The Seahawks are back home this week to face the Philadelphia Eagles, who at 10-1 own the NFL's best record. But before we shift our attention fully to this week's game, it's time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who took the time to submit a question this week, and apologies if I wasn't able to get to yours this time around.
@HolliWinters asks, "Why does the Seahawks offense seem to start slowly in games? Though I'm thankful Russell Wilson throws a lot of touchdowns in the fourth quarter!"
A:The Seahawks have had a solid season on offense, ranking eighth in total offense at 363.1 yards per game, and 10th in scoring at 24.1 points per game. But as Holli notes, they've been a little lopsided at how they've gotten to those numbers. Of the Seahawks' 266 points this season, 165 have been scored in the second half, including 102 in the fourth quarter.
As Seahawks coach Pete Carroll always says, it's not how you start, it's how you finish, so he'd rather his team start slow and finish strong than do the opposite, but of course ideally he'd prefer to see his team get off to better starts. Quarterback Russell Wilson is part of that equation, and he'd be the first to admit there are things he could have done better early in some games this year, but on the plus side, he has been nearly unstoppable late in games, leading the NFL in fourth-quarter passing yards (973), touchdown passes (14) and passer rating (134.9).
"Well, I wish I knew it so I could make it happen in the first half," Carroll said when asked why Wilson was so good late in games. "But we have talked about it some. In particular he's a great finishing quarterback. His numbers in the fourth quarter are tremendous. His efficiency and his touchdowns, those are really special. I think he's such a tremendously instinctive football player, the more game he gets the better he feels, the more he understands how to take advantage of the opportunities, and he just continues to play better. I think he and (offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell) work really well together as they grow in the game. They communicate all game long, and they zero in and really seem to really hit it right as we finish. There's no question that he's a great finisher. His wins in the fourth quarter show that, but also just the numbers are there. I really think he gets a better feel for the game, he really gets a sense for how things are going to work and the defense he's playing against and the style and all of that, and takes full advantage of it."
@ConradKrueger16 asks where Thomas Rawls stands in the running back rotation after playing one snap against San Francisco.
A:Pete Carroll was asked this same question during his Monday press conference, and the short answer is that with Eddie Lacy finally fully healthy and ready to go, the Seahawks wanted to see what he could do in a bigger role. And with J.D. McKissic serving a specific role as a third down/change-of-pace back, Rawls was unfortunately the odd man out.
"He's still in there battling," Carroll said. "Thomas is healthy and this week, we just had to make a choice, and we had been anxious to see how Eddie does, so we'll see how this week turns out.
"Only so many guys can get it. If we try too much mix, then you don't get enough information. I think that was really evident in how we try to go about it this week with Eddie and make sure he is fine and back. He was ready for us last week to play but didn't have a great week in preparation and I think after the week, we knew this week now he would be ready to go and handle the load, so we took a chance to see how he did. We are just gathering information and fortunately we got a win and we will keep going. There is a lot of football left and we are hoping that we can continue to find the very best of it and be really effective, so we will see what happens."
The Seahawks are obviously still trying to sort everything out at running back, and with Mike Davis coming back this week, they'll have another option. How it plays out this week and beyond remains to be seen, but one thing that is clear is that, since the injury to Chris Carson—who could return later this season—the coaching staff is willing to tinker to try to find the right fit, so it's entirely possible Rawls will still be a factor before everything's said and done.
SeattlePI.com reporter and Seahawks beat abandoner @scohenPI asks, "Do you believe in life after love?"
A:Well, Stephen, I haven't given this a lot of thought, but I can feel something inside me say, I really don't think you're strong enough.
@RichardBoas wonders if Richard Sherman could someday be an option at safety?
A:Sherman himself has joked that if he hangs on long enough in the NFL, he'll probably be moved to safety. And that's a move some very good cornerbacks have made successfully in their careers, most notably Hall of Famers Rod Woodson and Ronnie Lott, as well as likely future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson.
First off, I'd say this discussion is premature, because at 29, Sherman should have several good years left in him at cornerback. He is one of the smartest and most studious corners in the game, so if he wanted to, I think he could still play that spot at an elite level even if he eventually loses a step. All of that being said, yes, I do think Sherman could someday make that transition if he wanted to. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, he might want to bulk up a bit to do so, but he has proven to be one of the best tackling cornerbacks in the game, and his instincts and smarts would help make that transition an easy one from a mental perspective, but again, I think we're talking about a hypothetical for the distant future, not the immediate one. In other words, I don't think Sherman needs to reinvent himself as a safety anytime soon, but I think he absolutely could if he chose to do so at some point in his career.
When the Seahawks signed Dwight Freeney earlier this season, Sherman was asked if he could see himself playing into his late 30s like Freeney, and said he could, mentioning the idea of playing safety.
"They'd probably move me to safety at some point, but I can tackle, and I know ball, so I'll find a way to last," Sherman said last month. "I think at this point in the game, at this point in football, there's a lot less teaching of ball, a lot less fundamentals. I think that's why you see some guys that have incredible fundamentals last as long as you want to last, because these young kids don't have fundamentals a lot of times. They have talent, and talent is awesome, until it runs out, until it's no longer there, until your speed is not what it used to be, and until your jumping isn't what it used to be. Then all you have is your mind, and if your mind was never your number one priority, if it was never your best tool, then it's difficult to turn it on at the end. For the guys that last a long time, their minds were always their most dominant trait. Once their body went, it's not that much of an adjustment to change your body around to move this way, or to move this way, because I'm beating guys to the spot anyway. I'm playing the game above the shoulders."
@TheCrappyTotals asks, "Why do some late Sunday games start at 1 p.m., while others start at 1:25 p.m.?"
A:Basically, the league made this move a couple years back to avoid early and late games overlapping. So when FOX or CBS has a double header on a particular Sunday, the games will be at 10:05 a.m. PT and 1:25 p.m. PT. The 1:05 starts are games that aren't on the back end of a double-header.
Team photographer Rod Mar shares exclusive behind-the-scenes images from the Seahawks' 24-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers during Week 12 at Levi's Stadium.