Seattle Seahawks

Instant Analysis: Paxton Lynch balls out and other takeaways from Seattle Seahawks win over Denver Broncos

Instant Analysis: Paxton Lynch balls out and other takeaways from Seattle Seahawks win over Denver Broncos

SEATTLE, Wash. – The Seattle Seahawks opened their preseason slate with a 22-14 win over the Denver Broncos on Thursday night at CenturyLink Field. With most of Seattle’s starters sitting this one out, all of the attention was on the backups fighting for roster spots.

Here are the top three takeaways from the contest.

1. Paxton Lynch outperforms Geno Smith

Smith has been the better quarterback in practice. It’s why he earned the start in this one with Russell Wilson given the night off. But it was Lynch who was the superior quarterback against the Broncos. Smith struggled to get into a rhythm at any point over the first two quarters. He finished the first half with just 58 yards on 3-of-9 passing.

Conversely, Lynch picked apart the Broncos defense over the final two quarters in what was a revenge half of sorts. Lynch, the former 26th-overall pick for the Broncos in the 2016 NFL Draft, racked up 109 yards and one touchdown on 11-of-15 passing. He added a 9-yard touchdown run and outgained Smith on the ground with 38 rushing yards to Smith’s 21.

The competition to be Wilson’s backup just became much more interesting.

2. DK Metcalf inches away from a monster first half

Metcalf caught one pass for eight yards on four targets. But the mundane stat line was nearly so much more. Smith took two deep shots for Metcalf – one down each sideline. Metcalf had a step on the coverage on each attempt. On the first, Smith overshot Metcalf down the right sideline, and the throw was a bit wide. The rookie wideout got his hands on the second deep ball but couldn’t corral what would have been a full-extension 32-yard touchdown grab.

The near misses are still encouraging for the Seahawks. One or both of the plays would have likely been completions with Wilson at quarterback. Metcalf did have a 7-yard reception nullified due to a penalty.

3. The secret is out on Jazz Ferguson

Ferguson has been a consistent performer in training camp over the last week, highlighted by his two touchdowns in the Seahawks mock game last Saturday. Ferguson’s strong play continued in his preseason debut. The undrafted rookie caught four passes for 54 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown from Lynch. On the score, Ferguson used his 6-foot-5 frame to box out the corner in coverage to make a contested reception at the goal line.

He was easily Seattle’s most impressive skill player on Thursday night. At this point, I’m not sure the Seahawks will be able to sneak Ferguson onto the practice squad. That means the big-bodied rookie may have gotten himself closer to clinching a spot on the 53-man roster.

--

More to come from this one with quotes from Pete Carroll and Seahawks players.

Self-inflicted wounds and questionable decisions doom Seattle Seahawks in loss to New Orleans Saints

Self-inflicted wounds and questionable decisions doom Seattle Seahawks in loss to New Orleans Saints

SEATTLE - The Seattle Seahawks (2-1) spent Sunday trying to overcome a series of gaffes, self-inflicted wounds and poor decisions. They did so to no avail, dropping their first game of the season in a 33-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints (2-1) in Week 3.

Pete Carroll called it an “unusual game” and added that the Seahawks “had a really hard time getting out of (their) own way.”

Things started poorly and only got worse until a pair of garbage time touchdowns made the game appear closer than it was in reality. Seattle’s offense committed a 10-yard penalty on the first play of scrimmage that preceded a three-and-out. The Saints returned the ensuing punt for a touchdown.

“We know we’re a better football team than that,” Duane Brown said. “We’ve got great players. We’ve got smart players. But to start the game with a penalty, go three-and-out, (give up a) punt return for a touchdown – that’s not how you want to start a game, especially at home. It’s stuff we’ve got to clean up.”

In the second quarter, Vonn Bell returned a Chris Carson fumble 33 yards for a touchdown. It was Carson’s third lost fumble in as many games.

Seattle got a stop to open the third quarter as Will Lutz missed a long field-goal attempt. However, Al Woods lined up over the longsnapper and was flagged, giving New Orleans an automatic first down. The Saints capitalized with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas.

