The Seattle Seahawks (5-1) look to keep things rolling at home on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens (4-2) in Week 7. There are several intriguing storylines going into this one, most notably Jarran Reed’s return following a six-game suspension, Earl Thomas’ return to Seattle and the challenge of stopping Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Here are five Seahawks players who need big games if Seattle is going to improve to 6-1.
1. Russell Wilson
Wilson, especially following the injury to Patrick Mahomes, is in the driver’s seat to win MVP. He’s thrown for 14 touchdowns without an interception. His interception-less streak is now at 207 pass attempts, which is a new franchise record. He’s also posted a passer rating of more than 100 in all six games this season.
But Thomas is coming to CenturyLink field as a visitor for the first time in his career. Both Thomas and Wilson discussed how their families are still close, but can you imagine how badly Thomas wants a pick against his good friend and former team? You better believe that this matchup means the world to Thomas. Wilson will be in charge of making sure Thomas leaves his revenge game empty handed.
2. Jarran Reed
The horse has long been dead by now, but that doesn’t change the fact that Seattle is desperate for pass rush help. Reed is the final piece to the puzzle, and the Seahawks need him to make an impact immediately. Reed is, by all accounts, in fantastic shape and hopes to see a full workload in his 2019 debut. That should be the expectation as Seattle simply doesn’t have the luxury of putting Reed on a snap count. Jadeveon Clowney has seen more double teams than any other edge defender in the league. He’s hoping that Reed is the remedy to get himself going as well.
3. Marquise Blair
Blair could be in line for his first start unless Bradley McDougald’s back makes a miraculous recovery ahead of Sunday’s game. McDougald didn’t practice on Friday and is listed as questionable. Lano Hill won’t play with an elbow injury. Blair has appeared in four games with just one combined tackle. He only played eight snaps against the Browns in Week 6, so if he is to start on Sunday, it would somewhat of a debut given his limited usage thus far.
4. Luke Willson
This one is pretty straightforward. Willson is locked into a near-every down role with Will Dissly (Achilles) now on injured reserve. Willson isn’t known for his pass-catching prowess as he’s never had more than 22 receptions in a season, but he’ll need to step up in Dissly’s absence nonetheless. It’s crazy how things change. Willson wasn’t even on the roster until Week 4, and now he’s a vital cog in Seattle’s offense.
5. K.J. Wright
Sunday will be a huge test for Wright and the rest of Seattle’s linebackers. Baltimore’s thunder and lightening combo in the running game of Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram is the best in the NFL. The Ravens utilize a ton of pre-snap motion and window dressing which can cause all sorts of confusion for an opposing defense.
“It’s going to be a disciplined game. Everybody has got to do their job,” Wright said. “We’ve got to make sure we stay on the details.”
Wright added that Jackson has a lot of freedom within the offense. If you make a mistake against him or aren’t sound in your gap assignments, Jackson will make you pay every time.
“He’s probably the fastest guy we’ll play this season,” Wright said. “The dude is blazing.”