NFL Power Rankings Week 5: 7 Up, 7 Down – Thrive at Five

NFL Power Rankings Week Five, Credit: BillsWire

A wild and wacky Week 5 is done and dusted. What were the biggest topics on the tongues and minds of NFL folks league wide? Who were the heroes and villains of the fifth week? 14 of the hottest storylines dotting the NFL landscape. The Weekly NFL Power Rankings for week five are here and the question begs itself: who had the drive to thrive in week five?

Up

1. Kyle Pitts FINALLY gets his first touchdown

– The rookie star tight end finally got his first touchdown against the Jets on the soil of America’s greatest ally. Topping off his greatest game as the focal point of the Falcons’ offense (which necessitated due to injuries to the emerging Calvin Ridley). Perhaps this game propels the precocious rookie forward into being the premier tight end league-wide as once was promised? Rookie tight ends are notorious for being fickle in their impact. Head coach Arthur Smith hasn’t been utilizing him as the promised future at the position until Sunday so there’s that factor as well. Maybe this is the game that changes that. Pitts’ fantasy owners will surely love it. 

2. Burrow to Chase is the goods

– Quite a burgeoning friendship one would suspect if both stay healthy and fulfill their endless potential. Chase on target to, well, chase down the GOAT rookie receiver season of Randy Moss 1998. The ascendant star receiver added another 159 yards and a touchdown on just six receptions on Sunday against the Packers. Burrow put a mighty scare into the Bengals after getting hit hard on a scramble (he ultimately returned) and he was admitted to the hospital for a throat contusion. If both players can stay healthy, they can be one of the more lethal quarterback and receiver duos in this league.

3. 1 PM window finishes 

– The early slate delivered some wild hijinks to close it out. Which made up for the relatively nonchalant finishes that the late afternoon games provided us. We all witnessed the crazy back and forth missed kick contest between the Packers and Bengals extend beyond the start of the late window. A game Houston squad made it tough for the Patriots and held the lead until the Pats came back late. Denver got past its offensive struggles and made it a contest deep into the 60th minute against the Steelers. Detroit actually held the lead in a dramatic affair with the injury-depleted Vikings before ultimately succumbing to yet another long-distance game-winning kick. It’s a fun league-wide trend that these games are so close this season. The fans are simultaneously reaching for the antiacids and their phones on an increasing basis this year. We’re all here for the drama. 

4. Browns and Chargers stop playing defense

– The late slate did provide the viewers with some incredible offensive fireworks as both the Browns and Chargers decided to play a game of H-O-R-S-E in the fourth quarter. It was mind-boggling as each team traded long touchdowns like cryptocurrency. After a relatively quiet three quarters, the teams combined for whopping FORTY-ONE points in the final stanza. Both teams went over a combined 1,000 yards of total offense in this one. Justin Herbert continues to solidify his case as a top-five quarterback in this league with every bomb throw he makes and game-winning drives. Where else could you get an entire defense actively trying to drag a runner into the end zone? 

5. The Jameis Winston Experience 

– We got the full ride on Sunday on that roller coaster. He threw a ghastly interception then follows it up with this beauty of a deep shot to Deonte Harris. Overall, Mr. Winston has had a great season controlling his inner turnover demons thus far. He’s played well in Sean Payton’s system and with Taysom Hill’s unfortunate injury, looks to be the only passer touching the ball for a bit. Comeback Player of the Year contender? 

6. The 2021 MVP race crystalizes

– The race for the 2021 MVP award is likely down to three contenders as we move deeper into October and beyond. The three lucky contestants: Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, and Justin Herbert. There could be a dark horse that looms on the horizon like grizzled graybeards Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and the like but it’s these three young guns battling it out. All three are off to fast starts and leading their teams as division contenders if not outright favorites. You can’t go wrong with any of them winning the award at the end. Allen is proving that he’s here to stay after a remarkable 2020. Murray is leading the league’s top offense. The Los Angeles Charger signal-caller has come on like gangbusters during his sophomore season after a remarkable rookie year. Allen likely wins it after establishing his bonafides last year. 

