The sting of watching the Seattle Seahawks lose a very winnable road game is finally starting to fade. At least a little bit.
As noted in my last 12 Thoughts article, I had a massive amount of thoughts both during and in the aftermath of last weekend, so here are 12 More Thoughts about our favorite local team(s).
Yes, that not-so-subtle (s) means that one of these thoughts will be about the Washington Huskies.
There’s also one about a non-local high school team.
The rest are (mostly) about the Hawks.
Let’s get started.
Thought No. 1
Prior to their goose egg in the fourth quarter last Sunday, the Seahawks had scored in 13 straight quarters.
That WAS the longest active streak in the NFL at that point.
Alas, the Seahawks current streak is 0.
That will change on Sunday.
How can I be so sure that Seattle will start a new streak this week?
Because it’s the Arizona Cardinals that will be trying to stop them - and, simply stated, that’s not Arizona’s forte . . . especially in the second half.
Fact: Arizona has been outscored 98-30 in the second half over their first six games.
Thought No. 2
As gut-wrenching as the Seahawks’ Week 1 loss was, and as frustrating as the Week 6 loss was, Seattle is actually in pretty decent shape, record-wise.
Here’s a breakdown of how many wins each team has through the first six weeks:
Teams with 5 wins: 5
Note: It’s funny that there are 5 teams with 5 wins.
Teams with 4 wins: 4
Note: It’s funny that there are 4 teams with 4 wins.
Teams with 3 wins: 13
The Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Washington Commanders
Note: Exhibit A for “parity”.
Teams with 2 wins: 4
Teams with 1 win: 5
Teams with no wins: 1 - - the Carolina Panthers
Note: The Browns, Buccaneers, Chargers, Packers, Seahawks, and Steelers have all had their bye which means they have one less loss than the other teams in their win tier - i.e., they’re 3-2 while others in their tier are 3-3, or they’re 2-3 while others in their tier are 2-4.
There are three big takeaways for me when looking at the league like this:
One. There are only four NFC teams with more wins than the Seahawks right now - and Seattle holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over one of them.
Two. Three of the four NFC teams with more Ws than Seattle are currently two games up in the Win column which means Seattle has a bit of a hill to climb (and 12 weeks to climb it).
Three. Chicago is sitting pretty in terms of the 2024 NFL Draft since they have both their native R1 and Carolina’s.
Thought No. 3
Piggybacking on Thought No. 2 . . .
If the playoffs started today, the NFC West would be home to three of the seven teams on the NFC side of the bracket:
No. 1 = Niners
No. 6 = Hawks
No. 7 = Lambs
The wild card matchups would be:
- Rams at Eagles
- Seahawks at Lions
- Cowboys at Buccaneers
Obviously there’s still a long way to go in the season, but don’t be surprised if those seven teams are the last seven standing in the NFC after Week 18.
Thought No. 4
Seattle’s defense is improving before our eyes each week, and it’s something to behold, especially over the last two games.
Net yards allowed: Week 1 = 426; Week 2 = 418; Week 3 = 378; . . . (BIG JUMP) . . . Week 4 = 248; Week 5 = 214
The average yards per play has fluctuated but, again, it’s much better the last two games than it was the first three:
- Week 1: 78 plays at 5.5 yards per
- Week 2: 67 plays, 5.9 per
- Week 3: 75 plays, average of 5.0
- Week 4: 74 plays at 3.4 per
- Week 5: Season-low of 53 plays, 4.0 per play
The combined average the first three games was 5.55 per play; over the last two games, it’s 3.64.
Now, to be fair, the Seahawks’ last two opponents currently sport the worst offenses in the league in terms of yards (NYG is 31st; Cincy is 32nd), but some of the “credit” for that belongs to the Seahawks’ defense which held both of them below their season average.
Thought No. 5
Continuing the “praise the defense” theme, here are the results from each of Cincinnati’s possessions last Sunday:
First 2 drives:
- Drive 1: 13 plays, 65 yards, touchdown
- Drive 2: 7 plays, 73 yards, touchdown
- Total to this point: 20 plays, 138 yards, 2 touchdowns
Next 8 drives:
- Drive 3: 5 plays, 20 yards, punt
- Drive 4: 3 plays, 4 yards, punt
- Drive 5: 2 plays, 5 yards, interception
- Drive 6: 6 plays, 13 yards, punt
- Drive 7: 5 plays, 19 yards, punt
- Drive 8: 4 plays, 0 yards, field goal
- Drive 9: 5 plays, 12 yards, punt
- Drive 10: 3 plays, 4 yards, punt
- Total for these 8 drives: 33 plays, 77 yards, 6 punts, an interception, and a field goal
- Drive 11: 1 play, minus-1 yard (kneel down), end of game
Aside from the obvious takeaway, which is that Seattle’s defense played well enough (after the first two drives) to “earn” the win, the thing that stands out to me is that Seattle’s defense made an adjustment before halftime.
