Through five games, the Seahawks have thrown for 1,126 yards. Tight ends and running backs, predictably, account for only 354 of those yards on 32 receptions, with 3 touchdowns. Here are the numbers for our wide receivers so far this year:
- Doug Baldwin: 17 receptions, 296 yards, 1 touchdown
- Golden Tate: 18 receptions, 236 yards, 1 touchdown
- Sidney Rice: 10 receptions, 146 yards, 2 touchdowns
- Jermaine Kearse: 4 receptions, 94 yards, 2 touchdowns
Now, for starters, I wouldn’t say we have a “problem” per se. The Seahawks just lost their first game of the season. We’re 4-1, atop the NFC West, and one game back for the number 1 seed in the NFC. Yes, I realize it’s too early to be talking in terms of playoff seeding. But, if I can agree to that, you can agree it’s too early to motherfucking panic.
The Seahawks rank 24th in the league in passing yards. The Seahawks rank 2nd in the league in rushing yards (behind the juggernaut Eagles). Overall, the Seahawks are 10th in total yards (12th in yards per game, just ahead of Indy and just behind Chicago). Of course, that doesn’t say a whole lot, because there are plenty of bad teams ahead of us in those total yards catagories. What matters more is that we’re 6th in yards per game allowed on defense. That, and of course, point differential, which has us 5th in the league at +56 (and sure to rise once we take care of business in some of these home games).
The main point behind all of those numbers is: we’re still talking about a good team. And, we’re talking about a team that does the bulk of its damage on the ground. So, to call our wide receivers a problem is really nit-picking what’s overall a very good thing.
Digging deeper, though, it would appear that people think Sidney Rice is the main problem. Again, I think it’s too early for all of that, but I’m not most people. In spite of Danny O’Neil’s well-reasoned arguments, when you bring up a man’s contract numbers (ranking 15th among all receivers), and then let us know that there are 130 other players in the NFL with more receptions than Rice, you most certainly ARE inferring that the man is over-paid. Sidney Rice really ISN’T matching up with the cash he’s being given by this team. Is he bringing to the table anything that Jermaine Kearse can’t do?
Three inches. And millions upon millions of dollars. That’s what Sidney Rice has over Jermaine Kearse. But, if you gave Kearse the reps and the plays that Rice gets on a daily basis, in both practice and in games, I would argue that – at the VERY least – you couldn’t do any worse. In fact, I would argue that you’d do a lot better.
That isn’t to say I think we should cut Rice and give the starting job to Kearse this week. I still think Rice has enough to bring to the table to be a productive member of THIS team – this run-first, grind-it-out team – and I think he’ll start having some good games again real soon. But, to say the man isn’t over-paid is pretty crazy. And to think, if he’s over-paid on this team, just imagine how over-paid he’d be on a team that throws the ball more often!
As a Seahawks fan in 2013, you can’t expect your receivers to be like those on the Packers or Broncos or Falcons (when they’re healthy). But, I think you can expect a little bit more than what we’ve been getting to date. Does that constitute a problem? At 4-1, I don’t think so.
The Seahawks can succeed with the group they have now. Their remaining schedule isn’t all that intimidating, for starters. And, you can count on Percy Harvin returning pretty quickly. If that isn’t a shot to the arm of this offense, then I’ll eat my hat.