Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Sep 2006

Manic Monday: Seahawks Look Better

Reviewing Week 2 for FOXSports.com: Jake Delhomme struggles, Joseph Addai shines, and Aaron Brooks, we hardly knew ye.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 18 Sep 2006

35 comments, Last at 22 Sep 2006, 12:28pm by steelberger1


by Nick (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:13am

I was going to post 'First!' but I thought it might annoy some people!

by jebmak (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:19am

I don't think I agree with the coaching move and blunder of the week.

I think that the fake FG worked because the Panthers are idiots. Before that happened I said, "This is the perfect opportunity for a fake." Appearantly no one on the Panthers thought so.

The blunder has to be right before that, when Fox (at least he claims that he called this) thought that it would be a great idea to give the ball to the Vikings with a very stupid trick play. They had the game well in hand, and the guy that was supposed to get the ball was even covered. Wow, that was unbelievably stupid.

Disclosure: Dolphins fan. Boy did they look bad.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:26am

Whats with all the Joseph Addai love this week. It was houston, and he put up 80 yards and a TD. How is that impressive?

by Zzyzx (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:31am

Better? Yes. I still wasn't happy with the game.

OTOH, I'm a Seahawks fan. I've seen so many late collapses, that it takes at least a 4-5 TD lead before I start to relax.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:35am

Favre had 55 attempts, not 55 completions, though it seemed like he had that many.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:57am

Speaking of early undue praise, it is a little early to be jumping on the Chargers defense bandwagon. So far they shut down the Aaron Brooks Experience and the guy who was fired to clear room for the Aaron Brooks Experience.

by Eric P (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:57am

If your only comment is 'first', have you really made the first comment?

How any coach can top Fox with that lateral play for 'Coaching Blunder of the Week' is beyond me. The Falcons probably win that game regardless of the offensive strategy employed by Gruden. Fox absolutely handed Minn the golden opportunity they needed in a game he was winning. Doh!

by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 12:19pm

Yeah, the John Fox lateral isn't just a coaching blunder - it's the sort of thing that gets you fired. Joe Namath would consider doing that after offering to kiss you.

by Doug Farrar :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 12:41pm

I thought long and hard about the Fox call...certainly, it was the most game-changing blunder. In the end, I went with Gruden because Fox didn't KNOW that Chris Gamble was going to turn into Aaron Brooks. With even halfway decent execution, it's no more than "quirky".

Gruden, or anyone else who was awake and watching the game, would have to have realized that Simms was sinking in quicksand. To direct him to throw the ball over and over when the Bucs were only down 14 in the first half seemed cruel - like Gruden had watched "Tin Cup" on Saturday night and was going to get that ball over the water no matter what.

Re: Addai, the segment is "Rookie of the Week".

by Eric P (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 12:48pm

IDK, which player has the better chance of throwing the ball competently, starting QB, or starting DB? When's a better time to have that player throw the ball, trailing by 2 TDs, or ahead by 1 TD? Which is riskier, forward pass from an offensive set, or lateral from punt return formation?

I'm not trying to be argumentative here, you made your choice and I respect that. Just outlining some of the reasons that I disagree.

by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 12:55pm

Well, okay. Let's say Gamble does throw the ball well. What are some of the horrible outcomes? Why do a trick play on special teams (long considered a Minnesota strength) when you've got the game in hand and were otherwise unchallenged? Why do anything with _any_ risk?

That's why I think it's a boneheaded move to end all boneheaded moves - even if Gamble makes a perfect pass there are so many other things that could go wrong that are just not necessary that I just don't get why you'd call it. I don't think that TB calling 12 straight passes lost the game for TB - they lost because their opponents rushed the ball like no tomorrow.

I do think that Carolina lost the game almost entirely because of that playcall.

by Manteo (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 12:56pm

#4 - No kidding. I had to spend some time during the game explaining to my non-Hawks fan friend why I still can't eat or sit down even when we've got a 2-TD lead.

There is of course the slight possibility that our offense-oriented franchise finally has a good enough D to take the adventure out of late-game leads.

Excuse me while I go knock on wood for a while.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 1:26pm

Re #11
Chris Simms looks like road kill out there. Having him throw 12 passes in a row given his struggles is just totally nuts.

