Seattle Seahawks Need Braylon Edwards to Help Make a Difference

Thomas HolmesCorrespondent IIIOctober 15, 2012

Aug 11, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; NFL: Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Braylon Edwards (17) stands on the sidelines during the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Tennessee, 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE
Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

One can only hope that after Sunday's comeback win against the Patriots, the questions surrounding the legitimacy of Russell Wilson being the Seahawks starting quarterback can be put to rest for awhile. 

Against last year's AFC champions, Wilson did more than simply the bare minimum in what turned out to be the best performance, so far, of his young career.  

Perhaps, it helped that his receivers finally put together a consistent effort as he completed 16-of-27 passes for 293 yards with three touchdowns?

Yet with all due respect to wide receivers Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate who combined for 200-plus yards and two touchdowns between them against the Patriots, I'm not sure their play is enough each and every week for the 'Hawks this season. 

In an ideal world, they should help form the core of the Seahawks' aerial attack, along with tight end Zach Miller.

Are they perfect? No.

Are they serviceable? Based on how they performed on Sunday, yes.

At the same time, one of the most important pieces in the 'Hawks passing game is someone who only had three targets for two catches that amounted to 21 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon. 

As far back as training camp, I questioned the wisdom of bringing Braylon Edwards along with Terrell Owens to Seattle.

Yet unlike Owens, Edwards actually made a few nice plays in preseason and made the 'Hawks' final roster. Unfortunately, after Edwards made five catches for 43 yards against the Cardinals on opening day, he disappeared until last week where he made one 10-yard reception against the Panthers.

So, what's the big deal that he added one more catch for a touchdown this week?  

In short, if the Seattle Seahawks intend to contend based on yesterday's win, they are going to need Braylon Edwards to step up and make a difference.

On the surface, this might sound a bit far-fetched, but unlike Rice, Baldwin and Tate, Edwards adds another dimension that can help Wilson—especially in the red zone.

So far this season, the 'Hawks have had difficulty scoring touchdowns. Time and again, they can move the ball downfield, but more often than not, they settle for three points—especially if they're forced to work on their opponents side of the field.  

While it's great that Rice, Baldwin and Tate can all break loose to stretch the field and capably score on 30-plus-yard receptions, I have my doubts as to whether they can get those tough catches in tight space both horizontally and vertically.

This is where I believe a 6'3" veteran like Edwards can make a difference.

(Yes, Rice is technically an inch taller but almost waiflike in being a dozen pounds lighter.)  

The question is how much of a difference can Edwards make?

Was his performance on Sunday a hint of things to come, a fluke or about the standard of what we should expect the rest of the way this season?

As much as fans would probably love to see Edwards return to Pro Bowl form, I just don't think it's possible. However, if Edwards can somewhat resemble the player he was a few years ago with the Jets, or perhaps, Mike Williams two years ago with the 'Hawks, it could make life a lot easier for Wilson and help the team's playoff chances.  

Realistically though, the very least he can do each week is catch the occasional jump ball. Ultimately, this may not give him a ton of yards or catches on the season, but if he can work the red zone like he did against the Pats, it's as good a place as any for him to earn a paycheck and the adoration of coaches and fans alike.