7. The 2019 MVP Stakes His Claim to the Crown

–  Lamar Jackson had a performance for the ages on Monday Night Football, leading the Ravens to a stirring comeback victory over the Colts. He’s well on his way to making the MVP race a four-way contest with the aforementioned three young guns above. It will be a thrilling race to the very end and Jackson has the precedence as a prior winner to know what it takes to win it. He has progressed every season as a passer under Greg Roman’s watch. Can he win the award for a second time?

Down

1. Special Teams coaches’ heart rates 
– The specialists in Week 5 were on one this week. A whopping 12 missed extra points plagued the league’s foot meeting with leather people, including THREE in the Texans-Patriots (in a dome, no less). The aforementioned Cincinnati-Packers featured both kickers missing game-winning kicks on repeat, including Mason Crosby missing THREE BY HIMSELF in about 15 minutes of game time. Of course, we can’t leave out the punters as a 0-yard punt AND a double punt happened! There’s nothing that epitomizes the weekend more than Evan McPherson pulling a Nick Young and celebrating a bit too early.

2. Injuries

– Another brutal week of injuries took a toll around the league as multiple stars are looking at long term issues. None more so than the Giants as Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and Kenny Golladay were all knocked out of the game. The Browns didn’t escape as Jack Conklin, Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, and JOK suffered game-ending injuries as well. Pittsburgh receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster injured his shoulder and is out for the season. The offensive linemen suffered heavily as Joe Thuney (broken hand), Oday Aboushi (ACL), Germain Ifedi (knee), Laremy Tunsil (hand), Sam Cosmi (ankle), Rodger Saffold (shoulder) were all declared OUT. At what point do the owners realize that the 17th game isn’t worth it? Do teams begin to schedule loss games like the San Antonio Spurs infamously made legendary?

3. Business is not booming for Miami 

– There’s no shame in losing to the GOAT quarterback. However, there is shame in how they lost. The Dolphins’ defense was dismantled in a devastating fashion as all three units were to blame. The secondary was lit on fire as Antonio Brown got loose on a pair of touchdowns. How dominant was the Bucs offensive line? Well, let’s say a picture is worth a thousand words. Not to mention that the Twitter account of Tua Tagovailoa’s gym went on a Brian Flores-related rant after the game. Things aren’t rosy for the denizens of Hard Rock Stadium right now.

4. Coaches wearing the scandalous scarlet letters 

– I won’t get into the Urban Meyer stuff this week as it’s been harangued into oblivion. It’s definitely not a great look for a coach with a questionable character already struggling to adapt to the pro game. The Jaguars looked relatively competitive on Sunday despite the week filled with questions about Meyer’s antics. However, on the west coast, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is in a lot of hot water regarding racist emails about NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith. Then the New York Times broke the news that the Gruden emails got horrifically worse, way worse. Gruden has elected to resign, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero

5. Denver’s offense is who we thought that they were 

– Try as they might, the Broncos’ offense just couldn’t get it going until it was desperation time against the Steelers. Teddy Bridgewater, while a capable quarterback, isn’t the most physically gifted passer. Throw in an offense that is recovering a key asset or two like Courtland Sutton, it’s going to take a minute to gel together. Next week might be a get-right game against the tumultuous scandal-ridden Raiders in the Mile High City.

6. Seattle without Chef Unlimited 

– We will get a few weeks’ glimpses into the possibly not too distant Wilson-less future with Russell Wilson out due to injury. Geno Smith takes over as the starter. The schedule is demanding to say the least with a road trip to Pittsburgh, home against the Saints, away at Green Bay, and home to Arizona dotting the next four out of five games. Can the Seahawks keep their heads above water in the Division of Death with Mr. Unlimited? 

7. The Chiefs defense is bad

– Yeah, nothing new here but it’s dire for the men under the watch of Steve Spagnuolo. The numbers are disastrous and I’m not sure Spags’ pedigree can save them this time. Missing their best defensive lineman Chris Jones isn’t helping much, either. It’s a long season yet the defensive statistics reflect a team with a much lesser talent profile. Wherever the season ends up for the Chiefs to be seen, it is ominous. Patrick Mahomes can’t keep on rescuing the defense when he’s battling some issues himself. 