- Drive No. 1 was in the first quarter.
- Drives 2, 3, and 4 were in the second quarter.
- Drives 1 and 2 were the only ones all day that lasted more than 6 plays and/or gained more than 20 yards.
And that was with Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow healthier than he’s been all season, and a week after WR Ja’Marr Chase put up “video game numbers” against the Cardinals.
Thought No. 6
I was going to include this in Thought No. 5 but decided that it deserves to be its own thought . . .
Ja’Marr Chase vs. the Cardinals in Week 5:
- 19 targets
- 15 receptions
- 78.9% catch rate
- 192 yards (12.8 per catch)
- Long of 63 yards
- 3 touchdowns
Ja’Marr Chase vs. the Seahawks in Week 6:
- 13 targets
- 6 receptions
- 46.2% catch rate
- 80 yards (13.3 per catch)
- Long of 31
- 0 touchdowns
Want an even better comparison?
Joe Burrow’s quarterback rating when targeting Ja’Marr Chase against the Cardinals was 148.36. Against Seattle, it was one hundred fourteen points lower (34.13).
Note: Tre Brown’s interception came on a pass that was intended for Chase which basically cut Burrow’s rating in half because his rating would have been 66.19 if he’d gone 6 of 13 without the INT.
Lest anyone think I’m cherry picking, here are the ratings for a less-than-100% Joe Burrow when targeting Chase over the first four games of the year:
- At Cleveland: 66.44
- Vs. Baltimore: 70.31
- Vs. L.A. Rams: 105.83
- At Tennessee: 100.46
Pretty impressive, right? Especially when you consider the fact that DK Metcalf threw down a challenge for Ja’Marr Chase when he said that “(Devin Wither)‘Spoon will get the best of him.”
And ‘Spoon did . . . with a little help from his friends.
Thought No. 7
Jumping over to the other side of the ball . . .
I’ve written about the offensive efficiency of Geno Smith, Kenneth Walker, et al. a couple of times this year.
Seattle’s offense slipped to No. 6 after their defense embarrassed the Giants on Monday Night Football.
I didn’t check the rankings during the bye or prior to the Seahawks trip to Cincinnati, but I did check them after the last of Week 6’s games were in the books and . . .
The Seahawks have dropped again.
They are still in the Top 10 though . . . at No. 10.
Interestingly, their 53.3 efficiency rate is only 0.9 behind the Dallas Cowboys (54.2), and I would think that the Lions (57.0) and Eagles (58.7) are also within reach if Seattle’s offense has a good game against the Cardinals this weekend.
Miami is on top of the list with a ridiculously high 88.7 efficiency rate. The Niners are No. 2 and they’re 11-1/2 points back. No. 3 is Buffalo at 66.4.
Thought No. 8
Jumping back to the defense for a moment . . .
After Week 3, Seattle’s defense was No. 26 in ESPN’s efficiency ratings. Three weeks later, they’re at No. 17.
Seattle’s special teams have also improved, from No. 12 after three weeks, to No. 9 after six weeks.
Overall, Seattle has climbed from No. 14 to No. 10.
Thought No. 9
I’m not sure that I agree with Sumer Sports who gave Cardinals v. Seahawks the lowest “watchability” score this week.
Note: Tyler Alsin wrote about that on Friday.
I do agree with them on which game is the MOST WATCHABLE game this week though.
Hands down, it’s the Miami Dolphins vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tua Tagovailoa vs. Jalen Hurts.
My girlfriend is going to hate me for it, but I’m watching that game in the living room with the volume UP and I fully expect to be talking to my TV constantly.
Obviously, I’m rooting for the Dolphins because an Eagles loss has the potential of helping the Seahawks. But, deep down, what I’m really rooting for is for the two teams to combine for 100+ points on the scoreboard.
And, yeah, I probably just jinxed it and the Eagles will win 9-6.
Thought No. 10
Speaking of Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles . . .
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of the Tush Push.
While players and coaches across the NFL struggle to stop it, and the league office considers banning it, a high school team in Texas went semi-viral this week with . . . well, let’s just let the video provide the explanation.
Hey, @NFL this is how you stop the “Tush Push.” I hope @reymysterio approves. @easron33 @Matt_Stepp817 @dctf @BallySportsTXHS @TXHSFB @txhsfbchat @kfdmsports @SportsCenter @barstoolsports @UnnecRoughness @WWE #Superman #tushpush #txhsfb #football #dog pic.twitter.com/0FnVanYtlC— Chase McDonald (@CoachCMcDonald3) October 14, 2023
Where do I start?
One. Hahahahaha . . . and also WoW!
Two. That is one heck of an impressive athletic feat.
Three. I’m not sure how replicable that play is, especially at the professional level.
Four. Whether or not that play was (or was going to be) a Tush Push is subject to debate.
Five. I did not have @NFL and @ReyMysterio on my Social Media Bingo card this week (or any week).
