Season over, Hawks drop wild card to Cowboys 22-24

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The Seattle Seahawks came into the 2018 season with a retooled team that only the most blindly loyal fan could possibly deem possible of making 8-8. Well, Pete Carrol proved the doubters wrong and won 10 games earning a spot in the playoffs. The Hawks punctuated their season with a loss unfortunately in Dallas to the Cowboys, but in a 22-24 loss we see what kind of team we will have in 2019.

Saturday night, the Hawks had an ultra-conservative game plan on offense which will remain their mantra for next year. Unfortunately, the Hawks were so conservative that they were predictable. The Cowboys limited the Hawks to 73 yards far below their 160 yards per game average in 2019.

Chris Carson had a rough go of it as he only got 20 yards running between the tackles. The Seahawks may have found it advantageous to get Rashaad Penny involved earlier in the 1st half as he took 4 carries for 29 yards. Penny found success on the outside edge, a run type that makes use of his blazing speed. Mike Davis is one of my favorite players and I begin wondering are there enough carries for everyone? We have some very good running backs, but I do wonder as well, if OC Brian Schottenheimer used them correctly in the playoff game. He will have all of the offseason to think about it.

Russell Wilson, almost looked as if he were used only to throw long bombs rather than hit intermediate strikes. The few times he hit tight end Ed Dickson, the Hawks did quite well. Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin were their amazing selves with acrobatic catches, hopefully, the 2019 iteration of the Hawks will find receivers (or use the tight ends more) for the quick hitting slant passes that can beat a blitz.

Special teams continued to look bad this week. While Michael Dickson was at his usual All-Pro level, the coverage teams allowed way too many return yards, including a crushing 50 yarder by punt returner Chris Jones. Sebastian Janikowski pulled a hamstring in the game, and effectively, the Hawks were out of a kickoff / FG threat for the second half. Look for the Hawks to draft a kicker in the offseason.

Defensively, the Seahawks allowed 164 rush yards. On 1st downs, they could not stop Ezekiel Elliot when It mattered. The Dallas front line just looked bigger and stronger than the Hawks. A couple of QB keepers by Dak Prescott also hurt the Hawks when it mattered as the defense looked confused and surprised by his speed. This offseason will see the Hawks try and address adding beef to the defensive line and depth at linebacker.

The Hawks looked pretty good in the passing game. Dak Prescott only connected on one impressive pass to Amari Cooper. Tre Flowers, Justin Coleman, and Shaquille Griffin bullied receivers all day. And KJ Wright may be the best pass defense LB we have seen in a long time. The Hawks would do well to keep KJ even if it might be hard to re-sign him in the offseason.

“I want to end my career as a Seahawk, but it’s a business,” Wright said after the game. “… This is my first time, I never went through it before. We’ve just got to see when that time comes.”

Unfortunately, they got hit with a couple of pass interference calls late, you we have come to expect that from the Hawks. Frank Clark and Jarran Reed dominated yet again. While Bobby Wagner is the brain of this defense, Clark is the heart. Expect the Seahawks to make a lucrative offer to Clark who is to become a free agent.

“I think I am (going to stay in Seattle),” Clark said. “… I feel like they’re going to take care of it. I don’t really think about it. I haven’t thought about it all season, honestly. I mean, of course it’s something that’s on the table but at the end of the day, I dedicated myself.”

All in all, the score kind of reflected what reality is. The Seahawks look as good as the Cowboys and that is great to hear especially after many expected them to be awful. The offensive strategy by Brian Schottenheimer was undone by Cowboys defensive coordinator Kris Richard (former Hawks DC)—that will need to be reviewed in the offseason. But with another year together and some key acquisitions in the offseason and this NFL will have to be terrified of the return of the Blue and Green to prominence.

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