Very nice way to start the season. Tampa could end up being the easiest game on our schedule, and a loss would have raised serious doubts about our ability to contend this year. This was what I call an “arms-length” win. Even when the Bucs were up 6-0 late in the 1st half, it felt like the Seahawks had them contained. They also got contributions in all phases of the game (special teams, offense, defense).

Jeff Garcia was impressive. He made good decisions all day and made this thing interesting. Derrick Brooks looked old at times, especially trying to cover Mo Morris on his TD reception.

You can generally expect some ugliness on opening day, and today was no exception, but this was an encouraging performance.

Observations on offense:

  1. GOOD: Shaun goes over 100 yards, and does a lot of damage on the *right* side of the line. Teams have been able to overload the left side because of the belief that we are a “left-handed” team running behind Big Walt. The more success we have to the right, the better our chances of doing serious damage to the left. I watched the tape to see if he was getting those runs due to our improved blocking at the TE position with Marcus Pollard. That did not seem to be a huge factor as a number of the runs came from the 3-WR sets.
  2. BAD: Holmgren’s 1st half play calling was just weird. The flea-flicker? He hates trick plays. Why run it? A draw to Mack Strong on 3rd-and-18? The defense had been on the field most of the half at that point. They deserved having the offense at least take a shot at the 1st down. What really stunk was the play calls on the 7-yard line in 2nd qtr. Two lame passes and a predictable run. That should be two runs and a throw or three runs.
  3. GOOD: Pollard looks to be dependable.
  4. GOOD: The only dropped passes were the ones thrown to Shaun. For a guy that doesn’t fumble much, he sure drops a ton of passes.
  5. BEST: Hasselbeck looked in total control and never threw a stupid pass. QB rating of 113.5 is exactly what the doctor ordered. He also hit seven receivers, and that’s without Deion Branch catching a single ball.
  6. GOOD: Pass protection was solid. It’s not a coincidence that Hass has a nice day making good decisions when he’s getting time to throw. Two sacks given up to the Tampa D is a solid showing.

Observations on defense:

  1. BEST: Outstanding run defense holding Tampa to 90 yards and under 4 ypc.
  2. BEST: Tackling was fantastic. There were no obvious missed tackles. Even with Garcia was completing passes, people were brought down soon after.
  3. BAD: There were a few blown coverages. All of them were on Kelly Jennings side. I can’t say for sure who made the mistake since I didn’t call the defense, but considering the experience difference between Jennings and our two safeties, I’m guessing Jennings. Jennings was picked on all day and turned in a mediocre performance. He’ll need to make a few plays to keep teams from throwing at him all season.
  4. GOOD: Linebackers and Defensive Ends. The whole LB crew and Tapp and Kerney made their presence felt against the run and the pass. Kerney made more plays today than Wistrom did the past two seasons. Three of the top four tacklers were linebackers. That’s a great sign.
  5. GOOD: The hits were hard enough today to knock out the starting QB and the starting RB.

Observations on special teams:

  1. GOOD: C.J. Wallace looks like a real contributor on special teams. He drew two calls covering kicks (one hold, one block in the back).

6 Responses

  1. Travis

    Thanks for your analysis. Good points and a big win for the Hawks today. Not perfect at all but a good win. Fun to see many of our bigger opponents lose as well. (Rams, Bears)

  2. Stevo

    Good recap! I agree Kearney was very good, but I think its wrong to keep dissing Wistrom, who made tons of plays against the run that you’re overlooking. Kearney has just a little more punch at the line of scrimmage than Wistrom did.

    Also, I saw Fisher make as many plays as Tapp. All three DEs played well. As did all four DTs, and Mebane doesn’t look like a rookie to me.

  3. Andrew

    Nice analysis of the game. I thought the weirdest part of that flea flicker was that Walter Jones stood there looking like he had no idea what was happening as the safety blew by him to make the sack. Definitely not a well-executed play and probably means Holmgren will shelve all trick plays for the next 6 weeks or so.

  4. hawkblogger

    Hey fellas,

    stevo: I think Wistrom made some great plays against the run 2-3 years ago, especially from the backside. He had a unique ability to crash down the line and pull the RB down from behind. I don’t see that from almost any other DEs. However, last season, he was mostly an empty jersey. I don’t remember a single play like that from him. In his defense, he was hurt and obviously at the end of his career.

    andrew: you’re absolutely right about the trick plays. Expect to hear a few jokes from Holmgren about that tomorrow. He seems to get talked into those about once a year, and then swears to never to do them again.

  5. Usafanarc

    That’s the first thing I thought of when the trick play flopped….no more trick plays from Holmgren. I’m sure he turned to his staff and said, “I told you so.”

    Nice job on the blog, by the way. TNT (and Frank) better improve or everyone will migrate here.

  6. hawkblogger

    I hope the content improves a bit on TNT. I certainly don’t want to read my own blog to get the latest Hawks news. 🙂

    I do expect that we’ll be able to talk about different things here, or at least talk about things differently.