The Seattle Seahawks maintained their hold on first place in the NFC West in Week 10, but it was not due to their performance on the field. In a 21-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Hawks started slow, and then failed to dig themselves out of the hole they had dug early. Whether one wishes to blame the early, early start for the Hawks or not, at the end of the day they allowed Tampa Bay to score more points than they did, and fell to 6-4 on the season.
One big difference was the offense Sunday was unable to do much of anything at all, especially in the first half. The group punted on all five first half possessions, and the 52 snaps for which the offense was on the field tied for the second lowest total played this season. They also played just 52 offensive snaps in the loss to the New Orleans Saints, while seeing the field for just 49 offensive snaps against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.
On defense the team shifted away from the nickel and dime heavy strategy that had worked so well for them during their four game win streak. Cody Barton was on the field for 60 snaps, which is how many he had played in the last two weeks combined. Yes, he came away with an interception late that gave the Hawks a fighting chance, but he had played no more than 45 snaps in any game during the four game winning streak the team rode into Munich.
Obviously, it’s not Barton’s fault the team lost, but to step away from the nickel and dim heavy personnel groupings that had been working so well seems very strange indeed. In any case, the Hawks fell to 1-4 on the season in games in which Barton plays 57 or more snaps and 5-0 in games in which he is on the field for 46 or fewer defensive snaps.
No surprises, though, when it comes to special teams, as Nick Bellore once again paced the team in special teams snaps, with Vi Jones picking up many of the snaps lost with Cullen Gillaspia moving to injured reserve.
And now it’s on to the bye week before facing the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 12. There’s certainly a joke here that could be made regarding have two bye weeks in a row, but it wouldn’t be as funny as making a joke about having three bye weeks in a row since the Hawks face the las place in the NFC West Los Angeles Rams in Week 13. (Author’s Note: Yes, I know the Hawks face the Carolina Panthers in Week 14, but it’s not as fun to make fun of the Panthers as it is to mock the Raiders and Rams.)