DALLAS — If there were a Hall of Sporting Justice — a truly bad idea, actually, taking away the fans’ fun of hating the foe and demanding the heads of coaches, players and referees, in favor of the rule of honesty — it would declare unanimously that the better team won Saturday’s little tilt here in Texas. No appeals possible.
Two pieces of evidence were overwhelming. The Dallas Cowboys denied the Seattle Seahawks what the Seahawks do best, and they picked on the weak. That’s winning NFL football in January.
Those are the primary reasons the Seahawks season is over at 10-7 after the 24-22 loss (box) in the Cavern of Conspicuous Consumption that is sometimes called AT&T Stadium.
The strangest development from those two pieces of evidence was inability of the Seahawks coaches to counter.
When it became apparent that the run game was going nowhere — leading rusher RB Chris Carson was held to 20 yards in 13 carries, and the Seahawks overall had 74 on 23, half the season average — the Seahawks didn’t shift to QB Russell Wilson’s arms and legs the pass until it was too late.
“Yeah, we would have like to,” coach Pete Carroll said. “The protection was good on (play-action) passes. He threw some strikes and . . . yeah.
“It just didn’t come out the way we planned.”
The why of the statement will occupy the off-season now upon them.
The Seahawks took considerable pride this season in developing sufficient weapons when defenses loaded up to stop the run. But they seemed to have few answers when the Cowboys’ front seven used movement and quickness — aided by injuries that hampered LG J.R. Sweezy and RG D.J. Fluker — to deny the run.
“They had a lot of movement,” said LT Duane Brown. “They don’t have a lot of very big guys up front, so they moved a lot to make up for the lack of size. They were very effective, playing quick with a lot of leverage. The linebackers did a good job filling the gaps.
“We got to communicate better on who to pick up, who to double-team. The times we got it done, we were efficient.”
Speaking of efficiency, that’s what Wilson has been all season with WR Tyler Lockett — the best in the NFL, according to the QB rating when Lockett is targeted. He proved it again Saturday, catching four passes for a whopping 120 yards. But the NFL’s only receiver without a drop this season was targeted only six times.
“He might be the best of the receivers that’s come through here,” said WR Doug Baldwin of his teammate. “He is arguably the most efficient receiver in the NFL. I think him and Russ had a perfect QBR rating. That’s a lot to say about a receiver who gets only so many targets.
“It’s a beautiful thing to watch.”
So why were the 94,327 on hand allowed to see such beauty, even if they may describe it otherwise?
If the Seahawks had deployed Lockett as the Cowboys did WR Amari Cooper — he had nine targets and seven receptions for 104 yards — the outcome may have been different. But the Cowboys and a more diabolical incentive.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 6, 2019
They used Cooper and others to attack CB Shaquill Griffin, Seattle’s greatest defensive weakness Saturday.
He was not weak in the sense of strength, character or will, only in health.
He sprained an ankle against Arizona in the regular season finale Sunday. He tried to power through, but was obviously diminished in defending the pass as well as the run. He had a key pass interference call, an illegal-contact foul, a critical whiff on a run by RB Ezekiel Elliott (137 yards on 26 attempts), and was part of a busted coverage in the fourth quarter that allowed a 34-yard catch and run by Cooper, the Cowboys’ only explosive pass play of the game.
Asked how difficult it was to play on the ankle, he said simply, “Very.”
He paused, and elaborated.
“I was willing to give whatever it takes for this team,” he said. “I told the trainers and the team I was going to give out. That’s how much I care about this team.
“It’s something I wasn’t trying to think about. Just play the game.”
He was well aware of the game-long targeting.
“Definitely, definitely,” he said. “That happens in football. They gotta attack somebody. I tried to make as many plays as I could. I definitely worked my butt off the whole game.”
But was he better than healthy backup Akeem King, who played well the previous week? We’ll never know.
