The Seahawks crashed out of the postseason, and Brian Schottenheimer is the fall guy. He’s out after three years as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Who’s to blame can be debated. Schottenheimer and Pete Carroll deserve the largest shares. But it’s clear that changes are needed.
The Seahawks were simply outsmarted this year, failing to come up with answers or adjustments when defenses started playing them differently in the second half of the season.
In their first eight games, Seattle averaged a league-high 34.3 points, with Russell Wilson the heavy favorite to be the league’s MVP. But teams started laying back in more Cover-2 defenses in November and December, and the Seahawks were never able to make corrections to get the offense back on track.
In the second half of the season, Seattle was an average team offensively, putting up 23.1 points per game. Most painful were the three games against the Rams, with the offense not moving the ball reliably in any of them. The Seahawks won one of those games (in Week 16), but they scored only 13 points until icing that game with a late touchdown.
|SCORING: FINAL EIGHT GAMES|
This wasn’t a problem with injuries or talent. They had all the players they needed, including a franchise quarterback and one of the best receiver duos in the league (DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett). But when those long balls were taken away via more use of Cover-2 packages, there was never any re-working of the offense to include more short passing or to get the ball out quicker. Wilson was sacked at least 5 times in all three games against the Rams.
“Frankly, I’d like to not play against 2-deep looks all season long next year,” Carroll said in an article in The Seattle Times.
Carroll says he’d like to see the team run the ball more often. That, he thinks, is the way to knock defenses out of playing Cover-2. Sounds like when they’re interviewing candidates, he’ll be looking for someone to stick with the formula that Seattle has employed for most of the last decade. But I think I’d rather see Carroll focus primarily on the defense (Seattle did a good job of making adjustments on that side of the ball after a dreadful start).
Offensively, I would be interested in hearing the ideas of more innovative candidates who would be more interested in changing and updating a stale system. The Seahawks have a Super Bowl caliber roster, but I don’t think they can get there without bringing in an offensive mind who creates some kind of additional edge.