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The offense after halftime: improved, still a work in progress

Atlanta Falcons v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

A lot of things are going wrong for the Seattle Seahawks right now, and one thing that had gone particularly poorly up until Sunday was their offensive performance in the second half of games. Through the first two weeks of the season, the Seattle Seahawks offense had been absolutely terrible after halftime. How terrible? Not counting the victory formation against the Denver Broncos, they had the opportunity to put the offense on the field for seven total, meaningful drives in the 3rd and 4th quarter of Weeks 1-2, and the results have been about as atrocious as anyone could possibly imagine:

  • 37 plays
  • 110 total yards
  • 9 first downs
  • 3 ‘3-and-outs’
  • 5 punts
  • 1 turnover (fumble)
  • zero points

The offense has been so ineffective that the only drive that didn’t end in a punt or a fumble was their final gasp against the San Francisco 49ers when time expired during their last possession. Two of their first downs came on the same drive against the Broncos due to back-to-back penalties (defensive holding, roughing the passer), and the 3-and-outs are always an unpleasant experience. Needless to say, these are not the benchmarks of a high-performing offense.

Fortunately, they looked significantly better in many respects in yesterday’s difficult home loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The play calling in the second half was actually pretty good at times. This was particularly true on their final scoring drive of the day. Up until Colby Parkinson’s false start, they had run 9 plays for 62 yards and were threatening to find the endzone. Opening with a quick hitter to Goodwin, they finished the drive with a balanced line of 6 runs and 6 passes. To be fair, three of these passes were on their final set of downs as the penalty put them behind the sticks, so they really leaned on the run game in this series, and it worked. Sure, it only ended in a field goal, but putting points on the board was something that this offense had yet to do in the second half of a football game so far this season. And they can’t be blamed for Pete Carroll’s decision making.

This team is far from solving its offensive woes, unfortunately, as their other two drives in the second half of Sunday’s game weren’t nearly as effective; they ran 18 plays (9 in each drive) for 45 total yards, no scores, and one turnover (interception on Geno’s desperation heave). However, there were elements of these drives that at least demonstrated some improvement, such as the fact that they were able to move the chains a few times and didn’t have a single three-and-out in the second half (and only 1 in the first half, for those keeping track). While the offense can’t control the defensive breakdowns or Pete Carroll’s decision making, they showed signs of life Sunday after going dormant for six quarters.

It wasn’t enough to get them a victory, but it gives them something to build on... and in 2022, that might be the best we can hope for from this team. Hopefully we will see continued progress when they travel to take on the Detroit Lions in Week 4.