The Seattle Seahawks entered November 2018 with a 4-3 record and facing a four game stretch of formidable opponents. The team went 2-2 in those two games, with wins against the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers following losses to the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams. This season, the Hawks ended the month of September with a 3-1 record, having started the season against teams that are currently a combined 4-11-1.
Looking ahead to October, the next three games are all absolutely winnable for the Seahawks. First, the Los Angeles Rams come to town for Thursday Night Football, followed by a trek to Ohio to take on the Cleveland Browns before coming back home to face the Baltimore Ravens. None of those teams is a world beater, but every one of them represents an opponent that could give the Seahawks problems.
While the Rams sit tied with the Seahawks for second place in the NFC West at 3-1 record, they have not had the smooth transition they had hoped for in moving of from Rodger Saffold and John Sullivan to Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen. Add in the first missed game due to injury for a Rams offensive linemen since 2016, and they’ve certainly had their struggles so far this season. Add in that Andrew Whitworth has had struggles at times at left tackle and right tackle Rob Havenstein is tied with Germain Ifedi and eight others for the fourth most penalties in the NFL so far this season, and the situation is certainly different for the Rams than it has been in the past.
That, of course, is an issue for a team whose quarterback has a reputation for wilting under pressure, and because of those aforementioned line issues, Goff has been under pressure quite a bit this season.
Jared Goff has the most pass dropbacks under pressure (80) in the NFL. He is 3rd in the NFL in terms of % of dropbacks under pressure (43.2%).— Brian Nemhauser (@hawkblogger) October 1, 2019
So, while the Seahawks currently have a three game losing streak to the rival Rams, it would appear the opportunity to break that streak is very good this week. With Ziggy Ansah getting back into the swing of things, Jadeveon Clowney getting more comfortable in his role in a new defense and Quinton Jefferson and Rasheem Green appearing to be in the early parts of breakout campaigns for each, and the Rams line could be just what the Hawks pass rush ordered.
Add in Mychal Kendricks, who has applied pressure on a higher percentage of his pass rushing snaps than any other player in the NFL with at least four pass rushing snaps per game, and Thursday Night Football could turn into a sackfest for the Hawks.
Looking past the Rams, however, the Hawks will play the Browns and Ravens. Both of those teams sit at 2-2, having looked great at times, and having looked very bad at times. Perhaps that is because both teams opened the year with a new offensive coordinator compared to who was at the helm last season, while each also having second year quarterbacks who are still young enough to be going through the growing pains.
In any case, the next three weeks represent an opportunity for the Seahawks to make a statement to the league if they can take on and defeat the three young, up and coming quarterbacks they will face in Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson. It’s not just an opportunity to show off Russell Wilson’s new pocket skills, or for the defense to show what it can do against some potentially great young quarterbacks.
For us as fans, the next three weeks represents the potential to see the Seahawks play in games against quality opponents who should all be in the hunt for the postseason come December. And that should be fun.