It’s amazing how much things can chance in just a few weeks. In the not-so distant past, this column was understandably filled with doom and gloom and projections of a short-lived playoff run in Seattle. A home loss to the Giants will have that impact.
But now the sentiment surrounding the Seahawks has drastically pivoted for the better following a 20-9 win against the Rams. Seattle has no clinched the NFC West and can do no worse than the No. 3 seed in the NFC.
Next up is the regular-season finale against the 49ers in Week 17. It’s a game that could potentially mean everything but will likely mean nothing depending on how the Packers and Saints fare against the Bears and Panthers, respectively.
Let’s dive into your takes this week. Thanks, as always, to those who participated.
It’s a bold take, sure, but not one you can categorically refute. We’ve seen enough from Jordyn Brooks now to indicate that his future is bright. Seattle’s 2020 first-round pick was tremendous against the Rams, accumulating an astounding eight tackles in just 28 snaps. Brooks played a crucial role in Seattle’s goal-line stop with three tackles in a four-play sequence.
Brooks has shown an aptitude in coverage as well to go with his ability to play the run. He’s fast, physical and has exhibited instincts that will make him a successful NFL linebacker. It feels safe to say that his floor is relatively high. However, we won’t know what his ceiling is until he becomes a full-time player.
That should happen beginning next season so long as Seattle doesn’t bring back K.J. Wright. Even if Wright does return, it’s possible that Brooks takes over in sub packages with Wright’s role limited to base defense.
Jamal Adams said the Seahawks defense is the best in the NFL. That group sure played like it on Sunday. Seattle’s ability to play assignment-sound football against an offense that predominantly gives the Seahawks so much trouble was noteworthy. The bootlegs, the pre-snap motions, the play-action fakes, the screens, etc. – none of it worked with any regularity for the Rams on Sunday.
It’s quite impressive how good a defense can be with 11 guys doing their jobs and avoiding missed assignments. Add the immense talent at Seattle’s disposal with guys like Adams, Carlos Dunlap, Shaquill Griffin, Quandre Diggs and others, and you have a defense capable of powering a playoff run.
That was a type of performance that would have been effective against any opponent. Yes, the Packers would likely have scored more than nine points, but Green Bay’s defense is vastly inferior to the Rams’ defense which means the Seahawks would have scored more than 20 points.
Sunday’s showing from Seattle should give all 12s the optimism and belief that a Super Bowl run is possible for the 2020 Seahawks.
The “Let Russ Cook” catch phrase has been warped into this polarizing argument to where it has become an irrelevant talking point. The Seahawks got off to a record-breaking start due to Russell Wilson’s stellar play. LRC, at least as I interpreted it, meant for Seattle to acknowledge that Wilson was capable of putting up massive numbers without the need to establish the run. Wilson proved that at the beginning of the season.
That doesn’t mean the running game has no value. Seattle was never going to be able to chuck it all over the yard against top-shelf defenses. A productive Chris Carson and an efficient short and intermediate passing game are also vital aspects to Seattle’s success.
The Seahawks have the personnel to be one of the most versatile and complete offenses in football. We’ve seen them win every which way at this point. And while Wilson went through a stretch of poor play, to use that slump as an indictment against the LRC movement is disingenuous in my opinion.
Seattle still shouldn’t feel obligated to run the ball against pass-friendly looks from a defense. Conversely, if a defense is selling out to stop the deep ball, let Carson eat. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, but not by much.
The Packers, assuming they win against the Bears in Week 17, will be overwhelming favorites to win the NFC. That’s because of the combination of having the lone first-round bye as well as the home field advantage of playing at Lambeau Field in January.
Green Bay dismantled a very good Titans team, 40-14, on “Sunday Night Football.” As impressive as the Seahawks were against the Rams, it’s the Packers who are the conference’s team to beat.
The Seahawks have some tough decisions on their hand. I wrote about the five players who I think should get the day off. Should the Saints and Packers be up big at halftime, Seattle should bench as many starters as possible in the second half.
I think you’re right, but I also think the Seahawks are working to make this happen. DK Metcalf was put in motion pre-snap frequently against the Rams, and he ran a career-high 22 routes out of the slot. Seattle isn’t ignorant to the fact that they need Metcalf involved regularly in order to succeed, even if the formula for manufacturing touches for him isn’t quite perfected just yet.
Overreaction? No. (and yes, to a degree)
It’s obvious the Seahawks made a wise choice to stay firm on their offer to Jadeveon Clowney and let him sign with the Titans. Clowney is on season-ending Injured Reserve after failing to register a single sack in eight games.
But Seattle’s front office isn’t free from all scrutiny. The Seahawks had just 12 sacks through the first half of the season before acquiring Carlos Dunlap in a trade that was completely unforeseen last offseason when John Schneider worked to reload a pitiful pass rush that generated a mere 28 sacks in 2019. You can easily argue that the Seahawks didn’t do enough prior to the season. Their prized second-round pick hasn’t played a down. That’s on them. Bruce Irvin’s ACL tear was unlucky but again, you could argue that Seattle put too many eggs in that basket.
The conversation surrounding the pass rush is a great example of why rarely is anything black and white. There are many layers to why Seattle has improved so drastically in the second half. The health of Jamal Adams, addition of Dunlap and overall continuity on defense have all been reasons for the Seahawks’ outburst with 31 sacks over their last seven games.
Schenider and Co. deserve plenty of credit for the turnaround. But there has been some good fortune involved as well that masked some previous oversights.
I couldn’t agree more. Sunday against the Rams was a prime example that Adams’ contributions aren’t limited to rushing the passer. The star safety didn’t have a single QB hit or sack, and yet it was obvious that he left his mark in the win. Adams made a pair of touchdown saving tackles and broke up a pass down the right seam. He’s also battling through a shoulder injury and two broken fingers. Seattle has to be thrilled.
The Seahawks tune may change briefly when it comes time to sit down at the negotiation table, though, where Adams will hold all the cards.
I genuinely don’t understand how some are blaming the organization for how it handled the Damon Harrison situation. Harrison came to Seattle out of shape. He then played fine in place of Bryan Mone, but certainly not better than Mone. With Mone returning against the Rams, it made no sense to keep Harrison active. He doesn’t play special teams, and he wouldn’t have played a single defensive snap. Heck, Mone only played 26 snaps.
So now that he’s a reserve player again, Harrison wants out? And that’s somehow the organization’s fault? I don’t see it.
Carroll did his best to get Harrison to reconsider. His efforts were unsuccessful. Oh well. All the Seahawks can do is with him well and move forward. He’s a great person and was undoubtedly loved within the organization. He will surely be missed by many.
But there’s too much at stake for this team to waste time losing sleep over Harrison’s ego.