The Elephant in the Locker Room: Why Sometimes It’s Great to be Wrong


Hawks-150Yeah, the ‘Hawks are big news. Expectations are high, and everyone’s paying attention… including the national media. But every week it seems like there’s some key issue that’s getting glossed over–some topic that, for one reason or another, is being avoided. It’s the elephant in the locker room, if you will, and gosh darn if I’ll let that ride. Join us on Saturday mornings for a little closer look at our World Champions.

By Greg Wright

On October 18 I observed that the Seahawks’ passing game was struggling, with the wide receivers in particular looking worse than pedestrian (to use the word that Doug Baldwin hates). “Only Baldwin is keeping up a 65-70% pace” on completions, I wrote. “For the rest of corps, downfield completions are hovering at around just 50%. And it’s not just catching the ball that’s the problem. One-on-one battles are just not being won, across the board.”

What’s happened in the intervening weeks?

WilsonWell, the next day the Seahawks put up their best passing performance of the season in a loss to St. Louis, with Wilson tossing for 313 yards while running for another hundred.

Kearse’s percentage of catches against targets has increased slightly (29 of 53), but overall, wide receivers have caught about 75% of passes thrown their way. Wilson’s passing efficiency is now on a pace to outdo his Super Bowl season, and if he continues at the pace of the last few weeks he’ll probably outdo his rookie season numbers.

On October 25, while cautioning that “the Seahawks aren’t broken” and that “this is just what things look like when the ball bounces the wrong way,” I wrote that “the Seahawks are a .500 ballclub. They’ve played like it.” I was optimistic, of course, that the Hawks could easily be “just a half-step away from a Super Bowl trip,” but I was equally prepared for them to be “average.”

Since then? The Hawks have gone 5-1, the lone loss coming at Kansas City.

On November 8 I wrote extensively about the offensive line, singling out their play as the “weak link” on the team (despite praising them as mostly over-achievers).

The next day, Marshawn Lynch scored four TDs against the Giants, and Lynch was pumping the fist of every weak-linker. The O line has been pretty hot since then. All I could do on November 15 was pretty much eat crow, and beg for more.

So on November 22, I was indeed preparing some more crow for Thanksgiving, or at the very least coming up with prognostications that smelt like turkey. “Why isn’t Sherman talking this season?” I asked.

Because he knows something. Something we don’t really want to talk about.

He knows the LOB can’t back up the chatter.

Coming into week 12 of the season and what is probably a make-or-break game for this year’s campaign, Richard Sherman’s quietness is probably the most concerning factor. The team’s success hinges on the D, and Sherman has his doubts.

U scared, bro?

I am.

And, of course, over the span of five days the Seahawks D put the beat-down on the Cardinals and the 49ers–and the pundits are all in agreement that the Seahawks are back in Super Bowl form. Sherman is yakking it up again, intercepting passes, and twirling his fingers around his ears. (Of course, how was I to know that healthy Chancellors and Wagners make that much of a difference?)

So… I guess I love being wrong.

Shall I tell you, then, what I think will happen tomorrow in Philadelphia?

Naw… I don’t want to be wrong this time.

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