2012: Making the grade
The first quarter of the 2012 NFL season for the Seattle Seahawks has had its ups and downs. I am not a psychologist, but I believe it is safe to diagnose this years team with Multiple Personality Disorder.
At home, the Seahawks are 2-0 and have outscored their opponents 41-19.
In contrast, away, the Seahawks are being outscored 29-39.
That is a ten point swing, on each side of the ball, between home and away games. It is no wonder the Seahawks have won both home games, and dropped both games they have played away.
First the Seahawks traveled to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. The defense played a great game until Kevin Kolb replaced John Skelton who was injured during the game.
Kolb had one drive, on that drive Kevin went 6/8 passing for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Home To Dallas
The cure to that rough road game would be found at home, the next week, when the Cowboys traveled to Seattle. Special teams started the game by stripping the ball on the opening kickoff, and recovering it deep in Cowboys’ territory.
The offense was unable to move the ball and the Seahawks settled for a Steven Hauschka field goal.
After a defensive stop, Malcolm Smith blocked a punt. Jeron Johnson picked the ball up and walked it into the end zone. That would be all the points the Seahawks would need because they dominated in all three phases.
The Seahawks won 27-7.
Monday Night Football
The game will forever be remembered by the final play, a play that led to the end of a labor dispute between the NFL and the NFLRA (Referee Association).
It is a shame that will be the lasting memory, because both teams had a great battle on Monday Night Football.
At St. Louis
After the big, controversial, win against Green Bay on Monday, the Seahawks were primed for a divisional trap game. A trap game that the St. Louis Rams were ready to take full advantage of.
The Rams were better coached, and the Seahawks were outplayed.
All that said, the Seahawks offense still had an opportunity to win the game on their final drive. All hope ended when tight end Anthony McCoy slipped on his rout and Russell Wilson‘s final pass was intercepted.
The poor performance by starting quarterback Russell Wilson has caused a rift among the 12th man. Some believe that it is time to give Matt Flynn a chance to play, while others believe it is too soon to give up on the rookie.
I have talked the subject to death, and I don’t want to bring it into this post, but I do want to break down each unit and give them a first quarter grade.
Offense – D+
Russell Wilson has the least amount of completions out of any starter in the NFL, then again, he also has the least amount of attempts. It is true that the Seahawks are a run first offense, but the unwillingness of the coaching-staff to put the ball in Russell’s hands speaks volumes about the way he has played.
Far too often he has targets that are wide open, yet he either throws the ball to someone who is well covered, throws it away, or runs in a panic.
Marshawn Lynch leads the NFL in rushing yards. He accounts for 40% of the entire teams offensive yards all season. When Marshawn has needed a breather, rookie Robert Turbin has stepped in and the running game has not missed a beat.
The Seahawks currently rank 29th in total offense and 27th in points scored. The offense does not need to be perfect, but so far it has been a joke, save the running game.
Defense – A-
The Seahawks defense is ranked second in yards per game, as well as points given up. They are extremely tough against the run, but they are in the bottom half of the league against the pass. When it comes to third down situations, the defense cannot get off the field.
Seattle’s defense ranks 24th in the league on third down efficiency.
Special Teams – A
Special teams has been the best unit in the first quarter of the season. They have forced turnovers, scored points, and put the team in great field position.
Whether it has been Jon Ryan‘s booming punt, when the Seahawks need it the most, or Leon Washington giving the offense great field position, not that they always take advantage of it.
The special teams unit has won the field position battle.
Coaching – D+
Pete Carroll named Russell Wilson the starting quarterback, yet four games into the season Pete admits that Wilson is still being treated with kid gloves.
Just this week, Carroll told reporters, at his press conference, that the offense is limited because Russell is working off a limited play book.
We have all heard the saying, “Prevent defense only prevents you from winning”.
Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell are afraid to lose the game on the performance of a rookie quarterback, yet they have decided to start one.
The way they dealt with the problem was to implement a prevent offense.
How is it working?
The prevent offense is preventing winning, just like a prevent defense does.
The only reason the coaching staff is getting a grade this high is because position coaches like Ken Norton Jr. and Tom Cable are doing an outstanding job.
- Offense Top Performer: Marshawn Lynch
- Defense Top Performer: Brandon Mebane
- Special Teams Top Performer: Leon Washington
- Most Improved: Golden Tate
- Underachiever: Doug Baldwin
- Top Coaching performance: Ken Norton Jr.
- MVP: Marshawn Lynch