Where did the Seahawks’ offense go?

SAN FRANCISCO — Following a week of questions dealing with his history — and possible future — in the Bay Area, Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren wouldn’t mind getting a blast of the past this afternoon.

The longtime 49ers assistant would love to see his Seahawks offense play a little bit like the ones he used to coach in San Francisco.

The problem is, Montana-to-Rice won’t be on the score sheet. Holmgren can only cross his fingers that Seneca Wallace-to-Koren Robinson will be.

The Seahawks’ hobbled offense will take the field without a few starters again this afternoon, when Wallace, Robinson and Co. will try to get untracked against the 49ers (2-5). Holmgren’s offense has been about as stagnant as ever during recent weeks.

Seattle has gone three consecutive games without hitting the 200-yard mark, and the passing offense has a total of 250 yards in that same three-week span. Eight NFL quarterbacks passed for more than 250 yards last week alone.

“It’s not like we’re not prepared, not studying our plays. We just are not getting it done on the field,” veteran receiver Bobby Engram said. “You can use all the philosophical reasons that you want, but we’re just not playing good football.”

The 540 yards of total offense the Seahawks have compiled over the past three weeks marks the lowest three-game total of Holmgren’s 10-year career in Seattle. The Seahawks haven’t gotten into triple-digits in the passing game since Hasselbeck posted a pedestrian total of 113 in a 44-6 loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 5.

Through six games, the Seahawks rank 28th in the league in total offense (258.3 per game) and dead last in passing yards per game (126.8). The only other season that ranks below those totals was in 1992, when Seattle’s offense registered franchise-worst averages of 210.9 and 111.1, respectively.

“The offensive side of the ball has to hold up their end of the bargain,” Holmgren said on Friday.

Holmgren has been careful not to put too much blame on the quarterback position, pointing toward a litany of injuries at the receiver position as well as some unexpected shuffling on the offensive line. Engram said that the injuries have caused Holmgren to be more conservative in his play-calling.

“I think we’ve been a little reserved,” the veteran receiver said. “Rightfully so. I’m sure it’s been tough on Mike to try and dial up plays when he’s not sure who’s going to be in there.”

Even when Hasselbeck was playing, his numbers were well below those he put up during a nine-year career that has included three Pro Bowl appearances. Playing with a receiving corps that has included nine different starters at the wideout position, Hasselbeck averaged just 164 passing yards and ranked dead last in the NFC with a 57.7 passer rating when he got hurt.

Wallace has provided more of the same. He engineered an offense that managed only seven first downs last week, including just one in the first half. With Wallace and Charlie Frye running the show, Seattle went 6-for-21 on third-down conversions.

Holmgren said he expects Wallace to put on a better performance today, when Hasselbeck is expected to miss his third consecutive game with a bad back.

“He’s a better player than he showed in the game,” Holmgren said. “And now, he feels as though he has something really to make up for.”

Wallace is not the offense’s only problem, just the most visible.

“A lot of guys are pressing to try to make plays because we’re obviously not winning games,” Wallace said. “Guys are trying to make up for other guys, trying to make plays. Sometimes that hurts you in the long run.”

The injuries at the receiver position are difficult to ignore. Nate Burleson, the team’s biggest playmaker suffered a season-ending injury in the opener. Two other wideouts are also on injured reserve. Deion Branch, who will probably miss today’s game with a bruised heel, has played in only one game.

It says a lot that the Seahawks’ leading receiver, John Carlson, is not only a tight end but also a rookie.

“It’s not the team that we lined up the first day of training camp,” Holmgren said on more than one occasion last week.

And the offense Holmgren took from his days in San Francisco looks nothing like the one that has been struggling through the first six games of the Seahawks’ season.

“It’s mind-boggling,” Engram said. “But what are you going to do but keep working? We have to stay together and keep working.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: Mukilteo’s Beard nominated for youth award

Plus, locals receive D-I softball honors, Edmonds-Woodway alum Ali Gaye invited to NFL combine, and more.

Lynnwood’s Aniya Hooker weaves her way ups the court against Everett on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, at Norm Lowery Gymnasium in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Contenders again: Lynnwood girls primed for postseason run

After winning a state title in 2015, the Royals have slowly built back into a team ready to make waves in the playoffs.

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Feb. 8

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Feb. 8: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Multiple Mariner players surround Jackson’s Sylas Williams to block his shot during the game on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
5 things to know as prep district hoops tournaments start

Local 4A and 2A squads face daunting paths to regionals. Meanwhile, opportunities abound in 3A.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback John Wolford (13) is sacked by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) for a 10-yard loss during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Seahawks position overview: LB corps enters offseason of uncertainty

The position group underwent major change last season after the departure of Bobby Wagner and a shift in defensive scheme. The results were spotty.

Seattle Kraken forward Brandon Tanev skates with the puck during an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Seattle. The Kraken won 4-1. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Tanev’s effort endears him to Kraken teammates

“He can fly around all night,” teammate Will Borgen said.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Jan. 30-Feb. 5

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Jan. 30-Feb. 5. Voting closes… Continue reading

Prep results for Tuesday, Feb. 7

Prep results for Tuesday, Feb. 7: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Silvertips’ Tyler Palmer (31) and Ty Gibson (6) defend the goal during a game between the Silvertips and Kamloops Blazers at the Angel of the Winds Arena on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. The Silvertips fell to the Kamloops, 3-6. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Silvertips have best week of second half, snag 5 key points

Everett wins twice and loses one game in overtime over a challenging weekend three-in-three against division leaders.

Most Read