Seahawks: New Orleans has the makings of a trap game
By Keith Myers
The Seattle Seahawks should have no trouble dominating the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, but this game has all the classic signs of the trap game.
The Seattle Seahawks head to New Orleans to take on the Saints in a game that should be relatively easy win for the good guys. The Seahawks are simply the better and more talented team. Unfortunately, this game feels like a classic “trap game.”
I managed to come up with three reasons why this extremely-winnable game has me nervous:
1. The 10: am start time
This story line is overblown. The national media would have you think that the Seahawks have a 0.00 winning percentage in morning games. It is as if they don’t remember the Seahawks dominating the Jets just a couple of weeks ago.
On the other hand, the Seahawks do have a history of underperforming in games with Early start times. You only have to go back to being down 31-0 against Carolina in the playoff last year to find a perfect example.
When you include the pair of factors listed below, the morning start is worrisome. The Seahawks cannot afford to dig themselves a hole on Sunday. I may not be able to get out of it.
2. Carry-over fatigue from last week
The Seahawks played an entire extra quarter last week. With the offense doing absolutely nothing all game, the defense was forced to play a lot of extra football. In fact, it was the 9th-most time that any defense has been on the field in NFL history.
Throw in the fact that a lot of starters also help on special teams, and you can really see the problem. For example, Kelcie McCray was on the field for 108 snaps last week, which is the most by any player in NFL history.
That level of fatigue takes its toll on the body. Recovery this week will have been slower than normal. There is a good chance that the defense’s legs will still feel like jello when the game begins Sunday morning.
3. Too many key injuries
Seattle’s list of injured players is extensive. This time of year, every team has a long list of guy who are hobbled. The problem for the Seahawks is that they’re missed so many key players.
Kam Chancellor is out. Michael Bennett is out. That’s a pair of defensive stars that won’t be available against that high-powered Saint’s offense.
That doesn’t include other guys the team could use that are also hurt. Kevin Pierre-Louis, Quinton Jefferson, Mike Morgan and Garrison Smith. The Seahawks are short on depth in the week when they need it most.
Of course, that might not matter if the offense could carry its own weight. With Russell Wilson nursing three separate injuries, Thomas Rawls out, and Tyler Lockett banged up, that isn’t likely to happen.
A trap game
All of those factors have me worried for Sunday’s game. This is a game that the Seahawks should win. They are the better, more talented, deeper, and more complete team. The result should never be in question. Seattle should dominate.
Next: Can the offense be fixed before it is too late?
And yet, at this point I think it’ll be a massive relief if the Seahawks just escape New Orleans with a win.