Seahawks

Fann Mail: Forecasting the Seahawks final four games of the season

Seahawks

The Seahawks are desperate to bounce back from an ugly loss to the Giants. The good news is that the winless Jets should be the definition of a get-right game. However, if Seattle were to lose in Week 14, there would be understandable chaos in the land of the 12s. But let’s not go down that rabbit hole until it happens.

Thanks, as always, to those who asked questions for this week’s mailbag.

I do think you’re being a bit negative, but I understand why you feel this way. It would take a catastrophic finish from Seattle in order to miss the postseason at this point. They’re 8-4 and Football Outsiders still gives them 98% odds to make the playoffs. All it will take is a 2-2 record down the stretch, and the Seahawks could probably still squeak by at 1-3 depending on other results around the NFL.

Seattle will beat the Jets this weekend. Then I have confidence the Seahawks can find, at a bare minimum, one more win against the WFT, the Rams or the 49ers. Being concerned is fair, but no need to overreact… yet.

Russell Wilson has said regularly that he speaks to his mental conditioning coach Trevor Moawad on a near-daily basis. It will surely be a big week for those two as they’ll need to work on what went wrong from a mental standpoint against the Giants. Wilson, while striving to stay neutral at all times, hasn’t seemed to be his normal exuberant self during games of late. This elongated out-of-character run for Wilson is arguably the worst stretch of his career. Fans should feel confident that he’s working tirelessly to snap out of it, though. Wilson has earned that benefit of the doubt.

 

I included all three of these questions because I think they’re all valid and, in general, covering the same topic. There’s no excuse for the Seahawks to get schemed into oblivion like they did against the Giants. No defense should be able to limit Wilson, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Chris Carson to just 10 points.

Seattle seemed hellbent on running deep, long-developing routes that led to off-schedule check downs and drive-crushing sacks. The Seahawks had no mid-range passing game, particularly in the middle of the field. Brian Schottenheimer and Wilson must find a way to find a rhythm in the passing game against two-high safety looks from defenses.

Opponents continue to emphasize taking away Seattle’s explosives. Those shot plays were what the Seahawks offense thrived on during the first quarter of the season. Since, especially with a regression in pass protection, Seattle hasn’t had much of a counterpunch.

Outside of a Week 11 win over Arizona, yards and point have been laborious for the Seahawks. Seattle should evaluate what worked against the Cardinals and figure out how to replicate that performance. Of note, the Seahawks had just two explosive pass plays in that win.

I don’t think anyone should be surprised Seattle is 8-4. The Seahawks are a really good team with a superstar quarterback. Fans tend to overemphasize the flaws of their own team while ignoring the warts of other clubs. There isn’t a team in the NFC that Seattle couldn’t hang with and ultimately beat. The Seahawks issue is that given the small margins of each game, winning three-straight playoff games and reaching the Super Bowl seems unlikely, though it is possible.

This is a fantastic point and the reason why I believe balance is overrated unless time of possession is egregiously skewed. Seattle is averaging 29:53 of possession this season, which is below average, but not to the degree to which you’d say it’s why the Seahawks are losing games. The notion of controlling the clock has always been weird to me. Your defense ultimately needs stops regardless of how many times it takes the field. That’s why the margin of victory usually doesn’t change because a team had clock-chewing possessions. It just means the total points scored in the game will dip.

As far as the Seahawks are concerned, utilizing the running game and making sure Chris Carson heavily involved is important. But Seattle’s reality is that the team will go as far as Russell Wilson takes it. He’s the Seahawks best player. He’s the franchise QB. He’s the one who needs to be lights out each week if Seattle is going to make a playoff run. No amount of balance would be the anecdote for a clunker from Wilson.