I had a chance to ask Kenneth Arthur, managing editor of the Field Gulls fan blog, five questions about his favorite team, Seattle, whom the Redskins will face off against at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday. This is the third of the five questions & answers. The others will follow between now and Sunday’s kickoff.
I answered five questions asked by Kenneth, and my answers to his questions are posted on Field Gulls.
3. The Seattle offense has scored (in order) 9, 12, 27, 46, 16, 24 and 41 points this season. Can you shed some light on this for those of us who may not have seen many Seattle games this season?
Traditionally sluggish starts
The first thing that people should know about Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll is that they do not start seasons off well. Or at least, they haven't historically.
It is really hard to beat the Seahawks in November/December but they're basically just an average team in September/October. The fact that they're already heating up in October is highly encouraging for us fans.
Why don't they start off that well?
I think one thing to consider is that both Wilson and Carroll (and through trickle-down, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, the rest of the offensive players) are better at making adjustments than they are at making plans ahead of time. (Just like my in-laws, am I right?)
You'll see this same thing happen in-game, where Seattle is often losing or tied at half but then pull away in the second half.
So — very good at making adjustments, and you also saw that in the wild win over the Texans, where they had a ton of awful runs throughout the game, but I don't think they end up winning if not for the constant threat of a rush and wearing down the Houston defense by continuing to do so while picking up first downs through Wilson's arm when they needed it.
So it's pretty common to see the Seahawks score 10 or less early in the year and then 40+ in December. They now have two 40+ games before the midway point, which is pretty frickin' awesome for us to see over here.
Early season competition
Also, playing the Packers in Lambeau (Week 1) is hard, and Wilson has always struggled against Green Bay.
The Niners took control of Seattle's offensive line, as many teams have, with their front-7 of Buckner and friends in Week 2.
In the 16-point game against the Rams, another case of a division foe who has consistently given Carroll problems, especially with their Aaron Donald-led line against Seattle's Britt-led line. Donald is one of the top 5 players in the entire NFL, any position, in my opinion, so that's the main reason why the Seahawks had problems scoring in LA.
Still, the Seahawks are scoring about 30 points per game over their last five games, which is highly encouraging and fairly consistent now that Wilson is in his groove.
In his last five games, Wilson has a rating of 108.7, 14 touchdowns, four interceptions, 8.6 Y/A, plus 120 rushing yards with another touchdown.
It’s Russell’s team
Since Seattle has no running game outside of Wilson, it's more of "his" team now than ever. The addition of Duane Brown should change some of that, as the Seahawks will be able to run behind the left tackle now, but it's still going to be Wilson's team as he develops an even better passing relationship with Paul Richardson, Tyler Lockett, and his recently-found on-field relationship with Jimmy Graham.
The Wilson I expect to see on Sunday at home against Washington is the Wilson who can put up 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
He's averaging 8.92 yards per attempt at home this season, with the Seahawks going 3-0 in those games.
Over his career, he has a rating of 104.2 at home with a record of 37-6.
Running backs and the run game
The other big change we've seen from early in the year to now is that Chris Carson used to be the starter at running back, and he looked great, but he broke his ankle and the team turned back to Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls.
They've shown little ability to break or force missed tackles, which you need to do when you're getting hit at the line of scrimmage so often; hopefully the addition of Brown means wider lanes to run through.
Rawls looks like the starter for now, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the team give C.J. Prosise more chances as the season goes on -- it's just a matter of Prosise being healthy, which he hasn't been. Not ever, it feels like.
Another name to watch in the backfield/lined wide is J.D. McKissic. If Lacy and Rawls continue to do nothing out there (12 carries, -1 yard last week), then other options have to be tried.
I don't expect to see more 9 and 12 point games though, to be honest. Not with Brown added to the mix and Wilson already in his groove.