By Dave Thomas
If you’re the Seattle Seahawks sitting at 1-2 after three games, no reason yet to panic.
Despite a slow start out of the gate, the Seahawks are not pushing the panic button anytime soon. In fact, they may have their NFC West Division foes and other teams around the league right where they want them. A 1-2 Seattle team may be far more dangerous than if they came flying out of the gates undefeated heading into October.
After dropping its first two contests of the season, the Seahawks roared back this past Sunday with a decisive 26-0 win over the floundering Chicago Bears. Next up, a visit from the NFC North’s Detroit Lions (0-3) at home this coming Monday evening.
Seattle Has Eye On The Prize
Despite the fact the Seahawks are looking up at a number of teams after three weeks of action (NFC foes Green Bay, Arizona, Atlanta and Carolina are all 3-0 for starters) with better records, there doesn’t seem to be a sense of frustration or fear with Pete Carroll and Co. If anything, Seattle is playing it calm and collective.
So, should NFC opponents be worried that Seattle’s best play is yet to come and September’s 1-2 start may be just an aberration?
If you crunch the numbers after three games, Seattle’s stats are nothing that should be setting the Pacific Northwest and their fans in fear mode.
On the offensive side of the ball, Seattle has outgained its opponents 1,038-859 in total yards, while holding a mere +1 in the turnovers’ category. Yes, the numbers are not dominating by any means, but they still rest in Seattle’s favor.
Individually, quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown for 692 yards and four touchdowns, while gaining 137 yards on the ground.
Some Seattle fans (and you may want to include the coaching staff in here) are probably not thrilled that Wilson has outrushed starting running back Marshawn Lynch (128 yards, no TD’s) to date, but keep in mind the latter has been dealing with a calf injury and now a hamstring issue after the win over Chicago. A pleasant surprise last weekend was rookie Thomas Rawls rushing for 109 yards.
On the receiving end, tight end Jimmy Graham may have found his comfort spot in the lineup last weekend after catching seven balls for 83 yards. On the season, the former New Orleans star has 14 receptions for 145 yards and two scores. If Wilson and Graham can find that special connection week after week, it could spell major problems for the opposition.
Over on the defensive side of the ball, Bobby Wagner has been a problem for opposing offenses, tallying 26 total tackles (13 solo) to date, while K.J. Wright has 23 total stops (14 solo). With safety Kam Chancellor back in the mix after ending his holdout a week ago, that is one more concern for opponents when trying to move the ball up and down the field against Seattle.
While the Seahawks had plenty of talent a season ago, talent good enough to get them to their second straight Super Bowl appearance, the addition of Kansas State kick/punt returner Tyler Lockett is a major coup for Seattle.
Lockett, who is a highlight film waiting to happen each time he field a kick or punt, broke off a 105-yard kick return last Sunday to dash any momentum or hopes Chicago had of winning the game.
If you look at October’s schedule, Seattle will no doubt have its hands full after Detroit, with back-to-back games against undefeated Cincinnati (away Oct. 11) and unbeaten Carolina (home Oct. 18). Throw-in a quick turnaround game four days after the Panthers visit on the road against heated division rival San Francisco (Oct. 22), and the Seahawks have some work cut out for them.
That said, would Carroll and Co. want it any other way?
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.