Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Seahawks lose snoozefest 6-3 to Browns

By Kshell

The Seattle Seahawks(2-4) lost on the road to the Cleveland Browns(3-3) in a game that set football back a few decades. The Browns escaped with a 6-3 win over the Seahawks in a game which featured no offense, missed calls and terrible quarterback play on both sides. The Seahawks who were without Tarvaris Jackson and a late scratch to Marshawn Lynch saw their offense put up just 137 yards of total offense which was just 2.7 yards per play. The Seahawks called 33 pass plays which saw them just put up 72 yards of offense which is also just 2.2 yards per passing play called. The defense played great but that didn't matter as the Seahawks offense couldn't move the ball minus one drive. The Seahawks couldn't overcome a few bad calls and in the redzone despite having several chances couldn't score a touchdown. Pete Carroll's handpicked quarterbacked Charlie Whitehurst appears to not be an NFL quarterback after the Seahawks had two weeks to prepare for this game. The Seahawks also didn't run the ball well either as they ran for just 65 yards on only 17 carries(3.8 YPC). This was a disgraceful offensive performance for Carroll's Seahawks who fall three games back in the NFC West.

The first half was a snooze fest like much of the game was. The Browns led 3-0 at halftime on a Phil Dawson 52 yard field goal which was set up by a Charlie Whitehurst fumble. The first half highlights included a Red Bryant blocked kick. That was the only highlights for the Seahawks who had just 55 yards of total offense which averaged only 1.89 yards per play which for the NFL is beyond pathetic. The Browns offense wasn't much better as they only had 140 yards of offense while averaging only 3.4 yards per play. The first half saw the Seahawks longest drive go only 15 yards while they had five punts and a fumble. The offense was abysmal in the first half as the Seahawks were held in check for the fifth time in six games in the first half. This was also the fifth time in six games the Seahawks trailed at halftime as they went away from the no huddle offense. The first half was so bad that many thought there was no way that the second half could be any worse and sadly many were wrong. The second half did feature one critical blown call that probably cost the Seahawks the win. The second half also saw Whitehurst continue to struggle while the Browns offense did barely enough to come away with the victory. The first half definately set the stage for a terrible game despite the closeness of the score.

The second half saw the Browns open with the ball first. The Browns actually had a nice drive going as they went on an 11 play drive covering 50 yards. The Browns had the ball on the Seahawks 30 facing a second and four when Colt McCoy was intercepted by David Hawthorne to keep the score at 3-0. The Seahawks offense of course did nothing as they punted the ball back to the Browns. The Seahawks forced a three and out and a punt by the Browns. Leon Washington Fielded the punt at midfield then with his burst a speed bust it to the outside and went up the sideline for the games first touchdown giving the Seahawks a 7-3 lead. The officials who made some horrible calls all game long threw a flag for a block in the back which replayed showed was merely a flop. The Seahawks though still had good field position on their own 45 yard line. That is when Whitehurst threw a pass to Sidney Rice which it had appeared Rice was being held. The pass was immediately intercepted as the Seahawks momentum quickly changed. In the matter of moments the Seahawks went from being up 7-3 which in this game felt like being up 21 points to still trailing 3-0 as Whitehurst continued his struggles. Seahawks defense once again forced a three and out then had their only successful drive of the game coming up.

Starting from their own 38 yard line the Seahawks began their only decent drive of the game. The drive began with a Leon Washington run of 11 yards. Washington then ran for four more yards to the Browns 47 yard line. On second and six Whitehurst went back to pass as he saw a wide open Sidney Rice. Whitehurst completed the pass to Rice for a gain of 38 yards to the Browns nine yard line. The pass was so horribly thrown that Rice's momentum forced him out of bounds. Had the pass been a decent pass Rice walks into the endzone and the Seahawks take the lead. As is the Seahawks had first and goal from the nine yard line. Whitehurst tried a wide receiver screen to Rice which he was tackled for no gain. On the next play Washington ran for a gain of five yards and was only brought down due to a game saving facemask which gave the Seahawks first and goal from the two yard line. On the first play they tried Justin Forsett to the left which he was tackled for no gain. Whitehurst then attempted two passes and both were incomplete as his struggles continued. The Seahawks were forced to settle for a Steven Hauschka 20 yard field goal to tie the score up at 3-3 as the quarter was almost over.

The Browns would respond to the field goal with an 11 play drive that ate up over six minutes. Facing a third and three from their own 24 yard line McCoy completed a 13 yard pass to extend the drive. Again on third and six from the 41 yard line McCoy completed another crucial seven yard pass to extend the chains. After that McCoy hit a 16 yard pass to the Seahawks 36 yard line. The Seahawks defense would get tough and stop the Browns. Dawson came out to try to make his second 50 plus yard field goal of the game. Dawson drilled the 53 yard field goal to give the Browns a 6-3 lead over the Seahawks in the middle of the fourth quarter. The Seahawks offense of course went three and out like they did all game long.

