Call me a fair-weather fan, but I have made several treks from a long distance to watch the Seahawks play at home this season, one of those games being the 27-3 raping at the hands of the Cardinals.
Seeing this team shoot itself in the foot so many times, I made the wise decision to sleep in today.
In all of my years as a Seahawks fan, or a football fan in general, I have never personally witnessed a team coming out as flat and disoriented as the Seahawks did in the first quarter of that game.
This game features the best football players in the world, but during that first quarter the Seahawks honestly looked like a combination of Pee Wee football players suffering from the world's worst hangover.
Some of the scores from those seven losses include 17-34, 3-27, 17-38, and 9-35. Given the fact the Seahawks are way past being the NFC's elite team (yes, by win totals over their five-year playoff run, the Seahawks were the most dominant team in the NFC), losses of that magnitude to the Colts, Cardinals, Cowboys, and Vikings, all sure bets for the playoffs, should actually be viewed as business as usual.
The elite teams generally take care of the average/below average ones, a category we definitely deserve to fall under.
As I went to type in "Seahawks" in Google search, hoping I might see a win, or at least a close game, I saw something that I actually did not see coming.
How the f^7k does a team beat a playoff contender 41-0 and in turn lose to a team on a four-game losing streak 34-7?!
I never usually take a lot of crap for being a Seahawks fan, because in recent history we have been winning consistently, going to the playoffs, or at least in the early 2000s had Mike Holmgren, who people knew was going to make us an elite team.
Last season was a new experience. I had to take some jabs, but I took them and defended my team with a fairly strong belief that we would be a contender this year.
After I saw this season begin to unravel, I decided to no longer defend this team, just like Marcus Trufant decided not to defend for his team, letting Andre Johnson literally walk right by him for a 64-yard TD.
After suffering the most lopsided loss this season, at the hands of the 5-7 (6-7 now) Texans, it is clear that the simple retool and go strategy is not going to cut it.
This team needs to be torn apart and rebuilt.
Injuries have been a very luxurious excuse for the Seahawks. Last season could arguably be attributed to the mass amount of injuries suffered in the 4-12 debacle. This season they started off banged up, and one can safely say the six-point loss to the equally dismal Chicago Bears was due to eight starters being out, along with two missed, makeable field goals.
But since the Dallas Cowboys game, this team has fielded a pretty damn healthy squad. Walter Jones and Lofa Tatupu are on IR, but every other one of the 19 starters has been on the field.
Essentially completely healthy, this team has been 3-4, having to scratch out a last second win against the 49ers, having to come back by 17 points against the two-win Lions, and beating the one-win Rams by a mere 10 points.
Collectively, the Seahawks beat these three teams with a combined 8-28 record by an average of eight points a game.
In the other four games, they have lost by scores of 17-38, 20-31, 9-35, and today's 7-34 massacre. In contrast, they have been outscored by an average of 22 points per game in those four contests.
The coaches' fuming is not going to do sh&t. Pointing to injuries no longer is an option. A certain overpaid, underperforming WR's antics are not going to do any good.
The Seahawks should take a cue from the Seattle Mariners and try to blow up all but the core of this team.
It starts up front on the atrocious offensive line, where Chris Spencer botched three snaps. Yes, we know he is playing with a cast on. I played offensive line in high school. I played with a cast on my wrist and an ankle brace on a broken wrist and fractured ankle once when my team was short offensive linemen—didn't stop me from doing my routine mauling.
At least he is not making excuses: "I haven't got any excuses, man"—from the Seattle Times Seahawks blog.
Now I have disliked Spencer's awful play since his second season with the team, but he is not to be the only scapegoat. It is a unit comprised of five pieces, and it is unfair people toss him under the bus first
Aside from Max Unger, this entire offensive line also has no excuses. Sean Locklear is arguably the highest paid and most underperforming left tackle in the league. Rob Sims should not be starting for an NFL team, and Ray Willis is being used as a turnstile against the average or better teams.
