Sunday, November 2, 2008

Post-Game Observations

by: Mike Parker

Hey all, since Steffes is on a plane and Sullivan is off in honeymoon-ville for the foreseeable future, I thought I'd follow up with what I saw today while at Qwest. Sadly, the majority of what I saw wasn't especially pleasant for Seahawk fans, but it was kind of like that particularly uncomfortable fight scene from "Borat"--there are some things you just can't un-see.

First of all, the walk of shame back to Capitol Hill from the field was especially painful today because it was the third time I've trudged back home after an ugly loss. I wasn't at the Rams game, so every game I've attended this year has ended with a big ol' "L" stamped on our foreheads. Maybe I should stop going to games? Maybe it's my fault we're losing at home?! Who knows? At this point in the season, no theory would seem too insane. Seriously.

Anyway, here are my thoughts and observations on the game:

-Koren's catch-and-run for 91 yards was a great play that exposed a big hole in the Eagles' secondary and got some momentum going very early on. The problem turned out to be keeping that momentum going, as that was the only score the Seahawks would get all day.

-Deon Grant caught a great end-zone pick of Donovan McNabb on the following drive that saved a touchdown, but it was only prolonging the oncoming agony that soon followed. Still, seeing interceptions in two straight games is definitely an improvement with this defense.

-Speaking of the seconday (a.k.a. #1 on Gonzo's "Things That Make Me Suicidal" List), they gave up more huge plays today and continued to let the opposing team have whatever they wanted, when they needed it. Countless times on 3rd down situations, McNabb would throw to a wide-open receiver 20 yards downfield that would eventually end up with someone in a white jersey celebrating in the end zone. Someone sitting behind me said it best: "It's like the defense is just trained to tackle the guy after he catches it."

-And to keep the segue train going, the Seahawks were a dismal 4-for-15 on 3rd down efficiency today. That's simply inexcusable no matter who's under center or who's calling plays. The Eagles were a misleading 6-for-16 on the same statistic, as their conversions often involved 20-yard-plus plays. The difference here is a huge reason why the Seahawks lost big today.

-The run defense was able to contain Brian Westbrook, holding him to 61 yards rushing and just 3.8 yards per carry. Steffes predicted earlier in the week that the Hawks would be able to stop Westbrook on the ground, and that proved to be true. Keeping him out of the end zone is normally key to beating the Eagles, but when you allow Donovan McNabb to throw for 349 and a pair of TDs, something's not right.

-Justin Forsett and Josh Wilson showed a decent spark on special teams, as Bruce DeHaven now has the two of them on kickoff return duties. Seeing them lined up at the same time was interesting, and I'm glad Bruce DeHaven is mixing things up a little. The two of them made some respectable returns on both punts and kicks, but Philadelphia's special teams unit is better than I thought it was.

-Lofa and Kerney's absences in the defense crippled the unit. McNabb remained untouched for most of the game, even when either a defensive end or tackle was actually bringing in the pressure. Allowing him so much time in the pocket also allowed him to complete 28 total passes today, which is a number this same unit would rarely allow last year.

Overall, this was another disappointing defeat and frustrating display from a team that I still truly believe is better than this. What were once a few minor flaws are now gaping holes (literally and figuratively), and the days when a 26-7 blowout at Qwest Field didn't occur are officially gone. At least, gone for now. -END-