Seattle Seahawks Week 7 report card: Something still missing for Seahawks

By Curtis Crabtree, The Sports Xchange
Seattle Seahawks Week 7 report card: Something still missing for Seahawks
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald tackles Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the first half at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California on October 8, 2017. File photo by Lori Shepler/UPI | License Photo

RENTON, Wash. -- Despite a 4-2 record and a 24-7 win over the New York Giants on Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks are still struggling to find a groove offensively.

It can come in spurts when Seattle can seemingly move the football at will. Other times, first downs feel like a significant accomplishment.


A first-quarter series against the Giants was a microcosm of Seattle's offense so far this season.

After taking over at their own 10-yard line, the Seahawks marched down field to the red zone. The 16-play, 89-yard drive would eventually result in zero points scored for Seattle. The Seahawks faced just one third down on the drive before moving inside the Giants' 10-yard line. Seattle ran nine plays from inside the 10-yard line without finding a way to get the ball in the end zone. Two defensive penalties gave Seattle the extra chances to score. Thomas Rawls was stopped at the 1-yard line. Fullback Tre Madden lost a yard on a pass from Russell Wilson. Tight end Jimmy Graham dropped a sure touchdown on fourth down.

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"We didn't get it knocked in the end zone and we should have," Carroll said. "We had a chance in the throwing game, Russ didn't quite get the ball as quickly out in the flat (to Madden) as we wanted to and might have had a chance to knock it in there. We had another chance and Jimmy could have had the ball there, possibly, and we could have run the ball in too. We just didn't hit it right. (Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell) used a bunch of stuff, we tried a bunch of different things and we just couldn't knock it in the end zone at that time."

The rushing attack continues to sputter as well. Seattle running backs have just one rushing touchdown this year, a 30-yard scamper by J.D. McKissic against the Indianapolis Colts. Rawls, Eddie Lacy and C.J. Prosise are all averaging 3.0 yards per carry or less through six games. Seattle has gained 100 yards on the ground just three times in six games.

"I think we're moving. We need to keep going," Carroll said. "I still think we're mixing it and kind of finding our way and working at it.

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"I think we're still developing. I still feel like we're finding it, which I'm fine and comfortable about. I've got no problem with it. We'll see what happens."

While Seattle's defense is back on top of the league in points per game allowed, the offense is the unit that has to get things moving in the right direction. The Seahawks scored 24 points against the Giants over the final 35 minutes of the game. They've gained over 400 yards of total offense three times in their last four games and are now up to 14th in points per game with 22.3 points per game.

They just need to find a way to shallow out the crater when the offense hits its inevitable skids.

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With five minutes left in the second quarter and the Seahawks still scoreless, wide receiver Doug Baldwin was caught on the television broadcast momentarily shoving offensive line coach Tom Cable in the middle of a scrum of offensive players on the sideline.

It was a brief encounter with Baldwin mainly just raking Cable's arm off his shoulder repeatedly as the offense met after another series failed to put points on the board.


"I lost my cool. One-hundred percent my fault," Baldwin said after the game. "At that moment I was really frustrated with the team as an offense as a whole - not the coaching staff, the players.

"We had the play calls. We just didn't execute whether it was passing the ball, blocking, catching the ball, jumping offside, false starting. Whatever it may be, we weren't executing as players. To me, there's nothing a coach can say. We have to take accountability for that. So I got a little passionate about it."

Baldwin said that quarterback Russell Wilson had been addressing the group when Cable joined the conversation. Baldwin said he wanted Wilson to have the chance to finish his thoughts and got a little heated in the moment.

"We went right through it and got to our business," head coach Pete Carroll said. "Doug was very forthright about saying he made a mistake and erred there and that's not the way we want to handle stuff. But it was such a quick little exchange. I thought Tom beautifully handled it and was very poised about it and kept us right back on track and got us to the business at hand, which everybody did."


Carroll said the encounter isn't an issue for the team. Unlike Richard Sherman's various outbursts last season, Baldwin immediately apologized for his confrontation with a coach and put the situation to bed.