“That’s just the rules. I don’t know how we made that error,” Carroll said. “I’ve never seen us do that ever.”
Carroll owned the lion’s share of the blame saying he “had a particularly bad day with stuff.” His miscues included forgetting to go for two after Russell Wilson’s touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. A two-point conversion would have allowed Seattle to kick a field goal on its final possession to save time and try for an onside kick.
“Yeah we didn’t do that right, either,” Carroll said.

Seattle’s approach to fourth downs was also particularly peculiar.

On the Seahawks second drive, Carroll opted to punt on 4th-and-4 from the Saints 39-yard line while trailing 7-0.

“Generally we count on Michael (Dickson) putting the ball inside the 10-yard line,” Carroll said. “I would rather play it that way.”

Except the Seahawks didn’t play it that way late in the second quarter, going for it on 4th-and-1 from the Saints 41-yard line, a decision Carroll said he regretted. Chris Carson was stuffed for a 1-yard loss on that fourth-down play. The turnover on downs led to Alvin Kamara’s 29-yard touchdown catch.

“I could have changed the situations on fourth downs some,” Carroll said. “I could have kicked the ball and done some more conservative things that I like to do often. But (I) felt pretty good about how we were playing D.”

That failed fourth-down attempt impacted how Seattle approached its final drive of the first half. The Seahawks got the ball back following Kamara’s score at their own 21-yard line with 29 seconds to play and two timeouts. Seattle opted not to call timeout after Nick Vannett’s 9-yard reception on first down.

Wilson found DK Metcalf for a 54-yard gain down the left sideline on the next play, but the clock expired before the Seahawks could call timeout. So instead of getting a field goal before the half, Seattle went into the locker room with two timeouts in its pocket and a 13-point deficit.

“We’d already been stung by the sequence before, and it’s a long ways home,” Carroll said of not using a timeout before half. “Russ came up with some magic and made a great play with DK. If we knew that was going to happen, I would have called time out earlier.”

The Seahawks have plenty of soul searching to do over the next 24 hours. They’ve had egregious self-inflicted wounds in each of their first three games this season. The difference is that Seattle was on the losing end of this one.

There’s no need to panic over a loss in September, especially for a team that notoriously gets better as the season goes on, but there are negative trends emerging that need to be addressed immediately.

“Maybe this is the one game that we learn from and grow from and put this stuff behind us,” Carroll said.

Instant Analysis: Seattle Seahawks lose ugly game to New Orleans Saints in Week 3

Instant Analysis: Seattle Seahawks lose ugly game to New Orleans Saints in Week 3

SEATTLE - The Seattle Seahawks (2-1) were dreadful in pretty much every facet during their Week 3 loss to the New Orleans Saints (2-1), getting beat 33-27 at CenturyLink Field. The game wasn’t as close as the score indicates as New Orleans held a 33-14 lead late in the fourth quarter before two garbage time touchdowns by Seattle.

This is the third-straight game that Seattle has looked underwhelming, and they’re ultimately lucky this is its only loss to show for it.  

Here are the immediate takeaways following the game.

1. Pass rush MIA

The Seahawks failed to sack Teddy Bridgewater once and only registered two quarterback hits (both by Quinton Jefferson). It was an underwhelming performance given this was the first time Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney were on the field at the same time. This marked the second-straight game that Seattle’s pass rush has failed to make an impact.

Bridgewater took what was given to him for the most part without pushing the ball downfield much. He finished the game with 177 yards and two touchdowns.

2. Carson’s fumble issues continue

Chris Carson continues to have a problem holding onto the football. He coughed it up at the end of his 23-yard run in the second quarter, and the Saints scooped up the loose ball for a touchdown. Saints safety Vonn Bell was the one who ran it back 33 yards for the score.

Carson has lost a fumble in each of Seattle’s first three games. He finished the game with 53 yards on 15 carries while conceding snaps to C.J. Prosise for most of the second half. Prosise ended the game with just five yards on four carries, but he did catch all five of his targets for 38 yards. We may see less and less of Carson moving forward giving his turnover issues.

3. Not so special teams

After Seattle’s offense went three-and-out to begin the game, Saints wide receiver Deonte Harris took the ensuing punt 53 yards to the house. Harris went relatively untouched as he sprinted for the end zone.

In the third quarter, Seattle was called for a costly penalty that negated a Saints missed field goal. Al Woods lined up over the center and was called for illegal formation, giving New Orleans an automatic first down. The Saints took advantage and ultimately scored a touchdown on a 1-yard pass to Michael Thomas.

