So that’s week one in the books. I was expecting a close but ugly game and that’s exactly what we got. A Pete Carroll Seahawks team never looks ‘on fire’ in September, more so in the first regular season game so I’m certainly not overly concerned about the game, but equally I’m not filled with optimism, either. At least the 49ers and the Cardinals lost, too.
I’m going to go things a bit differently this season on my post game reviews, I’m going to add a grading system for offense and defense and the best and the worst players of each game, fun, ay?
Let’s start with the offense…
I was (and still am) fairly optimistic about the offense for the Seahawks 2018 campaign, adding the likes of Will Dissly, Brandon Marshall and Rashaad Penny filled me with excitement and two thirds didn’t fail to deliver (but more on that later). Russ was clearly uncomfortable in the pocket, he says he trusts these guys but his footwork and mannerisms say otherwise. He’s uncomfortable back there, really uncomfortable. For Russ to be as effective as he can be this line needs to be more consistent. I will give them a pass this week, however. That Broncos defensive line is fierce and has their way with the best offensive lines in the league. Ultimately, facing them in week one is a good thing, get them out the way and onto the next one, it’s not as if the Bears have recently traded for any special players who wreck havoc on offensive lineman after all. I see many complaining about Russ walking into several of those sacks and I, too, was equally frustrated however ask yourself this… Would you rather Russ stay in the pocket and throw the ball away when needed? With his scrambling comes absolute and sheer magic at times, sure he does occasionally walk his way into the path of a defensive lineman but, at least for me, that’s a small trade off for the magic that he creates in broken plays, it’s part of his identity and one of the many reasons I love him. Small price to pay if you ask me. Remember also that most defensive lineman don’t have that much success on Russ when he’s scrambling, testimony to just how good a job the Broncos did in that aspect of the game.
We saw a real spark in Will Dissly, many touted him as the best blocking tight end in the 2018 NFL draft, I’ll give it a few more weeks but it may not be overly homerish to cross out the ‘blocking’ part of that statement and have it read ‘best right end in the draft’. This game is all football and such a pro-typical Seahawks player. A tight end that can block, run, catch passes and score touchdowns? Heavens above! I’ve been bigging up Dissly since we drafted him but there was no way I could have expected him to be that good in this game, if you can’t feel optimism towards him at least, I pity you. I was also extremely optimistic about Rashaad Penny however my expectations have tumbled down somewhat, he seemed to lack speed, vision and ‘get’ if I’m honest. Whilst I’m disappointed he didn’t rip off a 300 yard 8 touchdown game, I remain level headed in that he’s still a rookie, having just played his first ever real NFL game and that things can (and will) improve. Chris Carson showed a bit more spark however I’m sure I’m not the only one concerned about the fumble, it’s all fixable, though and Carson seems a smart guy, he will know what he needs to do.
Overall I’d give the Seahawks a C+ with the following player specific grades –
Russell Wilson C+
Will Dissly A
Tyler Lockett B-
Brandon Marshall A-
Germain Ifedi F
Now onto the defense –
Where do we start? It seemed to go back and forth between ‘this is still a Pete Carroll defense’ followed immediately by ‘we’re in for a long year’. We all wanted to get younger on D and with that is always going to cause some growing pains but overall, I think they did ‘alright’ given the situation. There were mistakes, there were miscommunications but there was also flashes of brilliance. Ultimately, I’m not as concerned about the D as I was just s week ago. One things for sure, though, Earl needs to be paid if we want to be a successful team over the next few years. 2 of the 3 touchdowns scored by the Broncos came when Earl wasn’t on he field.
Shaquem Griffin had a pretty tough game in fairness, we need to remember he’s still a rookie and this was his first real experience, many are being pretty unfair on him in my opinion, give him time, get him on the field on certain 3rd downs and watch him grow. I’m also in two minds about Tre Flowers, given his rawness I’d say overall he did OK, there were mistakes but there was also some really impressive plays being made by him so I think I’m airing on the side of optimism for him, let’s keep him at RCB and see where he is in a few weeks. We do seem pretty thin at the CB position so I am pretty sure the team will pick someone up off the street.
I was pretty disappointed with he defensive line pressure, I think if anything kills this season for us it’s going to be giving opposing QB’s too much time in the pocket. It doesn’t matter how bad their QB is, give him 7-10 seconds in a clean pocket and this defense will get exposed, as would any defense. Expect the Seahawks to go heavy on the DL in the 2019 draft.
Let’s have a look at some grades –
Earl Thomas A-
Dion Jordan C+
Bobby Wagner B+
Shaquill Griffin A
Shaquem Griffin C
So onto the Bears next week, I’m expecting that to be a tough game in fairness, Khalil Mack is going to wreck absolute havoc, let’s hope our offense can get into a rhythm and the defense can continue making plays to turn the ball over.
As always, go Hawks!
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