Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Reaction to Hawks 28-24 loss

Post by Eric Williams on Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:55 am with 66 Comments »
October 29, 2012 5:58 am
Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright (50) looks down near the end of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. in Detroit. The Lions won 28-24. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya )

Good morning. I’m headed out of the Motor City and to Seattle later this morning. We’ll have our regular Monday Morning QB chat at 11 a.m. today.

But for now, let’s take a look at some reaction from Seattle’s 28-24 loss to Detroit on Sunday.

Here’s my game story from Sunday. The Seahawks have given up over 400 yards of offense in two of their past three contests. “I think the offense played great – good enough for us to win the game,” Seattle safety Earl Thomas said. “If somebody would’ve told me that the offense was going to give us 24 points, I would have taken it all day long. So I think this game is more on us, especially being in the back end (of the defense). We gave up some explosive plays, everybody across the board. But now we need to move on to the Vikings (Seattle’s next opponent at home Nov. 4).”

John McGrath of The News Tribune writes that it’s time to delete the elite tag from Seattle’s defense. McGrath: “An elite defense doesn’t enable Titus Young to collect statistics that suggest he’ll develop into a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An elite defense doesn’t afford Matthew Stafford the option – and it always was there –of dumping off an unchallenged outlet pass that moves the first-down chains.”

While the anticipated battle between Detroit’s Calvin Johnson and Seattle’s Richard Sherman never really materialized, Johnson’s teammates benefitted from all the attention he received. “I mean, you see his numbers – they speak for themselves,” Sherman said. “He was a non-factor. So, you know, that’s how that went.”

Russell Wilson threw a season-high 35 times, as the Seahawks were effective passing the ball against a banged-up Detroit secondary. “The thing I’m most excited about is that last drive we had,” Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice said. “We went down and drove the ball. We ran the ball. We made the plays that needed to be made. And I feel like we’re capable of doing that every single time we’re out there as an offense.”

Steve Kelly of The Seattle Times writes that that this time Seattle’s defense was to blame. Kelly: “That final Lions drive didn’t define the Seahawks’ defense, but it did define how much work is ahead. On the last drive, as it was for much of the frustrating afternoon, the Seahawks couldn’t get off the field. The Lions exposed the middle of the field where the defense was vulnerable.”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says that this was the most puzzling loss of the year for the Seahawks. O’Neil: “The defense had not allowed more than two touchdowns in any game this season. Not only did Detroit score four on Sunday, the Lions converted 12 of their 16 third downs, the highest percentage by any Seahawks opponent since December 2004.”

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com notes that Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was at his best on third downs, completing 14 of 15 passes for 111 yards and two TDs.

ESPN’s Mike Sando writes that the Seattle’s defense continued a trend of struggling in third and long situations.

Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle believes it’s time to focus on Seattle’s struggles on the defensive side of the ball. Salk: “The defense allowed this team to jump out to a 4-2 start while the quarterback was learning the ropes in the NFL. But a funny thing happened along the way. The quarterback play has been stellar for three straight weeks while the defense has slipped.”

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post writes that Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner was beat because he gave up an inside release to Titus Young on the slant route for the winning score.

Will Brinson of CBS Sports gives Seattle a C+ grade for its effort against the Lions. Brinson: “Excellent effort from Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson had a very good game as well. Surprisingly, this loss is on the defense — they picked Matt Stafford once and sacked him twice, but they also gave up three passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown to the Lions quarterback. Thrilling end to the game, but Seattle wasted a good offensive effort on the road.”

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  1. Seahawks22360 says:

    After sleeping on it I’ve had time to calm down and assess the situation. The way I look at it, the wild cards will come out of the north and the west. If we can manage a 10-6 record I believe we could grab one if those spots.(tie breakers with packers, cowgirls.) with that being said I think our next two games are absolutely must win.

  2. Chawksrule says:

    Need to get home. Play well the next 2 games and go into the bye week at 6-4. Then get ready for the final 6 games. Try and go 4-2 and finish with a 10-6 record. Completely doable. Remember the teams playing their best ball in December tend to make noise in the playoffs. That’s how Giants did it last year and the Packers the year before. I’m all in!

    Go Hawks!!!

  3. This is going on 5 years of woulda,shoulda,coulda. I think it’s strange that J.S has been so quiet lately. I can only hope he’s allowing P.C and R.w make their own bed’s.

  4. confucious says:

    10-6 would be an excellent finish for a team with so many inconsistencies on both offense and defense.

  5. sluggo42 says:

    Good plans, but until they figure out how to get off the field on third down, it’s going to be a very difficult year for my poor heart.

