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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly In The Seahawks Loss to the Falcons

I just thought this was funny.
I just thought this was funny.

There's a lot you can say about this game after the first watch and I've already said a lot about it in other posts. It was a lot of fun to watch, for starters. There were a lot of positive things that sound like cliches to takeaway from the game, as well. Now that I've had nearly 36 hours to digest it, let's take a look at the good, bad, and ugly from this game.

The Good:

Things I've already talked about: Doug Baldwin has been by far the best undrafted free agent rookie in the NFL thus far this year (as far as I know, anyway). He is now playing in front of Golden Tate and in a lot of cases, Ben Obomanu, and with good right. Dude caught five passes for 84 yards and took a couple really tough hits. 

Along those lines, it was nice to see Mike Williams get targets -- he had five, by the way -- and catch three passes, one for a touchdown. Baby steps to getting him more involved. He also had a pretty badass crack-back block on the Marshawn Lynch TD run to break him free and concussed himself doing so. Honestly, go back and re-watch that block, it was pretty nice.

Zach Miller got six targets, catching three, and should have had four and a touchdown but got lit up pretty good in the endzone. I'm sure he'll have nightmares about not holding on to that ball but what can you do? It was a good defensive play. 

Jon Ryan had another good day. He punted three times (only three times?!?) and averaged 49.7 yards per punt, his long being 57 yards. Looks like he's still a good player, albeit one with a boring haircut.

The Hawks gave up some pretty key third down conversions to the Falcons but were actually a hair behind Atlanta on third downs percentage wise, going 6-11 (55%) to the Falcons 9-16 (56%). Converting over half of your third downs is a good thing. 

Steven Hauschka missed that 61-yard field goal (I don't know if you heard about that or not), but he actually did well on kickoffs, sending 4 out of 5 into the endzone, and those four were downed for touchbacks. Notice how our special teams didn't really screw the pooch in this game? That was nice.

The Hawks went 3 out of 4 in the redzone, which you can't really complain about. That fourth chance that went for naught? The dropped pass in the endzone by Zach Miller. 

I thought that Tarvaris Jackson played well. He was statistically better than Matt Ryan in pretty much every category and he led his team back to put them in a position to potentially win. Let's hope this is some sort of turning point for the offense and not just an anomaly. 

I liked when the Seahawks used the hurry-up, no-huddle offense and they did well in doing so. According to Doug Farrar's charting, the Hawks ran 12 plays out of the no-huddle, Tarvaris going 5 of 8 for 47 yards passing with the running backs gaining 18 yards on four attempts. Not too shabby, and something I'm sure we'll see more of because it's obvious this team feels comfortable moving quickly. 

The Bad:

I'm not saying that the passing game was anything but impressive in this game, but I'm kind of bummed that our tight ends aren't getting as many targets. After seeing how dominant John Carlson, Anthony McCoy, Zach Miller, and even Dominique Byrd were in the preseason and training camp, I was expecting more from the guys that survived long enough to see the field (ie, I realize that Carlson and Byrd are gone). Now, obviously the first couple of games Miller stayed in to pass block a lot more but I'm really hoping they start looking for Anthony McCoy and Zach Miller in the passing game more as we go along. 

Matt McCoy hurt his knee badly. Like, disgustingly. Despite that awful display of human bone/muscle/tendon flexibility, it's looking like he may not need surgery and may not even have to go on the IR. If that's true, hooray! 

Giving up 30 points and going down by 20 at one point early in the 3rd quarter can be considered 'bad.' The Seahawks were down 27-7 with 13:40 in the 3rd quarter and at that point I'm sure a lot of people were settling in for a boring and depressing 2nd half. That wasn't so, of course, but how bout the Seahawks try and get off to a little bit quicker start? 

Slow starts have been the bane of the Seahawks existence this season. The Hawks got shut out in the first half of both the San Francisco and Pittsburgh games, averaging something like 57 total yards of offense in the first half of those games. Against the Cardinals, they scored six points on 128 yards of offense and went into the locker room down 10-6. 

Continuing... I'd like to see more than 53 yards of rushing. A big part of this is obviously that the Hawks were airing it out in a comeback attempt, so I'm fine with it in this case, but they really didn't have much success running in the first half when it was still a game (before it became a game again), and it's something to improve on.

The Ugly:

Penalties, man. Stop it. Sidney Rice picked up a few dumb penalties. Browner is pretty much a penalty magnet. That offsides on Raheem Brock late in the game -- I don't even want to get started. Discipline, discipline, discipline. I know it's a lot to ask from a young team but the guys that killed us this week - Rice and Brock - are not rookies. Annoying. 

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