Percy and Russell and Breno, Oh My!
It’s quiet outside, not a sound in the air. Only the soft clutter of snowflakes hitting the rooftop, and the crackling of the fire in the fire place.
The cookies and milk sit on the table, and all of the Seattle Seahawks fans are curled up by the Christmas tree waiting for Christmas morning.
Metaphorically speaking obviously, this Sunday is like Christmas. The return of Percy Harvin has topped the wish list of every Seattle Seahawk fan this season, and Santa has answered the call. Percy is likely to make his debut this Sunday against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings. Ironically, his last game was with the Vikings against Seattle in Century Link.
Not only will the explosive Harvin finally touch the grass this week, but Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini were both full participants in Friday’s practice and will be game-time decisions.
With the missing players returning and this team hitting its stride, the 2-7 Vikings could be in for a world of hurt in week 11.
What I’m watching for!
We’re In No Rush
Yes, we are all excited to see Percy. Yes it has been like brutal Chinese torture waiting for #11 to step onto the field. Yes he may just be that player to put this team over the top. But let’s all take a step back and realize, we don’t NEED to rush this.
Guaranteed Percy has had a say in being activated and put into play against his former team. I assume he wants payback after the his bitter departure from the franchise. So he is going to want to be out there every snap, every play, full speed. That won’t happen. Hopefully not even close.
Percy hasn’t had in-game reps since November 4th of last year.
That’s a lot of time off. He needs to get worked into the system, but subtly. I hope we see him line up in all sorts of formations, just giving a taste of what he will bring to the table when he is at 100%.
Next week is Seattle’s bye, so some minor work to get a feel for the offense followed by a rest week is just what the doctor ordered for ol’ Percy.
Man vs Beast
It is difficult to put any other running back over Adrian Peterson. Last season’s MVP, Peterson is off to another great year with 786 yards on 173 carries with 9 touchdowns in 90 weeks.
However, if there was anybody you could put up against AP and actually have an argument, it’s Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch was upset with his 8-carry outing against the Rams two weeks ago, and since then he has been fed a four-course meal in both weeks, and excelled - 45 carries for 270 yards and a touchdown.
Peterson is a freak of nature. Lynch is just a freak. I would go on the limb and say Lynch is the more physical of the two, but it is very close. There just isn’t anybody as gifted as AP, but there also isn’t anyone as determined as Lynch.
With the Seattle run defense being uncharacteristically shaky as of late, Peterson is likely going to be fed a healthy serving of carries. We shall see which running back comes out of the battle on top.
I promised my boy JT I’d give him a shout out.
The Seattle offense we saw in the second half of last season has yet to surface completely this year. There has been glimpses, sure. But a complete display of that explosive-on-all-cylinders attack we saw last season hasn’t been present.
The reason is injuries. While unfortunate, they just take time to heal and the time has passed. Last week was a good showing by the offensive line, coming together and patching the holes to give Russell Wilson time.
You can’t give Offensive Line Coach/Assistant Coach Tom Cable enough credit for what he does with make-shift offensive lines. But the injuries may actually benefit this team in the long run.
With Russell Okung, Max Unger, and Breno Giacomini all out – the playing time has been dispersed to players like Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey. Players were rotated into positions they wouldn’t normally play, and were given reps that will benefit them in the future.
Now, when Okung is healthy but needs a breather, we have viable backups with game play experience to sub-in and give him that rest. Same goes for the rest of the line.
If we can get everyone back and on the same page up front, this offense has the weapons to tear apart any defense out there.
Bringing the Energy
It is no mystery that Seattle is a unique team. They are a tight-knit, young, energetic group of players that play with a lot of intensity and hype.
The noise in Century Link is a huge contributor to the home field advantage, but it also is a generator for the energy that this team feeds off of.
This could likely be linked to the team’s performances throughout the season. When playing a tough opponent – San Francisco, Houston, Carolina – Seattle has come out and played to a high level that they are expected to be at – or even surpass.
Then when they play an opponent they are expected to beat – St. Louis, Tampa Bay – they come out flat and don’t get into gear until they absolutely have to.
It is a good thing to play with intensity, but you’re flirting with fire if you completely rely on it. Come playoffs there should be no lack of energy or intensity from this group. But until then, they need to find ways to consistently play at that high level they are expected to.
This game, on paper, shouldn’t be close. At all. But we know how that has gone in the past, so we shouldn’t overlook anyone.
However, when you look at the numbers – it is hard not to be over-confident. Minnesota is 28th in total offense and 30th in total defense, on the road, in Century Link. Seattle is 11th in total offense, and 3rd in total defense. At home, with their star acquisition making his debut.
This is set up for a big win – and yours truly will be in attendance – but let’s just keep a cool head on our shoulders everyone, and not celebrate until the clock reads 00:00.