Notes:

- Alvin Kamara torched the Seahawks for 69 rushing yards, 92 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Seattle’s tackling was dreadful throughout as Kamara seemed to break double digit tackles all by himself. His first score, a 29-yard catch on a well-designed screen to the right, featured three missed tackles by the Seahawks.
- Bradley McDougald left the game with an ankle injury and did not return. Marquise Blair took over at free safety. Duane Brown left the game with an arm injury and did not return, either.
- Russell Wilson had a monster game from a statistical standpoint, throwing for 406 yards and two touchdowns. He added 51 rushing yards and two scores. Tyler Lockett caught a career high 11 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. Most of that production for both players came during garbage time.
- There were a few questionable decisions made by Seattle. The first was to not use a timeout after a first down play just before halftime. The clock expired after DK Metcalf’s 54-yard reception on the very next play, and Seattle went into the halftime locker room with two timeouts in its pocket. The other was a missed deep shot for Malik Turner on 4th-and-inches in the fourth quarter that resulted in a turnover on down.

Social media reacts as Seattle Seahawks second half comeback falls short vs. New Orleans Saints

usatsi_13399181.jpg
USA Today Images

Social media reacts as Seattle Seahawks second half comeback falls short vs. New Orleans Saints

SEATTLE - The Seattle Seahawks were 2-0 heading into Sunday’s meeting with the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field.

It seemed like the perfect stage for Seattle to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2013, but the Seahawks were plagued by penalties and missed tackles that led them to a 21-7 deficit before halftime.

A huge fumble recovery from rookie linebacker Cody Barton and a two-yard TD for quarterback Russell Wilson seemingly turned the tides with 11:55 left on the clock.

But the Seahawks had dug themselves a hole too deep to escape and fell to the Saints 33-27 for their first loss of the 2019 season. 

Here’s a look at how fans and media on social media reacted to the Seahawks loss to the Saints. 

Wilson first connected with his main man, Tyler Lockett, who found his way into the end zone for Seattle’s first 6 points of the night. 

In the third quarter, rookie linebacker Cody Barton came up with a clutch recovery off a muffed punt. Fans celebrated the play as a major shift in the game.

Russell Wilson got hot in the fourth quarter, running the ball in not once, but twice because well, he’s Russell Wilson. Social media lost it. 

Seahawks Insider Joe Fann shared his three takeaways from Seattle’s ugly loss here

Up next, the Seahawks head to Arizona to take on the Cardinals and standout quarterback Kyler Murray. 

Seahawks Week 3 Inactives: Tre Flowers to play, L.J. Collier a healthy scratch

Seahawks Week 3 Inactives: Tre Flowers to play, L.J. Collier a healthy scratch

The Seattle Seahawks defense will get a major boost with Tre Flowers (ankle) active in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints. Flowers injured his ankle on Thursday and didn't practice on Friday. He was listed as questionable, and I was under the impression that he was more on the doubtful side.

Flowers being active allows Jamar Taylor to stay at nickel.

Rashaad Penny (hamstring) will not play against the Saints. The Seahawks No. 2 running back injured himself during Friday's walkthrough practice and was tagged as questionable. With Penny out, C.J. Prosise should see additional usage behidn Chris Carson.

L.J. Collier is a healthy scratch for Seattle in Week 3, which is notable given he's the team's 2019 first-round pick. Ezekiel Ansah and Poona Ford being in the lineup on Sunday is what kept Collier out of the gameday 46.

Here's Seattle's full list of inactives:

- L.J. Collier

- Gary Jennings

- John Ursua

- Rashaad Penny

- Neiko Thorpe

- Ethan Pocic

- Tedric Thompson.

And for the Saints:

- Drew Brees

- Tre'Quan Smith

- Ken Crawley

- Saquan Hampton

- Ethan Greenidge

- Carl Granderson

- Sheldon Rankins

5 Seahawks players to watch in Week 3 against the Saints

5 Seahawks players to watch in Week 3 against the Saints

All that stands between the Seattle Seahawks (2-0) and a 3-0 start is a home victory against the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints (1-1). Similar to Week 1, when the Cincinnati Bengals came to town without A.J. Green and Cordy Glenn, this is somewhat of a must-win for Seattle.

