Huard: Why the Seahawks’ offense starts slow and finishes fast
The Seahawks had another slow start offensively and spent the entire second half playing catch up against the Green Bay Packers, ultimately losing 28-23 in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday.
Seattle went into halftime down 21-3, and despite stellar play from quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks were unable to take the lead and advance to the NFC Championship.
The Seahawks played in 18 games total this season, and while they won 12, they were either tied or leading at halftime just six times. Many of their wins came in close games thanks to late magic from Wilson.
So why was Seattle’s offense so much better in the second half of not just the game against Green Bay but throughout the season?
Brock Huard joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Monday’s Blue 42 segment and said it comes down to how many possessions the Seahawks want their opponents to have.
“They want to limit possessions in ballgames and give themselves a chance to finish it,” Huard said. “You can’t win it in the first quarter but you can certainly lose it, and you want to have that ability to keep it close to go finish it in the end.”
Despite slow starts and exciting finishes being far more prevalent in the 2019 season compared to in years past, Huard said that concept is nothing new to Pete Carroll-coached teams.
“It’s a formula for a decade that has led to more wins than any decade in the history of this franchise, more fun than we could ever imagine,” Huard said.
The Seahawks finished Sunday’s game with nine possessions while Green Bay had 10. That’s a number Carroll and his staff feel comfortable with – just not when the defense struggles to get off the field.
“The fact that you gave up four touchdowns and really allowed Green Bay to run it out and finish it in the end … you’re not going to win,” Huard said.
Host Paul Gallant asked if the Seahawks would play similarly on offense if their defense was better, and Huard said based on how Carroll’s teams have operated since he arrived in Seattle in 2010, he thinks we’d see the same sort of thing.
“They want to protect the football,” he said. “They don’t want to see their quarterback get hit even more than he already does and gets hit as he has to create and scramble and move around … This is the methodology that for nine-plus years when we’ve sat down with him, he feels very confident in and the results have been pretty darn good.”