The Morning After: Disconnected, Disconcerting, Disappointing Seahawks Lose More than a Game to Cardinals

There is no poetry or wisdom or statistical research to ameliorate the sting of the Seahawks latest loss. The Tampa game shook us, but the hope was it was a lesson learned. The Packers game humiliated us, but they were the last quality opponent and the path to a playoff bye was still easily traversed. This loss to the Cardinals should cause all but the most hawktoxicated fans to relinquish championship aspirations. For the third time in the past five weeks, the Seahawks were outmuscled and unprepared. More than the outcome, it was the way this game unfolded that told a more troubling tale.

Pete Carroll talks a lot about connectedness. He sees the way a tough running game sets up big play passes and increases time of possession. That, in turn, limits opponent chances and makes the job easier for the defense. He highlights the way a pass rush connects to secondary play and how a strong run defense sets up that pass rush. More than any game I can remember in the past few years, this Seahawks team looked like a jumble of parts instead of a whole. The defense would do their job only to see the offense fumble. The offense would make some progress only to see the special teams blow a field goal. The running game would appear, only to see the team avoid it thereafter. A hulking 6’7″ manchild bulled his way for a 37-yard touchdown, but was forgotten most of the game. Most egregiously, the moribund offense clawed their way back to within three points after a two-point conversion made it 21-18, only to see the defense give up a touchdown in four plays. That was not a team working together. That was not brothers united. It was a collection of individuals. Football is like those old Christmas lights–it only takes one faulty bulb to render the whole string inoperable.

It starts with the offensive line. Fifteen games into the season, there is no debating the organization’s gambit on going cheap and young on the line has failed. It has failed so completely that the organization would not be holding true to their principles if they do not evaluate whether Tom Cable is the right line coach for this team. After an encouraging start, the Seahawks now rank 24th in sacks allowed and 27th in sack rate (sacks per dropback). This will make the 11th straight season that a Cable-coached offensive line will rank 25th or worse in sack rate. I really like Cable. I like what he stands for and how he approaches the game. There is little doubt that John Schneider and Carroll feel the same way. That cannot stop the truth from being told. Cable has a blind spot. He has shown no ability to assemble either the talent or the scheme necessary to protect NFL quarterbacks.

He has a primary hand in determining the types of linemen he wants. Schneider bears responsibility for the personnel, but his scouting department prides itself on meshing with the position coaches to get them the types of players they covet. Cable likes the underdog. He likes the ingredients spread out for him to mix instead of the partially baked bread he only needs to pop in the oven for a few minutes. It is an admirable approach, but it tends to put a ceiling on the quality of talent he works with because so much has to go right to concoct a fully functional lineman. That philosophy did not keep him from appreciating the off-the-shelf contributions of guys like Breno Giacomini, Russell Okung, or James Carpenter. Letting those players go is probably still defensible even given the current state of this line. The move that appears to be a significant mistake was the trade of Max Unger and draft picks for Jimmy Graham. That was the first time the team clearly emphasized finesse over power and pass over run. It ripped away the leader of the line, and led to more instability on an already unstable line.

Schneider eschewed a bevy of quality veteran linemen this offseason in favor of young players and journeymen like J’Marcus Webb and Bradley Sowell. It was confusing why he was uninterested in mixing some known quantities like Donald Penn or Mitchell Schwartz or Alex Boone with the unknown youngsters. After some time, I came to realize he was trying to create a salary cap advantage by assembling a young and inexpensive line that could grow together and allow the team to keep its talented veteran core together for longer. The goal was certainly tantalizing. The strategy was more hopeful than practical. It might have worked if the team had a line coach who was better able to identify young line talent. The combination of Schneider’s cap strategy with Cable’s philosophy and blind spot has left the Seahawks with a line so awful that it has formed a sinkhole in the middle of the roster, pulling the whole team down with it.

