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The Biggest Issues That Could Prevent a Super Bowl Victory
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Jazzaloha


Joined: 20 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:58 pm    Post subject: The Biggest Issues That Could Prevent a Super Bowl Victory Reply with quote

There are several issues that I think stand in the way of the Seahawks winning a Super Bowl--based on impressions I have watching them these past two years. I'm not entirely sure about all of them, and I'm interested in hearing feedback and comments from more knowledgeable fans. Here's the list of my conerns:

1. Pass protection. I know Okung, Unger and Giacomini are back, but that doesn't ease my mind. I didn't think the pass protection was all that great last year, and my feeling is that Wilson's scrambling ability sort of masked this issue. At the same time, the leakage isn't as bad as when they were injured, but still--this is probably the biggest concern. Many of the playoff caliber NFC teams have really good pass rushes. So this is a major concern. My feeling is that if they can protect Wilson, they'll win. And I say this not only because it'll make the offense effective, but it will keep Wilson healthy. (The 'Hawks were fortunate that Wilson didn't sustain a major injury when the starters were out.)

2. Teams can move the ball against the defense--particularly in the last two minutes. My impression is that Carroll has a bend-but-don't-break philosophy. Giving up yards isn't so important as giving up points--and the defense does a good job with the latter. Still, it's a bit unnerving to see teams like the Titans (with Fitzpatrick) and the Vikings move the ball down the field on them. Am I overreacting about this?

I'm particularly concerned about the two-minute defense. This goes back to the Atlanta game in last year's playoffs. The defense failed to prevent Atlanta from getting into field range (with under a minute if I'm not mistaken)--ruining one of the greatest playoff comebacks and performances by a (rookie!) QB. (I'm still not over it.)

But I've seen similar things this year. In the first game, Carolina had a late drive that almost gave them the victory (if DeAngelo Williams didn't fumble); the Rams had a late game drive (with Kellen Clemens at the helm); the Titans marched down the field late in the fourth down by two scores. Is my impression and concern off base here? I'd be interested in hearing from others about this.


3. Front seven I like the improvement of the pass rush, but they seem less effective at stopping the run--and there are some likely playoff opponents that can and will run the ball. My sense is that the pass rush isn't exactly dominant either. If they sacrificed the run defense for a great pass rush, I might be able to live with that, but I'm not sure the pass rush is good enough to warrant the struggles in the run game.

4. Weird mistakes and quick turn of fortunes. There were some games where there were some weird occurrences that shifted the game dramatically. Early in the season there were block FGs and punts. I feel like there are other accumulated little things that can snowball. (This happened in the Atlanta playoff game.) Fortunately, I think the team is a terrific comeback team, but still. I didn't really notice any of these sorts of things in the recent games, so maybe I'm making something out of nothing. [/quote]
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SoS


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Injuries/Suspension is going to be the obvious one.


Outside of that I truly think this team is going to go as far as Russell Wilson and Dan Quinn take them. I don't care how well he's played lately, Wilson needs to become THE MAN of this offense. Too often we've seen a defense take away Marshawn Lynch and our offense struggle. Wilson needs to become the #1 option on this offense teams want to stop, not Lynch. If a team takes away the run, we still need to be able to throw the ball. As far as pass protection goes, Wilson MUST be better at stepping up in the pocket. I don't care how much like Fran Tarkenton everyone wants him to be, this whole "scramble 18 yards backwards in hopes of coming back" is not going to work against playoff teams. If pressure is coming off the edges, he needs to be better at stepping beyond them. I realize that is awfully tough when you're investing your trust in JR freakin' Sweezy and McIdiot, but he has to do this more consistently to effectively limit a teams pass rush.

After that, I don't think anyone can stop this defense other than the guy calling the plays. It's just like the Falcons game last year. This defense is great when they're playing press-man, high-pressure defense. As soon as you start playing soft coverage and rushing 3 guys, this defense is going to get beat. Quinn NEEDS to realize this. Even with our CB depth shrinking, we still have the personnel to keep this system up and we need to do just that. I love Byron Maxwell and really think he's going to be the starting CB next season alongside Sherman after an impressive end to the 2013 season.


