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An optimistic view of the Seahawks’ Week 1 debacle

Admittedly, the Rams loss Hurtt, but there are still some positive takeaways.

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

I’ve always been an optimist when it comes to my favorite team(s), but the Seattle Seahawks sure put that optimism to the test sometimes, with the 30-13 drubbing by the Los Angeles Rams being one of the hardest in recent memory to find a silver lining in.

Silver linings do exist though, even when your team lays a poop egg, and I’m here to shine a light upon some of them . . .

Silver Lining No. 1: It’s just one game - and the first game at that.

In a 17-game season, each game counts for 5.88% of a team’s final record. That’s not a lot. And while it’s easy to overreact to any single result, either good or bad, it’s still only 1/17th of the season.

Given that it was the first game of the season, that means 16/17ths (94.12%) of the season’s results remain to be played out.

It’s a near certainty that most of them - hopefully all of them - will be better than Week 1.


Silver Lining No. 2: Seattle’s offense looked pretty good in the first half.

It’s somewhat lost amidst the outcry over Seattle’s second half performance (i.e., only having 3 yards of offense before a “meaningless” 9-yard run on the game’s final play), but the Seahawks’ offense actually looked pretty good in the first half.

Four possessions.

Four scoring opportunities.

Zero punts.

Statistical highlights:

  • Geno was 13-of-16 (81.3%) with a passer rating of 104.6.
  • Kenneth Walker III averaged 5.9 yards per carry.


Silver Lining No. 3: DK Metcalf appears to be improving as a route runner.

It’s easy to be down on D.K. given the unnecessary (and completely preventable) unsportsmanlike conduct penalty near the end of the game, but . . .

“Damn! That TD was maybe the prettiest route I’ve ever seen DK run.” - Me, texting with my oldest son at 2:10pm on Sunday afternoon.

The route I was referring to:

I think some of us laughed it off earlier this month when The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar tweeted x’d about one of the league’s top receivers taking route-running tips from an undrafted rookie, but . . .

#MoreBobo indeed.


Silver Lining No. 4: Kenneth Walker III had zero rushes that netted negative yards.

Phrasing is important with this one because (a) Walker had two runs for no gain, and (b) half of Walker’s four catches went for negative yards (-6 and -1).

Ten of his twelve carries netted positive yards though, and that’s a BIG step up from his rookie season.


Silver Lining No. 5: Seattle only allowed 2.3 yards per carry on the ground.

Yes, this is easily countered by the fact that the Rams averaged 8.9 yards per pass attempt (13.9 per completion) . . .

Or by the fact that the Rams scored three rushing touchdowns . . .

BUT . . .

Last year, across eighteen games, the Seahawks allowed an average of 4.9 yards per carry (4.86 in the regular season, plus 5.48 in their playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers).

In fact, the only time the Seahawks even came close last year to what they did against the Rams on Sunday was in Week 8 when Seattle held Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants to 2.79 yards per carry.

Note: Their second-best performance in 2022 was against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16, and KC’s average of 3.50 yards per carry was more than 50% higher than what the Rams accomplished Week 1.

I know that it may feel like a hollow victory right now, but Sunday marked Seattle’s best performance against the run since Week 9 of the 2020 season when the Buffalo Bills averaged a mere 1.8 yards per carry (19 carries, 34 yards, 2 TDs) in a game that featured a combined 805 passing yards (748 net).


Silver Lining No. 6: Riq Woolen is building himself an island.

I would have guessed that it was more, but according to PFF, across 39 coverage snaps, the Rams only targeted Riq Woolen’s receiver twice. They completed one of the passes for a mere five yards, giving Woolen a passer-rating-against of 56.3.

He isn’t quite Revis-esque yet (and likely won’t ever be since Seattle doesn’t let Woolen “move” with the opposing team’s best receiver), but . . .

Woolen was a bright spot on Sunday.

