The Seattle Seahawks didn’t fail to give fans a nail biter after their small victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football.
It felt inevitable at halftime that the Seahawks would come out of their game against the Vikings with their first loss of the season. But then Russell Wilson led the offense to score 21 unanswered points in the third quarter. Going 5-0 for the first time in franchise history feels good but not without huge concerns going forward.
Irrational thought #1: Fire Pete Caroll
I know, I know. This seems like a ridiculous thing to say considering what he has done for the Seahawks franchise so far and how they have started 5-0, but I do have legit reasons for thinking so.
Pete Caroll is a great motivator no doubt. He succeeds in creating a family-like culture in the locker room and instilling a championship mindset among his players. What he fails at is adapting to the evolution of NFL playcalling. He’s been far too conservative on both sides of the ball, running the ball heavily on offense and sticking with base 4-3 on defense 50% of the time in 2019.
It wouldn’t be entirely wrong to blame the Seahawks’ inability to get back to the Super Bowl on Carroll. You could even go as far as to say he has wasted some of Wilson’s precious quarterback years by not leaving the ball in his hands enough.
He often makes bad decisions and has poor clock management. There have been plenty of instances where Seattle plays badly in the first three quarters and then Russell Wilson carries his team to a comeback victory in the final moments of the fourth quarter.
At the same time, you can’t completely blame Carroll for the defensive struggles while also praising the change in offense they have made this year. But ultimately the big decisions are his to make and he needs to make them now or risk not reaching the super bowl again in Russell Wilson’s prime.
The Seahawks have some changes to make
Irrational thought #2: Fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.
It’s a tough task to ask anyone to replicate what Dan Quinn did with the Seahawks defense and Legion of Boom secondary in 2013 and 2014. But considering how many great players have come and gone from Seattle’s defense, there are huge question marks as to why they haven’t been able to get back into their old form.
Ken Norton Jr. just hasn’t been able to get the job done since he became the Seahawks defensive coordinator in 2018. No crucial adjustments were made to the defense in 2019 and even after trading for the best safety in football in Jamal Adams, the Seahawks are among the top of the league in passing yards allowed and can rarely pressure the opposing quarterback.
The offense has made a change for success now it’s time for the defense. And interestingly enough, Dan Quinn is available again after being fired by the Atlanta Falcons.
Irrational thought #3: Don’t re-sign Shaquill Griffin
This is one of those irrational thoughts that have come and gone with every game Shaquill Griffin has played. At times he looks like a bonafide star and at other times you wonder if there could be anyone better on the free-agent market to take over his role on the defense.
Despite not having had a single interception last season, he made the Pro Bowl after being one of the top cornerbacks in the league in pass breakups. This season he has two interceptions so far but is often beat on vertical routes. He’s also allowing a 68.9% completion percentage versus 57.1% last season.
It’s a love/hate feeling here. I don’t want to lose him on the defense because he’s a good contributor but after the season he is going to become a free agent and I just don’t know if he’s worth re-signing for what he’s expected to.
As pointed out by 12th Man Rising site expert Lee Vowell, the decision for the Seahawks could come down to who to keep between Griffin and running back Chris Carson. I would choose Carson.
Irrational thought #4: Trade Jarran Reed
Jarran Reed had an exceptional season in 2018 but has failed to get back on track since his early suspension in 2019. He went from 10.5 sacks two seasons ago to three combined sacks between 2019 and 2020 combined. Of course, the season is not over and he did have a good performance against the Vikings but it’s make-or-break time.
Reed signed a two-year $23 million contract before the season that essentially gives the Seahawks an out after the seasons over. If he isn’t able to meet the expectations needed to progress the defensive line forward, I would consider trading him for early-round value.