Furthermore, homefield advantage is paramount. This team won't lose big games at home.
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TheoryofSeahawk


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For this one I'll leave the on field issues like schemes and players to some other folks. Here is my number one key that could prevent this team from reaching its goal.

Short Term Luck.

The amount of variables in this are effectively endless. From key injuries, to odd bounces that the ball could take, to freak weather on the day of a game. Stuff happens.

Injuries are obviously the biggest one here. All it takes is one freak injury to a key player like say Earl Thomas and our chances of winning a SB diminish greatly. These situations are really out of the control of the players but they have a huge impact on the games.


Maybe it could be something freakish like a lesser player having a career day. Something like Ted Ginn running a punt and a kick back for a TD in the same game like he did a couple years ago.

Maybe it's just random blown calls by officials. Gee, that's never happened in the NFL...oh wait.

Anyway the point of all this is that these situations are just as likely to affect other teams as they are to affect the Seahawks, heck we may even benefit from these situations happening to other teams, but on a single game elimination basis like the NFL playoffs are, short term luck has a huge amount of sway over the outcome.

Anyone down for a best of 3 Super Bowl series? Very Happy
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Jazzaloha


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoS wrote:
I don't care how well he's played lately, Wilson needs to become THE MAN of this offense.


Well, it depends on what you mean by "the man." My sense is that both Lynch and Wilson are "the man"--but it depends on what the defenses is giving the offense. They try to take away the run, and Wilson becomes the man; they take away the pass, and Lynch becomes the man.

Now, I do think the Seahawks are a run-first team; they want the run to be the foundation. If by "the man," you mean you want Wilson and the passing game to be the foundation, I would disagree with you--I like the fact that the team is run-first.

Quote:
Too often we've seen a defense take away Marshawn Lynch and our offense struggle. Wilson needs to become the #1 option on this offense teams want to stop, not Lynch. If a team takes away the run, we still need to be able to throw the ball.


I feel confident that will happen if the OL provides decent pass protection. In the Rams game, the Rams loaded the box to shut down the run, but when they tried to pass, the pass rushers often penetrated way too quickly. No QB can pass effectively in those circumstances.

Quote:
As far as pass protection goes, Wilson MUST be better at stepping up in the pocket. I don't care how much like Fran Tarkenton everyone wants him to be, this whole "scramble 18 yards backwards in hopes of coming back" is not going to work against playoff teams. If pressure is coming off the edges, he needs to be better at stepping beyond them. I realize that is awfully tough when you're investing your trust in JR freakin' Sweezy and McIdiot, but he has to do this more consistently to effectively limit a teams pass rush.


I think he's consciously given up the Tarkenton-esque scrambles (and I think that's a good think--although they were fun to watch). I also think he's willing to step up in the pocket. When the pass protection was really bad, there was very little Wilson could have done. Personally, I think he makes good decisions with regard to moving in the pocket or deciding to run with the ball.

Quote:
After that, I don't think anyone can stop this defense other than the guy calling the plays. It's just like the Falcons game last year. This defense is great when they're playing press-man, high-pressure defense. As soon as you start playing soft coverage and rushing 3 guys, this defense is going to get beat. Quinn NEEDS to realize this. Even with our CB depth shrinking, we still have the personnel to keep this system up and we need to do just that. I love Byron Maxwell and really think he's going to be the starting CB next season alongside Sherman after an impressive end to the 2013 season.


I hope you're right about Maxwell. This year I'm a little more worried about their run defense--particularly against teams who will keep pounding the ball.


Quote:
Furthermore, homefield advantage is paramount. This team won't lose big games at home.


Yeah, I do think that will be a huge benefit (especially for the defense).
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Jazzaloha


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheoryofSeahawk wrote:
Short Term Luck.


