Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Can SEA survive O-line injuries?
By Tom Carpenter
The Seattle Seahawks have played the last two games with the majority of their starting offensive line on the sideline due to injuries. Center Max Unger, left tackle Russell Okung and right tackle Breno Giacomini all have been out of the mix. Seahawks fans got some good news Monday when coach Pete Carroll said that he expects Unger to return to action this weekend against the Tennessee Titans, though Okung and Giacomini remain out indefinitely.
The Seahawks have had trouble in several ways without having that trio on the O-line. That includes pass-protection issues that have limited the team's success on third downs. They've also had trouble keeping defensive pressure off of QB Russell Wilson
In fact, as noted by Pro Football Focus (via the Seattle Times) in the Seahawks' Week 5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Wilson "faced pressure on 22 of 42 called passes. On plays with no pressure from the pass rush, PFF said, Wilson was 11 of 17 for 150 yards with two touchdowns and a QB rating of 132.0. For the game, Wilson was 15 of 31 for 210 yards -- only the fourth time he has completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes in a game -- with a passer rating of 78.7."
Overall, the Seahawks have seen their passing yards per attempt drop from 9.8 (No. 1 in NFL) over the first three weeks to 6.1 (27th) during the two games in which they were missing all three O-linemen. They made up for their issues in the passing game, though, by leaning on the run, bumping their yards per carry up from 3.7 (23rd) over the first three games to 6.2 (2nd) during their last two contests.
Obviously, the expected return of Unger should help them right the ship to an extent, but they are going to need Okung and Giacomini back if they are going to be a well-rounded offensive threat for a playoff run.