If pressed, most NFL fans and experts would agree that the Seattle Seahawks are among the top three teams in the NFL, and it would be almost unanimous that they’re among the top five teams in the league. That being said, there’s no denying that they haven’t been the most impressive offensive team this season, being carried mostly by their defense, and if they expect to reach the Super Bowl, their offense needs to improve considerably and become more reliable and consistent.
The one thing Seattle has done well on offense this season is run the ball. In fact, they’re averaging the second most rushing yards per game in the NFL, as starter Marshawn Lynch is the third leading rusher in the league while quarterback Russell Wilson is averaging close to 50 yards per game running the ball. Lynch is a workhorse back who’s capable of carrying a team on his back, and Wilson is one of the better running quarterbacks in the league, and that combination along with a top-notch defense will carry Seattle a long way in the regular season. But the NFL is a passing league, and for the Seahawks to go far in the playoffs, they have to be more proficient throwing the ball. In the postseason, they will run into quality defenses that can slow down their running game and quality offense that will be to score, even against their stout defense, and they’ll have to be able to throw the ball in order to win games and advance.
Wilson is not inept as a passer; he’s actually more of a passer than a runner, but his receivers have not been good enough for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. Twice in six games this season, Lynch has been the team’s leading receiver, which is a trend that can’t continue. The Seahawks can’t afford for their running back to be their workhorse and their leading receiver; it’s too much pressure on one player.
The trio of Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, and Sidney Rice has to be better. It may be asking too much for all three of them to elevate their game each game for the remainder of the season, but at least one of them needs to emerge as a reliable go-to receiver that can create big plays on a consistent basis, even if that player changes from game to game. The Seahawks simply can’t afford to be in the bottom third of the league in passing yards any longer, as in the last three weeks they lost to the Colts, a team with a great offense, and barely beat the more offensively challenged Texans and Titans.
The x-factor in Seattle’s passing game is Percy Harvin, who could return late in the season to give them a much-needed boost. If he’s anywhere close to 100% healthy, Harvin could make a major impact in Seattle’s offense and be the difference maker they need in the postseason. However, the Seahawks can’t afford to sit back and wait for Harvin to return, as it’s still unknown if he’ll be back and how effective he’ll be even if he does play this season. Instead, they need to be proactive in finding ways with the personnel they have to create a more threatening passing attack.
Right now, the Seahawks are fine the way they are. But as the season goes on and games become more important, opponents will begin to stack the box against them and force them to beat them through the air. Also, playoff caliber teams will be able to find a way to score points against their stout defense, and the Seahawks will have to be able to score points quickly and in bunches to keep up, and to do that they’ll need better play from their receivers. With the season nearly half over, it’s time for Seattle to get their offense moving in the right direction.