Clayton: The Seahawks’ problems that are resulting in a vicious cycle
The Seahawks’ offensive nightmare continues.
The bad part is it’s pretty much the same thing each week. Unfortunately, Russell Wilson hasn’t been able to change it in his return from injured reserve. The Seahawks continue to make the same offensive mistakes each week, and they can’t get out of the bad pattern they are following.
Here are the main problems.
• Third down conversions. The Seahawks are converting only 32.4% of their third downs. Think about it – the Seahawks are 10 weeks into their season and they are converting just a little over three third downs per game. That’s about as bad as you can get, and it’s not getting better.
• Giving up sacks on third down. Pass blocking hasn’t been good in general on third down. It’s resulted in Wilson either being sacked, trying to force a short throw or just throwing the ball away. Watching Sunday’s 23-13 loss to Arizona, the Seahawks looked like an offense that doesn’t have any confidence when it gets to third down. This has to be fixed and the pass blocking needs to get better. Wilson was sacked four times Sunday.
• The lack of offensive plays. Because of the problems on third down, the Seahawks’ offense isn’t staying on the field. Seattle’s averaged has dropped to 55 offensive plays a game, and opponents are getting twice the possession time with the football compared to the Seahawks.
• The defense is getting worn down. In 10 games, the Seahawks’ defense has been on the field for 72.8 plays a game. That’s 17.8 plays more than the offense. Being on the field so much is why they wear down in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks have had fourth quarter magic with Wilson, but not this year. They have been outscored 78-50 in the fourth quarter.
• Injuries keep mounting. Things get even dicier because of injuries. The Seahawks didn’t have their best cornerback Sunday as D.J. Reed missed the game with a groin injury. Then rookie cornerback Tre Brown injured his patellar tendon, and he could miss significant time if not miss the rest of the season.
Seattle’s problems look even worse because the defense has continued to improve even though it’s giving up a lot of yards (401.8 yards per game). The Seahawks’ points allowed average (20.9 per game) has been excellent.
At 3-7, the Seahawks are in great danger of not making a playoff run. Sunday’s Cardinals’ game was a must-win, and not only did they lose, but it will be that much tougher to pull out a victory in Arizona in Week 18. The Seahawks are running out of time and their margin of error for the rest of the season is razor thin.
Pete Carroll is frustrated. He walked away from the podium seven minutes into his postgame press conference. Being the class act he is, he did return for the local press about 20 minutes later and finished answering questions.
What the Seahawks are going through is a vicious cycle, and the situation isn’t changing.
- Tune in to 710 ESPN Seattle on Saturday mornings for The John Clayton Show.