The Seattle Seahawks were scoring a lot of points... until they weren’t. Unfortunately, their recent trend of failing to light up the scoreboard persisted in a humiliating 37-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Now, the Ravens are a really good football team, so a road loss (even an embarrassing one) isn’t the end of the world. But it also isn’t a massive outlier from how the Hawks have been performing recent, offensively at least. Everything, from the personnel to the coaching has struggled. Take the following, for example.
Seahawks offense:— Seahawk Nerd (@SeahawkNerd) November 5, 2023
-- One of the best at 12 personnel
-- Excels with play action
-- Efficient runs with Charbonnet
-- Explosive element with Bobo
Shane Waldron since the bye:
-- Heavy use of 11 personnel
-- Straight dropbacks
-- No split in RB snaps
-- Bobo removed from scheme
As I mentioned above, the Ravens look like contenders this year, so maybe it was just the strength of schedule that created an offensive mirage. Or maybe it has been the injuries to the line and resultant inconsistency in the protection up front. Maybe it has been the increasing propensity for costly turnovers. Maybe it could even be their own seeming inability to capitalize on turnovers that, in turn, results in points getting left on the field.
Zero points off two turnovers— John Fraley (@johndavidfraley) November 5, 2023
Geno having a tough one
Offensive line not on their game
Not great, Bob
Honestly, I have no clue why specifically this crew has been in such a rut, but thanks to the advent of calculators on modern computers, I can tell you exactly how bad the dip in performance has been. Certain parts, at least.
Over the first four weeks of the 2023 NFL season, the Seahawks scored 111 points, or 27.8 points per game (ppg). If they had been able to keep up that pace, they would be sitting at fifth overall in the league, sandwiched right in between the San Francisco 49ers (27.3 ppg) and Philadelphia Eagles (28 ppg), and tied with the Buffalo Bills according to ESPN. This even includes that dumpster fire that was the season opener against the LA Rams. So how about these last four games?
Over the previous three contests leading up to the Baltimore Ravens, the Seahawks scored 57 points, or 19 ppg. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they came out today and managed a single Jason Myers field goal, bringing that lovely total up to 60... or, 15 points per game. Even factoring in their initial offensive success, they are still only averaging a bit over 21 ppg across the entire season. This would put them in the bottom half of the league, which feels about right given what we have witnessed. There have been any number of reasons for this steep decline, and a big one has been the turnovers.
I don’t think it is as simple as saying the turnovers are the reason for the collapse, but the correlation is hard to ignore. Leading up to today’s game, the offense was credited with eight turnovers, according to StatHead. That number is pretty respectable on the surface; but as anybody who has been watching this team knows, the vast majority of those have come in the last few weeks. How many, specifically? Seven. Seven of the eight. And then they went ahead and committed two more today. That is an average of more than two turnovers per game over the last four weeks. If they had managed to be this careless with the ball over their first four games, they would have 18 turnovers in total, which would be among the worst in the league. And one aspect that is both confounding and concerning is that the culprit has largely been Geno Smith — on paper at least.
Seahawks QB Geno Smith in his past four games— Jake Eckberg (@JakeEckbergNFL) November 5, 2023
239 yards per game
62.3% completion percentage
This is happening after Geno signed a 3 year, $105M deal this offseason with Seattle
He needs to be better if the Hawks want to be taken seriously pic.twitter.com/0w3yEyCEF6
Now, I think any discussions of benching Geno are premature. At this point, the team is 5-3 and returns to Seattle for a home game against the Washington Commanders. They may not be as good as we hoped, and the defense isn’t going to be able to carry them every single week. The offense just hasn’t performed to the standard that we saw over the first stretch, no matter how you look at it, and they are not going to be able to continue to win games if they can’t find a way to threaten opposing defenses. The real question is obviously ‘why?’, but even that is starting to feel a bit rhetorical... As I stated above, I don’t have the answer. And I don’t know if the Seahawks do, either.