This team should be on it’s way to its fourth Super Bowl in four years. The offensive line has now become a two-year mess with no signs of upward trajectory or evidence-based reasons to expect improvement. They have overwhelming talent at a variety of other positions. Even with the gaping hole where an offensive line should be, all they needed to do was beat a 5-8-1 team at home and a 2-13 team on the road to secure a second seed and a first-round bye. Instead, they came out disconnected and discombobulated. The defense began with a spirited showing that included an avalanche of defenders sacking Carson Palmer. Little did we know that Palmer would drop back 26 more times behind the abysmal Cardinals line without being sacked again. Still, the Cardinals were forced to punt from their own 14-yard line. Tyler Lockett managed just a 4-yard return as the Cardinals successfully flipped the field with a 53-yard punt. Seattle’s first play was an offensive pass interference on Jermaine Kearse. Now 1st and 20, the Seahawks went incomplete pass and then the first of six sacks by the Cardinals, and then a fumble on what was supposed to be a conservative play call on 3rd and 23. Marcel Reece inexplicably tried to pick up the ball instead of just falling on it.

Two series. That is all it took to break the chain between offense and defense. The defense did their job. The special teams did not do theirs. The offense not only did not do their job, but put the defense in a horrible position. Seattle’s defenders responded by surrendering a touchdown in five plays. Seattle got the ball again and Wilson was sacked immediately. That sinking feeling started to settle in. We have seen this show before. We know how it ends. So does the defense. So do the skill players on offense.

You really have two choices when all signs point to bad things coming your way: you can resign yourself to it and trigger whatever defense mechanism suits you, or you can steel yourself against it and fight to increase the slim odds of outmaneuvering the darkness in order to find the light. A hallmark of this Seahawks team has been their unwavering decision to take the tougher road in the face of often impossible odds.

They did it again yesterday, climbing back into a game they had no business winning. But it felt different. There was a deja vu moment when the team pulled within 21-18. The crowd rose to its feet when the defense took the field. The noise level reached a new high, as the fans were connected to what was happening. Seahawks football was back in that instant. Then, the first play saw David Johnson run for 33 yards after doing almost nothing the rest of the game. The crowd attempted to recover and bring the volume again. Palmer found J.J. Nelson for a short slant pass that he raced 41 yards with toward the end zone. That the defense could show such little resistance at such a critical juncture felt like a betrayal. Obviously, there was no malicious intent and I do not mean to imply they were not trying. It was simply the latest illustration of a team that seems incapable of playing as one.

Those times in the past when things went sour, it was a coalescing of the Seahawks whole that led to miraculous rebounds. The defense worked with the offense and the special teams to form a juggernaught. They were the Voltron of football teams, who nonsensically would start the fight as weaker parts before eventually coming together to make quick work of the opposition. It feels like that script is wearing thin. The parts have trouble fitting together at the right times. It feels more like a theme park where power is only on for certain rides at any one time.

Some will mistakenly point to the Richard Sherman incidents as a cause of the problem. I see them as a symptom. Trust and respect form the foundation of any productive relationship. There is clearly a lack of trust between the defense and the offense and the coaching staff. Who can really blame them? I care less about he said she said, and more about what can be salvaged from this season and this era of Seahawks football.

It is highly unlikely the Seahawks will get the second seed. The Falcons will not lose at home to the Saints. That would mean the Seahawks would need to win at home and then win in Atlanta (most likely) and probably in Dallas. I do not see this team doing that. Steven Terrell has given up at least one huge play in three of the last four games. Matt Ryan would salivate at that rematch in Atlanta, and the Falcons are arguably playing the best football in the NFC right now. The Falcons defense is porous, but not much worse than the Packers defense that held this team to 10 points or the Bucs defense that held this team to 5 points on the road.

Some would call it hyperbole, but the Seahawks likely lost a Super Bowl appearance yesterday. I believe they could have won a home game after a bye, getting back C.J. Prosise and time for game-planning. That would have left either one road game in Dallas or a second home game for the NFC Championship. Winning three games instead of two, and without the benefit of a bye and possible home-field advantage throughout (if Dallas lost, which I think is very possible), makes the Seahawks path significantly harder.

The loss of returner and big play receiver Tyler Lockett was another gut punch. Another injury to Thomas Rawls was just the latest indicator that the team cannot rely on him to be the answer at tailback. There is really only one chance for this team to rise up and do something special to close this season.

The leaders in that locker room must find the authentic chord to strike that unites the team in their common goal. The players must exchange frustration and skepticism with enthusiasm and belief. They continually say there is no panic. Fine, but this must be more than the absence of fear. No panic means they are not running from the challenge, but what is drawing them forward? Who is leading them into the fray with banner held high? An obligatory players meeting will not be enough. The right words will need to be spoken by the right people at the right time. It may sound like witchcraft, but it happened in 2014, and led a less talented team to the Super Bowl and within a yard of winning it. As frustrated as I am with the play on the field, my belief in the men off of it has not wavered. They can do this should they choose to.