Six. I’m glad I’m not the player that was tackled cuz that is going to follow him throughout the rest of his playing career.
Seven. Methinks that jumping over the offensive line like that might actually be against NFL rules . . . thanks, in part, to the athleticism of certain Seahawks players (although, technically, the rule I’m referring to pertains specifically to field goal tries).
Eight. I think I’ve watched that clip about 150 times.
Nine. I’m pretty sure I’ll watch it another 150 times in the days leading up to our Week 15 matchup with the Eagles.
Ten. Who else thinks Riq Woolen could pull that off?
Thought No. 11
I saved this thought to talk about SACKS . . . in honor of the eleven sacks that the Seahawks defense recorded against the Giants in Week 4.
After that output, Seattle was tied for the league lead with the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Chargers at 16 apiece.
Two weeks later, they’ve slid a few spots and are now tied for 6th with 19 sacks - which ain’t bad considering that four of the five teams ahead of them and both of the teams they’re tied with have played an “extra” game (6 vs. Seattle’s 5).
The Chargers are legitimately ahead of Seattle (21 to 19) since they had their bye the same time Seattle did. The others, not so much.
I mean, Buffalo and Baltimore are both 5 sacks ahead of Seattle (24 vs. 19) but the Bills got their 5 “extra” sacks against the Jaguars in Week 5 and they don’t have their bye until Week 13 so how the heck is that fair?
The same holds true for Baltimore - their bye also isn’t until Week 13 so we should “discount” their total compared to Seattle’s. Right?
Then there’s Philadelphia . . .
Nearly 1/5th of the Eagles’ sacks (3-1/2 of the 20) are courtesy of Jalen Carter and we all know that Seattle graciously passed on him in the 2023 NFL Draft so that he could play with his former teammates in the City of Brotherly Love, which means that his sacks can’t be used against us, leaving the Eagles with only 16-1/2 non-Carter sacks and putting them behind us because 19 > 16.5.
Last, but not least, the Dolphins, with 21 sacks, definitely need to be penalized because their offense is so explosive that their defense can just pin their ears back and rush the passer on each and every play (if they want to). It’s not even remotely fair. Plus, they’re only 1 sack ahead of Seattle despite having played an “extra” game so they should be behind us on principle, if nothing else.
Kidding aside, here is an apples-to-apples comparison using the average sacks per game for every team that’s currently collecting at least 3 per contest:
- 4.2 sacks per game: L.A. Chargers
- 4.0 sacks per game: Baltimore, Buffalo
- 3.8 sacks per game: Seattle
- 3.5 sacks per game: Miami
- 3.4 sacks per game: Pittsburgh
- 3.3 sacks per game: Philadelphia
- 3.2 sacks per game: Cincinnati, Washington
- 3.0 sacks per game: Arizona, Indianapolis, Minnesota
And, just for grins, here are the averages for the teams in the NFC West:
- Seattle: 3.8
- Glendale: 3.0
- Santa Clara: 2.5
- La La Land: 1.7
Thought No. 12
We’re roughly halfway through the college football season which means two things . . .
One. Mock draft season has officially started.
Seriously, you gotta start now (at the latest) if you want to have a handle on who’s who come the the NFL Draft.
Two. It’s time for the midseason awards.
While there are no shortage of publications touting their own agendas, I tend to defer to the Associated Press for things like this.
The whole list is worth perusing, but this is a Seahawks site and, by extension, the local team over in Montlake is fair game which means that I get to celebrate the Washington Huskies landing TWO players on the AP’s First Team Offense.
- QB Michael Penix Jr.
- WR Rome Odunze
The AP article doesn’t say much about any of the players . . . except Michael Penix Jr.; he gets the first four paragraphs devoted to him, leads off the transitionary fifth paragraph, and gets mentioned in paragraph no. 6.
Here’s what they wrote about him:
Washington sixth-year quarterback Michael Penix Jr. highlights The Associated Press midseason All-America team, one of 19 players honored who have been in school at least five years.
Penix is among the many players in college football who have extended their careers by taking advantage of the NCAA’s decision to give an extra year of eligibility because of the disruptions of the 2020-21 pandemic year.
Penix, who transferred to Washington in 2022 after four injury-plagued seasons at Indiana, is leading the nation with 383 yards passing per game for the Huskies (6-0), who are ranked fifth in the AP Top 25.
“The production, the talent, all that, that’s one thing. The heart that he’s got. The guts he’s got and the willingness to just grind through it. Grit. There’s not enough words to describe how I feel about him,” Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said after Penix led the Huskies to a 36-33 victory against No. 9 Oregon last week.
Aside from the fact that I’m a Husky and like having an excuse to write about them, I “might” also like the AP’s writing style: single-sentence paragraph, single-sentence paragraph, single-sentence paragraph, and a multi-sentence quote.
That looks exactly like something I would write.
Minus the quote.
Go Hawks! (and Huskies)