There are a couple Pro Bowlers on the free agent market, and with an uncapped year and the richest owner in professional sports, the Seahawks MUST finally make up for the Steve Hutchinson mistake by signing an elite guard.
Logan Mankins will be an unrestricted free agent in 2010 (restricted this season), and they must make a full-court press to pry him from the Patriots. An offer of $10 million per season is more then doable.
Michael Roos and Marcus McNeil are also pending free agents. Offering them $10 million per season as well would be overpaying for a good reason. The Seahawks need to acquire two quality starting offensive linemen on the free agent market just as a starting point in the rebuilding process.
For those of you who want to take a QB, erm, Jake Locker, I scoff at you. As a former OL, I know it all starts up front. It would be a wiser choice to invest in a couple of quality linemen and then draft another with one of our first round picks as a start.
If we fix the OL, it gives our Pro Bowl QB more time to throw. Do you honestly think a rookie QB is going to be better than Matt Hasselbeck? We just need to give him some time.
As far as the offense, the OL is the main root of the problem. Once that gets fixed, everything can start to fall into place.
Julius Jones should be gone—a horrible running back, completely pathetic. If we're going to spend a first round pick on something, it should be a RB, not a QB.
C.J. Spiller or Jahvid Best would be a good pick to start re-tooling the ground game. Justin Forsett can take on an increased load as they begin to get a feel for the NFL.
At WR, it is safe to say Deion Branch is likely done as a Seahawk after his disappointing tenure. Thank you, Tim Ruskell!
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Nate Burleson, John Carlson, and Deon Butler still make a good pass-catching squad, but the lack of time for Hasselbeck to get them the ball skews their potential greatly.
On the defensive side of the ball, the bust Cory Redding and the aging, average Patrick Kerney should both not be retained. Kerney is currently earning well over $1 million for each of his five sacks. Redding does not even average half of a sack per game and 0.7 tackles per game he has been active for.
I actually like our interior. I think the combination of Brandon Mebane and Colin Cole would be able to perform at a high level if the guys on the outside could supplement with a more effective pass rush. Cole has performed his role well, being an essential blocker on the defensive line.
There are plenty of options on the free agent market to fix the pass rushing issues that plague this team.
Kyle Vanden Bosch, Richard Seymour, and Luis Castillo are all Pro Bowlers who are set to be unrestricted free agents. Castillo is the best of the trio, and all could help with Seattle's sore pass rushing ability.
If the Seahawks decide they don't like the interior, then Casey Hampton and Vince Wilfork could also be had. I wouldn't mind seeing any of those five in Seahawks blue.
The linebacking unit appears set, but I can no longer classify them, even with Tatupu, as being arguably the league's most vaunted unit with Aaron Curry's rookie struggles, and Leroy Hill's ineffectiveness.
A lot of people put blame on our secondary. It's a team effort, but the lack of pass rush has been putting some serious strain on this unit. When a safety is your leading tackler (Jordan Babineaux, 86), your team has some problems.
Ken Lucas has been unimpressive in his second stint with the team, and Kelly Jennings should be let go or relegated to the practice squad—another Ruskell bust.
The team's best CB, Trufant, leads the league in pass interference calls despite missing half the season and just got torched by Andre Johnson. A matchup of Pro Bowlers should not yield a result as disparaging as what I saw with those two.
Josh Wilson has also been unspectacular. He should be this team's nickel back at best.
Not a lot of names excite me on the potential open market, but Carlos Rogers of the Redskins could step right in and provide a sizeable upgrade as the team's No. 2 corner.
If the team wants a new safety though, O.J. Atogwe, Nick Collins, and Antoine Bethea are all stars that could be had.
This team has some pieces, mainly the receivers, the quarterback, and the linebackers, to build around for the future. But the Seahawks' transmission has blown up and caught on fire. They have the draft picks and the options on the free agent market to begin to turn things around. Whoever they pick as the next GM, erm, Mike Holmgren, is going to have his hands full the first couple years.
It all starts up front. Rebuild the offensive line, and things will start rolling from there.
In Holmgren we trust.