Which Seahawks can be counted on in a big spot?

Nov 20, 2014, 3:38 PM | Updated: Nov 21, 2014, 10:17 pm


The Seahawks are 6-4 through 10 games and it’s hard to underestimate how important a win on Sunday against Arizona is to their postseason hopes. Get the win and the people that calculate playoff odds say that you have a 60 percent chance at the postseason. Lose and Seattle’s chances drop to 30 percent.

So who can this team absolutely count on to make a play in a big spot Sunday? In a strange year I think that you’ll find that it’s a strangely short list:

1. Marshawn Lynch is an obvious answer. Beast Mode has been there every time he’s been called upon and is performing every bit as he did a year ago. In fact, he may be a step faster this week with the league relieving him of the weight of $100,000.

2. Richard Sherman makes my version of the list in the second spot. He’s been every bit the playmaker on defense as a year ago, though without guys making plays around him at the same clip.

3. Earl Thomas probably belongs on the list despite his own admission a week ago that he missed on a couple of critical plays that led to big gains for Kansas City.

4. Russell Wilson makes the cut for me – though not for nearly as many folks as he did this time last year, judging by the reaction I have heard from Seahawks fans. He has more total yards, 34 more attempts and has completed nearly the same percentage of passes as he did through 10 games in 2013. He’s also run for more yards in 10 games than he did (and by “did” I mean “had to”) through 16 games last year.

5. Doug Baldwin is the only other player on offense that I don’t have doubts about headed into this game and makes the No. 5 spot. He’s six targets away from his entire workload in 2013, and despite the changes at receiver he’s catching the ball at a better clip this year (68.8 percent) than he did in 2013 (68.5 percent).

After those five names it gets harder for me to come up with a guy on this team that you know – absolutely know – will make a play if he’s in a position to do so. Some of that is due to injury (Kam Chancellor, Russell Okung). Some of it is due to guys playing in revamped schemes or new roles (Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, K.J. Wright). Some of it is inexperience (Paul Richardson, Christine Michael).

All of it adds up to a big challenge for the Seahawks through the next six weeks of the season. Arizona, San Francisco, Philadelphia and St. Louis are not going to waste a moment of their time feeling bad for the unrest on the roster here in Seattle.

The Seahawks are still in the thick of the fight late in November, and there are plenty of NFL fan bases that would love to be suffering the disappointment of a 6-4 start though 10 games. A title defense is still there to be had for the Seahawks, but someone not on this list is going to have to start stepping up and making plays starting this Sunday against the best team in the NFL.

Coach Pete Carroll claims that he really likes the way that the NFL set up the schedule and that the best football games are yet to be played, and I don’t disagree with him. I think that Carroll would also tell you that he’s looking forward to seeing how guys on his team embrace the opportunity to go out and make plays in a big spot, and I also would not disagree. I just wish that there weren’t so many with so much still to prove this late in the year.

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Which Seahawks can be counted on in a big spot?