Seahawks

Fann Mail: Setting expectations for the Seahawks offense vs. the Rams

Seahawks
USATI

The Seahawks are days away from their playoff opener against the Rams. No need to waste any time, let’s dive into your questions. Thanks, as always, to those who participated.  

This is a great question. Jamal Adams is an easy answer, because of the overall impact he can have on a game and because he isn’t 100%. Adams vowed on Wednesday that he would play on Saturday against the Rams, stating emphatically that he wouldn’t be limited and expected himself to make plays. That was a much different tune than Pete Carroll’s, who said Adams would be a true game-time decision.

As Carlos Dunlap so eloquently said a few weeks back, “adrenaline is a hell of a drug,” and that’s what will be fueling Adams on Saturday. Seattle will badly need him to be a factor. The hope then becomes that he doesn’t reinjure his shoulder during the game.  

DK Metcalf and Carlos Dunlap would be my honorable mentions here.

In short, I don’t think you’re going to see the Seahawks get back to how things looked to open the year, not unless the situation absolutely demands it.

I attribute the downturn of Seattle’s offense to three factors:

1. A regression in Russell Wilson’s play.

2. A run of top-shelf defenses that would have resulted in at least a slight overall regression regardless. The Seahawks were never going to sustain their 35 points per game pace against the Rams, WFT, Giants, 49ers, etc.

 

3. A stretch where the offense turned the ball over in bunches, causing Seattle to become exceedingly risk-averse.

Pete Carroll noted the patience that goes into playing good defenses. He has no issue with the game scripts that lead to sluggish starts. That’s because he has faith in his defense keeping the ship afloat and the trust that the offense will make just enough plays to get a win.

Carroll knows his Seahawks are 12-0 when having a neutral or positive turnover differential. Protecting the football will remain the top priority on Saturday.  

I made this prediction last week and I’m going to stick to my guns: Ugo Amadi will be the unsung hero during the Seahawks playoff run. I predict a pick-six for him at some point. Other choices here could be David Moore, Benson Mayowa or D.J. Reed.

Jordyn Brooks’ improved play of late has been a reason for Seattle’s defensive turnaround, but not the reason. The first-round pick remains a part-time player and his role is limited to when Seattle is in its base defense. That means his snap count fluctuates on a game-to-game basis depending on an opposing offense’s preferred personnel package.

Over the last five games, Brooks’ snaps are as follows: 43, 18, 24, 28 and 48.

The Seahawks defense has played well in each of those five games. So while Brooks’ steady improvement throughout the season is worth appreciating, it’s not worth overreacting to. No need to crown him as the savior of the defense just yet.

I doubt the Seahawks are counting on Darrell Taylor playing in these playoffs unless they make the Super Bowl. Having him on the practice field, seeing how his body responds, and seeing him work is a huge bonus in and of itself given how turbulent Taylor’s rookie season has been. Rushing him into game action and risking re-injury would be foolish from Seattle’s standpoint given the team’s investment in him.

It’s more responsible and important to ensure that he’s a key part of the team’s pass rush in Week 1 of next season. Remember, the Seahawks coveted Taylor as one of the best pass rush prospects in the 2020 draft class. It’s why they considered taking him with the No. 27 pick and why they worked so hard to trade up and get him in the second round.

Alex Collins won’t be activated with Carlos Hyde returning to action this weekend. He remains a quality insurance piece on the practice squad, though. He’d be activated for the Divisional Round if any of Seattle’s top three running backs were to get hurt on Saturday.

And nope, no update on Josh Gordon. The bizarre saga continues…

Any challenge of not having tape on John Wolford is mitigated by the fact that it’s, well, John Wolford. I don’t mean any disrespect by that, but it’s worth pointing out that there’s a reason why last week was his first career start. Many Seahawks fans probably had never even heard of Wolford until Jared Goff hurt his thumb.

 

Yes, he made some nice throws and had a few impressive scrambles. He’s evidently more of a running threat than Goff. But the Seahawks have no business losing to a Wolford-led Rams team, regardless of how talented that defense is.

L.J. Collier has been solid, yet unspectacular. His play may never live up to the expectations of being a first-round pick, but he should be a valuable rotational piece for several years. Given he was the 29th-overall pick, I don’t think that constitutes being a bust.

Heck, Collier’s 3.0 sacks this season were just as many as Jadeveon Clowney had for the Seahawks in 2019.