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One great(ish) play and a whole bunch of nothing else: An optimist’s take on another Seahawks loss

New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Y’all know that I’ve adopted an optimistic nature this season. And, despite Seattle’s 2-5 start and the handful of things I am about to point out, that optimism remains. But, admittedly, I am starting to feel like Charlie Brown here ... and the 2021 Seahawks are the living epitome of Lucy pulling the football away ... every ... damn ... time.

Before I allow myself some non-comment-restricted non-optimism, let’s first revel in the marvelousness that was Seattle’s first pass of the game:

Great play, right?

The correct answer is YES!

But ...

Watch the play again -slash- look at it a little bit closer.

One DB falls down (or is pushed down?), one DB misses a tackle (or is stutter-stepped by a crafty WR?), and a third DB takes a terrible angle (and, let’s be honest, he was never gonna catch Turbo-Mode-DK anyway).

Still a great play, but with a little less shine on it.

Here’s the thing though ...

That pass, Seattle’s first pass of the game, was preceded by 4 straight runs.

And a punt.

Seattle’s first possession was: run, run, run, punt.

Their second possession was: run (for no gain), pass to DK for an 84-yard touchdown.

At that point, Geno Smith was 1-for-1 for 84 yards with a touchdown and had a perfect passer rating. Go Hawks!

From that point on, Geno was 11-of-21 for 83 yards. Gross. And I mean that in both senses of the word: 11-of-21 for 83 yards is GROSS and ... those were his total (aka gross) passing yards before sacks are factored in.

Before we subtract the sacks, let’s take a moment to contemplate the fact that the Saints had an NFL-low 8 sacks coming into the game (tied with KC and Jacksonville).

After taking Geno down five times, they now have 13 - which, (a) moved them ahead of 5 other teams, and (b) ties them with the Seahawks ... which is sort of ironic ... especially when you consider that Seattle has played one more game than them. SIGH.

Circling back to Geno’s stat line, those 5 sacks cost the Seahawks a total of 38 yards which means that Geno’s NET YARDS after the 84-yard DK touchdown were ...

Forty-five.

Yeah, with the sacks factored in, Geno was 11-of-21 for 45 yards starting at the point immediately after DK sprinted down the sideline.

Naturally, Seattle chose to target Metcalf exactly zero times the rest of that quarter. And zero times in the second quarter. And zero times in the third quarter. Because ... Seahawks.

Now, as bad as that sounds ... and it sounds very, very bad .... Geno wasn’t alone in his offensive ineptitude. Oh no.

For the game, Seattle had 11 possessions and ran 55 plays.

Those 55 plays netted them a total of 219 yards. And, as we already know, 84 of those yards came on the one play, the 84-yard touchdown pass (it was a 26-yard catch and a 58-yard run, if we’re being honest).

That means that Seattle’s other 54 plays netted a combined total of 135 yards.

That’s an average of 2.5 yards per play.

Two. Point. Five.

I could go on.

It would be quite easy to point out that the Saints are #8 in fewest yards allowed per game and #3 in fewest points per game) which, I suppose, makes the result a little easier to take. (But not really.)

I could crucify Alex Collins (16 carries for 35 yards; 2.2 average) and Rashaad Penny (6 carries for 9 yards; 1.5 average).

I could lament the fact that the league’s 10th-highest-paid WR (by APY) was targeted only 3 times and ended the game with 2 catches for 12 yards.

Honestly though ...

I want to revisit the offense’s performance, minus the one play.

At halftime, Seattle had 141 yards on 24 offensive plays. Eighty-four of those yards came on the pass to DK, leaving the Hawks with 57 yards on the other 23 plays. That’s an average of 2.5 yards per play.

Pretty much exactly what we expected, right?

In the second half, they added 78 yards on 31 offensive plays.

The average on that?

Yep, 2.5.

Moral of the story: With the exception of their first pass play (DK’s 84-yard catch-and-run), Seattle’s offense was consistent ... ly ... AWFUL.

So when you read stories this week about how the Saint’s “shut down Seattle’s offense in the second half”, remember that they actually shut down Seattle’s offense the entire game.

Minus that first pass.

__________

One final dose on non-optimism before I return to the better version of myself:

Seattle is 0-3 at home for the first time since 1992 and they host the 1-5 Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Before Monday night’s debacle, I’d have gladly bet on the Seahawks to win, even with Geno Smith at quarterback.

Now?

Not so much.

If Seattle drops the game on Sunday, they’ll be 0-4 at home for the first time since 1980 (when they lost ALL of their home games) and for their third time overall (they started 0-4 at home their first season as well).

More to the point though, a loss on Sunday would leave our beloved Seahawks with a worse record than the Jaguars. And, given the way the season has gone, that sort of seems appropriate ... while also being very, very, VERY wrong.