JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: What to watch for as Seahawks look to get back on track vs Vikings

Sep 24, 2021, 3:19 PM
Seahawks RB Chris Carson...
Seahawks RB Chris Carson scores a touchdown against Vikings DB Jeff Gladney during the third quarter. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

For the second straight Sunday, the Seahawks face a team in a crisis situation.

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The Minnesota Vikings are 0-2 and can’t afford to go 0-3. Next week they play the Cleveland Browns. A loss to the Seahawks could put them in a position to get off to an 0-4 start if they lose to the Browns, too.

Last week, the Tennessee Titans were coming off a bad home loss to Arizona. They didn’t have left tackle Taylor Lewan. The offensive line was shaky and they were among the league’s worst defense in stopping third down conversations.

The Seahawks jumped to a two-touchdown lead in the first half and seemed to be in great shape. Then came the second half collapse in which they made too many costly penalties and they ended up losing in overtime 33-30. They had too many self-inflected wounds.

Over the past several years, the Vikings have been a favorable matchup for the Seahawks. They have been able to contain quarterback Kirk Cousins for the most part. Running back Dalvin Cook has done well, but they have to contain him from running crazy like Derrick Henry did last week.

One concern is going to the Seahawks’ offensive line against the Vikings’ defensive line. The good news is Damien Lewis is healthy, so the middle of the line is in good shape. The bad news is right tackle Brandon Shell won’t play because of an ankle injury. Jamarco Jones replaces him.

For this game, the Seahawks need to go back to what they did in the opener against the Indianapolis Colts. They need to get back to a more balanced offense. Despite having the second half lead against Titans, they passed the ball too much. They also didn’t get the ball to the tight ends. That’s needed. They also need to run the ball better.

It also has to be a concern that rookie receiver Dee Eskridge is going to miss a second week with a concussion. He was looking good as a potential third receiver.

Some interesting decisions will come from this game. Will Pete Carroll continue with Tre Flowers and D.J. Reed at corner if they struggle? They have to sort out their rotation at defensive end. They have to see what they want to do this week for a backup running back.

One thing that will be interesting after the game is if the Seahawks will do anything with wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon is expected to come off the suspended list as early as Monday. The fact he’s still living in Seattle indicates there is good chance his preference is rejoining the Seahawks. The Seahawks could use him to grow and come in as a third receiver option. If they are interested, Gordon would start out on the practice squad.

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