By fellow 12 Clinton Bonner
The plan was perfect: Drive a bit, train to the city, pick up something delicious before hitting the subway which would drop me off a mere 500 ft. or so from Carlow East – the Seahawks bar on the island of Manhattan – mosey into the bar, grab a Miller High Life, meet fellow 12s, hand out those sweet podcast stickers… and of course, and frankly most importantly, watch our Seahawks rip apart the New Orleans Saints.
Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…
By now, many stories have been penned about the non-penalized picks of our opponents along with the horrendous and ghostly defensive holding calls that simply weren’t real… And while it’s easy to point to those moments – as crucial as they surely were – we must push deeper and deliver some more granular content to you, our faithful readers.
So, let’s do the hard work and muck our way into and out of this edition of 3 IN, 3 OUT.
OUT – Lookin’ Deep?
It appears we’ve entered this perfect storm of offensive turd-dom. There is this certain confluence of current circumstances that has led our passing game to become pretty darn predictable and it’s hurting us big time.
- Russell is quite injured and because of this the houdini-esque escapes aren’t there, which means the big plays off the escapes aren’t there
- Lockett is still nicked, and while Richardson has been valuable, I’m unsure he’s being asked to stretch the field much
- The offense, and I believe partly due to Russell’s injury, has clearly rotated into more quick hitting pass plays
- We haven’t established a run game in weeks, which negates the play action, which often sets up the big play down the field
It’s one thing to take your deep shots and fail, it’s another to simply not take those shots. In both the Arizona tie and now this Saints loss we never tested these teams with a shot to Lockett, Jimmy, or otherwise. The deepest ball thrown all day was by #19 which happened to coincide with our only offensive TD drive of the afternoon … Hmmmmmmmm.
Is Russ’s pectoral injury to blame? Perhaps, but he certainly had plenty – and often on Sunday too much – zing on 15 to 18 yard routes over the middle.
Regardless, we can’t be predictable on offense and yet we’ve slowly devolved over the last few weeks into just that. We have plenty of season to right this ship and it needs to start Monday against a team that can and probably will put up points.
IN – McDaniel Ate People
It’s funny to think that throughout the entire off-season Tony McDaniel wasn’t even a part of the discussion. Yet, he’s been consistently good since the moment he put the ‘Action Green’ accented jersey back on.
This game surely was frustrating and yes, Hightower ended up over 100 yards marking the 2nd week in a row our ‘Hawks allowed a 100 yard compilation to happen on their watch. But man, it sure wasn’t on McDaniel.
If you get a chance to rewatch the game, you’ll see at least 3 occasions where McDaniel sheds an interior lineman and just swallows up Hightower at the line.
The Saints ran the ball 34 times and had a ToP delta of around 12.5 minutes. They – with sincere help from their very own 12th man (the refs) – wore us down, and ultimately it’s how they won the game.
OUT – Back to the Future
The Saints converted 60% of their third downs. We all had Snead on the brain and it wasn’t cool. Throughout the game I kept on flashing forward to a certain SNF game coming up versus the best team in the league and thinking: If we can’t get off the field versus the Aints, do we stand a chance against Tom Patriot???
This, for me, is not-typical thinking.
I’m an optimist.
Heck, I’m an over-optimist!
Yet watching Brees pick us apart with underneath routes to move the chains channeled my inner Doc Emmett Brown and I couldn’t rid that vision.
The walk back to the subway, the 2-hour commute home from Manhattan… and all I kept seeing, Brady.
What’s the answer Flock? Is it simply getting Kam back in there? Is it the fact that we only mustered 2 sacks this Sunday?
What will we need to do better in order to beat better teams that are coming right up on our 2nd half schedule?
IN – Rhymes with Rocket
You’re probably thinking I’m on crack. If you look at Lockett’s stat line it is nothing deserving of an IN. 4 catches for 32 yards, a long of only 10??? Tyler was a bit more impressive in the KO game bolstered by a long return of 37. So why the ‘IN’?
Let’s keep in mind that this blog is all about a feeling, a gut sense of what is happening on the field and sometimes the I’s & O’s are handed out based on a spidey-sense tingling more than anything.
What I spied with my little eyes was that Lockett was very, very close to being Lockett again. He has been dinged up since week 2 and looked like he simply had lost a step of quickness.
Is he fully back? Probably not. Is he 95% of the way there and about to get to 100% as we approach the halfway point of the year, I do believe the answer is yes.
I think fans forget how deceptively long an NFL season really is. Sure the last two weeks, mustering only 1 offensive TD have been a bit grueling to watch, but let’s just remember where we are at this moment, and see how we’re performing in weeks 14 through 17. My gut tells me Lockett will break out over the next 2 to 3 weeks and the impact on the offense will be big.
OK Tyler, now prove me right.
OUT – Decisions, Decisions
I know this is also a hot topic that everyone is talking about this week. And as much as I want to write and complain about the horrific, and man do I mean it!, display we saw from the men in stripes, I have to fight that urge and instead write about what really cost us this game.
Here we go, this isn’t easy to type…
Russell Carrington Wilson cost us this game.
I don’t feel good about that, I suspect none of us do, but it’s our reality.
Whether it was the INT up 8 with only about 5 to go in the first half, the mis-managed last drive that featured abhorrent check downs that destroyed our most precious resource, or the final play of the game being left up to a low % route… this loss was on Russ.
IN – Our Run Game???
I know… I know you may be thinking I Skip Bayless’d myself this time and I’m just shouting headlines for the sake of getting you to read on and argue with me. But I want to present you with a facts to back this up:
We averaged 4.4 yards per carry.
The Saints averaged 3.5.
We only ran the ball 17x total, including 3 scrambles from a clearly hobbled RCW.
A boy named Christine avg. 4 yards a carry and that could have been much more if the ole turf monster didn’t get him yet again!
Prosise was nice, averaging nearly 6 yards per carry on his very limited touches.
And if you go back and watch the 2nd half, we ran the ball quite well.
So, who is to blame for us then only calling 14 run plays? Is that on Bevell? I think that’s too easy an excuse. The real culprit is 2nd and 15, 1st and 12, 3rd and 21.
None of these guys is Beastmode and ya know what, they don’t need to be. But they need to be fed all the same.
1,2,3… What’s Next!?
The Percy Harvin “led” Bills visit the PNW.
Sexy Rexy has his team where he always has his teams, playing sporadically good and terrible football all at the same time and not quite in or out of playoff contention. In other words, Sexy Rexy’s teams are perpetually dangerous.
The big things on the brain this week:
- Does Shady play and is he healthy? IMO he’s the best RB in the league and a banged up Shady is a big advantage to our ‘Hawks
- Do we have 3 or more plays over 25 yards in this game? Let’s see some big plays!
- Can Avril and Clark continue their dominance without Michael Bennett for an extended # of weeks? Let’s see.
We absolutely need a bounce back victory versus these Bills and it doesn’t matter how we get that W. Sure, we’d like a 34 – 10 trouncing, but Mamma Cleo’s earlier prediction was for a real nail biter.
One pro-tip, make that extra cup of coffee around 30 mins before kick-off and ride high into this intriguing MNF matchup… and Go ‘Hawks!!!
Also a special thanks is due to Ella who chimed in with this balanced approach to a #3I3O tweet – thx Ella!
— Ella Esparza (@EsparzaElla) October 30, 2016
Get in the Flock People!
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