    However, Matthew Stafford was eerily good on the 3rd downs, and he put the ball in the tightest of windows imaginable, not to mention that except for megasqueak they caught the ball very well. Having all day to make those throws however is the tweak needed.

    While we have gushed for the first half of the first half on Gus Bradleys vaunted defensive prowess, the wheels have been wobbly, and are now coming off regularly. W already know that the players have skills, but we are seeing that the “plan” is what is the deal. If they boys don’t know where they are, who to cover, what gaps to fill, what zone to play, they will get beat again and again. This will prove interesting for Gus, and possibly fatal for his tenure in Seattle if he is unable to figure out how to adjust to what is happening to his “D” right now…

    Getting hammered on TOP 35-25 is a recipie for disaster, and it did come to fruition yesterday.

    Thomas was right, they should have won that game… Unfortunately for Gus, the whole world is on his shoulders this week, and he needs to get something figured out, whether it be blitz packages, or coverage/zone schemes… Something…Anything…

  6. morleytr says:

    Pete, et. al. have built a very talented, young team. Now they have to figure out how to run it, to take advantage of its strengths (which they have done fairly well), but also to hide its weaknesses (which they have failed at so far). I place a lot of the defensive blame on the LB corps, which includes a rookie and a 2nd year player. There is room for growth, but if they’re going to win this year, they need to find a way to educate them quickly or otherwise help them. Wright has tremendous potential and Wagner shows he could be very good, but they bear a lot of the blame on the underneath stuff that’s killing them, IMO.

  7. mojjonation says:

    Does anyone remember any stunts up front? Delayed blitzes? It seems that the D line did nothing but try to rush straight ahead and that all blitzes were from areas that the assigned players came from. A few times I saw ET blitz, it was from the right side and he ran straight into the left tackle. Irvin and Clem ran straight into their men. Against GB, they ran all kinds of stuff up front and it worked to the tune of 8 sacks in the first half. Since then, we have been darn near non existent from a pass rush standpoint.

    The third down defense has been a thorn in the side for the whole season. Nothing has been done to deal with this. You figure guys who are paid more money than most could figure out how to deal with it. I have to feel that I am giving them too much credit. Third down defense reminds me of our passing game. Don’t make the big mistake. Well, when you drop your LB’s far enough off the line to get everything in front of you and allow anyone to catch the ball, you allow the opposing team to march down the field. I believe it will be addressed, but I still think it won’t happen until the offseason.

  8. sluggo42 says:

    Mojo,

    I am going to guess that it gets addressed this week. I am going to guess we see a whole new page of wrinkles on the pass rush

  9. gonefishin69690 says:

    We always seem to be missing on 1 cylinder. We can take away from the fact that penalties were almost nill, and we saw some signs of life from the offense, but until we come up with how to play defense on 3rd and long, this will continue to be ugly. Teams have figured out the weakness in our defense. How many first downs were converted at or just over the marker on 3rd and long/ If they need 8 and we are giving them ten off the line, it seems like pretty easy math to me.

  10. As far as the defense, the question remains, were they as good as we thought they were or was it the competition (ie the worst Offensive division in football) which gave us an inflated opinion on how good they were?

    I am as excited as can be after a loss. We saw a Rookie QB lead the team on an 87 yard go ahead drive on the road against a Top 10 Defense (yes, the Lions are Top 10). The Rookie QB has an average supporting cast in the passing game and was responsible for 75 of those 87 yards.

    This same Rookie QB is going to put up the highest passing yards, TDs and QB rating we have seen since 2007. We have seen bumps along the way but it is an exciting process to watch unfold.

    But I don’t trust this defense to hold any 4th quarter lead with over 2 minutes left against any team -

    * The Seahawks have lost 7 of the past 16 games
    * The Defense has allowed 5 Fourth Quarter Game Winning Drives (vs Wash, vs SF, at Ariz, at Ariz, at Det)
    * Until yesterday, the Defense allowed these game winning drives to some of the worst QBs in the NFL

    I don’t know how it gets fixed. It’s been a problem for the last 16 games and I don’t see how this gets better this year.

    Bradley Ball = “I have something to protect but I’ll let you take it if you do it slowly.”

  11. I am going to guess that it gets addressed this week. I am going to guess we see a whole new page of wrinkles on the pass rush

    BAsed on what the 3-5 years of adjustments they have made to try and get a consistent pass rush? When it’s working its great but when it’s not – it really isn’t.

    How many years have we seen 3 or more sacks one game and then none for 2-4 games? Clemons has always been feast or famine, racking up most of his sacks in against the lambs and a few other weak teams

  12. Soggybuc says:

    We should have expected the D to have a few stinkers somewhere along the line. It happens to every D, look at the 9′ers vs Vikes and Giants. no need to panic yet. if they can get it corrected and play well down the stretch we could be tough come december.

