Vikings vs. Seahawks: Five Questions For 12th Man Rising


Oct 28, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) walks off the field after losing to the Detroit Lions 28-24 at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

12th Man Rising is FanSided’s Seahawks blog. And Keith Myers is the Seahawks blogger. Here are my five questions on this week’s opponent:

1. Russell Wilson. Happy with the job he’s doing so far? Or should they give Matt Flynn a crack at it?

A: Can the answer to both questions be no? Wilson has struggled and gone through his rookie growing pains. Those struggles have cost the Seahawks at least 2 wins already in this season, so it wouldn’t be honest to say that fans are generally happy with the job he’s done to this point. But that doesn’t mean that it’s time to pull the plug and put Flynn in there. Quite the opposite is true actually. Wilson has steadily improved as the season has progressed, and is now finally playing at a level where the Seahawks can reliably win with him under center. Putting in Flynn, a player with only 2 career starts, would be moving in the wrong direction both for the short term and the long term.

2. Seahawks run a similar offense to the Vikings. Lots of running, maybe not enough passing to suit some people. I’m always hearing how you can’t win it all with that kind of approach. What’s your feeling about that overall old school offensive philosophy? Do you buy into it or will Seattle need to “modernize” their passing game in order to take another step?

Can you win this way? Of course you can. The Giants won the first of their recent Super Bowls that way. The Steelers have won one recently that way as well. The 49ers made it to the NFL Championship game last year that way. It definitely can be done, at least if you have a good defense. But that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest way to win. Winning low scoring defensive battles with your running attack creates a very small margin of error. A couple week ago, the Seahawks absolutely dominated the 49ers in the first half, and only led 6-3 at the break. The 2nd half didn’t break like the first half did, and the Seahawks lost because that 3 point lead wasn’t going to last once Frank Gore woke up. As much as the Seahawks dominated that first half, they should have been up by at least 2 touchdowns. Had that been the case, the 49ers couldn’t have come back. By playing close games by design, the Seahawks gave the 49ers a chance to win that game, and they took advantage of it. Ultimately, if any team want to have continual success, and to optimize their chances of winning 4 straight games in the playoffs, a competent passing game has to be part of the equation. Otherwise you’re always just one mistake away from a loss.

3. Seahawks seem to be in about the same place as the Vikings right now. Got a lot of people excited with a better-than-expected start, but are sort of coming back down to earth now. So I have to ask the question everyone always asks about the Vikings. Are the Seahawks legitimate contenders or a rebuilding team that got ahead of themselves?

A: It’s amazing how different the Seahawks are seen outside of Seattle due to national media bias. The Seahawks have one of the League’s top defense, (recent 3rd down issues in Detroit aside) and the league’s 2nd best running attack (an obvious nod to Adrian Peterson). The Seahawks didn’t get off to a better than expected start. This team has been generally disappointing so far this season. Rebuilding is over. This is a team that is ready to compete for a playoff spot right now. Rookie QB and all, anything less would be a major disappointment. If Seattle misses the playoffs, Pete Carroll will go into 2013 with his seat starting to get pretty warm.

4. What are your feelings about Pete Carroll as a coach?

A: The jury is still out on Carroll in the NFL. On one hand, he’s done some amazing things rebuilding this roster from being old, slow, undersized and expensive into one that’s bigger, stronger, faster and one of the league’s youngest. This has been especially true in the draft, despite the national media hate for his draft picks. On the other hand, the Seahawks have this thing about shooting themselves in the foot on game day with stupid mistakes and penalties. There’s also the problem that the Seahawks seem to only put together 2 good quarters in every game they play. If this team could actually play well for 60 minutes, they’d be 8-0 right now, but the Seahawks haven’t had a game like that since 2010. Ultimately though, this is a very young team that’s still learning how to win. If they can put it together then the sky is the limit. If they continue to struggle in the ways that they have been struggling, then perhaps it will be another coach who will benefit from all work that Carroll has done with the roster.

5. Seattle’s defense has looked good most of the year but had some trouble getting off the field on third down against Detroit. Any concerns as we move forward?

Yes and no. At home, the Seahawks defense has been downright dominant, even on 3rd down. On the road though, the defense has been good but just not the same. This showed up on 3rd down in Detroit because that’s where the Lion’s talent lies, but it was just a small part of a bigger problem. So while this isn’t a concern this week, it is a concern over the rest of the season. The Seahawks should win 7 or 8 of their home games this season, but that means they need to win 2 or 3 road games to get into the playoff, and they are already 1-4 on the road. If the defense (or the team in general) can’t manage to show up when playing on the road, then The Seahawk’s season will end in major disappointment.

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