I recently read one Seahawk's fan state that though we are 2-2 we could easily be 1-3, this is true but by the same rules we could easily be 3-1 as well. Carried there by our exceptional defense and special teams. Wins or losses though every one has to agree the passing game of the Seahawk's offense has been underwhelming. By now most avid Hawks fans know that this is by design. Both Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell have been keeping the passing offense on the back burner and there is a multitude of reasons for that.
1. Rookie QB: This is probably one of the easier aspects of the offense to blame. Having a Rookie QB means mistakes, and Pete Carroll is okay with taking those learning lumps. What he is not okay with, is turn overs. Wilson has been pretty good so far with protecting the ball, choosing to throw it away rather than force the ball into tight windows or take a sack. We saw this exact type of thing on the 3rd play of the 3rd game, in 3rd and 7 (after an Okung false start). Those throw aways certainly hurt Wilson's numbers, but they help the Seahawks field position so much more.
After his three interception game it might be easy to say this is all down the drain, but at least two of those INTs were random anomalies. How often are you going to throw to Baldwin and not only have him miss the catch but have the ball pretty miraculously end up in the defenders hands that wasn't even looking at the ball or have your WR slip and fall and have the DB sitting in the perfect spot to catch it?
Wilson makes plays with his feet though. Assuming none of his rushes were designed runs(except the option play that was terrible) Wilson has had 130 passing chances this year (100 attempts + 8 sacks+22 rushes) I can think of about 6 times Wilson scrambled out of the the pocket early when he had a clear pocket. If I counted the number of blown blocks that Wilson had to avoid (22 blown blocks in the rams game alone) and Last year TJ would take the sack, this year Wilson is throwing the ball away. That to me is progress alone, and in four games has equated to a drop in the number of sacks from last year by 6.
Wilson is making mistakes though. Wilson may be a rookie but that doesn't mean a free pass on mental errors He has a tendency to throw a little high, missing tall targets like 6'6" Evan Moore. He has very little time on average, but when he does get time he is on edge and sometimes leaves the pocket when he should stay. We haven't seen a whole lot of Miracle from Wilson either. While he can put together some decent drives he isn't converting 3rd downs nearly as often as he should. Frustratingly Wilson also has a few delay of game penalties, these are avoidable. Wilson should be accountable for his poor choices, but when we look at his poor choices we have to be honest about what they are and not make overblown sweeping statements.
I cant be sure seeing how terrible the Oline has been playing, how little separation the receivers are getting early in plays that Flynn can be a better option. Flynn has some pretty nice pre-snap reads but is this something Wilson is missing? Flynn gets the ball out pretty quick, but those are usually on Screens and slants. Screens Wilson is getting better at, and do we have anyone able to run crisp slants right now(I thought Baldwin was that guy but I really haven't seen much of him.)?
2. Three way QB competition: This competition played many parts into why we are where we are. We kept Tarvaris Jackson in the loop and ended up getting a 7th round pick out of it. Flynn looked legit as a game manager, but it was clear that Wilson simply out performed him. The competition took repetitions from the starter deep into camp. We knew this would most likely lead to issues in the offense for the first quarter of the season. If Flynn were to be named starter soon he too would face a similarly daunting issue (though it seems his arm is flaring up again so the speculation might be moot).
3. Offensive line: We saw our Oline getting obliterated by Arizona's defense. A big portion of that was blamed on communicating the line calls, especially to rookie Sweezy. Since then Moffitt has returned and he and Sweezy have been sharing time at right guard. Sweezy is still a great find and we have seen him being used creatively, such as a TE in our Jumbo sets. Giacomini had a terrible game against the Rams, having 11 blown blocks and three penalties, including two bone head 15 yard personal fouls. If Moffit is healthy I would like to see Okung, Carpenter, Unger, Moffitt, McQuistan against the Panthers.
Offensive line injuries have been the tale of the Seahawks for the last few years, this has continued with Okung again being injured and causing a lack of continuity. We have also been without Carpenter for three games, but he looked nice in his return. Okung, Moffitt and Carpenter are far superior players to Omiyale, McQuistan and Sweezy. This line has depth and talent, but that talent needs to be not only growing but also gelling together. No other unit has so many kinks that need to be worked out. They are slowly improving, and by mid-season should look fairly capable. If they aren't we will miss the play offs.
4. Penalties: It took all the way to the third play of the 3rd game before Seattle earned its first flag. And although the refs called a lot of questionable calls, Seattle earned many of them with pre-snap issues
We had a nice third and two on that play. The penalties, especially pre snap ones (13 in just 3 games) just keep the offense out of rhythm. Giacomini as stated previously, tends to create too many 15 yard penalties, false starts and they are not even helping him as he is still missing a lot of blocks.
5. WRs: First the Seahawks had a ton of receivers (13 if I recall) into training camp. Each extra WR, assuming equal division of reps exponentially lowered reps for all other WR. Lets take for instance that during OTAs mini camps and the preseason there was about 5,000 offensive snaps. If you have 6 receivers in camp then you are looking at about 1666 snaps per receiver (in 2 wr sets). When the number of receivers is 13 the reps per receiver goes down to about 770 reps each. Then divide those reps between three Qbs and you are looking at about 256 reps per receiver per QB.
There have been injuries that have effected the timing. Sidney Rice was out or in a red shirt most of training camp and OTAs, Baldwin has been constantly hurt. Lockette and Durham were dinged up enough that it could have effected their chances to make the roster (or maybe it was the butter fingers). Each injury leads to less snaps in practice and coupled with the a for mentioned QB competition means that the chemistry between WR and QB has been drastically reduced. One also has to at least consider that the over all quality of our receivers isn't as high as we might like them to be.
Parts 6-10 in a second post