There are some practical realities as well. The offensive line cannot have another quarter that resembles what we have seen against Arizona or Tampa. No more mulligans. No more excuses. They do not need to be great, but they cannot be tissue paper cutouts of men leaving Wilson or whoever is at running back left to face countless unblocked defenders. Prepare. Practice. Do your job.

Paul Richardson and Jermaine Kearse must step forward in the absence of Lockett. Both had arguably their best games of the season yesterday.

The pass rush must find more consistency. That may require Richard to be more aggressive in his blitz calls. Palmer did most of his damage against four rushers. It seems unlikely Terrell is going to become more sound in his play with the time left in the season. Seattle might be better off hoping their pressure can cause disruption than leaving an extra defender back in coverage.

Finally, Darrell Bevell must dig deep to find a collection of plays that the team can reliably execute, even if it makes the offense more predictable. Good offenses have bread and butter plays that they can return to when things go awry. There is no bread or butter for the Seahawks at the moment.

It is admittedly an unlikely collection of occurrences that must materialize for a happy ending to this tumultuous Seahawks season. Crazier things have happened. More likely, Schneider and Carroll will be left to examine how a team this talented could underachieve two straight years. If changes on the coaching staff are not in the cards, one would hope there would be some intense collaboration about how to change an offensive line talent evaluation process that has swung and missed so many times. They will need to look long and hard at the $10M owed to Graham and decide if the team would be better if that money was invested in the line or at receiver. They will need to decide whether to extend veterans like Michael Bennett or try to say goodbye to aging warriors like the Patriots have done so often. The path ahead is no longer clearly pointed upward. The lights are not yet turned out on this season, but they have dimmed to a flicker.

Founder, Editor & Lead Writer
  1. I will give credit to PC on one thing. If you are an opposing team in the playoffs, what game tape would you even watch? 70% is garbage.

    I think if you really have a horrible line, they don’t all of the sudden become adequate after halftime. Obviously the first half play calling did not take into account the o-lines competencies (few, I know). That would explain why PC said he should have called for a “change” in second quarter. Either way, this was a Cowie of a game by in all three areas.

    1. Well expressed, insightful article. Too bad someone couldn’t read it during a team meeting. Disjointed is a great word to describe the Seahawks at this point in time. Can they still pull it together? Possibly, but I think it’s too late for this season. Hopefully next year will be devoted to getting an offensive line that isn’t “offensive.” Go Hawks!

  2. Russell Wilson missed some throws and held onto the ball too long on at least one third of those sacks. But I have to admit, Brian, that is was refreshing to read that the offensive line was actually more culpable than Russell Wilson as the reason for this loss.

    I doubt that most NFL QBs could accomplish half of what he does with this O-line and no running game.

    Thanks for giving him the benefit of the doubt for at least one game this season.

    1. It is so funny when the narrative does not turn out to reality. Cognitive dissonance? Every year we hear “TC is the savior and how he has assembled a bunch of “misfits” to have the team as the top rushing team in the league”. One missed caveat, every single damn year that we are leading or near the top, our rushers have had always at the top of yards after contact (yes, we are talking about Beast Mode). We have always been inadequate, not only in pass protection, but in rushing as well (i.e. consistently at the bottom in yards at initial contacts and stuffed percentage).

      Regarding RW’s fault at sacks, everybody is talking about his responsibility but what about all the times he avoided getting sacks. Nobody is talking about that. Yes, I’d agree that he tends to hold the ball a bit long, but that is his game, extended for potential big plays. But he also has always led the league in throwaways. Since 2012, RW is second in getting sacked (204), behind Tannehill (213), with less than 400 pass attempt. So he probaly is first in sack percentage with QBs w/ at least 50 starts between 2012-16. Not counting the number of hits or hurries. But the sacks really haven’t affected his overall effectiveness and efficiency like 4th in TD% (highest), 5th in interception% (lowest), 5th in ANY/A (the most correlated metrics to a QB’s performance) even with the loss in sack yards, and 4th in passer ratings, not until this year. This is the first year that I have seen him has no “faith” in the line. He made decisions that normally are out of his tradition of being safe and smart. We can say lots of things about RW and his “deficiencies” but I’d bet besides 2 or 3 teams in the league, anyone of them would take RW at a hear beat if they have the opportunity. I’d love to see RW plays for NE and BB. I’ve always thought RW can be another TB, not necessarily in style of play but in the approach of the game.

