Mid-season Report Card: 2010 Seattle Seahawks and Head Coach Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll is halfway through his first season as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks and has kept his team in the NFC West hunt, but, aside from wins and losses, how does his team’s performance this year compare to last year’s?

SeahawksGab Editor Devon Heinen takes a look and hands out his mid-season report card with some findings one wouldn’t expect.

**Note, the 2009 stats and rankings are from the entire regular season.**
Total Offense
2009: 316.8 yards per game (21st in NFL)
2010: 261.2 yards per game (30th in NFL)
Grade: C
Rationale: The team has better weapons with wide receiver Mike Williams and running back Marshawn Lynch headlining the cast of characters, but the passing game has hurt the offense and, because of that, running lanes for Lynch and Justin Forsett have been hard to come by.

Passing Yards
2009: 218.9 yards per game (15th in NFL)
2010: 177.6 yards per game (29th in NFL)
Grade C+
Rationale: The curve from last year was too low to begin with, so Hasselbeck and Whitehurst’s collective grade gets a boost; however, the time to make a move on drafting the team’s quarterback of the future is now (well, April).

Sacks Allowed
2009: 41 (10th in NFL)
2010: 22 (7th in NFL)
Grade: C-
Rationale: On pace for essentially the same total as last year. That’s a double-edged sword, though. On one side, the damage isn’t on pace to get worse. The flipside? Being top-10 in sacks allowed, especially after spending the franchise’s first overall draft pick last April on an offensive lineman, is not what you’d expect.

Rushing Yards
2009: 97.9 yards per game (26th in NFL)
2010: 83.6 yards per game (29th in NFL)
Grade: B-
Rationale: Lynch is the future at the position and has shown, at times, that he can be the primary back in the future. The underperformance is directly related to the inability to pass the ball, so I’m passing (no pun intended) most of the blame to Matt Hasselbeck and, now, Charlie Whitehurst.

Total Defense
2009: 356.4 yards per game (24th in NFL)
2010: 383.1 yards per game (27th in NFL)
Grade: C+ / B-
Rationale: When you factor in the offense’s decreased ability to move the ball, you realize that the deck’s been stacked against the defensive unit.

Passing Yards Allowed
2009: 245.4 yards per game (30th in NFL)
2010: 270.5 yards per game (30th in NFL)
Grade: C+
Rationale: It’s essentially the same performance as last year.

Rushing Yards Allowed
2009: 111.0 yards per game (15th in NFL)
2010: 112.6 yards per game (19th in NFL)
Grade: C+
Rationale: Giving 1.6 yards per game more than last year? Not bad, but the defense is still giving up over a 100 yards on average to opposing rushers, which ways the grade down.

2009: 28 (26th in NFL)
2010: 21 (10th in NFL)
Grade: B+
Rationale: The unit is attacking at the line of scrimmage and the results back the effort. Being top-10 also is a major improvement.

2009: 13 (22nd in NFL)
2010: 6 (22nd in NFL)
Grade: C+ (Earl Thomas’s individual grade: A+)
Rationale: The rookie safety can’t do it all by himself.

Forced Fumbles / Fumbles Recovered
2009: 13 (22nd in NFL) / 10 (16th in NFL)
2010: 9 (12th in NFL) / 8 (8th in NFL)
Grade: B+
Rationale: Increasing the number of times you get off the field and give your offensive teammates the opportunity to score, even if the offense has a difficult time of doing so, is a huge improvement.

Overall On-field Grade for 2010 Seahawks Compared to 2009 Team: C+
Rationale: If you looked at the wins and losses and where the team finds itself in the NFC West standings, you’d say the team’s doing much better than the Jim Mora-led squad of last year; however, the numbers don’t lie. This year’s team is actually worse overall than last year’s.

Grade for Pete Carroll: A
Rationale: Look, the team’s on-field performance is worse statistically, yet the Seahawks are playing with energy and, as a result, are winning games. They are in the hunt for the NFC West championship. You can’t discount what Carroll has done to the team thus far and will hopefully continue to do in the future.

Can’t get enough NFLGridironGab? Follow SeahawksGab Editor Devon Heinen on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DevonHeinen.

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