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.

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