Previous Editions

Week 1: Opening Overreactions

Wk 2: Perceptive Repeats

Week 3: So Nice, Do It Thrice

Week 4: Good Quads Like Saquon

The Seattle Seahawks and RAS

In regards to the Seahawks their front office has been in place since 2010. Trends come and go and front offices sometimes change. We are only going back through the 2016 draft which gives us six years worth of drafts to pull data from. You can also find Kent Lee Platte’s website here: ras.football

Quarterbacks:

The Seahawks have only drafted one quarterback since Russell Wilson, Alex McGough in 2018. So obviously not much to go off there. He did post an RAS score of 7.82.

Running backs:

To the running backs, the Seahawks have drafted 7 since 2016, which equals out to at least one a year. If you average out the scores you get a 6.81, which is only a bit above average. If Look at all the picks though outside of two guys Alex Collins and Deejay Davis they all scored a 7.28 or higher. This shows that overall Schneider and Carroll like their running backs to be relatively athletic. Looking further into the numbers the Seahawks like to draft bigger backs. five of the seven weight 217 pounds or more. They are all between 5’10-6’0. One key seems to be 40 speed. All of the running backs drafted have at least average speed or better.

Six of the seven outside of Alex Collins all scored at least average in explosion. Agility does not seem to be something that Carroll/Schneider emphasize. Three of the seven scored poorly where two only scored average. Going off this data we can say they like bigger backs with good 40 speed and at least average explosion.

Tight end:

Since 2016 the Seahawks have drafted four tight ends. Nick Vanett in 2016, Will Dissly in 2018, and Colby Parkinson and Stephen Sullivan in 2020. Their average RAS scores comes to a very average 5.77. That is mostly brought down by Dissly’s 3.79, although the rest are not all that high either. The highest is Sullivan with a 7.44. All four tight ends weight 250 or more. Interestingly enough they all vary in height. Vannett is 6’6, Dissly is 6’4, Sullivan is 6’5, and Parkinson is 6’7. Three of the four have good to great agility scores.

As for 40 times they do not seem important to the Seahawks. They vary from 4.89 to 4.66. Another interesting thing is three of the four had poor explosion testing. So that seems to be another test they do not find important. Two of them had 33″ arms and the other two had 34 and 35 respectively. So it seems Carroll and Schneider like their tight ends at least 250 and with decent agility scores.

Wide Receiver:

This position is some what interesting. The Seahawks have drafted eight receivers since 2016. The average of those eight is a decent 7.61. The one guy that really brings that grade down is Kenny Lawler, his RAS score was a 2.08. With his score removed the average goes up to 8.39. So it can be surmised that they look for pretty athletic receivers. Looking at the agility scores it seems this is another position that they do not care about agility numbers. Seven of the eight receivers drafted had average to poor agility numbers. Only John Ursua had high level agility scores. The Seahawks front office also seems to prefer receivers over 200 pounds; six of the eight drafted are 200 or over, with even four of the six being 214 or heavier. Five of the eight are over 6’0.

They do seem to prioritize 40 speed. Six of the eight ran 4.45 or faster. Seven of the eight though had a vertical of 35 or better (which is considered about average). Those seven also had broad jump scores of at least 10′ which is considered average, but six of those seven had a broad jump of 10’4″ or better which is considered above average. So it can be said they also prioritize explosion drills. Five of the eight also had above average bench scores. So it seems they like big, physical, explosive but linear fast receivers.

Offensive line:

The Seahawks have drafted eight offensive linemen since 2016. Four tackles, two guards and two centers. The average RAS score of the eight is 6.21. Two of their draft picks really bring the score down. Justin Senior and Jamarco Jones both had sub 1 RAS scores which is terrible, the rest were 7.76 or above. Also right off the bat the Seahawks seem to like bigger offensive linemen. Six of the eight are 310 or heavier, with four of the six being 320+. Their heights are kind of all over from 6’2-6’8, so it does not seem to matter to them. Of the offensive tackles all have had arm length’s of 34″ or more. The interior guys have all been around 33″

We have no testing numbers for Joey Hunt, not even arm measurements. Outside of Jones and Senior the rest all score at least average on explosion testing. As for speed testing, again outside of the two outliers they all tested at least average in speed. The agility testing is all over for them so they must be tests that the Seahawks do not worry about too much when it comes to OL. On the bench testing six of the eight all tested out at least average to very good.

