What We Learned: The Seahawks’ offense is OK as long as it is desperate
Can you win the game in the first quarter?
Certainly not the way Seattle started out on Monday in Chicago. You can’t make the playoffs with how the Seahawks play on the road to start the season, either.
The Seahawks are 0-2 for the third time in Pete Carroll’s nine seasons in Seattle, and it’s not a coincidence that each of those 0-2 starts have come in a year when the Seahawks began the year with back-to-back road games.
Here’s a look at what else we learned from Monday’s game in Chicago:
1. It just so happens Seattle’s offense is only mostly dead.
There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead as anyone who has watched “The Princess Bride” can tell you. With all dead, there’s usually only one thing that you can do: go through the clothes and look for loose change. But mostly dead means they’re slightly alive, and as cadaverous as Seattle looked when it punted away its first five possessions of the game, it was at the end of the second quarter and in the final period that Seattle’s offense showed signs of life. Seattle’s first five possessions gained a net total of 42 yards. Its final drive of the first half – which began at its own 25 with 67 seconds left – netted 37 yards and a field goal. After gaining 80 yards in the first three quarters, Seattle totaled 196 yards in the final period. So whatever Seattle’s offense is doing when it is desperate – whether it’s increasing the tempo or letting the quarterback change the plays – it needs to do more of that earlier in the game unless the Seahawks are content being mostly dead.
2. Don’t listen to what Pete Carroll says about the run game.
Because chances are that nothing he says will be reflected in the actual game plan or decisions that are made during the game. Last week, Carroll talked about his desire to run the ball more and then the Seahawks went and played 17 consecutive minutes of game action without handing the ball off to anyone. Last week, Carroll said that Chris Carson would get most of the carries with first-round pick Rashaad Penny getting some opportunities behind him. Then after Carson carried six times in the first 19 minutes of the game, the Seahawks never handed the ball to him again the rest of the game. Instead of getting all indignant about the accuracy of Carroll’s press conference, we should just all understand that what he says to reporters during the week is going to bear very little resemblance to what we actually see during the game.
3. Desperation is a hell of a drug.
The only time the Seahawks scored on Monday in Chicago was when they were trailing by double digits. In fact, it’s jarring just how much of a stimulus a double-digit deficit provided. In the four possessions in which Seattle had the ball while trailing by 10 or more points, they gained 218 yards, earned 13 first downs and scored 17 points while committing one turnover. In the eight possessions in which Seattle had the ball and was not trailing by double figures, the Seahawks gained 58 yards and four first downs, scored no points and had an interception returned for a touchdown. Seattle needs to find that nothing-to-lose desperation it felt when trailing by 10 or more points and inject it into the rest of the offense.