Alternative defense of selection of Gruden: a chimp could see Gamble's throw was stupid. But you probably won't hear about Gruden, except maybe from TMQ. I mean, the Patriots last year in their loss to Carolina called 51 pass plays on 67 offensive plays from scrimmage (i.e., excluding punts/field goals), including 22 straight to end the game, and nobody said "boo."

by turbohappy (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 1:55pm

Re: 3

Maybe the overall wasn't outstanding, but the YPC is pretty good. He looked much better out there...very comfortable and making some good moves. Even if it is against Houston, it's still very welcome here in the Circle City!

by Dr. Where Have I Seen That Score Before (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 2:27pm

OTOH, I’m a Seahawks fan. I’ve seen so many late collapses, that it takes at least a 4-5 TD lead before I start to relax.

A 21-10 victory is pretty convincing, though. With a score like that, there's no reason to quibble about the performance of the offense or, say, officiating.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 2:44pm

RE #3 Rich, You left out his (team-mate-caused) goal line fumble. But I digress.

I think the things favoring Addai love are the fact that he had just 12 carries, isn't the starter, is filling big shoes, and there's still the lingering memory of that pretend phone call from Manning to Brady after the draft telling TB "you guys got the runner we really wanted." As-if PM would be that stupid.

Since that all sets-up Addai to be pretty un-special, 80 yards in 12 carries, two catches, a TD, and some good blocking is pretty special.

Finally, last week's running stats vs the Giants were so anemic, that Charles Manson running for 60 uyards yesterday would have gotten good reviews from Colts-watchers. "He has some issues in his past, but we're sure coach Dungy can straighten him out. Plus he sure knows what to do with the pigskin!"

(Also, according to Manning and the Indy Star--I did not see the game--his best move was knowing when not to block. On the play he scored on a 21 yard TD, he was assigned to stay in and block. When no rushers came across the line, he slipped out as a safety valve rather than stay doggedly back to protect Manning. That aspect will not get a lot of coverage right away, but in this offense, I want a smart RB.)

by coltrane23 (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 2:44pm

Re: 15

A 27-10 lead would seem to be pretty convincing, too, but the Seahawks managed to squander that about two years ago. Seahawk fans are nervous until the clock reaches double-zeroes.

The 'Hawks looked better, but for about 2-1/2 quarters they didn't look good on O. The defense prevented any drama in the game, which was nice to see. But the offense has a long way to go to even approach last year's version. Better than Week 1, but they can't disappear for half the game when the Giants come to town.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 2:48pm

Oops! Make that 16 carries for Addai, still just half a day's work for Edge.

Note to self: learn to read!

by Jerry (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 4:48pm

Re: 16

D. Williams had 13 carries for 74 yrds and a TD for the Panthers. His TD is the ONLY TD for the Panthers this year. He also had 5 rec for 24 yrds. So he had 18 touches for 98 yards...all behind a patchwork O-line. In addition, he alone accounted for 5 of the Panthers 14 1st downs and returned a kickoff to the 50.

I know the Panthers aren't winning and so aren't getting any love, but you can't tell me those numbers aren't better than Addai's.

by Mshray (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 5:45pm

Re #12 - You & me both , Manteo!

by ammek (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 6:10pm

I dunno, I'm not that excited about NYG-Seattle. But I think Falcons-Saints could be an eye-opener.

by Nate (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 6:39pm

Nick - Thank you for your restraint.

by Sam! (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 6:41pm

What exactly is the point of writing a column before all of the week's games are over?

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 7:06pm

23: Because I hate Mondays and this gives me something to do?

by Doug Farrar :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 7:18pm

#23: Because that's when FOX wants it. Actually, I turn it in late Sunday night, shortly after the late game.

Thanks for the comments - #19, you're right about Williams. He would have been a good choice as well. I'm also thinking of splitting that part into offense and defense from now on to recognize someone like Manny Lawson as well.