Defensive line:

Since 2016 Carroll/Schneider have only drafted four interior defensive linemen. Jarran Reed in 2016, Nazair Jones and Malik McDowell in 2017, and Demarcus Christmas in 2019. The average RAS score of the four is an even 5. Looking more into those numbers you find that Malik McDowell is the one that really boosts that number up with his score of 9.03. The rest of them are 3.9 or lower. So athleticism does not seem to matter to the Seahawks.

They seem to prefer the linemen on the lighter side. The heaviest one is Reed at 307. Three of the four have a 40 time of 5.11 or faster. Another common factor across the roster is agility scores. They are all either average or below average in agility. Explosion drills are also treated the same.

Edge defenders:

The Seahawks from office has also drafted four edge defenders in the last six drafts. Rasheem Green in 2018, LJ Collier in 2019, Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson in 2020. Taylor has no testing on file. So the three that do their RAS scores average out to a solid 7.09, mostly brought down by Collier’s 3.25. So none of them are over 6’4 which is kind of interesting. Two of them actually are under 6’3.

The Seahawks like them on the heavier side, the lightest one is 264. Two of them are over 275. All three have average to good testing numbers on the explosive drills. Green and Robinson had 40 times of 4.73 or faster. They both also had average numbers on agility testing. This might be the one position so far that they at least seem to look at agility numbers. There is not much else to go off in regards to this position, other than they seem to like guys who are relatively athletic.

Linebackers:

Linebacker is definably an interesting study in regards to the Seahawks. Schneider and Carroll have drafted five linebackers in six drafts. Jacob Martin and Shaquem Griffin in 2018, Ben Burr-Kirven and Cody Barton in 2019, and Jordyn Brooks in 2020. The average RAS score of four of the five drafted (Jordyn Brooks didn’t test enough to get a score) was a crazy athletic 8.72. So with those numbers we can assume the Seahawks like their linebackers to be elite athletes. With having athletes of this level there is of course a trade off, three of the four are 237 or smaller-with two of them being 230 or less. Also they are not exceptionally tall. Two of them are 6’2 and the other three are 6’0.

One test that definitely stands out is 40 times. They all run a 4.64 or better, with three of the four running a 4.56 or faster. The four that tested in vertical and broad jump all had at least average numbers there. This does seem to be a position that they prioritize agility testing. three of the four that tested put up elite agility testing and the other had a great 3 cone drill but a less than average short shuttle. The Seahawks definably emphasize speed and agility testing here with at least average explosive testing.

Defensive backs:

As for defensive backs they have drafted eight since 2016. Schneider and Carroll have drafted five corners, and three safeties. The Seahawks here are a bit of a mixed bag. Their average score is a slightly above average 6.91. They have two guys with sub 5 scores, but then they have three with scores over 8.3.

In regards to corners they seem to have two different types. They have three corners that were 6’0-6’3 194+ or 5’9 185-200, Tre Flowers is the talled at 6’3 the other two are 6’0-6’1. With the corners the Seahawks drafted they all ran 4.5 40’s or faster. Again they do not seem to care much about agility drills all the corners were average to poor in those drills. Four of the five put up average to above average scores in the vertical jump and broad jump. So it seems size and speed are of importance at corner with at least average testing in the vert and broad jump.

With the safeties all three are 6’0-6’1, but not exceptionally big, Delano Hill was 216 but Thompson is 204 and Marquise Blair is 196. Again explosion and agility testing was poor or average. Tedric Thompson ran a 4.6 but the other two ran sub 4.5, so it seems they emphasize speed at safety with average size for the most part. Somewhat similar thresholds to their corners.

Final Thoughts:

The Seahawks are anther interesting study in regards to what RAS and pro-day/combine testing says about their draft preferences. Roster wide it seems they do not care about agility drills outside of off ball linebacker and Tight end…kind of. They only take highly athletic linebackers. They like big fast receivers. Their defensive linemen are pretty unathletic. Their corners and safeties are held to similar thresholds. Finally they like their offensive linemen bigger guys with average speed and explosion.