“They played together solidly as a unit,” Baldwin said of the Dallas defense.”There weren’t a lot of holes in their front seven. We thought we had some opportunities in the secondary, but their front seven caused some problems for us.”
The upshot was that the Cowboys completed a nine-play, 67-yard scoring drive early in the fourth quarter to retake the lead 17-14, and after an exchange of punts, took 11 plays to move 63 yards for the decisive score with 2:14 left in the game. The Seahawks had a late score for a brief scare, but failed on an onside kick.
The Cowboys’ conclusion was exactly how the Seahawks win games — stout second-half defense, and a balanced, ball-control offense in the fourth quarter, led a good quarterback, Dak Prescott, to choke off a rattled foe. The Cowboys were aided in the final drive by pass interference penalties on LB K.J. Wright and CB Justin Coleman, part of a slew of mistakes that kept Seattle off-balance.
The tell-tale stat: Two of 13 on third-down conversions.
Much of the post-game talked centered on the surprising success of the season, including key contributions from new and often younger players, and how enjoyable the relationships were. All of that big-picture talk was worthy, but did nothing to repair the hole Saturday night.
It was not an embarrassing loss — hell, the Seahawks have only three road playoff wins in their history; this was the 12th loss — because the Cowboys were better.
“The game didn’t go as we anticipated,” Carroll said. “Our games have been different than this one.
“It’s very disappointing to be done right now.”
Plain and simple, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and his staff learned from the 24-13 loss in Seattle in September and out-coached their Seattle rivals at their own game.
What I don’t understand is RW is one of the most amazing, clutch QB’s there is, and in the 4th qtr, when a TD or 2 are needed, we all know RW will put it together. He is just amazing that way. So what is going on in the 1st qtr? The 2nd qtr? The 3rd qtr? It is as though there is just a decision that “we will try what we have drawn up, and if that doesn’t work, then RW will just make it happen in the 4th qtr”.
It is weird, as this plays out in more games than not. It’s as though Carroll needs to tell Shott and RW “ok you guys, I know it says it is the 1st (or 2nd or 3rd) qtr, but let’s pretend it is the 4th qtr.”
Deja vu – As the Huskies blew it with letting OSU get their last minute TD in the 1st half and lost by 5, the Hawks let Dallas score in the last minute of the 1st half and lost by 2 – Ugh.
Stop that score and the Hawks win. Period.
I totally agree. Russ’s legacy has in clutch time has been his ability to take over games with his arm and legs…every time they felt pushed to that point of desperation, the coaches let him air it out and the the results were positive. This game was totally winnable.
If the defense stopped Prescott’s draw to force a FG, Wilson would have had the chance to win the game. I think you would have seen lots of passing.
Agreed. After games like this one, it feels like Russell Wilson is absolutely wasted on this team. He’s a top-tier QB, with historic numbers thus far in his career, and week in and week out he’s tasked to implement a pedestrian game that utilizes none of his strengths. Can you imagine how well he would do in a dynamic pass-first offense that features roll-outs, misdirection, and quick passes? Being the stand-up guy that he is, I’m sure he would respond that he just wants to win and doesn’t care about the stats, but an unleashed RW would be a sight to behold. As it is, we treat him like a 2nd-string rookie who can’t be trusted to take the game into his hands. Seems the height of insanity to pay a top-tier QB top-tier money only to execute such an unimaginative offense. Total waste of talent and a QB at the peak of his powers.
A lot of us are in agreement. Hall of Fame QB paired with two all-pro calibre wideouts and you stay committed to the run game? With today’s protections for the passing game? If I’m GM I am getting one and maybe two offensive line pass protectors in the draft and then a couple D-backs. It has to be balanced moving forward. BTW, I remember how well Peyton Manning did his entire career when utilizing play action passes on first downs.
Once it was apparent that the Cowboys were stacked against the run, it seemed logical that there was room to pass– the west coast offense, quick three step drops, mid range passes because the LB’s were into the line of scrimmage. The middle of the field should have been open. But they continued to run into the teeth of the defense. Even when they got close, they didn’t throw into the end zone. Very frustrating. But, I will say, they far surpassed my expectations this season. Draft the best college kicker available and Taylor Rapp.