  3. Well said and i agree whole heartedly. Its great that Pete and John are loyal to their staff members but it is getting ti the point people are not being held accountable anymore. Cable has had this line on a downward trajectory since we won the superbowl. And even then the line was not great but it was at functional and could run block. This line cant even do that. Rawls has plenty talent but simply cant stay healthy. Procise seems like he may go down a similar vein. Why didnt we look at Penn? What a possible Joe Thomas trade. Yes it would have likely req’d a 1st or 2nd rounder but what are chances we find a starting caliber LT when we always draft in the lower part of the rounds. The lack Targets for Graham is infuriating, why did we give uo so much if Bevell is so unwilling to use him. And hell when they do use he has actually looked amazimg this year. Simple fact is changes need to be madewith both Cable and Bevell. Richard needs to get up to speed fast as well.

    1. The Oline of course is an embarrassment, nothing to add there. It now appears evident that the injury to ET was the last nail in the coffin. We all thought it might be, hoped it wouldn’t be be, and now know it was. Terrell is giving big plays that rarely happened in the past.

      McEvoy is a potential difference maker, but inexicably is not seeing meaningful plays due to stubborn loyalty to a drop prone receiver who personally has more offensive pass interference penalties than all but one team. Gilliam gets benched for dubious play, but no matter what Kearse does (or doesn’t) it matters not. For every one else it’s “always compete”

      Hauschka is a liability. He’s always kicked low (I’ve noted it for years) but for some reason, until this year he has for the most part avoided getting blocked, but no more. In addition, he’s frequently missing wide left. Pat’s and short kicks are all crap shoots now. Some of the problem is probably due to to high snaps. Why did Schneider get rid of Gresham to save 600 K? Dumb

    2. Good observation regarding the loyalty factor. IMHO, this will be the toughest one for JS and PC to get around. I might be wrong, but I think they have seen this is coming before this year but “hesitate” to make any decision. The stability factor also plays a role in the reflection of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” I, for one, do not believe in that mantra because improvements or changes are not static. It is called to continuous improvement. You always have to strive for “perfection” regardless of how good you are doing at present.

  4. Good article, just too soft on sherman, who’s a cancer on the team causing brothers disunited (using your term). Depleted secondary, no running game, weak O-line, playing on the road…a ‘few miracles’ is what the team will need to just pass the second round. A dominating win at SF next would be a good start, but doesn’t appear likely.

    1. I agree with the observation of RS. Just his attitude this year, well to me, seems like a distractive tactic to disguise the lesser standards that he used to be on. IMHO, he is still a good player, but not the same from past years, when they asked him to do more (i.e., cover the other team number one receiver, different position like slot, etc..) I do believe he is in decline. Hopefully, I am wrong, but the trend does not look good. This secondary will not be the same even with ET comes back next year. We all know when players started to get injured, especially the lower extremity, they will not be the same regardless of the advanced in medical technology. More than likely, they will get injured more frequently compared to before the injuries.

  5. I think we need to make an investment in a new LT and new RT, find a way to politely shuffle Bevell off to college coaching, and bring in someone with fresh ideas for working with the personnel we’ve got rather than seemingly giving up when the script does not work. I’m undecided on Cable because his lines have shown general improvement throughout the season every year until this one. This year they clearly hit a peak mid-season and then regressed, because they’ve looked bad against 3 mediocre defenses over the past month. This season was a huge lost opportunity, given the relative weaknesses among top teams and a very down NFC West. But the Seahawks seem to be better doing it the hard way. Although I expect them to fail embarrassingly and spectacularly in the playoffs this year, I still think the future is bright for this team (so long as Pete and John finally admit they made some mistakes and make the necessary tough decisions).

