Sunday’s 17-9 loss at Green Bay, in which the offense struggled yet again, was more dangerous than a blowout or shootout would have been. At a certain point — if it hasn’t happened already — the defense is going to tire of carrying the Seahawks.
It was just about the worst result the Seahawks could have asked for. A defensive gem mixed with an offensive dud that led to a 17-9 Packers win.
You know what would have been better? A 37-9 Packers win. Then at least both sides of the ball would cringe throughout Monday’s film session.
But given the recent history of this football team, Sunday’s loss was more dangerous than a blowout or shootout would have been. At a certain point — if it hasn’t happened already — the defense is going to tire of carrying the Seahawks.
“It’s been like this for eight years,” Seattle safety Earl Thomas told reporters when asked Sunday about the lopsided time of possession (Green Bay 39:13, Seattle 20:47). “We understand that sometimes the offense is not in rhythm like they need to be.”
In Earl’s defense, he refuted the idea that he felt any frustration from the offense’s woes, and said games such as Sunday’s will make his team stronger. But you have to wonder if, for other Seahawks, the nature of that loss activated emotions that had been dormant for the past few months.
It was last May, remember, that ESPN published a story describing a wedge between members of the defense and offense — a wedge highlighted by cornerback Richard Sherman’s reported perception that Pete Carroll had over-protected quarterback Russell Wilson. Players denied any sense of friction when asked about it later (including Sherman, who called the story “nonsense”), but let’s be honest: What other choice was there but denial?
It is human nature to fume when certain members of a tribe aren’t pulling their weight. Occasional slips are tolerated, but not consistent inadequacy.
It’s easy to preach unity and brotherhood during the offseason and preseason. But when the results actually count, looking for a scapegoat is often as common as looking for a solution.
Last year, the Seahawks scored fewer than 13 points five times. Had they managed 10 points in their first meeting with the Rams, or seven points in their first meeting with the Cardinals, or 15 points vs. the Buccaneers, they would have earned the No. 2 seed and hosted the divisional playoff round on a week’s rest.
That’s a formula for resentment. And for the offense to pick up where it left off after a tumultuous offseason? Yikes.
The Seahawks managed just 90 yards on the ground Sunday and 158 through the air. The O-line gave Wilson virtually no protection, but even when did he have time in the pocket, he missed throws and finished just 14 of 27.
That offensive output would have been alarming for any team in the NFL, but it’s gasoline near a matchbook if there truly was tension between the Seahawks’ O and D last year.
Obviously, this was just one game, and it was played at Lambeau Field, one of the league’s most difficult environments in which to win. Plus, Seattle has a history of surging after slow starts and thriving amid chaos. Suggesting an eight-point loss in the opener will serve as a blueprint for the whole season is hyperbole personified.
But don’t think this isn’t an early test. Don’t think this didn’t bring back familiar, frustrating feelings. Before the game began, a low-scoring Packers win would have been voted Most Likely to Cause a Locker Room Scene.
“Chemistry” is overblown sometimes in sports, but it’s still important. If it weren’t, Percy Harvin would not have been shipped out of Seattle, nor would Sherman have been shopped around last spring.
So with that in mind, the Seahawks can’t have many more games such as Sunday’s . If they do, there will be drama — but not the kind any of their fans want to see.