Peyton Manning never used play-action passes that was Tom Brady who’ still going and Kurt Warner. Russell Wilson is obviously not on that level, running a pro style offense would be silly.
Peyton Manning, along with Joe Montana, were the two greatest at faking the handoff, rolling and throwing. Unitas was also good.
No Kevin Peyton Manning was not a pro style QB, he was a shotgun player like Russell Wilson. Joe Montana was the first ever ever pro style QB. However Kevin, are you comparing Russell Wilson to guys who throw 16 TDs and over 1,000 yards passing in Super Bowls? You better find some really good arguments because Kurt Warner had on average 2 playoffs win a year when he started. At the end of the day this is a shotgun offense we do what we do.
Joe Montana entered the NFL in 1979 and became the full time starter in 1980.
Terry Bradshaw was winning Super Bowls in the mid 1970s running the offense you’re talking about and he was calling his own plays.
STOP OVERRATING Montana because you can’t even get facts correct.
Pittsburgh was running traps that were innovative before Montana even got to Notre Dame.
As for Russell Wilson, he has been the most versatile QB the last 25 years whether you want to accept facts or not.
(1) 2008-2010-NC State (ACC)-ran a West Coast offense throwing 76 TDs with 26 INTs, ;eading that conference in TD passes every year, leading that conference in total TDs, total yards and passing yards in different years and becoming the first QB in conference history to be named first team QB as a freshman.
(2) 2011 Wisconsin (Big 10), switched to a Pro Style Offense that had a offensive line bigger than Green Bay had as defending Super Bowl champs.
Wilson that year had at that time the best passing season in Big 10 history as he led them in TD passes, total TDs and total yards in winning the Big 10 title, Big 10 MVP and Big 10 title game MVP Award.
(3) 2012 joined Seattle running a 3rd different offense in 3 years where he won 4 ROY Awards, made the playoffs and set various NFL records passing as a rookie.
7 years later he is the most efficient QB in NFL history after 7 seasons.
In those 11 years running 3 different offenses at three different places, Wilson has thrown 326 TDs with just 104 INTs (a 3.4-1 ratio).
So please don’t give me that Montana BS because he was not a great passer at Notre Dame, he had mediocre numbers early in his NFL career and at Kansas City he was decent.
Russell Wilson was GREAT in the ACC, GREAT in the Big 10 and GREAT in the NFL and the stats and results back that up.
Peyton probably took at least a thousand snaps under center. You could e-mail him to verify.
Actually I could. You have it.
Manning’s fake wasn’t that good going 0-4 agaist Florida and his replacement beat Florida and won the national title.
That fake didn’t stop him from throwing 28 INTs one year, 27 career Pick 6s, throwing 2 in SB games where he threw 3 TDs with 5 INTs.
I’m still trying to figure out how a guy with a career 2.1-1 INT ratio is called great when a guy with a 3;1-1 rate is called overrated when he beat that same guy in the Super Bowl?
STOP OVERRATING Peyton Manning.
Russell Wilson put up better stats than Manning did in college and his first 6 and 7 years in the NFL.
Russell Wilson didn’t throw 153 INTs after college and 7 NFL seasons (Wilson had 93 in the same span) with the same amount of TDs (305) and beat Manning both NFL games they played at it wasn’t even close.
Wilson in that same span led both the NCAA and NFL in passing (something Manning didn’t do), led the ACC times and the Big 10 in TD passes while Manning never led the SEC in 4 years there.
Now you say this BS about a Pro Style offense, which shows complete ignorance.
Wilson at NC State ran a West Coast offense for 3 years where he was a first team ALL ACC QB.
Wilson then transferred to Wisconsin to run their PRO STYLE OFFENSE which had a offensive line bigger than the Packers had in 2010 when they won the Super Bowl
Now only was Wilson named team captain, he set NCAA passing records, was the conference MVP, champion and title game MVP.
