Friday, October 26, 2007
Where we stand: Offense
Thanks to last Sunday's 33-6 grass stain inducing beatdown of the Rams, I did not do make bourbon and Bayers. So, hats off to the Seahawks. Its the bye week, so I figured I'd be serious for a moment and discuss where the team stands. I was going to write this as a team, but we'll take it by unit instead.
Out of sixteen teams in the NFC, the Seahawks rank seventh both in total offense and defense. That suggests a middle of the road kind of team. Considering the NFC is improved this season, thats not a bad thing. Dallas and New York seem to be fairly legit contenders in the conference. Green Bay has had a nice season so far, I think in general the conference is much improved from a year ago.
That said, here's what alarms me. Arizona is ranked higher in both total offense (5 to 7) and defense (4 to 7). Seahawk fans take a dismissive view towards Arizona, and many wrote the week 2 loss off as an anomaly. It was a lack of communication, something that won't happen again.
However, as the weeks have gone by, it is evident that Seattle is not the elite team it used to be. The team has been inconsistent from week to week. I think this can be best evidenced by Matt Hasselbeck. Hass is fifth in the league in passing yards with 1,705. Thats more then Peyton Manning (granted, the Colts have had their bye week but Matt is comparable to Brett Favre and Carson Palmer who are considered to be having good years) yet, due in part to 61% completion rate (24th in the league) and an 88.7 qb rating (14th), Hasselbeck is still finding his stride this year.
Compare those numbers to 2005, where he completed 65% of his passes, and put up a rating of 98.2. The talk going into this season was that with the drop plagued Derrel Jackson gone and a season under his belt with Deion Branch and Nate Burleson that the offense would be back in high gear. Instead, its tied with the (brace yourselves) Chicago Bears in touchdowns scored.
A lot of that would have to do with the running game that has not been able to find a groove through seven games. Shaun Alexander averages 65.7 yards per game, not near where the team needs or wants him to be. As a whole, Seattle ranks 22nd in rushing offense, averaging 92 yards per contest.
The offensive line has seemed to have some trouble run blocking this year, and o line development needs to be stressed in this bye week. It all starts up front, to use the tired football cliche, and right now its not happening for Seattle. Twice against Saint Louis, the Seahawks settled for field goals on drives that began in enemy territory. Don't let the lopsided scoreline fool you, there is much work to be done with this offense.