Welcome back to THE T*STEFUL ROUNDUP.
Contributors, guest-posters, and all sorts of rascals from the BeastGlobe will write up a brief chunk of text discussing their thoughts from the previous night’s game. It will likely be a combination of humor, insight, knowledge, ineptitude, and everything in between.
Enjoy these words from all of these nerds.
The preseason is officially behind us with the regular season kickoff now in the books. Mile High here we come.
The Seahawks face a somewhat unknown/unfamiliar Broncos team. Led by Vance Joseph, Denver looks to bounce back from a disappointing 2017 campaign. There are so many parallels to draw, as to the state of these two recent Super Bowl-winning franchises. One thing I think could impact this game: Broncos Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave facing his former Defense Coordinator and current Seahawks DC, Ken Norton. With both coaches having intimate knowledge on each other’s philosophy, who has the advantage?
Some key matchups to watch are; Germain Ifedi vs. Von Miller & Shaquill Griffin vs. Demaryius Thomas. Some notables: Earl Thomas returning, and Shaquem Griffin starting in place of K.J. Wright.
It’s going to be difficult to sneak out of this one with a victory. Though, if they’re going to do it, I believe in addition to “protecting the ball” and all the other cliché sayings, the team is going to have to start quickly. Something Seattle struggled to do throughout the entire 2017 season.
Make no mistake, both teams are once again hungry, carrying chips on their shoulders. Okay no more clichés…
‘Twas the night before kickoff and all across the Sound,
Fans were resting their voices to prep for first downs;
The jerseys were draped on the bedposts with care,
In the hopes that Blue Friday soon would be there;
The 12s were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Lombardi danced in their heads;
And Russ in his Nikes, and Pete in his headset,
Reminded us all, “don’t count the Seahawks out yet;”
Chris Carson spent his offseason running all the ladders,
Working to prove that his draft round scarcely matters;
Away for the preseason Earl did dash,
But he’s back now and will surely make a splash;
The shadow of Jon Ryan looms o’er the line of scrimmage,
But Dickson has the chops to leave his own image;
The O-Line will struggle, you can be sure of it,
Though they’ll be helped by consistency and one Justin Britt;
Their point-scoring skills still seem a tad bit unstable,
Though made far better by the absence of Tom Cable;
More rapid than most of the AFC East,
We’ll always still miss the Mode that is Beast;
But now there’s Shaquill! And Shaquem! And R. Penny too!
And Rasheem! And Pocic! And even young McGough!
To the top of the West! To the playoffs of football!
Now pass away! Punt away! Go win it all!
The Seahawks limped into the offseason last year. The run game was absolutely terrible (like seriously, I remember exactly one run play and that was when Rawls [maybe?] was tackled right as he received the handoff). The defense lost Avril, Kam, and Sherm. Rumors circulated about whether or not Earl would remain on the team. The criticisms of Bevell’s offense that were never supported by the actual efficiency of the offense all came to be true. Pete Carroll’s tolerance for blown pass protections, untimely holding calls, and failed screen passes came to an end when Tom Cable’s OL couldn’t run block their way out of a paper bag. Despite some fifth-round highlights, the draft did little to assuage Seahawkonia’s concerns. A running back was drafted in the first round and the third-round pick was an uber-raw young pass rusher.
The offseason crept along. Earl didn’t report to minicamp. To OTAs. To training camp. In his absence, the defense did its damnedest, but this resulted mostly in long scoring drives rather than nonscoring drives. The Schottenheimer offense didn’t look terrible! But in the relatively few snaps we saw, it hardly looked revolutionary.
DVOA, 538’s ELO, and your friendly neighborhood power rankings are all lower on the Seahawks than any time in the past five years. And it isn’t because the calculators are biased against us. I don’t blame anyone who is expecting 8-8 (or worse). And the crescendoing howl of analytics certainly makes a compelling argument to not expect much better.
But what is the point of fandom without hope? There are no awards for having the most accurate preseason prediction. I have never found much satisfaction in predicting the failure of my favorite teams, even when it is logical to do so. So I choose hope.
12-4. Super Bowl Champions.
(Advance P.S.: Thursday Night Football = still bad)
A lot of people want to try and figure out which Pete Carroll team we have before us this season.
Is it akin to the 2010 crew, full of new beginnings, led by new faces, and finding a way to occasionally thrive amid serious growing pains?
Is it 2011 redux, with close painful losses, a bruising running attack, and an elite defense visible in the near future if you squint a little?
Are we gonna get a midseason awakening, a la 2012, where the Seahawks suddenly, thrillingly, become the DVOArlings of the league?
Are the glory years of 2013 and 2014 somehow back again, ahead of schedule, complete with the ferocious defense populated by hungry quarterbackivores?
Will Video Game Russell Wilson re-surface and take us on a 2015-type ride, a darting and looping roller coaster that should have culminated in his first MVP award?
Or will the loud realism of football’s brutality, which defined a lot of 2016’s relative success, quiet our optimism early in the season by felling too many heroes?
Finally, are we headed for a continuation of 2017, the season that sowed so much doubt in minds of fans, the 16-game drudge that suggested to many of us that Seattle’s fabled window is closing? (It is doing no such thing. RW smashed it open and there are no spare panes, anywhere, in the tri-state area.)
2018 will be aggravating. It’s Seahawks football. Have you watched it, ever? It’ll also be entertaining, in a way we don’t know of yet. A Legion has been buried, but maybe a pride of Lionbackers emerges. Maybe having Bobby Wagner, Poona Ford and Naz Jones on the field at once creates a killbox for running backs. Maybe Frank Clark relegates Aaron Donald to an afterthought for defensive honors. Maybe the Super Griffin Bros. find star power and don’t ever let the timer run out.
This season’s gonna write its own story. If the talent meshes, if the coaches are diligent, and if the bounces of the football don’t fuck us over too often, then it will become the year that future years aspire to be.
I feel like I’ve established a pretty consistent brand on this site and the rest of the internet. Most of the things I write fall somewhere on a spectrum between dabbling in satire and being drenched in absolute bullshit.
Well folks, I am here to be completely serious. No joke.
The Seahawks are going to be good.
Or they won’t! Who the fuck cares?
(i mean i do, sure but that’s not the point)
An overwhelming amount of production left in the offseason, yes. An overhauled coaching staff will look to find its footing on the road during the first two weeks of 2018. It would seem that the odds are stacked heavily against Seattle.
And yet, there are many reasons for optimism, which have been outlined by many on this very site! While the Seahawks lost a ton of very #good players over the offseason, many of these players missed significant time in 2017 and the team remained in the playoff hunt. While the Seahawks had one of the worst running games of all time, the team found a way to (dysfunctionally) make it work and remained in the playoff hunt. While Russell Wilson had to singlehandedly support the tattered remains of what would once be referred to as “an offense” on his herculean shoulders, the team remained in the playoff hunt.
And now they have Joey Hunt back on the roster. Yep, we’re ready for the playoff hunt with our playoff Hunt.
Luck is random and impossible to control unless you’re playing Indianapolis with a halfway decent defense. In terms of what Seattle could control this offseason, I’m confident they made the moves they needed to. <EXTEND EARL THOMAS THO PLEASE> There are loads of question marks facing the team and their impacts are nearly impossible to project, but the lack of expectations feels refreshing.
The Seahawks could finish 2018 anywhere from 7-9 to 13-3 and I sure as hell am going to enjoy the ride.
So should you.