Seahawks vs. 49ers: Seattle's Passing Attack Takes a Giant Step Backward
After a breakout game last week against the Patriots, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks' passing game definitely regressed tonight against the 49ers. I'm well aware that San Francisco's secondary is head and shoulders above New England's, but I was a believer in thinking Seattle had made progress through the air.
I guess that's why people say to not assume something has happened without first seeing consistency. Wilson's stat line of 122 yards and one interception makes him look a lot worse than he actually was. To understand what happened tonight, you have to dig deeper.
To my count, the Seahawks' wide receivers had a total of five drops. Golden Tate had two, Evan Moore had one, Marshawn Lynch had one and Robert Turbin had one. There were probably more, but off the top of my head, those are the five I recall.
A couple of those plays forced potential scoring drives to stall. The ball thrown to Moore down the right sideline would have produced big yards. Not to mention, it would have at least led to a field-goal attempt, which would have drawn the score that much closer.
However, the pass that went off Turbin's hands was probably more frustrating for the rookie quarterback. While standing in the pocket, Wilson pumped and froze the defender in his tracks. That little hesitation by the defender allowed Turbin to win on the wheel route. The throw falls right in his outstretched hands, yet it goes right off his fingertips.
The 'Hawks settled for a long field goal on that drive, but they wouldn't have had to. If the rookie running back catches the ball, he is off to the races. Those types of missed opportunities can and will come back to haunt you late in games. Just as it did tonight.
Doug Baldwin's second-quarter departure during tonight's game also proved to throw a major wrench in Darrell Bevell's second-half offensive attack. Through the first quarter of play he was effective—he caught two balls for 15 yards. One of those catches was a key third-down catch that kept the drive alive.
It was evident Wilson missed Baldwin after he left. The second-year receiver out of Stanford is Seattle's best route-runner, and he does a really good job of getting open against man coverage. Even though there has been no official word on the severity of the ankle injury, Seattle has to be hoping for the best.
He has already been slowed by a couple of different injuries early on this season. First, it was a hamstring injury during the preseason, and then, it was a shoulder injury that kept him out Week 3. Look for Braylon Edwards to continuously eat up his snaps if Baldwin is indeed out for an extended period of time.
Other than Marshawn Lynch's 103-yard performance, it was clearly a dreadful night for Bevell's offense. They will need all 10 days to regroup as they hit the road for the second consecutive week in Week 8.
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