Seahawks: Are Offensive Line Struggles a Cause for Concern?


Center Patrick Lewis takes full responsibility after the loss to the Rams, but should the Seattle Seahawks be concerned about the offensive line heading into the playoffs?

Patrick Lewis has only been used to receiving praise this season, after coming in to solidify the Seattle Seahawks offensive line. However, anyone can graciously accept compliments – it’s how you deal with criticism that speaks volumes about a person.

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The center appeared devastated after the game, but still took the time to man up and speak to the media. What was most impressive, was the way he accepted full blame after the unexpected loss to the St. Louis Rams.

Certainly, Lewis was at the forefront of the offense’s struggles, with multiple bad snaps. Two in particular stood out, as they helped to stifle a couple of promising drives.

The second one came during the fourth quarter and was particularly damaging, with the Seahawks facing a third and two at the Rams 34. The dribbled snap resulted in a 15-yard loss and Seattle were forced to punt.

Speaking to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times after the game, Lewis didn’t use the weather conditions as an excuse: “I’ve played in rainy conditions here before, and it was never a problem.

“I take full responsibility. I’ll go back to work – I might snap 100 wet balls (on Monday).”

Nov 23, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks center Patrick Lewis (65) signals for blocking assignments before a snap against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The 24-year old went on to say he had apologized to the rest of the team, but there was no need for that. The offensive line as a whole performed poorly against the Rams.

Their inadequate play resulted in a brutal day for Russell Wilson. The Seahawks star quarterback was hit 13 times, including four sacks.

The line did little better with its run blocking, as the team totaled just 60 yards on the ground. And keep in mind this included 39 yards by Wilson.

The question is, was Sunday just a bad day at the office, or does it represent a return to the struggles from earlier in the season? In that respect, it all comes down to perspective.

Let’s use the running game as an example. On the one hand, if you take out Wilson’s scrambles, the running backs combined for just 21 yards on 16 carries.

On the flip side, the ground attack was bound to suffer, especially against their arch nemesis, the Rams. You can’t lose two running backs of the quality of Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls, and expect the Seahawks to continue rolling as if nothing happened.

There are some concerns that the only reason the Seahawks had played well in recent weeks, was down to the quality of the opposition, or lack thereof. However, the five wins included a dominating road performance against the playoff-bound Vikings, and a victory against the Steelers, who were on a roll until Sunday’s loss to Baltimore.

Some media experts are now claiming the Seahawks have been exposed, with the Rams offering a blueprint for success against the two-time NFC Champions. However, keep in mind St. Louis have been giving Wilson fits ever since he entered the league (he is 4-4 versus the Rams) and it hasn’t compromised Seattle’s success against the rest of the NFL.

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What’s important for Pete Carroll’s men is to learn from what transpired at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, so that it doesn’t happen again. It is also imperative they do everything possible to make sure Lynch is back on the field, once the playoffs start.

If there is one team that is built to win on the road in the postseason, it’s the Seahawks. However, if the five-time Pro Bowler is unavailable, the task will become more difficult, regardless of how well Wilson has played recently.