Injuries can happen at any time, and frequently do. The Seahawks have managed to get through a few games virtually unscathed, and the Seahawks have had games where they get some guys knicked up, either for a few plays, or a few weeks, or the whole damn season. But, every year, there seems to be that one game where the shit hits the fan and guys start dropping like flies. It’s the game you probably least suspect! But, someone goes down early, and then another, and before you know it, you’ve got a good contingent of your team sitting on training tables.
The Seahawks went into this game with three running backs and a fullback. Christine Michael was waived and picked up by Green Bay, Alex Collins was a healthy scratch to get our roster down to 46 for the game. That just left C.J. Prosise, the return of Thomas Rawls after missing the last 7 games, and pre-season phenom Troymaine Pope, who looked so good in practice, he forced the coaches to bench our 5th round pick in his undrafted favor.
C.J. Prosise had the longest Seahawks run for a touchdown in CenturyLink Field history (72 yards), picked up 4 more yards on 3 more carries, and ended up leaving the game near the end of the first half with a shoulder injury. What they’re saying is likely a scapula fracture, which would keep him out for 6 weeks, which means at best he’d be ready for the final game of the regular season against the 49ers, but what REALLY means is that he’d be ready for the playoffs. That is, of course, if the team opts to keep him on the 53-man roster. It’s that time of year where injuries tend to mount, and roster flexibility becomes vital.
Which probably spells doom for Pope, who had a high ankle sprain in the second half. The Seahawks most definitely don’t have the ability to keep two injured running backs on their 53-man roster for the rest of the regular season, so this one hurts. With Rawls just coming back, you don’t want to put EVERYTHING on his plate. Sure, there’s Alex Collins, and I suppose you could even give Will Tukuafu some reps at running back. But, unless there’s just NOBODY out there, I don’t see how Pope stays off the IR.
And, because when it rains it pours, both Earl Thomas and DeShawn Shead left the game with hamstring strains. We’re looking at potentially 1-2 weeks without these guys, depending on how fast they can recover. You never want to rush something like a hamstring, unless you want them to promptly re-injure themselves.
So, all in all, pretty crappy situation the Seahawks have themselves in for the next few weeks.
As for the game itself, it went pretty much as expected. 8 more garbage time points than I was thinking, but after giving up a long, sustained TD drive in the first half, the Seahawks shut them down until very late in the game.
I just want to say, about that Seahawks drive – after Philly had just scored to pull the game to within 11 points – if you’re upset the Seahawks didn’t throw the ball to try to get a first down, I’m sure Madden appreciates your continued patronage, but you’re out of your minds. Running it up the gut three times was absolutely the right play there. Hell, kneeling down three times would’ve been preferred over trying to hand it off to Trevone Boykin as a running back! But, either way, you’re talking about the Seahawks with an 11-point lead, with 3:30 left in the game, with the Eagles forced to score, get a 2-point conversion, recover an onside kick, and kick a field goal all without any time outs. Running was absolutely the right decision; the only way the Eagles have a realistic chance is to stop the clock with incomplete passes and let them keep their time outs.
So, with that out of the way, on to the kudos!
Russell Wilson had an efficient game, 272 passing yards and a touchdown, as well as a 15-yard receiving touchdown off a trick play. Gotta include Doug Baldwin here, for throwing the pass, as well as catching 4 balls for 104 yards to lead the team.
Jimmy Graham had another monster catch with someone hanging all over him, and still managed to bull his way into the endzone. I’ll also include Thomas Rawls’ hard-nosed running in here, as he brings an element we’ve been sorely lacking this season. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STAY FUCKING HEALTHY!!!
Another massive game out of Bobby Wagner – seems like he’s in this section damn near every week. 15 more tackles, a sack, and 2.5 tackles for loss, he does it all. K.J. Wright and Kam Chancellor had huge games as well (the latter with an interception on top of everything else). Cliff Avril with another sack to increase his total on the season to 10, one off his career high with 6 more games to play. And, of course, Richard Sherman had another pick to throw on the pile.
With the Cardinals and Rams both looking like dogshit, the Seahawks have a full 3-game lead in the NFC West. We’re also up 2 games in the loss column over Detroit and Atlanta, giving us sole possession of the 2-seed in the NFC. The Cowboys have 1 loss on the year, so we’d need them to lose at least two more times to jump them for the top spot, which doesn’t seem too likely without a massive string of injuries. This is the time to start thinking about playoff seeding though. With Thanksgiving coming up, let’s take a quick look at who Dallas has to play going forward.
- @ MIN
- @ NYG
- @ PHI
That isn’t the toughest slate in the world – you could make a reasonable argument about them losing any and all of those games – but in all likelihood, I don’t see them relinquishing the top seed. The Skins feel like a team who could pull an upset, but I have major doubts about their defense. The Vikings have a defense you’d think could slow Dallas’ rushing attack, but they’ve been pretty average the last month, and their offense is falling apart. The Giants might be the most complete team Dallas faces, so if they lose another game from here on out, there’s where my money’s going. Tampa’s got nothing. Detroit just doesn’t have a good offense outside of the final two minutes of a half. And Philly doesn’t have a good offense period.
My guess is Dallas finishes the season 14-2, or 13-3 at the VERY worst. 13-3 would theoretically be all we need to jump them, as we only have 2 losses, but I have to think the Seahawks stumble at least once the rest of the way.
- @ TB
- @ GB
- @ SF
If it means anything, the 49ers will be the easiest team we face the rest of the way. By the time we get to Week 16, Arizona should have nothing to play for. Ditto the Rams. I’m fairly confident in our ability to beat the Bucs this week, but weird things can happen when you fly across the country. That leaves the Panthers and Packers, who currently sit 12th & 13th in the NFC. They’re growing increasingly more irrelevant as the season goes along, but their playoff hopes are still hanging by a thread. Not only will they be playing for their seasons by the time they face us, but don’t forget that they fucking HATE us, and even if they were mathematically eliminated, they’d still be giving us their best efforts.
On the surface, it looks like a pretty easy closing slate. But, I’m not taking any of those teams (except the 49ers) for granted. Yes, even the fucking Rams, even with Jared Goff starting.