    1. Great article but big miss on play calling and Bevell. It’s not line (and believe me I have been ripping on Cables coaching for some time now) but for three quarters Graham had only two passes thrown his way. That’s on Bevell. Bevells ego is in my opinion a huge problem. Graham’s in Bevells face. Doug flips him off. Sherman (yes not proper but players talk to each other) calls him out. Graham gets in Bevells face and Bevell goes about a half a game with no calls his way (yes appearance). Wilson is no Manning, Brees, Brady, Marino etc. RWs likely fault, he runs the play called no matter what the defense calls. He’s so much better when the play breaks down, or two minute warning when Bevell has no time to think. 4 plays from 1 and Rawls touches it once? Two are Wilson wasting precious time with his back to LOS?

      1. Yes this team is being held back by poor management and equally bad decision making – remember last year post Panthers loss Schneider said ” we feel like we should still be playing ” really John!
        Pete and his coaching team have not delivered while I’m all in I’m not buying the talk remember “the call” which lost SB49 was part of a longer term pattern of poor decisions yet never acknowledged as such ???

  6. The lack of accountability is a major issue. It runs from the players through the coaching staff and front office. This off season both players and staff need to be held accountable for under performing. Unless you are NE, the window of greatness is short between rebuilding projects. I had great hopes in the leaps forward made by the offense and RW during 2105 only to see them fall back into bad patterns and bad tendencies during 2016. It’s been a big step backward to not improve on the effective quick strike passes and fall back into attempting to be a powerrushing team / deep strike passing team with a horrible o-line.
    The inability to consistently get graham involved is frustrating beyond all measure especially when they do use him, he’s effective.
    The ultimate arrogance is signing incredibly horribly rated offensive lineman from other teams and thinking that they will “coach them up” to be valuable performers. I trust that other teams also have quality coaching and a poor offensive lineman for Oakland is going to continue to suck for the Hawks. Its crazy to think otherwise.

      1. That is true, Brian, but looks like they have a better chance of having the last laugh than us. I’d love to validate that win in the biggest game, but probably not. Hopeful but not confident. Hey, you never know but stranger things have happened. If somehow Russ can pull this one off this year, then I’d nominate him straight to the HOF w/o the wait.

    1. Crying would be blaming the turf, weather, refs, league, under inflated balls and not accepting the fact that something is wrong on the good ship SS Seahawks. Self-examination, even by fans, is good, if after the examination areas of needed improvement are identified and steps taken to correct them, it’s a good thing.

      Trolling another teams page simply to experience schadenfreude is punk like, and soooo Pat’s fan. BTW, who came into Foxboro and embarrassed the Patriots? Yeah. FOAD Tom.

  7. Can we please, please, please fire coach Cable? He’s never coached an OL ranked higher than 25th in the league. I’ve seen great things from our crappy OL, but there will be no consistency as long as Cable is coaching them. It’s ridiculous that he’s kept his job this long.

  8. Well, also underestimating my cards and letting the crappy record fool you will do it. We have issues but when the team clicks they aren’t the 58-0 blown out cards of a couple of years ago.

  9. Man Brian, you just saved me a bunch of keystrokes, you hit just about all the points I thought I’d make. We were preparing for Christmas eve dinner party so I set up the DVR. I did take a few minutes to catch the opening of the game and watched the first two series in real time. Got pumped about the defense, nearly depressed about the offense. What I watched later that night (Santa never did show up…..) validated my discouraged expectations.

    I especially liked your observation on Sherm………..he’s more a window than a wall. Behind the scenes the defense has got to be tired of being the big crutch, even though they have their issues as well.

    For all that it’s easy to point out deficiencies of any player or group of players (they are what’s visible to us), it’s more difficult to see the aspects of game planning/prep by the coaches. Sure, we see the outcome, have our suspicions, but what specifically is going on during the prep that we don’t know about. I’ve never liked the apparent responsibility split between Bevell and Cable. All representations point to their being equals in responsibility, and Cable has the added oomph of “Assistant head coach”. THE OC needs full responsibility, this divided authority stuff is ultimately lethal. Neither one of them appears to be able to play the situational game well (see Brian’s stats article from a couple weeks ago). Bevell more so because RW can audible away from the called play (though Bevell would get the blame when it doesn’t work). We’re probably all tired of the constant references to Belichick’s success, but in reality his ability to manage a team of coaches who “take away the opponents best weapon(s)”, and “sets up his players for success within their abilities” is why they are so repetitive in their success. PC/JS need to figure out how to improve the coaching staff structure/personnel, don’t we always hear that each position is subject to competition?

