when under 50 percent of his throws go to his wide receivers, 8-1 when over half go to the wideouts.
Continue reading Wilson needs to throw to his receivers more
So much for the Seahawks surging into the playoffs.
With a playoff spot on the line, they put up one of their worst collective efforts of the season, letting the 10-loss 49ers beat them 26-23 in overtime and end Seattle’s 10-game winning streak in the series.
The Hawks ruined themselves by committing a season-high 14 penalties for a franchise-record 148 yards, missing an early PAT that figured huge in the end, giving up a kick return for a TD, surrendering chunks of yards in the first half and failing to finish enough offensive drives to win.
The loss means the Hawks still likely have to win one of their last two — next Sunday night vs. Kansas City or against Arizona in the finale — to reach the playoffs.
Continue reading Kicking team, penalties, injuries ruin playoff clincher
The Seattle defense is coming off its best game of the season — a dominating performance against Minnesota that showed this unit might be effective against great offenses in the playoffs.
But now it unfortunately has lost another player: Mychal Kendricks is out for the season after suffering a broken leg in his first game back from suspension. With K.J. Wright also out at least a couple more weeks, Austin Calitro will be called on to start again.
Meanwhile, Doug Baldwin is questionable again as the Seahawks face Richard Sherman and the “not middle of the road” 49ers for the second time in three weeks.
As Seattle gets set to clinch a playoff spot, here’s a status report on each position (with a look to the future, too):
Continue reading Roster check (for now and future) as playoffs approach
Richard Sherman’s return to Seattle is one of the bigger reunion games the Seahawks — or any of the city’s teams — has ever had. Here’s a look at everything being said about it:
Doug Baldwin still hates the way Sherman’s Seattle career ended. Might have to recycle this quote next year if/when Baldwin leaves.
Bobby Wagner had some great good-natured digs at Sherman. Pete Carroll called him a “challenge” to coach but also expressed great respect for Sherman. Shaquill Griffin admires Sherman for mentoring him last year: “That wasn’t in his job description. He didn’t have to do that.”
Sherman basically stuck to the same criticisms of Seattle he made when he was cut. And he also made clear what he thinks of Russell Wilson as a QB (ICYMI: They’re not buds).
It’s looking more and more like K.J. Wright and Doug Baldwin are in their final seasons with the Seahawks — and, if the Hawks don’t want to pay Bobby Wagner again, he will have to join them.
The Seahawks created a lot of shockwaves when they separated from a handful of their Super Bowl stars earlier this year — a sudden about-face for John Schneider and Pete Carroll that showed they were ready to remake the team.
A lot of fans are going to hate this, but the smart ones will recognize the reality of it: Wagner, Baldwin and Wright all might join Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril as former Seahawks next year.
Continue reading Could be final season for Baldwin & Wagner, too
With Nick Vannett injured, the Seahawks bumped up Tyrone Swoopes to take Keenan Reynolds’ spot.
Doug Baldwin said he is “looking forward to getting more targets and contributing to our wins.”
The last time the Seahawks traveled to Arizona, in November, they were already beaten up — and then lost Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor forever.
This time, the Seahawks enter their Arizona preparation with a lot of positive news: Doug Baldwin and Justin Britt returned to practice, Mychal Kendricks will be available again this week, and Pete Carroll and Earl Thomas are “in a good place” after the non-practice drama last week.
Continue reading Positive news ahead of Arizona this time