The NFC West is setting up to be incredibly competitive with three teams sitting at 2-0, and Seattle needs to take advantage of the break they’ve gotten by missing Brees. Sean Payton has been mum on who will start under center for the Saints, but I’d be shocked if it wasn’t Teddy Bridgewater. New Orleans made him the highest paid backup in the league this offseason. Taysom Hill will be sprinkled in as well.

Here are five Seahawks players who might make or break Seattle’s chances of winning.

1. Ziggy Ansah

Ansah’s long-awaited Seahawks debut is finally here. The Seahawks opted to give Ansah’s shoulder a few extra weeks. H should be good to go without being on any snap count because of that patience. Unlike Jadeveon Clowney, Ansah spent the entire offseason in Seattle which should help from a mental standpoint. That pass rush tandem should improve as the season goes on, but nobody would argue with getting the instant gratification of seeing them terrorize the Saints offensive line on Sunday.  

2. David Moore

Moore gives Brian Schottenheimer another deep threat to deploy. Jaron Brown’s reps are likely to be diminished with Moore’s return from a shoulder injury. Brown is yet to see an official target through two games despite playing 99 snaps. Moore, and maybe even Malik Turner, should see snaps ahead of Brown in three- and four-receiver sets.

3. Poona Ford

Seattle will be thrilled to get Ford back into the lineup after he missed one game with a calf strain. He’ll be crucial in the Seahawks efforts against Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. With Ford and Ansah active in Week 3, don’t be surprised to see L.J. Collier as a healthy scratch on Sunday.

4. D.J. Fluker

Fluker missed 20 snaps in Week 2 after suffering an ankle injury before returning and finishing the game. Not only do the Seahawks need him to be healthy, but they need him to improve as well. Fluker gave up two sacks in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s imperative that the offensive live takes a step forward against the Saints pass rush that leads the NFL with nine sacks.

5. Akeem King/Jamar Taylor

Tre Flowers is questionable to play with an ankle injury. I’m of the belief that Flowers won’t play against the Saints, which means either Akeem King or Jamar Taylor will be starting in his place. Given that the Seahawks don’t have their corners shadow receivers (ie. Shaquill Griffin following Michael Thomas), New Orleans may decide to attack King/Taylor’s side of the field with Thomas. Will they be up to the task?

David Moore’s return means Seahawks can resume creative touchdown celebrations

David Moore’s return means Seahawks can resume creative touchdown celebrations

The Seattle Seahawks are 2-0 and have put up 49 points in the process. But for all the scoring, Seattle’s end zone celebrations have left much to be desired. The Seahawks – their wide receivers in particular – built a reputation in 2018 for having some of the NFL’s most creative group displays.

There was the Nolan Ryan bean ball, the “Drumline” reenactment and then this dance sequence that earned the league’s celebration of the year honors.

So what gives? Where’s the creativity? Tyler Lockett explained after the win in Pittsburgh that the celebrations were on hiatus until David Moore returns from his shoulder injury. Luckily for us, it appears that Moore will be back in the lineup this weekend against the New Orleans Saints. He was left off of Friday’s injury report completely.

“I’m ready for the celebrations,” Moore said on Thursday. “I can’t wait for those. I’m ready to go out there and feel the energy from everybody and know that I’m out there contributing with them.

“It’s a group effort. It’s a team thing. We’re together in this. Celebrations aren’t just for one person, it’s for all of us. If one (of us) is down, we can’t go that week.”

Moore, a 2017 seventh-round pick, appeared in one game as a rookie after spending most of the year on the practice squad. He played in all 16 games (seven starts) last season and posted 26 receptions on 53 targets for 445 yards and five touchdowns.

Moore had a few notable performances including a two-touchdown game against the Los Angeles Rams and his first career 100-yard game against the Carolina Panthers. He did go quiet over the final five weeks of 2018, though, catching just four combined passes for 32 yards.

He seemed destined for Injured Reserve immediately following his shoulder injury during training camp. The Seahawks later received good news that Moore’s hairline fracture to his humerus wouldn’t require surgery. Moore continued to work diligently to get back into the lineup ahead of schedule.

