Seahawks win 12-7
In the words of former Florida State Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden, “I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty.”
That statement pretty much wraps up my felling about the game. . .The end.
Okay, I suppose I’d better elaborate a little bit if I’m still going to be writing this piece next week.
Too often Seattle’s running backs were faced with a situation where 1 or more defenders were in the Seahawks‘ backfield before they had time to get started. The Seahawks offensive line had a lot of trouble opening anything up in the running game most of the time. Towards the end of the game they were able to get enough push for the Seahawks to run the final 5:25 off the game clock.
The Panthers brought pressure to Russell Wilson early and often as his offensive line struggled to protect him.
The box score only shows that he was sacked twice and hit once, but that doesn’t take into account plays where Wilson threw the ball away or had to leave the pocket. I’d say nearly around 40% of the drop-backs Russell had to deal with pressure.
It is hard to find anything positive about a quarterback being forced to run for his life, yet there is a silver lining.
After a rookie season in which Russell Wilson took the league by storm it is expected to see opponents bring pressure and try to force him to throw from the pocket.
A couple times Russell seemed to panic but for the most part he kept his cool while delivering his first regular season 300-yard passing game in the NFL while completing nearly 67% of his passes.
Wilson got some help from his receiver on several plays including an outstanding catch by Doug Baldwin on the sidelines. Russell was under pressure when it appeared he had thrown the ball away, at least to me.
Doug caught that pass on his way to the ground while dragging his right foot in bounds.
The Seahawks’ only touchdown was a 43-yard strike from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse (Kearse’s first career touchdown) in the 4th quarter. I liked the decision to go for the 2-pt conversion after the score but I did not like the idea of spreading the field while leaving no backs to keep the defense honest.
Result of the play was an incomplete pass and a failed conversion.
On the defensive side of the ball my big complaint was Seattle’s inability to get pressure on Cam Newton. After spending millions of dollars on pass rushers during the offseason the Seahawks only managed one sack. Next week Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons could see action and that should help tremendously.
I’d also like to see the defense start stopping the run more like the team that started the 2012 season, and less like the team that finished the 2012 season.
Giving up 5.2 yards per carry is unacceptable.
Golden Tate handled punt return duties and had a very solid average of 12.0 yards per return. However, I was unhappy with his performance overall. Three times Tate fielded the ball inside the 10 yard line. The game announcers tried to make excuses for him by saying that it was because Panthers punter Brad Norton was “angle punting.”
Twice Golden returned punts from inside the 10 that were kicked inside the numbers, so that excuse doesn’t hold water.
Next week the team must do a better job finishing drives. If they fail to score a touchdown inside side the red zone like they did Sunday, they will not be able to defeat the defending NFC Champion 49ers.
A large part of why the Seahawks couldn’t convert was penalties.
Pete Carroll has been preaching about playing more sound football yet his team was penalized 9 times for 99 yards on Sunday. I’m not sure what he can do to at this point to solve the problem.
It’s only week 1 and there is no need to panic but there are definitely things this team needs to work on if they want to be Super Bowl contenders.