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ESPN’s Mina Kimes debates Brock & Salk on whether Seahawks should have thrown more

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett had 120 receiving yards on just six targets against Dallas. (AP)

The Seahawks played 17 games this season, but none will be more thoroughly dissected this offseason more than the final one, Saturday’s 24-22 loss to the Cowboys in a NFC wild-card playoff matchup. Above all, the debate is – and will continue to be – centered around the Seahawks’ decision to stick mostly to its run game rather than try to beat Dallas through the air.

Salk: Blame Hawks’ playoff loss on execution, not play-calling

ESPN The Magazine senior writer and Seahawks fan Mina Kimes (who previously debated Mike Salk on whether Seattle fans should have cheered Richard Sherman) thinks the Hawks could still be playing in the postseason if quarterback Russell Wilson had been given the opportunity to throw more in Texas. Salk and Brock Huard of 710 ESPN Seattle, meanwhile, fall on the other side of the equation, saying that the Seahawks’ best chance to beat the Cowboys was with a run-first mentality. So on Tuesday morning, Kimes joined Brock and Salk to debate the topic.

You can listen to the full segment embedded in this post or download a podcast of it at this link. Below is a look at where the conversation went and the stance of each person in the debate.

Mina Kimes

“To me it felt like this team was banging its head against the wall. … This team should be better than 14 points in three quarters. That’s like saying, ‘Well if I study just enough I’ll get a C.’ Well, you don’t want to get a C. You have the tools to get an A.

“Why I feel confident they would have been more successful passing in this game is because they were successful passing in this game. Russell was incredible. … He was 9 for 10, 11.1 yards per attempt on play-action. (The Cowboys) weren’t getting that much pressure.”

Brock Huard

“I would argue within those numbers, and this is why it’s so squishy … the reason they were successful in play-action pass was because those guys (the Cowboys) had to honor the run. Those safeties take a step up and Tyler (Lockett) is by them, and all of the sudden those linebackers have to account for that run. If you don’t establish that run, even if you’re running into a wall, those defenders are going to play those situations differently.”

Mina Kimes

“I don’t think by the third quarter this Dallas team was afraid of a Seahawks run game that was averaging less than 3 yards per attempt. I just don’t. … We’re talking about a Dallas defense that was fifth in the league against the run, 16th against the pass. That, again, plays in to the idea you play the team that’s in front of you. … (The Seahawks) should have exploited their weaknesses, in my opinion.”

Mike Salk

“I think it’s worth pointing out that this game went like most Seahawks games do. It came down to the end, they didn’t turn the ball over one time, they grinded it out. Yes, they probably didn’t throw the ball as many times as they could have. Maybe there’s a few plays in there that could have gone differently, but in fact the two (worst) plays they had were both pass plays that completely destroyed drives. They had a screen pass for negative-8 early in the game … and then they had a holding call on Justin Britt on a passing play that destroyed their second-to-last drive, which was probably the crucial offensive play in the game because it ended their chance to match Dallas play for play.”

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