  13. Southendzone says:

    Let’s be honest, you can’t look at this year’s team and say we are an elite team. Even if you try to make the argument that we are elite on defense, that is not going to be good enough.

    Until we see consistent quality performance in all phases it’s time to put down the rose colored glasses and figure out what is needed to get this team to the next level.

    I don’t have the answer but for now I feel that a finger needs to be pointed at the coaching staff.

  14. rramstad says:

    Young team, inconsistent. Each loss it’s a different problem. This is fixable…

  15. Ewalters7354 says:

    I put most of this game on Gus Bradley and Pete Carroll.Terrible defensive game plan.The LBs are dropping 15yrds playing three deep coverage leaving the middle of the field WIDE open Smh..

  16. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Time to get hungry and feed off our home cooking the next two weeks.

    Young team = ups and downs, however the downs aren’t as big as last year, and that’s a sign we are getting better, imo.

  17. “Does anyone remember any stunts up front? Delayed blitzes? It seems that the D line did nothing but try to rush straight ahead and that all blitzes were from areas that the assigned players came from. A few times I saw ET blitz, it was from the right side and he ran straight into the left tackle. Irvin and Clem ran straight into their men. Against GB, they ran all kinds of stuff up front and it worked to the tune of 8 sacks in the first half. Since then, we have been darn near non existent from a pass rush standpoint.”

    Agreed – and not sure why. Once we saw that they were handling Clemons and Irvin, it was on our staff to figure out other ways to get pressure on Stafford. Never happened. It’s not some crazy mystery as to why teams convert on 3rd and long, it’s all about the pass rush – when you have it, you get hurried throws and incompletions. We all know that no defensive backfield can stay on their guys forever.

    Frustrating loss. This one, and the one at StL. are going to haunt us if we come up short in the playoff picture.

  18. “As far as the defense, the question remains, were they as good as we thought they were or was it the competition (ie the worst Offensive division in football) which gave us an inflated opinion on how good they were?”

    They played very tough this year against Dallas, GB, and Carolina, three teams that have put very big offensive numbers.

    Brady and Stafford are very good QB’s, obviously, but yeah, it’s still troubling when you’re giving up that kind of yardage in the pass game. Esp, when those passing yards are basically like run plays, and keep their offense on the field for those 8 minute drives.

  19. It’s not news people, the 2012 Seahawks ARE NOT a good team, they’re above average at best.

  20. Offensive Rankings of the teams the Seahawks faced:

    NE #1
    Det #2
    Dallas #7
    SF #8
    Carolina #20
    GB #21
    STL #28
    Ariz #31

    The Seahawks Defense played poorly against NE, Dallas and SF. They played well against Dallas and the 4 bottoms teams against that list. I think it’s clear where this Defense stands – in the middle of the pack.

    And if the Cam Newton had not thrown that 3 yard pass into the ground and the Seahawks received a fortunate call at the end of the GB game, the blown 4th quarters could have been even worse.

  21. “The Seahawks Defense played poorly against NE, Dallas and SF.”

    SHOULD BE

    “The Seahawks Defense played poorly against NE, Det and SF.”

  22. Despite my negative postings, here is why I think the Seahawks finish 6-2 in the second half of the season:

    1). 5 of the last 8 games at home
    2). The continued improvement of the Passing Game (which is more important than a good running game)
    3). The final 8 games are against only 1 team with an Offense in the top 18. There are some bad offenses yet to be faced which will put the Defense back to “elite” status.

    Anyone who has followed the Seahawks for over 8 games knows that the Seahawks have historically feasted on a home schedule and against bad teams.

  23. Didn’t realize Detroit was ranked quite so high – maybe their 28 pts shouldn’t have been such a surprise.

    Still – the strong games against GB and Carolina are not meaningless to me (and, as you point out, Dallas’ O is highly ranked), even if their offenses are not as highly ranked at this point in the season. That said, this kind of ball-control passing has proven to be successful against us, so we do need to figure out some adjustments.

  24. Dukeshire says:

    mojjonation – I do. In fact I commented on a couple of stuntz and LB blitzes during the game chat. Where we (I) saw a more passive scheme was on third down. I’m going to re-watch the game but in those 3rd and long(er) down and distances they do seem to be content to rush 4 (sometimes 3) and play zone behind it. It’s pretty clear at this point that’s a failed strategy.

