A couple programming notes. There will not be a Monday morning chat tomorrow. And I will be away from the blog this week. I have to take a work-required furlough during the bye week, so Ryan Divish will be handling blog duties this week. He’ll have a report from Jim Mora’s press conference on Monday, along with any other happenings during the week.
After the Seahawks were dispatched by the Arizona Cardinals 27-3, some realities of the season had to be addressed by Seattle head coach Jim Mora and his players.
And one of them appears to be that this team is not a playoff-caliber squad.
Mora had said heading into his first season as head coach that he believed the Seahawks could turn things around this year – that this season was more of a retooling than a rebuilding effort.
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But at 2-4, six games into the season, and with a rash of injuries, along with inconsistent play on both sides of the ball, Mora seems to be changing the goals of the team at midseason.
“We’re going to not focus on the playoffs right now,” Mora said. “We’re going to focus on getting better and more consistent as a football team. That’s our number one goal, which is how we can get better every day we go to work.”
Even if they were fully healthy and had all of their players available, Seattle has to face the reality that they are not the same caliber of team the Arizona Cardinals are right now.
The Cardinals did what good teams do – find the weakness of their opponent and exploit it.
Arizona knew Seattle’s left side of the offensive line, with fourth-string tackle Kyle Williams and backup Steve Vallos, would struggle to pick up the blitz and stunts of the Cardinals’ experienced defensive front. And they exploited it, picking up five sacks and never letting Hasselbeck get comfortable.
The constant pressure resulted in one of the worst offensive performances by Seattle in recent memory. Seattle finished with 128 total yards, tied for seventh-worst in terms of total yardage in team history. And Seattle’s 14 yards was a franchise-worst, breaking a 21-year old record.
The Seahawks now go into the bye week hoping to get back injured players like Sean Locklear, Rob Sims, Leroy Hill, Marcus Trufant and perhaps Walter Jones.
But the 41-0 win over Jacksonville now seems like a distant memory. It’s now six weeks into the season, and Seattle still does not have an identity in terms how they will play game-in and game-out in order to win games.
In shutout wins over St. Louis and Jacksonville it looked like pressure defense would carry them. However, the Seahawks have been unable to duplicate that effort against good teams.
Seattle cannot run the ball, a staple of offensive coordinator Greg Knapp-led offenses, because the make-shift line up front can’t get a push. And they can’t throw the ball down the field to its talented receivers because Hasselbeck doesn’t have time to throw.
“Some weeks we play well, some weeks we don’t,” Hasselbeck said. “You don’t know which team is going to show up.”
So that will be the task for Seattle the next two weeks – figure out a consistent way to win games.
And they will need to do it quick, with four of the next five on the road in November, including games at Dallas, Arizona, Minnesota and St. Louis.