This was sort of what I meant by "weird mistakes and quick turn of fortunes." I can't think of specific examples, but I remember feeling that way in this year's game against the Colts and last year's game against the Falcons. But they haven't had these sorts of things in the last few games--let's hope it stays that way.
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SoS


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jazzaloha wrote:
Well, it depends on what you mean by "the man." My sense is that both Lynch and Wilson are "the man"--but it depends on what the defenses is giving the offense. They try to take away the run, and Wilson becomes the man; they take away the pass, and Lynch becomes the man.

Now, I do think the Seahawks are a run-first team; they want the run to be the foundation. If by "the man," you mean you want Wilson and the passing game to be the foundation, I would disagree with you--I like the fact that the team is run-first.


I like the run-first offense as well. Here's my issue. When we clearly see opposing teams game plan to stop the pass against us, Marshawn Lynch and the run game is pretty much always effective. But when we see teams game plan to stop the run, we are prone to treading water on offense at best and sinking at worst. Teams understand that the best way to stop this offense is by taking away the run. I realize we are run-first and I'm all for that. Nonetheless, we shouldn't be run-dependent, if that makes sense.

Quote:
I feel confident that will happen if the OL provides decent pass protection. In the Rams game, the Rams loaded the box to shut down the run, but when they tried to pass, the pass rushers often penetrated way too quickly. No QB can pass effectively in those circumstances.


I'm not nearly as confident. A lot of it has to do with our receivers inconsistency to gain separation and Bevell's play-calling, so I don't want to make it sound as if I'm just pinning it on Russell Wilson. I just feel as though this offense is very vulnerable when the ground game is eliminated.

Quote:
I think he's consciously given up the Tarkenton-esque scrambles (and I think that's a good think--although they were fun to watch). I also think he's willing to step up in the pocket. When the pass protection was really bad, there was very little Wilson could have done. Personally, I think he makes good decisions with regard to moving in the pocket or deciding to run with the ball.


They are fun to watch and I certainly agree it's a good thing IF he was consciously giving it up. But I don't see that as the case. His first instinct when pressure approaches still appears to be running backwards. That habit needs to be kicked come playoff time, because we cannot afford to lose extra yardage on sacks in these instances.

Quote:
I hope you're right about Maxwell. This year I'm a little more worried about their run defense--particularly against teams who will keep pounding the ball.


I share your concern about the run defense, though I think a fully healthy squad is well above average in that department. I am very confident in Maxwell, I think he's going to be a stud for this defense and a guy that makes us look back and say Browner's suspension was a blessing in disguise. He truly gives us everything we ask for from the position.




To conclude this post, I want to make it very clear that I am not a Russell Wilson hater, though my comments may seem to reflect otherwise. Quite the contrary actually. If you were around the Draft forum when Wilson was still at Wisconsin, you'd see posts of mine that said Wilson is a top 5 overall pick if he's wearing high heels.

My qualms over his play actually stem from just how much I love him as a player, how much I loved him as a college prospect, and how good I think he's going to be in the future. I do believe he will resolve most issues in his game in the coming years and be a top 3 player at his position. I analyze him with a fine-toothed comb because I believe that's exactly how he analyzes himself. If you asked him if he was satisfied with his play, I'm willing to be he'd tell you he can always get better. So that's what I'm demanding out of him, to get better. I know it may seem impatient considering he's a 2nd year QB, but this kid is truly destined for great things and I can't wait until he reaches the pinnacle of his abilities.
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Tooki


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My concern with the defense is how much Pete influences the playcalling. We're seeing some of the same issues (conservative playcalling) that we saw with Gus, Dan Quinn doesn't seem like the kind of coach who would just coast once the team is in the lead.
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SoS


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tooki wrote:
My concern with the defense is how much Pete influences the playcalling. We're seeing some of the same issues (conservative playcalling) that we saw with Gus, Dan Quinn doesn't seem like the kind of coach who would just coast once the team is in the lead.


