September 27, 2014 at 1:52 PM
Here are some random thoughts and observations on the Seahawks through three games for a slow Saturday:
- The Seahawks aren’t flawless, even though they still are probably the most talented team in the NFL. As much as anything, the loss to San Diego revealed that the Seahawks’ defense, while supremely talented, isn’t good enough to coast on that talent alone. The Seahawks missed too many tackles, and they didn’t look to play with the same doggedness and intensity that defines their best performances. When they aren’t dialed up, they are susceptible to getting picked apart. Fast forward a week later to the Broncos game. Denver tried to attack the Seahawks in a very similar manner as the Chargers — quick passes, draws to keep the pass rush honest — but the difference was the Seahawks’ tackling. They swarmed to the ball and delivered hits. As defensive tackle Kevin Williams said, “A five-yard gain is a five-yard gain.” That wasn’t the case against San Diego.
- Marshawn Lynch looks as good as ever. I don’t buy into the idea that people were really talking about Lynch having a down year because of his age; I think any conversation about that was directed more toward next year. But regardless, Lynch has shown that he is the same productive back. I’ll have more on this next week, but teammates think Lynch is in better shape and quicker than he’s been the last couple years. He’s on pace for more than 1,200 yards, despite the lack of touches against San Diego, and he is averaging 4.5 yards per carry. It’s a small sample size, but 4.5 yards per carry would be the second-highest average of Lynch’s career.
- If you wanted to look for what could be a problem down the road, I think depth is the place to look. The Seahawks’ starters are as good as last year and they may be even better in some cases. That’s why so many people have the Seahawks repeating the Super Bowl. But Seattle’s depth isn’t as good or experienced as it was last season. When Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond were suspended last year, the Seahawks plugged in third-year corner Byron Maxwell and second-year corner Jeremy Lane. Those guys had been in the system, and they knew exactly how Seattle wanted to play. This year, when the Seahawks lost Lane and Tharold Simon to injuries, they had to make a trade to bring in cornerback Marcus Burley and signed free-agent corner Josh Thomas. Both those guys had to play in games this year without fully knowing how the Seahawks wanted their corners to play; Thomas was involved in one of the miscommunications that led to Denver’s game-tying touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. That’s a small example, but the Seahawks just don’t have the quality of depth that they had a year ago. In many ways that’s to be expected, but it means they have less room for error, suspensions or injuries than they did a year ago.