Seahawks | Litany of troubles result in bad start
A look at the Seahawks at midseason and reasons for their 2-6 record.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seahawks @ Miami, 10 a.m., Ch. 13
Looking for reasons the Seahawks are 2-6 and far from resembling the NFC West champions they have been the past four seasons?
The Seahawks have used 11 wide receivers. Three quarterbacks.
There have been changes in the lineup at cornerback and defensive end.
There have been injuries to several starters. Then more injuries, and more lineup and depth-chart changes.
No passing offense. A running game that had been good until opponents realized the Seahawks couldn't throw the ball, and that all they had to do was crowd the line of scrimmage.
A defense that can't stop third-down plays and gives up too many passes for big yardage.
These are the stories of the Seahawks 2008 season. And it's only half over.
As the Seahawks limp into the season's second half, beginning today at Miami, they're looking for some way to rescue their season. But it looks like it's too late to catch Arizona, the division leader, even if Matt Hasselbeck, Deion Branch and Patrick Kerney are coming back soon (none of them is expected to play today).
Here's where things stand in Seahawks land after eight games.
Injury after injury
Where to begin? The Seahawks' injury woes began long before the season started when Branch needed ACL knee surgery and missed training camp and the exhibition season. Since then, wide receivers Ben Obomanu, Nate Burleson and Logan Payne have been placed on injured reserve. So has starting right guard Rob Sims. Starters Bobby Engram, Sean Locklear, Koren Robinson, Lofa Tatupu and Leonard Weaver have missed at least one game.
"It can't be just a wonderful time for you to come in here and ask me the same questions every week," Holmgren told reporters this week. "I hope before this is all said and done we can have some fun again. And some of that is getting some of those guys back. And we've been waiting, and optimistically talking about it. We'll see. I hope we can get it going again."
The Seahawks, once among the best in the NFL at home, are 1-3 at Qwest Field this season with games against Arizona, Washington, New England and the New York Jets to come. Washington's record is 6-3, the others 5-3.
Fans are still packing the stadium, but the past two home games have offered little to cheer about. The Seahawks fell behind big early and didn't have a good enough offense to rally.
The perfect game
Not the baseball version. The Seahawks have to be practically perfect offensively to win. After last week's 26-7 loss to Philadelphia, Holmgren said he thought the team had hit a wall, and he explained that he was referring to offensive productivity. The Seahawks are 31st of 32 teams in total offense at 255.5 yards per game and last in passing yards at 141.3.
"It's just not working the way it's supposed to right now," Holmgren said.
Said quarterback Seneca Wallace, "We have to remind ourselves it's a marathon." .
D for the defense
Perhaps a D grade is too harsh for the defense, but it wouldn't be far off. The Seahawks are 27th in total defense, allowing 373.5 yards per game, and their pass defense is 31st (258 yards per game). The Seahawks have a minus-three turnover differential and only three interceptions. They have 20 sacks, but 13 came in two games against the 49ers, and the pass rush isn't getting to the quarterback often enough on blitzes to disrupt his timing or get a sack. That means opposing quarterbacks are catching Seattle defensive backs in one-on-one coverage, and the Seahawks' cornerbacks have struggled in downfield coverage.
"We're not making plays at the ball when the ball is thrown," defensive coordinator John Marshall said. "We've just got to do a better job with our rush."
The Goodbye Guy
Holmgren has eight more games to go, then he'll step away from the game, so he has said. So far his last season as Seahawks coach hasn't been what he had hoped for.
"You have visions," Holmgren said. "There was no reason to think we wouldn't [win]. We'd been going pretty good, and then the circumstances change and it's hard. Yeah, it's hard."
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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