As Playoffs Approach, Seahawks Move on by the Panthers


Rod Mar | Seahawks

Written by: Peter Vandeventer | @PeteVandeventer


Here we are, just a couple weeks out from the playoffs which means it’s scoreboard watching time. Usually, when that happens, teams can start to look ahead of their opponent and lose sight. Thankfully for the Seahawks, they did no such thing.

Seahawks took care of the Panthers, 30-24, despite a couple of key missing defensive players.


On the day, the Seahawks offense was pretty lethal with Chris Carson running for 133 yards on 24 carries and Russ spreading the love to the tune of 20/26 for 286 yards. On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks defense had its moments as they forced 3 interceptions. Of course one would expect the interceptions to be from the secondary but all of which came from the LB room (Wagner-1, Wright-2).


Key Players


KJ Wright


Mr. 2-picks himself had quite a day. Not finishing with a lot of tackles but Wright’s well-timed interception and pass deflections saved the Seahawks from a really embarrassing loss to the Panthers. Wright did have a pretty noticeable missed tackle early on in the game but made up for it big with he and fellow LB, Bobby Wagner, looking to have keyed in on all of Kyle Allen’s reads.


Bobby Wagner


Bobby was all over the place this week and wasn’t afraid to stuff the stats along the way. Bobby finished with 10 tackles, a pair of pass deflections, and had a pick of his own. Like I said before, the LBs really looked like they knew exactly what Kyle Allen was thinking and took out the middle of the field from the offense. Though of course, they didn’t shut down Run CMC, they didn’t allow any huge chunk yardage plays from the ultra-athletic and well rounded RB.


Despite his somewhat quiet year, Bobby is only a tackle away from being tied for the lead in tackles with Blake Martinez of Green Bay.


Chris Carson


CC retook the bell-cow role this week after the double-headed attack took a hit when Rashaad Penny went down for the season. Chris Carson churned his way to 133 yards on the ground with a pair of targets out of the backfield. The Seahawks are built on the running game and any time that CC can take control of the game, it always takes the stress off of Russ and the passing game.


After this performance, Carson jumps to 4th in the league in yards. I love this guy and I’m so happy to see him become one of the leagues premier running backs and helping bring back the physical style of play to Seattle.


Tyler Lockett


Well, look who finally decided to show up!! We were hearing from Pete all week long that Lockett was roaring to get back and is finally 100% and he sure looked the part. And coincidentally (not really) the offense really started to roll, even if it was against the Panthers. T-Lock posted eight receptions for 120 yards with a touchdown. Finally getting our #1 receiver back is so important for the offense as we enter the playoffs.


Key Takeaways


The Seahawks offense is built on the running game but it’s driven by the pass blocking. With a pair of sacks this week, the pass rush didn't have as severe of an impact on Russ. With the importance of pass pro as vital as it is, Ethan Pocic becoming healthy might become a huge factor. Pocic could fight for the starting job anywhere along the interior offensive line as he has starting experience at both Guard and Center.


INJURIES


Now that I have your attention, the Seahawks have injuries all over the defense. Ziggy Ansah, Jadeveon Clowney, Bobby Wagner, Mychal Kendricks, Shaquill Griffin, and Quandre Diggs are all likely going to be on the injury report throughout this week and might mist most of them again next week. This sort of thing happens to every team as the season progresses but the importance is having adequate players behind them to fill their void. It’s so important to let the players get healthy since the Seahawks have clinched a playoff spot. The Seahawks business isn’t over yet as they control their destiny and could end with the #1 seed in the NFC.


On a somber note, the Seahawks overall played a clean game and are starting to fine-tune their offense. But sadly, the Seahawks will have to move forward offensively without Josh Gordon. I truly wish him the best and believe that he deserves any and all support from fans and those close to him. He truly has an illness that can take time to overcome and I hope he has strong support surrounding him. This is more than football at this point and I just want to see him living his best life and beat all his inner demons along the way.


Seahawks control their destiny and winning out guarantees a 1st round bye and the division title. Next up, the Seahawks host the Cardinals.


The rooting guide for this week is all about distancing ourselves from the rest of the west and securing the bye.


Cardinals < Seahawks

Packers > Vikings

Rams > 49ers


If the week goes like so, the Seahawks would hold a game lead on the 49ers and would hold the tiebreaker over the Saints and Packers do to the 3-way tie. This would lead to Seattle being the 1st seed and the Packers as the 2nd seed.

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