Observation 1. There are NFL athletes and then there are Percy Harvin-type athletes. Its a given that there are a lot of fast players in the NFL but the difference between the good and the elite speedsters is this: stop-and-go-acceleration. Based on watching Percy (Harvin is nice but I love the first name Percy like I did Ichiro) is his ability to go from 0-60 in a matter of moments. An example would be his 57-yard kick-off return. Yes, he had a wide-open running lane but by just watching the speed in which he immediately hit that open pasture was remarkable. Earl Thomas was right. He just looks plain faster than others and I think that's due to his elite acceleration. Here's a bonus nugget: if he was not so rusty (he was), he would have eluded that final tackler and taken it to the house.
Question 1: Will there be enough touches for MPH (Mr. Percy Harvin) in the Seahawk's run first offense?
Answer: I believe this is a legitimate question since I think that Percy is a bit of a gridiron diva. By gridiron diva, I mean he wants as many touches as possible. I think Dez Bryant, Calvin Johnson, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Jerry Jones (jk?)are all in this group. Its not a bad thing. They know they're good and they know they can produce at any moment. However, Seahawks already have two such divas in Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. The trifecta would be complete with Percy as the receiver but I do wonder about this potential eating of the cake. Wilson has only attempted 276 passes. In comparison, Griffin III and Luck have attempted over 340 passes each. Those are teams who also like to run. Now, Percy is a receiver through and through. He can play some RB and get touches that way but I think he ultimately wants the ball on deep throws, crossing routes, bubble-screens, ten yard hitches etc. Now with the exception of the deep throw, do the Seahawks do any of these things in any type of consistent manner? No. That's why I think it will be fascinating to see how Darrell Bevell incorporates Percy in the offense where he is the go-to-factor in a receiving corp that goes by turn of commission. Remember, Adrian Peterson was the centerpiece of Minnesota's 2012 offense when Percy was there. But Percy didn't seem too happy with how the offense was being handled despite having a potential career year in 2012 before injury. Russell only completes about 20 passes a game. I'm guessing Harvin is going to want 6-10 of those completions. I'll be watching closely the rest of the season to see how this affects the Seahawks' offense. I want to see if they force feed Percy the ball or just let it just come naturally like they have through most of the year. Personally, I think you get your stars the ball as often as possible and in any way possible.
Observation 2: The Seahawks are clicking at exactly the right time. Remember last year? The Seahawks are 10-1 and are still undefeated at home. They have the best home field advantage and all their pieces are coming back healthy with the exception of Brandon Browner. Although the Falcons and Vikings are pretty poor on defense, the Seahawks offensive showing against them have been impressive and this is a great way for the team to regain confidence after tough games vs the Bucs and Rams.
Question 2: Are the Seahawks going to be 15-1 or 14-2 at the end of this season?
Answer: Well, the Seahawks have only played 4 teams with winning records and loss to one them. 10-1 is great but remember last year's Houston Texans? They were 11-1 before falling on their faces against good competition. The Seahawks actually have an extremely tough final five games. They face NFC title contender Saints at home, division-nemesis 49ers away, the suddenly-red hot New York Giants in NY, the physical and winning Cardinals at home, and the always difficult Rams at home. Does that look like an easy final five games considering how the Seahawks have played some of them recently? No, not at all. In fact, I've heard and read several Seahawk fans say, "just need to get by the Saints and 49ers and then we will be golden." I don't think the Cardinals, Giants, and especially the Rams will be give-me type games whatsoever. These games will actually be physically and mentally draining with the added pressure of keeping home field advantage from the Saints. I think those final three games will actually be just as important as the Saints and 49ers games. The saving grace is that the Seahawks play most of them at home and the they are finally getting healthy on the O-line. If I was to give them a final record, it would be, 13-3. They will go 1-1 vs the Saints/49ers and lose a random one vs the Giants/Cardinals/Rams.
Observation 3: Seahawks are the most complete team in the NFL. Hands down. I watched the other teams and recently the Chiefs vs Broncos game and every team has a significant weakness. The Chiefs lack explosiveness on offense unless they get Charles in space. The Broncos have holes in their pass and run defense. The Saints are pretty solid but they seem to have leaking issues in pass coverage and an inconsistent run game. The Patriots lack consistency from their receiving core and can gashed in their pass coverage as well. The Lions and Bears are inconsistent in the run game and can be atrocious at times in both the run and pass defense. The Seahawks have strength on pass and run defense (especially recently), strength in the running game, efficiency and explosiveness in the passing game, and what I think is phenomenal ability on special teams in kicking,covering and receiving. They can get gashed on the run D but I think they're regaining confidence again and showing that the Bucs and Rams may have been outliers due to overconfidence and a lack of gap discipline.
Question 3: Why are the Seahawks not generating more sacks? The constant QB pressure is there and I think that is the real victory but it still makes me wonder why with Irvin, Avril, Bennett, Clemons, Macdonald, and McDaniel, the Seahawks aren't getting more straight up sacks.They are loaded with gifted pass rushers but I've watched them get oh-so-close but yet not actually put the QB to the turf. I think this is a necessity come playoff time against strong QBs such as Rodgers, Brees, Cutler, and Stafford. Look at the Chiefs vs the Broncos. They rarely got to Peyton and his gimpy ankles and he tore them up. I think Seattle needs to start thinking about generating some added pressure and stunts with a blitzing LB. The Saints game will be a good measuring stick to see how they do against an elite passing offense. Remember the Seahawks haven't played one elite QB this season. Brees will be an excellent test especially since the Seahawks might face him come playoff time.