The Case Against Jim Mora Jr.

Mora-JimAs I sit here watching another unwatchable Seahawks game, I’ve been doing some research to see if my suspicions about head coach Jim Mora Jr. are correct. My suspicion? That he’s not a very good head coach. Turns out, I think I’m right.

It seems to me that a head coach (and his coordinators) has two main jobs when it comes to what happens on the field every week:

  1. Have his team ready to play at the opening kickoff
  2. Make adjustments during the game to put the team in a position to win

So, in order to measure #1 above, I decided to look at how many games this season the Seahawks have led after the first quarter. If you prepare well during the week, it should translate into a good start, right? If you’re unprepared, it should translate into a lot of first quarter deficits.

Games Seahawks led after 1st quarter

Week 3: 10-0 lead over Chicago; lost 25-19
Week 5: 3-0 lead over Jacksonville; won 41-0
Week 10: 7-0 lead over Arizona; lost 31-20

After 10 weeks of football, the Seahawks have only led three times after the first quarter. (And they ended up losing two of those.)

FACT: Only once all season have the Seahawks led after the first quarter and won the game.

There were seven games the Seahawks started poorly — including the two terrible first quarters when the Cardinals and Lions totally outplayed them. The Seahawks weren’t prepared in either of those games.

So what about in-game adjustments? Good coaches do that and help their teams come from behind to win, or help their team hold on when they have leads.

Games Seahawks had halftime lead and lost

Week 3: 13-7 lead over Chicago; lost 25-19
Week 10: 17-10 lead over Arizona; lost 31-20

The Hawks have had the lead at halftime four times this season. They beat the Rams and Jaguars, but lost to the Bears and Cardinals. Seems to me that when you have a halftime lead, you need to win a lot more than 50% of the time.

Games Seahawks trailed at halftime and won

Week 9: trailed Detroit 17-13; won 32-20

The Seahawks have trailed at halftime six times, and only came back to win one of those games — this one against the lowly Lions.

Seems to me that the Seahawks are rarely prepared and able to get out to a good start, and rarely able to make the adjustments to win after they get behind.

Mora’s history in Atlanta

In 2004, Mora’s first season as Falcons’ coach, they went to the NFC Championship. In the next two seasons, they got off to good starts and then fell apart. The Falcons went a combined 4-13 during the final two months of those seasons and missed the playoffs both times. The general consensus is that those teams were talented but had underachieved.

Under Mora, the Falcons were 0-17 when entering the fourth quarter with a deficit. Not a single fourth-quarter comeback.

My vote? The Seahawks need to find a new coach.

(They also need better, younger players, but I think change has to start with the coach.)

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One Response to The Case Against Jim Mora Jr.

  1. John December 28, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    The only reason Mora succeeded in Atlanta was on the legs of Michael Vick. Vick is an outstanding athlete that could make something out of nothing, pure scrambling ability. Mora has shown that his teams show up for the game, but usually don’t seem to find thier rythm until late in the half, that is if they find a rythm at all. He cannot make the needed adjustments during the 60 minutes of the game. He is pathetic, I am just thankful that he didn’t take over the UW. They didn’t need this loser leading them down another 5 years of cellar dwelling. Mora needs to go!!!

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