The Seattle Seahawks are .500 after beating the Dallas Cowboys, but they won’t be going anywhere unless they fix their inconsistent offense. Next up: the Arizona Cardinals.
Hope remains. Optimism swirls. The Seahawks’ season lives.
Just like that, the conversation went from “next year” to “who’s next?” as Seattle won two straight.
But is this newfound faith warranted? Can the Hawks really make another go at a title?
Well, not if the offense keeps playing like this. Not. A. Chance.
The notion that the Hawks are “back” after downing San Francisco and Dallas may help 12s get through the bye week, but it has hardly been confirmed on the field. The pedestrian offensive numbers have been enough to beat four teams with a combined seven wins, but they won’t hold up against the NFL’s elite.
Marvelous as Seattle’s defense has been, it can’t carry a team that doesn’t score. If a playoff run is the Seahawks’ end game, they need to learn to find the end zone.
Halfway through the season, Seattle’s 1.5 offensive touchdowns per game rank 31st in the NFL. Only the hapless 49ers break the plane less often.
Crazier yet, just three of the Seahawks’ 12 touchdowns have come on the run (good for 25th in the league) — and they lead the league in rushing yards.
Part of this, of course, has to do with Marshawn Lynch’s health, as the running back missed two games with a hamstring injury and was seriously hampered in a third. This last game did raise the question, though: Has Seattle’s power running game truly returned?
It appeared as if the staple of the Seahawks’ offense was at full strength a week and a half ago in Santa Clara, where Lynch had 27 carries for 122 yards in his sharpest game of the season. With a healthy Beast Mode in the backfield, the team’s offensive identity seemed to have been restored.
But after Sunday’s 13-12 win in Dallas, during which Lynch had just 71 yards on 21 carries, you have to wonder if this offense will ever find consistency. Is there still a reliable source of yardage on this team?
Reliable is the operative word here, because several Seahawks have shined offensively at some point.
Quarterback Russell Wilson was magnificent during the Hawks’ 79-yard, go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter Sunday, but he made a series of poor throws and decisions before that.
Jimmy Graham has had at least six catches in four games this season, but none of those performances were consecutive.
The offensive line allowed zero sacks Sunday, but has given up a league-high 31 this season. Dependability has been lacking, and as a result, so have points.
Of course, the Seahawks’ 4-4 record can’t be attributed to the offense alone. Their vaunted defense gave away multiple-score leads in the fourth quarter in back-to-back weeks. That said, the D has shown sustained spurts of dominance throughout the season in a way the offense has not.
Seattle can go places if the D keeps playing the way it has, but if the O doesn’t improve drastically, 12s will have a lot of free time in January.
No one person is to blame for this, but nobody is off the hook, either. Wilson has missed throws and committed costly turnovers. Lynch will be awesome one week and average the next.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevel has been calling plays for a team ranked dead last in red-zone touchdown percentage (29.41).
In many ways, this offense has been horrid. But it remains hopeful.
“We have so much talent, we have so much ability, but we still have a long ways to go,” Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said. “When we put it all together, it’s going to be really hard for teams to stop us.”
Seahawks fans better hope Baldwin is right, because next up are the 6-2 Arizona Cardinals, who lead the NFC West. The offense needs to come together by then, or the season may very well fall apart.