Rost: Seahawks haven’t been who they want to be, now have to get there

Sep 23, 2022, 10:52 AM

Seahawks Rashaad Penny...

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny rushes against the Lions in Seattle's 51-29 win Sunday. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

The Seahawks know who they want to be. Problem is, they haven’t looked like that team through the first two weeks of the season.

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A balanced offense with a powerful run game and explosive pass plays downfield? A defense that can stop the run and take the ball away? Sounds like a Pete Carroll team. But right now, it looks like the San Francisco 49ers, whom the Seahawks lost to just last week. Or the Cleveland Browns, who handed the ball off to Nick Chubb 23 times Thursday night for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Instead, the Seahawks look like this: 31st in time of possession (24:01), 32nd in rushing attempts per game (16.5), and 31st in total offense (234.5). They haven’t scored on offense since the first half of Week 1. On defense, they’re 25th against the run, don’t have an interception, and haven’t forced a three-and-out. A positive was being solid in the red zone against Denver, though they also allowed the 49ers to convert on two of four goal-to-go attempts.

Rashaad Penny, who looked like the best running back in football in December, has just 75 yards on the season. The lack of carries for Penny might be more confusing were it not for the lack of plays the Seahawks have run: their 48 plays per game are fewest in the league.

That’s an important place to start heading into Week 3. Carroll knows the offense needs to open things up. He knows the running backs need to be involved more and that quarterback Geno Smith can find the team’s greatest offensive weapons – wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf – more opportunities downfield. Maybe then the identity of this team will start being fleshed out. There’s just one catch: those are opportunities the Seahawks need to create themselves. That means converting on third down on offense, getting off the field on defense, and not gifting an opponent a second chance with penalties.

“It’s such a broken record when you don’t convert and you don’t get enough chances,” Carroll told reporters Monday. “We needed more opportunities but have to create them ourselves by the execution.”

They’ll have a chance to create opportunities against the Falcons. Make no mistake: no opponent is a cakewalk for a struggling team. The Falcons are 0-2 but have scored at least 26 points in each of their first two games. But they’re also not great; they’re 15th against the run, 22nd against the pass, and an inconsistent Marcus Mariota under center.

“We’re adapting as we go, that will be ongoing,” Carroll said this week. “And every season is like that. You have to figure out how it all fits together.”

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