With the regular season now two weeks away, there are varying degrees of concern among the Seattle Seahawks regarding the team's offensive performance.
In three preseason games, Russell Wilson and the first-team offense have been on the field for 12 possessions. The results? Seven punts, four field goals and a turnover.
"We didn't do as well on offense as we want to," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said following the team's 16-15 win against the Chargers on Saturday.
"We're all a little bit frustrated with it," he added. "I'm a little frustrated by it, but I'm not worried about it. Just want to get the offensive linemen enough reps together so that they grow and make the calls and be really sharp."
Offensive line continuity was a popular theme in the locker room. The Seahawks have started different five-man units in each of the first three preseason games. Left tackle Russell Okung was experiencing some shoulder soreness and sat out Saturday's game.
The starters from left to right were Alvin Bailey, Justin Britt, Drew Nowak, J.R. Sweezy and Garry Gilliam. Replace Bailey with Okung, and that could very well be the starting unit once the regular season begins.
"That's huge," Gilliam said when asked about continuity. "I think offensive line play, a lot of that is chemistry with the guy next to you, all five of us together, getting our calls out, knowing how to fit blocks with each other. That definitely helps. Having an entire week with the same five or the same person next to you, it definitely helps because it’s a lot about chemistry."
Of course, there's a huge caveat here when it comes to discussing the offensive performance. Marshawn Lynch has played just three snaps in the preseason, and he won't take the field again until Week 1. Carroll seems convinced Lynch can make up for some of the miscues up front, just as he's done in previous seasons.
As for the passing game, Wilson went 7-for-15 for 56 yards on Saturday. He failed to complete a pass longer than 14 yards.
"Russ missed a couple tonight," Carroll said. "Because we were in trouble early, the down and distances were lousy in the first quarter, and they carried the minutes too in the first half. We didn't get the ball as much as we wanted."
Added Wilson: "Ultimately we have to finish drives, and that's on me. I think that I missed a couple throws there, but we'll hit 'em. And we believe that."