In the divisional round of the 2016 NFL playoffs the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons went head to head in the Georgia Dome. The Seahawks delivered the first body blow driving 89 yards in over eight and a half minutes to take a 7-0 lead before the Falcons had even touched the football. Unfortunately for Seattle, starting guard Germain Ifedi was injured on the first drive of the game for the Hawks, and the team’s offense suffered drastically following his injury.
As Seattle prepares to take on the Falcons on Monday Night Football, the second matchup between the two clubs in little more than ten months, the Seahawks will once again be without the services of one of its starting guards. Joeckel, the number two overall pick in the 2013 draft, has missed the last four games following a clean up procedure to his surgically reconstructed knee, and the running game has suffered in his absence.
In the five games with Joeckel in the lineup the Hawks have averaged nearly 20% more rushing yards than they put up in the four games he has missed (109.2 compared to 90). While neither of those is a good number, the simple fact that the running game was 20% more productive with Joeckel playing at least hints that his return should help the team in that area.
In any case, Seattle is better equipped to handle missing the services of one of its starting guards this time around, and come Monday night the team might see its last start at left guard from rookie Ethan Pocic.