Seattle Seahawks

Sluggish start by Seahawks freaks their fans

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, is hit by Los Angeles Rams defensive end William Hayes after passing during the first half of Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, is hit by Los Angeles Rams defensive end William Hayes after passing during the first half of Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. The Associated Press

To freak or not to freak, that is the question.

At least it is in the Northwest.

To some, the Seahawks’ 9-3 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles last weekend triggered flashbacks of long-distant futility.

But others take comfort in the memory of recent sluggish starts that were erased by sizzling streaks down the stretch.

So the community – whose endorphin tides reflect the team’s fortunes – is split between those who see the glass as half-full and all those who see the glass as having a high-ankle sprain and in immediate peril of splintering into jagged shards.

The loss to a Rams team isn’t unusual. But this was a Rams team that was humiliated 28-0 by San Francisco in the season opener. And the Seahawks managed a single field goal against them.

Another team that scored three points in a game at the L.A. Coliseum was the 1992 Seahawks, who took a beating from the Raiders that day on the way to becoming the lowest-scoring team since the NFL went to a 16-game season.

(To really freak you out, we note that the 140-point total in 1992 was an average of 8.75 per game, higher than the 7.5 points per game of the 2016 team thus far.)

So, yeah, depending on your perspective and patience, you might want to 

Freak: Some of those fans entertained by sharing their thoughts via Twitter are suggesting that heads should roll. Most of these belong to the Anti-Bevellian Sect, whose tenets include the belief that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is the root of all the team’s problems.

He’s a convenient target any time the offense appears so uncoordinated.

Don’t freak: Bevell coordinated the offense that has gone to four straight playoffs, two Super Bowls, and was No. 4 in total offense in the league last season.

OK, freak a little: No matter how you doll it up, scoring one touchdown in 22 possessions isn’t going to look good on anybody’s résumé, let alone win games.

Freak: Quarterback Russell Wilson is playing for the foreseeable future on guts and a high-ankle sprain – the kind of injury that sometimes keeps players off the field for six to eight weeks. He completed 22 of 35 passes against the Rams, but had little of his trademark mobility.

Defenses these days don’t have to respect his scrambling or keeping the ball on the read-option plays.

Don’t freak: Wilson got rid of the ball against the Rams and had the team in position for another of his melodramatic, final-moment victories before a Christine Michael fumble.

If you hadn’t been used to seeing Wilson play at the level that he’s made the norm, you wouldn’t have noticed Sunday’s game as anything inferior. His passer rating of 84.7 on Sunday, if expanded over the length of a career with the Seahawks, would be the second-best in team history, trailing only his own 101.8.

Freak: The offensive line has been shoved around by Miami (in the season opener) and the Rams – manhandled at times. And the linemen face more tough defensive fronts down the road. The tackles, especially, have been the source of negative mismatches time and again.

In light of their recent performances, we must ask: How many ankles does Wilson have?

Don’t freak: Expected starting right guard Germain Ifedi (ankle) should be back soon and will solidify the interior of the offensive line, next to left guard Mark Glowinski and center Justin Britt. Ifedi is big and strong and hostile, and he’ll help improve the inside rushing lanes and bolster the pocket for Wilson on drop-back passes.

OK, freak a little: Ifedi is a rookie who hasn’t played a down in a regular-season NFL game, and who knows if he’s stayed in shape.

Freak: The offense is ranked No. 26 in yardage and 31st in scoring.

Don’t freak: The defense is ranked No. 1 in yards and scoring.

Freak: The Seahawks are 1-1 and need to build a cushion in the division because, after their Week 5 bye, they play Arizona twice, New England, Carolina, Green Bay and the Rams.

Don’t freak: Hey, they were 2-4 in the first six games last season and made it to the divisional round of the playoffs.

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