The Seahawks are back home this week, looking to get back on track when they host the Eagles on Monday Night Football. But before we turn our attention to this week's game, it's time once again to open up the mailbag and answer some questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around. And remember, the mailbag is always open for submissions at Seahawks.com/mailbag.
@veteranninja asks, "I know it's in the team's best interest to not let the Eagles know which QB they'll be facing, but what are the odds we see Drew Lock leading the offense again and Geno Smith healing up for another week?"
A: You are correct that the Seahawks have no incentive to announce a starting quarterback early this week, but I also get the impression hearing from Pete Carroll both after the game and on Monday that they legitimately don't know yet if Geno Smith will make it back this week.
The fact that Smith was questionable for the game and was able to work out pregame indicates that it isn't a serious, long-term injury, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will improve enough for him to play this week. As Carroll noted Monday, an extra day this week leading up to a Monday game should help, but Carroll also said after Sunday's game that they likely will take the decision on Smith all to the end of the week and perhaps up to game day.
"He did move around, he was testing it out, and he kind of found the parameters of what he could and couldn't do," Caroll said. "We'll see how he comes back. These couple days right here are just so valuable for him, getting all the treatments he gets and just the rest time. We don't practice again until Thursday, so we've got a break here."
The good news for the Seahawks is that Drew Lock did get his first start since 2021 under his belt, and he performed well, particularly given the circumstances, facing one of the league's best defenses on the road having not had the entire week of first-team reps given that Smith was injured in Thursday's practice last week. It wasn't a flawless performance, but Lock showed he can make plays and run the offense, giving the team confidence in him should he be called upon again on Monday.
"He did a lot of really good things," Carroll said. "There were a couple of choices, a couple of decisions in there that he threw the ball into coverage. He didn't get to the right throw on the big deep ball that he threw, and the other one, he threw one into coverage that was really dangerous. You can't fault him on the ball that gets tipped at the end, that was pass rush. There's going to be plays in the next game. There's plays for every quarterback in every game, that you wish you'd have that one back and you don't do that. I think that was a pretty normal football game in showing us what he can do and how he can make things happen and be comfortable in the moment. He was very poised about this in a most difficult situation. I think that bodes well for him down the road."
"He needed to be in this situation with our uniform and playing for us and all of that. He's had games in the past, but it's been a while. To come back, I don't know how he would've been more prepared mentally to take this challenge on just judging by how he responded, and how he handled it, and how he communicated, how he handled the huddle and all of the calls and the situations, and the adjustments on the sidelines and halftime. He was a real pro about it. That's a great sign, and he's been preparing for this, and he came through in that regard. It's a good moment for him and it is very valuable for him. I saw him a couple of times take the big the breath, kind of the sigh and okay, 'Here we go.' He was ready. I was proud of him."
Lorethea from DuPont asks, "DK Metcalf is very talented, but how much longer can the Seahawks afford his behavior?"
A: Look, I get it that fans would prefer that players are never penalized, particularly avoidable flags after the whistle, and Metcalf has definitely committed some post-whistle penalties that didn't need to happen.
But this idea that he is some sort of liability to the team because of a few 15-yard penalties per season is just preposterous. In less than five seasons, Metcalf, who is still only 26, has 5,082 yards, 357 catches and 42 touchdowns, including multiple game-winning touchdowns at the end of games, and he has been even more productive in the playoffs, catching 26 passes for 451 yards and five touchdowns in four games. Metcalf has also been incredibly durable, missing only one game.
And with just 36 more yards this season, Metcalf will be just the third player in NFL history to reach 50 catches, 900 yards and five touchdowns in each of his first five seasons, joining Randy Moss and A.J. Green.
As for the end of Sunday's game, yes, Metcalf did end up being ejected from the game, but he also had a pretty good reason for being upset. After tackling Fred Warner, who he thought still had the ball—Warner ended up lateralling to a teammate as Metcalf tackled him—Metcalf was starting to get up when Warner came up behind him and two-hand shoved Metcalf in the back of the head/neck area with enough force to drive Metcalf's face into the ground, an unnecessary hit that could have been particularly bad in Metcalf's eyes because of the fact that he came back from a broken neck in college.
Again, can Metcalf cut some of the penalties out of his game in the future? Sure. But to suggest that he's hurting the team more than he's helping it is just wildly off base. And to make him out as the villain on Sunday overlooks what was the most dangerous element of that entire incident committed against him to set the whole thing off.
@WeaponNext asks, "Will the Seahawks ever win a game again?"
@MrEd315 asks, "Can the Seahawks regroup and rebound from this losing streak and make the playoffs?" And @CelestialMosh asks, "Do the Seahawks have to win out to have a shot at the playoffs?"
A: Now there are some more nuanced questions relating to the team's recent struggles rather than "Will they ever win again?"
Can the Seahawks regroup? I certainly believe they have the ability to do so, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see them finish the season on a roll despite their recent struggles. The Seahawks nearly beat one of the hottest teams in the league in Dallas, then they were in it for three-plus quarters against the 49ers, who very well might be the league's best team, despite playing with their backup quarterback and with one of their best defensive players, Devon Witherspoon, missing almost the entire game. Almost, of course, doesn't mean a thing in the standings, but it does show that the Seahawks are making some improvements relative to where they were when they lost to the Rams last month and when they lost 31-13 to the 49ers at home on Thanksgiving.
The Eagles are a darn good team, as their 10-3 record would indicate, but they are coming off back-to-back losses to the 49ers and Cowboys by bigger margins than the Seahawks' losses to those same teams, and of course a Monday Night Football atmosphere at Lumen Field should help the Seahawks. If the Seahawks can find a way to win Monday night, getting on a roll definitely feels possible, but again, they've got to show they can do that and start soon, which brings us to the second question.
Do the Seahawks need to win out to make the playoffs? Not technically, plenty of weird stuff could happen for them to get in at 9-8, but with so many teams sitting at 6-7 or 7-6 right now, many of whom hold tiebreakers over Seattle, getting to 10-7 would drastically increase the odds of getting in compared to finishing 9-8 and hoping for a bunch of help.
Or as Pete Carroll put it, "This is our shot to do something. We had our opportunity this past weekend; we didn't get it done to get it started, but we've got to start a roll here. Coming up on Monday night against a great team; here we go. We're going to face it and we've got to do something about it. Let's make something out of this year."
@wenfot asks, "What are the chances of the Hawks drafting Michael Penix Jr.?"
A: I dunno, 1 in 32 maybe?
The truth is, there are just way too many variables to try to guess whether the Seahawks will draft any one player, Penix included. For starters, we don't know what the Seahawks think of Penix as an NFL quarterback (and this may come a big shock, but I am not in on those conversations), nor do we know what the rest of the NFL thinks of him, and as a result it's nearly impossible to know if the Seahawks would be interested in him at a point in the draft where he's both available and they see good value in picking him there.
All of that being said, Penix has been awesome at Washington and should have won the Heisman.
Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from the Seahawks' Week 14 divisional matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. Eye on the Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.