    I agree that it’s highly unlikely the Hawks will go far in the post season, just too many signs that they aren’t up to it this year. Perhaps we can take some solace in knowing that neither team from the last SB is even in the playoffs this year……..parity or parody? Nah, that doesn’t reduce the disappointment a bit.

  10. Holy smokes Brian! My picture is of you looking deepiy into the Christmas fire and seeing haunting visions of doom and despair! I don’t think I am the most Hawktomistic person out there, and I do agree we are likely one (or possibly two) and done in this playoff round (mostly because of the injuries to Thomas and now Lockett).

    Here is my take on the game:

    * some hopeful signs from Alex Collins–this is the first game action where he looked like he ~might~ have a future at tailback
    * some good plays made by Richardson in relief of Lockett. We forget that he was originally drafted to be ‘that guy’ and he may get his chance now with Lockett injured
    * Baldwin was a beast in the 2nd half
    * Kearse was not all bad all the time
    * re Jimmy, I think the Seahawks may be saving him for the postseason. That TD was awesome, but in a game when Lockett was lost the Hawks maybe wanted to be conservative with JImmy.
    * the 4th Q comeback was (almost) epic. The missed extra point was somehow almost expected and I thought at that point we would be going to OT (again). The most disappointing drive for me from the D perspective was the one that followed, allowing the Cardinals to get into position for a FG try as time expired.
    * as bad as this loss feels, we always have to remember it is never as bad (or good) as it seems. That the OL is still a ‘work in progress’ at this point of the season is not good, but the valuable experience from this game will pay dividends down the road. Going with a young, inexpensive line is going to result in games likes this one, and the team has to live with the results. I don’t think anyone can condemn the approach until we have seen how this entire season plays out, and possibly next season as well.

    1. At what point do struggles on the OLine mean that they simply aren’t good enough, or aren’t being coached properly, as opposed to “paying dividends down the line?” I don’t know the answer, but it’s a question worth asking. Because right now it feels like the braintrust is wasting the window. That performance was just awful. We played like a team who didn’t want it as bad as our opponent, when it was our team, not the other one, that was playing for something other than pride.

  11. Oh Brian, your so insightful… hopefully PC is now ready to invest more in OLine.

    Missed PAT following missed FG & blocked punt took wind right out of hawk sails, heaping pressure upon a D grieving loss of ET3.

    D just not the same without ET3 & the Heartbeat of LOB Kam was hobbled, &@50%, also MBennett @75% (Brady & Belichicks best rated NFL defender).

    When Kam & MB return to 100% & if STerrell gets 10% better, then Our D will be much better soon.

    Russ & Jimmy are @75% (accumulated inflammation from Russ’s 3 big injuries & Jimmys big knee op will take time to heal). Jimmy also being denied opportunities’ by having to bail out OL. Also a shame that Odihambo has not been contributing, however as MSando says, never judge new guys until end of yr 3. PC should have listened to brian & traded for experienced OLT’s.

    Biggest regret is thinking 1st yr players in current OL positions (Fant Glow Britt Ifedi Gilliam could grow quickly without pain), OL is our weakest link when facing top 10 DLs & I wish they had traded for JThomas.

    Our route to SB51 win is via Falcons Cowboys & Pats as their DLs are not top notch. We can still win 12s keep the faith, BELEIVE.

    Hauschka & Kearse facing pay cuts, & persuading Russ & Jimmy to take a Brady & Gronk like pay cuts to extend careers & health. Could allow OL improvements & maybe even allow Beastmode to come back on reduced pay for one last ride to SB52

    BTW, we had most expensive OL in NFL during SB48 win. At least Get 2 OK OLTs if u cant get JThomas. Investing in OL works PC,

  12. Brian – great, insightful post as always… and great discussion here.

    Agree with you and some posters here that Sherman’s frustration is simply illustrative of the broader frustration on the defense. While I agree the trajectory and division are probably too much to overcome at this point in the season to make a run, I don’t think the football is actually that far off.

    One additional obstacle, I think, is game planning… how many game opening drives have resulted in points this season? Second drives for points? Last season? During the past 5 seasons? I would submit that offensive game planning is consistently poor (however most often off-set by solid half time adjustments). So, we consistently start in the hole (Defense is tired of it – physically and emotionally), then can’t run the ball which then opens the door for Bevell to rely on cute play calling – which is his unfortunate tendency to begin with…. Vicious cycle.

