Not only do the Seahawks owe their fans an apology, they are reaching the point where fans may start demanding refunds. They have what some may consider a valid excuse in that a significant amount of key players have been on their weekly injury report, but the birthplace of Grunge has become very spoiled after seeing their Seahawks reach the playoffs in each of the last five years. I’m not sure the injury excuse has wheels with Seahawks fans for the simple reason that head coach Mike Holmgren led his team to Super Bowl XL while suffering similar types of misfortunes.
Their lackluster performance against the Bucs in week 7 was just a continuation of an uninspired season and strengthened my suspicions that their problems trickle down from top of the food chain:
The Seahawks’ future appears to be littered with uncertainty. Since Mike Holmgren has already announced that he will be hanging up the headset after this season, it’s only natural to wonder if he has a severe case of senioritis. He already has a Super Bowl ring from his successful stint with the Green Bay Packers, and he has already sprinkled his seed around the NFL ensuring himself a Yoda-like NFL legacy. It’s entirely possible that Holmgren is surfing the internet for vacation homes during practice and day-dreaming about Caribbean Cruises during games. Meanwhile, Matt Hasselbeck’s biological clock is ticking. Hasselbeck has been a solid and reliable quarterback who is now on his way to throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in a season since his first year in Seattle. Fate has literally added injury to insult by sporadically sidelining Hasselbeck with back and leg injuries throughout the season. Those aren’t the types of injuries from which a 33 year-old quarterback is typically expected to hastily recover. Holmgren’s coaching ADHD and Hasselbeck’s nagging injuries don’t exactly paint a clear image of what the future of the Seahawks’ franchise will look like.
How many times have you heard a coach comment on how his team’s offense needed to be more balanced to be successful? There seems to be a near consensus amongst NFL coaches that balanced offenses are superior to any other that may be lopsidedly strong in either passing or rushing. The Seahawks have gone a step further by also demanding balance from their defense. As difficult as it sounds, the Seahawks have achieved that lofty goal by creating a rush defense that is equally as shitty as their pass defense – ranking 23rd and 22nd, respectively. On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks currently have an impressive post-Shaun Alexander era rush offense that ranks 5th overall, but they have failed to achieve any offensive balance with a 31st ranked pass offense. With issues like those, it’s inconceivable that the Seahawks could even end up with a balanced win-loss record at the end of this season.
Out of Bloom
A head coach with one foot out the door, plus aging quarterbacks and wide receivers, equals a rebuilding period. Luckily for the Seahawks, they may find their quarterback of the future right in their own backyard. University of Washington’s Jake Locker isn’t the prototypical NFL quarterback, as he is currently a greater threat to opposing defenses with his feet than he is with his arm. However, in addition to possessing exceptional arm strength, explosive speed, and exceptional athleticism, Locker is only a redshirt sophomore. He has two more years of NCAA eligibility after this season, which is ample time to recover from the recent injury he’s suffered. Should Locker also bloom into a top-tier passer, he will surely improve his NFL worth and become a viable successor to Matt Hasselbeck. With that said, Seahawks fans would still be wise to brace themselves for a very uncomfortable ride while the Seahawks scramble to compile a new generation of playmakers over the next couple of years.
They were just two scores away from a Super Bowl victory in 2005, but the Seahawks now find themselves begging for two wins in 2008. If their total offensive output (176 total yards) and defensive mediocrity (402 total yards) against the Bucs is any indication of how the rest of their season will look, Seahawks fans will be much better served selling their tickets below face value and using the money at the nearest Starbucks. I suppose all good things must come to an end, and the Seahawks’ prominence in the NFC is no exception.