I have a sneaking suspicion that this thread isn't really about defense at all! Where is my Sherlock emoticon?
Anyway, here's my
. Our defense is certifiably elite. It's in the discussion for the best in football. The offense, well, that's going to take a long answer.
If you've played football, you know it's a game of momentum. That's doubly true on offense.
This season penalties, timely errors, and (at least until today) a mishandling of Russell Wilson have killed Seattle's momentum on offense. It's really hard to maintain a drive when you run a station to station ball control offense and that nice 15 yard run turns into a 10 or 15 yard loss from a completely unnecessary penalty. That's a bad mix, even moreso with a rookie QB who has to work around a height disadvantage.
I still remember how inept the offense felt in 2008 and 2009. The 2012 group is nowhere near that level. This team has out-gained their opponent in 4 of 5 games this season. They have won time of possession in 3 out of 5 games this season- and one of the times they didn't win time of possession they lost it by 16 seconds. The running offense is among the best in football. The passing offense has been efficient at times but mired by all the things I listed above.
The good news is that many of those problems are being worked on and can be fixed. I would guess that nearly three quarters of our penalties stem from the O-line, and that could improve as that group gels and gains comfort. It could also help things just by benching Giacomini. Fair or not, an average of two+ penalties per game just isn't going to cut it.
Russell Wilson is showing steady progress and is well on his way to being a good starter by 2013. I think it's wise to keep that in mind. I still hold out hope that Wilson can get the 2012 team into the playoffs. Every time that Wilson plays like he did against Carolina or Dallas, I will expect a win.
In the meantime, I think it's important to look beyond the counting stats and just focus on efficiency. Seattle runs a clock kill offense to shorten the game, which means everyone involved is going to have lower final stats because there will be fewer drives. I truly believe that this offense as currently constructed is an average offense turned bad by growing pains and penalties. If the Seahawks play without penalties and without freak turnovers, I think they'd be 5-0 right now. Not because our offense is where it needs to be, but because it's more than capable of being "good enough" if only it can stay out of it's own way. And it will only get better from here.