The Seattle Seahawks' offense on Sunday finally showed signs of life in the 2017 season. Unfortunately for them, it was too late in the game to overcome a big deficit in a 33-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The Seahawks are now 2-11 in September road games under Pete Carroll.
The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta writes that shifting gears made things better for Seattle's offense.
"Going hurry-up and no-huddle again seemed to kick-start things. Russell Wilson also simply made some better throws as the game wore on — he admitted as much afterward, saying of the slow start 'I put that on me,'" Condotta wrote.
Wilson, statistically, finished with great stats -- 29-of-49 for a career-high 373 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions for a quarterback rating of 110.3.
ESPN's Brady Henderson says the offense is still looking for a complete performance.
"If only the Seahawks' offense could play that way for four quarters. Heck, even three full quarters might have been enough for them to leave Nashville with a win instead of a 33-27 loss. Their inconsistency on offense was far from the only glaring issue, but it was a big one," Henderson wrote.
Sports Illustrated's Andy Benoit says it's time to get Russell Wilson moving more.
"Wilson, at just under 5' 11", is short. His advocates deride anyone who dare mentions this, pointing out that Wilson has disproven doubters here. Except acknowledging Wilson’s height is not doubting him. It’s not old-minded football thinking. It’s physics. There are certain things a 5' 11" man can’t see behind offensive linemen six inches taller than him, as well as the outstretched arms of similarly sized defenders. It’s evident with Wilson every week on film. And because he is such a tremendous athlete, Wilson never developed the subtle pocket movement that a slightly less short guy, like Drew Brees, relies on for changing his view of the field. Wilson has always been able to run away from people; his tendency is to break down and leave the pocket," Benoit wrote.
Of course, the offensive line remains an issue even though Wilson was sacked once.
"The O-line looked lost as they tried to identify which of Tennessee’s front seven were rushing and which ones weren’t, robbing the team of any chance to establish their game plan. Russell Wilson’s first 12 drop-backs included seven incompletions, a sack, two fumbles, and three completions for 22 yards- an infantile 1.8 yards per pass play. That, combined with a run game that averaged about a yard and a half per carry during the same period, led to punts on Seattle’s first seven possessions," Jacson Bevens of Field Gulls wrote. But he also put some blame on Wilson, saying he looked "skittish" and missed open receivers.
How about a shout-out for Jimmy Graham escaping from the witness protection program? After three catches for nine yards in the first two games, Graham had seven catches for 72 yards Sunday.
While the offense started to purr, the defense sputtered in ways we haven't seen in a while.
"Running back DeMarco Murray romped 75 yards downfield and outran just about every Seahawks defensive player on his way to the end zone," Stefanie Loh of The Seattle Times wrote. "For the second week in a row, the Seahawks’ defense allowed a running back to go for 100 rushing yards."
710 ESPN Seattle's Danny O'Neil is hoping this was just a case of the Seahawks being exhausted. The Seahawks defense has been on the field an average of 31:37 this season, and it was hot and humid in Nashville.
"So maybe the Seahawks were tired in the second half. That’s the easy answer if only because the alternative is much more troubling," O'Neil wrote. In the 48 regular-season games Seattle played the past three years, there were four opponents who rushed for more than 150 yards. Tennessee became the second to do it in eight days," O'Neil wrote.
The News Tribune's Gregg Bell notes one big play -- and its immediate aftermath -- that could have changed the outcome of the game early.
"Richard Sherman lost his helmet and his head getting steamed at officials for calling three penalties on him—on one play. That negated (Kam) Chancellor’s interception in the first half,' Bell wrote.
There is obviously a lot of frustration being shown from this Seahawks team. Team, especially Sherman, have been playing out of control— cover32 Seahawks (@cover32_SEA) September 24, 2017
Take heart, Seahawks fans. This may feel like a downer being 1-2 to start the season, but they also started 1-2 in 2015 and still made the playoffs.
And Seth Walder from ESPN analytics says they are still the team to beat in the west.
"Though the Seahawks are now 1-2, they still have a 58% chance to win the NFC West and a 64% chance to reach the postseason overall. Those numbers could shift slightly with tomorrow's FPI update," Walder said.
Finally, as promised, here's how Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, would describe that scoreless first quarter. OK -- it's a gif of Austin Powers that someone posted. But it's apropos.
Seahawks vs Titans first quarter recap.... pic.twitter.com/GVkEPrQ3id— Terry (T-Holla) (@terryhollimon) September 24, 2017