The Seahawks moved to 10-4 and clinched a playoff spot in the victory over Washington in week 15.
The Seahawks beat Washington 20-15 on Sunday and moved back into first place in the NFC West. If Seattle can win its next two games, they will be – at worst – the second seed in the NFC when the playoffs start. Here are three things we learned on Sunday.
Carlos Dunlap needs to be a Seahawk long past 2020
Carlos Dunlap is playing with an injury and still produces. A foot injury could significantly slow any player but especially for a defensive end who pushes off to get leverage and also has the speed to get outside. On Sunday, Dunlap played on just 26 snaps, 32 percent of the Seahawks defensive snaps.
But once again Dunlap produced at a moment Seattle absolutely needed a player to do so. Just like his game-ending sack against the Cardinals in week 11, Dunlap basically ended the game against Washington when he sacked Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins when the Football Team could have been driving for a winning score.
Seattle simply doesn’t have another player like Dunlap and likely won’t next year either. Dunlap is signed though 2021 but has a cap hit of $14 million next season. He will be worth every penny. And while he is 31 years old, Dunlap should still be good for another three years or so.
Chris Carson needs to be re-signed after 2020
Seattle needs to pay another player as well and that would be Chris Carson. I get that the big play on Sunday in the run game was produced by Carlos Hyde but Hyde is a one-year rental and won’t be back next year. Hyde hasn’t been bad at all, he just isn’t Carson. On Sunday, Carson ran 15 times for 63 yards with an average of 4.2 yards a carry. On the season he is averaging 5 yards per rush.
Carson is the perfect back in a Pete Carroll system. He runs with determination and gains yards most backs wouldn’t. He has been underused so far this season though that might change in the weeks ahead. But in the seasons ahead? Carson needs to be Seattle’s feature back for three to five more years even if Seattle has to pay him $10 million a year.
This team can be really good, if it can ever play a complete game against a good team
The Seahawks are good but not great and have a not-great margin of error. If they take a couple of drives off on defense, that can be the difference between winning and losing a game. This happened in week 13 against the Giants when Seattle had one bad quarter and lost the game. It nearly happened again on Sunday. Seattle led 20-3 entering the fourth quarter and had to hold on.
In the first part of the year, Seattle’s offense was the best in the league and the defense the worst. In the last five games or so, the defense has been good but the offense not so much. If the offense and defense can have a stretch of both playing well for the next several games, Seattle can make it to the Super Bowl.