[Due to illness, I’m afraid my biggest accomplishment these past two weeks has been emptying several boxes of Kleenex. The good news is that my head is finally clearing up, so I should be back to providing more content for you guys to peruse come next week. It’s damned nice to feel like a functional human being again.]
In their game against Carolina, the Seahawks’ offense improved in some key areas (which I’ll discuss further in the stats sections). The passing game isn’t quite firing on all cylinders yet, and they were helped out by some glaring mistakes in coverage by the Panthers’ secondary1, but overall things appear to be headed in the right direction.
Russell Wilson has a hell of a lot of potential, but he’s still a rookie who is not above making aggravating rookie mistakes. As I said in the comments for last Sunday’s post-game thread, I’m not going to worry too much so long as he keeps improving. I know some of you would rather see what Matt Flynn can do under center, but a change at the quarterback position is the most potentially disruptive personnel switch a coach can inflict on an offense. At this stage in the game, the only way Wilson is likely to get sidelined is if he goes into a Blaine Gabbert-style tailspin and starts to play progressively worse each week. For now, things are nowhere near that dire.
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(Note: For explanations of some of the stats included in this piece, please see the first article in the series.)
Going by just the team averages above, week five was the worst performance of the season for the Seahawks’ run offense and run defense. However, things start to look a whole lot better when you take a closer look at the individual stats that went in to those totals.
The Panthers gained more yards per rushing attempt against the Seahawks than any other team they’ve faced this season, and most of that success was thanks to Cam Newton. On his seven carries, Newton averaged 6 yds/att, which goes to show just how dangerous a good scrambler can be when he takes off with the ball. The defense performed much better against the Panthers’ running backs. Jonathan Stewart earned 4 yds/att on 4 carries, but most of that yardage came from a single 11-yard gain, and DeAngelo Williams was held to just 1 yd/att on his six rushing attempts.
On offense, Lynch ran like his usual dominating self, averaging 4.05 yds/att on his 21 carries. Wilson and Robert Turbin, on the other hand, were not so hot. Wilson averaged 2.4 yds/att on his 5 scrambles, and Turbin averaged a measly 1.5 yds/att on his 4 carries. In short, the rookies had a bad night, but Beast Mode is still producing.
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