Off to a poor start
Game one in Denver, while not horrible, certainly wasn’t anything resembling dominant. The Seahawks surrendered 470 total yards. The score didn’t reflect that Denver was able to move up and down the field, at will, on the defense.
Despite a lack of consistent pressure (a key reason many of us were concerned coming into the season), Seattle avoided getting blown out, thanks to the performances of two of the highest graded players to step on that field opening weekend, Earl Thomas and Bradley McDougald.
Turnovers nearly saved the Hawks that day, and for much of the season have continued to do so. Despite losing talent, again (Thomas) and other problem areas, Seattle’s defense has kept them in games.
At that point, the Seattle Seahawks hadn’t yet found their offensive recipe for success. They ignored a ground controlled attack, instead, throwing the ball far more often than running it. The Hawks lost the time of possession (TOP) battle to Denver 35 minutes to 24 and ran 17 fewer offensive plays.
Game two saw more of the same, though the Seahawks defense didn’t struggle as mightily in yardage allowed. The offense once again passed more often than it ran. Chris Carson did not have a single carry after halftime and the defense was left on the field for extended periods, once again losing TOP drastically, 34 minutes to 25.
After two games it was apparent that there were struggles getting to the quarterback and youthful mistakes occurring on the secondary. Typically, in the NFL, this is a recipe for disaster. You protect young inexperienced defensive backs with consistent pressure, or you protect spotty pressure, with all world defensive backs.
Seattle had both issues and yet continued to stay competitive. Why? or more importantly, how were the Seahawks going to turn competitive in close losses, into winning football games?