He then goes to the NFL and runs a completely different offense as a rookie and wins immediately for a team that had been losing for 4 years.
So Wilson is not on Manning’s leven throwing 28 INTs in a season or 27 career Pick 6s with 2 in SB games.
STOP OVERRATING Manning because he was hardly the QB or passer Wilson is.
Imagine of Wilson had a Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne and was throwing 28 INTs in a season or 27 career Pock 6s what would be said about him.
That’s how overrated Manning was with his 3 TDs and 5 INTs in 4 Super Bowl games.
Russell Wilson STATISTICALLY on the NCAA and NFL levels has been a better passer than Manning, Brady and Warner.
You don;t get to be 2nd all time in passing rating and TD-INT ratio and 5th all time (and best among active QBs) in yards per pass being a freaking scrub and those are facts Manning don;t have.
Manning was the most overrated QB ever,
The same guy who threw 28 INTs as a rookie, the same guy who caused his coach to have a postgame meltdown, the same guy who had great talent and lost a playoff game 41-0 and got pissed when his kicker called him out.
This is the same guy who threw 27 career Pick 6s, threw 2 of them in SB games and who had a record setting offense one year and scored 12 points in a conference title loss and had another record breaking offense and scored 8 late points in that SB loss.
This is the same guy with a career 2:15-1 TD-INT ratio, hardly as good as a Seattle QB who has a career 3:11-1 ratio.
Peyton Manning’s legendary myth outweighs the actual facts on the field.
Inaccurate. Peyton Manning was one of the three greatest quarterbacks to ever put on a helmet. He was also maybe the most vilified QB of all time. But a great leader and teammate and a player who did things no one at his position had ever done.
A. Most 4th quarter come from behind victories all time
B. Most MVP’s – 5. No one else more than 3.
C. Only player to lead two different teams to two Super Bowls each and win one with both teams.
D. An extraordinary number of playoff runs, especially never having had a HOF coach like Montana and Brady or defenses equivalent to what they had.
His critics never have had answers for these successes and we’re left to guess that they simply resented his redefining the position in terms of reading defenses pre-snap or got caught in an early judgement of the man, given he lost his first three playoff starts, and then did not want to admit they judged him inaccurately.
Tough to call one of the top ten quarterbacks ever to play the game “overrated.” I have found that in many cases “overrated” really means, “I don’t like him.”
I have said this about Wilson since he was at NC State, he has played with marginal talent in his passing game and since then (11 years) he has thrown in all games in college and the NFL 326 TD passes with just 104 INTs.
Do the math, that’s a better than 3.4-1 TD-INT ratio in college and all 125 NFL games he’s played in.
That basically comes to 29.6 TD passes a year to 9.5 INTs a year which is truly incredible.
Those are all time great passing stats for any QB in any era.
Those are stats, Brady, Manning, Brees, Marino, Aikman nor Montana put up in their college careers and early NFL years despite those guys having studs like Moss, Gronk, Hernandez, Harrison, Wayne, Clark, Graham, Thomas, Duper, Clayton, Irvin, Novacek, Rice, Clark or Taylor to throw to.
Go back to NC State and you can’t name a WR that has had a impact in the NFL. At Wisconsin, Nick Toon and Jared Abbrderis were his stud WRs (if you believe that) and James White was a reserve RB on that team.
In the NFL, Kearse and Baldwin weren’t even drafted, Tate was a former top college WR who did nothing the two years before Wilson arrived in Seattle and Lockett has been a big surprise in the NFL as a deep ball WR.
So when folks continue to say how overrated Wilson is, this is the type of talent he has had to set various NC State, Wisconsin, Seattle, NCAA and NFL records despite not having that superstar target everyone knew about in advance,
Wilson is not wasted on this team. He thrives in part because defenses are forced to load up to stop the run, leaving man coverage on Lockett/Baldwin. That’s part of why Wilson is the best deep-ball thrower and makes so few picks.
