Seahawks look good, but their playoff odds take a hit… literally
Everyone is gushing over the Seahawks’ recent streak, and the performances of Doug Baldwin and Russell Wilson in particular. And while their chemistry on the field often goes overlooked, it is paying dividends that should get Baldwin elected to his first Pro Bowl this year.
But I’m not here to gush, as fun as that would be, I’m here for a reality check. This week Seattle’s reality check hit hard, and Thomas Rawls specifically. After looking like he was in for another big day, Rawls got tangled up and broke his ankle, ending his season.
This injury could not come at a worse time, with the Playoffs three weeks away and the Hawks likely not getting a first round bye, it’s doubtful Rawls will be back in time. Hopefully Marshawn Lynch is back to his old self come Wild Card week, because that is really when we need our running game.
No doubt Russell can handle Rawls and Lynch’s absences in the mean time against Cleveland and St. Louis, Arizona might be manageable depending on how the playoff picture unfolds by then. The Week 17 matchup in Glendale could figure to be for nothing more than momentum, as the Cardinals could have their seeding wrapped up as could the Seahawks. Meaning, starters could be rested and the teams may look to ease into the Playoffs healthy and intact.
Playoff time though, the Seahawks are not going to be at Century Link, and will be in need of a formidable run game. There’s the old adage, “defense and a good running game travel well.”
There will be no teams (save for maybe whomever represents the NFC East) that will have glaring weaknesses to exploit. There won’t be a team that can’t stop the pass and/or rush. The Seahawks will face more complete teams that will throw obstacles at their game plan. Therefore without Rawls to keep teams honest up front, it will be worth watching how or if Russell Wilson can exhibit the same level of success.
Doug Baldwin’s Pro Bowl candidacy
There is no receiver more on fire in this league right now than Doug Baldwin, period.
He’s finally getting some attention nationally, but really remains a footnote in Russell Wilson’s meteoric rise. And while his quarterback is cementing himself in the eye’s of the nation as an elite quarterback, Baldwin is merely trying to been seen by those eyes.
We’ve seen in up here for the past couple years, him and Russell have formed quite a chemistry on the field, where Baldwin is more often than not on the receiving end when Russ needs to complete a crucial pass.
While Baldwin barely breaks into the top 25 in receptions and top 30 in receiving yards, he’s tied for third in the league with 11 touchdowns, and only one off the league lead.
And that’s what really matters when it comes to receivers and quarterbacks right? In today’s NFL, with offense becoming paramount, teams need to be able to light up a scoreboard, and we’ve seen that our QB and his top target can do that. Unlike running backs who’s success is demonstrated more by the yards they accumulate, receivers are only as good as their touchdown receptions. Receivers need to show that they can come down with the big catch, that defenses know where they are at all times.
Doug Baldwin has always been a guy that can make plays, and now he’s making them with more regularity with the numbers to back it up finally. It’s time that he be recognized nationally, and ultimately get elected to the Pro Bowl.
Photo: Flickr/Mike Morris