My Year End Review!
So, the Seahawks have lost out on their dubious division title of last year.
Considering that, can this 2011 season still be considered a success?
That is a very intriguing question that bears review.
First of all, the Seahawks have actually matched their record from last year despite essentially being in the midst of a rebuild following the departure of Matt Hasselbeck and other mainstays of the past five plus years.
Last season’s divisional success and wholly unexpected playoff appearance in 2010 had so much more to do with playing in an awful division than any real positive initiative on the part of Seattle.
With the revitalized 49ers and a solid Cardinals team, the division presented a much tougher proposition in 2011.
This year the ‘Hawks also had a much tougher schedule (inside and outside the NFC West) but played every team hard (except for the Pittsburgh blowout).
In that light, the 7-9 final tally looks rather reasonable.
In terms of defensive personnel and planning the Seahawks are seeing some impressive improvement.
The team yardage defence has leaped from 27th in 2010 to 9th this year.
Even better, the total points allowed have improved from 25th in 2010 to a lofty 7th in 2011. Pete Carroll has done his best work here with credit to co-ordinator Gus Bradley and his assistants in the line and secondary.
Impact Defender:The most impressive player has been David Hawthorne, a playmaker at linebacker who is always putting pressure on the ball.
This is where the Seahawks continue to need to focus on finding better depth.
The team has now finished 28th two years in a row running in yards per game, though they did manage an 11 points scored rise to 321 overall.
If Matt Flynn has Seattle on his list of potential new homes, then Seattle should make a serious run at him in my opinion only of course.
Impact Player: Doug Baldwin has been a real find as an undrafted free agent. He has good hands and is adept at finding seams in the defence, particularly as an outlet for Jackson. He could be the Bobby Engram the Seahawks need for the next 4-6 years easy.
He’ll only get better.
Pete Carroll has had his critics with his rah-rah style and over exuberant mannerisms.
He also has had a turbulent past in leading the Jets and Patriots in previous head coaching gigs.
However, there was a great deal of incumbent pressure on Carroll back then, especially when he needed to follow up Bill Parcells at New England.
With the Seahawks current situation though, Carroll has some time to build a winner. Year Three will be the best indicator and it can’t come soon enough.