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Seahawks in search of their offensive rhythm

Posted Nov 2, 2013

While the defense and special teams have staked the Seahawks to the best start in franchise history, the injury-riddled offense will be looking to get back on track against the Buccaneers on Sunday. 


Leave it to Doug Baldwin to grasp one of the more astounding aspects in the first half of the season for the Seahawks.

“We’re 7-1 and the offense hasn’t even found its rhythm yet,” the third-year wide receiver said.

As the Seahawks prepare to kick off the second half of their season against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, the defense ranks No. 2 in the league and the special teams are No. 8, but the offense is No. 15 – and it’s an uneven middle-of-the-pack ranking as the running game is averaging enough yards to be No. 4, while the passing game is No. 28.

Oh, and they have the best record in NFC.

“That’s obviously a credit to our defense and special teams, but that’s astounding for what we can be,” Baldwin said.

The offense has had its memorable moments. Like a pair of 80-yard touchdown drives in a 29-3 victory over San Francisco 49ers in Week 2. And the 45-point, 479-yard outburst against the still-winless Jacksonville Jaguars the following week. Like the 14-play, 98-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter against the Texans in Houston, which was needed to allow the Seahawks to pull out a 23-20 victory in overtime. And the 83-, 80- and 72-yard touchdown drives in a 34-22 victory over the Cardinals in Arizona in Week 7.

But there also have been the just-as-soon-forget efforts. Like settling for field goals on four possessions inside the Colts’ 30-yard line in Week 5 during a six-point loss in Indianapolis. Or Wilson losing two fumbles while being sacked against the Cardinals. And especially Monday night’s effort against the Rams in St. Louis, when the Seahawks won 14-9 despite Wilson being sacked a career-high seven times as the offense was limited to 40 plays and 135 yards – with 80 of that coming on one pass from Wilson to Golden Tate.

Everyone from coach Pete Carroll, to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, to Wilson, to Baldwin knows the offense needs to play better – and definitely more consistently. But they also believe it not only can happen, but will.

“I just want to see us get back to playing ball like we’re capable of playing on offense,” Bevell said. “We have a high-powered offense. I know we can put points on the board. We can put yards on the board. … All our guys are champing at the bit to get the ball, to move the ball. They feel like our offense is much better than we put out there, and I agree with them.”

Getting starting tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini back will help, but no one is sure just when that might happen. The last time they were manning the ends of the line together was in Week 2. So will Baldwin, Tate and Jermaine Kearse stepping up after Sidney Rice was lost for the season to a knee injury against the Rams. And getting the ball in hands of Marshawn Lynch more often after he had eight carries in St. Louis would be a good idea, as well.

The first-half maladies have been magnified by what transpired against the Rams. Or didn’t transpire, as was the case.

“Very frustrating,” Baldwin said. “It’s kind of hard to talk about it without saying too much. But offensively we were very disappointed. We left a lot of plays out on the field. We didn’t execute some of the things that we are known for executing, and it wasn’t us.

“Honestly, we were embarrassed by it.”

At first glance, the 0-7 Buccaneers a good place to start in getting the offense back on track. But a closer look shows that the Bucs’ defense is ranked 14th in average yards allowed, and they’re No. 7 against the run.

“We look at what we’re up against – it isn’t what they’ve done before,” Carroll said after Friday’s practice. “We’re looking at the film and we see a lot of problems. They cause problems.”

It starts in the middle of the line with Gerald McCoy, who Carroll calls “as good a football player at his position as there is in the league.” There’s also Darrelle Revis, who was considered the best cover cornerback in the league before tearing a knee ligament last season while playing for the New York Jets; and linebacker Lavonte David, who leads the Bucs in tackles (59) and sacks (five) and also has one of their six interceptions.

But as Wilson said, “When you turn on the film, you’re watching a lot of Pro Bowl-type players on the field. They have some great players. But really, it’s all about us. It’s about how we play. That’s our first concern.”  

Regardless of all the concerns being generated by the offense, the Seahawks are 7-1.

“If we can put it all together, once we get everybody healthy and the communication is there,” Baldwin said, “Look out.”