Here’s an open thread for today’s game, plus some thoughts…
— This should be a relatively straight forward win. The Panthers have fired their coach early rather than allow him to end the season. Kyle Allen has regressed after a bright start. Last week not even Christian McCaffrey could have an impact in a blow-out win for the equally hapless Falcons. Yet the Seahawks are decimated on defense — missing the two pass rushers they placed their faith in this year (Clowney & Ansah), their best cornerback (Griffin) and a useful starting linebacker (Kendricks). There’s a huge responsibility on other defensive players to step up today.
— The offense has to get right. For a while I questioned whether the 49ers were peaking too early. Instead they’ve found a second wind. The Seahawks similarly need to find theirs in the next two games. Russell Wilson has toiled a bit. Tyler Lockett has suffered with injury and illness. They desperately need to show they’re capable of regaining their early season form ahead of a vital rematch against the Niners and the playoffs. That means effective running, explosive plays in the passing game and no more fumbles.
— All week I’ve just assumed the Seahawks would win this game. It’s an ideal time to play Carolina. The loss last week against the Rams should be a kick up the arse. The injuries might be an equaliser but the difference’s between the teams are stark. Seattle has everything to play for, Carolina doesn’t. The Seahawks have an elite franchise quarterback, the Panthers have a backup plunged into action. The Rams loss should re-focus minds while Carolina’s players will be wondering what the future holds with Ron Rivera fired. Yet the Seahawks all too often make games a tight struggle. They need to flex a little bit today, even with all the injuries, and show that they’re ready to get back in contention for the NFC West title.
— This is an interesting article by Adam Schefter, discussing how the tight end market will be re-set in the off-season. Several big names will be talking contract in the new year including George Kittle, Austin Hooper, Zach Ertz and Hunter Henry. It’s a situation for Seahawks fans to monitor. The team will add a TE at some point this off-season. They need significant insurance for Will Dissly given he’s suffered two major injuries in consecutive seasons. Apart from that, their depth is practically non-existent. In the past they spent big money on Zach Miller and traded for Jimmy Graham. This is a position they clearly value. Another big addition or trade could be on the cards again. Failing that — as noted previously — keep an eye on Hunter Bryant. He’s inconsistent at times and has had drops but his blocking experience at Washington and X-factor ability as a receiver could provide a more cost-effective solution. They’ll do something at this position in the off-season, guaranteed.
You can now support Seahawks Draft Blog via Patreon by clicking the tab below.