Jalen Ramsey is now with the Rams, should the Seahawks have made that deal?
Kevin Nesgoda: This is a pretty obvious yes. They had the picks and maybe a better package of picks to give to the Jaguars to make this deal happen. Their secondary is terrible, not the worst in the league, but pretty damn bad. They’ve gotten thrown on by quite a few bad quarterbacks this year.
Matt Tucker: I’d say yes. Tedric Thompson is showing some progress while McDougald has stagnated. Blair isn’t getting the reps yet. They could use not just some veteran skill in the backfield but some exciting talent to give a big spark. Shaquill Griffin is quietly putting together a strong season, currently ranked 6th in the league for CBs even without a pick. Covering the left side is a gamble seemingly every play, so having a Ramsey would immediately make an impact. For a team that seems to be in the mix for everyone, even guys we wouldn’t prefer on the team, they should’ve made a bigger push here.
Jeff Brown: I’m going to say no because that’s mortgaging a lot of the future for Ramsey. Two first-round picks (plus a mid-round pick) is a lot, especially with the way the Seahawks treat their first-round picks. If it was just two first-round players for Ramsey, that would be one thing. But the Seahawks often turn a first-round pick into 3-4 picks through the 2nd-4th rounds. So we’re really talking about trading away around six or more players with rookie contracts for Ramsey. Now Ramsey would certainly improve the Seahawks secondary significantly, but Shaquill Griffin has been one of the best corners in the NFL this season. And most NFL teams don’t have two shut-down corners on their team. If they had traded for Ramsey, then the salary cap also becomes an issue, where you’re certainly not going to be able to keep Ramsey, Clowney, Reed and possibly lose Griffin as well.
Should Pete Carroll let Russell Wilson loose more?
Kevin: This is also an obvious yes. Take a look at that drive against Cleveland where the headset broke and Wilson called the plays. Wilson is one of the most diverse quarterbacks in the league and it’s beyond obvious that he knows the offense better than both Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer. He’s leading the MVP race for a reason. Let him loose and the Seahawks might not be playing from behind so much.
Matt: Maybe controversial, but I like the way they are using Russ. I’m not sure he needs to be more “let loose” than he is currently. He’s putting up impressive stats each game, and more importantly, firing up the offense when they best need. I know the fans hate it, but I do like that the team tries to push the run the way they do. Carson seems to have corrected his earlier butterfingers. We just need to find a consistent partner to spell him when he needs it. It’s nice to see signs of improvisation when dealing with the actual game they are in at the moment, but I’d like to see even more of that from Pete and Schotty.
Jeff: Let’s not forget how the season started in 2018. Schottenheimer and the offense went pass happy in the first two games and the team started the season off 0-2. I don’t mind the Seahawks playing smash-mouth football where they try to establish the run. I do think it wears down defenders over the course of a game. With that being said, I also think that this season the offense has been less predictable. It’s not always just run on first and 2nd down anymore and I’m glad they’re getting away from that. I see a lot of teams around the league that barely the ball at all and a lot of them have losing records. I say let Russ pass more and on earlier downs, but don’t abandon the run, keep mixing up the offensive attack.
Do the Seahawks need to make a move for a TE?
Kevin: Missing Will Dissly is going to be huge. He’s gone until next October at least. I’m not sure Ed Dickson and Luke Willson are the answers here for the Seahawks. As I stated above they have picks they can make a move for someone.
Matt: Yes. Having Luke is a godsend with the existing relationship with Russ, but we need another big guy out there. For blocking as much as being a go-to target. Not sure Dickson is the one to pick that up, especially with the way Dissly has performed this season. Really sad to see him lose another full season to injury.
Jeff: Losing Will Dissly for a second straight season is absolutely heartbreaking. Other players are really going to need to step up to fill the void. I trust Russ to be able to find new targets, whether that is Luke Willson or getting to the ball more to his other wide receivers like Metcalf, Moore, and Brown. As far as bringing in more Tight Ends, well they’ve already promoted Jacob Hollister to the main roster from the practice squad. If Ed Dickson is ready to come back in 2-3 more weeks than I think they just ride with Willson and Hollister until then. If Dickson has problems coming back, they should consider making a trade for a blocking Tight End.
What’s the biggest thing holding the Seahawks back?
Kevin: I think it’s the coaching. Pete Carroll refuses to change and more often than not gets out coached and he’s a coach that is easy to game plan against. He doesn’t change. He doesn’t evolve. Yes, he’s won a Super Bowl, but that was on the backs of one of the greatest defenses of all time. He lost a Super Bowl trying to outsmart Bill Belichick. His philosophy is run the ball and our guys will outplay your guys. It worked well at USC, but it’s not long term for the NFL.
Matt: While I do think the coaching is an issue — the guys don’t seem fully prepared to start a game each week — I think Pete gets a lot more guff than he should. The team’s accomplishments over the decade under Pete speak to his ability. He and the staff certainly aren’t beyond criticism, though. But the biggest hindrance right now, even more so than the still shoddy O-line protection on the right side, is the defense. They’ve shown signs of tightening up each week, but we need stronger play from them.
Jeff: I remember a lot of bad years with the Seahawks. I understand the Analytics geeks hate Pete Carroll, but this is his 10th season on the team and he’s only had two losing seasons; which were the first two years that he and John Schneider were rebuilding the team. Carroll has the most wins in franchise history and by far the most playoff wins, including our only Super Bowl. It’s almost as if he’s a really good coach. Does that mean he’s perfect? Of course not! But I, for one, am not looking forward to the day Pete Carroll retires.
As far as what’s holding the team back this season, it’s clear the defense and most specifically a complete lack of pass rush. The Seahawks rank in the bottom five in total sacks this season and three of the teams that have less than them have played one less game. So the defense needs to significantly improve for Seattle to become a legit Super Bowl contender. They’ve started forcing more turnovers as of late, so they need to keep that up and start getting more pressures and sacks.
Are the Seahawks actually Super Bowl contenders?
Kevin: No they are not. They are the third or fourth-best team in the NFC and will not be a match for Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl. There are four teams on their schedule they should have blown out, but they barely beat. Other teams are blowing out these teams, but Seattle is using fourth-quarter comebacks to win. I mean, they are not out of any games when Wilson is the quarterback, but with their secondary, pass rush, and coaching they are not going to win the Super Bowl this year.
Matt: Outright contenders, I’d say no at the moment. There is certainly a Russ factor (as well as a BWagz and KJ factor to an extent on D) that makes the team better than its individual parts. But the team continues to outperform expectations as they did last year. That makes them a fair, if possibly strong, NFC contender. Seeing how they play San Francisco will be a good indicator. I’ll say I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if they went on to win a title this year, but I don’t expect it.
Jeff: I would put the Seahawks in that 2nd tier category currently. I think the Patriots and the Saints are the two best teams in their respective conferences. The 49ers look like they belong in that Tier 1 category as well. I think the Seahawks look better than the Cowboys and Eagles and probably on par with the Packers and Vikings. These next 5 weeks will really help determine where the Seahawks fall. Can they get to the end of Week 11 with a record of 8-3 or 9-2? If they can, then they should have an excellent chance to win the division and that goes a long way towards reaching the Super Bowl.