Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Takeaways: Horrific Seahawks Loss against the Cardinals

By Jackson Safon

Mortality (n.) – The state or condition of being subject to death. While the Seahawks are not vulnerable to a literal death, the loss they took yesterday to the Cardinals proved that they are not invincible. This was Russell Wilson’s first home loss as a professional quarterback, so naturally the thought to this point was that the ‘Hawks simply couldn’t be beat in the Clink. The Cardinals proved that a strong defense and an offense that controls the ball absolutely can beat the Seahawks, even in Seattle. In today’s NFL, there are few teams that fit this mold, but two of them are potential opponents for the ‘Hawks in the NFC in the Panthers and 49ers. The Cardinals just beat the ‘Hawks with Carson Palmer throwing four interceptions. Imagine how badly they would’ve beat us if Colin Kaepernick or Cam Newton was their quarterback. Yikes.

1. Next week is a must-win
Just a few weeks ago, Seahawks fans were saying that the ‘Hawks might be able to rest their starters in a week 17 games against the Rams. The number one seed was thought to be all but sewn up. Yet all of a sudden the game has become one of the biggest of the season. Assuming the 49ers beat the Falcons, the ‘Hawks will have to win on Sunday to secure the number one seed in the NFC. If they don’t do so, the Seahawks will all of a sudden drop to the wild card round of the playoffs and have to go on the road in the first week. Furthermore, the game against the Rams will be no cakewalk. Anything but. Let’s not forget that the Rams were one play away from beating the Seahawks earlier this season. Plus, Jeff Fischer is one of the best coaches in the NFL and can outfox you on any given day. The implications of the week 17 game against the Rams are vast and I cannot wait until Sunday.

2. Defense will lead the team to victories from now on
Early in the season, the Seahawks offense was scoring at a pace good enough for second in the NFL, only behind the historic Denver Broncos. Now it seems the paradigm has shifted and it will be the defense leading the Seahawks to wins. In their past two games the Seahawks have intercepted opponents a whopping nine times. Additionally, in their past 10 quarters the ‘Hawks defense has only allowed two touchdowns. Now the defense hasn’t been perfect, as twice over the past three weeks they have allowed game winning touchdown drives. That being said, the pass defense is right where it needs to be, the run defense seems to be improving, and the pass-rush can be lethal on any given day.

The Seahawks defense will lead the team to victories from now on, no matter what.

3. Special teams not so special
What in the world happened with the special teams yesterday? The Seahawks have had the best special teams unit in the NFL and it hasn’t been close. Yet yesterday the special teams was arguably the worst part of the game for the ‘Hawks that included Russell Wilson completing less than 41% of his passes. Steven Hauschka missed a chip-shot field goal, Jon Ryan had his worst punting day of the year by far, and Robert Turbin fumbled a kickoff return. The group as a whole was an absolute disaster. I try not to overreact too much to one week, but something has to be done, the playoffs are upon us.

The Seahawks had nine penalties against them for 102 yards. It is not just the sheer number however, it is the situations in which these penalties were committed. Too often did the Seahawks defense commit dumb penalties that kept Cardinal drives alive. Discipline is one of the most underrated attributes that championship teams possess and right now the Seahawks do not have it.

We've seen this look all too many times.
The Seattle Times

5. Offense, Baldwin, missed opportunities
There is far too much to write about in this game but I sure as heck am going to try. The offense was horrible. The offensive line was bad, the running game was bad, and the passing game was atrocious. In my opinion this is the worst game Russell Wilson has ever played in a Seahawks uniform. Not much more needs to be said on that matter. On the Doug Baldwin play at the end of the game I believe the correct ruling was made. Not the correct call, but the correct ruling. The pass was incomplete, but because it was ruled an interception on the field it could not be overturned. I completely agree with the decision made by the referees to not overturn the call because I do not think there was enough video evidence to overturn the call. That single play however should not be called upon by fans as the reason the Seahawks lost that game. They played terrible on offense, missed innumerable opportunities, and finished 2 of 13 on third down. That is absurdly bad. So much to work out in this week of practice and we will see how the team responds on Sunday against the Rams.

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