Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense were a little all over the place in 2020. For starters, they were 8th in total yards, 14th in passing yards, 4th in rushing yards, 9th in points, and they were tied for the 13th fewest turnovers. These statistics paint a picture that portrays the Seahawks offense as an above average unit in the NFL, yet how can they improve in 2020?
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The main thing I want to focus on is the Seahawks pace of play. Seattle is one of the NFL’s best rushing teams; therefore, the fact that they are one of the slower paced offenses in the NFL makes sense. However, what if the Seahawks sped things up, and how could it benefit their offense?
Firstly, I’m not saying that Seattle should go no huddle for an entire football game and never run the football. Although that would be fun to watch, Seattle may benefit from giving Russell Wilson even more control over the Seahawks offense.
The Seahawks like to play slowly because it allows them to play cautiously, not turn over the football, control the clock, and analyze what defenses are giving them. The one downside to playing slowly, relying on the ground game, and playing cautiously is that often Seattle’s drives stall out, making the Seahawks end up falling behind early in football games. For example, in last year’s playoff loss to the Packers, the Seahawks were down 21-3 in the third quarter before rallying late to close the gap to 28-23.
Seattle’s offense tends to wake up in the second half of games, realizing they need to speed things up, throw the football, and take shots downfield in order to get back in ball games. In these moments, Russell Wilson really shines, so why can’t the Seahawks implement those strategies earlier in football games?
Well, it's not necessarily a good idea to play like you’re two scores down in the first quarter when it's a tie ball game. Reason being, that just gunning the ball downfield increases the probability of turnovers, which is something that the Seahawks definitely want to stay away from.
Yet, it may be a good idea to throw the football early, gain a lead, and then run the ball late to ice the game. Russell Wilson is one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, and a system utilizing that strategy could benefit him. When Russell Wilson has to throw the football he typically succeeds. Just look at what he accomplished in 2019 throwing for 4,100 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions with a 66.1 completion percentage.
With that said, I think it could be beneficial if Seattle sped up their play, experimenting with different tempos at different stages of the game to keep defenses on their heels. If they get ahead of games rather than trying to chase them, the Seahawks may end up being more successful in 2020. Obviously, any decision to speed up or slow down the offense would come from Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer, Seattle’s offensive coordinator and play caller. In the end though, the league is moving towards throwing the football, and if the Seahawks don’t decide to play faster and throw the football more often, they may end up falling behind the curve. Thus, look for Brian Schottenheimer to look to improve the offense in 2020 by playing with different tempos in Seattle’s quest to get back to the Super Bowl.