Hawks O-Line Woes Threaten 2016 Success

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STREETER LECKA • GETTY IMAGES

It’s been three years since the Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl, and as the 2016 NFL season gets underway, they’re fixated on a second Lombardi Trophy.

STREETER LECKA • GETTY IMAGES
STREETER LECKA • GETTY IMAGES

ESPN the magazine’s 2016 NFL preview issue lists the Seahawks as 8-1 favorites for a return to Super Bowl glory, but predict a hard road; finishing 10-6.

It’s good news for the team and fans alike. However, after a disappointing exit from last year’s Playoffs, Seattle finished the season ranked 30th out of 32 team in pass protection. They were also the 5th lowest performing unit overall.

“They need to learn how to draft linemen. Russell Wilson isn’t invincible and it’s hard to do anything if you can’t block,” Says sophomore Vinson Jiang, a Pittsburg Steelers fan. “But they’ll probably find their groove like usual. The defense is as good as ever.”

Pocket pressure has indeed increased every year since QB Russell Wilson’s rookie season. The superstar of the offense was harassed on 45.6% of his dropbacks in 2015 according to Pro Football Focus- that’s an increase from 39.2% in 2012. Wilson’s few quarterbacking mistakes have come from induced chaos brought on by an ad-hoc O-line.

Sports Illustrated addressed the Seahawks need to bolster their offensive line and approved of the team’s efforts in their latest preview- picking them to go 12-4 and win the division easily.

“They binged in the draft, taking three linemen (Texas A&M guard- tackle Germain Ifedi in the first round; Boise State guard Rees Odhiambo, third; [and] TCU center Joey Hunt, sixth),” says Greg Bishop of SI, “Seattle expects to contend again.”

In reflecting on the Seahawks projected finish, RJ Ollie had an intriguing take. “I hate how people always think I’m Russell Wilson. I think of myself more as a Mr. T,” says the Wilson doppleganger and Carolina panthers fan. “I say they go out in the Conference Championship.”

The offensive situation becomes even more dire since the announcement of RB Marshawn Lynch’s retirement. Lynch made the best of a bad situation, getting hit too often in the backfield. He retires with his league’s 2nd-best yards-after-contact from 2011 to 2015 with him; a devastating loss in production and identity.

Now as week four gets underway, the Seahawks are even at 2-1. Russell Wilson is playing on a questionable ankle, and RB Thomas Rawls and WR Tyler Lockett are questionable after a beating at the hands of the L.A. Rams last week. Will the O-line keep Wilson healthy? Will the defense keep its devastating edge? Buckle up, 2016 is poised to be interesting.

Les may be reached at
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