The Seahawks have waited almost half the season for their new tight end to play his first game. Ed Dickson is coming in at the perfect time for Seattle.
After their slow – make that terrible – start to this season, the Seahawks are pretty close to must-win mode for the rest of the year. Okay, that isn’t really true. If they lose one more game they’ll finish at 12-4 and obviously make the playoffs. So let’s say that when you face another 3-3 team, you better win.
The Lions do present some challenges. When I wrote their run defense is suspect, I didn’t forget that they just added a legitimate run-stopper in Damon Harrison. Sorry, but you have to love a guy nicknamed “Snacks”. While his addition to the Lions won’t make life any easier for the Seahawks offensive line, it isn’t going to magically transform Detroit into the best run defense in the league, either.
Harrison is excellent, but he’s still one player. His fellow defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson is fine against the run. Defensive ends Da’Shawn Hand and Romeo Okwara are solid versus the run too. So a line that was already pretty good at stopping the run should be even better with the arrival of Snacks. So why am I not crying over the annihilation of the Seahawks ground game?
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Seahawks show there’s more to run defense than the line
I have a couple of reasons for that. First, there’s more to a defense than the line. Detroit’s linebackers aren’t very good versus the run. Middle linebacker Jarrad Davis is one of the league’s worst run defenders, at least as graded by Pro Football Focus. He’s graded at 35.7 versus the run. For comparison, Bobby Wagner is graded at 86.6. Christian Jones isn’t much better. Devon Kennard is the best of a pretty mediocrerun-stopping group.
Things don’t get any better for the Lions in the secondary, either. Other than corner Nevin Lawson, Detroit doesn’t have anyone that can help shut down the run game, unlike the Seahawks.
Rookie Tre Flowers is rated as the best corner in the league against the run. Both Bradley McDougald and Tedric Thompson are in the top 25 safeties in run defense. Not the best, but better than the Lions. No, they aren’t Kam and Earl, but they don’t have to be playing behind Bobby Wagner. Add in the possible return of K.J. Wright, and Seattle will only get better at stopping the run.
Ed Dickson will play a big role for the Seahawks
The other reason I’m not overly concerned about the arrival of Mr. Harrison is the debut of one of the newest Seahawks. Unlike “Snacks”, Ed Dickson was expected to be a starter in Seattle from game one. Actually, I expected Dickson to be a major addition to the team. I’m probably two for five on that prediction, but the season is still young.
Yes, I know Dickson is rated as one of the worst run blockers among all tight ends. But with Nick Vannett still possibly battling back pain, I’d much rather have Dickson in than Darrell Daniels or Tyrone Swoopes. Swoopes was released to activate Dickson, but hopefully he’ll clear waivers so the Seahawks can bring him back to the practice squad. Love that kid. For now, I’ll take the healthy experienced veteran, thanks.
Don’t forget, Dickson was rated as the best pass blocker among all tight ends. Seattle will certainly give the Lions a heavy dose of Carson, Davis and Penny, but Russell Wilson does need time to throw the ball. The debut of Dickson can go a long way to make that happen. Just for fun, the last time Dickson faced the Lions (last year in Detroit), he lit them up for five catches for 175 yards. Ed Dickson can still have a big impact on the Seahawks season, and he can start Sunday.