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Seahawks-Raiders: Stock Up and Stock Down
Pete Carroll has always stressed building a great run defense: Seaside Joe 1364
Did you know that Josh Jacobs was a first round running back? The Seattle Seahawks entered Week 12’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with high hopes of staying in first place in the NFC West but I was apprehensive about giving Geno Smith his seventh win of the season until the proof had hit the pudding.
For all their laughable losses, I don’t see how the Seahawks are better than the Raiders—on paper.
Though I believe many were reasonably skeptical of the Raiders going into the season because of how “Raidersy” the Raiders are, few expected Seattle to be a better team than Las Vegas as of Week 1. That was only two months ago and if you flip every 3-point game for each team in either direction, then the Seahawks would have been 4-6 and the Raiders would have been 6-4 going into this week.
And now Seattle is 6-5 and Las Vegas improves to 4-7 after the Seahawks lost to the Raiders in overtime in a game that can be adequately summed up in one picture:
Say what you must—what WE absolutely MUST—about Seattle’s run defense, few running backs in the world could have had the 229-yard rushing/74-yard receiving performances that Josh Jacobs (he of the first round) had against the Seahawks on Sunday. The only running back to go in the top-50 picks of the 2019 draft, Jacobs has turned his career around from “cautionary tale” to All-Pro in the transition from Jon Gruden to Josh McDaniels.
Jacobs had 330 total yards and the game-winning touchdown in overtime, blowing through not one, not two, but three levels of defenders who were supposed to be better than this by now to send Seattle into second place. The odds of the postseason noticably shrank because of this, as now the Washington Commanders hold the final playoff spot in the NFC at 7-5.
The Seahawks are still two losses better than the next three teams in the standings, but with back-to-back losses to teams that are currently under .500, Seattle has not proven that they can overcome anybody on their schedule and that includes the Los Angeles Rams next week.
With nearly 1,000 rushing yards in his last eight games, Jacobs is out-playing even his best days at Alabama and proving to be worth every penny of a first round pick and the Seahawks may have gotten beat by the best.
On the other hand… Josh Jones.
There was some good news on Sunday, as the Broncos lost to the Panthers and now hold the fourth and 34th pick in the draft for safe keeping until they relocate to Seattle. However, the increasing likelihood of the Seahawks holding a top-three pick in the draft also means that after the last two games, every position has to up for discussion with the top pick.
Though Josh Jones does not get much playing time and is only out there because of injuries, he has also proven since the preseason and training camp that he can’t tackle. The loss of Jamal Adams could be the difference of at least one win this season and with their upcoming first round picks the Seahawks have to be thinking about getting the best available defensive players. Josh Jones wasn’t the only Seattle defender that Jacobs ran through and that includes plenty of high draft picks, including Jordyn Brooks and Boye Mafe.
However, when discussing picks that high in the draft, it would be irresponsible to ignore the quarterbacks and Geno Smith had multiple opportunities to not lose to the Raiders. He fumbled or threw them away.
The Seahawks are better than I thought they would be before the season started. The Seahawks are worse than I thought they would be 10 days ago.
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Stock Up and Down
I’m not sure if anybody can get a complete “stock up” this week.
S Quandre Diggs
Though the Seahawks won a Super Bowl in a game that started like this, I always get a little wary when a team has a huge opening play. The Ravens had a game earlier this year in which Devin Duvernay returned the opening kick for a touchdown and then Baltimore lost a huge lead to Miami.
Diggs hadn’t found his way to the ball yet this season but intercepted Derek Carr on the first play of the game. Then again. It’s nice for Diggs’s resume and if Seattle had won, he’d be a huge reason why.
However, it’s hard to reward a defense that so consistently sucks at tackling and Diggs has embraced a role as a veteran leader to a young secondary right after signing a new contract. He owns some responsibility for giving up one of the biggest single-player performances in NFL history.
WR DK Metcalf
WR Marquise Goodwin
Metcalf tied a career-high with 15 targets and finished with 11 catches for 90 yards. It was the catch that would have put him over 100 yards though that hurt the most. Why is it that Metcalf never seems to complete the highlight-reel grabs?
Goodwin caught all three of his targets for 48 yards and one of his catches exemplified the type of “finishing moves” that I’m talking about for wide receivers. The type that Metcalf should be catching more of at his pay grade.
CB Tariq Woolen
I don’t quite know how Woolen did on Sunday but a fifth round rookie who plays part in keeping Davante Adams in check (seven catches, 74 yards on 11 targets) is worthy of mention. I know that Woolen did not cover Adams on every route but it’s noteworthy that Woolen wasn’t someone who Las Vegas gameplanned to attack.
The Running Backs Room
Kenneth Walker finished with only 26 yards on 14 carries, but his two red zone touches exemplify his magnetic qualities to scoring touchdowns.
Travis Homer is a good complementary piece.
Not all three down backs are built the same, and Walker is not yet a three-down back. Unlike Jacobs or Derrick Henry, Walker isn’t a player who a team can hand the ball to over and over again and say, “Lead us.”
Not yet, at least.
Walker is still finding his footing and the Raiders defensive line was blowing up too many plays in the backfield for him to be able to react in only his 10th career game. This was a valuable learning lesson day for Walker. He’s going to be best suited in tandem with another quality back and right now the Seahawks lack that type of running back. It’s not DeeJay Dallas or Homer.
WR Tyler Lockett
Four of Geno Smith’s five interceptions are on throws to Lockett. And Lockett also caught his team-leading sixth touchdown.
QB Geno Smith
Now that Geno has earned his place among the starters, it is time for Geno to take responsibility for wins and losses like a starter. Geno was responsible for a lost fumble in the third quarter when the score was tied and Seattle was near the red zone. Geno had yet another near-interception and the fact that he only has five picks so far is a sign that good luck exists, not that he’s being especially careful with the football.
And Geno was the quarterback of the Seahawks when they gained five yards on their last drive of the game and their only drive of overtime. If Geno throws a good ball, DK Metcalf doesn’t have to make one of those highlight grabs that DK Metcalf rarely makes.
I also think that Geno Smith played pretty well on Sunday.
Well enough to be in the plans for 2023, but not well enough to call a complete stop to scouting quarterbacks at the top of the draft.
C Austin Blythe
The Seahawks did not give themselves a second option at center when they decided to re-sign Kyle Fuller, so it’s Austin Blythe or bust. Seattle needs to do better when they go looking for a center next year.
We had a very successful subscriber chat during the game on Sunday. Join us next week!
Clint Hurtt run defense
The words that no human has ever wanted to hear: There’s no blaming Germany this time.
I don’t have a ledger in front of me of all the run defenses in the NFL, but it’s safe to say that this is worse than it should ever get. Especially given how many times Pete Carroll has stressed how badly he wants to build teams that can stop the run. He chose all the players on the field and whether Seattle had a lot of resources or not, the Seahawks could have found run-stoppers on a budget.
How did the end up landing on Josh Jones instead?
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