The Seattle Seahawks might be the biggest disappointment in the 2015 NFL Season so far. Jimmy Graham is their biggest let down to this point, although his disappointing numbers are a combination of his poor play and the team not exactly making it easy on him to thrive.
This isn’t just a question of targeting him more and getting him the ball. It’s a matter of the entire offense being dysfunctional up to this point for various reasons.
The PFT article on Jimmy Graham only deals in dry numbers. How he hasn’t been able to bust out for big plays (only 9.7 yards a catch, only 52% of his receptions are for first downs) and only 9.5% of his receptions so far result in touchdowns. But while Graham is obviously off and not handling the new situation all too well, the fault of his relative failure so far, along with the Seahawks being a very disappointing 2-3, isn’t just about Graham playing bad.
The new system doesn’t help, and it seems that Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell don’t use him out wide, or at least in the slot, enough times. He’s not a great blocker, or not too willing to block. With the offensive line struggling since the beginning of the season due to new players and also the lack of Marshawn Lynch over the last two games which means no one getting fooled by play actions (although Thomas Rawls looked very good in the loss to the Bengals), it’s not going to be easy on Graham.
With a quarterback that’s almost always about safe passes and playing on a team that throws the ball less than anyone else, especially deep to tight ends (something Drew Brees is never afraid to do), it’s no surprise Graham is struggling. With three wide receivers (Tyler Lockett, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse) also asking for the ball and having not too awful seasons, it’s not a surprise that Graham sometimes seems like he’s being left out of the plan. Both Carroll and Wilson need to get used to his presence, and right now, with the rough start to the season, it seems that his assimilation into the team isn’t going as planned.
Graham didn’t suddenly forget how to play football. It’s a combination of things that aren’t all up to him and have something to do with other flaws on this offense and even a difficult schedule (turned out to be at least) that are holding him back. While patience isn’t always something NFL teams have, for such an expensive player with a proven past in this league, the Seahawks are probably going to need to make some more adjustments and wait for all of their units to settle in, hoping it finally fixes their Graham problem.