Where Do The Seahawks Stand After 5 Games?

by Joe on October 8, 2012

OK, we have had 5 games against a variety of good and bad opponents. We have played 3 games on the road and 2 at home. We have played division and non-division games. I think we have seen enough where we can make some calls and predictions as to what kind of team this is, how the players will perform this year, and what we should expect.

We are 3-2 right now and could pretty easily be 1-4 or 5-0. Both games we lost were surely winnable. The wins against Green Bay and Carolina could have gone against us. The only game that was really a for sure thing was the Dallas game.

Defensively this team is probably better than we would have expected in many aspects. The running defense has been great but the passing defense has been rock solid as well. We are getting great pressure on the QB and the pass rush we have been waiting for these past few years finally seems to be here with Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons having a combined 10 sacks which is the second most for any pair of teammates in the league.

Bobby Wagner has been playing lights out these past couple games and gives us a more athletic linebacking group than we have had recently. KJ Wright is a tackling machine and Leroy Hill is playing well also.

Brandon Mebane is having is best season that I can remember up front both in getting pressure on the QB and blowing up running plays in the backfield. What he doesn’t hit Red Bryant has been cleaning up. Alan Branch and Clinton McDonald have also been very solid. Combine these guys with Jason Jones and the rest of the pass rush and this is a very versatile, scary front 4. The player group seems to change every play or two so you never know where they are coming from and I think it is confusing opposing QBs and O-lines.

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The secondary has been what we expected. The Legion of Boom has been playing very tight coverage and allowing very few YAC. I don’t know the statistics and I haven’t rewatched all the games but I can think of very, very few catches where the receiver didn’t go down within a couple yards of making the catch. There have been very few missed tackles from this group (and the team in general) and they have been very strong playing the run as well. They don’t have quite as many turnovers as I expected but they did come very close on a couple interceptions yesterday and stripped a couple key fumbles.

So the defense so far would get an A from me. The only thing keeping it from being an A+ is the 3 down conversions (many long 3rd downs) they gave up in the first 4 games. They are allowing teams to convert about 38% of their 3rd downs which ranks them 19th in the league. They need to get that number down to 30% or so to be a dominant defense and they made some good strides towards that yesterday (2 for 11 for the Panthers).

On offense it is pretty simple: The running game is great but the passing game hasn’t been great. I do like what I saw from Russell Wilson yesterday though and I do expect him to improve greatly as the season goes along. He made some great throws yesterday and seemed to hang in the pocket a bit more. Of course he still needs to work on his reads, work on hitting the open receivers, and get a little more precise on his throws. A couple of his interceptions (the bobble by Lynch yesterday and the one stolen from Baldwin against the Rams) were because he was a bit behind the receiver. He has 5 picks so far but only 1 of them would be because of a poor decision.

We don’t need Wilson to throw for 350 yards every game. We don’t need the offense to score 35 a game to win. What we need from Wilson is efficient 19-25 for 220 yard performances. Keep the interceptions to a minimum and get a TD or two every game. I won’t say “game manager” or any crap like that. When the plays are there and the opportunity is there for Wilson to take over a game he needs to do that. But when the running game is cranking and the D is doing their thing we just need a smart QB who will make the plays he needs to and I think that is what Wilson will excel at.

Marshawn Lynch is on pace for 1625 yards and 361 carries. If he can keep that up and we can get another 500 yards from Robert Turbin I will be very happy.

The O-line has played fairly well. The pass protection has been shaky at times and is getting better but the run blocking has been excellent. The one knock on the line is the stupid penalties. False starts and personal fouls have killed some drives this season. Breno Giacomini needs to settle down and stop racking up 15 yard penalties every game. He is always hitting people late, pushing and shoving after the whistle, and making some stupid decisions. I like the fire and toughness, he just needs to be smarter. I love that Carroll pulled him out and put in Frank Omayale for a few plays on Sunday.

We do need to see more TDs though. The Seahawks have had great field position many, many times this year and have had to settle for field goals. The red zone offense hasn’t been good but that should improve as Wilson continues to get more comfortable.

I would probably give the offense a C so far but that should be a B+ by the end of the season.

Special teams has been stellar other than the Leon Washington fumble on Sunday. Washington is second in the league in kick return average and the coverage teams have been great so far this year. And of course Jon Ryan has been excellent both in pinning teams back inside the 20 and also booming some kicks when needed. Special teams gets an A- (stupid fake FGs!)

So overall this Seahawks teams has one of the best defenses we have ever seen and an offense that can be shaky at time but should improve as the season goes along. I am really liking what I am seeing from this team week to week and there are times when the offense is frustrating to watch but they do seem to put together a couple important drives when needed each game. If they can start getting more TDs instead of FGs this will be an awesome team that can compete with anyone.

Looking ahead at the schedule the Seahawks have two tough games at home against the Patriots and then on the road at San Francisco 4 days later. This Seattle defense is good enough to beat both of these teams but they will be tough games. If they can win 1 of these games I will be happy but I am not conceding the other win yet. After that Seattle goes to visit a struggling Detroit team and then is home against Minnesota. Both of these are games this team should win. The Jets are looking terrible, Miami is better than expected but still not good and then we go to Chicago which will be very tough. So after 10 games Seattle should be sitting at 8-4 or so.

The last 4 games of the season include 3 division games, all at home with a trip to play Buffalo in Toronto squeezed in there. That is looking like 4 straight wins to finish out the season which will leave the Seahawks at 12-4. That might be a bit optimistic and 10 wins for this team is probably a bit more realistic but this team is definitely good enough to get to 12 wins and then make a playoff run.

I for one am very excited and hopeful for the rest of this season. I think we have seen the worst from this team and they will continue to improve as the season goes along and there is no reason to think they can’t compete for a Super Bowl this year.

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