Football Week: Let's Break It Down One Time

It is coming… is coming……it is almost here!!!! The NFL is starting up once again and I cannot be happier. So the Spew is engaging in a week-long celebration of all things football.

First off I understand not everyone who reads this is a Hawk fan, but you should be.

So read this trite analysis of the team and learn to love them:



  • Quarterback: When I first came to Seattle, I was NOT sipping on the Russell Wilson Kool-Aid at all. I saw him as a safe game manager who little was asked. But after watching him intently for the last 3 years, not on;y was I wrong but I see him getting much better. He is a top 5 QB and now with Marshawn gone, this offense will go as far as Russell can take them. I feel this is a good thing.

  • Wide Receiver Crew: It is odd a team that was much maligned in this area has now blossomed into one of the best units in the NFL. But not necessarily based on top tier talent; Calvin Johnson or Randy Moss circa 1998 is not on this team. But there is a ton of depth and they coordinate great with Russell.


  • Offensive Line: Ranked last by Pro Football Focus last year and being the lowest paid O-line unit in the NFL, this is and will be the Achilles Heel of this team all season. Good News, Guard-to-Guard looks much better due to player development and drafting. Bad news, the outside tackles are iffy at best. When your left tackle is a castaway from the Cardinals (another sub par O-line), there are issues

  • Health: Thomas Rawls is great. Jimmy Graham was finally fitting in, and is obviously great as well. Both haven’t played in a long time. What are they going to look like?


I really hope the Pete and the OC (Darrell Bevell) allow Russell some room and change their philosophy from run-first to pass-run mix. We saw glimpses of this last year, so I feel it is in the cards. But will the O-line hold up?

Grade: B



  • Stars on all three levels: Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman. All these guys are the real deal. Sherm shuts down the star receiver, Bobby kills the run game up the middle, Bennett is an elite edge rusher, and Earl allows for the overall scheme (single high safety to allow Cover 1/Cover 3). Four years of leading the league in points allowed. It works

  • Team speed: This team runs laterally as a unit better than anyone. Don’t try to run bubble screens or smoke outs on this team.


  • Pass Rush/Predictability: Man, some teams seem to get 4+ seconds to throw the damn ball! Ugh, can we send more than 4 on 3rd and long every time? Teams have a good feel of what the Hawks are going to run on certain down and distances. Let’s mix it up Pete.

  • Tight End Coverage: When your TE on your Fantasy plays the Hawks, expect a big game. Their singe high coverage scheme allows for deep seams on the non-Earl side slot to the TE. Sooo frustrating. Can Kam hit? Yes. Can Kam cover? Not really.


There is a wealth of talent on this side of the ball. But I really hope the coaching staff mixes it up a bit with more blitzing, so when they return to their base Cover 1/3, it will be more effective. Like a pitcher throwing a fastball, off-speed, then fastball again.

Grade: A-

Special Teams


  • Kicking: Hauschka and Ryan are good. Let’s just leave it at that.


  • Kick Coverage: There is a reason why Pete signed 6 safeties to the 53-man. This needs to be better.


Who really knows? Special teams are so esoteric, no one even really knows the rules. That’s why there is a flag on every punt/kickoff return.

Grade: B-

Final Word

This is a great team with great personalities that pretty much own the sports world in the PNW. We have the best fans in the NFL; well, maybe besides Denver, Green Bay, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh. OK, we have the loudest and most obnoxious fans then. This is the lead story every night here in Seattle. And I bet they don’t disappoint. They are the cool team in the league, they are fun to watch, even more fun to follow, but it is soooo hard to win the Super Bowl. Being this good of a team is rare, especially in Seattle. So let’s just relax and enjoy the ride.

Prediction: 12-4 (loss in the NFC Title game)