LA Rams Wednesday Walkabout NFC West 2.1

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Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks will need a lot of help on both offense and defense. With the whispers of cashing in on the value of Russell Wilson now, is this the year that the Seahawks build for 2022? Or do they push it to the limit once more by trying to return to the playoffs in 2021? If so, how?

Seattle’s defense was actually not too bad last year and actually kept them in a lot of games. They were 12-4 until they were unmasked as the pretenders from the Northwest by the LA Rams.

Bottom line: They lost a game to Jared Goff, who was playing with one hand.

It was their offense that was putrid and just, well, boring. Seems like every game was tight until the 4th quarter, with scores like 13-10 or 7-3 going in, at which time head coach Pete Carroll would throw in the towel and abandon the moribund running game and then expect Wilson to bail them out.

Of course, he often did. But the well ran dry as the season wore on, and the team limped into the playoffs.

In the first part of the season, there was actually a lot of talk about an MVP for quarterback Russell Wilson, but instead, he got the NFL’s “Man of the Year” award for community service and such. It’s not exactly a consolation prize, but I bet he would rather have garnered an award for his play on the field, rather than outside the lines.

And this week there has been much ado made about Wilson’s comments that he wants to see the organization draft or procure offensive linemen to protect him better. Well, duh! He was sacked 47 times last year – third-most in the entire league (Carson Wentz endured 50 sacks, and Deshaun Watson absorbed 49 sacks).

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He’s been clobbered close to 400 times now in his career, averaging 40-plus for all nine seasons he’s been in the league. The guy is getting killed back there and it is no exaggeration that he was running for his life on every passing down. Defenders came straight up the middle and his offensive line gave every impression of being a turnstile rather than a fortress.

As O-lines go, Seattle’s is rather small and under-sized compared to the rest of the NFL. Seems like they go for athletic, rather than beefy. Remember when Seattle had mountainous men like Walter Jones or Steve Hutchinson protecting their QB? It’s long past due for them to add some beefy, nasty, ill-tempered behemoths.

Wilson’s comments sent a strong (and intentional) signal to the front office about his desires. That does seem to be the direction the league is going now, anyway – for its premiere players to have much more input on personnel decisions.

Surely, Wilson looked on with a touch of envy as he sat next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and witnessed how Tampa Bay’s Tristan Wirfs (a player the Seahawks could have taken in the draft themselves) sealed off any penetration by the Chiefs defensive line. Brady had nary a grass stain on his uniform as he hoisted the Lombardi trophy yet again.

So for Wilson to take a rather public stance on wanting more protection is significant, if only because he’s never been the least bit critical of his offensive line before. To the contrary, he’s been effusively complimentary, almost to the point of rah-rah-rah coach-speak. Caroll and GM John Schneider are not dummies. They know what needs to get done. Wilson has effectively put them both on notice that the ball is in their court now.

I say the ‘Hawks should let cornerback Shaquille Griffin seek what he can in free agency because he played sub-par all year. Bring back the other corner, Quinton Dunbar. left guard Mike Iupati seek whatever he can in free agency, too. That guy was a sieve.