The Browns took over hoping to put the Seahawks away as they went on a 14 play 60 yard drive which ate up six and a half minutes. Starting from their own 34 yard line the Browns started to grind down the clock. First with a short pass for five yards, then with a run of a yard setting up a third and four. McCoy hit another key pass for nine yards to their own 49 yard line. On third and 11 from the 48 yard line McCoy ran up the middle for a gain of 12 yards to continue the drive. Michael Hardesty had a run of six yards to set up a third and four. The Browns surprised the Seahawks with a run call which went for six yards to extend the drive to the Seahawks 28 yard line. Hardesty then had a run of 15 yards to the Seahawks 13 yard line. The Browns went super consertative as they ran the ball three straight times. Had the Browns scored a touchdown given that there was a little over three minutes left in the game  that would have iced the game. Instead the Browns called on their field goal unit to try and go up six points. That is when Red Bryant came through once again blocking his second field goal attempt of the game as he is trying to go after Joe Nash's record. That blocked kick gave the Seahawks new life but their offense once again couldn't do anything. Whitehurst on fourth and 15 couldn't complete the pass as the Browns had possession again. The Seahawks were going to get the ball back but Bryant who had a great game headbutted a Browns offensive player drawing a penalty which iced the game. The Seahawks lost 6-3 as their offense did nothing. The Seahawks passing game was terrible which saw Charlie Whitehurst complete 12-30(40.0%) of his passes for 97 yards(3.2 YPA) with an interception as his quarterback rating was 35.0. The leading receiver was Sidney Rice who had two receptions for 38 yards while the rushing attack wasn't much better. The rushing game was led by Leon Washington who had 39 yards rushing on seven carries(5.6 YPC) who also had four receptions but just 10 yards. Justin Forsett had 23 yards on eight carries(2.9 YPC) in the game as well.

All in all, the Seahawks dropped a very winnable game which will sting at the end of the season. Had the Seahawks won they would be 3-3 instead they are 2-4 which leaves them three games back of the San Francisco 49ers who are 5-1 and actually that is 3.5 games back due to tiebreaker. I think it is safe to say there will be no more quarterback controversy as Whitehurst showed he isn't an NFL quarterback. With two weeks to prepare the offense was a joke and last year the Seahawks fired the offensive coordinator. At what point does the offensive failings fall on Pete Carroll's shoulders? Carroll better find some answers quick as the fans have turned on him because he let go over overrated veterans. This was a tough loss for sure never good to lose when you allow only six points both on fifty yard plus field goals.


- The Seahawks passing game was struggling all game so why they called 35 pass plays(30 pass attempts, three sacks, two Whitehurst scrambles) is very confusing. The Seahawks threw the ball 70.0% of the time. The Browns were in the bottom three in the NFL against the run and although Marshawn Lynch was injured still should have ran more. During the game Washington averaged 5.6 yards per carry but only received seven carries. I know he isn't an every down back but still give him 13-17 carries and the Seahawks probably win this game.

While on topic with the run game this last game proved that Justin Forsett serves no purpose on this team. He was held to 23 yards rushing on eight carries(2.9 YPC) and something stood out in the redzone. The Seahawks have no power backs on their roster besides Marshawn Lynch. Forsett basically is a poor version of Washington so having both on your roster not to mention an undersized fullback is just stupid. The Seahawks must get a real fullback this offseason and replace Forsett with a goaline back who can record those tough yards when you need him to.

- Charlie Whitehurst had one of the worst performances I've seen in a while for a starting quarterback. Very rarely does a quarterback play the entire game while attempting 30 passes and somehow threw for under 100 yards. This was a very winnable game where a simple decent throw to Rice on that 38 yard completion and the Seahawks win the game. Had Whitehurst been able to throw for a touchdown when he had two cracks at it from the two yard line the Seahawks win this game as well. Pete Carroll gave up 20 spots in the second round and a third round pick for Whitehurst in a move that at the time was questionable looks downright horrible now.

So far Whitehurst has started three games for the Seahawks going 1-2 in those starts. The Seahawks are averaging only 8.7 points per game while Whitehurst was 46-89 passing(51.6%) for only 402 yards(4.5 YPA) with two touchdowns to three interceptions with a quarterback rating of 57.4 which is downright terrible. The defense played their best game of the Carroll era and it will go down as a loss which will remind fans of the 1992 Seahawks. Whitehurst who is a free agent at the end of the season in his short sample size has proven he isn't the answer for the Seahawks going forward.

- Pete Carroll is a defensive minded coach and his defense when Red Bryant has been healthy has been pretty good. Carroll is the head coach and team president which means the offensive shortcomings also fall on his shoulders. This offense minus the stretch where they used the no huddle(why not use the no huddle this game?!!!) has been terrible. Last year Carroll used his one fire the coordinator get out of jail free card. Carroll can't fire the offensive coordinator again in my opinion without first having his job examined in the process.

Whenever you lose a game 6-3 the fan base is going to be angry and rightfully so. The game plan was just plain  awful to have your backup quarterback throw 70% of the time in a game in which at most you trailed by three points. The Seahawks should have put the ball in Leon Washington and Sidney Rices hands more instead of second tier tight ends. The offensive game plan was terrible and although Carroll has no say on the offensive gameplan as head coach that ultimately falls on his lap. Carroll is now 9-13 as Seahawks head coach and 10-14 if you include the playoff games. I think like most college successful coaches Carroll is realizing that in the NFL you have to draft you can't just sign all the best kids because of where you are located. You have to actually evaluate talent instead of offer 25 scholarships to the best kids in the country. The Whitehurst mistake is squarely on Carroll as that move has been nothing short of a disaster.

In conclusion, the Seahawks lost the probably the most boring game in close to a decade. At least in a blowout I can turn the game off but this game was close so I sat through the entire snoozefest. The Seahawks lost a very winnable game because the offensive gameplan was horrible. The Charlie Whitehurst experiment needs to end as he clearly isn't better than Tarvaris Jackson. Carroll has a ton of work to do as the offseason much like this past offseason will be spent on drafting nothing but offensive guys. The Seahawks lost to a bad football team 6-3 in a game which will haunt them throughout the season.

No comments:

Post a Comment