The Seattle Seahawks find themselves a mere spectator as the NFL world gears up for Super Bowl LV after they were upset by the Los Angeles Rams during Super Wild-Card Weekend. Part of the reason they are sitting home at this point in the year is thanks to their offense stumbling towards the finish line in 2020.
At the start of the season, Russell Wilson and company came out gangbusters, averaging over 34 points per game through Week 9. It was at that point when Wilson was looked at as a prime MVP candidate and, as long as Seattle's defense was able to turn things around, the Seahawks were a legit threat in the NFC at 6-2 on the year. From Week 10 on, however, the same offense averaged 22.7 points per game, which includes a 30-20 loss to Los Angeles to begin and end the Seahawk's playoff run.
Wilson himself also regressed over that same timeframe. Over his first eight games, he completed over 71% of his passes, averaged 317.6 passing yards per game and had 28 touchdowns to just eight interceptions. In his final eight games to end the regular season, Wilson's completion percentage dropped nearly five points, he averaged 208.9 passing yards a game and threw just 12 touchdowns paired with five interceptions. In this playoff loss to the Rams, Wilson was held to just 174 yards passing, the second-lowest mark for him of the season.
"Teams just started to figure us out," Seahawks star receiver DK Metcalf told former Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall on the I am Athlete Podcast."We've been running deep pass, ever since Pete [Carroll] got there. Play-action. Run the ball, run the ball, run the ball, go deep. Teams just said, 'We're just not gonna let you all go deep.'"
By reading between the lines of Metcalf's comments, it seems like he believes Seattle's offense became a bit too predictable and one-dimensional, which is backed up by the stats you saw above. With teams essentially knowing what the Seahawks offense is going to deploy on a weekly basis, defenses can run Cover 2 with confidence and shut down one of the biggest pieces to Seattle's game: the deep ball.
Those struggles on offense did lead to the Seahawks firing offensive coordinator Brian Shottenheimer, who held that position since 2018. Whoever comes in next as Seattle offensive coordinator, Pete Carroll and the rest of the Seahawks brass will likely be looking for a bit more versatility in the offense and create different wrinkles to keep opposing defenses on their toes in 2021.