  25. yakimahawk says:

    I agree I think the Hawks have a better 2nd half of the season. But I am seeing an offense trending up and a defense trending down with some of the most frustrating and horrible defensive schemes I have seen. With really good athletic players we should not be giving up the field. We just did not give it up in front of the LB’s 15 yards of the line of scrimmage we gave it up behind the safeties too. Does anyone here think Bradley is on the hot seat if he continues his non-adjustment schemes through games? I think this is more on Bradley than the players there was no pressure and has not been any consistant pressure game in game out all year. The other teams OC is seeing this quick release deal working on the hawks and it has to be on Gus to get our LB up to stop those passes and the D-line must get the hands up to disrupt a little.

  26. I believe we’re on that NFL Network game reply on Tuesday – quick way to re-watch the game . . .

  27. again, you’re not gonna have a defense that keeps those top 5 ranked offenses completely at bay. sorry, but it’s not going to happen. the best way to contain them, is to have long, time crunching drives, sucking clock, taking away their chances, and limiting their TOP. The offense being 3/9 on third down didn’t help, and neither did the defense letting the lions convert 12/16 of their offensive third downs, but again, you gotta use your best defense (aka offense), to keep these high octane offenses at bay, which the O failed to do, regardless if the blame is on Bevell, RW, Kurt Cobain, or Rick Mirer… the Offense failed to do that.

  28. remaining games:

    Minn
    NY Jets
    Bye
    @Miami
    @Chicago
    Arizona
    @Buffalo
    San Francisco
    St. Louis

    Can we 6 of these? Definitely seems possible. Tough road games at Miami, and esp Chicago, and a tough home game against SF (though, aren’t we due to beat these guys?); but 9-7, or 10-6, doesn’t seem to be out of reach.

    One thing about this year’s team, every single game is close.

  29. Duke – the problem with blitzing Stafford (or Brady or Manning etc.) is that they are very good at attacking the blitz. If you blitz these guys, you give up the big play too often.

    Many teams playing elite QB’s prefer to rush only 3 or 4 and play coverage to limit the YAC.

    The problem yesterday (IMO) was that despite rushing only 3 or 4 and trying to play coverage, we had some breakdowns that still allowed the big play (the long Titus Young TD is a prime example). So….. its not the decision to rush 3 or 4 that is the problem, it it the coverage breakdowns that need to be addressed.

  30. mojjonation says:

    sluggo…I hope and pray you are right that they will adjust this week. I just don’t see ith appening.

    pdway…I also didn’t realize that Detroit was high up on the offensive list.

    pabu…you figure with a second ranked offense they would be better than 2-4. Maybe it was that vaunted Detroit defense that was holding them back. Weird.

    What I would like to see. Stunts up front. Delayed blitzes where the blitzer runs though a hole made by our D line. Do not tell your blitzing safety that it is OK to run into a left or right tackle. I know it takes time for delayed blitzes to work. Time seems to be short when teams are throwing underneath. In the event that there are guys are dropping off to far and the underneath is hurting us again, tell them to not drop as far and try to force the QB to throw over the LB’s and under the safety. It would seem to be harder to drop a ball in a hole than to throw it with no one in your face or in the underneath routes way.

    I’m just a fan. A fan who suffered through the 90′s when Cortez Kennedy was the defensive player of the year on the most offensively challeneged team to ever (not) cross a football field. But sometimes it seems that the guys sitting at home sofa coaching see things better than the teams and coaches do. At least it comes across like that when the same happens to this team week in and week out.

  31. Minn @ SEA – toss up

    NY @ SEA – SEA W

    SEA @ MIA – L

    SEA @ CHI – L

    ARI @ SEA – Blowout SEA W

    SEA @ BUF – Tarvaris being here worries me, he knows the O. Sea L

    SF @ SEA – SEA L (close game)

    STL @ SEA – SEA W (blowout)

  32. Dukeshire says:

    blocis – I understand the balance required. Beyond answering a question, my point is that the strength of this defense (secondary) is man coverage. If Bradley chooses not to blitz in 3rd and long, that’s fine. But running a zone, in addition to no blitz, has been allowing teams to shred this defense. An adjustment needs to be made. And it’s not YAC that’s the issue. The problem is that these routes are run to the sticks allowing conversions in those 3rd down situations time and time again.

  33. What was holding the Lions back was they simply weren’t scoring many TDs despite yards gained. They had scored ZERO points when starting at their own 18 or worse. Yesterday they scored a TD on the first such opportunity. The Lions then scored 2 more TDs on 80+ yard drives.

    The Seahawks Defense had been masking their deficiencies against good offenses with good (or lucky?) red zone defense. Yesterday, the cracks in the dam broke against a team that had little of their own success in the red zone.

    There is no way this team loses to Minnesota at home next week.

