Monday, September 20, 2010
Seahawks' defeat should not shake them
By Mike Sando
The Seattle Seahawks' 31-14 defeat at Denver in Week 2 would easily accommodate an I-told-you-so tack based on where I thought this team was headed without its left tackle or offensive line coach.
That simply isn't how I feel after watching the game, however. This defeat, though lopsided, should not shake Seattle fans too much.
The offensive line protected Matt Hasselbeck quite well for a second consecutive week. That was the No. 1 revelation after taking a closer look at this performance. Hasselbeck isn't getting harassed or beaten up. That is why the Seahawks converted most of their third-down chances for a second consecutive week.
The Seattle run defense remained stingy for a second week in a row. The Seahawks' pass rush wasn't there at all, but we knew that could be the case, particularly on the road, because Seattle lacks dominant personnel in that area. But I would also blame some of the pass-rush problems on Hasselbeck, the offense and the special teams because the turnovers they committed helped the Broncos run away with the game. And it's tough to rush the passer effectively when you're trailing on the scoreboard.
Yes, the Seahawks lost this game. But they did not lose it for the insurmountable reasons I thought they would lose games this season. They lost it because it's tougher to win on the road and, curiously, Hasselbeck made a couple uncharacteristically poor decisions (a subject I'd like to explore separately). The running game was better. The offensive line hasn't imploded without Alex Gibbs around to coach it and without Russell Okung in the lineup.
All in all, this 31-14 defeat wasn't necessarily an indicator of defeats to come. The glass could still be half-full for those who thought this team was doomed to win only four or five games all season.