The playoffs are upon us which means “Overreaction Monday” continues into the new year. The Seahawks capped a 12-4 2020 regular season with a 26-23 win over the 49ers in Week 17.
Next up is a Wild Card Round matchup against the Rams. Seattle will host Los Angeles at Lumen Field for the second time in three weeks. This game will serve as the rubber match with both teams splitting the two regular-season contests.
Here are the best takes this week. Thanks, as always, to those who participated.
I don’t understand this one, and Evan isn’t alone in this sentiment. Prior to Week 16, the Seahawks had lost 5-of-6 to the Rams. Jared Goff played well in a majority of those games while operating Sean McVay’s offense that Seattle couldn’t stop.
We all know Goff is a gravely flawed quarterback, as he exhibited in Week 16 with one of the most heinous interceptions you’ll ever see. But let’s not try to kid ourselves into thinking that John Wolford is a bigger threat to Seattle because he ran for 56 yards against a suspect Cardinals defense in his only career start.
If these takes are genuine, it has far more to do with fans selling themselves on Wolford as a viable quarterback to preemptively mitigate the embarrassment that would come from Seattle losing to a Wolford-led Rams team.
No season ends with grace. There is no elegance in any playoff defeat. But the Seahawks getting bounced from the postseason to a Rams team without its starting quarterback would be hard to stomach. Can you imagine what the takes in this column would look like a week from now if that were to happen? For the sake of everyone’s mental health and wellbeing, I hope Seattle wins.
Last week, I did my best to take the optimistic route. I won’t do that to you this week.
You are free to feel however you choose about the offense. If you pick optimism, great, more power to you. If you choose pessimism and worry, I understand that as well.
The Seahawks offense has given you ample reason to feel both ways.
Seattle’s 40-point outburst against the Jets is far more impressive in hindsight. A nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to close the door on the Rams in Week 16 was one of the offense’s signature moments of the season. Russell Wilson orchestrating three-straight touchdown drives in the fourth quarter against the 49ers illustrated how potent the offense still can be.
But it’s hard to ignore two-straight slow starts against the Rams and 49ers in which the Seahawks failed to find the end zone in the first half. Or when Seattle didn’t score a single point over the final 28 minutes in Washington. And that damn Giants game… 10 points? Against the Giants?
No defense should be able to scheme Seattle’s offense into submission -- not with Wilson, Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson, DK Metcalf and an above average offensive line. But that was the case far too frequently in the second half of the season.
This won’t help quell your nerves either: Pete Carroll is just fine with these latest game scripts and has no problem with the trend continuing. That’s because Wilson is no longer turning the ball over in bunches, and you know Carroll well enough by now to understand that’s priority No. 1.
He’ll understand that if they play against a Wolford-led offense, Seattle won’t need to score 30 points against the Rams. As long as Los Angeles’ defense doesn’t get takeaways and give its offense short fields, Carroll will like his team's chances.
So brace yourself for another conservative, grind-it-out game on Saturday.
I’ve written before that the word “balance” is overrated in my opinion. Do the Seahawks need Chris Carson? Yes, absolutely. Is Carson more important to the offense than Wilson? Not even close. Unless the Seahawks find a way to average 7.5 yards per carry, much like the 49ers did in last year’s NFC Championship Game against the Packers, this offense will go as far as Wilson takes it.
If Seattle gets past Los Angeles, there will likely come a game where the Seahawks defense isn’t as dominant. In that event, Wilson will be forced to take more chances and light up the scoreboard as he did in the beginning of the season. Just don’t expect that approach unless the situation absolutely demands it.
Overreaction? Yes (it was an overreaction to call Brooks a bust)
It’s hard to take anyone seriously who wanted to label Brooks a bust despite playing in a part-time role. Similarly, it’s just as negligent to crown him as the next Bobby Wagner because of a few standout games.
But Brooks has been stellar nonetheless, and that is worth appreciating. Brooks had nine tackles against the 49ers and has now led the team two games in a row. He made three tackles in a four-play sequence on the goal line against the Rams. On Sunday, he flattened George Kittle in a way that rarely happens against the superstar tight end. Kittle is normally the hammer, not the nail.
There isn’t much else to say other than Seahawks fans should be thrilled with what they’ve seen from the first-round pick.
I’m glad someone brought this up and appreciate Nick’s creativity.
I have been baffled by the handwringing over Doug Pederson’s decision to bench Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld on Sunday night. We spent all season talking about how the Jets should go 0-16 in order to get Trevor Lawrence. Jets fans mourned the team’s first win that handed Jacksonville the first-overall pick.
We laughed and made jokes and ridiculed the organization for the meaningless W’s that cost it the most highly-touted QB prospect since Andrew Luck.
But now we want to crucify Pederson and the Eagles for obviously tanking a meaningless game in order to improve their draft stock? I don’t get it.
I understand the frustration from Giants players, coaches, and fans because it cost them a chance at a playoff spot.
I also get Eagles players being potentially frustrated and humiliated by their organization’s decision to actively avoid winning a game. Pederson, should he stick around in Philadelphia, has to answer to those guys and keep the culture together in that locker room.
But the rest of us need to move on and stop pretending to be personally offended by what transpired.