Four Downs with Bob Condotta and Adam Jude: Answering 4 questions after Seahawks’ Week 9 win | sea ​​hawks


With 53% of the season done, here’s where things stand for your 2022 Seattle Seahawks: At 6-3, they have a solid hold on the NFC West’s No. 1 spot; and if the season ended today, they would be the third seed in the NFC Conference playoffs.

How about that?

The Seahawks have already exceeded all outside expectations, and they head to Germany this week on a four-game winning streak after a 31-21 win Sunday at Arizona in which they scored touchdowns on three straight drives in second half to put the game away. .

In our weekly Four Downs review of the game, battered reporters Bob Condotta and Adam Jude answer four big questions about the Seahawks. Let’s go.

1. Was this Geno Smith’s best moment as a Seahawk?

Condotta: In simple terms, yes. Smith continues to be a revelation for the Seahawks, holding a league-leading 107.2 passer rating and 73.1 completion percentage.

But more than any number, it was the courage Smith showed after throwing a pick six early in the third quarter on Sunday that gave Arizona a 14-10 lead and seemed like the first moment of crisis of Smith’s grip on Seattle’s QB job – he had also been sacked on two straight games on the previous drive

But from there, Smith was basically perfect, to use the word coach Pete Carroll said afterwards, leading Seattle on three straight TD runs of 75 yards or more in a moment that would forever define his career at Seattle.

Jude : First of all, how cool is it for Germans, about to watch an NFL game on home soil for the first time, to see in person one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time ? And as a bonus, they can also watch Tom Brady. Alright, alright, Geno has been great for the Seahawks this season, of course. But it could take a few more productive weeks for Geno to get into the GOAT discussion. It’s definitely a fun game — it’s still with Brady — and if Geno continues to play like he has, the Seahawks have a legitimate chance to win every week.

2. Is it time to concede that the Seahawks defense is… good?

Jude : I’m going to go a little further: this defense has a chance of being… elite. Bruce Irvin, returning for his third stint with the Seahawks, has said several times that this young defense is starting to remind him of the defense in 2012, his rookie season. Boom’s Legion was just beginning its rise at the time – and what a rise it was. The Seahawks went 7-1 in the second half of that 2012 season, holding their opponents to 13.9 ppg and beginning their dominant march to Super Bowl victory a year later.

This defense has a similar mix of experience and youth, and these guys are starting to find their swagger too. Can they follow a script similar to that of the LOB? It’s not an expectation right after four good games – it was arguably the best collection of talent ever on defense – but this group has found a formula that works, and it certainly seems repeatable week after week.

Condotta: Maybe that’s right. Seattle has allowed just 66 points in the last four games, and three touchdowns are the result of a pick six, a 2-yard drive off a fumble and the punt disaster of Michael Dickson against Arizona last month. Take them out and Seattle has allowed just 12 points per game over the past four weeks.

Was the turnaround as simple as a few personnel changes — like inserting Ryan Neal to safety — and allowing the defensive line to play more aggressively? Maybe. Either way, Seattle didn’t wait too long to make the changes this year.

3. Should Seattle now be considered the favorite to win the NFC West?

Jude: The 49ers, no doubt, will make a strong push in the second half. Christian McCaffrey looks like the perfect fit for this San Francisco offense, and the 49ers defense is getting healthier at the right time. The Seahawks-49ers showdown on December 15 in Seattle could very well determine the winner of the division.

The Seahawks now hold a 1.5 game lead, and I think the second half schedule favors them as well. After the trip to Germany, they have a Week 11 bye, then they close with five of their last seven home games. The Seahawks put themselves in prime position to not only win the division, but also earn one of the top two seeds in the NFC — and, with it, a bye to the first round of the playoffs.

Condotta: Well, let the popular analytics prediction site say it at this point. After Sunday’s victory, the site has the Seahawks 51% to win the division with the 49ers at 45%. The Rams, defending Super Bowl champions, are down to 3%.

The Seahawks now face four straight teams with losing records – Tampa Bay (4-5), Las Vegas Raiders (2-6), Los Angeles Rams (3-5) and Carolina (2-7). Could Seattle really manage this table and have 10 wins by December 11? Hard to rule it out at this point.

4. Was this John Schneider’s best offseason?

Condotta: Boy, he had some good ones in building the 2013 Super Bowl title team and it will be hard to top what Schneider/Carroll achieved in about 12 months in 2012-13 when drafting Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner – in the wake of the famous 2010-11 draft – then the signing of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to put the finishing touches on one of the best defenses of all time.

But it sure was a good one. And it’s not just the evidence of the draft class that has produced what are essentially six starters (and it’s now seven regular contributors with Dareke Young in the field).

That’s Wilson’s job too, and not just the top draft picks Seattle picked up, but asking for Shelby Harris and Noah Fant. It was free agent signings such as point carrier Uchenna Nwosu (seven sacks already) and center Austin Blythe that helped solidify the offensive line.

Of Seattle’s 22 starters, 10 weren’t on the roster this time a year ago. Another is Smith, who was on the roster but considered an afterthought at best in Seattle’s quest to replace Wilson. For now, Seattle’s 6-3 record says it all.

Jude : We’ve heard the word “validation” a lot here before. This season so far has been a validation for Carroll and his approach to team building. It was a validation for Smith and his potential. And as much as anyone, it was validation for Schneider and his sense of talent.

We would have considered this a fantastic offseason for Schneider and the organization if they had just pulled off the trade with Wilson. It would have been a fantastic offseason if they had just stacked this draft class. (And it would have been a strong offseason on its own with free agent signings.)

Add them all together, with all the drama and uncertainty that surrounded the Wilson saga, and this offseason has been as good as any NFL team in recent memory.


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