Seahawks vs Panthers: Run Blues

Seahawks 24- Panthers 30

Pull out your whiskey. Tune up your guitar. Shore up your tender hearts and let the hounds moan. The Seattle Seahawks got the blues, straight up. More specifically, the run blues. This score might suggest a closer contest than it really was. Pay it no mind.

I follow a lot of different sports writers, football analysts and Seahawks podcasters. Usually, in the evening after a game and the next morning, I pour over their takes and commentaries. Interestingly, several of my go-to sources opted not to breakdown yesterday’s game. What we saw was just a continuation of what we’ve been seeing for weeks now. What’s the point of articulating the problems ad nauseum?

The Seahawks were, once again, feckless in defending the run. And it wasn’t a matter of the Panthers having a bunch of explosive plays with breakout runs for long yardage. Instead, they methodically moved the ball down the field– six yards here, four yards there, etc.–converted third downs and dominated the time of possession. They were intentional and in full control. Images of a cat batting around a mouse before the kill come to mind. The Panthers rushed for 223 yards.

Continuing on the theme of run pain, the offense could not move the football on the ground. Sure, Kenneth Walker III and DeeJay Dallas didn’t play. But I’m not sure you can blame injuries. The run game has been increasingly anemic for a few weeks now. The Hawks only rushed for 26 yards on Sunday. The lack of a run game forced Geno to take it to the air again. He threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw two picks. One was not exactly his fault. He thought he had a free play after it looked like the Panthers had jumped offsides. It wasn’t his best day perhaps, but there is only so much one man can carry.

I’m not sure what that magical four game winning streak–where everything seemed to be coming together and the Hawks were rocking it well on both sides of the ball–was exactly. Possibly a mirage. Or maybe a harbinger of a future Seahawks team. Despite the win against the Rams week before last, we’ve all been falling back to earth again. I believe yesterday’s loss to the Panthers was simply the final thud at the point of impact.

One bright note was Godwin Igwebuike. Elevated from the practice squad only a day or so ago, he took on kick return duties. He ran one for 50 yards and another for 35. His spark was a nice break in the otherwise gloomy afternoon.

Although we still have four games to play and some lingering possibilities for post-season play, many are starting to turn their focus to the future. Thanks to the Bronco’s loss yesterday, the Seahawks, as of this moment, have the second pick in the first round of the 2023 draft. So, there’s that.

This is a short week for the Hawks as they take on the dreaded 49ers for a home game at Lumen on Thursday night. In some ways, it would be on brand for this kooky Seahawks team to lose to the likes of the Raiders and the Panthers and then turn around and beat the 49ers. Wouldn’t that mess with our hearts and heads once again? Could be crazy fun. But before a win like that, the Hawks just gotta shake off those run blues.