    I’m so sad, I have to leave now to get some more black cherry ice cream.

    Go Hawks.

  13. Great articlwork. I’ve been saying it for years now about Tom Cable. Love the guy but he has never coached an even average O-line that could provide any sort of pass protection. For years Lynch masked how poor the O-Line was because of his consistent ability to break so many tackles. Their were very few holes to run through forcing him to make a guy miss and break another tackle which he did better than anyone. But Beast Mode is now retired and that major bandaid has exposed this O-Line for what it is. And that’s an awful line that not only misses assignments but if you watch their film you will notice such poor technique that I don’t even understand how they are even in the league. I coach 8 year Olds who display better technique and foot work that half these guys. Missing assignments is one thing. But poor technique is all on the scouts and coaches. If a guy at this point has poor technique your then stuck attempting to teach fundamentals to a guy who should by this point have the basics down. They need to move on from Cable and quit drafting projects in the hopes of getting lucky. This team is loaded with far too much talent to be wasting their primes with a bunch of projects that are so awful blocking dummies would be a better fit to slow down defenders. It’s as if we are playing with 3 lineman. Hope they get it figured out and can make a run. But this game is won and lost on the line of scrimmage and unfortunately they will need this O-line to majorly over achieve and do so for 12 strait quarters. 1 or 2 awful quarters and they will be using those airline tickets Wilson so graciously gave each one of them come the 2nd week of Jan.

  14. The Seahawks had a 1st-and-goal from 6″ out after Lockett’s catch and failed to score. When they practically owed it to Tyler Lockett to punch the ball in, the OL couldn’t summon up the adrenaline and professionalism to move the ball 1/6 of a yard in four plays. Instead, the line looked like it was beaten before the huddle broke. It was a downright amateurish display, and responsibility lies with players and coaches.

    From personnel to coaching, the team must evaluate its approach to the running game and understand how it got from Marshawn Lynch running behind a reasonably capable OL to where it is today:

    * Two talented backs who have trouble staying on the field

    * A blocking scheme that seems more suited to an experienced line that has some continuity (I’m admittedly on thin ice here)

    * Personnel choices that have given them (1) an ultimate project at LT who nonetheless appears to be ahead of both the 2016 1st- and 3rd-round picks (2) two FA busts, both of whom were kept ahead of Jahri Evans (starting for the Saints) and (3) a black hole at RT

    The Seahawks are caught between a rock and a hard place. With the SB window open now, it’s painful to go back to square 1. Still, maybe it’s time to bring in an OL coach who will install a man-blocking scheme; sign at least one established veteran free agent; and look to draft a durable, every down back.

    People who know a lot more about it than I do say that TC is a terrific coach. Sometimes, though, a change of scene is needed.

  15. One thing we are not paying attention to is how disheartening it is to watch players get injured. We lost the Superbowl the moment Lane decided to take his interception out of the end zone. That sideline hit blew out his knee and snapped his arm and we never recovered on D. And in consecutive games we have watched two guys in Tyler and Earl – who I have never met but love entirely – have their legs broken. And not like a hairline crack but a stomach turning, bone snapping compound fracture in super slow motion replay. Maybe that is why we feel so deflated.

    Immediately we feel: “this ain’t our year” and watch as the hometown crowd boos the young men literally risking their lives for our entertainment. Pete says “we deserved it” but I disagree. We are not the squad with all the top rated talent — we are the rag-tag little team that could. From my view, those kids won that improbable championship because they wanted it so much for us as long suffering Seattle sports fans. Thank goodness the team from top to bottom still fully believes they can win it all and its the fans who wonder if its possible. (Full confession: for the first time in memory, I stopped watching when AZ scored its 31 point and checked back in only after the Hawks had tied it, me of little faith).

    Go Hawks!

  16. Please identify any offensive line coach that could do better with this group. Instead of blaming Cable, you should blame Schneider who decided against investing in a line that could play. It wasn’t Cable who pissed money away on Kearse, Lane, and Webb when they could have gone after a Schwartz and a Slauson. It wasn’t Cable who drafted an Ifedi over a Spriggs. I don’t care what Cable said, it is Schneider’s job to evaluate and sign the proper players.

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