STACY ROST

Seahawks Notebook: Week 6 preview, NFC landscape, health updates

Oct 10, 2023, 10:39 AM

Seattle Seahawks Jamal Adams...

Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams warms up before a game against the New York Giants. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Before the start of the Seattle Seahawks season, it looked like the only saving grace of a a far-too-early bye week would be the extra time to prep for a road game against a lethal Bengals team.

Seattle Seahawks Check-In: What we’ve learned through four games

Five weeks into the season, it turns out the early bye was a saving grace for a banged-up Seahawks squad, one that in five days will face a Bengals team that’s been one of the worst offenses in football.

That doesn’t seem right.

Maybe it won’t be for long. The Bengals had amassed fewer yards than any other team in football through the first four weeks of the season. Joe Burrow, still clearly dealing with a calf injury that followed him out of training camp, was far less effective, and his offensive line wasn’t doing him any favors.

Week 5 brought a different Bengals squad to the field. Cincinnati scored as many offensive touchdowns against the Cardinals (three) as it had through the first four weeks of the season total. Joe Burrow looked healthier and more mobile than he has all season. Ja’Marr Chase looked like the best version of Ja’Marr Chase: 15 receptions for 192 yards and all three of Burrow’s passing touchdowns.

What might’ve been a break for Seattle is turning into a bigger challenge. Though if you want your team to look like a contender, perhaps this is the test you’re hoping for.

How do Seattle Seahawks compare to NFC’s best teams?

We knew what to expect before the season started. The conference would be weakened and wide open with San Francisco and Philadelphia sitting at the top.

Five weeks in, we’re seeing a slightly different picture.

The 49ers look like the best team in the league (apologies to Seahawks fans) and are an understandable Super Bowl favorite if they can stay healthy (which has always been a struggle). But Philly is less dominant, and a long downtrodden team has emerged as one of the top four teams.

Of the best teams in the NFC — San Francisco, Philly, Dallas, Detroit and Seattle — the 49ers lead in points per game (second), total defense (third), and points allowed (first). Meanwhile, the Lions (!) are sixth in total offense and defense, and look very much like a team set to win it’s first division title in 30 years.

Dallas does belong in this group right now, but that’s tougher to make sense of. The Cowboys entered the season as one of the best defenses on paper, and they looked like it with a blowout win over the Giants. Then, they suffered a head-scratching loss to the Cardinals in Week 3 (this after outscoring opponents 70-10 over the first two weeks), bounced back by dealing Patriots coach Bill Belichick the worst loss of his career in Week 4, and then they laid a three-interception egg against the 49ers in primetime.

The 49ers look dominant. The Cowboys have the weapons to be an explosive offense and dominant defense, but they haven’t done so consistently. The Lions are a top-five scoring unit through five weeks but also lost in a head-to-head against Seattle in Week 2. Philly has regressed defensively but still ranks out as a top-five team by total DVOA. So where does Seattle stack up?

Detroit and San Francisco the most balanced teams in the conference, and so long as Dallas has Micah Parsons, that defense is hard to count out. With one fewer game under their belt, the current version of the Seahawks fall somewhere at four or five, based purely on base stats — yards and points per game on both sides of the ball.

There may be a changing look to this Seahawks team soon, though. And if fully healthy, they could challenge those top teams.

Jamal Adams and Seattle’s O-line get healthier

Adams’ highly-anticipated return was short when the Hawks safety suffered a concussion on the ninth play of Seattle’s Monday night win over the Giants, but head coach Pete Carroll told reporters Monday that Adams could be cleared from concussion protocol soon.

“He’s on the final stage coming up,” Carroll said. “Pretty promising, thought that he will be cleared tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, an offensive line that was short four starters by the close of Week 4 could see three return: left tackle Charles Cross, and guards Damien Lewis and Phil Haynes.

“(Cross) worked today and looked quick and nifty,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how he does when we come back once we get though the week and see if he can maintain the practice level that will allow him the chance to play…

“Both (Lewis and Haynes) have a chance to be OK this week. We’ll see how they go. It’s going to take us a bit before we know but both guys have a chance.”

More on the Seattle Seahawks

The route concept for Seahawks to get JSN more involved
Bump’s Breakdown: How Seahawks kept offense rolling with Lock at QB
Huard: How Giants’ collapse could boost the Seahawks’ defense
Where Seahawks have become a more disciplined defense
Seattle Seahawks again relying on youth, and it seems to be working

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