Seahawks vs Chiefs: a dull ache

Photo, Charlie Riedel, AP

Although the Christmas Eve loss to the Chiefs was not a surprise, the reality of the Seahawks losing five of the past six games is sobering. I’m not frustrated or angry anymore. I’m also not going through a huge heartbreak and all that attendant drama. My feeling about this team and this season could best be described as a dull ache.

Let me start by saying that the Seahawks receiving group looked ridiculous when they showed up shirtless to warm-up in temperatures hovering around 12 degrees. It was unnecessary flexing in my opinion. Yeah, some of the women in my football chat expressed appreciation for the view. I thought it was stupid, especially given the 10-24 beatdown that ensued not long after.

One of the things I’ve liked most about watching Geno Smith this season is that he hasn’t made me anxious like our former quarterback used to do. Geno has taken care of the ball, made good decisions and managed drives with calm and efficiency. However, this has changed. I’ve been dismayed by  Geno’s play of late, and this game was particularly disappointing. He seems frazzled and erratic. His decision making feels harried. He’s thrown into coverage frequently, resulting in picks or near picks, and has made odd choices in the crunch, such as passing the ball in lieu of running through open yards for an easy first down. Bigger picture, the Geno Smith led offense has saved this team many times. Yet there’s only so much a quarterback can do with a weak interior o-line and a nonexistent run game.  I was just hopeful his magical season of stellar play would never diminish. But I suppose every fairy tale has its dark moments.

The defense had a slightly better outing. They forced the Chiefs into four three and outs and six punts. They even showed some improvement defending the run. But it wasn’t enough to offset the poor play of the offense. And that’s the biggest issue at hand- imbalance. Aside from those glorious four weeks mid-season, when everything synchronized with the offense and defense both playing at high levels in perfect equipoise, there has been a perpetually frustrating lopsidedness. The result is one group keeping the team in the game, while the other simultaneously does everything possible to crash and burn.

Speaking of those four weeks of glorious football, I’m still trying to get my mind around why that wonderous flow stopped. I’ve poured over analysis. There doesn’t seem to be one specific inflection point for the change, just multiple components- from execution to scheme to coaching- that just aren’t working anymore.  Or that aren’t working together with any consistency. The big question is why these problems can’t get fixed. That answer apparently lives with the football gods who remain stubbornly silent.

Here’s a quick shoutout for Kenneth Walker III, who rushed for 107 yards. His performance sparked a glimmer of hope for the Seahawks run game. Maybe there can be a continuation of this in the two weeks ahead.

We have two games left of the season. Because I’ve readjusted my expectations so many times now, I can’t imagine anything that would make this dull ache more painful. That said, I don’t want to tempt the aforementioned football gods. However, I will end this post on a bright spot. It could be worse. We could be Broncos fans.