Scottemojo wrote:Kip, I don't often think you are wrong, but I think you have this one way off. The summer heat is about the only concern I agree with, and that is a big one.
Wilson is not struggling. I simply don't see how you are calling pre-season tinkering with an offense is equal to struggling. A bit of read option will serve to freeze some DE and safeties, things we simply did not for good reason see in the pre-season. The run game might struggle, and if it does this could be a low scoring affair.
You have been really impressed with how Carolina played late last year. I am not. I watched those games, they beat really bad teams with one exception, Atlanta, and we saw first hand how a mobile QB turns taht Atlanta D inside out.
Worthy of note: Rivera is not a good HC. Carolina is playing out the string with him. And Cam may have a new OC, but the much touted offensive changes this yer have mostly amounted to just letting Cam do what Cam does best and more run game. Chud was in error trying to make Cam play more traditional. But Seattle's strength is lateral speed on defense, which is where Cam makes his hay, and down the numbers to the sidelines press coverage, which is where Cam makes his best throws.
But there is the heat.
This post is a relief, because I was starting to think you were afraid to openly disagree with me.
You bring up some good points, here is what I think.
As much as I think the world of Wilson, one of his few flaws is distance accuracy. It was a problem in college, it was a problem early last season, and it was a problem this preseason. Sure, you could argue that he was over-throwing and under-throwing deep passes because he wasn't used to those WRs yet, and maybe that really is the reason. But this has been a problem for him in the past so it makes me think it probably is more than just chemistry. He also took some sacks that I thought were on him as much as anyone else.
I do agree that in real games Wilson will be a lot better than he was in the preseason. Getting Rice, Lynch, and Miller back is huge, and the read option will open things up just like last year. That said, I did see signs of rust in the preseason and while Wilson is an elite QB, he does tend to get most of his production in spurts with little "recession" moments in-between where he looks like a mere mortal. I don't think anything is wrong with Wilson, I just think there were some potentially negative signs that he might be shaking off rust and I tend to take those signs seriously even if they turn out to be a mirage.
Carolina has a big, fast front seven that will be very hard to run on. It is far better than last year's front seven when we faced them and Seattle had a relatively tough time running on that defense as well. If Bevell/PC are smart and use the read option to set up the pass instead of gunning for 40 carries, I think we probably do just fine on offense, but if they stubbornly stick to the run I could see another Miami situation.
I did not watch Carolina's defense last season, but I did see them rocket up FO's season rankings, and I did watch their starting defense twice in the preseason and was highly impressed both times.
Rivera probably is a bad coach, I don't really know much about him. That said, if Cam Newton doesn't skip rocks on 4th and goal to an open TE in the endzone, we might have lost to them last year anyway. That said, Carolina's offense sucked against us in that game and I don't expect that to be any different. I expect Seattle's defense to dominate. Newton has looked pretty bad in the preseason and their RB situation is a mess.
I just put up a post earlier today (before I saw this response) saying I feel a lot better about the Carolina game now, but I do think our offense will wait to the 2nd half to wake up, similar to the Jets game last year. That is unless Seattle unloads on Carolina early with a ton of play action. I think Carolina is really going to game plan the run, despite the fact that based on the matchup, they should do the opposite. They know that Seattle likes to run the ball often early in games, and that our offense is a lot less comfortable on 3rd and longs.
I know it was preseason, but Oakland went all out to attack our run offense because they didn't really have the pass rushers to do what Green Bay did to us the week before. I think Carolina is in the same boat. They will blitz the run and stack the box early, and though I'd love to be wrong, I think Pete will play right into their hands (ala Miami) before snapping out of it at half time.