by @SteezyASmith, FTFN Seahawks writer
Was it just me, or did anyone else catch the Seahawks offensive line disguising up as Chiefs o-linemen in the Super Bowl?
Okay, maybe that was a little cruel. Russell Wilson’s much-maligned unit of bodyguards actually finished ninth in the NFL last season in terms of pass block rate (according to ESPN), yet because Wilson took a league-high 51 sacks last season (including the playoffs), the line is still as scrutinized as ever.
Also, tell me if I’m tripping, but going back to Super Bowl LV, did anyone see Russ looking depressed sitting next to one of the most beautiful women in the world in Ciara? Just my opinion, those two sentiments don’t even belong in the same sentence.
One could only imagine the parallels he was drawing between the flaws that the Chiefs displayed compared to the flaws that Russ’ Seahawks displayed throughout the second half of last season and arguably the better part of his career.
56 drop-backs. 29 pressures. 3 sacks. Pressured on 52 percent of one’s drop-backs. The highest number of pressures recorded in Super Bowl history by the opposing defense. About 500 yards worth of scrambling and dancing in the pocket.
Feel bad for Patrick Mahomes? If so, then I’m curious to hear how you feel about Russ and the beating that he takes on an annual basis. Dating back to his rookie season in 2012, he’s absorbed 394 sacks (regular season), an average of 43.8, so about 44 sacks taken each season. In fact, the only season in which he didn’t get sacked 40 times or more was his rookie year, where he only got sacked 33 times.
I get it, Mahomes was missing not just any two starting tackles, he was missing some of the BEST tackles in all of football. Left tackle Eric Fisher is a two-time Pro-Bowler, while right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is a three-time All-Pro. Yet healthy or not, the fact of the matter is that Russ takes a beating no matter who is out there blocking for him.
Despite the circumstances, Mahomes still made some of the most spectacular would-be plays I’ve ever seen in my life, some of which can also be attributed to Mr. Limitless himself.
Now, what should the Seahawks take away from all of this? If Superman (Mahomes) can look human and vulnerable with sub-par o-line play, then can how they POSSIBLY expect Russ to do the same when with all due respect, he’s just not on Mahomes’ level at this point?
While it’s been obvious for the last five years or so, the ‘Hawks didn’t need Russ to go out and publicly complain about all of the hits he’s been exposed to, all they needed was to have witnessed Super Bowl LV to realize that given the situation, even Superman can look ordinary.
And on days where Superman looks/plays ordinary, the importance of the Justice League goes up that much higher.
Looking at my second takeaway, one of the MANY reasons why Seattle’s offense took a NOSE-DIVE the second half of last season was the lack of a consistent third option in the pass game.
When defenses took away both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, Russ struggled immensely with his other reads. While David Moore was solid and certainly impressed with a career-year last season, he shouldn’t be a Super Bowl winning team’s third-best WR. The lack of production from the TE spot was very concerning as well, as Will Dissly led our tight ends with 251 receiving yards. Though recently retired Greg Olsen missed a chunk of the season to injury, he clearly had lost a step while Dissly didn’t look the same coming off a ruptured Achilles. Jacob Hollister was great in spurts, but he likely priced himself out of Seattle with his knack for making clutch plays and great run-blocking, which doesn’t always show up in the stat sheet.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in a pass-happy league, you need more than just two reliable receivers/pass-catchers to win a championship.
Not only was the ‘Baby GOAT’ under siege all night long, but when Tampa Bay took away Kelce and Hill to begin the game, he didn’t have a reliable third option to step in, get open, and make plays.
Sammy Watkins, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 draft, was supposed to be that guy, yet his entire career in Kansas City he’s underachieved and looks like a shell of his college self.
In addition to less-than-stellar o-line play, Russ actually dealt with the lack of a consistent third option in the passing attack all season long, as opposed to Mahomes, who dealt with the issue only in spurts, one of which came in the worst possible moment.
So, dear Mr. John Schneider and Coach Carroll, with all of that being said, focus on building up depth and getting more above average offensive lineman this offseason and load up on pass-catchers, you can never have enough bodies catching the rock.
Now that we’ve seen how Superman looks and plays with an empty cupboard in addition to his kryptonite being magnified to the max, the front office and coaching staff must do everything in their power to prevent a situation like the one the Chiefs encountered from occurring season after season after season.
For more insight and analysis on this subject, be sure to check out my latest drop on YouTube (video embedded above)
Let me know in the comment section below, am I tripping? Don’t forget to get at me on Instagram @SteezyASmith, on YouTube @SteezyASmith, on Facebook at the same handle, and be sure to show some love to my fellow Seahawk content creators as well at @NorbCam & @DjSquabo. Go Hawks and I look forward to connecting with you guys all again!
#SteezyOUT, @SteezyASmith, FTFN Seahawks writer