Should Seahawks switch up their offense to exploit Rams’ weakness?
Should the Seahawks change up their offensive scheme Thursday to attack the defending NFC champion Rams where it hurts? That’s what 710 ESPN Seattle morning host Paul Gallant wants to see.
“This team that they’re going against Thursday, on a short week, just gave up a million points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jameis Winston, who spread it out,” he said Tuesday on Danny and Gallant. “You have a running back who’s gonna be tired (in the Seahawks’ Chris Carson)… Why not dictate what the pace of the game is going to be and just attack the Rams in a spot where it looks like they’re very weak?”
He’s not wrong. Well, except when it comes to ‘a million’ – the Rams defense did, however, give up 55 points to a Tampa Bay team that had averaged just over 22 points per gameover the first three weeks of the regular season. Meanwhile, Carson carried the ball 22 times on Sunday and will be on short rest for the Thursday night showdown. So why shouldn’t Seattle offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer unleash Russell Wilson, who has shown pinpoint accuracy in the passing game so far this season?
Former WSU and Seahawks wide receiver Michael Bumpus had an answer for that when he joined Danny and Gallant.
“Then you just go against who you are,” Bumpus said. “Honestly, maybe Schottenheimer is building a relationship with Pete and Russell where he’ll slowly start working in more pass concepts, but we know coming out the gate, first down they’re gonna run the ball, they’re gonna try to set the play action. We all know it’s coming, nothing special. But at this point, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I guess.”
Sitting at 3-1, it’s hard to argue against Seattle’s process.
Asked Monday on the Pete Carroll Show with Danny and Gallant if he’d game plan differently for the Rams than he did for Arizona, the Seahawks coach responded: “We kinda don’t ever do that. We just do what we do. We want to be balanced as much as we can, so that when we need the passing game we’ve got it, when we need the running game we’ve got it.”
So how and why does it work so well?
“They’re built for that grinder, they want to slow the game down,” Bumpus explained. “Nowadays, everybody just wants to spread the ball and pass it out. Sometimes it’s good to go against the grain. Say in the NFL everyone throws the ball 35 to 40 times, and then you play against a team like Seattle who slows it down. Typically you’re seeing the same type of offenses and then for that one week you have to prepare for something else.”
The Seahawks are a fourth quarter team – both literally in games and metaphorically in a season. Nothing that got them to a 3-1 start should be overlooked. That doesn’t mean we won’t see a little creativity and evolution in the game plan throughout the season. Perhaps it starts on Thursday night.