This is the final Roundup of the 2018 season. Read it. Enjoy it. Go… Mariners?
The 2018 Seahawks were not at their best. This team is young, hungry, and still in the midst of realizing their true potential, and to have the journey of discovery cut short is disappointing.
But we must also accept that success is the sum of one’s failures and that every great accomplishment is preceded by a multitude of trial and error. Perhaps when we look back at this game in ten years time, we will see this loss as another obstacle the team overcame on the path to another championship.
The defeat will sting for a while, and it’s fine to feel frustrated. But in the grand scheme of things, the Seahawks have exceeded expectations and rebuilt their culture from the ground up. To say that I have faith that the future holds great things for us would, therefore, be a gross understatement, because the Seahawks will be good.
The hard part is just the waiting.
The time for hoping has ended.
You had hoped to run all over them. Run up the gut, knock a few heads in. Bust a few chops, as they say. It had to be established! You had hoped to get five yards but you could only really manage two, three if you’re lucky.
You had hoped to throw more, but you didn’t run it enough and that’s how these things go, you see. You had hoped to chuck it deep, but they’d just be sitting on it if you didn’t pound that rock just one…more…time.
You had hoped that you could keep up whatever crazy mojo that had gotten you this far. You had hoped the preseason projections were all bunk…and lookie here! They were. So you hoped that you could make lightning strike twice, thrice, whatever four-ice is…quatrice?
But the time for hoping has ended.
The clock has hit 00:00. The fans have all gone home. The team bus is leaving for the airport.
It’s now time for the spreadsheets and the draft boards and the college tape and the arguments and the free agent signings and the goodbyes and the hellos and the hot summer days on the berm.
The time for hoping has only just begun.
First, I want to state for the record that I think there exists some hidden value in the run game and that our current measures of play effectiveness/efficiency are not sufficiently tuned to find it.
That being said, dedication to running killed this team in this game. Chris Carson carried the ball 13 times for 20 yards. Those are “Bench Rashaad Penny” numbers. All in all the running backs carried the ball 21 times for 59 yards (Wilson added 3 carries for 14 yards and a TD). The Seahawks passed the ball 27 times for 233 yards plus a sack. The run game absolutely has a place in the modern NFL, but not when the run game is a) so ineffective and b) takes the ball out of your best players hands over 40% of the time. I’ve done a fair amount of Schottenheimer defense, but yesterday’s game plan and, most egregiously, the lack of adjustments to that game plan are fireable offenses.
For all my frustrations with how the season ended, I can’t help but be impressed with how far the Seahawks got in a rebuilding year, the legit progress from Reed and Lockett, and one of the most exciting new draft classes headlined by, of all things, a fucking punter.
Once again, Russell Wilson was held back in baffling proportions. Even Pete Prisco was “mystified.” The game plan was stuffed with filler white flag play calls that screamed of surrendering. It was like going to a burger joint and willingly gorging on fries when the beef and bacon are literally in front of you. Running and throwing bubble screens on 3rd and 18 are the fries and Wilson-to-Lockett deep is the double bacon guacamole burger. This also makes it painfully obvious that Pete Carroll’s plant-based diet choices are in dire need of an intervention.
(Editor’s Note: We at BeastPode do not endorse Vannessa’s fry takes.)
As maddening as that contest was, the playoffs shouldn’t have even been within reach during this rebuilding year. The Seahawks were supposed to be competing with the Niners and Cardinals for the first overall draft pick and searching for any shred of dignity they could muster.
Instead, Seattle fans were #blessed with their seventh playoff berth in nine seasons. Not many franchises get to experience a run like this. I have extreme gratitude for this team and for the Seahawks Twitter community for one of the most fun seasons I’ve experienced.
Analytics twitter said turnovers weren’t sustainable; they weren’t.
They said we should go for it more on fourth down; we didn’t.
They said that the third down and red-zone success rate wasn’t sustainable; it wasn’t.
They said play action was one of the keys to winning instead of running; we ran instead.
Football isn’t some magical place we can’t figure out. That’s not to say I, or anyone else, can tell you who will win before the first snap. But there are lessons to be learned; ways to improve.
Be open to change. Be open to ideas that clash against your prior beliefs. Be open to the idea that an outside voice can highlight what has been missed. It’s not a coincidence the Patriots have, and have had for over a decade, one of the most robust analytics cells in all of football.
The Seahawks were good. The Seahawks will continue to be good.
But with just a couple of changes they can be more than that. Greatness is so close.
Well if you’re gonna run a lot you might as well run well and well…
Maybe this is a lesson learned that this unit isn’t really anywhere near an elite blocking group. It folds against elite lines. But the interior has a lot of options.
The defensive line needs more pass rush.
This defense needs K.J. back.
I’d say it needs Earl too, but I’ll shut up.
David Moore’s season kind of ended on a damper, but the sky is still the limit.
A full season of healthy Baldwin, WR1 material in Lockett, improving Moore, and Dissly could be pretty got dang cool.
Go get a big fish on the DL.
A flawed team, one that was good at times, played another imperfect team in the first round of the playoffs. The home team won, with a blend of skill, sequencing, some good fortune and superior execution at the most critical times. (Conclusion? Football should not be watched, or played. Both are hazardous.)
Brian Schottenheimer, an extremely nondescript OC, neither very good nor very bad, called a game that would have worked against a team that executed worse. But the Cowboys didn’t execute worse. They tackled Chris Carson with surety and they put pressure on Russell Wilson with consistency. They proved stout against the run and disruptive against the pass. The Dallas defense was better than the offense Seattle presented.
You want to blame some fuckers? Let’s do that. The Seahawks offense lost this game in the fourth quarter, when their first two drives went absolutely nowhere. The defense lost it again on the final drive, when they were just sloppy enough and porous enough to permit three inexcusable third-down conversions. It was the worst time for them to both bend and break. The coaches lost this game with an inability to trust their best player with the ball. Everyone lost. Happy?
While it feels like a waste to see Doug Baldwin’s epic 4th and 6 catch go for naught, and K.J. Wright’s you-had-to-see-it personal tip drill amount to nothing, the Seahawks were always building for 2019.
Well, it’s 2019. Keep building. And if you can help it, fellas, try to not screw up three different ways in the second half of the next playoff game.
That sucked. I won’t lie.
The season as a whole, though, was fun as shit.
Next season will be more fun as shit. I can’t wait.
Now let’s watch the Rams get their shit rocked.