  34. gonefishin69690 says:

    So, who is everybody routing for tonite? I think SF will take this division anyway, and an AZ loss, means tighter wild card. I’ll take SF 34-14

  35. yakimahawk says:

    RADEoN… I don’t care if they have a top 5 offense. Over 70% 3rd down coversion ratio and an offense that got off over 70 offensive plays means not only is our defense NOT elite neither is the DC. This is totally inexcusible with the talent on our defense. When R Sherman posts-tweeted about “it’s not the yards it’s the points” I just cringed..Eventually the points and yards get balanced out and it looks like it is starting to happen.

  36. This line scares me -

    ” Not only did Detroit score four on Sunday, the Lions converted 12 of their 16 third downs, the highest percentage by any Seahawks opponent since December 2004.”

    2004 was the last time the Seahawks started strong (#1) on Defense and got shredded as soon as the schedule got tougher.

  37. sluggo42 says:

    Something WILL get adjusted, to be sure. Whether or not is works, remains to be seen.

  38. CDHawkFan says:

    I brought up the LB not contributing, dropping too far back and not blitzing on 3rd down back 5 weeks ago, seen it ever since. Since they all watch the tape over and over, I assume they are going to the grave with this this approach.

    What bother me most about this game was not picking on the Lions weaknesses. Their CB are guys that were selling cars a few weeks ago, their LB aren’t speacial, but it seems we didn’t exploit them enough, so I put this one on the coaches.

    Another head scratcher, I saw it with SF, with Det, even NE, why can’t we be clever with the short passing ourselves? I see these little roll outs to the TE, or quick hitters (for positive yards) to the WR, or even to the RB. There seems to be 3 to 4 calls a game by the other offense that make me say ‘why don’t we run that play’? It seems like we have the same basic passing plays designed to go too far down the field, what about the low risk, high probability passes near the line of scrimmage for the 4-8 yard (or more) gainers? So less play-action and just get on with it.

  39. Duke – I get it that you get it. :)

    But what can Bradley do? Like all play callers he has his teams preferences but must mix in some of everything (some man, some zone, play some coverage, play some blitz).

    I haven’t seen any game charting or statistics that suggest the Seahawks ran too much zone or not enough blitz or whatever vs. Lions known tendencies.

    Even with knowing a teams tendencies, each play call is a roll of the dice to some extent.

    I guess I don’t feel very strongly that the defensive play calls were especially questionable.

  40. “Minn @ SEA – toss up
    NY @ SEA – SEA W
    SEA @ MIA – L
    SEA @ CHI – L
    ARI @ SEA – Blowout SEA W
    SEA @ BUF – Tarvaris being here worries me, he knows the O. Sea L
    SF @ SEA – SEA L (close game)
    STL @ SEA – SEA W (blowout)”

    Seems to me that the key games, in a sense, are the road games against Miami and Buffalo. Games we can win, but these across the country road games, have been tough for us for years now. If we get those, and take are of the home games that we should win, we’ll get our 9-10 wins.

    Of course, the one-game-at-a-time cliche is applicable too – - got to beat Minnesota next week, or it all starts to look gloomy.

  41. I think we need to give the Lions and Matt Stafford some credit too – they are a talented group, even without Burleson.

    I just think we need to concentrate on / fix the communication and coverage issues in the defence. If these are fixed the play calling ‘issue’ evaporates.

  42. Southendzone says:

    Rewatch this game on Tuesday night? Really?

    That game from Sunday was frustrating to watch the first time. I wouldn’t do it again unless I was captured by the Taliban and they were using it as an interrogation method.

  43. mojjonation says:

    Duke….it is true that your better QB’s will destroy a blitz. I agree that our third down zone passing defense leaves something to be desired. Even if the LB’s only dropped 6 or 7 yards as opposed to 9 or 10 (depending on distance), it may force the opposing QB to throw sooner or even later than what he wants to because the route will not be open when he wants it to be.

    We already know about Arizona, St. Louis, and San Fran when it comes to offensive weapons and ability. Trying to add a new wrinnkel when they come to town may be useless since all three of those games were close. One play on any of those games and the outcome is different.

    As far as the rest of the schedule, the only QB I really worry about is Cutler. That guy is feast or famine. Win or whine. We have proven we can take away any teams outside threats. That leaves us with everyone elses underneath hands guys.

    Minnesota looked mortal. If you stop AP, and keep track of Harvin, you should be able to handle the rest of their guys. Their defense shows signs of what it once was, but it isn’t as consistent. Allen can make any ofefnsive tackle look like a high schooler, but he himself can also look foolish at times. Keeping the front 7 off of Wilson wil be a key if we want to have a balanced attack. It can be done.

    The Jets. What can you say. They are a mess. Team turmoil can look tough like they did against NE, then turn around look like ess against Miami. I really don;t know what to make of this game. It’s at home. We should be able to make enough noise to cause their whole team to start yelling at one another. Thus, giving us the win.

