The Seattle Seahawks could have stolen one on the road vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, but were unable to put together enough offensive firepower to thwart the AFC contenders. No, it wasn't like Joe Burrow's team played all that well to begin with, but Cincinnati improved to 3-3 on the season, while Seattle stumbled to 3-2. A win in the Queen City would have done wonders for Seattle's viability.
Saddled with a disappointing 17-13 loss to Cincinnati, people are wondering what the heck went wrong for Seattle. The Seahawks were already coming off their bye week and had multiple weeks to prepare for a Cincinnati team that had largely been out of sorts since losing last year's AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead. Still, the more experienced team found a way to win at home.
So let's blame some people because why not? Seattle has a navigable part of its schedule coming up before the bulk of divisional play commences. While the defense certainly did its part, the offense cannot look like this if the Seahawks want any hope of splitting with the San Francisco 49ers. Although the Arizona Cardinals are rebuilding, the Los Angeles Rams do look much improved as well.
Without further ado, let's play the blame game and find some Seahawks to pin this Bengals loss onto.
Seattle Seahawks stumble vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Who is to blame?
3. This Seattle Seahawks offensive line is still very much a wet paper bag
Just when we thought the Seahawks were done being atrocious in trenches, the Seattle front-five resembled what I like to call a wet paper bag. It has been an issue throughout much of defensive-minded head coach Pete Carroll's tenure in the Pacific Northwest. While I respect general manager John Schneider finally investing resources into this position group, what a bad day for their linemen...
Starting quarterback Geno Smith was sacked four times for a loss of 29 yards in the contest. Cincinnati may have a great pass rush orchestrated by Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, but that is not how you win games offensively. While the yards per play (5.4) and yards per rush (3.5) were better than the Bengals' two marks (4.0 and 3.1), the offensive line struggled in the red zone.
Seattle was 1-for-5 in that part of the field. The Seahawks saw running back Kenneth Walker III score a one-yard touchdown on their first offensive series and were held out of the end zone for the rest of the ball game. For whatever reason, the Seahawks offense sputtered in those critical spots. Again, a lot of blame can be spread around, but better play out of the entire offensive line could have won this.
We have to wonder if this will continue to be an issue vs. stronger pass rushes on the road for them.