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Vision Board: Seahawks-Chiefs
Jordyn Brooks and the Three Amigos: Seaside Joe 1390
I want to start today’s Vision Board off by thanking everyone who reads Seaside Joe. If you want to skip the thanks and get to the Hawks, be my guest! I won’t take any offense, as sometimes I know the self-coverage could be uninteresting and it’s okay to only be here for the Seattle Seahawks.
We are getting towards the end of the year and 2022 has been a massive turning point for me and Seaside Joe in many ways; this newsletter was nearly stopped multiple times (I’ve considered stopping at 100 straight days, at the one-year anniversary, after 1,000 days in a row, and even after the first week as I had no intention to start a streak when this all began) and for a long time I was hesitant to move to Substack because one reader told me straight up that he would stop reading if I did and I assumed that meant the whole lot of you would leave once I changed locations.
Instead, this newsletter didn’t even start to breathe until this past March when we moved to Substack and now I see no end for Seaside Joe in sight. I don’t even feel like I knew how to write a Seahawks newsletter until I had written over 1,000 of them. We’ve blown past Malcolm Gladwell’s iconic mark of 10,000 hours and I’m curious to see what could happen when we double, triple, or quadruple that mark. So…
Thank you to the original Seasiders who have stuck around since day one. I know a few of you are still out there and you’ve motivated me to keep going this entire time, as I know that I have not always given you an article worth your time every single day. It takes no effort to like something you like, but it takes a lot of bravery to stay subscribed through the many duds that I know I’ve put out there, especially in the first few years.
Thank you to anyone who has ever subscribed, whether it was day one or day 1,389. The only time is the present moment and all that matters is you and I are both here now, talking about the Seattle Seahawks. All I need is one subscriber to motivate me to have something to say, and that reader is YOU.
Thank you to the Regular Joes who have upgraded to premium. Obviously I would do this newsletter for free, because I paid a monthly fee to do it for the first three years and I’m still putting out a free Joe every day, but the thought that this place could generate income and help me dream of doing life stuff in the future is a bonus I didn’t even consider until 2022.
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Thank you to the commenters, you’re not only giving me someone to talk to about the Seahawks, you’re not only meeting each other and other Seahawks fans, you’re extending the breadth of Seahawks coverage at Seaside Joe and expanding my football knowledge every single day! The same goes to those of you trying out Substack chats during the games.
Thank you to my family and friends who have subscribed, not all of you are even Seahawks fans. That’s love.
If you aren’t reading Field Gulls, you should. Many of the most talented Seahawks writers today are at Field Gulls!
Thank you to the people who share! One thing that has surprised is me that the Share count per article has never changed, even as the subscriber count has grown 10x as large. That’s understandable! And I would be a hypocrite to say more people should share Seaside Joe on social media, as I don’t do that for others. Many of you have probably forwarded Joe to a friend or told someone about us in person and that is the real sharing we’re looking for anyway; Thank YOU!
Thank you to Seaside Jay for making me this awesome Seaside Joe shirt for my birthday! She’s the best person I’ve ever met and a hero for putting up with me during football season every year. Also for putting up with me during every football offseason. That’s all the seasons.
Thank you Pete and John for trading Russell Wilson. No, this is not a dig at Russ. But holy moly has that story been a boost for us Seahawks content creators, otherwise 2022 could have been so much harder for fans to follow if Seattle had simply stayed the course.
Thank you to anyone who reads this who isn’t a fan and who doesn’t like Seaside Joe. In my view, we’re still all in the same boat and I don’t need people to agree with me in order for me to appreciate them or even to like them. Disagreement is the foundation of development and negative replies can motivate me to improve this newsletter at least as much as the positive ones do. Not that you should stop showering me with compliments either.
Thank you Grayson McCall.
Hopefully that wasn’t too boring. I always told myself that if I won an Oscar, I’d make a really short speech as to not waste anyone’s time. What a lie!
Last week’s Vision Board against the San Francisco 49ers was about as brutally wrong as you imagine.
Hold Christian McCaffrey under 50 yards (Vision: BAD) He had 138 yards and a touchdown
Zero turnovers (Vision: WRONG) Travis Homer lost a fumble, potentially flipping the score from Seattle leading or only trailing 7-6 at halftime to the Seahawks being behind 14-3 at halftime
Tyler Lockett shines in primetime (Vision: Gave me the finger) Lockett had seven catches for 68 yards and then had surgery on his finger this week, ruling him out for Week 16
Can I turn things around for Saturday’s showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs?
The Three Amigos—Pete Carroll, Shane Waldron, Clint Hurtt—finally impress with perfect gameplan
Most fans did not have high expectations before the season and if anything, Seattle has already exceeded the win total that most of us have predicted. But the season has not gone as planned for Pete Carroll and his coaching staff, even in spite of Geno Smith’s remarkably efficient campaign.
If we were to create a checklist of things we’d love to finally see or not see from Carroll on Saturday, I’ll start with “Stop wasting your challenges and timeouts.”
Add that to the vision board: No bad challenges!
In the case of Waldron, I know that some people have expressed a belief that he’s “not head coach material.” That may or may not be the case, but when has not being head coach material ever stopped teams from hiring someone to be their next head coach? I’d still be shocked if Waldron doesn’t get multiple interviews this cycle, not only for the fact that Geno is much better than expected, plus the improvement from the offensive line for an offense that is top-10 in both NY/A, YPC, and PPG, but also because of his connections.
Sean McVay, Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick.