Note: For what it’s worth, PFF says Tre Brown was targeted four times on 31 coverage snaps (3 completions, 72 yards, 116.7 rating), and Mike Jackson was targeted once on 11 coverage snaps (1 completion, 21 yards, 118.8 rating).


Silver Lining No. 7: It was a 4-point game heading into the 4th quarter.

Admittedly, this is akin to saying the 41-23 wildcard loss last year was “close” heading into the fourth quarter (the score was 23-17 at the time).

Still . . .

As bad as the second half was, and as incomprehensible as the 17-point loss felt in real time (and afterward as well), it was still anyone’s game (at least score-wise) with fifteen minutes to play.


Silver Lining No. 8: It could have been worse.

From the “misery loves company” file, here are some of the other not-so-good storylines that played out across the league in Week 1:

After the New York Jets traded multiple picks and then built their team around the whims of Aaron Rodgers, his first season in the Big Apple lasted all of four plays.

. . .

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow agreed to become the highest-paid player in NFL history last Thursday, “officially” signed his contract on Saturday, and then averaged a mere 2.6 yards per attempt with a stat line of 14/31, 82, 0 in a 24-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

. . .

The New York Giants (1) signed Daniel Jones to a 4-year, $160M contract during the offseason, (2) somehow found themselves needing to restructure their QB’s brand new contract before the season started (not kidding; they needed to create $6.315M in cap space), and then (3) watched Jones go 15-of-28 for 104 yards as New York got DESTROYED by a score of 40-0 in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football.


Silver Lining No. 9: Kenneth Walker was a participant in the passing game.

Believe it or not, K9 led the team in receptions on Sunday (4) !!

What’s more, he tied for the team lead in targets (5) with D.K. and JSN !!!!

His net of 3 yards is obviously less than ideal, but given the fact that Walker was only targeted a total of 35 times his rookie season, having five targets in Week 1 could be an indication of an expanded role for him in 2023 (and beyond).


Silver Lining No. 10: It took Aaron Donald almost 56 minutes to record his first sack of Geno Smith (technically, half a sack).

Given that Seattle was playing back-ups at both tackle spots in the second half, this seems downright miraculous.


Silver Lining No. 11: Jordyn Brooks is back, and he looked healthy.

Returning to the field far sooner than most expected after tearing his ACL on January 1st, LB Jordyn Brooks played 52 defensive snaps (64%).

According to the official NFL Game Summary, across his 52 defensive snaps, Brooks recorded 12 tackles (4 solo, 8 assisted).

Nine of his twelve tackles were in the second half.

Note: Bobby Wagner also had a strong performance in his first game back with the Hawks, recording a team-high 19 tackles which, per ESPN, tied for the second-most of his career.


Silver Lining No. 12: Jake Bobo almost introduced himself to the NFL in a BIG way.

There was a play in the first half that I wish I could find a post-able video of.

Sans video, I’ll try to describe it . . .

It was Seattle’s second possession of the game.

Roughly two minutes into the second quarter, Seattle had 1st-and-10 at the L.A. 42.

On the previous play, there’d been offsetting penalties: holding on Phil Haynes, roughing the passer on Aaron Donald.

With Geno still in the game, but lined up out wide on the right, DeeJay Dallas took the shotgun snap and handed the ball off to an in-motion Zach Charbonnet.

Charbonnet then pitched the ball backward to Geno Smith.

Geno ended up scrambling for 6 yards on the play, but if only he had seen Jake Bobo streaking down the middle of the field with no one near him . . .

Damn, can Bobo get open!

This is a very bad screenshot, but it captures the basics of the situation:

The Seahawks ended up scoring a touchdown seven plays later, but still . . .

Jake Bobo was O-P-E-N !!!

Bet y’all didn’t think I could find a Seahawks-appropriate twelve silver linings in the messy remains from Sunday’s debacle . . .

. . . but I did.

(And, damn, was it a lot of work!)

The Seahawks are back at it on Sunday in Motor City against the Detroit Lions.

Hopefully some of these silver linings help Seattle get a win.

Go Hawks!