October 1, 2012

Backdrifts (Honeymoon is Over)

"One burst and we'll probably crumble" - Radiohead 

In the classes I teach, exams are coming up. Every time I assign essay questions, I instruct them to make sure they answer EVERY question, even if they feel like they don't know the answer. They're never pressed for time, and I give partial credit, so I encourage them to write something- ANYTHING- even if it's "bullshit." I tell them that if they write something, I'll give them something. If they write nothing, I have to give them nothing. Pretty simple, right?

On EVERY exam, a handful of students leave some answers blank anyway, and it infuriates me. Why do they do it? My best guess? Pride. They don't want to admit they might not have the answer, and they're afraid of writing something "dumb," so they leave it blank. They choose inaction over action. 

The Seattle Seahawks are rapidly approaching the point where they will have to make a very tough decision about the quarterback position. After four games, Seattle has the weakest passing game in the NFL. They are on pace to BARELY pass for more yards than the historically awful 1992 Gelbaugh/Stouffer/McGwire-led "attack." Yes, it's not all on Russell Wilson. Yes, the receivers could be better. Yes, Bevell is massively underperforming as a play-caller. But the bottom line is that even on a run-first team, a contemporary NFL offense MUST produce far more yards through the air than Seattle is right now behind Russell Wilson. 

Pete Carroll tried to defuse the issue Monday by saying that Matt Flynn is not healthy enough to play right now, but while that may buy Wilson another week or two, it raises other troubling questions: Why hasn't Flynn appeared on any injury reports? Do we need to acquire a 3rd QB given Flynn's injury? When will he be ready to play? Will this be a recurring issue for him? Is Carroll overplaying the injury to turn down the heat on himself and Russell Wilson?

Wilson will start at Carolina, but we have reached a point of absolute crisis. A win will keep the Seahawks in decent playoff position- And this is a game Seattle SHOULD win. Even on the road, the Hawks should be able to defeat a mentally unstable 1-3 Panthers squad (hell, it's even a 1 pm Seattle-time kickoff). But a loss, with games against New England and San Francisco looming? At that point, PC better show us a note from Matt Flynn's doctor if Carroll wants to keep MF in a baseball cap.

Why am I in a state of complete panic about this? Because I truly believe this team can make a run at a championship THIS SEASON. Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin give Seattle one of the league's most physical, demoralizing ground games. They absolutely broke the will of STL's defense yesterday. The defense has allowed only two touchdowns in the last three games- On an "off" day, they only allowed four field goals (two of which were 58 and 60 yarders). It would be a shame to neutralize these advantages by continuing to field what is, frankly, a non-competitive passing attack. For at least another week, that burden falls on Wilson. And Bevell. And our WR corps. ALL of them must improve on their pooptastic performances in St. Louis.

The formula for Seattle victories is clear right now: Smothering Defense + Punishing Ground Attack + Ball Security + Dominance on Special Teams. We only got two of those four things yesterday, and it still took two ridiculously long kicks and a TD on a fake field goal attempt to beat us. This is still a team that can win 10 games and make the playoffs... IF they can get QB play that is simply decent. I hope that this post looks fucking stupid in a few weeks. I hope that I have to write "Man, it's a good thing I'm not running this team, because I would have benched Russell Wilson before he turned the corner!"

I hope that Pete Carroll doesn't have to make another decision at QB. But if he is forced to, I hope he writes something down, even if he risks looking foolish. Keeping Flynn anchored to the bench while Wilson struggles and the team keeps losing is equivalent to writing down nothing.

What do you think, sirs?


StLee said...

Agreed. Ready to see what Flynn can do. Not to say that Wilson won't be the guy in the future but he certainly isn't the guy today. RW is on strike 2, and we all know strike 3 is in the mail.

2 road games, 2 times with the ball <2:00 min to go with a chance to win and 2 Ls.

Hate to say it, but its looking like its Hugh Millen and not John Gruden who called this one right.

Geoff said...

I think the way PC and Bevell are handicapping Wilson is disgusting. If he isn't capable of running our ENTIRE playbook and offense, then why is he is starting?

In the preseason Wilson ran the whole offense and made all the throws and plays asked of him. Carroll even noted that the more they gave him to handle, the better he played. I know he's a rookie and will make certain mistakes but to me, he seems like he is scared to death to do anything wrong. The coaches need to take the kid gloves off of him and stop trying to "protect" him. Its obviously not working.

Oh, and Bevell's play calling is the worst. He deserves as much blame as anyone.

Nick said...

Geoff, I agree wholeheartedly. As far as the article, I don't get how you can be so dang negative. Wilson had an almost 70% completion rate. 2 of those picks were not on him on but his receiver and te. The one pick you can blame Wilson for. Pete has even said he is limiting what Wilson does and how much he passes. If you look at the other 4 rookie qb's, look at how many attempts they have, quite a bit more than Wilson. I want to see them loosen their grip on him a bit and let him sling it a little more before I'm ready to call it quits on him.

it's all in D Hans said...

The loss in St. Louis can only be blamed on Special Teams.

The loss in Arizona can be blamed on Bevis. They were inside the 5 yard line and ran pass after pass after pass after pass. Too much to put on a rookie quartebarck's shoulders. He put us into position to win. When you can smell the end zone - FEED THE BEAST! I was at the game and was screaming "RUN THE DAMN BALL! GIVE IT TO MARSHAWN!" I would have preferred to see us hand it off 3 times in a row than ask Russel to throw in tight coverage several times. Although Baldwin should have caught that game winning touchdown...