I don't know, it's a pretty uniform philosophy among coaches: once you have a lead you need to protect that lead. For most all coaches that means containing the big play and bending but not breaking. Honestly, I don't see it nearly as often with Quinn as I did with Gus, but we've still seen it which raises the question. I don't think it's a matter of Pete sticking his hands in the cookie jar as much as it is a traditionalist way of thinking among most upper-level coaches.
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Jazzaloha


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="SoS"]
Jazzaloha wrote:
Here's my issue. When we clearly see opposing teams game plan to stop the pass against us, Marshawn Lynch and the run game is pretty much always effective. But when we see teams game plan to stop the run, we are prone to treading water on offense at best and sinking at worst. Teams understand that the best way to stop this offense is by taking away the run. I realize we are run-first and I'm all for that. Nonetheless, we shouldn't be run-dependent, if that makes sense.


I think I know what you mean. But my sense is that the key to the passing game is pass protection. If Wilson has time and doesn't always have to run for his life, I think he has the ability to find the open man. (And the receivers can and will get open.)

The Bucs and the Rams (if remember correctly) seemed to the load the box against the offense, trying to shut down the run game. The thing is, when the Seahawks tried to pass as a counter to this, the defenses got a lot of pressure on Wilson. With all the OL starters back, I hope this strategy is no longer effective.

Quote:
I'm not nearly as confident. A lot of it has to do with our receivers inconsistency to gain separation and Bevell's play-calling, so I don't want to make it sound as if I'm just pinning it on Russell Wilson. I just feel as though this offense is very vulnerable when the ground game is eliminated.


Well, I think when opposing teams shut down the run, that can lead to 3rd and long situations, and that might make the Seahawks vulnerable--probably because the defenses can focus on rushing the passer. But I think this is true of a lot of run-first teams.

Also, as I mentioned Wilson has given up on the Tarkenton-like scrambles--which really did help the passing game last year. So I wonder if that makes the passing game a little less effective this year.

Quote:
They are fun to watch and I certainly agree it's a good thing IF he was consciously giving it up. But I don't see that as the case. His first instinct when pressure approaches still appears to be running backwards. That habit needs to be kicked come playoff time, because we cannot afford to lose extra yardage on sacks in these instances.


Well, I guess we differ on this issue. If he moves backwards, I generally think it's out of necessity--i.e., he would be sacked. But what I mean by Tarkenton-esque are those scrambles where he runs back twenty yards, reversing the field several times, extending the play for a long time. He still scrambles now, but it's not as crazy/risky.

He also seems more a little quicker to cover up and take a sack rather than try to escape.

For me, I see his decisions in the pocket to be sound. There are times when the pressure comes from the DTs and he crouches down, no longer looking downfield and tries to find a way out of the pocket. Sometimes I feel like he should just be patient, but it also looks like he can't see downfield in those moments--so he's moving not because of vision issues not so much happy feet.

Quote:
I share your concern about the run defense, though I think a fully healthy squad is well above average in that department.


The front seven has been healthy for the most part haven't they? My feeling is that the problems with the run come from them. Last year the front seven did a better job of stopping the run.

Quote:
To conclude this post, I want to make it very clear that I am not a Russell Wilson hater, [...]I know it may seem impatient considering he's a 2nd year QB, but this kid is truly destined for great things and I can't wait until he reaches the pinnacle of his abilities.


Yeah, I didn't take your comments as "hate," and I agree with you that he's headed for great things (I think, he's already done some great things--e.g., the Atlanta playoff game). I guess I don't think the way he moves in the pocket is the biggest issue for his development. This OL doesn't often give him a clean pocket, and I also don't think they're entirely trustworthy to establish a pocket for a reasonable amount of time--not consistently anyway.
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Jazzaloha


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After watching the New Orleans game, I have another concern. I know the defense put pressure on Brees at times and even came up with a big play. However, there are other times (too many for me) where the front four seems completely stuck near the line of scrimmage--creating a strong sense of security for Brees. Luckily the coverage was really good so this really didn't matter, but my sense is that this pass rush can go through periods like this during the game.