    Bye week. Thank you.

    At Miami. This is looking tougher and tougher each week. They looked like world beaters against the Jets and that’s a divisional matchup. But again it is the Jets and man do they look disfuncational. This is another road game that is winnable. But it is the road, and it is Seattle. So we may see another Detroit or a Carolina.

    At Chicago. It took them until the last half of the fourth quarter to really play ball against Carolina. While they have the second best record in the NFC, I don’t see them as the second best team. Other than San Fran, they really haven’t beaten anyone. There lone loss was to GB early in the season. Marshall and Cutler have a bromance going on. But I think the way to stop them is to hold Forte in check both running and catching. Briggs is playing arguably the best football of his career and Urlacher finds a way to play no matter what. Tillman can make anyone fumble. I think they lead the league in takeaways. This is the toughest road game of the season. It can be won. Ball security will be huge.

    Arizona at home. A slug fest we should win since they are in a free fall at this poiont and will still be falling when they get to our house.

    Buffalo in Canada. If our offense continues to progress, we should be fine by this game. I believe they are the worst defense from a points allowed standpoint. This is a homcoming of sorts for Lynch with Buffalo being the team that drafted him. I’d rather see him put up 200 on these guys than feel sorry for them. Super Mario is a super bust this year but he will still be looking to make his mark on a rookie QB. Keep Williams out of the backfield and we should be alright. But this is a road game. So anything can happen.

    San Fran at home. This game is losable. If there is one game on the schedule at home that worries me, it is this one. Harbaugh seems to have PC’s number. This will be ugly. Two days before Christmas, in the NW, in the cold/rain/snow. I’d like nothing more than to send Harbaugh home with a loss and a lump of coal that ties us up at the top of the division. We would then be 2-3 in division with only….

    …St. Louis at home. Since the week they beat us, they have fallen off the map. Surrendered 45 points to NE yesterday. Fisher looked like he wanted to eat some babies. We should honestly have this game going away. We will be coming off a physical game against San Fran and should still be ready to win the last game of the season and make things right. 3-3 in division and hopefully holding the tie breaker over enough teams to squeak in if we don’t win the division.

  44. Bradley may mix the play calls in 3rd and long or when trying to protect a late game lead but it’s all done within the context of Bradley Ball – “I have something to protect but I’ll let you take it if you do it slowly.”

    Every once in a while when there are over 1-2 minutes left, he should throw a high risk, high reward play call (ie blitz) in there. And if the other team scores in a hurry, then the offense will have to try to rescue the team.

    But if this Defense has all the Pro Bowlers and all the talent everyone thinks it has, they will make more plays than they miss in high risk/high reward situations.

  45. The sky isn’t falling. (yet)
    The D had a poor performance on the road at 10am vs a pretty good aerial attack. Our zone coverage still sucks.

    Some of you have already said it and I agree.
    This is a young team, They’re still learning how to win the close games.
    Holmgren was saying the same thing back in 2003/04.

    The promising aspect is that all losses have been 7pts or less.
    RW seems to be getting better. All signs are pointing towards a better team but some people are still calling for Petey’s & Gus’ job after a loss.
    They don’t call it over reaction monday for nothing..

  46. Ewalters7354 says:

    Gus does not deserve a break here.This reminds me of the Arizona game in the Mora era, when Gus introduced the ole rush 3 drop 8 tactic that worked for one half of that game, after that he called that play the whole season, down in and down out.Once again, he’s at it again.Pete is a so called defensive guru, he’s got to address this.

  47. Dukeshire says:

    I’m not convinced that good QBs will necessarily shred a blitz simply because you’re blitzing. Of course they can, if for no other reason than they are able to find the favorable one on one matchup, time and again. But defenses cannot simply site back and allow QBs to dictate. It’s obviously a challenge to balance blitzes and disguise coverages and so on, and generally, I like how this defense approaches a game. But, a change is long overdue on how they approach 3rd down situations. The zone principles they are using in those situations are not working. Blitz or not, that’s not my complaint. But please scrap the dime and bandit and man up.

  48. Dukeshire says:

    This is one of the few times that I completely agree with pabuwal.

  49. I like those thoughts Duke.

  50. So is Stafford this good?

    16 3rd down plays:
    1 Stafford run for TD
    15 Stafford passes — he was 14/15 147 yds 2 tds
    —- Passer rating: 147.08 on 3rd down

  51. So thoughts from Mitch on KJR:

    what does everyone think
    “It is my belief that we now know 5 of the 6 NFC playoff teams after 8 weeks: ATL, NYG, GB, CHI, SF. Will Seattle be the 6th? “

  52. I hear you guys, but I think the Lions just executed their offence better than we executed our defence. This is more ‘the problem’ than defensive play calling.

