Not This Year 12′s
For the second consecutive week a lack of offense settled an early outcome of a football game that could’ve been a Seahawks win.
It also marked a few certainties for Seattle and their fans.
1. There was a lot more problems on this team then we were led to believe.
2. This team is most certainly not going to the playoffs anytime soon.
Whether it was a fair or unfair assessment by our fan base, the common theme among Seahawks fans is that because of the lack of talent in the NFC West and with the flashy free agent signings the Seahawks made, we may be able to back door ourselves into the playoffs and repeat as division champion, again.
Even though I was always hesitant to buy into that thought, I still couldn’t ignore the talent level this team possessed.
The loss in Week 8 to the Cincinnati Bengals sealed any doubt left out there about this teams realistic chances at the playoffs.
It’s not as easy as just taking my word for it.
Just like everything else that transpires in sports, there are always reasons to explain why things happen.
I will give you five good reasons why the Seahawks will not make the playoffs.
The conventional wisdom heading into the season was that the addition of Sidney Rice and Zach Miller to Mike Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Ben Obomanu, Golden Tate, and John Carlson would give the Seahawks more of a stable balance on offense across the board.
The idea was to give Tarvaris Jackson more play making ability at the receiver position so he didn’t have to do too much. He can be the game manager Pete Carroll needed him to be.
It just hasn’t worked out the way they were hoping. With injuries and the lockout having some effect on the chemistry, it looked like early on it would take more then the four pre-season games to get on the same page with each other.
Without the OTA’s and mini camps, the offense was rushed into camp unfamiliar with each other, and some were asked to learn a new system on the fly.
Even though we are only 7 games into the season there hasn’t been enough flashes of productivity to convince anyone that the offense is getting better anytime soon.
The inconsistent play with the QB’s (injuries, and Charlie Whitehurst), and a major lack of production in the running game (3.6 YPC in 74 attempts for Lynch), has this offense nowhere near a level it needs to be at to compete for the playoffs at this point of the season.
If the Seahawks had the playoffs as a realistic goal, most considered the defense as being the reason why we’d make it.
They are a solid defensive group that doesn’t necessarily do any one thing great (OK they can stop the run), but collectively can get every aspect of defense done well.
Having three quarters of our defensive line back in the fold was a big boost. Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Chris Clemeons, and Alan Branch are main reasons why the Seahawks are 1st in the league against the run in YPC at 3.2, and 11th in total rush defense.
Moreover the front four is athletic enough to consistently generate a pass rush allowing our linebackers room to operate in the middle zones.
Depth was a big issue in terms of the skill positions on defense, especially in the secondary. If this unit was going to carry this team to the promised land, it would have to avoid major injuries, and that simply hasn’t happened.
Season ending injuries to Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmand has thrust the bulk of responsibility on the shoulder of guys like Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Roy Lewis (now), and Kennard Cox. As the Seahawks get deeper into their schedule, and QB play gets better, the talent and experience that Trufant and Thurmand provide will be needed.
Playoff teams do not heavily rely solely on rookie production in their secondaries. They eventually hit walls, and without the veteran experience, the defense will fade even further.
3. Team in Transition
To use the world rebuilding when referring to the Seahawks isn’t all together accurate.
The Seahawks have done the bulk of their rebuilding, give or take a few positions. Transition would be the correct term.
The nucleus has been put in place, and now it’s up to Pete Carroll to augment 12 rookies and second year guys into the veteran cast of players. The key for Carroll is to cut the teeth of some of these young players while developing a chemistry to form a solid unit on offense or defense.
This is the one aspect that takes time to develop. Too many things could happen. Players get injured, free agency, rookies do not stick, or it could be as simple as players do not trust each others talents.
This does not happen overnight, or over one pre-season. It doesn’t happen over a full season, and in some cases, it can take a couple of seasons for a team to fully gain that chemistry needed to win in the playoffs.
Pages: 1 2