Seattle has blown two 17-point, fourth-quarter leads and lost both games in overtime - a 44-41 loss to the Ravens in 2003 (the one where official Tom White got dinged half a game check for mangling the clock), and the 33-27 killer against the Rams in 2004 at Qwest Field. I was in the stands for the latter game, and I can't even begin to communicate how bizarre it is to watch a team self-destruct like that. In both games, the Seahawks came out looking like the best team you've ever seen and just inexplicably horfed all over themselves.

by coltrane23 (not verified) :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:29pm

Ugh. I'd actually forgotten the Ravens game--thanks for the memories, Doug.

Re: 15--I missed it the first time, but now I get your point. Subtle.

So Doug, did you notice when Spencer came in at LG? I missed the switch, but early on the 3rd TD drive I looked up and said, "Hey, Spencer's in there!" He looked good, but I'm curious to find out if his entry into the game was the reason that the 'Hawks suddenly got back on track again.

by Doug Farrar :: Mon, 09/18/2006 - 11:51pm

Coltrane, I like Spencer in that slot. He looked more agile out there, maybe able to react to certain things a bit more quickly and make more of a schematic difference for Holmgren and Bill Laveroni.

His ability to kick out is something they haven't had this year at that position. Right now, as Holmgren said in his Monday press conference, it's all about getting him up to speed and comfortable in the system. Of course, he gets the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears to start his caeer as a professional left guard.

Oh, goody.

by coltrane23 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/19/2006 - 12:37am

Re: 27

I missed the press conference--I usually do--but from what I saw yesterday I'm fine with the switch. Necessitated by injury, sure, but I was starting to think Pork Chop wasn't getting the job done anyway.

I'm thinking we'll start to see some of those long runs where Alexander cuts back left, since it'll probably be there now. Time will tell. Agreed with your observation, however, that Alexander's been playing more tentatively so far. Meanwhile Morris has simply been hitting the hole and running as far and fast as he can, and has had some success doing so.

Anyway, I feel better about Spencer in the LG spot against the Giants than I do Womack. But I don't think it matters who lines up against the Bears, he's in for a long day.

by boilerfan (not verified) :: Tue, 09/19/2006 - 1:35am

I think the other factor in Addai's favor is that the starter Rhodes only got 37 yards rushing on 14 carries. So it might not have just been a case of Houston stinking against the run.

by Jerry (not verified) :: Tue, 09/19/2006 - 9:57am

Re: 29

And Foster only got 26 yards on the same number of carries as Williams: 13. And, the Vikings held Portis to 39 yards on 10 carries in week 1. Maybe the Vikings don't stink against the run as well.

by calbuzz (not verified) :: Tue, 09/19/2006 - 10:00am

Re:23 - The 03 and 04 Hawks had the worst LB's in the league, and suspect safeties (Terreal Bierra?).

re:28. Coltrane, I'm with you. Spencer looks like he belongs. I'm really looking forward to the Giants, not so much the Bears this early in the season.

by Manteo (not verified) :: Tue, 09/19/2006 - 11:37am

Looking forward to playing at Soldier Field right now would be like looking forward to a root canal.

The Giants game should be interesting, though. And count me among those who saw an instant difference when Spencer came in. Even without the injury, I think Pork Chop was cooked.

by Joel (not verified) :: Wed, 09/20/2006 - 4:24pm

I went to seahawks training camp this year. I was actually suprised when I heard womack was getting the start in week 1 because Spencer looked better in every aspect of blocking during drils especially pulling and getting to the outside to make a block.

This could be another blessing in disguise for the seahawks much like porkchop getting hurt last year and letting Locklear take over the RT position

by Doug Farrar :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 11:06am

An interesting follow-up here on the criticism Gruden is receiving from some quarters for his handling of Simms:

"Chris Mortensen quoted anonymous NFL executives questioning Gruden's offensive scheme and his on-field critiques of Simms, who could be an unrestricted free agent in March.

"Gruden is brutal," Mortensen quoted an anonymous general manager as saying. "His body language is the worst in the league. The way he treats that kid on the sidelines is a disgrace. I don't care how tough Simms is, what Gruden has done in two games is a clinic on how to break a quarterback's confidence."

Gruden, who rode Oakland's Rich Gannon unmercifully in transforming him from a journeyman to a league MVP, is admittedly tough on his quarterbacks.

But ex-Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann said Simms must toughen up to succeed at the game's glamour position."

by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Fri, 09/22/2006 - 12:28pm