6 Questions With Seattle Seahawks Blog ’12th Man Rising’
By Ben Nielsen
The Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks will do battle today at Arrowhead Stadium. To help get us ready, Mitch Quesada of FanSided’s ’12th Man Rising’ Seahawks blog answered a few questions for us. Here’s what we discussed.
1. Seattle’s pass rush doesn’t seem to be as effective as it was a year ago. Is this is a misconception because people see the low sack number and make assumptions or has the pass rush really taken a hit because of the players they lost to free agency?
I think it’s fair to say the pass rush hasn’t been there like it was last year, but I don’t think it’s because of the players they lost to free agency. Michael Bennett had 8.5 sacks last year and Cliff Avril had 8.0 to lead the team and both are still on the front seven this season. However, I think the focus has shifted from rushing the quarterback to stopping the run.
Last season, Seattle’s defensive line gave up 101 yards per game on the ground. This year is a completely different story. With the secondary struggling a bit, the defensive line has stepped up and allowed fewer than 80 rush yards per game, 4th-best in the NFL. I would like to see more pass rushes but the defense seems content with where it is right now.
2. Russell Wilson’s numbers have take a hit since the game against Dallas. What’s going on with him? Is the the lack of receiving threats around him or is there something else going on there?
Wilson hasn’t been his usual self, you’re absolutely right. It seems like he hasn’t been as accurate but he also hasn’t had many chances to sit back in the pocket and hit his receivers. The offensive line has been dreadful this year, allowing their young quarterback to get sacked 18 times and forcing him out of the pocket to make off-balance throws that I think most fans have grown accustom to watching him make. Unfortunately, this year he hasn’t been making some of the plays he needs to and he is on track for a career-low in touchdown throws and a career-high in interceptions. I don’t think his receivers are to blame though, it’s the offensive line.
3. In Kansas City a lot has been made about no wide receiver having caught a touchdown pass yet this season. Yet I look at Seattle’s wide receiver group and don’t see a ton of production there either. Is the lack of a ‘playmaker’ at wide receiver something that is widely discussed in Seattle or is the focus somewhere else?
Seattle’s receivers don’t have big numbers but they are clutch receivers who always seem to make big plays when they need to. Furthermore, they don’t really need to be “playmakers” so to speak because the offense’s production doesn’t rely on the passing game, it relies on Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. He is the real playmaker and the engine that keeps the wheels of the offense going. Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse are plenty capable of making big plays at wideout when asked, they just aren’t asked to very often.
4. Now seems like a wonderful time for you to admit Seattle has a semi-domed stadium that enhances the fan’s ability to be loud. I’ll go ahead and let you confess this truth right now and admit to the scientifically proven reality that Arrowhead Stadium is the loudest outdoor stadium the world. Go on…
Sure. It’s also been proven that CenturyLink Field can only fit 72,000 people while Arrowhead Stadium fits nearly 80,000. I’m not good at math but that means there are 8,000 more Chiefs fans producing the same amount of noise that Seahawks fans do in Seattle. Plus Seattle fans caused an earthquake at the CLink and they weren’t even trying to be the world’s loudest stadium at that point. I’m of course referring to Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Mode run against the New Orleans Saints in the 2010 postseason. That was pure noise and energy.
Moving right along…
5. Do Seattle fans fear Jamaal Charles on Sunday the same way I fear Marshawn Lynch? Or is there a confidence Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor will slow him down?
I certainly do fear Charles and I’m sure most non-Chiefs fans in general feel the same way. I do have some confidence in the Seahawks’ defensive line however. I don’t think Charles is going to run for some 175-yard video game-like performance, but there is no doubting he is one of the most talented backs in the league. Slowing him down is more difficult than teaching calculus to a third-grader but Seattle has a better shot than most teams. I certainly respect Charles’ outstanding playmaking abilities, but something’s gotta give on Sunday and hopefully Seattle doesn’t give too much.
6. Predictions. This is the part where you say the Chiefs are going to destroy Seattle. Or something like that, anyway.
The Chiefs are going to… keep it a close game! I love the way the Seahawks are playing right now, the defense is clicking again, Lynch and the run game are getting going and the coaching staff is finally utilizing the team’s weapons the way they should be used. That’s not to say the Chiefs aren’t a tough opponent — in fact this might be one of the more challenging contests for Seattle this season, especially since the game is on the road. But the Seahawks need this win for the mental confidence of knowing they can beat a good team on the road as they prepare to take on the division-leading Cardinals next week in Seattle.
I’ll take the Seahawks winning this one 27-23.