Seahawks @ Rams Recap and Observations
Updated: Oct 29, 2018
AP Photo - Kevin Kuo - Russell Wilson is pressured and hit by Rams Defensive End William Hayes in their 9-3 loss against the Rams
Offensive Line continues to struggle
This off-season, the Seahawks signed veteran, J'Marcus Webb to a 2-year, $5.75M contract, $2.45M guaranteed. However, he has struggled tremendously in place of the injured Ifedi at Right Guard.
Against the Dolphins, Webb was put on skates on several occasions by the Dolphins D-line. Look at what Suh did to him here.
I'm sure the Rams Defense and Gregg Williams saw this as well and wanted to expose it at will.
In this play, you will see Webb get driven back 3 yards deep from the line of scrimmage. There is some indecisiveness displayed from Britt and Gilliam that results in Alec Ogletree making the tackle for a loss.
In the play displayed below, Gilliam shows an incredibly lackluster effort to block Aaron Donald who ends up making the play. Bradley Sowell's missed assignment also forces Rawls to cut back toward the right into Donald.
In the Hawks very first offensive play, they come out in an overload right with 13 personnel and are still incapable of blocking the Rams defensive line. Here, Gilliam and Willson are blown back into the backfield leaving Rawls no room to advance the ball.
Aaron Donald was having a feast with Webb and Gilliam. Here, Donald single-handedly splits Webb and Gilliam and disrupts the read option.
Practically, everyone on the line missed their assignment on this next play.
Keep in mind, the last three videos I showed were the first 3 plays of the Seahawks offensive drive!
Why is the offensive line's performance so important? That brings me to my next point.
Russell's confidence from the pocket is shaken
We'll take at the following play first at real speed, then we'll break it down from two different angles. The play's primary read is Richardson for a corner route, with Michael perform a rub route to clear the defenders. Both routes are covered, however, Luke Willson is open. Rather than being confident in the pocket, Russell looks to bail outside rather than stepping up. The play results in an incomplete pass as Russell is forced to throw the ball away.
Earlier this week, Richard Sherman released a self-written article on the Player Tribune where he said that the defense takes responsibility for not providing the offense with good starting field position. I totally respect his statements. However, no matter the field position, this offense needs to hold up their part of the deal as well. The offensive line needs to improve and understand that it starts with them. Our identity is to run the ball and Bevell is trying to do that. As shown above, he's tried various personnel packages to run the ball but our guys just did not execute. This game was all about that or the lack thereof, EXECUTION. Let's hush the #FireBevell chants for now. Our offensive line is our weak point at this moment in time. "How do we fix it?" Many are calling for Joe Thomas, the 31-year old Cleveland Browns Tackle, which on the surface makes a world of sense. However, Joe Thomas will be extremely expensive and would be at a cost of a blockbuster trade. The Seahawks have only $6 in available cap room right now.
Here comes the Jimmy Graham factor. Jimmy has been silent ever since arriving to Seattle, but we're paying him top dollar, $9M this year alone. So, do you trade Jimmy Graham for Joe Thomas? Isn't this Percy Harvin all over again? The only difference this time around is Jimmy is not a distraction in the locker room. Still, where do we want to lie our chips? Bank it on the big play potential that Jimmy brings? Or, go after a viable need at tackle? Looking at the history of Pete and JS, I'm thinking they'll stick it out. They invest in longevity and young talent. Anything north of 30-years old is usually a reach of JS and Pete. Also, with Ifedi due back soon, they'll re-evaluate where they are with Ifedi back in the lineup. But never say never. I know I won't.