After a second straight victory, the Seahawks are 6-5 and now will finish the season with four of their last five games at home, starting with Sunday's NFC West clash with the San Francisco 49ers. But before our focus turns to this week's game, it's time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who asked a question this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around.
@ArabellaZucce1, an Australian new to being a Seahawks fan, asks "I'm still getting used to the NFL conference/playoff structure. What are the chances of the Seahawks making a wild-card spot in the playoffs?"
A: The Seahawks still have to take care of business over the next five games, but they definitely helped their chances quite a bit with their win in Carolina on Sunday, as well as with a win over the Packers the week before. At 6-5, the Seahawks are currently on the outside looking in, but they play the Vikings, another wild-card competitor, in Seattle in Week 14, and with wins over Dallas and Carolina under their belt, the Seahawks would hold the tiebreaker if they finish tied with either of those teams. Seattle also has the advantage of playing four of their last five at home. Again, they still have a lot of work to do, but the Seahawks put themselves in pretty good position with their last two wins.
@Teresa4ever12 asks, "How is K.J. Wright doing? Will he be ready for the Vikings?"
A: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll didn't give a lot of details when asked about Wright on Monday, saying the linebacker is "still working at his rehab. He's got a process he's working on right now." As this question implies by asking about next week's game and not Sunday's against San Francisco, Carroll's update doesn't sound optimistic about this week's game, but we'll need to wait to hear more either later this week or next week to know about that game against the Vikings. One bit of good news at that position is that if Wright isn't back for that Monday night game against Minnesota, the Seahawks could have Mychal Kendricks, who is eligible to return from suspension that week.
@TablerDotCom asks, "What color is a mirror?"
A: I suppose that depends on what's in front of the mirror, doesn't it?
@hamletmax asks, "Do you see a path for Rashaad Penny to get more involved?"
A: Penny actually was pretty involved the last couple of weeks prior to Sunday's win in Carolina, carrying 12 times against the Rams and eight times against Green Bay, totaling 154 yards in those two games. Last week Penny got only four carries, but I have a hunch we'd have seen more of him if the Seahawks had been able to run the ball better. But since Carolina was so committed to stopping the run, and because Seattle compensated by throwing more often and with a lot of success, there just weren't a lot of carries to go around.
Chris Carson is still the starter and will continue to get the most carries, but based off his play in recent games, I think we'll see a good amount of Penny going forward as long as the Seahawks are able to run the ball.
@grand_baldwin27 asks, "Did I see correctly that on a couple of snaps the Seahawks switched Bradley McDougald to free safety and played Delano Hill at strong?"
A: Unless I missed something (which is entirely possible while trying to watch the game, write a story and tweet about the game), I believe what you were seeing was when the Seahawks went with a dime package, bringing Hill on as a third safety along with McDougald and Tedric Thompson. It's a look the Seahawks have used on a few occasions this season, usually to get a better athlete on the field for coverage purposes with a safety replacing a linebacker.
"You get a DB on the field for coverage and the agility and changing the mobility of that position," Carroll said when asked about that package.
@JDJones31 asks, "Many great superheroes have alliterative names: Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange. Chris Carson gets flipped and naturally sticks the 3-point superhero landing. Does Chris have a super secret we don't know about?"
A: I really like this question and am also disappointed I didn't think to make this observation already. That was a pretty perfect super hero landing, and given how impressive that flip and landing were, I'm now going to start keeping an eye on Carson to see if he is acting like somebody who's hiding a crime-fighting alter ego.
@DarleneDobson asks, "Seattle was able to force fumbles against Carolina, but wasn't able to recover any? How do they practice that, is there a technique?
A: Yes, the Seahawks practice picking up/falling on loose footballs in practice, but there's still a lot of luck involved in recovering fumbles given the odd bounces a football can take. And to have an opponent fumble five times without recovering a single one is rather unlucky.
"There's some teaching in there," Carroll said. "There's definitely some teaching in there, particularly in the piles and all that. We critiqued every one of them, if there was an opportunity here or there. They got a couple of fortuitous bounces. They got some pretty good hops and so they were fortunate."
@AlexKures asks, "Seattle has had trouble defending the run this year. What are they doing to prepare for the 49ers, who currently rank fifth in rushing?"
A: You're right that the Seahawks have given up too many rushing yards this year, particularly of late with the Panthers rushing for 220 yards, the Rams rushing for 149 and the Chargers rushing for 160. In all of those games, a common theme has been big plays allowed, something Carroll really wants to see his team clean up moving forward.
"We made a lot of errors," Carroll said of Seattle's most recent game. "It's concerning because we're not a real complex system. I talked a lot about the discipline of it. It's experience, you know. Playing this system without K.J. in the lineup—K.J. has played (Carolina) a lot and he and Bobby (Wagner), they really have intricate roles and it showed up. There were some errors and some misreads and stuff like that that hasn't happened in years past, but I don't want to take anything away from (the Panthers). Those guys were on it. It was a beautiful game plan they had—a nice job with their quarterback and (Christian) McCaffrey. They did a great job."
Seattle players will wear customized cleats designed by local artists during Week 13 of the 2018 NFL season recognizing causes that are personal to each player. Check out the Seahawks' kicks and learn more about the causes they have chosen to represent.