By Dave Thomas
To hear Seattle’s Pete Carroll talk, there is no desperation or outright panic in the clubhouse, this despite a 2-4 start for his Seahawks through six games.
So, what is the formula for returning the two-time NFC Champion (2013, 2014) Seahawks back to their winning ways? And in the event the Seahawks fail to make it back to the playoffs this season, will the rumors swirl even more that Carroll could be on his way out, perhaps even to his old stomping grounds at USC?
Seattle Needs To Finish Games
Heading into their NFC West showdown this Thursday evening with the rival San Francisco 49ers (2-4), the Seahawks need to get the lead and hold it until the final gun sounds, something they have come up short on a number of times this season.
In their four losses this season, Seattle was in position in the fourth quarter to finish off their opponents, only to see the opposition come back and escape with the victory. As a result, a Seattle team that very easily could be 6-0 finds itself tied for last place in the division with the 49ers (St. Louis is 2-3), though only two games in back of first-place Arizona, a team Seattle still faces twice this season.
If the Seahawks are to get back on the winning track sooner rather than later, they not only need to hold leads in the fourth quarter, but also look to:
* Get a healthy Marshawn Lynch for the remainder of the season – Lynch, who missed a pair of games with a hamstring injury, has rushed for a paltry 182 yards in four games (he missed the second half of the win over Chicago). With Lynch seeing limited duty to date, rookie Thomas Rawls has amassed 334 yards on the ground to lead the team. Nothing against Rawls, but there is reason Lynch has the moniker of Beast Mode about him. Unless Lynch can get and remain healthy for the remainder of the season, Seattle loses one of its most valuable weapons on the offensive side of the ball;
* The return of a dangerous Russell Wilson – While Wilson’s numbers (1,433 yards passing/seven TD’s and 251 yards rushing) through six games are certainly not terrible, even Wilson would probably admit he’s not where he or the offense for that matter want and need to be after six contests. As Wilson gets more comfortable with tight end Jimmy Graham (344 yards receiving, two touchdowns), the duo should be able to exploit opposing defenses the second half of the season;
* Win via Carroll’s coaching talents – Last but not least, Pete Carroll remains one of the top coaches in the NFL despite Seattle’s 2-4 record, especially given it is in a division many think it should be running away with. The one noticeable difference between the Seahawks of the last two seasons and this year’s team is that the former found a way to win those close fourth quarter struggles. The 2015 results to date do not necessarily mean Carroll has lost his touch, but it does make one wonder if other teams (specifically the coaching staffs) are drawing closer to Carroll’s knack for coming up with the right calls at the right time late in games. Getting that winning feeling back on the Seattle sidelines will do wonders for this team, including their head coach.
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.