Seattle Seahawks' Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 1 Loss to Cardinals
Well that was...disappointing. What many Seahawks fans were calling an assured victory turned into a heartbreaking loss.
There are tons of things to not like about this game, but we'll look at some positive stuff too, because...optimism right?
Yeah, that sounds about right.
Since we all have a big, gloomy, depression-inducing rain cloud loitering over our heads right now, I'm gonna skip the semantics and just go straight to the bad stuff.
Ready for some unmitigated disgust? Cool.
Darrell Bevell's misuse of the offense in this game is analogous to fitting a square peg in a circular hole.
It essentially breaks down to one key concept: The playcalling played right into the Cardinals' defensive scheme. Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton was dialing up pressure from the linebackers, often employing fire blitzes.
Instead of utilizing rollouts, draws or screens to mitigate these blitzes, Bevell would have the Seahawks run up the middle into the face of the blitz, or throw bubble screen passes (one of which resulted in a fumble).
Ultimately, Bevell's playcalling was an enigma to us 'Hawk fans. We knew very well that Ray Horton was going to dial up blitzes, but apparently Bevell didn't get the memo.
The Offensive Line
The offensive line was bad in both the in-play and out-of-play phases of the game.
Daryl Washington and Sam Acho consistently got into the backfield to assault Russell Wilson as a result of missed assignments by J.R. Sweezy. Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell had their way with whichever lineman happened to be across from them, leaving Wilson almost no time to throw on any given play.
Additionally, OT Russell Okung racked up three drive-altering false-start penalties, which is unacceptable in every way, shape, and form—especially for someone who is supposed to anchor the line.
The Wide Receivers
To understand why the receivers are losers in this game, one needs simply to look at the Seahawks' final drive, during which there were three potential go-ahead touchdowns that were dropped. Now, I understand that none of these catches were easy by any means.
But if you are a receiver in the NFL, tough catches must be made.
Besides these drops, however, was the general lack of hard route running. All of the wideouts seemed to give up on their routes in multiple scenarios, leaving Russell Wilson few options in the passing game.
Ben Obomanu, in particular, hurt the team with his lack of ability to get open. His play today was not worthy him landing a roster spot.
Alright, I needed to get all that out.
Whew. Let's focus on happy stuff. Yay.
By the way, honorable mention for this slide goes to Richard Sherman, for making the sweetest interception I have ever witnessed in my short lifetime.
Yes, Russell Wilson is a winner.
Let me explain why. Considering all the circumstances, Wilson did just fine today. His interception came on a Hail Mary-esque play near the end of the half and had no consequences on the game.
Aside from a few balls that were a little too high and one poor end-zone throw to Braylon Edwards on a corner route, the rookie didn't make many mistakes.
And keep that word "rookie" in mind. This is a guy who still outperformed all other rookie QBs today (aside from the outstanding RG3), despite facing pressure nearly each and every play. He orchestrated a time-beating (and rule-defying) fourth-quarter comeback drive, that by all accounts should've ended in a touchdown four separate times.
So for his first game ever, and for never having a clean pocket (ever, ever, ever), I hereby dub Russell Wilson a winner from this game.
Yeah, I harped on the receivers earlier. Sue me (no please don't do that).
The one shining star amidst this group is Sidney Rice. It was amazing grab after amazing grab for the former Pro Bowler, who started his afternoon by diving for a tipped pass and highlighting it with an acrobatic, body-contorting grab for a touchdown.
If this is what healthy Sidney Rice will do for the Seahawks, I'm all in.
Yes, the stellar return man is seemingly back to form.
Washington had nearly 200 total return yards on the night, and was integral to two of Seattle's scoring drives, including the touchdown. Without Leon Washington, momentum never swings back in Seattle's favor during the second half, and a deflated Seahawks team probably never pulls ahead.
Hopefully this is a trend we see continue the rest of the year!