Seattle Seahawks Identity Is Not Matching Their Production

After a compelling victory over Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos in Week 1, the Seattle Seahawks came crashing back to earth in Week 2. There was no hiding the raw emotion on display in Seattle taking on their former franchise quarterback. However, when it came time to face a heated divisional foe on the road, that same energy could not be found. The result was a 27-7 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

Coming into the 2022 season, Pete Carroll made one thing clear, as he always has. He wants to play physical football, use the run game to set up deep explosive pass plays off of play-action, and have a stifling defense.

Carroll has built the Seahawks identity around ball control, controlling the clock, and wearing teams down. It’s an identity he has built for over a decade in Seattle, one that he strayed from in the later years of Wilson’s tenure in Seattle, but one he wishes to return to. However, there’s just one problem, the production is not matching their identity.

Seattle Seahawks Identity Is Not Matching Their Production

Run Game Woes

Through two games Seattle has just 112 rushing yards. A far cry from what was expected after re-signing Rashaad Penny and drafting Kenneth Walker III this past April. While there is talent in the backfield, the problem could be stemming from a lack of continuity on the offensive line.

The Seahawks are starting three new players on the offensive line in 2022. Rookies Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas are anchoring the tackles while journeyman Austin Blythe has slotted in at center. Third-year guard Damian Lewis has been out with an ankle injury since the pre-season.

The former All-NFL Rookie team standout has been a road grader in the run game. It remains to be seen when Seattle fans will see Lewis back on the field but until he returns they will have to make do with the 2019 fourth-round pick, Phil Haynes.

Geno Smith

Geno Smith has been nothing but efficient in his two games as the Seahawks definitive starter in 2022. He is 47/58, 392 yards with two touchdowns to one interception. Boasting an 81% completion percentage, Carroll has vowed to open up the offense and put the ball in the veteran signal caller’s hands.

“After two weeks of watching Geno play, we don’t need to hold him back at all,” Carroll said Monday after Seattle’s 27-7 loss to the 49ers on Sunday. “Geno has got his game ready to go. We need to trust him and maybe give him more opportunities and stuff. We’ve been pretty solidly conservative, counting on running the football.”

If Seattle can get teams to start fearing the passing attack, it could open up the run game. Which is a more timely plan than awaiting the return of Damien Lewis.

DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Noah Fant all have the talent to stretch the field vertically. Smith has demonstrated the ability to use the middle of the field, something that was a mark of criticism on Wilson during his time in Seattle.

More attention on Metcalf, Lockett, and Fant means fewer men in the box dedicated to stopping the run. Which in theory, could lead to more runs like this, a hallmark of the Seahawks identity that Carroll desperately wants to deploy.

Slot Receiver

Another factor that needs to be considered is the Seahawks use of their slot receiver. Their top selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Dee Eskridge has yet to make an impact in his short time in Seattle. Eskridge has 12 receptions for 70 yards and one touchdown to show for his work in the NFL thus far. However, we saw glimpses of how offensive coordinator Shane Waldron would like to use Eskridge.

Another weapon that is waiting in the wings is the veteran receiver, Marquise Goodwin. The 31-year-old still possesses the blazing speed that made him a third-round pick in Buffalo a decade ago.

Shane Waldron comes from the Sean McVay coaching tree which emphasizes pre-snap motion. Having speedy threats of Eskridge and Goodwin to motion across the formation should also play a factor in opening up the run game.

Week Three

Going into a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons it will be crucial for Carroll to execute the Seahawks identity he holds so dear to his philosophy. The coaching staff and players are saying all the right things, now it’s time to execute.

Whether that’s letting Geno Smith Cook, deploying more pre-snap motion, or allowing the offensive line to mesh. Seattle will need to start putting its money where its mouth is or it will be a long season.