"I already apologized to (Cable)," Baldwin said. "He knows how I am. At that moment, the players needed to realize it's the players and not the coaches."

Added Carroll: "This is an emotional team. We've seen that over the years. I think I probably stoke that as much as anybody so I'm the one at fault for sometimes putting us at our wit's end, but we've got to learn to operate like that because sometimes that's just where you go. I think it's behind us and it's not a big deal at all."


With Luke Joeckel set to miss at least a month after knee surgery, the Seahawks rotated rookie Ethan Pocic and Mark Glowinski at left guard throughout Sunday's game against the Giants.

Glowinski eventually played 48 snaps while Pocic played 34 snaps as the Seahawks rotated the two players on a series-by-series basis. Pocic also saw five snaps as center when Justin Britt briefly left the game with a sprained ankle.


The Seahawks scored 17 of their 24 points with Glowinski in the game at left guard. Pocic was at left guard for the one-play drive of Russell Wilson connecting with Paul Richardson on a flea flicker for a 38-yard touchdown.

"They both did OK," Carroll said. "Really fired up for Ethan that he played two spots. (He) was forced to jump into center and did well and jumped back at guard and did fine. He did a good job. I'm excited for him. Glow played like he plays and hung in there and did fine. That's good for us. We got a little bit better because we got two guys playing there that hadn't played a lot."

While offensive line coach Tom Cable said last week that they would like to choose one guy to hold the job eventually, the team may have their hand forced this week. Britt's ankle injury is expected to keep him out until late in the week. Carroll didn't expect him to practice before Friday. If Britt can't play, Pocic will have to play center. He'll likely practice there throughout the week too, which would almost cement Glowinski in at guard for Sunday's game against the Texans.


In general, Carroll thought it was one of the best showings the line has had this season, particularly in pass protection.

"The only time we got sacked was on a three-man rush when Russ was running around and doing his Fran Tarkenton thing back there," Carroll said. "It was a really good game for our guys and we threw the ball quite a bit and they came after us. We had a lot of plays and a lot of shots. I was really fired up for us."

NOTES: RB C.J. Prosise played just two snaps against the Giants before aggravating an ankle injury that forced him to miss the previous two games. Head coach Pete Carroll thought it possible Prosise would be able to practice this week but was unsure if he'd be able to play against the Texans. ... DT Jarran Reed briefly left the game with a leg injury, but returned to finish the contest. He had a career-high seven tackles with a sack and forced fumble that led to a Seattle turnover. ... WR Tyler Lockett briefly left the game after having the wind knocked out of him on a collision in the end zone. He returned to the game and is thought to be fine.



--PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus - Russell Wilson passed for 334 yards and three touchdowns against the Giants on Sunday. He was also sacked just once. However, Wilson overthrew Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett on a pair of would-be touchdowns. Jimmy Graham dropped two passes, including a touchdown, and Thomas Rawls dropped a screen pass that could have set up a field-goal try.

--RUSHING OFFENSE: C - The Seahawks averaged just 3.4 yards per carry en route to their 104 yards on the ground against the Giants. Thomas Rawls lost a fumble that directly set up the Giants' only touchdown of the game.

--PASS DEFENSE: A-minus - Eli Manning was held to just 3.4 yards per attempt against Seattle and managed just five completions to receivers on Sunday. Tight end Evan Engram managed six catches for 60 yards, but Manning was routinely pressured and forced to dump passes to backs often.

--RUSH DEFENSE: A - After gaining 148 yards against the Broncos last week, the Giants were held to just 46 yards on 17 carries.

--SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus - Blair Walsh converted his only field-goal try from 39 yards. Jon Ryan pinned all five of his punts inside the 20-yard line. D.J. Alexander blocked a punt and Seattle held the Giants' return units in check.


--COACHING: B-plus - The only significant blemish was failing to find the end zone despite nine snaps from the Giants' 10-yard line or closer on Seattle's second drive of the game. The Seahawks moved the ball consistently on offense and completely clamped down on the Giants defensively.

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