Needless to say, the Seattle Seahawks are having a tough week...
A bad loss in Miami.
The possible suspensions of two impact players (via Adam Schefter of ESPN).
An upcoming trip to Chicago with an already poor road record of 1-5.
This is not a good combination.
Can we rewind the clock and redo Week 12?
First and foremost, I think the defense will be fine. I did not say “great,” and I did not say, “will not miss a beat.” I said fine.
Obviously, you cannot easily replace Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner if they are indeed suspended later this year. Someone will need to fill the void, but those players must prepare to be targeted early and often.
Indications are that Sherman and Browner will be in the lineup against Chicago, but you have to assume that they will be missing at some point in the future.
The real pressure going forward may be felt by the offense. Up until this point, the defense has kept Seattle in some games that could have gone a different way.
Now, it is Russell Wilson’s opportunity to return the favor.
I realize that the Seattle Seahawks are not necessarily built to be an offensive juggernaut. It is not as if Wilson can flip that magical switch and throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns.
Then again, maybe it is time to see what this offense can do.
This is not to say that the Seahawks have been unwilling to take chances on offense. Slowly but surely, I think Wilson is developing chemistry with his receivers. In addition, Marshawn Lynch has been a consistent producer, not including the game against the Dolphins.
More specifically, the Seahawks need better play from the offensive line. If Sherman and Browner are lost, the offensive line must fill the void—not literally but in an indirect way.
Seattle went three-and-out in the first four possessions of the Miami game. In those four possessions, the Seahawks had a total of seven yards.
Put simply, that is unacceptable.
I would suggest that a good deal of the responsibility falls on the offensive line. Solid offensive line play leads to a productive running game and time for the quarterback to throw the ball.
It is actually a bit surprising that Seattle had the ball almost four minutes more than the Dolphins. The Seahawks do not necessarily have to win the battle for time of possession against Chicago, but they do not need to be more productive when they have the ball.
Unfortunately, the offensive line will face an even greater task when they head to Soldier Field. The Bears are eighth in the league against the run and sixth against the pass, which may mean a lot of scrambling for Wilson.
That is telling statistic for a Minnesota team that averages 147.2 yards per game.
You assume that Seattle will run the football, which means that it will be a moment of truth for the offensive line. If they cannot open holes for Lynch, it could be a long day of QB scrambles and desperate passes.
This is a crucial game. More than any other group, the offensive line needs to step up.