    Hey, the offensive play calling was especially bad earlier in the season and I was right there questioning it at the time. This doesn’t feel the same to me. But thats just my opinion.

  53. Dukeshire says:

    I do agree that Detroit is not getting enough credit for playing well on offense. But I think we can all agree that there need to be some 3rd down scheme adjustments.

  54. PugetHawk says:

    Big game this week. Minnesota and Seattle are teams that will be in the hunt for the sixth spot in the NFC. Glad it is at home.

  55. xcman, I definitely think that Stafford is not THAT good. Our schemes on 3rd down were miserably ineffective, and that made him look better than he actually is. I agree with Pabuwal that we need to sprinkle in some of those high risk high reward blitz packages in there, even at the end of games. I do not believe in prevent defense, prevent only prevents you from winning. If you look at AZ, I think we have as much talent as them but they are much more aggressive, which in turn allows them to make more explosive game changing plays and create turnovers.
    We need to play more like the Cardinals, as much as I hate to say it.
    Just playing straight up and vanilla zone is not going to cut it now, or in the playoffs if we make it.
    One thought on the playoffs, I agree with the opinion the top 5 are pretty much set for the NFC. We really need to look at the playoff race like we are battling about 3-4 teams for that last spot.
    Namely, the Vikings, Cowboys, Eagles,and maybe Lions.
    Cardinals are finished. Eagles look like a mess. We gave the Lions life yesterday. But it mostly comes down to DAL, MIN, and us.
    If we can beat the Vikes next week, that’s a good first step.
    We’ll probably have the tiebreaker over the Cowboys.
    10-6, and we get the wild card for sure. But that means we go 6-2 in the last half, and that’s a tall order. What may be more realistic is a 5-3 finish which means we’re at 9-7, with the last wild card berth still at play. We will need some other teams losing at opportune times and to certain teams, meaning we need a few breaks and bounces to go our way. But I still have hope for this team, I think we can pull it off. And if we don’t make it this year, we will be much improved next year. GO HAWKS!

  56. freedom_X says:

    Two weeks ago everyone was worried about Gus Bradley leaving to get a HC job. Just as I predicted, a couple bad games and everyone jumps off the bandwagon. As though one or two games actually determines a coaches’ value.

    Schemes only go so far. You need talent. And if Seattle still doesn’t have the pass rush talent to put pressure on the QB, no scheme is going to magically fix that. They have to go bend-but-don’t break if they can’t pressure the passer and disrupt in the backfield.

    A few twists or stunts aren’t going to conjure up an instant pass rush, unless that fits into the player’s talent set and the current playcalling isn’t taking advantage. I’m not certain that those moves will unlock untapped pass rush potential just lying around waiting for an enlightened coordinator to release.

    It would be more likely that a line coach might be able to coach up the techniques of the players better. I just don’t know if that’s what Seattle’s problem is.

    So much for the 2012 defense being better than the 1984 defense… (as though one could judge that 1/3 of the way into the season.) Let’s hope they stay healthy – then there’s still the prospect the defense can improve. Even legendary defenses like the Super Bowl winning Bear and Raven defenses had their lapses during the season.

  57. Matt Flynn for Dwayne Bowe.
    Would you do it? I wouldn’t.

  58. There are trade rumors out there about Braylon.

  59. piperfeltcher says:

    Ok so what player in regards to expectations is the most disapointing so far?

    For me it has to be KJ Wright he was playing great at the end of last season and looked like a future star in the preseason. He had a solid start to this season but his play has really tailed off the last couple of weeks and on Sunday he was brutal.

  60. Vancouver_Hawk68 says:

    It is very refreshing to see some discussion about the defense albeit after a very frustrating game. From my perspective the defensive weaknesses are threefold.
    1) The pass rush is servicable against mediocre or weak O-lines (although it wasn’t against the weak Arizona line) and downright ugly against average or good ones. Tom Brady has very little pressure and threw for 400 yards mostly on short and medium junk. The Hawks got lucky in that game as the Patriots did not convert their yards into points. Also in the final minute, they shut the door on Brady decisively. The third down defense was not very good in that game either which is not often mentioned. The Detroit game was similar but they converted their yards better into points. Irvin has not shown me that he is a capable NFL end. Not sure what he slipped Bulaga in the Green Bay game but he is mostly invisible against capable tackles.
    2) Our linebackers are not very good in coverage. Two reasons I guess. They are young and not very experienced and coverage skills take a bit longer to learn and they are also aggressive which leads to breakdowns in schemes at times. Fixable over time I hope.
    3) Schemes. The third and long issue has been around for years even though the personnel has changed dramatically. I am not an expert but those soft coverages and zones are not working. I would much rather that they give up the occasional conversion on a well executed play that beats an aggressive coverage as opposed to giving up two thirds over the middle with no pressure and no chance in hell to consistently stop good passers.