“He’s been working his tail off to get back,” Russell Wilson said. “He was a big-time player for us last year. … He just brings great enthusiasm, too. He really is a guy we love playing with and I know I love playing with.”

Brian Schottenheimer now has another piece to deploy in the passing game to go along with Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Will Dissly.

“He’s a vertical threat,” Schottenheimer said of Moore. “We’ve obviously been able to move him around a lot more this year. He looks really good – just the big play capability. We’ve always talked a little bit about just his size and speed and strength to the ball and things like that. It’ll be fun to have him back out there again.”

Seattle is thrilled about its 2-0 start, but the receivers wouldn’t argue with some added showmanship. Lockett said on Friday that the group is going to work through a few celebration ideas on Saturday leading up to their contest against the Saints.

The creativity will undoubtedly be there, and it’s up to the offense to continue to find the end zone.

“We’re doing real good,” Moore said of the offense through two weeks. “The deep ball is still there. The run game is still there. Everything is back where we left off – actually even better. Hopefully we can keep it going and get better as weeks go by.”

Week 3 Injury Report: Tre Flowers questionable to play vs. Saints

Week 3 Injury Report: Tre Flowers questionable to play vs. Saints

Tre Flowers (ankle) was a late addition to the Seattle Seahawks injury report, but now it appears that he may not play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 3. Flowers is officially listed as questionable.

If Flowers is unable to go, Jamar Taylor or Akeem King would start. Taylor would be the likely choice given his 41 career starts compared to King's one career start. That option becomes even more viable with how little Seattle has utilized it's nickle defense through two games. Taylor is the Seahawks nickel corner but played just 19 snaps in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

If this ends up being how things play out, there remains the question of who would play nickel. There are three options: They could move Taylor to nickel and play King on the outside in those situations; they could keep Taylor outside for the entire game and play Ugo Amadi at nickel; Seattle may also bring up Parry Nickerson from the practice squad to play nickel if they feel like he's got a firm grasp of the defense.

Tedric Thompson (hamstring) is also questionable to play. He missed last week's contest against the Steelers. Ethan Pocic (neck) and Neiko Thorpe (hamstring) are listed as doubtful.

Four notable omissions were Ziggy Ansah (shoulder), D.J. Fluker (ankle), David Moore (shoulder) and Poona Ford (calf), meaning all four will play against the Saints. Joey Hunt (ankle) will also be active for the first time all season which is notable given Pocic is likely out. That means he'll be the team's backup at center and both guard spots on Sunday.

UPDATE: Rashaad Penny (hamstring) was added to the injury report following Friday's practice. If he is unable to go, C.J. Prosise would be in line for a bigger workload.

A healthy Will Dissly adds a vital layer to Seahawks offense

A healthy Will Dissly adds a vital layer to Seahawks offense

Will Dissly admitted there were moments when he questioned whether or not he’d make a full recovery. The history of players suffering a torn patellar tendon wasn’t necessarily on his side.

Many players are able to return from the devastating knee injury, but very few are able to be the same players they once were. Jimmy Graham, Victor Cruz and Cadillac Williams are three notable names who struggled to regain form after tearing their patellar tendon.

But Dissly was determined to keep the negative thoughts from derailing his rehab.

“My mindset was: ‘OK I have to attack this.’ Once you get injured, you can’t get uninjured,” he said matter-of-factly.

The Seahawks second-year tight end referred to the grind of his recovery process as “groundhog day.” Now nearly a full year removed from the injury, Dissly is remarkably back to his old self. He’s showing he’s a capable weapon for Russell Wilson, just as he was the first few weeks of his rookie season.

Wilson found Dissly in the end zone twice last Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. One score came up the right seam and the other up the left.

“Having that moment – getting in the end zone, kind of being back and winning games is the best feeling ever,” Dissly said. “I just love the game of football so much, and I worked so hard to get back, so when positive things happen it’s definitely nice.”

Dissly recalled a day during the offseason program in the spring. He’d been doing straight-line running for a while, but Seattle’s training staff now wanted to see him move laterally. They told him to run straight and then make a 90-degree cut. Dissly did so without any pain, which helped him clear a huge mental hurdle.

“It was just like, alright let’s get bigger, stronger, faster at that point,” he said.

