Russell Wilson is awesome. He's mobile, his scrambles are smart and effective, he can make any throw in the book, he makes good decisions with the ball, and his teammates respond well to his leadership. Best of all, he has that rare knack of being able to pull out wins in games where a loss looked a hell of a lot like a foregone conclusion, the game against the Texans being a prime example. I mean, NFL QBs don't typically win games in which they get hit on over fifty percent of their dropbacks, but that's precisely what he did.
The flipside of that, however, is that as good as he is, Wilson is not going to be able to pull off miracles every single week. Against the Colts, the defense couldn't stop Andrew Luck, the receiving corps largely couldn't get separation from defenders, and the offensive line couldn't give Wilson enough time to survey the field properly on every snap. Granted, he still led the Hawks to within a TD of winning the game anyway, but that's beside the point.
Even in defeat there's still plenty to love about what the Seahawks are doing this year, and the overall numbers still very much point to this being a championship caliber team. That said, the numbers also point to some deeply concerning flaws in their performance, and one can only hope that playing this week's game in front of the 12th Man in Seattle will inspire the Hawks to take a file to their rough edges and dominate the Titans in every way instead of in just enough statistical categories to give Wilson another shot at spinning crap protection into gold.
(Note: green highlights denote notably positive stats -- think top ten material, where applicable -- while orange highlights mark notably negative stats)
Yards/Rush Attempt Allowed
|159 (2nd)||4.04 (18th)||109 (19th)|
Wilson has been pulling off a ton of great runs these last two weeks, but that's only part of the reason for the Seahawks' improvement on the ground. After starting the year with an embarrassing 2.53 ypc against the Panthers, Lynch has been picking up steam with every passing week. He averaged a respectable 3.50 ypc versus San Francisco, then improved to 4.06 ypc against Jacksonville, 5.76 ypc against Houston, and 6.0 ypc against Indianapolis. In short, Beast Mode is back.
I wish I could say something equally complimentary of the run defense, but numbers don't lie. Despite the best efforts of RB-eating studs Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant, the Seahawks' vaunted defense has been very much vulnerable on the ground this year. From what I've seen on film, the lion's share of the blame appears to rest squarely with the linebackers. Time and again, KJ Wright, Malcolm Smith/Bruce Irvin, and (to a lesser extent) Bobby Wagner have been caught out of position on stunts or allowed themselves to get pushed out of position by all the milling bodies around the line of scrimmage, which opens big running lanes for opposing ballcarriers to exploit.
Here's hoping the LBs get their act together this week, 'cause against a back as fast as Tennessee's Chris Johnson those sorts of mental errors are a one-way ticket to a loss.
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