Someone being hired as a head coach in this league does not require that all 32 teams agree that he’s earmarked for a promotion. It only requires one team—more specifically in most cases, one person—to believe it.
As someone who has closely covered the Rams for the last three years, I can attest to the fact that few fans saw Kevin O’Connell as a future head coach and didn’t even really understand what he did in L.A. as the offensive coordinator. By luck or by design, the Vikings are 11-3.
I won’t be surprised if the number of head coach openings is closer to 10 than it is to five and Waldron has an opportunity this weekend to improve his resume as interview season approaches; the Chiefs defense is 20th in points allowed and 24th in points per drive allowed, also giving up the most passing touchdowns in the NFL. The Chiefs are also 31st in red zone defense.
Geno Smith could throw a plethora of touchdowns this Saturday.
In Hurtt’s case, his case is hurt by the fact that Seattle’s defense has gone in the opposite direction of expectations as the Seahawks offense. Why so bad? Is it his fault or is he just following orders? Does the personnel match the scheme and could the personnel match any scheme up to the expectations of being a top-five or top-10 defense?
Far be it from any of us to criticize Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs are first in third down conversion rate, sixth in red zone conversion rate, first in points, first in points per drive, first in yards, and first in passing. They were also just held to 24 points in regulation by the Houston Texans.
Why has K.C. almost lost games this season to the Raiders, Titans, Broncos, and Texans, while dropping a Week 3 contest to the Colts? Being 27th in turnovers helps any defense and the Chiefs have turned the ball over 12 times in their last six games. Mahomes has still had excellent fumble luck, coughing the ball up five times this year but Kansas City has recovered every time.
Perhaps the Chiefs won’t be so lucky this weekend, buttercup.
The coaches, including Pete, and under heavy fire right now. Time to fire back with a perfect gameplan because that’s what Seattle will need to avoid being caught with their pants down.
Time for the Seahawks run defense switcheroo!
Innerspace? Outerspace? All I know is that there’s a tonofspace whenever teams try to run on the Seahawks defense. I keep trying this vision and it keeps flying back in my face, but I can’t stop putting it out into the universe that something has to give.
Or stop giving, that is.
The Chiefs tied their season-high with 189 rushing yards in last week’s overtime win over the Texans. They’ve also run for 155, 163, 117, 138, and 89 rushing yards in their five games previous to that. Mahomes is the star, as he should be, but the Chiefs have added a ground attack behind rookie running back Isiah Pacheco: 95 carries for 480 yards, 5.05 YPC in his last six games, which would put him on a full season pace of 1,360 rushing yards.
For the Chiefs! It’s like 2008 all over again. But with the best QB in the league.
We thought the Seahawks defense would show up looking like their usual selves again this year, or at least something resembling the pre-”fire Ken Norton!” days, but instead Seattle’s run defense is unrecognizable. Time to snap out of it, even against a tough opponent on a hot streak like Pacheco’s Chiefs.
Another name to watch is not former first round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but former 49ers free agent disappointment Jerick McKinnon. He has 15 catches for 182 yards and three touchdowns out of the backfield in the last tow games. His last three games have produced 316 total yards and five touchdowns!
We thought that Mahomes was the concern. In fact, the Chiefs are bringing much more ammo out of their backfield this week and it’s high time for the Seahawks to shake themselves back to 2013.
Portrait of a Linebacker on Fire: Jordyn Brooks makes play of the day
Let’s stick with the defense and highlight Jordyn Brooks for (I think) the first time all year. Time to get into RHYTHM and CATCH FIRE!
This scene from Portrait of a Lady on Fire is one of my favorites (or at least, what I remembered of that movie) and the round robin style reminds me of what Seattle’s defense needs more than anything else: Communication, chemistry, and understanding where you’re supposed to come in and when to get out of the way.
Bobby Wagner is the best player on the Rams this season. Jordyn Brooks has not been the best player on the Seahawks. Seattle needs that defensive voice in the middle controlling the pace and flow of the game and without Jamal Adams in addition to the loss of Wagner, the Seahawks are sorely missing the tone setters of yesteryear.
Note: I criticized Top Gun: Maverick without seeing it earlier in the offseason and some of you wanted me to check in after I watched it. If you’re still curious, I’ll give my review in the comments if anyone is interested enough to ask
As I’ve said in the past, Brooks needs to be better and he needs to make those splash plays in order to inspire the confidence of a raise from ~$4 million to ~$11 million on his fifth-year option. Or to get a contract extension.
If you’re amassing 15 tackles because you’re flying all over the field, stuffing the run, shutting down the screen, dominating your portion of the field (which should be quite spacious if you play Brooks’ role), and generally frustrating the shit out of offensive coordinators, then great. You don’t necessarily need all the splash plays.
Nobody is frustrated when facing the Seahawks defense. This is not to blame Brooks, this is not to compare him to the greatest inside linebacker in franchise history, but it is to say that if Seattle’s run defense sucks this much then who cares if a player leads the league in tackles? The high tackles total could even by a symptom of bad run defense, not good run defense.
Through 45 career games, Brooks has zero interceptions, one forced fumble, 14 tackles for a loss, six QB hits, and two sacks.
Wagner played 41 games in his first three seasons, amassing five interceptions, no forced fumbles, 23 tackles for a loss, 17 QB hits, and nine sacks.
He finished fifth in MVP voting in 2014, his third season in the league. Not DPOY voting. The MVP!
It’s not a comparison, but it is an example of something that’s been missing this year. So let’s envision a breakout performance by Brooks against the best quarterback in the league and then that could be what sparks the flame towards a much more competitive game than what people are expecting.