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Our $10M dollar-a-year star tight end, have the wheels come off?

Most fans seem pretty divided on if they’d make the pre-2015 draft trade again with hindsight in play, there’s no denying his stats have dropped since his time in the big easy, especially his red-zone efficiency.

In the two years prior to the Seahawks trading for him, he had a total of 2,104 yards receiving and 26 touchdowns, that’s impressive. In the two and a half years he’s been with the Seahawks he’s totalled 1,758 yards and only 10 touchdowns. No doubt his stats are down. But why?

Firstly, the Hawks only recently became a pass first team and it isn’t through coaching choices. For the most part, our run-game has been null and void forcing Russ to go through the air more, the guys are very much in the midst of working out their true identity (I think they start to work it out this Sunday against the Texans but that’s another story for another time) which explains the shaky starts this season and seemingly lack of sustained drives, especially in the first half of games.

Many fans believe Jimmy has become frustrated beyond repair with the team and how Darrell Bevell has used him which simply isn’t true. He has been double teamed in the red-zone on roughly 60% of snaps, we all know how Russ and Pete feel about turnovers, don’t we? We’ve just started to see fades thrown his way which are proving, overall, pretty successful so no doubt when Jimmy gets a good matchup, we will see his end-zone efficiency soar. increase. It’s clear to see some teams have schemed purely to take Jimmy out of the game, fortunately for the team, that just opens up the gates for the likes of Baldwin, Lockett, Richardson and Willson.

He’s also certainly being put on the field enough as well, averaging just over 46 snaps per game this season as per the chart below.

ProFootballFocus doesn’t buy into his drop in performance, either. As the chart below shows, his 15 and 16 seasons were precisely in line with years past. Granted, his 2017 grading has taken a vicious drop, however that is bound to rise as the whole team gets into their yearly hot-streak for the second half of the season.

The reason for the diminished stats is predominantly down to how the Seahawks share the ball around amongst all receivers, 10+ different players can (and do) catch the ball on Sundays and that simply didn’t happen in New Orleans. Secondly, Jimmy is seen as our biggest threat offensively to opposing defensive coordinators and many have aimed to take him out of the game completely. Only an elite few in this league can be consistently double-teamed and still produce results, it takes a rare breed and calibre and player. As special as Jimmy is in this league, he’s not a top 5, or even top 10 talent.

When it’s all said and done and the Seahawks 2017 campaign is finished, Jimmy’s stats will be somewhere in between his 2015 and 2016 season. I predict less yards than 2016 (923) but the same, if not more touchdowns.

2017 predication –

685 yards

8 touchdowns

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