Seahawks Insider

Hawks ground game here to stay?

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 28, 2008 at 9:27 am with 31 Comments »
September 28, 2008 9:27 am


Today’s story focuses on the balance between Seattle’s running and passing game during Seattle coach Mike Holmgren’s tenure here in Seattle. Holmgren has stayed pretty balanced in his play calling, passing nearly 54 percent of the time.


However, that number has fluctuated from a high of 57.8 percent passing last season to a low of 47.7 percent passing during Seattle’s Super Bowl season of 2005.


Because Seattle struggled to run the ball last season Holmgren had no choice but to lean on Matt Hasselbeck and his passing game. And his creative play-calling ability really showed, as the Seahawks finished 9th overall in total offense and averaged 24.6 points a contest, also good enough for ninth in the league.


However, Holmgren can look to 2005 to see how important an effective running game is to moving the football. An energized Shaun Alexander had his best year, finishing with 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns and earning league MVP honors. Seattle’s ability to run the football really kept defenses guessing, enabling Holmgren to really mix things up offensively.



A look at Super Bowl winners over the last five years further verifies why running the ball is important. New York, Pittsburgh and New England in 2004 all ranked in the top 10 in rushing when they won the Super Bowl.


However, Indianapolis (18th) and New England in 2007 (27th) did not have great rushing teams. But both had efficient quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

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Seahawks Insider
Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. Eric, love this kind of analysis…thank you!!!

  2. If Hawks DBs can control their Burressless-receivers and Hawks DL can pressure Eli, a solid run game would be a good way of approaching the NYG game.

  3. SharkHawk says:

    Where’s Frank? Another well earned vacation? He did put in a hard fought three weeks. I hope he doesn’t hurt his typing arm golfing.

  4. Great job Eric! We’ve been clamoring for some spreadsheet analysis ever since Sando left, it’s really nice to see it brought back.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Agreed. This is the type of story this blog should offer, well done. Frank is totally useless. I backed off my criticism of him for a while, after the scolding I received, however, his contributions here reflect the bare minimum attention and effort he can possibly get away with and still maintain employment. I stand by everything I wrote about his efforts then and now. Eric, you are an immeasurable improvement. I hope you get control of this blog and the freedom to run with it.

  6. When Branch, Engram and K-Rob get back in the groove Seattle will pass more and that’s ok. Just makes passing easier when you have a run game.

    Cards and Niners starting to show their true colors. At the Half Jets lead Cards 34-0 and Saints lead Niners 21-6. Anyone still think Hawks won’t repeat?

  7. In a 5 item sample, 40% of the Super Bowl winners had a less-than-average running offense, so statistically this is pretty meaningless.

  8. GhostTackler says:

    Dukeshire, 100% agreement. LAST TIME I LOOKED THE NFL SEASON HAD STARTED!!! Frank, get off the couch and report something for godsake. Not just cut and paste reports from the Times or PI, actual insight of what you see during the season. And if there is nothing to report on, FIND SOMETHING, IT IS YOUR JOB! Eric does a great job of finding stories and I wish he would get control of this blog.

  9. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Great stuff…. dare I say, Sandolicious.

  10. This year the NFC West “Champion” will be 7-9.

  11. Uhh. Excuse me, guys. It’s bye week. It’s a long season and you take your time when it is scheduled.

    Typically, Sando would take bye week off too. The only difference is that he would remember to tell us that he wouldn’t be posting unless something earthshaking was happening. Frankie is a veteran reporter and a good guy. Anybody who had heard him on Sports Radio would know that.

    Admittedly, following Sando would be hard for anybody, but there are sources you can click on to get your fix and then come back for your home team news starting tomorrow. Life’s too short, gang. There are other things happening out there.

  12. chrishuw says:

    sandos nfc west blog on espn is a better seahawks blog than any of the media blogs in the puget sound. AND HE’S BLOGGING FOR 4 TEAMS!

  13. bandito1o says:

    JIM ZORN BABY

  14. Dukeshire says:

    chrishuw, You got that right.

  15. you guys take this too seriously…its a bye week, give him a break.

  16. nighthawk2 says:

    I remain unimpressed by Sando’s ESPN schtick. He jumped on the Cardinals bandwagon when they were 2-0, and was predicting a 10 win season for SF and kissing O’Sullivan’s ass before the Saints handed said ass to the FortyWhiners today.

    Things are looking much better for this upcoming stretch. Burress is out for next week’s game, the Packers secondary is beat up and now Rodgers appears to be hurt, and the Whiners will be suffering mental duress as they start their annual swandive early, and the Bucs look beatable at home if you don’t turn the ball over 4 times and have 7 penalties. And play run defense, and run on them (the Packers are currently 26th in run defense giving up 157.8 yards per game and have given up 4 rushing TD’s. Seattle is currently 9th in run D giving up 88 yards per game and 2 rushing TDs.

  17. Would anyone be surprised to hear the Hawks are 26-1 since 2004 when holding an opponent under 20 pts? I was.

    http://hawkblogger.blogspot.com/2008/09/investigation-holding-opponents-under.html

  18. ^^^

    not really, since they’ve been an offense-first team during those years, but it’s a good sign of how effective our offense has been at putting up 20+ points a game

  19. I’m sure everyone here doesn’t share similar sentiments, but since Zorn’s gone off to Washington, the Redskins have become my second favorite NFL team. Seeing them whip the Cowboys today in their house was friggin awesome.

