As the NFL’s first 10-win team, there’s no question the Seattle Seahawks have made it a point on a weekly basis to dominate the opposition by any means necessary. Whether it’s a 21-point comeback victory or 28-point onslaught from the get-go, head coach Pete Carroll has a profound way of rallying his troops.
His philosophical coaching style isn’t the norm, yet that’s probably why he has managed to coach the Seahawks to their best start in franchise history. Win or lose, Carroll and general manager John Schneider have always believed in the system they implemented when they arrived in the Pacific Northwest.
If you aren't familiar their system, it’s quite simple in theory. The organization stresses competitiveness on the field, while the roster is soundly built through the draft with calculated risks in free agency.
By no means has the process been an overnight success, but thanks in large part to Seahawks owner Paul Allen, Carroll has been granted patience since the day he arrived in 2010. Moreover, Allen’s trust in the 62-year-old coach is already paying dividends.
With five games left until postseason play begins, the Seahawks have hit their playoff stride at the right time. For the first time since Week 2, the offensive line sported left tackle Russell Okung, left guard Paul McQuistan, center Max Unger, right guard J.R. Sweezy and right tackle Breno Giacomini.
It was a long road to a clean bill of health for the hog mollies upfront, yet the nine-week wait will be worth it in the end. The same goes for All-Pro wide receiver Percy Harvin. Sure, he only garnered one catch for 17 yards in his debut against the Minnesota Vikings, but his limited role gave the Seahawks offense a whole new dimension.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell now has the ability to run true four- and five-wide-receiver sets without the use of a tight end and a running back. Additionally, Harvin is a great decoy who seemingly draws the attention of multiple defenders deep down the field.
This, in turn, rewards fellow wideouts who are trying to win one-on-one matchups on underneath routes. All in all, Harvin’s impact was minimal from a statistical standpoint, yet there was plenty to cheer about when one takes the time to evaluate the game from an X’s and O’s point of view.
Like the offensive line’s clean bill of health, Harvin’s return to the lineup came at just the right time. The Seahawks had to have been pleased that he was healthy enough to step in and get his feet wet one week prior to the team’s bye week.
By getting a few snaps under his belt, he now has in-game experience that he can build upon. Going forward, the 15-20 plays he checked in for versus Minnesota will prove to be valuable because Seattle’s schedule doesn’t get any easier after the bye.
|Seattle Seahawks Remaining Schedule|
|13||Mon, Dec. 2||Saints||5:30 p.m.|
|14||Sun, Dec. 8||@49ers||1:25 p.m.|
|15||Sun, Dec. 15||@Giants||10 a.m.|
|16||Sun, Dec. 22||Cardinals||1:05 p.m.|
|17||Sun, Dec. 29||Rams||1:25 p.m.|
The Seahawks final five contests of the season feature bouts against the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. Yes, they should take care of business when they battle the Giants and Rams, but the Saints, 49ers and Cardinals are all playoff-caliber teams.
The good news is the Saints and Cardinals showdowns will take place in front of their home crowd at the CLink. Even though the Seahawks haven’t suffered defeat in Seattle since 2011, both teams currently possess winning records at 8-2 and 6-4, respectively.
Furthermore, the Saints will undoubtedly bring their A-game based on the fact they are fighting for home-field advantage, while the Cardinals are jockeying for the one of two wild-card spots in the NFC.
However, with that being said, the Seahawks certainly are fortunate to be in the position they are in. Going 10-1 over the course of the first 11 games of the season is not easy to do. That task is even more difficult when a team isn't granted a bye week in the midst of its 11-game stretch.
Is there any doubt that Harvin and the Seahawks hit their bye at the perfect time? Not only will they have the opportunity to rest up and get their legs under them for a late-season push, the coaching staff will have additional time to review the tape from the Vikings game.
By spending extra time inspecting the Vikings film, the offensive coaches can diagnose the types of coverages and looks the opposition gave Harvin while he was on the field. What they learn will prove to be beneficial, because they can then see what groups of plays could possibly be used to exploit the Saints defense on Monday Night Football.
Everything seems to be falling in place for Seattle this year. They are getting healthier by the minute, their quote-unquote 2013 first-round pick has already displayed game-changing ability and quarterback Russell Wilson’s play continuously matures.
The Seahawks quest for their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history looks more promising than it ever has.
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