Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunday's Matchup Even on Paper

When looking at both the Skins and Hawks a number of similarities stand out:

1) Inconsistency. Both teams look like world-beaters one game and then lay a big fat egg the next. Which teams will show up Sunday?
2) Bad offenses. The law firm of Grossman and Jackson is not impressing anyone. Managing the game and not making mistakes is what both teams hope to see.
3) Good defenses. While not elite, both teams are improving from some pretty bad years.

Las Vegas has the Hawks favored by 3.5. Given that home field is a field goal advantage, this came could be close. Hopefully the 12th man will have something to say about it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kam Chancellor's Fund for the Needy

After a $40,000 fine this week and a $20,000 fine last week, Mr. Chancellor has given back 15% of his annual salary to the NFL (which they give to charity).

This ride may have to wait until next Crhistmas.
Kam only (only?) makes $405,000 this year, so my guess is that he is feeling the pain in his wallet this week. So much for using your head. Ouch.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Draft Watch

The Hawks are sitting in the #12 position right now with their 4-6 record. With three home games against losing teams they could be moving down in position with a couple of wins in the next few weeks.

Their draft need by position is QB, DE, LB, DT, OL. That could change with free agency and re-signing David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill whose contracts expire at year's end.

The QBs to watch:
  1. Andrew Luck, Stanford -- He won't be around and would require too much to trade up.
  2. Matt Barkley, USC -- His second had has really helped his draft status.
  3. Robert Griffin, Baylor -- He is rocketing up near the top of mock drafts.
  4. Landry Jones, Oklahoma -- Big guy with a big arm.
  5. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M -- Played more games at WR than QB in college.
  6. Nick Foles, Arizona -- Husky Fans know all about him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bottom 10 Offense?

It looks like the Hawks are headed for a finish in the lower third of the league offensively this year. Not a huge surprise. Here are some of the reasons for their statistical struggles:

  1. Offensive line play. Obviously we knew the group was young, at the point they seemed to be turning a corner, 40% of the line is injured for the rest of the year. In fact the injuries to our promising rookies may set the line back a fair amount next year. It is the youngest line in the league.
  2. Stupid penalties. False starts and holding have really hurt a number of drives and also all the negative yardage doesn't exactly help the statistics.
  3. Sub-Par Quarterback play. Jackson's rating (73.1) is #28th in the league. Whitehurst's rating (62.9) is somewhere below Blaine Gabbert who is last at #33 in the league. The median rating is Ryan Fitzpatrick at 82.4. I hoped that TJack would be in the low 80s this year. I realize he is playing through injury, so maybe he gets a pass (bad pun). For those who miss Mr. Hasselbeck, he is ranked #10 with a 86.1 rating.
  4. Unimaginative play calling. I hope because of the youth of the line, and the lack of an off season Darrel Bevel decided to play it safe with his play calls this year. I have not seen much creativity thus far. 
The Hawks are 28th in team offense (24th Passing and 27th rushing), I don't see much of a change coming over the next six games. Here is where the offense has been ranked over the last 5 years:
  • 2006  --  19
  • 2007  --  9
  • 2008  --  28
  • 2009  --  21
  • 2010  --  28
The hope for the offense in coming years is youth. They need to get better together and this year is about getting game experience for the future. The line (except for Bob Gallery) is between 22 and 25. Rice, Miller and Lynch are all 25, while Baldwin is 23.

To improve, the offense needs continuity in its coordinator. The Hawks had to learn a new offense in each of the least 3 seasons which is a recipe for offensive mediocrity.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 10 Defense?

The Seahawks defense has been slowly climbing up the rankings this year, After a stellar performance in St. Louis it is now ranked 11 in total yards (8 in rushing yards against and 15 in passing yards).

Not bad for a bunch for a team playing with a secondary that consists of 3 guys who had never really played before, and one with only a year of starting under his belt. It looks like the secondary could be a point of strength for years to come. They are young, tall and aggressive. This is a far cry from Trufant who kept everything in front of him but always gave up yardage. Kelly Jennings would be around the ball but utterly oblivious that it had just been caught by someone else. Jordan Babineaux and Lawyer Milloy are easy to forget when you have a force in the middle like Kam (Bam Bam) Chancellor.

The linebackers have a nice balance of youth and experience. Leroy Hill is playing with renewed energy. I hope the team re-signs him as he is a stabilizing force. The Heater makes a ton of plays while KJ is really learning the position from game to game. He is instinctual and does not make boneheaded mistakes like his predecessor.

The front four are dominant in run coverage. If they are not making the tackle themselves, they are blowing up the play enough to allow the linebackers to clean up. This is a drastic improvement over the last few years. A consistent pass rush is needed from someone other than Clemons. I am not sure what happened to Raheem Brock this year, but he has been a non-factor. Maybe his age (33) caught up to him.

Of the remaining six games only one team (Philadelphia) has a top 15 offense which leads me to believe that the Hawks can end the season in the top 10 in defense. That would make huge progress for Pete and JS in a very short time. Here is where they finished in the last 5 years:

  • 2006 -- #19     (9-7)
  • 2007 -- #15     (10-6)
  • 2008 -- #30     (4-12)
  • 2009 -- #24     (5-11)
  • 2010 -- #27     (7-9)
  • 2011 -- #??