Consistency. The ability to always remain in close games no matter the opponent. The Seattle Seahawks have not only been one of the most consistent teams this season but the most consistent of the last decade. The Seahawks (under Pete Carroll) have not had a losing season since Russell Wilson entered the NFL in 2012. They seem to overcome every adversity that comes their way.
Losing Marshawn Lynch? No problem. Losing the Legion of Boom? No problem. Losing Doug Baldwin? No problem. Losing their starting tight end and center to ACL injuries? No problem. Eight players getting the flu this week before the game? No problem. This consistency despite adversity is all due to the mentality Pete Caroll has instilled in his players. They constantly believe that they will win and play like it. In a post-game interview, Jadeveon Clowney explained this Seattle Seahawks mentality saying, “This team doesn’t ever quit. We never fold. We know we’re gonna play hard and come out and try to dominate every game.”
Yet once again, even after an impressive victory, there is still room for improvement. If the Seahawks can clean up some of their mistakes, they should be viewed as serious Super Bowl contenders.
Here are my three major takeaways from the Seattle Seahawks 37-30 win over the Vikings.
1. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny should be regarded as the most explosive Running Back duo in the NFL
After the last game I, along with many other Seahawks fans, wondered if Penny would take RB1 from Carson. Carson has been struggling as season long with fumble issues. Yet, Caroll has faith in Carson and insists that he is the starter. This win against the Vikings displayed the Seahawks’ ability to utilize both of their RB weapons. Penny looked extremely quick while Carson seemed to run through many defenders.
The Seahawks dominated in the run game finishing with 218 yards on 43 carries. Carson had another 100-yard game and a touchdown while Penny added on 74 rush yards, 33 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. This explosive running game allowed the Seahawks to march down the field and use up the clock, as the time of possession was 39:45 to 20:15 in the Hawks favor. If the running game can keep up, the Seahawks offense can be one of the most dynamic and explosive offenses for the remainder of the season. In a game where Tyler Lockett had zero yards, the Seahawks were still able to put 37 points up on the board.
2. Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Quandre Diggs, and Bradley McDougald are starting to look like a second Legion of Boom.
When asked what his favorite play of the game was, Pete Caroll smiled and said the Quandre Diggs hit. Diggs delivered a massive hit on Vikings’ tight end, Irv Smith, after a short reception. To many Seahawks fans, that hit was reminiscent of Kam Chancellor. Ever since Diggs has started for the Seahawks, their secondary has been relatively lock-down.
Besides one awful busted coverage that resulted in a 58 yard TD, Cousins had extremely difficulty completing any passes over ten yards.
Along with Diggs, Tre Flowers also had a phenomenal game. Flowers had the flu all week and had lost twelve pounds prior to the game. Yet, this didn’t stop him. He looked aggressive and quick on his feet. Perhaps the best play of the game, Flowers played tight defense on Stefon Diggs and made an incredible catch for the interception.
Of course, Shaquill Griffin also continued to play like the star cornerback he has developed into. Although not targeted often, Griffin was an instrumental part in limiting Stefon Diggs to only 25 yards on four receptions. Griffin is only allowing a whopping 5.4 yards per catch this season.
3. Sloppy mistakes are making games much closer than they should be
The Seahawks have been criticized for barely winning games this season, even against easier opponents. The Seahawks only have a +36 point differential this year, averaging at only 3.0 PPG. However, the Seahawks only seem to find a way to finish on top. Nine of their ten wins this year have been by seven or fewer points.
Games have been way too close due to sloppy mistakes. For instance, Russell only has four interceptions this year. Yet, two have resulted in defensive touchdowns. In this game, Russell was trying to knock the ball down after a deflection but instead knocked it right into the arms of a defender who ran it back for a touchdown.
Similarly, D.K. Metcalf has also fumbled in big moments this year. He fumbled against the 49ers in the endzone and fumbled again during a fourth-quarter drive to put away the game. Despite having a dominant rookie year, Metcalf has to learn how to take care of the football (especially in large moments).
The Seattle Seahawks’ next game is Sunday Night Football against the Rams.
Although the Rams have been struggling, they had a dominant performance last week with a 34-7 blowout over the Cardinals. If the Seahawks want to remain first in the NFC West, they must win this divisional game. The last time these two teams met, the Seahawks snuck away with a one-point victory after a missed game-winning FG by the Rams. Divisional matchups are always tough, so the Hawks need to remain focused.
Here are my four keys to victory for the Seattle Seahawks:
1. Run the ball→ use Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny as a one-two punch. These backs should also be utilized in the passing game on screens. In both games against the Rams last year, the Seahawks dominated on the ground. The Seahawks must run the ball to tire out the Rams defense and come away with a victory.
2. Protect Russell Wilson→ The Seahawks offensive line has done extremely well in the last couple of weeks against the stout defensive lines of the 49ers, Eagles, and Vikings. However, this week the Hawks face a new monster. Aaron Donald. If the Seahawks want to win this game, they must keep Donald away from Russell Wilson and give Wilson time in the pocket to make someone completions.
3. Protect the ball→ The Rams still have one of the most scrappy defenses in the NFL, with big-name players such as Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald. These players can make an impact at any moment. The Hawks must protect the ball in order to win this game.
4. Generate Pressure on Jared Goff→ The Seahawks defensive line has stepped up in the last couple of weeks. They generated three sacks against the Eagles and another five against the 49ers. Although they did not have any sacks against the Vikings, the defensive line forced Cousins to make quick, short throws. Goff struggles under pressure. The Hawks must force Goff to throw quick and make mistakes if they want to win this matchup.
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