Monday, October 30, 2006


AP photo -- Charlie Riedel

Daylight savings time isn't observed in Hawaii. It isn't observed by the Seahawk defense either, which got the daylights pounded out of it to the tune of 499 yards yesterday.

I didn't expect the Seahawks to walk out of Kansas City with a win. They didn't. No surprise there. Personnel change year to year, sure, but when your team has lost 18 of the last 20 games they've played at Arrowhead, sometimes you gotta wonder.

Seneca Wallace didn't actually do too badly for his first NFL start. Granted, 15 of 30 is a pretty low completion percentage for a quarterback in Mike Holmgren's offense, which signals that it's not really clicking on all cylinders, but that's not news at all. When you have absolutely no running game and you end up forcing more passes, you're probably not going to complete a high percentage of them. He'll hear about throwing underneath to Mack Strong for eight yards on 4th-and-15 (Seahawks' last snap) all week, but other than that, pretty okay by Wallace.

Let's face it. The only reason the Seahawks were able to get back into the game was because the Chiefs were busy almost coughing it up. The muffed field-goal snap by Dustin Colquitt (and resulting Kelly Herndon fumble return to the end zone) cut the Chiefs' lead to 27-21 late in the third quarter. The Chiefs got a holding call to put them into long-yardage situations on second and third down on the ensuing possession, and Colquitt punted for the first time in the game early in the fourth quarter, giving the Seahawks more hope. Herman Edwards gave the Seahawks yet another chance on the next possession, letting Lawrence Tynes attempt (and miss) a 50-yard field goal attempt, and 7:07 remained on the clock. It was a Kansas City defensive holding penalty that bailed the Seahawks out on 3rd-and-10 when they got six yards. The very next play was the play where Ty Law fell down and Darrell Jackson caught a pop fly down the right sideline and ran to the end zone. That was two plays after Law nearly picked a pass.

After the Chiefs got their lead to 27-14, the Seahawks got the ball back and Wallace was subsequently picked on the first play from scrimmage. After Colquitt finally punted, the offense went three-and-out, basically ending the game. After Tynes missed the field goal, the Seahawks got the lead on the Jackson touchdown.

Did anyone out there think the Seahawks would hold that one-point lead with 6:30 left? Me neither.

Some time during the 2005 season, the Seahawks failed to bottle up some of the aura from the defense. This defense we're seeing in 2006 is the 2004 defense, and it hurts like hell to say that. We got spoiled last year watching that defense. What's frustrating about this defense is that other than Julian Peterson (who's the best Seahawk defender so far), Ken Hamlin returning, and Marquand Manuel leaving, these are the same exact guys, and we're seeing the exact opposite result.

They need to play SIXTY MINUTES of football, NOT forty-five. I said it in the thread, and I'll say it again: things like Week 5 against the Rams in 2004 need to stay in the past and never ever come back.
--- Me in the game post following the Week 4 game against the Giants

People pooh-poohed it at the time, saying it'd be hard for the Seahawks to be motivated in the fourth quarter when they had a 42-3 lead on the Giants, which can be somewhat arguable. What I do know is that the defense has absolutely not been the same since. They gave up 27 points in that fourth quarter, and gave up 37, 28, 31, and 35 points in the four following games. That's 158 points given up over 17 quarters of football. Obviously, that's terrible. That's an average of 9.3 points a quarter, and that adds up to about 37 points a game. The Seahawk offense when fully healthy rarely puts up 37 points, so when the defense is allowing close to 37 points a game, it doesn't even give the team a chance.

Looking back on that quote, I wish playing sixty minutes of football was the main concern right now. Now they're rarely showing up for 45 seconds, let alone 45 minutes. After Shaun Alexander and then Matt Hasselbeck got hurt, everyone got concerned about the offense, but in the Minnesota game, how bad the defense was stepped to the forefront as well.

What I'm trying to say is that I went from worrying about complete games of football being played by the team to the offense functioning well to the offense getting just enough done to win.

What are we worried about now? The defense can't tackle and the defense can't cover. What they can do is get beat downfield by crazy-ass plays. As brought up earlier, it doesn't say much for the defense when the Chiefs never had to punt until early in the fourth quarter. Actually, it does say a lot about the defense, just nothing good.

Let's say Bobby Engram, Matt Hasselbeck, and Shaun Alexander all get magically healthy and are all available next week. The only thing that might do for the defense is keep them off the field for slightly longer periods of time. That'd be good since right now, the defense can't get themselves off the field. Well, they actually can. They'll allow some crazy 53-yard pass play, and three plays later the other team gets into the end zone. Then the defense gets some rest.

My basic feeling toward this team right now is something along the lines of "wake me when Hasselbeck and Alexander get back onto the field." Until then, I barely even want to pay attention to this team.

One day, the Seahawks will get their offensive cogs back so that the defense has big leads with which to blow. Of course, if the Seahawk defense tried to be bad, they'd probably be bad at that too, so bad that they might be good instead.


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