5 things I've learned about the Seahawks in the last 8 days
Every time you think they're out, the Seahawks prove to still be in: Seaside Joe 1758
The Seahawks wake up on Christmas Day, over .500 and back in the playoff picture. Seaside Joe wakes up on Christmas to write a newsletter on 5 things I’ve learned about the Seahawks recently before 11 AM checkout at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.
I don’t think Mr. Buffett would appreciate someone working on a holiday, but I have observations to share. “Takes” to deliver to all the kids of the world.
The Seahawks have two options at quarterback
The Seahawks played the Eagles with Drew Lock and won 20-17 thanks to a fourth quarter comeback and game-winning drive.
The Seahawks played the Titans with Geno Smith and won 20-17 thanks to a fourth quarter comeback and game-winning drive.
My feeling had been that Smith and Lock were somewhat interchangeable and these last two games have affirmed that expectation for me. They have different styles, different strengths and weaknesses, but I’m not surprised that Seattle beat Philadelphia without Geno and I’m not surprised that Seattle beat Tennessee without Drew.
How the Seahawks choose to move forward at quarterback next year is probably not decided yet. At least now they have more information and were able to win the last two games.
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The Seahawks can win without their best defensive weapon
Seattle has had to pull out of the nosedive without Devon Witherspoon and yet the Seahawks have allowed 17 points in each of the last two games. The defense did what it needed to do for Seattle to score enough points to win, but I wouldn’t say these were their best games.
By EPA, these 20-17 wins were only the Seahawks defense’s seventh and 11th-best games of the season.
Still, giving up 17 points is great, even when you do allow a lot of rushing yards and struggle to get off the field. The defense was good enough when it had to be. I wouldn’t say that the secondary got better without Witherspoon, but I would say that the last two weeks for Pete Carroll to decide where each defensive back fits best: Longer looks at Artie Burns, Mike Jackson, and Coby Bryant should help Carroll realize what Seattle’s best secondary combination is going to work best when Witherspoon returns.
Pete Carroll still has control of the team
Speaking of Pete Carroll making decisions, it sure seems like he has control of the players and locker room since the four-game losing streak brought about speculation of an exit at the end of the season. Carroll was more vocal in the media about which players were causing the team to struggle, and then followed it up with action by not starting Riq Woolen and what seems to be a silent benching for Jamal Adams.
Carroll also wouldn’t start Geno against the Eagles even though it sounds like Geno would have started Geno if he was the one making the decision. Well, I’m not so sure that every coach would do the same. Some would say “Fine, if you want to risk it, you risk it.” But by not starting Geno and letting the world know that Geno wanted to go, Carroll subtly told us that he’s still in control of the team.
Beating the Titans guaranteed that the Seahawks won’t have a game this season that doesn’t have playoff implications. In 14 years as the Seahawks head coach, Pete Carroll has coached THREE games in which Seattle had been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. You can disagree with Pete’s opinions, but I don’t think you can say that it’s likely that he’s lost control of a football team.
DK Metcalf can be a go-to number one weapon
Metcalf always had the ability, but hasn’t always been Seattle’s true go-to threat when nothing else seems to be working. The Seahawks force fed him 14 targets a couple of months ago and it only resulted in five catches for 67 yards. Then he only had one catch (for 50 yards) against the Ravens. That kind of production isn’t going to work.
Since then, it seems like Metcalf has been more focused and the attempts have been more deliberate and successful. Especially in clutch situations. Metcalf has proven he can take over a game, like scoring three times against the Cowboys, and he’s proven to be a player you can trust with 50/50 balls as time is running out.
I have to admit when I’m wrong and Metcalf has proven to be better than I expected, which I find preferable to me being right.
Tight ends can still score
It’s interesting that in what seemed like it would be “the year of Seattle’s tight ends”, it wasn’t until Sunday that the Seahawks scored a red zone touchdown to a tight end. The broadcast mentioned that Noah Fant only has one red zone target all year. Will Dissly and Fant haven’t scored. Colby Parkinson had a 25-yard touchdown and now he has a game-winning touchdown.
Maybe after 15 games of poor red zone play calling and execution, the Seahawks were just saving their best for last.
Merry Christmas, Seasiders.