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49ers-Seahawks preview: Figuring out Seattle’s offensive woes

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The Seahawks offense has struggled behind a bad offensive line. We spoke with a Seahawks blogger to get some insight into the unit.

The Seattle Seahawks defense remains a strong force, but they have had a variety of issues on the offensive side of the ball. The biggest issue has been the offensive line, but injuries have left them short-handed at the skill positions.

The Seahawks have alternated wins and losses over the past six weeks, and in that time, we’ve seen their offense all over the place. In the three wins, they have averaged 30 points per game. In the three losses, they have averaged just over 15 points per game, with 31 points in one game, and 15 in the other two.

In order to try and get to the bottom of this, I took a few minutes to chat with Kenneth Arthur from Field Gulls about the Seahawks offense. The 49ers defense has had some good moments, but has been a dumpster fire for sizable chunks of the season. They did good work against the Rams last week, but the Seahawks present a slightly bigger challenge.

I specifically asked Kenneth if the offensive woes were primarily Russell Wilson’s earlier injury and the offensive line problems, or if there was something more to it. Here’s what he had to say:

Well, certainly the poor play by the offensive line is a huge factor in that. No matter how much it changes, this game still pretty much boils down to winning in the trenches, pressuring the quarterback, tackles for a loss -- Wilson is under pressure a lot. The running backs are hit before the line of scrimmage a lot. Is it playcalling? Bad coaching? Essentially, do we blame offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line coach Tom Cable? Or how about John Schneider and Pete Carroll for trying to build an offensive line with unwanted free agent veterans, undrafted free agent tackles, and rookies? Blame belongs in all of those places to some degree, and that's why the offense is struggling for the most part. I mean the 2013 team had Russell Okung, a former top 10 pick, Max Unger, a former Pro Bowler, James Carpenter, a first round pick -- and that line was certainly okay, but not great. This one is just abysmal.

But some of the players who help mitigate poor offensive line play have been injured: Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise, and Tyler Lockett all missed or are currently missing significant time. Rawls is back and Prosise could be back in a few weeks, if Seattle is still alive in the playoffs. That could help a little, but the offense will probably struggle until at least next season, after the young guys have gotten more experience and some new blood is hopefully added in.