There’s a month left in the 2019 regular season and at 10-2, the Seahawks are sitting pretty. The problem is that there are two other teams in the NFC with the same record. Seattle, although it hasn’t officially clinched yet, is a lock for the playoffs.
The biggest question over the final quarter of the season is whether the Seahawks can claim a first-round bye, or even the top seed in the NFC. This week’s mailbag focuses on the topics that will help Seattle accomplish that goal. Thanks, as always, to those who asked questions.
Tyler Lockett has just four receptions for 64 yards over his last three games, but I don’t think it’s time to panic or worry that he’s lost his early-season magic. Even the best of receivers are susceptible to down games. Beyond that, he’s had a brutal stretch of luck in that span. He suffered a leg contusion against the 49ers that resulted in two nights at Stanford Hospital. Lockett then caught a nasty flu bug that was still clearly affecting him on Monday night against the Vikings.
Seattle’s No. 1 receiver should be getting closer to 100% this week, and the Seahawks need him to get involved in the offense once again. Russell Wilson’s MVP-caliber first half of 2019 was in direct correlation with Lockett’s breakout season. The Seahawks offense is at its best when those two are connecting on a regular basis. I expect things to get back to normal against the Rams on Sunday.
I think Jarran Reed, a potentially elite interior defensive lineman, should be the priority over Germain Ifedi. Reed has begun to look like his 2018 self of late despite battling through an ankle injury. He has four quarterback hits over his last three games. Finding a way to keep Reed and Jadeveon Clowney would be a huge boost to the defense heading into 2020.
There’s still a chance that Seattle brings back Ifedi as well. He could be affordable, somewhere in the $5-7 million range, depending on the free agent tackle market. The Seahawks could also look to take a tackle in the early rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Regardless, Reed is the better player and would be much harder to replace.
Akeem King is four inches taller than Ugo Amadi and is the preferred matchup against teams with bigger slot receivers or an emphasis on throwing to tight ends. That’s why it’s been King against the Eagles (Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert) and the Vikings (Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith). This weekend’s matchup with the Rams could be Amadi’s chance to see the field against Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. We could even see a mix of both nickel corners as King would likely play when the Rams go to 12 personnel (two-tight end sets with Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett).
George Fant has been a staple in Seattle’s offense all year, but his playing time jumped from 34% of snaps to 56% of snaps in Weeks 12 to 13. That likely has more to do with game script and Seattle’s success on the ground against the Vikings. He will still play even when Luke Willson (hamstring) is back in the lineup. So while Fant’s role definitely isn’t a stop gap, it isn’t likely to be quite so big in every game.
As for Trader Joe’s, I love their frozen food section. Endless options!
Josh Gordon has shown to be a master of the third-down slant. All four of his receptions with the Seahawks have come in that exact fashion and each has moved the chains. But your point is valid, we haven’t seen much from Gordon otherwise. My best guess is that Gordon’s role is what it is at this point. He’s going to be used in selective situations, but he may never become a focal point of Seattle’s passing game.
And I think the Seahawks are OK with that. Even one clutch catch on third down is enough for him to warrant a spot on the gameday 46-man roster.
If I’m a Seahawks fan, it’s less about “who” and more about “where.” There’s a massive difference between a first-round bye and hosting a Divisional round game than going on the road Wildcard weekend. Winning the NFC West would drastically improve Seattle’s chances of making it to the Super Bowl.
I don’t want to be the guy who doesn’t answer a semi-serious question. I thought they were OK – didn’t love them, didn’t hate them. I think if you’re going to do action green, though, just go all in and wear the pants as well. I do still think the half-and-half that we saw Monday night is better than any combination of grey on white.
I think it depends on your supply of nanobubbles. Hopefully you’re starting to feel better!