7 Up, 7 Down: Opening Overreactions

UP

1. Chandler Jones Has a Half a Season in ONE GAME

Cardinals EDGE rusher Chandler Jones had the denizens of Nashville crying out for an offensive tackle that could simply stand in front of him. Sadly for the Titans, no such man was coming on Sunday afternoon. Jones had a dominant day, putting up FIVE sacks which prompted NBA god LeBron James to tweet his support for Jones’ candidacy for DPOY. 

Jones was so dominant that the Titans’ star left tackle Taylor Lewan was beaten repeatedly into submission. Lewan later acknowledged his failure in stopping Jones and credited him for waking him up. 

2. Saints March In and Show Out

The Saints, briefly displaced by Hurricane Ida, put on a show in Jacksonville against fellow NFC contender Green Bay. The defense was all over the place, hounding Aaron Rodgers into two interceptions. Jameis Winston was efficient, throwing for 148 yards and a whopping FIVE touchdowns, including this beauty to get him over the century mark in yards for the day. He’s currently on pace for 2,500 yards and 85 touchdowns

Not to be outdone by his usual stellar play on the field, All-Pro CB Marshon Lattimore scored a well-deserved pay rise moments after the victory. The salary cap is a social construct built by mere mortals that can be exploited to profound and spectacular limitless bounds.

3. Dak Prescott IS Back!

Dak showed very little ill effects of the devastating ankle injury he suffered early last season and the recent shoulder issue he went through in training camp. He may not be back to being full force Dak but he’s well on his way to return to prior form. The Cowboys may not be an upper-tier contender but Prescott gives them a fighting chance in the much beleaguered NFC East where 9 wins might be enough to win the division. I’m glad that he’s back from such a bad injury. 

4. Sean McVay’s Football Mental Health

Sean McVay was voraciously giddy and gratuitously presumptuous when the Rams traded for former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in exchange for Jared Goff and multiple first-round selections. Well, after Stafford’s performance against the Bears on Sunday night, it appears his mental state of unabashed happiness hasn’t changed one iota. Goff, on the other hand, was valiant in trying to lead the moribund Lions to a stirring comeback victory. McVay has to be overjoyed by the fact that Stafford is more consistent and doesn’t need much of a guiding hand or protection from the Rams boss, unlike his predecessor. This frees him up to be more creatively intuitive in his play-calling ala new age Sean Payton, armed with a star-laden defense led by the indomitable Aaron Donald. 

5. Is Jalen Hurts that dude?

Yes, it was against the brutally hapless Falcons defense, but Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts began 2021 in a promising fashion, going for a combined 326 yards and three touchdowns. A game that included this beauty to former Alabama teammate and reigning Heisman winner Devonta Smith.

The Eagles quarterback is certainly showing signs of promise early on but he will need to turn in an outstanding season in order to avoid tempting the front office that has looked into the Deshaun Watson / Russell Wilson market in the past. Hurts looks spritely and in command of Nick Sirianni’s offense after one week. Philadelphia will face a much stiffer test this coming Sunday against the vaunted 49ers defense who just gave up 33 points to the woebegone Lions. For Hurts’ sake, let’s hope he has a great season for the City of Brotherly Love.

6. #LetRussCook

The Shane Waldron and Russell Wilson era got off to a flying start with the quarterback being an efficient 18/23, 254 yards and four touchdowns, including a beauty of a deep pass to Tyler Lockett. The signs of letting Russ cook full stop are there with Waldron seemingly calling the impact shots instead of the archaic Pete Carroll’s preferred ground control offense. Next up on the docket: a Titans team who got blown out by an explosive Cardinals offense in week 1. Let Russ Cook, indeed. 

7. Justin Herbert is FUN

The promising sophomore sensation led the Chargers to a win in a must-have game-icing situation when normally, Bolts teams of old would’ve found a way to blow the lead. Could it be a curse-killing win for the powder blue outfit or just a random win? Herbert has all the physical tools and is now challenging the tier of upper-crust quarterbacks. What kind of 2021 will he have?

DOWN

1. Matt Rhule in “Plus Territory”

Yes, the Panthers beat the rebuilding Jets but several decisions inside plus territory left Carolina fans wanting. A decision to punt while having the ball on the Jets’ 33 yard line is the most egregious of the issues. However, scoring only one touchdown against a hapless defense in four trips inside the 10 yard line is a giant cause for concern going forward. Especially so when one of the best dual threat running backs in football resides on the roster. Could this be a worrying trend for the Panthers? Is there anything left in Sam Darnold left to salvage? 

