seahawks

Unflinching analysis – Seattle’s Pete Carroll and the 2013 Hawks

Seahawks lose due to coaching errors

To borrow a phrase from another Seattle sports team let’s not, “put the cart before the horse”.  I am in no way suggesting that Pete Carroll should be fired for losing the game against the Colts Sunday, but there were some obvious problems with the Seattle Seahawks coaching staff Sunday.

Coaching errors and deficiencies by both the offense and the defense can easily explain why this Seahawk team had more yards, plays, and time of possession that the Colts but still managed to lose.

Second Half Time Outs

How do you call your last time out with nearly 9 minutes left to go in the game?   That last time out was called because the Seahawks couldn’t get the correct personnel on the field to cover a 2 point conversion attempt by the Colts.

It was a pretty obvious situation to go for two by the Colts.  Being caught unprepared is fully to blame on Carroll’s coaching staff.

The other two time outs in the 2nd half weren’t used that wisely either.  Russell Wilson called the first time out in the 2nd half when he didn’t like the look of the defense when he lined his offense up.

That’s not a huge waste but, you’d most likely rather not use time outs so early in the second half.

The other time out was used when Seattle lined up on defense with 12 guys.  Again, this is not something that should happen to a team that is well coached.  It’s simply inexcusable especially when they had already been flagged for the same thing earlier in the game.

Third Down on Defense

As much as Richard Sherman and the rest of the defense like to talk about how great they are, they were awful on 3rd down against the Colts.

Indy converted 7 of it's 12 3rd down attempts

Indy converted 7 of it’s 12 3rd down attempts

Indy converted 7 of it’s 12 3rd down attempts.  That’s a 58% efficiency rating for the Colts and that’s double what the Seahawks typically allow on 3rd down.

Seattle harassed Andrew Luck pretty consistently in the early parts of the game but then the pass rush went away and with it so did the Seahawks ability to get off the field on 3rd down.

A few blitzes were attempted in the 2nd half but still they were not reaching Luck with enough consistency to knock him out of his comfort zone.

More blitzes or more creativity with the pass rush would have seemed to have been a topic of discussion at halftime.

If it happened, it didn’t show on the field.

Another contributing factor was Colts WR Reggie Wayne.  Wayne lined up all over the field.  Eventually the Colts found out that nickel corner Walter Thurmond was not up to the task of covering Wayne.

Why Carroll and company didn’t pick up on this is beyond me. 

In prior weeks Richard Sherman has shadowed the opposing teams’ best wide receiver at times.  Just ask Anquan Boldin if he remembers.

This has been an effective tactic for Seattle.  They just did not do it in Indianapolis though, and it cost them big time on 3rd down.

Third Down On Offense – We want 7, not 3.

I don’t care how good you think Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are.

You are not going to have much success on offense if you only convert two 3rd downs in a game.  2/12 on 3rd down is, well… awful and there is no other way to put it and it forced Seattle into too many field goal tries.

The Seahawks attempted 5 field goals in this game.  4 were good, 1 was blocked and returned for an Indy touchdown.

4/5. But did we really have to settle like that?

4/5. But did we really have to settle like that?

Two of the converted field goals were from inside or near the 20; another after getting the ball on a fumble at the Indy 30 yard line.  It’s a huge letdown for your team (and a boost for your opponent) to settle for a field goal after getting the ball deep in your opponent’s territory.

It seems to me that this is too conservative.  You have 3 drives that are right around the 20 yard line or closer and you never decide as a coach to go for it on 4th down on any of them.  That’s not showing a lot of confidence in your offense.

If even one of these field goals is a touchdown instead, the game just got a whole lot closer than it already was.

As far as the blocked field goal goes, that one was on Steven Hauschka.  That ball came off the ground very low.  The defense didn’t have to reach above their own heads to block that kick.

I didn’t see a problem with the hold.  It just looked like a low line drive coming out of there.

Don’t panic

These are things I think this team can solve.  It’s easy to say, “hey, it’s only 1 loss.”  Unless of course you have more that follow but I still say there is no need to hit the panic button or pull the plug on anything.

Lynch looked great running the ball and it was nice to see Wilson assert himself on the ground for the first time this year for an entire game.

Seattle just needs to stay organized on the sideline and not waste time outs. 

Some more aggressive play calls on offense on 3rd and 4th down on both sides of the ball and Seattle will be right back in the “W” column next week against the Titans.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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  • Eagleputt

    Wasted timeouts were unfortunate but not a factor in this game. Seattle had the ball with 2mins and no timeouts – plenty of time given that it was 4 down territory from the moment they took possession. Seattle offense didn’t get it done.

    Secondary might be believing their press clippings a bit too much. 70 yard plus TD was pure and simple a coverage bust. Bad read of the play by Sherman and it cost us.

    I agree settling for field goals was a big part of the loss. 4 starters missing from the line was a huge factor in this. While they blocked reasonably well in the run game their lack of experience showed up on third down in pass protection and in the 2min drive which by nature was going yo be predominately passing. Russell was chased and balls were thrown prior to routes being fully developed.

    Something that I have not heard talked about was the last play the game for Seattle’s offense and it had me shaking my head. It was fourth-down and Russell was running for his life trying to get a pass off to get a long first down. The ball was thrown towards Rice who appeared to just stand there watching it come his way. With Rice been your number one receiver, as well as a tremendous athlete, my feeling is he should’ve come back for the ball and fought for it. Instead he stood there and allowed the Colts to pick it off. To me this falls under doing everything possible to win – Rice HAS to know that this was the last play the game for Seattle unless they made a first down and to stand there and from all appearances just give up was inexcusable. If I am Russell and I look at that play on film, inside I’m saying this is NOT going to be my go to guy in the crunch, which may explain why our number one receiver has so few targets this season.

  • Eagleputt

    Wasted timeouts were unfortunate but not a factor in this game. Seattle had the ball with 2mins and no timeouts – plenty of time given that it was 4 down territory from the moment they took possession. Seattle offense didn’t get it done.

    Secondary might be believing their press clippings a bit too much. 70 yard plus TD was pure and simple a coverage bust. Bad read of the play by Sherman and it cost us.

    I agree settling for field goals was a big part of the loss. 4 starters missing from the line was a huge factor in this. While they blocked reasonably well in the run game their lack of experience showed up on third down in pass protection and in the 2min drive which by nature was going yo be predominately passing. Russell was chased and balls were thrown prior to routes being fully developed.

    Something that I have not heard talked about was the last play the game for Seattle’s offense and it had me shaking my head. It was fourth-down and Russell was running for his life trying to get a pass off to get a long first down. The ball was thrown towards Rice who appeared to just stand there watching it come his way. With Rice been your number one receiver, as well as a tremendous athlete, my feeling is he should’ve come back for the ball and fought for it. Instead he stood there and allowed the Colts to pick it off. To me this falls under doing everything possible to win – Rice HAS to know that this was the last play the game for Seattle unless they made a first down and to stand there and from all appearances just give up was inexcusable. If I am Russell and I look at that play on film, inside I’m saying this is NOT going to be my go to guy in the crunch, which may explain why our number one receiver has so few targets this season.

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