Last week, I advised everyone to keep the faith, and for those of you that did, you were rewarded with the best performance of the season and a tremendous win over the Baltimore Ravens. Seattle Seahawks fans have every right to feel enthusiastic. However, I hope everyone can keep a level head no matter the outcome in Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams.
It feels like a lot longer than six weeks since the Seahawks defeated the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Even I was optimistic about the way the season was unfolding. Then came the debacle in Cleveland against the Browns that began a three game losing streak.
The point I’m trying to make is that while I feel the team is headed in the right direction, there are going to be a lot of ups and downs along the way. I expect the Seahawks to defeat the Rams, but it wouldn’t shock me at all if the Rams are victorious, even with all of the injuries they’ve sustained. As I’ve said before, the Seahawks are not good enough, or rather not consistent enough, to make me believe that beating any team is a given.
I realize that, unlike the Cleveland game, Tarvaris Jackson will start against the Rams. I also realize that he is far from 100% healthy. The Seahawks’ offensive line will feature two new starters – Paul McQuistan at right guard and Breno Giacomini at right tackle. McQuistan has started a couple of games at left guard earlier this season when Robert Gallery was injured, and his play left a lot to be desired. I’m surprised that Lemuel Jeanpierre wasn’t placed at right guard. The line continued to play well against Baltimore after Jeanpierre replaced the injured John Moffitt.
Head Coach Pete Carroll explained that he didn’t want to start Jeanpierre because he was the backup center. That makes me wonder if Max Unger is injured more than the team is willing to admit. I’m much more worried about McQuistan than Giacomini. Giacomini isn’t necessarily more capable, but he is replacing James Carpenter, who I felt wasn’t playing well at all.
The Rams definitely have question marks, particularly in the secondary and the offensive line. Perhaps this is the game where the pass rush gets on track. Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley has to do a better job this week disguising his blitzes. The Ravens easily picked up every blitz the Seahawks threw at them, with the exception of the sack by Malcolm Smith. The blitzers were being identified far too easily.
With the health of Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin being an issue, this game could see the emergence of Golden Tate and Mike Williams. Tate made two big catches in the final drive of last week’s game. Williams has had a frustrating second season in Seattle. That frustration seemed to manifest itself in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Baltimore. Opportunities for both should be there against a decimated Rams secondary.
It seems like anything is possible with this Seahawks team. Don’t forget, the Seahawks went into St. Louis expecting victory last season and got destroyed. Win or lose, there’s plenty of things to feel good about the Seahawks for this season and beyond. Keep the faith, and try to keep things in perspective.
BTW, I’m headed to St. Louis to watch this game in person. I don’t want to go home disappointed.