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Seahawks-Ravens: As I Sea It
The result and thoughts of Seahawks-Ravens in Week 9: Seaside Joe 1708
On Saturday, I watched a documentary about Milli Vanilli, the nineties pop duo that went platinum and won a Grammy with songs like “Girl You Know It’s True” by fooling the world into believing that they were something that they were not. Talented.
On Sunday, I watched the Seattle Seahawks.
Far be it from me to claim that the Seahawks are untalented—or Milli Vanilli for that matter, it wasn’t like producer Frank Farian chose them to be the face of other people’s voices for no reason… I mean, how many people can do this:
But people will say this week that Seattle got exposed in Baltimore, losing to the Ravens 37-3 and in reality probably playing much worse than the score indicates.
The Ravens outgained the Seahawks:
29-6 in first downs
515 to 151 in total yards
75 to 47 in total plays
6.9 to 3.2 in yards per play
298 to 28 in rushing yards
7.3 to 1.9 in yards per carry
26 to 13 in completions
4 to 1 in sacks
40:04 to 19:56 in time of possession
And the Seahawks were on the road, so you can’t blame it on the rain.
The Seahawks entered the contest with the defense actually playing an entire game’s worth of snaps more than the offense and now they’re up to almost two more games than the offense. This type of pace, as it was last season, is not sustainable and it will result in the Seahawks—as they did in 2022—being less effective and successful by December and January.
Seattle has not allowed 29 first downs since November 21, 2021 against the Cardinals and they haven’t had as few as 6 first downs since October 11, 1992 (the fewest for a Pete Carroll team came in 2013, when the Seahawks had 7 against the Rams), but the team managed both of those marks on Sunday.
People can say that the Ravens are great, which they are, and that the Seahawks were dominated on the line of scrimmage, which they were, but this loss is a team effort with few exceptions and the problems will continue to plague Seattle’s chances of being as good as some said they were. Baltimore is 7-2 but they haven’t mowed down every team they’ve faced and though everyone is focused on how this result just happened to the Detroit Lions in the same environment, how is that honestly supposed to make anyone feel better?
The Lions are 6-2 and they’ve played better than the Seahawks in virtually every comparable performance other when than they actually played the Seahawks.
I do feel better based on the fact that I always expected Seattle to lose this game—the Seahawks goal for this part of the season has always been and continues to be beating the Moons and Rams in the next two weeks—but any hope for “oh-well-ism” is offset by the crash back to reality that a huge gap still exists between the Seattle Seahawks and the top tier of the NFL; the Seahawks needed as many wins as possible before facing one of the 49ers, Eagles, and Cowboys in four consecutive weeks.
The Seahawks are worse than those teams and girl you know it’s true.
As the win-loss record goes, the only remaining goal for the Seahawks in 2023 is to reach the playoffs and hope to win two games. I say two games because I think that the top of the mountain for this team would be to reach the NFC Championship and I wouldn’t even care how they got there, if that meant getting lucky against a roster beset by injuries or a lucky backdoor with this season’s version of the Giants.
That’s still kind of possible.
Despite playing as poorly as they did against the Ravens—the quarterback, the offensive line, defensive line, poor tackling, turnovers, another week when the offense stalls for most of the game, the worst run defense maybe ever under Pete Carroll….
—the Seahawks could actually win their next two games and finish strong and go 10-7.
Remember, Milli Vanilli wasn’t famous because they appeared on SNL or something…They had the number one song in the world and won a Grammy!
Maybe the Seahawks are not frauds. But this was an outcome that felt long overdue and it’s well past time for Pete to change his tune about certain starters, coaches, and philosophies.
It’s been a little more difficult than usual today to get the post-game newsletter out in the immediate aftermath, as you can tell, so I’ll just add a few more thoughts on then turn to the Seaside Joe community forum because I know many of you have wanted to vent frustrations and voice opinions after this game.
And remember that no matter how the Seattle Seahawks play, don’t blame it on the Seaside Joe: Today is the 1,708th consecutive day that I’ve sent out a newsletter about your favorite team and that will continue, rain, shine, or losing by 34 points and getting embarrassed, exposed, and exfoliated. Therefore, if you want to help support the cause, it’s only $5 per month or $55 for an entire year of bonus content. Super Joes will have exclusive access to the Seaside Joe mailbag.
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The Geno Smith stuff
As I sea it, I’ve said enough about what I think of the Seahawks quarterback situation, what’s the point in repeating myself week after week? I do not think that Geno Smith played any differently against the Ravens as he had in the vast majority of his starts with Seattle.
