Three-quarters of the way through the season, the Seahawks are finally starting to look like the Super Bowl contender we all expected.
Well, not exactly like we all expected.
Having lost three star defenders and their preferred starting running back, while dealing with a variety of other injuries and issues (penalties, offensive line shuffling, etc.), they have had a lot to overcome and have changed in unexpected ways. That explains why it took them 12 games to look like one of the NFC’s top teams.
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As the Seahawks quickly get ready to embark on the second half of their season, their roster — like many around the NFL — looks quite a bit different than it did when the season started.
Seattle will head to Arizona without starters Cliff Avril, Chris Carson and Luke Joeckel. But John Schneider also has added Duane Brown and Dwight Freeney, who already have made their presences felt and will be big parts of the second-half playoff push.
As he tries to help the Hawks become a contender this season, Schneider also is evaluating and plotting his 2018 moves.
Continue reading “Riches” will determine 2018 moves
Cliff Avril was placed on injured reserve. He said he is not retiring and might be back this season.
Jeremy Lane probably won’t play in New York, but Michael Bennett “looks like he’s ready to go.”
Quinton Jefferson is expected to play with a cast. Projected inactives: Jordan Roos, Isaiah Battle, Luke Joeckel, Jeremy Lane, Tedric Thompson, C.J. Prosise, Garrison Smith.
Here are five areas where the Seahawks need to improve ASAP.
The Seahawks had lost three straight games at the Rams and four of the past six meetings overall, so the fact that Seattle finally managed to steal one on the road against them is cause for major celebration.
Forget the typically poor offensive performance — the Rams always dominate the Hawks’ offense. Forget the fact that the Hawks were outgained 375 yards to 241. Forget that they rushed for under 100 yards for the fourth straight time vs. the Rams.
Instead, focus on the fact that the Hawks avoided falling two games behind the Rams in the NFC West. Focus on the five takeaways, including two each by Earl Thomas and Sheldon Richardson. Focus on the fact that Seattle kept the Rams out of the end zone in all five red-zone possessions.
Continue reading A win vs. Rams is worth celebrating — no matter how it happened
The sudden concern over Cliff Avril’s health — and thus career — has put the spotlight on the future of Seattle’s defensive line.
Almost exactly 10 years ago, Mack Strong faced a similar neck injury and decided to immediately call it a career (after 15 years). Avril, injured against the Colts on Sunday, might face the same choice in his 10th season. He is out indefinitely as he and the team investigate the cause of the stingers that numbed his arms and hands after he was kicked in the chin tackling Jacoby Brissett.
“Whenever it’s the spinal stuff and you get stingers, that means that there’s some nerve action going on there and you’ve got to be really careful and really safe with all that stuff,” Pete Carroll told KIRO Radio on Friday. “In this case in particular, we’ve just got to make sure, so we’re going to take our time with this and let it quiet down. He’s really not uncomfortable, but just some of the tests he took showed some stuff and we’ve just got to make sure we’re really honoring it and make good choices here. We’re on the same page and (will) take it one step at a time, and we’ll get to it when we can.”
It’s entirely possible Avril will return soon — maybe even after the Week 6 bye. But the 31-year-old also might decide after this injury that the ongoing risk is not worth it anymore.
Continue reading With Avril in doubt, what is future of D-line?
The Seahawks can show the opener was an aberration — or reality.
The Seahawks are 7-0 in home openers in Carroll era, winning by an average of 17.4 points. Here’s a look back at all seven.
Three matchups, including Brian Hoyer vs. the home crowd.
Five things to watch in the game.
“If there’s a matchup where they can get some pressure, it’s this one.” — Analyst and former offensive lineman David Diehl, on the 49ers’ D-line vs. Seattle’s O-line.
One game won’t decide a season, but — if the Seahawks and Packers are really the two best teams in the NFC, as Vegas thinks — home-field advantage might already be on the line when they open the season Sunday.
And that means the Seahawks are going to need to buck some bad history at Lambeau Field.
The Seahawks have lost seven straight games in Green Bay, by an average of 18.9 points. That includes last December, when Russell Wilson threw five interceptions in a 38-10 blowout that was the Hawks’ worst loss since 2011.
As we have chronicled previously, the Seahawks and Packers have been one of the best non-division rivalries in the NFL for the past two decades. This will be the sixth meeting in six years and the 14th since 1999 (the Hawks are 4-1 at home, 1-7 at Lambeau).
On top of that, they still have a thriving pipeline — Eddie Lacy the latest to go from one team to the other. He’ll face his former Packers teammates Sunday.
Continue reading Home field already on the line as Hawks open with familiar Pack