There’s an old saying in my family; a lot of little turds make a big pile of crap. And when ya think about it, that fits the 2017 edition of the Seattle Seahawks. The Hawks went 9-7 and out of the playoffs for the first time in years… but, from one viewpoint they were just 4 missed field goals away from 11-5 and Champs of the NFC west.
Now I hate to put the success or failure of the entire season on the shoulder pads of one guy, but the first turd was the case of 4 missed field goals. Every coach on the planet will tell you it boils down to the three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams…that’s why they have special teams COACHES!
Turd #1 Two games was all it took to unleash the deluge of dissing and criticism for a lousy season and a torrent of trash talk on the offensive line. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Loss #1 went to the redskins 17-14… 3 missed field goals from 39, 44 and 49… final score?? 23-17. Now there are a lot of NFL kickers with the leg to legitimately go after 50-yarders, but lets put the benchmark for a solid kicker at 45 and in. That would have put the game tied and on it’s way to overtime at the very least.
Loss #2 went to the Cardinals and the NFC Championship… 26-24…. field goal from 48?? No good! Seahawks went home for the playoffs.
Turd#3; The offensive line. Like I said, ya can’t put the entire blame for the big pile of crap on just one turd. So why did the offensive line get the avalanche of disrespect from the local and national sports media. I personally think it was misplaced to a great degree.
Xtra Point #1 – injuries. George Fant was making excellent progress and had already advanced to middle of the pack in terms of quality NFL lineman. The expectation was for that to continue. Left tackle is a tough one to replace in mid-season, much less mid game.
Xtra Point#2 – Shuffling the personal to compensate for the injury. Guys were being moved all over the place in an effort to find the right combination. That is extremely disruptive to the flow and concert like execution of complex blocking schemes by 300 pound men going at full speed. That’s why you’re hearing talk right now about how disruptive it is for guys to miss OTA’s and training camp. Like yer mom used to say, “practice makes perfect”. Ask any coach – when it comes to the ‘O’-Line functioning as a cohesive unit, that old saying is never more true.
Xtra Point #3 – Youth. This crap about the Seahawk front office not doing anything to build a better offensive line is just that. Justin Britt is an excellent center and a part of the Super Bowl team. They paid big to get Duane Brown and (sticking with last year) the two young guys that will likely be very solid guys for a long time are Pocic and Ifedi. But last year they were making young guy mistakes. Check back with me around game 4 this season. I think you’ll want to keep both of those guys. This year it’ll be rookie Jamarco Jones making stupid mistakes.
Turd#4 Russell Wilson holding onto the ball for longer than all other QB’s in the NFL except 1. Ya gotta ask, how long should you expect an ‘O’-Line to hold the pocket when you have all pro rushers making a kid in his second year look silly… Ifedi had a very long season. The irony there is that Wilson gets all the credit for rescuing the season with his scrambling ability but none of the criticism for not throwing the timing routes ON TIME. Doug Baldwin should be hacked off since his stats went down and got the rap for having a mediocre season. Not very hard to do when you don’t get targeted.
Turd#5 The running game sucked and (see above) Russell Wilson was the #1 rusher in terms of yardage during the season. Review Turd#4 and all of my previous injury comments.
Turd#6 Injuries on Defense. Sherman out. Chancellor out. Both Bobby Wagner and K.J. were out briefly. Griffin out briefly. Avril out. But even in the face of that the defense was better than 20 of 32 teams in the NFL. Wow, credit goes to Pete Carroll and the Seahawk philosophy of ‘next man up’.
So here’s the big Xtra Point; Every one of these turds is getting cleaned up or already has. So what stunk up Century Link like a big pile of crap….although I don’t think it was anywhere near as bad, in fact I think was a heroic effort considering all of the adversity -Is gonna smell a lot more like another run to the playoffs this season.