He continued to make steady progress, so much so that he was ready for the start of training camp. Seattle limited his reps in the early going purely on a precautionary basis.

Dissly has been able to find the silver lining in his injury. He told reporters that he had to relearn how to run and cut while he made baby steps toward his return.

“I almost feel like I’m more efficient in my cuts than I was prior to injury,” he said. “That was kind of a positive that I took out of it.”

A healthy Dissly adds an extra element to Seattle’s offense, evidenced by his production in Week 2. He was Wilson’s go-to target in the red zone, and he caught back-to-back passes on Seattle’s game-clinching drive to close out the fourth quarter against the Steelers. He caught all five of his targets for 50 yards and the two scores.

”It’s a testament to the athleticism that he has,” Wilson said on Thursday. “He can do everything. He can really catch. His timing is remarkable. His catch radius is really special.”

Dissly now has four touchdowns in just six career games. He’ll look to add to that total in Week 3 agains the New Orleans Saints.

How concerned should you be about the Seahawks offensive line?

How concerned should you be about the Seahawks offensive line?

We heard throughout training camp that the Seattle Seahawks felt more confident than ever in their offensive line. Seattle returned four starters and added four-time Pro Bowler Mike Iupati at left guard. The Seahawks envisioned that group setting the tone for their physical, ground-and-pound identity on offense.

However, those expectations haven’t been met through two games.

The Seahawks have allowed eight sacks, tied for fourth-most in the NFL. The run blocking hasn’t been much better as Seattle is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry. If you take away Rashaad Penny’s 37-yard touchdown run against the Steelers, that number nosedives to 3.26.

Seattle often gets criticized for running the ball too often on early downs, but that hasn’t been the problem. On 1st-and-10, the Seahawks have passed the ball 26 times and ran the ball 25 times. The issue is that they’ve only gained 24 yards on those 25 rush attempts.

“Not quite up to our standard at all,” Duane Brown said on Wednesday. “We ran the ball decent last game, but we can be more consistent. Pass protection hasn’t been up to par. We have stuff to clean up but we’ll get there.”

Pete Carroll did his best to put an optimistic spin on the o-line’s early struggles.

“Yeah, we’re concerned,” Carroll said. “I like what we did in the second half last week. We really caught up with the rhythm and the style. (Russell Wilson) was phenomenal, but he worked together with his guys up front in really good fashion.”

Seattle didn’t allow a sack over the final two quarters against Pittsburgh in Week 2 after giving up four in the first half. The quick passing attack kept the Steelers pass rush in check. Wilson got rid of the ball in 1.89 seconds on average per pass attempt, the quickest of any NFL quarterback in a game since 2016. So how much credit does the offensive line deserve for the Seahawks second-half improvements? It’s hard to tell given just how quick Wilson was getting rid of the football.

Pro Football Focus has Seattle ranked dead last in pass protection. In addition, just one member of the offensive line has an overall grade over 60 per PFF (Brown – 60.8).

“We take pride in pass protection,” Brown said. “We have an incredible quarterback, and we’ve got to keep him upright. We have to get the job done … and we will.”

Brown reiterated that preparation hasn’t been the issue, merely the execution. It’s been a mix of losing 1-on-1s, miscommunications on stunts and allowing blitzes to get through. That comes down to fundamentals and technique, offensive line coach Mike Solari said on Wednesday.

Penalties have been a pain point as well. Seattle’s offensive line has been flagged 11 times (eight enforced) through two games. Sacks and penalties have put the Seahawks consistently behind the sticks.

“Any time you get those calls, it sets you up for failure,” Brown said. “When you’re in 2nd-and-15, 2nd-and-20, it’s so hard to dial up the plays you want to have. Defenses know you have to pass it, and so they’re pinning their ears back.”

There’s a sense of urgency to take a big step forward in Week 3 with the New Orleans Saints coming to town. The Saints pass rush, led by four-time Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan, leads the NFL with nine sacks.

Carroll is banking on continuity – namely Mike Iupati and George Fant settling in – as the primary reason why the offensive line will improve as the season goes on.

“We’re kind of counting on it as we stay together and keep making progress,” Carroll said.

And he needs to be right. Barring a blockbuster trade, there are no reinforcements on the horizon. Seattle will have to make do with what they’ve got.