  20. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Onsiks, I’m with you 100%. I watched way more of the Skin’s game than I normally would. Go get ‘em J-Z

  21. Hey, todays story has an error, it says

    “Seattle is 0-4 in New York during Holmgren’s tenure, losing twice each to the Giants and the Jets. In fact, Seattle has lost its past seven games against New York teams, and hasn’t won a game against a New York team on the road since 1983, when Seattle defeated both the Giants and the Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. ”

    Seattle beat the NYG last time they met in Seattle, Shockey shocked, the Jay Feeley game. So saying that “Seattle has lost its past seven games against New York teams” is wrong. I imagine that its somehow Franks fault. Anyway, appreciate it, carry on ladies.

  22. IDHawkman says:

    Blogger,

    I’ve often said that “if” out defense shows up we need to score 24 points to win, if they don’t (like they normally don’t on the road) then we need to score 31 to 38 points to win. Even now, it is not about our offense. It is all about our defense and so far this season, our defense has let us down big. We really need someone who can collapse the pocket from the inside and get penetration on the run plays to disrupt the back in the backfield. That turns our LBs loose to make plays. That is also why Tubbs was so big for us in the SB run we had.

    Onsiks,

    I actually hate the ‘Skins ever since I lived in the D.C. area for about 20 years. But now that Zorn is there and they are running the WCO, I enjoy watching them and have a fear of them when we play them. I think they are actually going to win that division and said so many times this off season when I heard Zorn was going there as the OC. What they needed most was a mentor for Jason Cambell. Now that they have that, they are very dangerous.

  23. Dukeshire says:

    JoSCh, That game was in Seattle, this story says “in New York”. We could blame Frank, by simply using his own logic, however. You know, the logic he used to say that perhaps Nates knee injure was Forsett’s fault because he fumbled in preseason. If Frank were here, not on vacation, all this confusion would have been avoided, Eric wouldn’t have made that post. Good grief.

  24. nighthawk2 says:

    “I’m sure everyone here doesn’t share similar sentiments, but since Zorn’s gone off to Washington, the Redskins have become my second favorite NFL team. Seeing them whip the Cowboys today in their house was friggin awesome.”

    Same here. And I used to hate the Skins, mainly because of their jackass owner. But at least he’s an owner that knows what’s going on with his team and front office, unlike the Seahawks owner.

  25. nighthawk2 says:

    “JoSCh, That game was in Seattle, this story says “in New York”. We could blame Frank, by simply using his own logic, however. You know, the logic he used to say that perhaps Nates knee injure was Forsett’s fault because he fumbled in preseason. If Frank were here, not on vacation, all this confusion would have been avoided, Eric wouldn’t have made that post. Good grief.”

    The word is injury, not injure. And the idea that if someone else had stepped up and won the confidence of the coaches that they could successfully return punts, our only healthy experienced receiver wouldn’t have been returning punts, and thus injured, is a worthwhile question. But if you just have a vendetta I guess any straw seems worth grasping at.

  26. nighthawk2 says:

    By the way, the Rams fired Scott Linehan today and named Jim Haslett as interim coach. I don’t know how Linehan is supposed to get better players in the last 3/4 of the season, because that’s what the Rams need. I doubt they’ll fire their GM and team president, but they should. Those are the guys responsible for this mess.

  27. Dukeshire says:

    nighthawk2, I don’t vendetta against anyone. Nate tore his knee running a rout, not returning punts, remember? It’s been implied here that he MAY have injuried it to some degree prior to that route. Total conjucture. So to imply that, because Forsett didn’t make this team as a punt returner (a stretch under any scenario), Nate wouldn’t have torn ligaments in his knee running a simple out pattern as a WIDE RECEIVER is absurd. This is what Frank said, not me.

  28. Dukeshire says:

    Oops, route

  29. Dukeshire says:

    “I remain unimpressed by Sando’s ESPN schtick.” Classic.

  30. SharkHawk says:

    Eric, you are awesome. Keep up the great work. I really enjoyed this piece and hope you keep up the solid work. You know your football. Rumor has it you were quite the football player in your younger days.

    One thing this bunch of guys and gals loves are good football stories. When Mr. Boling posts them everybody loves them. I bet you have a few good ones from your past and from things you observe with the Seahawks. Feel free to pass them on with the analysis stuff and you’ll be a legend. Everybody loves solid analysis and a good funny story.

    Frank posts funny stuff once in a while that makes me laugh, but he seems to do it so rarely that I am never quite sure if he’s joking or not. Work a little more comedy in and I bet readership goes back up, especially if you keep hitting us with this excellent analysis stuff. It’s awesome.

  31. Dukeshire, in my least condescending voice possible, read the story. It says ” In fact, Seattle has lost its past seven games against New York teams, and hasn’t won a game against a New York team on the road since 1983″ Lost its past seven games against NY teams. Last seven.

    But hey, this blog isn’t about Seahawks or me trying to help a newspaper be accurate, it’s about you whining about the good ole days. Try .net?

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