It’s funny. I remember fans thinking before the season that Wilson wasn’t worth what the FA market will say he’s worth.
My logical side agrees with you, Art, but after a loss like Saturday’s, it’s so easy to overreact. After a few days to ponder things, I’m inclined to respond a little less emotionally. Run-first is a fine approach, as long as you don’t wait too long to switch to Plan B. And Wilson indeed benefits from a system that wears down the opposing defense before opening up the playbook. Although Carroll got out-coached, the players misfired, too.
Fans often don’t appreciate that fact that lots of plays early in games that don’t look like much are done to set up counter plays in the fourth quarter. Then there’s the fatigue factor with 4Q defenses. Across the league, good offenses often deliver late because they have the energy advantage, coupled with the counter measures. And Wilson is the best deep-ball thrower in the NFL.
Did Scott Linehan, from Sunnyside, QB under Erickson and Gilbertson, OC for Lambright, bring it home against the Hawks? Did he out coach Shott?
Good to see a local do well, but NOT against the HAWKS!
Frustrating to go out against a team that seemed winnable but overall this season was a success. Predicted to miss the playoffs and be on the 2-3 rebuilding plan the Seahawks qualified for the postseason and reached 10 wins largely thru it’s league leading rushing offense after finishing among the worst the season prior. The future is bright for the Hawks.
Now is when the NFL’s Hot Stove League kicks off, at least the Seattle version. When plays are second guessed and fans play GM or head coach. Or both. This team doesn’t need to be torn down and rebuilt. It just needs a few additions and experience which young players like Flowers, Penny and the Griffins got today. Depth is sorely needed. I imagine the Seahawks brain trust will follow Chuck Knox’s axiom that you can never have enough linemen and try to load up on some, especially one or two run stoppers. On my wish list is that they resist trying to draft the next Malik McDowell and take at least one Husky DB ( I believe 5 may be available. ) and also seriously look at a FB in the Mike Robinson/Mack Strong mold. Maybe a trip to Australia is being planned to scout for a kicker?
Confident that Frank Clark will return since the team is well under the cap but decisions will have to be made about the injury prone DJ Fluker and KJ Wright. If I was to bet I’d say DJ will be brought back but KJ will be allowed to walk unless he’s willing to come back at a lesser salary.
Art’s second sentence is my whole complaint. It’s on the coaches. We have the BEST combination of Wilson/Lockett in the NFL. Did we exploit it? Nah, we love those one yard runs cause we’re a running team. Did we change our thinking cause the O-line is banned up? No, cause we’re a running team. Did we go home in the first round after a game we coulda/shoulda won? Yep, cause we’re a running team.
Yup. The deeper the Seahawks got into the game, I started to wonder if it was a pride thing. It was as if they would rather lose than deviate from the running game. Good coaches adapt. Good coaches exploit a defense that stacks the box. Good coaches utilize their best players, especially if they have a QB as dynamic as Russell Wilson and a pair of receivers as dependable as Lockett and Baldwin. This loss is on Carroll and his coaching staff. The offense was unimaginative, refused to adapt, and for the most part excruciatingly boring. This was a winnable game.
I think Carroll will own some of that. And if the defense stops Prescott on third-and-14, it’s a different game.
In partial defense of Carroll’s overall scheme, they are closer to a 50/50 balance than any other team, most of whom don’t believe in balance. The positive part of that is they led in fewest turnovers and most explosive plays, But in this game, they couldn’t adapt fast enough with Sweezy and Fluker hurt.
What is done is done, time to prepare for next season.
Yes, I agree, Art. They overcommitted to the run game and switched to Russell Rip-em Octane too late. It served them during the season but not on the road in the playoffs when defenses seem to dominate and even a limited home field edge like Dallas’ stadium provides the edge. And on the flip side, the ‘Hide’ side if you will, the Hawks defense played pretty well but came up a little short against a less-than-elite QB. Brees would have had the game in hand by the third quarter with a defense like Dallas has. The game was winnable for Seattle. If the Hawks can beat an elite QB on the road next year in the playoffs then Carroll’s resume is complete. But it’s been 35 years for this team.
