In what has effectively become an annual tradition, Field Gulls staffers each spring argue for the right to author the clickbaity “Seahawks set to take to the air in 202X” post in the wake of the annual schedule release. Given the fact that the Seattle Seahawks are so geographically isolated in Seattle, it’s almost impossible for the team not to wind up traveling more air miles than the majority of the other NFL teams. The fun and enjoyment that post brings to the staff, along with the laughs at the comments and responses from readers is always enjoyable.
However, this post is different.
The title is not clickbait.
I promise. Even though it’s my name on the byline and it’s a title similar to clickbait titles I have most certainly used in the past, it’s not clickbait. The reason it is not is because through the first ten weeks of the season, the Seahawks have been one of the most pass-happy teams in the entire NFL in neutral game situations.
Air Carroll, baby pic.twitter.com/OyWkAAIcxP— John P Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) November 15, 2022
Through Week 10 the Hawks have thrown the ball more often on early downs while the game is still on the line than all but four other teams - the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers.
That is not to say that they aren’t using the running game to cement the game late, once they have a lead and are looking to burn clock. That, of course, is how Ken Walker has rushed for 587 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season, but there’s a reason that five of his seven carries that have gone for more than 15 yards have come in the second half of games. (Author’s Note: Before anyone asks, prior to being lost to injury Rashaad Penny also had the majority of his runs of greater than 15 yards in the second half of games.)
And that reason is because the passing has softened up defenses and forced opponents to defend the aerial attack, opening things up for the ground game. In short, the 2022 Seahawks have won by establishing the pass, which has in turn allowed them to find success on the ground later in games.
So, it’s all aboard Air Carroll, with Geno Smith piloting and Shane Waldron sitting in the navigator’s seat for the remainder of the season.