seahawks logo 1There is an old saying in team sports that goes like this:

“The team that should have won did.”

It is a wise saying, for it takes into account only one thing—the final score. Whatever happened on the playing field; whatever calls the refs did or did not make; whatever mistakes or brilliant plays took place—they all add up to the final score at the end of the game…and in football, the final score is all that matters. Amongst all those things that add up to the final score, there are those things a team can do something about, and there are those things that are out of their control. Concentrate on the things that you can do something about and you get better as a team.

That is what our Seattle Seahawks need to do.

Today in Indianapolis the Hawks lost to the Colts by a final score of 34 to 28. After the game was over I was listening to an interview with Hawk receiver Golden Tate on the radio. The reporter was deliberately asking him inflaming questions about the officiating in the game:

“What about that offensive pass interference called on you that wiped out that long reception?”

“What about that blocked punt that looked to be recovered for a Seahawk TD but was ruled to be a safety?”

Seahawk receiver Golden Tate

Seahawk receiver Golden Tate

“What about…..?” …and on and on.

Not wanting to be fined for criticizing the officiating, Tate bit his tongue in answering. It was clear, however, that the reporter had struck a nerve; Golden Tate did believe that the officiating had played at least a major factor in this Seahawk loss, if not being the reason outright.

Any of you Hawk fans who would buy into this explanation for this loss should take another look at the saying above. The fact is that the Colts, based on how they played, should have won this game and, consequently, the Hawks, based on how they played, should have lost. If you can get past the officiating excuse or any other “explanation” and look at the hard data about this game the reason the Seahawks lost becomes obvious: they were terrible on third down converting only two of twelve while the Colts were at least acceptable converting seven of twelve.

Seahawk Head Coach Pete Carroll

Seahawk Head Coach Pete Carroll

Two of twelve on third downs means that the Seahawk drives stalled and had to end in field goals instead of touchdowns. If the Seahawks were converting their third downs they are not kicking that field goal that was blocked and returned for a touchdown in the first half because they are still driving toward a touchdown. Even with that blocked field goal returned for a TD, had the Hawks got TDs on two of those four drives on which they kicked field goals they would have won this game. As you can see from this, the ability of a team to convert third down situations to first downs is very important. When a team can do this they can sustain drives, score touchdowns and keep the ball from the other team’s offense.

That the Hawks were terrible at this in this game is the bad news.

That it is something that can be corrected is the good news.

Count on Pete Carroll and company to do just that. The next few games pay attention to the Seahawk third down efficiency and see if it does not improve.

With all of the attention the problem will get from the coaches and in practice it should improve.

That’s what championship teams do.

Go Hawks!

 

Copyright © 2013

By Mark Arnold

All Rights Reserved

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2 Responses to Third Down a Problem as Seahawks Lose to Colts —by Mark Arnold

  1. Steve Rodriguez says:

    You speak sooth my man! Getting 1 or 2 of the missing starters from the “O” line will make the change occur faster.

    • Mark Arnold says:

      Yes Steve, looks like Unger gets back this week. It’s a start…need to return to the winning ways this weekend…MA

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