There, that’s probably the friendliest tone you’ll hear in this post, and I wanted to bid everyone a good holiday!
Now, to the Seahawks.
What was glaring from their win over New England was the fact that they got gashed up by Tom Brady to the tight ends and backs across the short middle. There wasn’t a whole lot of concern, because after all, it’s TOM BRADY, and most of the passing offense of New England goes through the tight ends.
Then came San Francisco. Seattle’s defense wasn’t able to hold on, because of the 49ers 2nd half adjustment to using the passing game in the short middle of the field, which manifested itself in dump-offs to the running backs. After that, it was obvious that the book was out on the Hawks defense: Stellar on the edges, but vulnerable in the short middle.
All that’s been confirmed after Seattle’s latest loss in Detroit. After giving up 12-16 3rd down conversions, and seeing 19 passes completed to tight ends and running backs, it’s obvious that this is a full-fledged problem in the Seahawks defensive scheme. Any team wanting to move the ball on Seattle just has to put on the last three weeks of tape and see that if you take the outside receivers and send them downfield, the short middle will be open for dump-offs. Nearly every time.
The scary thing is, it’s easy to pass this defense off as one of the best in the NFL. They currently rank 3rd in points allowed, and have faced some of the league’s top quarterbacks. But the only statistic that really matters is the one that indicates which team has the most points at the end of the game.
Conventional wisdom said that the Seahawks might be ok with a weak offensive passing game, because of their staunch defense. They could run out a rookie quarterback to take his lumps, because this defense should be able to stop anybody. Well, it seems that’s not the case. And after road losses to San Francisco, St. Louis, Arizona, and now Detroit, it’s going to be a very difficult road to get to 10-6, and a playoff berth.
Not that it’s impossible. The passing game is improving, as Russell Wilson gets better from week to week. It would just be a shame, with all that this team is capable of, if they can’t make the playoffs. Other than the wide receiver corps being subpar, this really is a team that’s built to make a playoff run every year.
The two things you can look at as positives about the second half of the season is the schedule, which significantly eases up, and the fact that a strong defense and power running game have been proven to be a good formula for winning games in December and January.
I just hope the ‘strong defense’ is really as strong as we all thought, given the recent developments in the short middle of the field.