The Seattle Seahawks lost to the Denver Broncos 27-24 on Sunday, opening their 2018 season with a disappointing loss full of missed opportunities and poor officiating that usually benefited the home team. That might sound cliche and tired at this point, but I’ve pretty much never blamed refs for losses. I open the challenge to find it in my history, because I’ve typically said, “refs are just generally not that accurate, for either side.” In this case, it was fairly blatant on one side — even if that’s just a bunch of bad rolls, the calls really hurt the Seahawks chances of having a final score in their favor.
Still, Seattle has plenty of reasons to take the blame for this loss, and I do not think that Russell Wilson is at all an area of “concern.”
While many will come out of today frustrated by Wilson’s overthrown passes and propensity to take sacks he maybe should not, these are the exact same concerns most of us have taken away from games for his entire seven-year career. And yet through it all, he’s still a net-positive QB who remains a top-5 player at his position. Note his throw to Brandon Marshall as a reason why. In fact, this is Wilson’s first 3-TD game in Week 1 ever and he had just six Week 1 touchdowns total going into Sunday.
He typically gets off to worse starts than this one so if anything, the Wilson MVP campaign is finally here?
Instead, here are seven areas of concern as the Seahawks head into their Week 2 game against the Chicago Bears.
RT - Germain Ifedi
We knew this going into the game. Ifedi was dominated by Von Miller, as we could have expected. Next week is Khalil Mack. Week 3 is DeMarcus Lawrence and the Dallas Cowboys. Week 4 is Chandler Jones and the Arizona Cardinals. Week 5 is the LA Rams with Aaron Donald and company. George Fant came in the game for Duane Brown at one point. Would he be an improvement over Ifedi on the right side?
RG - J.R. Sweezy (D.J. Fluker injury)
Sweezy’s holding penalty negated a huge gain and he was nowhere near the play. When Fluker is ready to return, will he represent a notable upgrade, or will he play as poorly as he did for the Chargers? I expect an upgrade, but it’s only right guard.
Sweezy hold nullifies 44-yard screen pass. Followed by the traditional false start by Ifedi.— Art Thiel (@Art_Thiel) September 9, 2018
WR - Doug Baldwin (injury)
We knew Baldwin wouldn’t be 100% going into the game and he said he would probably never get to that point this season. The injury was to his other knee (not the injured one) and may not be that serious, but full-go Baldwin may not appear this year, putting more pressure on Marshall to be the guy; the receivers were really silent up until the fourth quarter.
CB - Tre Flowers
Not really his fault, he wasn’t supposed to be starting this soon. Or even this year. Then Byron Maxwell and Dontae Johnson got too hurt to play. The spot may have been an issue even before those injuries. Where else can they go? Pete Carroll’s seen enough of Neiko Thorpe that if he’s not in over a rookie safety convert, he’s not going in. Akeem King was not good enough for them to put him on the final roster last week. DeShawn Shead is out there to be had ... but he’s out there to be had. It kind of worked with Maxwell last year but can he help significantly right now?
OLB - K.J. Wright (injury)
The Seahawks are just a lot better when Wright is on the field and healthy. I think he would have had a notable impact today as Seattle gave up 329 yards passing and exactly 15 carries and 71 yards to both Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. Shaquem Griffin is just not at the level of Wright.
DE - Rasheem Green, Dion Jordan, pass rush
We barely heard anything from these two (one tackle by Green, one pass deflection by Jordan) and Frank Clark was silenced outside of one sack. I don’t even think Denver’s offensive line is going to be that great, unless Garett Bolles has taken a massive step forward; which he had the potential to do. It’s hard to have a good game on defense if you don’t pressure the QB and while Wilson was hit 11 times, Keenum was hit just five times.
What’s missing? Naz Jones was inactive. Maybe he shouldn’t be next week.
K - Sebastian Janikowski
He missed a kick, got a second chance, missed it again. In the easiest NFL stadium in the world to make a kick. I’m not at Blair Walsh levels of concern but it’s not great.