The Seattle Seahawks have a golden opportunity to go 5-0 for the first time in franchise history. All that stands between them is a Week 5 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings (1-3) on “Sunday Night Football.”
Here are five burning questions for the week, covering what it will take for Seattle to beat Minnesota at home on Sunday.
1. Can the Seahawks contain Yannick Ngakoue?
Ngakoue spent all offseason hoping for a trade out of Jacksonville. His wish was finally granted as the Jaguars sent him to the Vikings. He’s been a bright spot on an otherwise depleted and underwhelming defense with 4.0 sacks through four games. Keeping Ngakoue in check will be the top priority for Seattle’s offensive line. Doing so should pave the way for another massive offensive output for the Seahawks.
2. Does Ryan Neal have another interception in him?
Neal has an interception in two-straight games since entering the lineup for an injured Jamal Adams (groin). Adams will miss Sunday’s contest against the Vikings, which means Neal is in line for another start. He’s been tremendous so far with 10 total tackles, three passes defended and the two picks in just 100 defensive snaps. Neal’s PFF grade in those two games is a respectable 74.7.
He’s a feel-good story that might have some staying power on Seattle’s defense if he’s able to remain productive in Adams’ absence. There’s a chance that Neal overtakes Lano Hill on the depth chart upon Adams’ return, and maybe he already has. That would give him reps in sub packages for the remainder of the season.
3. Will Quinton Dunbar return after missing the last two games?
Dunbar will be a game-time decision with a knee injury that has already kept him out of two games. He’s a major upgrade over Tre Flowers and having him back in the lineup would be a boost for a secondary about to go against Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. In his two starts, Flowers has PFF grades of 38.8 and 39.0. His lone pass defended was a dropped interception that was thrown right to him. Regardless of if it’s a confidence issue or an indication that Flowers is merely a middle-of-the-road corner, Seattle could really use Dunbar on Sunday.
Pete Carroll indicated during his Friday press conference that Dunbar has a good chance to make his return.
4. Will Damon Harrison make his Seahawks debut?
Carroll said that no decision has been made as to whether or not “Snacks” will play against the Vikings. With him being on the practice squad, the Seahawks have until 1:00 p.m. PT on Saturday to decide if they want to flex him up to play against the Vikings.
5. Who will step up for the Seahawks pass rush?
Seattle is understandably blitzing less without Adams in the lineup. So who among the front four is going to be able to get home against Kirk Cousins and the Vikings? With another shootout expected, pressure is on Jarran Reed, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson, Damontre Moore, L.J. Collier and Shaquem Griffin to ignite a lackluster pass rush through four games.