Clayton: Seahawks may be getting stronger while rivals have QB problems
The bye week gives the Seahawks a chance to get healthy, but it should also give a good look at how the NFC playoff race will shape up.
At 3-5, the Seahawks are in a tough spot to make the playoffs, but it is not impossible. They have four winnable games down the stretch that could get them to seven wins. Those four games are against Detroit, Houston, Chicago and Washington – teams that are all having really bad seasons. They also have the tough road trip to Green Bay next week and four NFC West games.
What will be interesting about this weekend is how some of the other NFC playoff teams will do while facing adversity. Currently, there are six winning teams in the NFC, and three of them may be without their starting quarterbacks this weekend.
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is on the COVID-19 list for 10 days and won’t be able to play against Kansas City. Jameis Winston is out for the rest of the season for the New Orleans Saints, who will have to make due with Trevor Siemian at quarterback, though they could switch over to Taysom Hill at some point. And Arizona’s Kyler Murray hasn’t practiced since an ankle injury he suffered last week. He could be out a week to three weeks, and if it’s three, he’ll miss the Week 11 game against the Seahawks on Nov. 21.
Those three games on Sunday – Saints vs. Falcons, Packers at Chiefs, and Cardinals at 49ers – will be a good test to see how these teams can hold out without their quarterbacks. They could pull back. We’ve seen that with the Seahawks minus Russell Wilson.
As for Wilson, he is throwing now after having the pin removed from his surgically-repaired middle finger, and he’s trying to get ready for the Packers game next Sunday. Rodgers, meanwhile, is under plenty of scrutiny for being unvaccinated and testing positive for COVID-19. Did he follow the NFL protocol? The league is investigating. He’s scheduled to get back to the Packers facility the day before the Seahawks game. If he still has some symptoms next Saturday, he could miss the game. That should all be interesting to follow.
Another thing to watch is whether to Seahawks add a receiver. They wanted to bring back Josh Gordon after he came of the suspended list, but he signed with Kansas City. This week the Los Angeles Rams cut DeSean Jackson, and the Cleveland Browns are releasing Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham should have a reasonable cap number because the Browns restricted his contract by taking away base salary and replacing it with signing bonus, but I think Beckham might not be the best fit for the Seahawks. He’s a handful for coaches and didn’t have any chemistry with Browns QB Baker Mayfield. Both sides wanted out this week.
For the Seahawks, getting Beckham might be similar to their move years ago getting Percy Harvin, who was nothing but problems. And how many targets would Beckham get as the third receiver behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett?
Jackson might be the fit for Seattle. He signed with the Rams as the No. 3 receiver, and while it didn’t work out, Seattle may have a better role for him in its offense. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wanted Jackson when was at USC, after all. Stay tuned.
More Seahawks coverage from 710Sports.com
• Wyman: A sign of Seahawks pass rusher Darrell Taylor’s upside
• Heaps: Seattle improving on D but must get Adams more involved
• Chalk Talk: How the Hawks got Lockett and Metcalf going
• Rost: The good news and bad news for Seahawks at bye
• What the offense needs to get back to doing after bye week
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