It’s week 5 for the Seattle Seahawks as they head into Carolina this weekend to take on the Panthers. The Seahawks will be looking to recover from a devastating loss against the Rams last week and will have their work cut out for them against Cam Newton and company.
The offense sputtered last week for Seattle, who blew multiple chances to win the game against the Rams.
This week, they will need to fix those flaws in order to beat a very versatile Newton. Many people will have to step up to win this game.
We all know the Seahawks can win this game, but the question remains – will they let Russell Wilson loose?
Here are my 5 Seahawks who must impress against Carolina on Sunday.
Whether you point the blame at Russell Wilson or not for the poor offense, you have to see the bigger picture by now. In the pre-season, the Seahawks allowed Wilson to air the ball out and take chances. This season, though, they have completely restricted his opportunities for big plays.
This needs to stop. Immediately.
Wilson has the poise, arm strength and accuracy to make big, explosive plays. The Seahawks have been lacking those in a big way and Wilson will need to deliver some this weekend.
By using his feet or his arm to extend plays and drives, Wilson needs to step up big time.
Doug Baldwin was injured after week 1, but made his return last week. With little fanfare, Baldwin didn’t do much in the game. That needs to change, and it needs to change quickly.
Seattle is depleted in passing options seemingly and Baldwin needs to be that spark again this year, much like he was last year. Baldwin needs to show that last year was not a fluke and that he can be a serious asset to the passing game.
Being in the slot is key, because if the Panthers blitz Wilson heavily, there will be many quick passes to be caught.
Baldwin’s relevance could be questioned if he doesn’t have a good game this week. He must step up in order to help Wilson, help the pass game, and help this team win.
KJ Wright has been impressive all season long. He has been the playmaker of the 3 starting linebackers, despite a very good rookie campaign already from Bobby Wagner. Wright’s speed and tackling ability will have to come into play in this key matchup.
Wright will always have to keep an eye on Carolina’s 3 running backs: DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton.
While trying to protect the middle of the field and the flats, he will need to be conscious about whether or not either of these 3 are running with the ball. If he sees that, he will need to use his quickness and strong tackling to close in on the ball carrier and bring them down.
Wright has played a big role in stopping the run this year and not allowing receivers to get extra yardage off of broken tackles.
He will need to do it again this week.
Anthony McCoy & Zach Miller
The tight end tandem of Anthony McCoy and Zach Miller will have to play an integral role in this game. Miller has been used primarily as a blocker since his arrival in Seattle and has been labeled a bust for that reason.
Seattle fans thought they were getting the 700+ yard season from him when in reality, he is much needed as a blocker.
Now’s the time, though, for him to get downfield and make those TE plays. Same goes with McCoy. Teams who have had success against the Seahawks blitzed Wilson A LOT. To counter that, Wilson will need to get rid of the ball quickly, usually via dump passes.
This is where the TE come into play.
McCoy and Miller must get open in the middle of the field and be ready to make themselves available to Wilson if they see he’s in trouble.
Bevell is not a player, but in my opinion is the Seahawk who needs to step up most. His play calling has been nothing short of terrible for a large portion of the season.
Whether it’s Pete’s decision or not to handcuff Russell Wilson and not allow him to play, Bevell needs to unleash the rookie.
This preseason Wilson was airing out the ball with great success. He was especially spectacular on first down passing. I know this is a run oriented team, but you need to open that game up and draw defenders away from Lynch so that he can run free.
In order to do that, you need to make big plays through the air to have the defense reeling and backing off the line in order to scramble to cover the pass.
Bevell’s playcalling has been nothing but atrocious and needs to get better. With 3rd and 2, you don’t call a QB option when everyone knows he’s not going to pass the ball.
This game, even in Carolina, is extremely winnable for the Seahawks.
They cannot take any team lightly, but if there was a team to go after through the air, this Panthers team would be that team to attack.