Pre-Season Analysis 2012: Seahawks @ Chiefs

I know this is incredibly after-the-fact, but this is mostly for me than it is for you.

Got back from the camping trip without any limbs lost yesterday afternoon.  So, like any red-blooded ‘Merican who has tore one on for three straight days would do:  I cracked open a Bud Light and settled in for the DVR of the game.  Now, my intention was to leave my phone off, to avoid ESPN.com, to avoid any of my Seahawks-related rss feeds, and any mention of anything on the radio once we got into town.  Granted, it’s only a pre-season game; but the best way to ruin the experience of watching a pre-season game is to know how it turned out.

Long story short, I was passing by the ESPN television channel accidentally and noticed on their little crawl (where they tell you the upcoming stories they’re going to talk about on Sportscenter) the words:  “T.O. Released By Seattle”.  For the record, I both love and hate the crawl on Sportscenter.  I love it because I actually just hate Sportscenter, so it gives me a good idea of what parts I DON’T want to watch (you know, like all of it, because they only talk about the same four things day-in and day-out until the end of time:  Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, the New York Yankees, the New York Jets).

I quickly changed the channel, but the damage had been done.  I knew something about the game.  But, in a weird way, having this knowledge made it more compelling.  What would T.O. do to deserve his firing?  Would he cause a scene on the sideline?  Would he dog it when trying to run-block for someone?  Would he drop another picture-perfect touchdown pass?

If memory serves (and it does), T.O. was targeted four times.  One was a ball where he was perfectly covered and the defender gave him no chance to catch it.  Not his fault.  One he just flat-out dropped.  Since I was avoiding Twitter like the plague until after the game ended, I had to manually write out my Tweets on paper.  After that drop, I wrote, “Owens … sigh”.  And then he made quite possibly one of the best catches I’ve ever seen a receiver make!  Up the right sideline on a go-route, I’m assuming, the ball comes in high, directly over his head.  He falls on his back as the ball lands perfectly in his chest, landing inches from the sideline.  The Seahawks bench erupted in wild applause as I sat dumbfounded.  “Hmm, they’re really going to cut the guy after a catch like THAT?”  Wilson went to Owens quickly again after that for a 1-yard swing pass, but that was pretty much it on that side of things.

I’m going to be a content machine today, so I’ll save my thoughts on T.O. for my next post.

As for the rest of the game, let’s start with the defense.  We REALLY laid the lumber down on the Chiefs last Friday.  44-14, are you kidding me?  I wrote on more than one occasion, “Best Secondary in the NFL!” and it’s the fucking TRUTH!  Richard Sherman looks like a fucking lynx out there, pouncing on his prey as soon as they get near his area.  And Earl Thomas?  Hoo!  He is going to be called The Greatest Safety in the NFL before his career is over.  And not just by sycophantic homers like myself either.  I want more than anything for this secondary to stay healthy for the full season just to see what they can really do.  You know you have a great secondary when your weakest link is still a guy who played in the Pro Bowl last season with six interceptions and over 20 passes defended.

Running through my notes in rapid fire:

  • Great to see Scruggs get a sack early.
  • Braylon Edwards made another sick catch and looks like a lock.
  • Turbin looked great (eat shit national media).
  • Offensive line looked REALLY great (at run-blocking anyway; they still could be better at pass-protection).
  • Bruce Irvin, every time they show a replay, is getting eaten alive by a right tackle on a bull rush … yeesh (eat shit … me).
  • Jon MVP Ryan was up to his old tricks … consistent MVP-quality play.

Few more things.  In the second quarter, KC went on a 17-play drive that resulted in a touchdown.  17 plays, 80 yards, comprising over 7 and a half minutes of game clock.  I don’t know if it’s a sign of things to come, but in the Denver game there was a very similar kind of drive where Manning carved his way through our defense.  Like this week, his drive also took a lot of plays and a lot of time.  I guess what my point is:  it’s really fucking hard to shut people out in the NFL.  That having been said, when teams do score on us, it generally takes them a lot of plays, a lot of third down conversions, and a lot of time off the clock.  In that 17-play drive, the longest play was an 18-yard completion to a running back.  There were four 3rd down conversions, and the touchdown was caught on a 3rd down, so really five conversions.  While it makes me happy that we’re not giving other teams ANYTHING easy; they will have to certainly earn their points the hard way.  I still see this trend on 3rd down.  Not EVERY 3rd down, mind you.  It’s not as bad as it has been the last couple seasons, because I’ve seen more and more 3 & outs this pre-season than I can remember, but it’s still something to notice.  Especially as Bruce Irvin continues to be swallowed up by a single man on the offensive line.

I thought we got a lot of good pressure against KC, but I also saw that we were working in a lot of our blitz packages.  Corners and safeties and linebackers coming at the quarterback from odd angles.  Defensive tackles dropping out into coverage.  Middle linebackers on wide receivers 40 yards downfield.  We mixed it up today and got a lot of pressure, a lot of hits, and even a few sacks on their QBs.  We’re not the New York Football Giants; we’re not going to get consistent pressure by our front four alone.  That’s a shame.  Fortunately, we’ve got a secondary that will be able to give us enough time for our blitzers to get up in there and wreck some shit up.

As for our offense, I’m going to get to that in a bit when I write about Russell Wilson.  No sense in shooting my wad all at once; I’ve got today off of work.  I’ll finish with a couple more points:

  • Every once in a while, Red Bryant will overcome a double team, get around a blocker and stuff a running back for no gain.  He’ll stand up, his head bobbing up and down, and it looks like he’s talking some MAD shit on the guy he just tackled as well as the fools who tried to stop it from happening.  Red Bryant already sounds awesome when he talks; I just want to have him mic’d up one time to hear all the shit he talks on a play like that, if only for my own amusement.
  • Does anyone else feel like the Seahawks are trying to subliminally get us to go out and buy Queensryche’s music with all the times they play it coming in and out of every commercial break?  Furthermore, does anyone else know where I could go to BUY Queensryche’s music?

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