I don't typically extend The Tape over four days, but am this week because the future of Seattle's personnel is much more important than its next opponent and I really know nothing about the Dolphins. I've yet to see them play this season and recognize that the 2008 Miami Dolphins bear no resemblance to the 2007 Miami Dolphins.
Jacked Up: After showing no effort through the start of the third quarter, Lawrence Jackson was benched for the remainder of the game. I can't properly express how disappointed I am in Jackson. I accept he's never lost like this before, but where before I questioned Jackson's ability as a pass rusher, now I find myself questioning his desire. That's shitty and I don't like typing it, but something's really wrong with Seattle's first round pick and it's not talent or ability.
BarAtkins: A little good, a little bad against Jon Runyan. Runyan is still among the best right tackles in the NFL and for a young, green player like Atkins, among the worst matchups imaginable. Watch thy privates BarAtkins. His "hit", sadly, came on a screen pass. Atkins was allowed to hit McNabb. Thought I'd give everyone a little bit of a break from the bad news, but, y'know, truth and all that.
Just a reminder: Morris is bad at identifying holes. Morris cut into an Omar Gaither tackle to end the third quarter. It was inexplicable. As if Morris thought, "you know, I won't follow this lineman blocking a corner, no I'll cut in towards this wide receiver getting ragdolled by a linebacker."
The Bad Thing: Why did Seattle continue to play soft down 13 in the 4th quarter?
Everything good I can think of: Since I've been the bad fan and bitched a bit about the coaching, here's a brief list of things I noticed that I thought were good moves by Seattle's braintrust.
John Marshall did get more creative with his play calling and his use of fire zones, especially to start the game, was instrumental in Donovan McNabb's early cold streak. Another interesting response was using more dime packages. I guess the thinking was better coverage = more time to rush the passer. Marshall couldn't resist his hobbyhorse seven man blitzes on third and long, but though I've been lukewarm on his coaching, it was not him but the defense's execution that allowed Philly to drive down the field.
Mike Holmgren and Gil Haskell scored early on play action, good, and continued calling play action until the final two drives of the game. That's not good. In back to back plays in the 4th, Jones totaled 26 yards rushing. It was as simple as Philly's linebackers backed and backing away from the line at the snap. Seneca Wallace holds onto the ball way too long and telegraphs his passes. With the way corners were jumping routes, it's a wonder he wasn't intercepted. I'm pretty sure that streak is about to end. As with Marshall, it was not (entirely) Holmgren and Haskell's play calling but execution that led to Seattle's 11 straight punts to end the game.
The question is simply enough, why is this team executing so poorly? It didn't start with injuries. It started with week one. And to that, I just don't have an answer.
Oh and Bruce DeHaven has...high fastening pants. That's something, right?
Okay, let's end with something that's not depressing as hell.
Josh Wilson tackles Brian Westbrook for a loss of three: That play kept Seattle within two scores and was the single most valuable Seattle play of the second half. Grant gets a little credit, and then loses a little a second later, but this is mostly about Pistol seeking and wrapping the ~best receiving running back in the NFL.
Philadelphia 17 - Seattle 7
3-4-SEA 4 (Qtr: 2:09)
Eagles break 2 WR, TE, Split Backs with McNabb in shotgun. Seattle in a 4-1 dime. Before the snap, Deon Grant directs Jordan Babineaux over right split back Lorenzo Booker. Brian Westbrook motions into the right slot. Grant gives Wilson a come here gesture and points him towards a spot opposite Westbrook. Grant looks back towards the endz--
McNabb snaps, Brent Celek shoots out wide right attempting a block, Westbrook quick-curls towards McNabb, McNabb delivers a perfect pass into his numbers and almost as soon as Grant can see the play has started Wilson is in Westbrook's frame finishing the no-doubt-about-it tackle for a loss of three.
Oh, and you saw right, Brian Russell enjoyed a very good game.