Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Points of Emphasis Neutering NFL Pass Defenses

Seahawks fans are intimately aware of just how far the team's pass defense has fallen. It was in the conversation for best secondaries of all-time, and combined with a fierce pass rush to neutralize even the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. No longer. They are allowing a staggering 103.7 opponent passer rating after leading the NFL by holding quarterbacks to a 65.4 rating a year ago. Seattle, though, is not alone. Passer ratings are up across the league.

Hawk Blogger Power Rankings: Week 7

It is Denver, Green Bay, and everyone else in this weeks rankings. Interesting to note that Seattle has beat both of them. The Seahawks drop a couple more spots and fall out of the top ten for the first time in a couple of years. Minnesota, Atlanta, and Cincinnati are the only teams to have dropped more team strength in the last three weeks than Seattle.

Monday, October 20, 2014

PODCAST: Guest Appearance on 1090 The Fan with Steve Sandmeyer

I joined the Steve Sandmeyer Show today on CBS Sports Radio, 1090 The Fan to talk about the current state of the Seahawks, and where to go from here.

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Rams Punk Carroll, Seahawks, 28-26

Logo by Kevin Gamache, Hammerhead 

When a loved one dies unexpectedly, the natural reaction is to grasp for reasons it happened; to imply some sense of control by explaining why this terrible thing did not have to occur. It is a dangerous emotional place to be because one can get lost searching for answers. A Seahawks team sitting at 3-3 does not compare to the depth of loss from losing someone you love, but the emotional reactions are similar. There is a clash right now between our expectations for who this team is, and who they actually are right now. The dissonance is jarring, liking the ringing in your ears after a pair of cymbals crash near your head. This Seahawks team is not great. They are also not bad. They are a team with exactly as many wins as they have losses, dating all the way back to the preseason, who are capable of beating Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning and losing to Austin Davis.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Christine Michael, Kevin Norwood active

Seahawks' RB Christine Michael is active for the first time all season today at St. Louis, along with rookie WR Kevin Norwood.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Percy Harvin Traded: Schneider Succeeds by Admitting Failure

The passenger sitting next to me smiled broadly as she shared stories about Sidney Rice and his entrepreneurial ways. "He probably makes more money from his businesses than he does playing football," she marveled. Her face soured, however, when I offered the sentiment that it was nice cheering for a team that had so many good men on it. She said most of them were good guys, but "one guy, in particular, is a bad apple." He separated himself from the team. He had anger issues. He was a bad fit.

The player was Percy Harvin, and the conversation happened on my flight to New York before Super Bowl XLVIII. The woman had an informal role with the team, and her boyfriend worked with them in a more official capacity. It was at least the third time I had heard the same type of story from someone with intimate knowledge of Harvin inside the Seahawks locker room. Just over a year removed from trading first, third and seventh round picks and signing him to a $67M contract, Pete Carroll and John Schneider have jettisoned the mercurial Harvin for a conditional pick, said to be a second, third or fourth round selection. It easily becomes the biggest personnel failure in Schneider's tenure while simultaneously cementing his reputation as a man who places a far higher value on team than on protecting his reputation.

Friday, October 17, 2014

BREAKING: Seahawks trade Percy Harvin to New York Jets

The Seahawks have traded WR Percy Harvin for a conditional mid-round draft pick, according the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

PODCAST: Discussing Seahawks Motivational Problems with Softy

Sometimes it is not Xs and Os or talent that keeps teams from playing great football. Dave and I discussed just what the Seahawks problems may be, and how hard they may be to fix.

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Give Ugly Stats a Chance

The NFL's passer rating stat is an odd duck.  Every other official statistic recorded by the league is either a raw number (yardage, TDs, etc.) or a simple average (yards/attempt, completion percentage, etc.), and with good reason: they're easy to tally, easy to calculate, and even easier for fans to understand.  Passer rating, on the other hand, produces numbers that aren't easy or intuitive to interpret, and the formula used to calculate them looks like high-octane nightmare fuel for the mathematically challenged.  On the plus side, it's also the key to one of the most consistently reliable statistical predictors of success in all of football, but more on that in a minute.

The Path Back

There is always the risk of over analysis when things go wrong. A disappointing loss to the Cowboys last weekend has shaken the confidence of Seahawks fans, players and coaches. Losing was one thing. Losing at home, in a manner that deviated so obviously from the 2013 championship formula was far more sobering. This week represents the first chance for the Seahawks to start reestablishing their place among the elite. It is not who they play, but how they play.