    The defense is one elite pass rusher short of having all tools. The linebackers will be better later in the season or next year and Bradley will be Bradley. One other point is that if we had another elite pass rusher across from Clemons, we might give up some of our effectiveness against the run that stems from Big Red being on that side. He sure does not generate pressure but he stops the run very effectively.

    Overall I am thrilled with this team as they are clearly in every game. I was worried when we went with the rookie but am now less so. Young team is having some growing pains and some of the coaching doesn’t help. Let’s go for a home sweep and wins in Buffalo and Miami. I would not complain if the D-line could repeat their GB performance against crybaby Cutler. He definitely can be rattled.

    Go Hawks

  61. I agree Sandpoint, I love Sherman’s feistiness, but he needs to let his play do more of the talking. It’s one thing if you back it up every game, but he got straight burned by Young yesterday. I was surprised he didn’t press him at the line and let him get a clean get off. I guess talking is ok if it motivates the player, but sometimes I think why put added pressure on yourself and put the spotlight on when you are already on an island all by yourself? At some point it is not a smart play to keep doing that.

  62. Dukeshire says:

    piperfeltcher – I think Wright is still playing well. However, he and Wagner are having a difficult time defending the pass underneath. I’m sure he’s disappointed in himself for allowing that final TD, that’s his responsibility. But all in all, I think you might be a little tough on him. There’s room for improvement but he’s still a stud in the making.

  63. bbnate420 says:

    Sandpoint, part of being an elite corner is having a big ego IMO. I’m not sure you can take that away from him. I do wish he would put a cork in it after giving up 28 points and an 80 yard drive to lose the game. Especially when Calvin just plainly dropped the winning TD behind you a few plays before the winning TD. Didn’t have jackspit to do with his defense.

  64. bbnate420 says:

    One thing I haven’t heard mentioned here much about this defense is the drop in turnovers forced from last year. The team had 22 INTs last year. They’re only on pace for 14 in 2012, none from the LBs. The fumble recoveries are about the same. 9 last year, and on pace for 8 this year. They’re -2 in TO differential as opposed to finishing +8 in 2011. That’s a pace of a drop of negative 12 in TO differential. If I remember correctly, they started forcing more turnovers later in the year in 2011. Hopefully, they do the same in 2012.

    pab, you make a decent point in general about some of the offenses played, but I think your stats are somewhat misleading. The better point may be that we played GB, Dal, and NE at home. It seems you must’ve used yards allowed a game to rank the offenses. I wasn’t totally sure at first, because I didn’t realize that you posted it before the Mon game.

    If you were just to go by that narrow criteria, then the Hawks still have a top 5 defense. Actually, the Hawks are #5 in yards allowed a game and #3 in points allowed a game. NE is #1 in both yards and points per game. Sea held them approx. 10 points and 72 yards under their averages. Det is actually only 16th in points per game. That’s because they have turned the ball over and made stupid penalties. They were able to avoid that for the most part versus Sea. Det has a strong O, but the Hawks have to do better if they want to be a top 5 defense. I agree with that. Very bad game. GB is # 10 in points per game, and they held them to 12, 14 under their average. They also held them 76.6 yards below their average. They held San Fran to 13 on the road, 10.6 below their average. They also held them to 56 yards below their average. They held Carolina to 6.3 below their average on the road. Really 8.3 since they took a safety. They held Dal to 87.3 yards and 12.6 points below their averages.

    The Tards and Lambs offenses suck, but the Lambs offense didn’t do much versus them. It was the special teams and turnovers. I would agree that the Hawks defense probably isn’t top 5 right now. I would put them more near the bottom of the top 10. I hope that they will be playing like a top 5 D by the end of the year. They still have a lot of inexperience on D. I also think/hope PC will figure out some new strategies for 3rd down. I don’t care if Bradley wants to play a certain way. PC is the head coach and made his name on defense. The buck certainly stops there for me. If Bradley won’t make the right calls, then Pete needs to take it over. Period. I don’t think they’re just average. I think that’s an overreach. Their pass rush still seems to be too dependent on the noise at home. It was especially bad without Jones on Sunday.

    The quality of the offenses they’re going to face, both statistically and subjectively, is significantly less in the second half. Plus, 5 are at home. The Bears are the only team they face in the top 10 in scoring, #8, and that is misleading in respect to their offense. They’re 26th in yards per game. They are scoring as much as they are in large part because they are +12 in TO differential and have already returned 6 INTs for touchdowns.

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