Road losses in the NFL are always a tough pill to swallow especially when you feel that your team could have came out on top.
The defensive struggle that Seattle experienced last night was a winnable game whose result left most Seahawk’s fans numb. In essence, this game came down to dropped passes and a lack of rhythm on offense.
Oh, and don’t forget about San Francisco RB Frank Gore racking up 131 yards on 16 carries against a Seahawks run defense that was at times porous, to say the least.
In each of the last two weeks the Seahawks have made adjustments to known issues such as 3rd down efficiency and unnecessary penalties. Coming into this week I would have been happy to see them build on their offensive successes from their game against New England where QB Russell Wilson set career highs in yards and touchdowns. Instead, I painfully watched our offense take two steps back in the passing game that looked promising only one week ago.
The only constant in our offense continues to be Marshawn Lynch who rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries. He has accumulated 652 yards on the ground through seven games is on pace for nearly 1,500 yards this season.
It’s amazing that we let this game slip away as we executed half of our game plan by having Marshawn hit the century mark; a feat that normally ensures a Seahawk’s victory.
Give credit to San Francisco’s stingy defense by stepping up pressure against Russell Wilson in the fourth quarter and playing a solid game overall. Their downfield coverage kept Wilson from having many opportunities of going over the top with the deep ball.
I am by no means a naysayer but the bonehead mistakes really cost our team this game. I don’t think I need to say it but I will anyways, “Catch the ball!” The Seahawks offense turned up a dreadful performance in the second half and just couldn’t seem to convert on third down. We also got away from our short passing game that we had a lot of success with early in the game. It felt like we were forcing things down field when we should have been concerned with the first down marker.
To make matters worse, key drops from Robert Turbin, Golden Tate, Evan Moore and Marshawn Lynch crippled any rhythm we attempted to establish throughout the course of the game. Turbin’s drop was especially painful because he could have potentially found the end zone after the catch. Tate’s drop also hurt as he beat the CB inside and let a perfectly thrown ball from Wilson slip through his hands on what would have been a key third down conversion.
So what do we, as loyal Seahawk’s fans, take out of last night’s game against our bitter rival? My big takeaway is that we have no idea which offense will show up on any given Sunday, especially on the road. Granted, I’m high on Russell Wilson and I think he has been making strides with his decision-making but inevitably last night was a real stinker. When the Seahawks work out a kink in their game plan each week, another one sprouts up and bares its teeth.
Did I mention that our defense is top-notch? While this goes without saying, our defense has consistently put us in the position to compete in every ball game this season. I have been increasingly impressed by the play of Rookie Bobby Wagner who has 50 total tackles so far this season and has shown an amazing feel for the game.
My only complaint for the defense yesterday was that our linebackers gave too much padding on the zone across the middle. Whether that was the scheme issue or individual errors, I’m not sure. On the TD pass from Alex Smith to Delanie Walker our LBs dropped too deep into coverage across the goal line, which gave the Niner’s tight end too much room to run after the catch. That mistake (and a horrid defensive series) was the difference in a close, physical football game.
All in all, our beloved Seahawks continue to be a work in progress. I am optimistic for the remainder of the 2012 season and believe that Russell Wilson is our go to guy behind center. Oh the naysayers and Russell Wilson haters will scream for Matt Flynn after this lackluster performance on Thursday Night football. Despite the four or five dropped passes, they will claim that Russell is not prepared too start in this league. I strongly disagree.
I believe that we are witnessing the growing pains of a rookie quarterback who will lead our franchise to scores of victories in his career. He prepares and approaches the game like HoF QBs and has an aura about him that demands your respect.
I think it is safe to say that our Hawks will come out swinging in a must-win game on the road against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8. Take this long week to work on consistency, heck; a few extra sprints may be in order to help alleviate the “oopsies” in the receiving game but you didn’t hear that from me.
I have a ton of respect for our players and thank them for their effort in this tough divisional game on the road. It is always tough to lose these kinds of games but I know they will redouble their efforts and come up with a better result next week.
We can all be glad that our remaining division games are all at home and I think we can expect a different outcome in those three key matchups.