The Seahawks are back from their bye week and getting ready for a Week 12 game against the Las Vegas Raiders. But before we turn our attention to that matchup, it's time once again to open up the mailbag and answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I wasn't able to get to yours this time around. And remember, if you want a way to ask questions after Twitter's inevitable demise finally comes about, you can do so online at Seahawks.com/mailbag.
Thomas Simpson from Chula Vista, California asks, "Any insight into who Jody Allen's advisors, football wise, might be besides Pete Carroll and John Schneider? Whoever they may be, congrats are in order for 2022."
A: To your actual question, most of the day-to-day football stuff goes through Carroll and Schneider, as has always been the case, while, as Carroll and Schneider have mentioned in numerous press conferences, Allen remains a very engaged owner along the way, weighing in on plenty of the big decisions—not the least of which were Carroll and Schneider's most recent contract extensions that came near the end of the 2020 season, as well as a rather significant trade this past offseason.
And looking at the bigger picture, where Allen really deserves credit is for the way she has overseen the direction of a franchise that, despite some significant offseason changes, is right back in playoff contention in 2022 while also set up very well for the future thanks to the emerging young talent already on the team, as well as the draft capital and cap space the Seahawks will have to work with next offseason and beyond.
Allen could have taken the team in any number of directions this past offseason, and she chose to believe in a winning culture, betting that Carroll and Schneider's track record of building successful teams was bigger than any individual player or players, no matter how accomplished and talented. Surely the decisions made in the offseason weren't easy—there were plenty of fans and pundits calling for big changes at the top of the organization—but Allen recognized in Carroll and Schneider the same traits that her brother, Paul, did when he hired those two more than a decade ago, and so far this season, the results have spoken for themselves.
Carroll and Schneider deserve plenty of credit for what the Seahawks have accomplished this season, but so too does Allen, who set the table for all of this with her leadership.
@greenlanterns asks, "Do you think the Seahawks can win the NFC West this year?" And CelestialMosh asks, "Is winning the division the only realistic way for the Seahawks to get into the playoffs?"
A: First off, yes, the Seahawks definitely can win the division this year. That's not to say they're a lock—the 49ers, who are also 6-4, look really good of late and beat the Seahawks in Santa Clara earlier this year—but the Seahawks have improved significantly since that early meeting, and they'll host the 49ers in Week 15 in what figures to be a huge game. With 5 of 7 at home to finish the season, the Seahawks are definitely legitimate contenders to win the west.
As for the second question, no, winning the division is by no means the only path to the playoffs this year. Owning the NFC West is the Seahawks' goal every season and they'll do everything they can to accomplish that, but even if they were to fall short in that quest, a wild card berth seems very realistic for whichever team finishes second in the NFC West. Outside of the NFC North leading Vikings, there isn't a team with a winning record in that division or in the NFC South, so as of now at least, it looks like all three wild cards could end up coming out of the NFC East and West, and by the time the dust has settled, I'd bet on whichever team finishes second in the West being in a wild card spot.
@ichiro998 asks, "How can the run defense get better?"
A: I get that it's easy to look at the Seahawks giving up 161 rushing yards to the league's 32nd-ranked rushing offense and think that run defense is a huge problem, but I'm not overly concerned about that for the Seahawks. For starters, the Buccaneers averaged only 3.7 yards per carry on their way to those 161 yards—the bigger issue was Tampa Bay converting over and over on third down, allowing them to run a ton of plays—and secondly, as Carroll noted after the game, give the Bucs coaches credit for catching the Seahawks off guard a bit by breaking tendencies and running the ball so often.
And prior to that game during a four-game winning streak, the Seahawks have played good run defense, most notably keeping Saquon Barkley and the Giants in check in Week 8, and holding the Chargers to just 53 rushing yards in Week 7. Outside of a few big scrambles by Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, the Seahawks have been awfully stingy against the run over the past five weeks, even if you factor in some big volume stats for Tampa Bay.
@wenfot asks, "What is your favorite Seahawks-related Thanksgiving memory? For me, it's Richard Sherman carrying the Turkey off the field when they won on Thanksgiving in 2014."
A: It's tough to top that win in Santa Clara, not just because it was Seattle's most recent Thanksgiving game, but also because it was part of a dominant finish to a memorable season. After a loss in Kansas City two weeks earlier, the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks were just 6-4 and hardly like the dominant team they were a year before, but after a Week 12 win over the at the time NFC West leading Cardinals, the Seahawks went to the Bay Area in a battle of 7-4 teams, and their defense was dominant on the way to a second consecutive 19-3 win. The Seahawks would go on to finish the regular season by winning six in a row, all by double digits, to earn the NFC's top seed.
I don't remember the Seahawks' Thanksgiving win in Dallas in 1986, but it's hard to imagine it meant more than a win over a division rival that helped set the table for a late-season surge that culminated in a repeat trip to the Super Bowl.
And yes, the on-field postgame turkey celebration with Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson was pretty fun too.
@CheezieBreezie asks, "Homemade cranberry sauce or canned?"
A: I'm sure the "correct" answer is probably some high-quality homemade sauce, but if for no other reason than nostalgia, give me the can, dumped onto plate where we can slice it up.
The Seahawks Dancers hosted their first annual Seahawks Dancers Alumni Showcase at Lumen Field on November 17, 2022. Alumni were able to catch up with old friends while enjoying exclusive performances by the 2022 Seahawks Dancers.