What makes me especially nervous is when this happens in big moments, like in the two-minute drill at the end of the game. In those moments, I feel like you really need the pass rushers to make plays, and you can't just rely on coverage. It scares me to think of Brady and NE in this situation.
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neezy007


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

9er fan here. I never thought I would post in here but I wanted to ask a question. Yesterday when watching the game I made a connection. This team reminds me a lot of the really good USC teams from the early 00s. Shocking I know. I asked a USC fan on twitter (none other than former FF poster BigBen) and he agreed. The thing about that is the attitude the team has reminds me of them. I loved those USC teams and hate your team but the attitude I'm talking about is just being a bunch of arrogant, cocky, loud fools. I loved it at USC but not in Seattle. (I used to hate Jim Harbaugh's guts while loving Pete but things change don't they?)

The thing about those USC teams is doing stupid stuff would really hurt them in certain games. Sure they could really lay on a beating sometimes but even in those games doing dumb stuff would make the games closer than they should have been. Or they wouldn't slaughter a team as bad as they should have. Basically, what I'm asking is do you think this team has those characteristics and could potentially really hurt themselves in the playoffs if they don't outright pound the other team in submission and they can't stop making dumb mistakes?
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Jazzaloha


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

neezy007 wrote:
The thing about those USC teams is doing stupid stuff would really hurt them in certain games. Sure they could really lay on a beating sometimes but even in those games doing dumb stuff would make the games closer than they should have been. Or they wouldn't slaughter a team as bad as they should have. Basically, what I'm asking is do you think this team has those characteristics and could potentially really hurt themselves in the playoffs if they don't outright pound the other team in submission and they can't stop making dumb mistakes?


It depends what you mean by "stupid stuff." If I'm not mistaken, this team commits a rather high number of penalties per game. (Something I didn't really mention as one of my concerns, but probably should have.)

When you mention "cocky," though, I think of stupid plays as getting a penalty for taunting or being undisciplined because one success to come easy. I don't get the sense that this team has that problem (despite Golden Tate getting flagged for taunting in the Rams' game).

There are some gaffs or just quick turn of events that I thought were happening earlier, but I didn't feel like that occurred because of arrogance.
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silus


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forget thinking about a Superbowl victory. You get to the game and all bets are off. And the fact is that the road to the Superbowl comes through Seattle, and all those problems listed are not significant playing at home. Also, lets not forget where this Superbowl will be played at. East Rutherford, NJ.
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SupeRG00F


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

silus wrote:
Forget thinking about a Superbowl victory. You get to the game and all bets are off. And the fact is that the road to the Superbowl comes through Seattle, and all those problems listed are not significant playing at home. Also, lets not forget where this Superbowl will be played at. East Rutherford, NJ.
We don't have the #1 seed locked yet. We need to win two more. Hell. We COULD lose the next four. SF wants to kick our teeth in after the last two dominating games in Seattle against them. NY could very much give us trouble, any given Sunday. Arizona and St. Louis are division rivals obviously. Yeah we play them at home, but we are far from having the 1 seed locked up. One week at a time.
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Jazzaloha


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="SupeRG00F"]
silus wrote:
Hell. We COULD lose the next four.


That's not likely, but it's not out of the question, either. I think each of the games poses some interesting challenges, challenges that could lead to defeat if the 'Hawks don't take care for them:

49ers: If Kaep doesn't turn over the ball and makes enough accurate throws, they're more than capable of winning. (Their running game doesn't look as formidable as they did earlier; nor their pass rush--which, I think, are the vulnerabilities of Seattle.)

Giants: Andre Brown is on my fantasy team, and he's running between the tackles very well. If the Giants stick with the run throughout the game, I want to see if Seattle can defend the run. I think JPP is out, but if he's in, they have a history of having a good pass rush with four defenders.

Cardinals: Good front seven and defense in general. They have two decent backs in Mendenhall and Ellington (although I don't know if he's out). They're probably not going to run much, though. But if the "good" Palmer shows up, combined with that defense and you never know.

Rams: The Rams actually didn't look too bad against the Niners...well, that might be pushing it. Still, they have the pass rush and the power run game, so I'd like to see Seattle play against that type of team.
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