More holding than a 60’s love fest. Russ is lucky his head didn’t snap off and that arm bar wasn’t seen by human eye’s except on TV. All and all Coach of the year still belongs to Carroll as well as this loss. With the low cap maybe the GM might take a couple big boys for the O line??.
I thought our defense played well. Evenly matched teams. On the go ahead TD by the Cowboys they were escorted down the field, sirens blaring by referees who took them all the way to the red zone proving that you really can, if you want, call a penalty on every play. I noticed the Seahawks had to drive down the field all by themselves. That being said at what point do you realize that Carson isn’t going anywhere?
Considering we don’t have a field goal kicker right now it is a pretty good argument for getting eliminated early.
That injury was quite probably a forty year old one. Put kicker pretty high on the list over the os.
The defense did not play well.
King and Griffin were exploited all game long.
The defensive line got to Prescott once in the game.
Cooper caught a ball over the middle and there was not a Seattle defender within 10 yards of him.
KJ Wright played the best game of any of the Seattle defenders.
When Seattle took the lead 14-10, the defense had a chance to take control of the game and they immediately gave the lead right back.
After the long punt return, they had a chance to hold them to a FG and gave up big plays and had flags that killed them.
Seattle’s playcalling, special teams play and flags hurt them.
When a 1000-yard+ RB is held to 20 yards and the team is held to a total of 74 rushing yards in the game, there’s no doubt that the primary culprit is the O-line. Art points out that both Sweezy and Fluker were not firing on all cylinders due to nagging injuries. The fact that they still played indicates a lack of depth with quality soldiers. But that was more of a deficiency than a screwup, like poor punt coverage, a problem last week that the coaches failed to fix, two pass interference penalties at critical times in the fourth quarter plus a blown coverage that allowed a 34-yard completion.
The failure of the coaches to recognize until it was too late that the run game just wasn’t there and to start throwing more just added to the Hawks’ overall ineffectiveness.
It can be argued that the Hawks did better this season than expected, but that doesn’t erase all the avoidable shortcomings. Hopefully the experience of some tough losses by the younger players and some good draft picks will lead to an improvement next season.
I have a problem when a coaching staff knows they have a QB that averages over 6 yards a carry in his career (without kneeldowns) and they used his running ability just twice on designed plays and those two plays were a key first down and a TD run.
This just shows how they were clueless in using all the tools they had as advantages in the game.
Poor game managing for particular situations.
“… out-coached their Seattle rivals at their own game.”
Whatever one uses to their advantage can be used against them to their disadvantage.
It was tough to judge which was more frustrating–watching our running backs run into wall after wall, our offensive lineman blow assignments, allow penetration, whiff against blitzes–OR hearing Pete say that the problem was “third downs.” The real problem was getting nowhere on first and second downs, making third down conversions unlikely. And the reason we got nowhere on first and second downs is because we did not adjust to the reality that the Cowboys were kicking our collective ass in the run game, and it wasn’t getting better.
In this way, the Panther game hurt us. The Panthers also shut us down on the ground, and we kept pounding to no avail…but in that game the combination of luck and Russell Wilson’s clutch throws saved a game we probably should have lost. But lightning like that does not strike twice often. We won the Panther game, and Pete figured we could win this game the same way, so Schottenheimer dutifully called run plays time and again. Adjustments are everything, especially against hot teams in the play-offs, and by failing to adjust and ride the talents of a QB known with good reason for carrying the team to victory when it can’t run the ball, Pete stubborned his team’s way out of the play-offs. Because even though Dallas was the better team, the Hawks could have won it anyway if they’d let Russell be Russell much earlier. Pete is right, the play action passes were well protected–the best thing the OL did all game. But he declined the invitation, and it cost us.
