Week 11 in the NFL, and at least the playoff race is gaining clarity. The Seahawks say goodbye to them – and very different questions will soon be asked in Seattle. Also, why does the Chiefs Cowboys game fit so well into the current image of the NFL? And what does the bankruptcy of the Packers against the Vikings tell us? SPOXEditor-in-chief Adrian Franke talks about the NFL on Sunday.
Even at the risk of repeating myself here – what does ‘danger’, safety mean – we’re having an incredibly open season, and while every best team in the NFC has had at least one or two bad games overall, the top group can at least still be clearly defined here.
The AFC is different, and the Bills Colts game this weekend was perhaps the best example of that. With the Colts, who allowed 30 points against the Jets three weeks ago, last week, they barely managed to defend the good early stage lead against Jacksonville – only to then dismantle the Bills completely at home.
A few words on the Colts later, the Bills across the way desolately lost two weeks ago in Jacksonville and then dismantled the jets, but after that performance against the Colts the question has to be seriously asked: Bills really?
Buffalo, at least it’s clear, has so far benefited from a fairly straightforward schedule. The victories came against Miami, Washington, Houston, the then very weak Chiefs, again Miami and these Jets. Against Tennessee Buffalo played – besides the Chiefs game – their best game of the year in terms of duels with really competitive teams and was a successful QB far from winning that game, it should be mentioned here.
But in a way, the Bills are also the face of the inconsistent AFC, in which no team can really stand out – and even the attempt to establish a clear lead group offers unusually large leeway. I was relatively optimistic about the Bills after the game against the Jets, not because of the outcome, but because Buffalo showed you can play in a different way: suddenly the Bills played close formations, with the rear, then entered their playback. Action passing game.
Speaking from Bill’s perspective, I was hopeful then that Buffalo could give his offense a more stable baseline. That hope was quickly dashed again against the Colts. While it’s good to know that Buffalo has that alternative to their scatter pass attack up their sleeve, it remains an attack that can be very inconsistent week after week and can be clearly off beat when the game is underway is not suitable. not. and the offense cannot enter its large-scale passing game.
This was noticed even in some of the games that Buffalo won at the end. In these games, it was often the Bills’ strong defense that kept Buffalo in the game long enough that the offense, sometimes in the form of Allen runs, could at one point make enough plays to steer the game into one. clear direction. It’s not a basis for lasting success in today’s NFL, and against the Colts it was the first time the Bills offense should have called.
And maybe it can be best summarized as follows: At the moment, I don’t trust Bills Offense to deliver top-notch play in these critical situations. It doesn’t mean she can’t. But when we talk about playoff predictions, odds and odds, etc., you just can’t be sure about Buffalo. It’s all about the offense, but it’s also because Josh Allen isn’t playing at the extremely high level he had last year, and this way of playing offense requires a lot more of the quarterback than it does. the other offensive plans of the NFL.
This is also the keyword of the first topic: The Seattle Seahawks offense. She currently has no identity – and it is impossible to detach her from the quarterback.
1. Seattle Seahawks need a change
Maybe Russell Wilson came back too soon after his finger injury. With individual throws, one could argue that the ball doesn’t always fly as usual with Wilson, that he can’t place certain balls exactly as he might imagine.
But it would be far too easy to simply reduce the problems of the Seahawks’ offense to that. It was – after the Wilson-era first shutout against the Packers the week before – another completely random performance of that attack on Arizona, a game in which the Cardinals not only had the floor much higher, but Colt McCoy Best Quarterback – Got playing like the Wilson Seahawks. You have to look beyond Wilson’s simple finger injury. And when you do that, sooner or later you inevitably come to a specific question: are we about to see the end of the Russell-Wilson era?
The bankruptcy against Arizona should at least end this season in terms of playoff finals hopes. And yes, a few weeks ago, given Wilson’s injury and how this season unfolded, I would have said the Seahawks would have their “Last Dance” in 2022. That Wilson then with Shane Waldron – who he appears to be a clear defender – will be fit and attack the second year.
