Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

Although the Seattle Seahawks are 2-0, there are still plenty of question marks surrounding the team. I’m of the belief that we still don’t know for sure who the Seahawks are going to be in 2019, and we may not learn much more in Week 3 against the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints.

Here’s a look at what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong thus far in this week’s mailbag. Thanks to those who sent in questions!

Jaron Brown has been quiet – so quiet that he hasn’t registered an official target in his 99 snaps through two weeks. He also had a pair of costly penalties against the Steelers. It’s conceivable that he moves down the depth chart or is cut all together. However, I don’t see those reps going to John Ursua or Gary Jennings. David Moore has a good shot to return against the Saints, and he’s the one who would assume Brown’s workload.

This, to me, is the Seahawks biggest concern at this point. Protection has been an issue in both games as Seattle has allowed eight total sacks so far. The quick passing game provided a remedy against the Steelers, but that doesn’t seem feasible as a long-term solution. The run blocking hasn’t been great either. The Seahawks averaged just 2.9 yards per carry in Week 1, and although they averaged 4.6 in Week 2, that number dips to 3.56 if you take out Rashaad Penny’s 37-yard touchdown run.

 

There aren’t any reinforcements coming so Seattle is going to have to figure it out and make it work with that they’ve got. The most troubling part of it all is that the o-line was supposed to be one of the team’s biggest strengths going into the season, and that simply hasn’t been the case through two weeks. D.J. Fluker missing time due to an ankle injury could make things worse before they get better. And make no mistake, they have to get better if Seattle is going to be a real contender in 2019.

You never want to overreact too much from one game, but Lano Hill showed that he deserves to be in the lineup. His interception on Pittsburgh’s two-point try was one of the biggest plays of the game. It will be interesting to see what happens when Tedric Thompson’s hamstring gets healthy because Seattle will have some decisions to make. Hill fared better than Thompson in their respective starts, but I’m curious to see if the Seahawks feel comfortable leaving Bradley McDougald at free safety all season. In my opinion, he’s better suited at strong.

As for Marquise Blair, I think he’ll continue to be the odd man out barring injury. I think people have rookie bias when it comes to Blair. He’s an enticing player and made a few big hits in the preseason, but he also had a few egregious errors as well. I don’t believe Pete Carroll trusts him yet, and the Seahawks have enough depth at safety to be patient and let Blair develop on the practice field.

I tried to tell people during the preseason that the NFC West was going to be way more competitive than many believed. There are three teams at 2-0 and the Arizona Cardinals have shown that they’re not going to be a cakewalk, either. The Rams are what they are. It’s still their division to lose. San Francisco finally has legitimate talent up and down the roster for the first time in years. The Cardinals offense already appears to be clicking with Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury.

The one caveat is that, similar to my earlier sentiments on the Seahawks, we don’t know exactly who the 49ers are yet. They’ve played a poor Buccaneers team and then walloped the Bengals. But both wins came on the road which is impressive. The Seahawks road game against the 49ers on “Monday Night Football” is the matchup I’m looking forward to most in 2019.

 

So, yes, I do think the NFC West is the best division in football. The NFC North is a close runner-up.

Everyone is thrilled to be 2-0 knowing full well that the team hasn’t played its best football yet. Not even close, for that matter. It’s always easier to review the tape and make corrections on things after a win. Seattle has caught some major breaks thus far and will again in Week 3 with avoiding Brees. That’s big for a team that’s a notoriously slow starter.