When Carroll talks of third downs, he’s telling us what happened, not why, Symptom, not cause. All coaches do that, for the sake of diversion.
Carroll all but admitted this morning that Fluker and Sweezy didn’t play well because of their lingering injuries. Carroll had almost no choice to play them, given how poorly things worked with Ifedi/Pocic.
I talked to Fluker after the game and he said he thought he did OK, but with no conviction. He shouldn’t have played, but the season was on the line. DAL had a good plan to confuse with movement, particularly when two O-linemen couldn’t move.
This O-line can doesn’t pass block nearly as well as run block. Especially in their own end of the field.
“Thiel: Seahawks game plans nearly idiot-proof’
Pete Carroll: “If they can’t stop you, you don’t need to throw the ball and take any chances.”
Who is the idiot now? Fine time to come up with that. Would have been nice to apply that in the Super Bowl vs Patriots.
I understand sticking with what got you there but I’d think using Davis and especially Penny more to give the Cowboys defense different looks would be warranted. I’m assuming it was felt that Penny being a rookie came into play at least partially but if that’s the case the coaches should have looked at how Seahawks rookie RB Curt Warner did in his first year in the playoffs.
I was also puzzled as to why David Moore wasn’t worked into the offense more as well. It really looked like the Hawks were out coached. By Jason Garrett.
I feel like locking Shott up in an A/V room with nonstop CD’s of KC, L.A. Rams, and NE. If Walsh’s offensive plays are still relevant, I would add those too. He would be let out only for meals and to go home at night. Maybe after a month some new concepts might sink in.
If we’d only scored more points than they did, I’m sure we would have won. [Seems just as valid as a lot of the other points I’ve read.] Anyway, we tried to run against a team we’d run against before (two prepositions ending a sentence is okay, I’m told), just as we’d done with the 49ers, Cardinals, and Rams, and the opposing team did better than the first time we faced them. Maybe there’s something there about tipping plays, I don’t know.
As soon as they took that 14-10 lead, the defense gave it right back.
After Seattle failed to get a PI on that sideline Lockett pass, the special teams put the defense in a bad spot with that long punt return.
Seattle beat themselves with bad plays in all three areas of the game.
I’m going to say it again, although Seattle needs to add a college kicker, rebuild the backend of their defense and touch up the offensive line, the one thing that is stopping them from being a dominant team is how they construct their offense.
Remember this is a team that has a QB that has put up historic passing stats since his rookie season, yet sent him into the biggest play of that Super Bowl game with 3 WRs 32 teams refused to even draft and expected them to execute the biggest play flawlessly and two of them failed at that one play.
Right now, Seattle is a dominant big WR or TE from having a offense that could match any team in the NFL.
Look around the league and see all the top QBs that has or had that one WR or TE that force DCs to double team that guy and the QB had more options to move the ball in other directions.
That’s why Ju Ju Schuster puts up the numbers he does in Pittsburgh or why Gronk and Hernandez gave Brady so many options with his slot WRs or RBs or what he was able to do when he had Randy Moss.
But if you look at Seattle, they have consistently used undrafted WRs (Kearse, Baldwin, Lockette and Matthews), low round picks or small guys (Lockett, Tate, Baldwin and Harvin), guys who DCs feel no need to double which forces Wilson to either make great throws or guys getting open for receptions.
Seattle in 2015 had that guy in Jimmy Graham but for some reason, Pete Carroll and his staff decided it was better for him to be a run blocker than playing to his biggest strength.
This disadvantge Seattle has just shows how great a passer Wilson is.
Look at his NCAA and NFL passing stats and you will see he has accumulated all those numbers throwing to either no name guys or smaller guys who were not expected to do much in the NFL or who didn’t even make a impact in the NFL.
Imagine if Seattle ever got creative with their offense and their star QB, how much better they would be.
Is the picture above of the hold on the 3rd and 14?