In the meantime, my perception here has also changed significantly. The offensive line is playing less well than at the start of the season, the defense is mediocre at best, mainstays like Bobby Wagner and Duane Brown have seemed to decline for years.
The cornerback group will need work, the line will need work, the pass rush will need work, in short: this team is facing a major upheaval, and after the last few years, thanks to the class Wilson’s supplement, they’ve exceeded their supposed performance limits, now it seems time to face reality:
The Seahawks need a break – and that won’t happen with Russell Wilson.
Seahawks Break: why without Russell Wilson?
Why not? Because it is not suitable from both points of view. Career-falling Wilson won’t want to be part of a rebuild – although it could be a soft rebuild with him. And the Seahawks, on the other hand, cannot afford to tackle every construction site at all within a reasonably realistic timeframe.
They won’t have their potentially high first-round pick next year due to Jamal Adams’ trade. At the same time, the contracts of Duane Brown, Quandre Diggs, Gerald Everett and Brandon Shell, among others, are running out, so that Cap Space will also quickly become scarce.
Of course, you could conceive of a romantic case here where Wilson stays in the city where he’s already a hero and tries to turn the tide and achieve another title. But it’s also known that he’s already flirted with his farewells, that he should have named the teams he wants to go to, and that there were already a difference of opinion or two behind the scenes.
None of this is a final verdict, but he won’t like the idea of Wilson potentially spending the remaining good years he potentially still has in the tank in a (soft) rebuild. And if it turns out to be a “Pete Carroll or Russell Wilson” question, I would be very confident that Carroll stays and Wilson leaves.
At some point things can’t go on like this in Seattle anymore
Of course, there is also the other side of the coin, which is the team perspective. The flip side on which Seattle must admit the trade was a gigantic mistake for Jamal Adams, which will cost them dearly in the next offseason. The side on which the Seahawks may have to face the truth in sight this season that their team is in too many areas in the bottom third of the league and that there will be no quick fixes here.
This is of course also clearly self-inflicted. Seattle has had few good projects in recent years, has limited sustainability planning, and has taken on a huge mortgage with the Adams business. If you look at a two or three year hiatus in Seattle, there are simply few players on this squad who could become the mid to long term mainstays of such a hiatus. It is alarming, and at the same time it is a statement about the current state of the team, and therefore inevitably also about the composition of the team.
But it is also on the side of sporting reality, and after week 5 I had already written about it: The offensive has no basic schematic structure, no basis on which we can fall back if the The opponent wins the big plays or if Wilson has a bad A day. And from what I think of Wilson, it’s as much of a quarterback issue as it is a pattern issue at this point.
Wilson is one of the NFL’s top passers, but he’s living too much of those big plays now. We have now seen it in different offenses under different COs; Wilson is not good at playing consistently within an attacking structure, he is not good at the constant play of underly passing, and this significantly limits the influence an offensive coordinator can have.
Against Arizona, it was very clear: when the attack got big plays, it was quickly in goal distance. Otherwise, the ball would usually go off quickly. The Cardinals had the ball in that game for 40:22 minutes, creating 29 first downs, Seattle just 16. A total of nine in the air.
Maybe after this season the Seahawks are at the point where they want to restart themselves because they see themselves in a bind. A rebuild has to happen somehow, I’m sure, the only question is: how do you go about approaching this?
Wilson would still bring business value in the spring. If the Browns want to go another way in the quarterback position, I’d love to see Wilson behind that line. From the schematic fit, I would think in Pittsburgh, the Steelers should be looking for a quarterback as well. Carolina is aggressive in the quarterback market, as is Denver.
The only thing that’s clear to me is that it’s not even frustrating to watch the Seahawks offense right now, but, almost worse: it’s tiring because the topics are always the same and Wilson said after the game maybe we should go a little more rhythm, which hit exactly that tenor. We’re going around in circles here. At some point, it can’t continue in Seattle.