Extra Points - Half Empty or Half Full?

Wondering if the Seahawks are ready to step up to the elite level? You're not alone. .NET's Micky James says that the 30-20 loss to the Patriots brought about more questions than answers.

I've always considered myself to be a glass half full kind of guy. I've even been accused of seeing things through rose colored glasses from time to time when I try to find positives in an otherwise negative situation. So later on in this column I'm going to try to pick out the positives in this disappointing performance against the Patriots even though I'm really not so sure there are too many.

I'm not so sure we're ready for Prime Time just yet. When the world is watching we seem to implode. We either come out flat or shoot ourselves in the foot with a dizzying array of turnovers and mistakes. The football experts were ready to anoint us as a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl but you have to wonder if we're up to the task. Super Bowl teams don't drop a hundred passes a game or let average running backs gash up the middle in crunch time or let below average receivers get behind them when the game's on the line. Granted, Johnson's catch was a great one but why was he so open in the first place? It's 3rd and long and one more stop will give us a chance to win the game but there was the Patriots receiver flying across the middle unscathed to make the catch. It appeared that our corners were expecting some deep safety help that wasn't coming.

On the bright side, however, we didn't stop fighting and clawed our way back into the game in the second half. That's a positive sign that we won't quit this year. I'm reaching for stuff to be positive about so let's take a look at some "Extra Points" from Sunday's game.

Why did we come out a little nervous? We seemed to get too caught up in the moment and tripped all over ourselves early as a couple of turnovers allowed the Patriots to put us in a quick hole that we never climbed out of. Are we truly not ready for Prime Time? Let's all hope that's not the case.

Why didn't we attack the end zone when we were down by 6 late in the game and had the ball deep in Patriots territory? We acted like we were playing for the field goal to pull within three. I felt like we had New England on their heels a little bit and we let them off the hook by not at least taking a shot in the end zone.

Why in the world do we drop so many passes each week? I mean, it's ridiculous. It's reached epidemic proportions for an supposed elite team. It's not just Robinson, although he's by far the worst, but all of our receivers seem to have hands of stone throughout the game. So many drives are killed each week it's incredible that we ever have a chance to win.

Did anybody else notice that Matt Hasselbeck was a lot more expressional with his emotions on Sunday. Was it because he was playing in front of family and friends or have all the drops and wrong route adjustments finally worn him down to the point that he's ready to erupt? Maybe that's what these receivers need is for someone to get in their faces and say 'enough's enough'. "Either start catching the damn ball or I'm going to stop throwing it your way".

We tackled very poorly this week. How do you explain that? We missed a lot of open field tackles that could have put the Patriots in a big hole only to have the back or receiver break the tackle and make it a more manageable 2nd and 5 or something. I guess this is something else we'll have to work on.

Not sure why we burned a timeout by throwing the review flag on the long catch by Johnson late in the game. It was obvious that it was a catch. We should have saved that timeout although in the grand scheme of things it probably didn't matter too much.

What has happened to our return teams? We used to be kind of dangerous on kickoff returns but it appears that Morris doesn't go full speed at times or there isn't any room to go full speed. Either way, we seem to barely get 20 yards per return and have fairly poor field position to start drives after kickoffs. I'd like to see a bigger threat on kickoff returns.

I thought Shaun Alexander had a workmanlike performance on Sunday. He really wasn't much of a factor but I thought he ran hard throughout the game and played pretty well except for the dropped passes.

Matt Hasselbeck played well with the exception of that one bad throw early in the game that was picked off on the sidelines by Ty Law. That led to another score and put us in a hole. It's hard to imagine what Hasselbeck’s stats would be if we had receivers that could actually catch the ball.

So what does this supposed showdown loss to the Patriots mean? I think it means that we have lots of work to do in order to be considered an elite, Super Bowl team. Are we talented enough? Yes we are, but we have to be consistent and we have to start beating good teams in order to get to the next level. We need to get back on a roll this upcoming week and stay on a roll for a few weeks to get back the swagger that we started to show prior to the Rams game. And for God's sake, catch the ball!!!

It's a great time to be a Seahawks fan, always has been, always will be.

Micky James writes weekly for Seahawks.NET. You can reach him at teamjames4@yahoo.com.

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