That’s my opinion and I am confident that I don’t have to make a case today because I’ve been consistent with my thoughts on this situation for most of the last year. I think Geno has strengths, no question, but also weaknesses and I think the latter is doing too much heavy lifting to be overcome by the former. I listened to The Athletic Football Show Week 9 preview podcast on Friday and hosts Robert Mays, Nate Tice said that Geno “plays the quarterback position as well as anyone in the league”.
If that’s true, the NFL is in crisis.
Induspitable fact: Geno Smith is on pace for 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. This isn’t a pace after three games, we’re halfway into the season. How those kinds of results would be “best in the league”, I absolutely can’t wait to hear those arguments being made in January and February.
Geno said after the game that he needs to play better. At least, I think this is a press conference from Sunday. It feels like it’s been the same press conference answers every week.
And to put a pin on this, I’m not mad at Geno. I’m not mad at Pete Carroll. We can make rational observations without having emotional reactions like “being mad”, right? Every time Geno Smith does something to get his team in a pickle and a fan voices some concern about the starter, I’ve noticed that the most common reply is “You’re an idiot if you think that Drew Lock would be better”.
What does any of this have to do with Drew Lock? You’re allowed to say that two guys aren’t the answer, you know?
Another common reply: “You don’t know ball.” This one comes straight from Robert Mays: “You probably don’t watch the games”.
I see a lot of fans who voice concerns with Geno Smith have been getting gaslit for it online. Fans who love Geno and the ones who greatly dislike him can both “know ball” equally…and they can freely share their different opinions about it amongst every other fan at Seaside Joe.
Geno Smith final stats: 13/28, 157 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 1 fumble lost
That’s six interceptions and three fumbles in the last four games. Pete has said many times that Lock didn’t get the job because of ball security issues. Nobody can say that Lock should definitely start over Geno, but let’s stop calling the difference between them as being “turnover risk”.
As I sea it, these are always the ugliest numbers to see in a box score:
Jaxon Smith-Njigba dropped the first pass of the game, but then caught the next six and gained 63 yards, including a long of 35.
DK Metcalf caught 1 of 4 targets, meaning that he has caught 10 of 27 targets in the last three games. That’s 10 catches for 186 yards. I guess 18.6 yards per catch would be good if not for so many yards coming on that one play today. Worse yet is 186 yards on 27 targets for a number one receiver making $24 million per season.
I’ve voiced concern that there’s going to be dissension if this continues. Throughout history of the forward pass, receivers do not like it when their opportunities and stats start to be diminished.
After a good game in Week 8, Tyler Lockett had three catches for 32 yards on eight targets. He’ll be back below 7.0 yards per target after this game. Jake Bobo barely saw the field and he had zero targets. The tight ends had one target each (Will Dissly’s was less of a target and more of a bail out) and combined for six yards.
The Ravens have a great defense. Not this great.
Time in the pocket
As I sea it, there isn’t a universal understanding that a quarterback is largely responsible for sacks taken. The offensive line got manhandled by Baltimore’s defensive line, Charles Cross didn’t seem to be great, but I don’t think it was widely accepted enough that Geno deserves some responsibility for sacks taken and batted passes.
If you’re just that deadset on throwing to a certain receiver, it’s going to be that much easier for a defensive linemen to time his batted pass attempt.
If you’re not gonna get rid of the ball in under 2.5 seconds, it’s going to be that much easier for a defensive lineman to reach out. Offensive linemen can’t hold defensive linemen for very long.
This is more of a section to say “It’s not all on the offensive line” than it is to condemn Geno Smith again. There should be greater understanding that batted passes are not always “bad luck” and getting sacked is not always “the offensive line sucks”.
As I sea it, this is a theme that goes back years, not weeks. Riq Woolen seems to have put his career in reverse. He was supposed to be undependable as a rookie and then awesome in year two, instead he flipped it. Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell had 138 yards on nine carries. Him, Lamar Jackson, and Gus Edwards had 250 rushing yards on only 24 carries.
Tackling is not something that the Seahawks should be bad at anymore.
As I sea it, Boye Mafe gets one of the few game balls. He extended his streak to six games with a sack and forced a fumble to give Seattle a chance to score before the half.
As you know, they didn’t.
The Seahawks won’t make the playoffs if they continue to be one of the worst teams in the NFL in the second and third quarters. They won’t even win that many more games this year if they keep doing that.