The Seattle Slew

Seattle Sports. Through thick and thin

Stop Being Cute. Feed the Beast.

I’m glad I have a relatively healthy heart. Because if I was older and not in great shape, this team would be really bad for my blood pressure. Not that I was TOO worried about losing this game…I knew we’d make a game of it. Even if we lost, it’s not like the season was over. My wife gets a happy husband for yet another week.

The Seahawks haven’t lost at home since Obama’s first term. Russell Wilson is 12-0 at Century Link Field. That’s why this time the slow start was a little more shocking than last Monday night.

Well the good news is: The Seahawks get another win. Also good news: The Seahawks outscored the Bucs 27-3 over the last 2 1/2 quarters of the game. Great teams have the ability to “turn it on” and that’s exactly what happened. They came out expecting the Bucs to roll over in their pirate ship…when they didn’t, the Hawks got smacked in the mouth.

Which brings me to the main point of my article: In the red zone, feed the damn beast.

Look-I’m not a Darrell Bevell hater….yet. I think Bevell has done a lot of great things since he’s been here, and has impressed me a lot. What impressed me in particular about him, is the way he switched up his formations and looks last year with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. He would change the formations to Shotgun, to Pistol, to single back, to throw off defenses as to what the Seahawks were trying to run. Let’s also not forget that he implemented the read option quite successfully last year, and the Hawks are one of the only NFL teams really running with any success this year.

Let’s also not forget that the Seahawks are in the top 10 statistically in offense, and are 8-1 on the year.

Darrell Bevell haters-I highly doubt he is getting fired….however you may get your wish to see him gone, as I could just as easily see him coaching another team next year, depending on the Seahawks success.

But this is where my praise and adoration for another grown man comes to an end. Darrell-I have one message for you:

Stop being cute in the red zone.

The red zone, in case you didn’t know, is technically the term used when the offense has the ball inside the opponents 20 yard line. There’s no statistical advantage to being in the red zone, it’s just an arbitrary distance that someone came up with. Regardless, the Hawks have struggled when they’ve been close to scoring a touchdown this year…and any cynical Seahawk fan will probably be quick to tell you why. The Seahawks are just being too cute.

I am not a fan of “cute” offenses. The UW Huskies have a “cute” offense. So do the Ducks (though the Ducks are obviously much more successful at it). That cuteness carried over from Chip Kelly to the Eagles a little bit. If you’re still trying to figure out what I mean by “cute”, it’s when you see a lot of motion pre-snap, some fake handoffs, trick plays, fade routes…basically plays that makes the average football fan facepalm when they don’t work. 

Here’s the thing…when you have a guy like Marshawn Lynch, who is every bit as beastly as his nickname suggests, you need to play smash mouth football. What is smash mouth football? Exactly what it sounds like. You take the rock, and ram it down the defenses’ throat, and keep doing it until they stop you. You may think I’m oversimplifying it, but that’s exactly what the Seahawks need to do. Make it simple. Hand the ball off again and again until they are begging for mercy.

For some inexplicable reason, the Seahawks have been getting away from it in the red zone. It’s like they’re trying to cross off all the ways on their list for how to score a touchdown . Perhaps Lynch is hurt. Perhaps defenses are giving some looks that are making the Hawks second guess themselves. Maybe Bevell is second place in his fantasy league and is chasing the guy who has Marshawn Lynch? Who knows.

Russell’s little peer-O-wet (I know that’s not how its spelled…I actually saw a guy spell it that way once and have been using that ever since) in the 4th quarter was a perfect example of the play calling getting a little too cute. That’s one of those “if it works it looks good, when it doesn’t, it looks terrible” plays.

I’m not going to get on Bevell too much on that play for that reason. You have to be unpredictable to be a good offensive coordinator, and that was definitely not predicted. But dude seriously, give the beast his Skittles.

Defenses must love it when we don’t give the ball the Marshawn. Every time we fake the handoff to him, they must think “Thank God…I don’t have to tackle that massive mound of man with steel forearms and tree trunks for legs”. See, Darrell, don’t do teams any favors. They don’t want to tackle him, so your job should be to shovel them as much Beast meat as they can handle.

Darrell, it’s this simple: When we get close, stop trying to win style points. Give the ball to Marshawn, a lot, and get the hell out of the way.

Categories: NFL and Seahawks

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