Percy Harvin In 2013: What A Headache

Posted by Jack Tumen

Ted S. Warren/AP Photo

Ok, the title of this post might be poking a little fun at Percy Harvin’s history of migrane headaches. But it’s also the most fitting way to describe his first season in the Pacific Northwest.

After having hip surgery back on August 1st, it’s been a season full of “yeahhhhhh-no” for Harvin. And Seahawks fans couldn’t scream any louder about it if they wanted to.

Harvin appeared in just one regular season game in 2013 against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings, and had one catch for seventeen yards. He aggravated his hip and didn’t play again until last week’s NFC Divisional playoff game against New Orleans in which he was the recipient of two crippling blows, one resulting in a concussion.

Now that Harvin has been ruled out for Sunday’s NFC title game, the Seahawks will be forced to do something they’ve already been doing all season long: roll without Percy.

It’s hard to imagine what Seattle’s 26th ranked pass offense would look like with Harvin in there on a regular basis. But the Seahawks didn’t change their playing style in anticipation of his return, which is slightly interesting because a Percy Harvin/Randall Cobb offense is nearly the opposite of a Marshawn Lynch offense.

Instead, they did what they knew how to do: pound the rock. Lynch turned in another mean season, during which he plowed for 1,257 yards and 12 TDs while helping Seattle to boast the fourth-best rushing offense in the league (not to mention also tying for eighth in PPG with 26.1.)

But statistically, Seattle’s offense was much of the same from a year ago in which it ranked only one place higher in the rush and one place lower in the pass. It’s wide receivers were forced to play small ball; mainly because they’re actually just so damn small. It’s two leading receivers, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin, are both listed at 5’10”. And although the explosive Harvin only has an inch on those guys, it’s hard not to admit that Sidney Rice’s 6’4″ frame would’ve been nice to have had it held up this season.

So although fans tend to ooh and ahh at Russell Wilson’s game, what people are really oohing and ahhing at are his Houdini-like escapes while under pressure – and he was under quite a lot of it this year, being sacked the third most times in the league. Maybe if Percy Harvin were healthy, some of those seven yard slants to Tate and Baldwin could have been fifty-seven yard game breakers.

On the other hand, maybe the Seahawks are even better than initially thought to be. After surrendering first and seventh-rounders and a third rounder this year to Minnesota in the Harvin trade, it was hard to imagine a draft that would have made this team any better, given the hype surrounding the coveted wideout.

Chris Polydoroff/Pioneer Press

And as so, Seattle essentially went through this season with zero contribution from any of its draft picks; second rounder, Christine Michael, wasn’t able to leapfrog Robert Turbin for more carries; third rounder, Jordan Hill, couldn’t stay healthy and appeared in just four games; fourth rounder, Chris Harper (whom reminds me a lot of Anquan Boldin) didn’t even make the team and was a member of the 49ers for a hot minute. The only guy who was an ounce of help was fifth rounder, Luke Willson, who modestly finished sixth in receptions while operating as the number two tight end.

Meanwhile, Minnesota obtained an additional first round pick after Sharrif Floyd, which they used on CB Xavier Rhodes. Then, they proceeded to trade BACK into the first round to grab Harvin’s replacement, Cordarrelle Patterson, ultimately making out with three first round draft picks in 2013.

Now having missed a grand total of 22 games over the last 2 seasons, Harvin has been nothing more than a thorn in the side of fantasy owners who pulled a draft-and-stash or even traded for him (which I almost did.) Maybe the Vikings knew something about his health that no one else did.

The prospect of Harvin returning for a possible trip to the Super Bowl remains to be seen. But the way it’s looking right now, the simple thought of Percy Harvin on the field has paid off in the form of young cornerstones for Minnesota, and remained, well, a simple thought for Seattle.

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