Seattle Seahawks: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 4

Keith Myers@@myersNFLContributor ISeptember 24, 2013

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks gets set at the line of scrimmage during the third quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at CenturyLink Field on September 22, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Week 3's game for the Seattle Seahawks against the Jacksonville Jaguars went exactly as they had hoped. They won easily, got the backups plenty of playing time and escaped the game without any significant injuries. 

Now the Seahawks must travel to Houston to take on a Texans team looking to rebound after its first loss of the season. This game will present a much larger challenge for Seattle than the one it faced with the Jaguars and represents a good early season challenge for the young Seahawks. 

Here is the weekly recap of all things pertaining to the Seahawks:


Division Standings

Everything went according to plan for the Seahawks in Week 3. While Seattle cruised to a blowout win, all three of its divisional rivals lost. The Seahawks now sit with a full two-game lead on the rest of the NFC West. 

Arizona struggled on the road en-route to a 31-7 defeat to the Saints. The loss dropped the Cardinals to 0-2 away from Glendale.

The Rams also lost on the road by the score of 31-7. The Dallas Cowboys handed St. Louis its second straight loss and held the Rams to just 35 yards rushing in the process. 

The San Francisco 49ers lost their second straight game as well, this time at home to the Indianapolis Colts. They've scored only 10 points total in their past two games and have given up 56 points over that same stretch. 

With the 49ers traveling to St. Louis to take on the Rams in Week 4, one of these division rivals is headed to its third straight loss. 


Injury Report

Pete Carroll addressed the media on Monday, and much of the discussion centered around the health of the Seahawks following Week 3. 

Starting right tackle Breno Giacomini had a sore knee for much of last week. He played, but the Seahawks pulled him early in the third quarter once the score became lopsided. Carroll said that Giacomini could have continued if needed and doesn't expect that he'll miss time this week. 

Defensive tackle Red Bryant left the game in the second half with back spasms, but Carroll says it isn't serious. Bryant is expected back at some point this week and should be ready to play on Sunday.

Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse might have the most serious of the injuries from this game. He sprained his ankle in the first half and was in a walking boot after the game, according to John Boyle of the Everett Herald. Carroll said that Kearse "ditched the boot" already, but it remains to be seen if he can get back on the field in time to play against the Texans this week. 

In regard to starting strong-side linebacker Malcolm Smith, who was a late scratch for the Seahawks with a hamstring injury, Carroll wasn't worried:

He’ll be ready to go. Malcolm could have gone this week. By the end of the week he made it back, but roster wise we had situated it to go the other way, so we held him out.

The Seahawks also welcomed back cornerback Brandon Browner and defensive end Chris Clemons this past week. Both played well in limited roles, and neither had any sort of setback. 


Transaction Report

The Seahawks have officially placed left tackle Russell Okung on short-term injured reserve. To fill his spot on the roster they have signed offensive tackle Caylin Hauptmann off of Cleveland's practice squad, per Boyle.


What Must Improve

Every week, it is the same thing in this section. The blocking by the offensive line is clearly the weakness of the Seahawks, and that doesn't appear to be improving. Instead of continuing to beat that drum, it is time to turn the spotlight on another area of concern for the Seattle offense. 

Russell Wilson has turned the ball over in each of Seattle's three games and has been giving the ball away at a significantly higher rate than he did a year ago. Wilson has four turnovers in the team's first three games, which puts him on pace for 21 turnovers over the course of the season.

Last year, Wilson turned the ball over just 13 times.

Part of the problem has been the increased number of hits Wilson has been taking. Half of his turnovers so far this season have been fumbles, caused in part by poor pass protection. 

The blocking isn't likely to get significantly better until Okung can return in a couple of months. Wilson must do a better job of protecting the football and not putting it on the ground as often as he has thus far. 

If Wilson can cut down on his turnovers, the Seahawks will have a much better chance of extending their winning streak against the Texans on Sunday.