2. The Vikings have OL Issues

Kirk Cousins has his own warts but the offensive line was horrendous for the Vikings on Sunday. This was against a middling at best Bengals stop unit. It looks like they’re still in preseason mode and haven’t gelled together yet. Up next for the Vikings and their beleaguered line: the red hot Arizona Cardinals defense on the road. It will likely be another long day I suspect for Cousins and company.  

3. Jason Garrett is Not that Guy

Like the meme says, Garrett is not that guy. He hasn’t been handed the most ideal of circumstances such as Saquon Barkley returning from injury and a poor offensive line. Daniel Jones hasn’t developed and is quickly reaching Mitchell Trubisky territory. If this lack of production continues, Big Blue faithful will be up in arms calling for Joe Judge’s job. It’s certainly possible that Garrett is hamstrung by Jones but he isn’t helping him, either. One has to wonder if Garrett is the coach that Judge sacrifices to retain his own job security. 

4. Bad juju in Cheesehead Land

There’s some bad mojo in Green Bay, namely starting with the months-long diaspora of Aaron Rodgers dysfunction. It has carried over the season, it seems as Matt LaFleur’s men couldn’t get going Sunday. Would it be best for all parties for the Packer to end the charade of harmony and trade Rodgers? Love was inserted into the lost cause to mixed results. They will need to see what they have in their former first round pick before too long. However, one game does not make a season. It bears watching going forward though. 

5. Do the Chiefs have a good enough stop unit?

The Browns are well coached and talented but there’s no reason for the Chiefs defense not to be at least middle of the pack. They were dominated by Cleveland until they were forced to buck up in the fourth quarter. Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league armed with an impressive arsenal but even he can’t keep on rescuing the defense repeatedly. The defense will need to step up better than they showed on week one. 

6. Bears Post “Help Wanted” ad for Left Tackle

It’s been an arduous journey for the left tackle position for Chicago as rookie Teven Jenkins was already injured. His replacement, aging veteran Jason Peters was injured early Sunday. The replacement for Peters, Larry Borom, was injured during the same game. They are one snap away from having to play Germain Ifedi at left tackle. Chicago’s offense was already labeled as a struggling unit, with these injuries, it will be tough for either Andy Dalton or Justin Fields to get any traction. It might be a long year for Matt Nagy. 

7. It’s still Atlanta United’s stadium, Falcons!

The Falcons struggled mightily against a retooling Eagles team, failing to impress anyone. The poor offensive line was a sieve and allowed Matt Ryan to get hit repeatedly, resulting in one iconic image. Defensively, they weren’t any great shakes either save for a few performances from Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, and AJ Terrell. HC Arthur Smith’s team had a great opening drive or three but it all fell downhill afterwards. The losses may continue with the defending champion Buccaneers next on the docket. Coach Smith’s will and coaching ability is going to be seriously tested as the Dirty Birds escape from the last vestiges of the ill fated Dan Quinn era. It’s still Atlanta United’s stadium and the Falcons are paying rent for the right to play in it with a random Kanye cameo. 

Another Year to Re-define Seahawks Football

The Seattle Seahawks have had a rough couple years trying to re-define their old stereotypes and be the team they can be. After losing to the Patriots on what could be, The worst play call of all-time, the Seahawks have yet to fully bounce back. Going on almost six years since that point in time, and nothing has changed since that point. Russell Wilson being the quarterback of the Seahawks seems to be the only thing that is working right, but it has yet to be enough. With some help over the course of free agency, trades, and the draft, they are looking to bring a title back to Seattle in what could be, the most difficult year of Russel’s career.

The Seattle Seahawks have their guy, but his time in the league is closing down each year they wait to truly make a push. With recent developments on the offensive side of the ball, and the defensive side of the ball, they are going to make the push for the Super Bowl yet again. The Seahawks had multiple seasons in the NFC east that was incredibly easy, this year won’t be anywhere close to that. After the off-season that the Rams had, the potential bounce-back of the 49ers, and the Cardinals, the Seahawks are going to have quite the road ahead of them. However, where do expectation lie within the Seahawks organization and fan-base will be something to consider as well.

