In a matter of two straight defeats, it feels as if all the success the Seattle Seahawks have had thus far has been wiped out. Before Week 10, Seattle was riding high, atop their division, exceeding all expectations. Today, the Seahawks find themselves on the outside looking in of the playoff race and more importantly, seemed to have been exposed in their recent defeats.
Against both Tampa Bay and Las Vegas, the defensive run game has been disappointing. To make matters worse, the Seattle run game has been non-existent. In less than a month, it almost feels as if Seattle has lost some of its identity. The feel-good story of Geno Smith’s resurgence might be meeting reality. Or, is it just another chapter of a minor setback, leading to a major comeback?
Despite the recent struggles, the Seattle Seahawks are still in a position where they can win their division. This weekend against divisional rival, Los Angeles Rams, the Seahawks have a chance to insert themselves right back into the playoff picture. The question that remains, however, is how do they do so? To me, the answer is simple. Get back to who you are.
Seattle Seahawks: X-Factor that can lead them to victory in Week 13
Obviously, the lack of rush defense stands out when viewing these last two losses for the Seattle Seahawks. The other glaring component of the defeats has been the low usage rate of Kenneth Walker. In Week 10 against the Buccaneers, Walker had 10 carries for 17 yards. As a matter of fact, he barely had any rushes in the second half of that game. More recently against the Raiders, he had 14 carries for 26 yards.
With the way Seattle’s defense has been playing, it would make sense to rely more on the running game. That way, they can control time of possession, and piece together long scoring drives while giving the defense an opportunity to get some rest on the sidelines. Not to mention it will take a lot of reliance off the shoulders of Geno Smith, which has also been a problem in Weeks 10 & 12.
In what some may consider a must-win game for the Seahawks, they certainly catch a break with the news of Aaron Donald being inactive. Without him in the interior, the Seahawks will have a great chance of establishing the run and owning the trenches. Despite the Rams struggles this year, this defense is still putting up really solid numbers. They currently have the 4th best rushing defense in the league, allowing 97.3 yards per game.
Let’s also not forget this is the Bobby Wagner revenge game. He is still playing at a high level and has a really good understanding of what the Seahawks are going to try and do on the offensive side of the ball. However, I like our rookie in the backfield. Ever since taking over the starting role, Kenneth Walker III has taken the league by storm. In fact, he currently has the best odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Defensively, the Seahawks also catch numerous breaks. It appears as if the Rams will be without QB Matthew Stafford and WRs Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson. So, as long as this defense shows up, I don’t anticipate any hiccups. The Seahawks run game will be the difference in this game. Entering this matchup, the Rams defense currently allows the fewest explosive plays in the NFL. What opens up the big plays down the field? The running game.
I want Kenneth Walker III to put his stamp on this game and make it known across the league that he is the best rookie there is. I would imagine Shane Waldron incorporates more pre-snap motion with Marquise Goodwin or Tyler Lockett to keep those edge rushers on their toes. Mix in the 13 personnel along with the 2 TE pistol formation to continuously give this defense different looks.