Seattle Seahawks can’t produce an “O”, without a decent O-Line
Picture this. Ball is on the 45 yard line. It’s fourth and six, with a minute and a half left in the fourth. The quarterback is sweating – almost shaking – with anticipation. The wide receivers are staring at the end zone; their climactic end in sight, thanks to down after down. Fans are on the edge of their seats. Even standing. Waiting for the pleasure only six points can produce. After a protective line has formed – and necessary precautions have been made – the quarterback yells, “hike”, and drops back.
Protection crumbles. Panic. Scramble. The quarterback is sacked, ten seconds into play time. The crowd, inevitably, slumps back in their seats. Painfully ridden with disappointment.
Sound familiar ladies? Yeah. I thought so. Such a moment parallels an all-too-familiar bedroom scenario, and seems to plague the Seattle Seahawks just as frequently.
Throw any talent-stricken, amazingly athletic quarterback – from Tom Brady to Joe Montana – in any game against any opponent, and one thing is for certain: a worthwhile, successful, and passionate offense cannot develop if a strong, impenetrable, and consistent offensive line, does not exist.
So Seattle fans: prepare yourself. A season of disappointing, ten to fifteen second offensive plays, are sure to befall you. A sad fact made even more undeniable, thanks to the five sacks Tarvaris Jackson suffered at the hands of Von Miller, Elvis Dumervill, and the rest of the Denver Broncos defensive line during the Seattle Seahawks’ third pre-season game.
The problem? Well. Like most lovers incapable of bringing home an “O”, there isn’t one issue, but multiple unfortunate situations, that leave the Seattle offensive less-than-capable.
Injury being the most predominant.
The left side of the offensive line is, apparently, not the strong side. Russel Okung suffered a sprained ankle during the opening pre-season game; missing all subsequent matchups. Let’s hope ice, rest, and an overabundance of ibuprofen can make him performance ready. Just pop a pill Okung; it works for a good majority of your male brethren.
Soon to follow? The remaining veteran, Robert Gallery; who tapped out thanks to a sprained knee against the Oakland Raiders, his former team, during the final pre-season game on Friday. His ability to perform during the Seattle Seahawks’ season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, is questionable. At best.
Which means all faith is left in the abilities of unseasoned rookies, such as right guard John Moffitt and right tackle James Carpenter. Both proved about as premature as a sixteen year old with acne against Denver’s Miller, who laid down two of the five sacks on Jackson.
A little secret boys: experience does, in fact, matter. Ron Jeremy didn’t receive his reputation during his first year in front of the camera. Neither did lineman by the likes of Anthony Munoz, Bruce Matthews, or Alan Faneca. All are seasoned. All are hardworking.
And all are able to stay upright for longer than ten seconds.
Seahawks’ wide receiver, Syndey Rice, is another question mark when looking towards this year’s season opener. While proudly flaunting a price tag of $41 million, a shoulder injury has left him as nothing more than an idle spectator thus far. The remaining wide receivers, have seen little to no action. Creating time in which Jackson can successfully launch a down-field pass revolves around the offensive line’s ability to hold strong.
This writer doesn’t suggest holding your breath.
Another problem plaguing Seattle’s offense? The inability for significant cogs to contribute. When partaking in a horizontal mambo, both consenting parties must emulate passion and ability if success is to be reached. The same goes for our boys in green and blue. Truth be told: scoring is a team effort. Always.
While Marshawn Lynch produced an earthquake inducing, awe inspiring run against the New Orleans Saints during last year’s playoffs, he also only produced an average 3.9 yards per carry during his regular season. Like any leg-quivering performance, repetition is expected. With no pre-season play, and therefore no statistics, to go off of: one can only hope his previous moment of glory has become his norm.
The unknown prowess of Lynch has left all eyes on the talents of Justin Forsett and Leon Washington– both blessed with good hands and a quickness desired, rather than frowned upon. However, neither gentleman will find the hole unless protection can remain a constant.
Stamina, gentlemen, is everything. Especially when you are trying to score.
While Seattle’s offensive line, and dependent starting crew, may counter the previously articulated argument with their ability to – finally – culminate a touchdown by way of a one-yard reception to tight end Dominique Byrd in the final moments of the fourth quarter against Denver; said scoring drive was against a second string Denver defense. Second. String. When asked as to his team’s performance against the Broncos, Jackson replied, “We got some points on the board, so that was a good thing to show the guys we can do it”.
That’s about as cool as boasting to your buddies about your hot hook up with Betty: your bodacious blow-up doll. Hardly the real deal Jackson.
Like most bedroom rendezvous this writer has experienced in the past year, the key is to go in with little to no expectations. An art the 12th Man has, unfortunately, mastered since the heartbreaking loss that was the Seattle Seahawks’ last Super Bowl appearance – also known as the “Disappointment of 2005”. Blame the refs, like most men blame an unforeseeable coincidence, truth of the matter is: the Seattle Seahawks failed to deliver an unrelenting “O”.
And unless the offensive line learns to hold its own – the typical Seattle Seahawks’ fan won’t be consistently pleased, any time soon.
Danielle Campoamor an NFL writer for The Penalty Flag.