After a disappointing and rare December loss to the Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks now must win next week against the 49ers if they want a chance of a first-round bye.
That game was ugly. Injuries, laziness, lack of energy, lack of effort, and seemingly lack of preparation. The Seattle Seahawks seemed to be too focused on their big game against the 49ers rather than focusing on handling the Cardinals. Sure, there were injuries; but, that’s why teams have backups. Backups are meant to step up in big moments, and the Hawks backups clearly couldn’t even handle the Cardinals with backup quarterback Brett Hundley.
Yet, Pete Carroll is adamant that the Hawks can and will learn, grow, and recover from the loss. If anyone has proven that they can bounce back from bad losses, it’s the Seahawks. Plus, Carroll was ready to change the team’s mentality and energy with the signing of Marshawn Lynch. Lynch brings more than just talent to the team, he also brings a beast-like mentality. As Marshawn Lynch once said, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” Now, Marshawn is saying, “I’m just here so y’all will be fine.”
Yet, despite the signing of Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks have a lot of work to be done before their Sunday Night game against the 49ers.
Here are my four major takeaways from the Seattle Seahawks 13-27 loss against the Cardinals:
1. The Seattle Seahawks backups cannot sustain a high level of play
Coming into the game, the Seahawks were already banged up. A number of defensive starters were out. Jadeveon Clowney was still out with a core/illness designation. Shaquill Griffin was out with a hamstring injury. Quandre Diggs was out with an ankle sprain. If the Seahawks want any chance of beating the 49ers, these starters need to play.
Akeem King, Ugo Amadi, Bryan Mone, and Lano Hill cannot play at a playoff-caliber level. The secondary showed its weakness when it was blown away by Kenyan Drake on his 80-yard touchdown run and when they allowed easy completions for Brett Hundley to finish the game. The defensive line is not nearly as powerful without Clowney, only racking up two sacks with one sack coming from linebacker Bobby Wagner.
The last time the Seahawks played the 49ers, they won because of their starting defensive players. Clowney put pressure on Jimmy G all night long, allowing the Hawks to gain five sacks and force three turnovers, including a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Diggs got an interception, and Shaquill Griffin made two important diving pass deflections to seal the win.
2. The Seattle Seahawks offense cannot function without a running game
Once Chris Carson and CJ Prosise got hurt, the Seahawks offense stalled. When Carson was on the field, the Hawks were able to march down the field and score a touchdown easily. But, once Carson fractured his hip and Prosise broke his arm, the offense looked mediocre at best.
To make matters worse, former pro-bowler tackle Duane Brown had to get surgery on Monday for his knee, and Mike Iupati left the game with a stinger. As a result, the offensive line was destroyed by Chandler Jones and could not create any holes for fourth-string running back Travis Homer. If the Hawks couldn’t block Chandler Jones, it will be hard for them to block Nick Bosa.
Both Carroll and Schottenheimer know that the running game is the foundation of the Seahawks offense. So, they went out and signed the former Superbowl duo of Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin in hopes of revitalizing the run game.
3. Rasheem Green is still making clutch plays
After a miserable rookie year, it seems as Rasheem Green has found himself. He continually makes huge plays when the Seahawks need it the most. In almost every single prime time game this year, Rasheem Green has forced a fumble.
In this game, Green blocked a field goal that would’ve put the Cardinals up by two scores. Marquise Blaire picked up the ball and ran it to the Arizona 38 yard line. The blocked field goal was an opportunity to change the momentum of the game and spark a comeback.
Green is the Seahawks sack leader with 4.0 sacks on the year.
4. Case for why Russell Wilson is the most “valuable” player in the NFL
What is valuable? Is it the most talented player? The most improved player? The highest paid-player? Valuable is the ability to make a mediocre team a great team. As seen by the poor performance on Sunday, the Seahawks are not a great team in terms of talent. When Russell Wilson has a bad game, they lose. The defense ranks at the bottom of the league. The offensive line ranks at the bottom of the league. Special teams rank at the bottom of the league. Yet, the Seahawks are 11-4 and playoff-bound. How is this possible?
Lamar Jackson has eleven other pro-bowlers on his team. Sure, Lamar Jackson does make the Ravens better. But, the Ravens would still be a good team without him. The only other pro-bowler on the Seahawks is Bobby Wagner. The Seahawks would be mediocre, at best, without Russell.
Lamar is the most talented player in the NFL right now. Wilson is the most valuable.
The Seattle Seahawks next game is Sunday night vs the San Francisco 49ers.
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