It isn’t about pointing fingers
One of my favorite teachers in high school used to say, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” I know that it isn’t an original quote from him, however he is the one who ingrained it into my being.
I could not believe my eyes as I watched the Seahawks play in the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
I went from complete shock, to complete jubilation, and then absolute gut-wrenching heartache.
We all did. When I look at the final game the 2012 Seahawks played there are 5 things that I can point to and say, “What if?”
Chris Clemons hadn’t tore his ACL in Washington?
The Seahawks could not get any pass rush against the Falcons on Sunday. Not only were the Seahawks unable to sack Matt Ryan, they were only able to hit him once during the entire game.
Bruce Irvin was more than just a situational rusher?
Bruce Irvin was unable to get anything going with added playing time. Being asked to be the Seahawks starting defensive end neutralized him.
Irvin’s only tackle came on a screen pass where he dropped back into coverage and ran Julio Jones out of bounds after Jones picked up 6 yards.
During the Season Chris Clemons took a lot of the pressure off of Bruce. Chris would take on double teams and still create havoc.
On Sunday Bruce was manhandled. The Falcons had no trouble with his pass rush, nor did they have trouble moving him out of the way in the running game.
He just isn’t an every-down player at this point in his career.
Maybe he will be able to bulk up enough to be an effective defensive end without losing the speed that makes him an effective pass rusher.
Until then he is what he is, a situational pass rusher.
Pete Carroll had decided to kick a field goal
On third and 1 from the 11-yard line the Seahawks ran a draw out of the shotgun formation with Robert Turbin.
Turbin was hit at or about the 10-yard line where he was stopped and immediately dropped.
The officials marked the ball just inside the Falcon 11, but then one official ran in and set it at the 11 for 4th down.
Pete Carroll probably should have challenged the spot of the ball at that point because there is a good chance they would have seen that Turbin gained enough for the first down.
On 4th and 1 the Seahawks should have kicked the field goal and got some points on the board in my opinion.
I know Atlanta has a high powered offense, nevertheless with a little over 5:30 left in the half, teams really need to think about getting rid of that giant goose egg to end the half.
That is one of those plays where I believe they should kick the field goal on the road and go for it at home.
Instead the Seahawks ran the ball with fullback Michael Robinson who had no where to run.
The three Seahawks blockers blocked those two Falcons well, however that left Falcons safety William Moore unblocked with a straight shot into the gap.
Moore never even needed to move laterally because he was lined up where the running lane opened.
At the snap Moore was at the 10-yard line and it took him two steps to hit Robinson in the backfield and take him down.
Marshawn Lynch doesn’t fumble
For the second playoff game in a row Marshawn Lynch lost a fumble in opponent’s territory. This time Lynch had avoided a tackle for a loss when JR Sweezy missed a run block.
Lynch was caught from behind after picking up a first down at the Falcon’s 40-yard line.
Marshawn had been holding the ball at his side instead of up in his chest, so when Sean Weatherspoon swatted at the ball, with his right hand, the ball came out and hit the turf and the Falcons recovered.
The Seahawks were down by three points at that point of the game and had just gotten the ball from the Falcons When Bobby Wagner intercepted a Matt Ryan pass.
The Seahawks had the momentum turned in their favor. They could have changed the entire complex of the first half had they been able to put points on the boards.
Instead Atlanta drove the ball down the field and extended their lead to 10.
Kam Chancellor drops deep enough
While playing single high safety, it is imperative that the safety remain deeper than that of the deepest receiver.
Kam Chancellor not only allowed Matt Ryan to look him out of the middle of the field, Kam also failed to drop as deep as Roddy White was running his route.
Richard Sherman was expecting to have deep help inside. You can tell by the way Sherman lined up about three yards outside of white White and played him outside in.
When Chancellor failed to be in the position he was supposed to be in there was nothing Richard could do.
Sherman may have fallen down on the play, however it was Kam’s blown assignment that led to the touchdown.
Also, I’d like to give a dishonorable mention to the entire final drive of the 1st half.
Sidney Rice did not try to get out of bounds, he instead cut the ball inside and kept the clock running. The offense wasted 30 seconds off the clock trying to set up a play rather than calling a timeout.
JR Sweezy missed his block leading to Russell Wilson being sacked on the final play of the half. All of that added up to the Seahawks running out of time an unable to get any points before the half.
Unfortunately that is what we are left with, the what ifs.
It is time to switch the focus to what could be.
On a side note
Gus Bradley was just named the new head coach of the Jaguars. The Seahawks brought back former defensive line coach Dan Quinn to replace Gus as defensive coordinator.
Quinn had been the defensive coordinator for Florida since leaving the Seahawks.
The Seahawks were able to sweeten Darrell Bevell’s contract to keep him as their offensive coordinator for at least one more season.
I like the move, the offense really started to click during the second half of the season. It also gives Wilson some continuity in the near future while he is still learning the game.