A few numbers indicate that the Seahawks were fortunate to survive an afternoon of relative offensive futility against the Dolphins on Sunday.
That the Seahawks’ offense had its struggles during Sunday’s 12-10 win over Miami is evident in the score alone.
Before the Seahawks scored with 31 seconds left, they were in danger of being held without a touchdown for the first time since a 13-6 loss at San Francisco on Oct. 18, 2012, the seventh game of the Russell Wilson era.
But the Seahawks didn’t run a play in the red zone (meaning, inside Miami’s 20-yard-line) until the final drive, crossing midfield just four times on 11 possessions until the last march.
Pro Football Focus’ grades on the game laid the blame where most would expect — on the offensive line.
As PFF noted, some of Wilson’s stats are mitigated by the fact he was constantly under pressure and a few times had to throw the ball away.
PFF also wrote that the Seahawks’ “showed some glaring holes in their offensive line. The Seattle offense often employs inside zone runs; that type of zone blocking relies a lot on interior linemen. Seattle’s two guards, Mark Glowinski and J’Marcus Webb, graded at 34.3 and 32.6, respectively, in run blocking, which is a bad omen if they want to build around their inside-zone game.”
The caveat there is that Webb was filling in at right guard for the injured Germain Ifedi, taking over the spot when Ifedi was hurt in practice on Wednesday (meaning Webb basically had two practices there on Thursday and Friday). Ifedi, though, is likely out for another week or two so Webb is likely to get the call against the Rams next week if not the 49ers the week after. Glowinski, meanwhile, was making just his second career start and going up against some tough customers (notably, Ndamukong Suh, who as Seattle offensive linemen noted afterward, is getting paid, as well). Interestingly, RT Garry Gilliam was rated by PFF as Seattle’s top linemen for the game with center Justin Britt next.
As for a few other numbers that indicate the offensive struggles Sunday. ….
- Seattle’s average of 4.5 yards per play was lower than all but two games last season (4.3 in a loss at St. Louis).
- Wilson’s passer rating of 77.5 was lower than any last season other than a 67.2 in a home loss to Arizona in which Wilson was 14-32 with an interception.
- A key reason for the lower passer rating is that the Seahawks averaged just 5.2 yards per pass play. That was also lower than any game last season other than the loss at St. Louis (4.7). So maybe it’s just openers.
- Seattle’s 3.5 yards per rush was lower than all but two games last season — 2.7 in the late-season home loss to St.Louis and 3.4 at Baltimore, the game when Thomas Rawls got hurt early and the Seahawks largely went with DuJuan Harris at running back.
- Seattle’s longest run of 12 yards and longest pass of 22 yards each tied the lowest longest runs and and pass plays for one game last season. Each of those occurred in the 13-12 win at Dallas at mid-season, after which the Seahawks re-tooled their offense following a bye week to feature more quick-hitting passes and empty sets.
All of that said, the final yardage total of 352 is fine — better than seven games last season and not all that far off the 378 average of last season. And one would expect Rawls might be readier to contribute from the beginning next week than he as Sunday when the Seahawks eased him in — he had 14 yards on four carries in the first half before finishing with 32 on 12 for the game — and that Jimmy Graham might also be able to make more of a consistent impact in what would be his second game back.
But Tell the Truth Monday for the Seahawks may also yield a few uncomfortable moments.