After getting into the playoff’s last season, and Russell having a great season, it’s clear that they are still in win now mode. With that being said, they will be looking to take on some of the toughest teams in the NFC this year that will lead to a lot of gruesome battle’s ahead. There is a chance that with that being in perspective that the Seahawks may not even make the playoff’s this year. In a win now situation, the Seahawks are not lacking offensive weapons with Chris Carson, D.K. Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett, they have one of the best offenses in football. So what could potentially hold them back? The answer is actually extremely simple, their defense.

The Seahawks office has tried to do a lot of different things to help keep teams off the score-board, but when you draft as poorly as they do, they need to do a lot more than just that. Looking at some of the players they have drafted over the past couple seasons: Jordyn Brooks in the first round, Deejay Dallas, Freddie Swain, L.J. Collier, Cody Barton, and a lot more. Now some of the names mentioned weren’t necessarily ‘bad picks’ but the value of the picks makes the picks bad. When looking to become a true contender, it starts with developing players through the draft process, not just through trades and free agency. That idea and concept has seemed to be lost on them, and it needs to be corrected.

Looking at what the Rams, 49ers, and Cardinals have done throughout the course of the last couple seasons, the Seahawks team doesn’t even hold a candle to them. With a head coach that has been holding them back for years, there has yet to be any growth within their team. As a defensive minded head coach, you would expect a good defense… that’s not the case. The Seahawks have had a rough go lately, but that doesn’t come as a surprise when your team selects L.J. Collier and Jordyn Brooks with their first round picks. Making selections like the two I just mentioned is going to be a big problem going forward. You need to have players on your defense who are leaders, but who can also perform, and unfortunately they don’t. So what can they do to change that?

Well at this point in time, there isn’t much they can do, but this off-season is a different story. Looking at their previous draft selections and the development of their draft picks, it’s not unlikely there could be a coaching change. There is only one thing that seems to be a problem each and every year since 2015, Pete Carroll. For those Seahawks fans who follow football, think back to the situation with Earl Thomas. Even while being a beloved fan of the Seahawks, he ended up wanting out due to the coaching and how the team was ran. It’s easy to say that he was just being a baby, but if that was the case, why haven’t they made a run for the Super Bowl since 2015? If they want to win again, they need to let Carrol go.

Alongside letting Carrol go, they should also look to bring in help on the positions of need. With money tied up into only a couple players, they should still be looking to bring in talent to help Wagner, Adams, and Wilson. Wilson has to be prepared to run for hundreds of yards each and every game due to horrendous offensive-line play. How can a quarterback make smart choices with the ball when he has be running outside the pocket for just about every play? The answer is he can’t. When teams started blitzing, like the Cardinals, you could see the decline from that point on. The Seahawks should be taking a note or two from the Chiefs off-season this past year.

The Chiefs had Mahomes run 500 yards in the Super Bowl due to offensive-line play, so what did they do? They signed offensive-linemen to help protect their quarterback. Russell Wilson can be considered by most a top five quarterback in the NFL despite always having to run for his life. If the Seahawks front office was able to take into consideration what it would mean to the organization if they could protect Wilson, they’d be so much better off. That start to any good organization is to make sure you build a team around your quarterback to: Keep him happy, and make sure he can be the best player he can be. There are a lot of problems within the organization, but the fact that they have not gone out to get him some protection shows how little they care about him.

Next, if you go back to the beginning of the off-season you can probably recall about Russ and the organization being in disputes about his role. As the leader, and heart and soul of the team, he felt as though he should be consulted and have an opinion in decisions. With that being said, normally I’d say that isn’t his role on the team but after years of playing with the organization, he felt disrespected. Which can you blame him? His job as the quarterback is to be the leader, but how can you win with a team who doesn’t help you out? It’s the same thing Rodgers had going on this off-season as well. As the quarterback, you should have a say in who you are going to have on your team and players you think would be a fit in the organization.

There are a lot of things that will result in the outcome of the Seahawks this season, but with the roster they have right now, they are going to be in for a tough season. It’ll take a lot of great situational coaching and great play calling, but it is obtainable. Russell is a great leader, and having him under center puts the Seahawks in a great position.