OSN Column: Can The Seattle Seahawks Make The Playoffs Without Russell Wilson?
By: Derek Lopez/Oregon Sports News
The Seattle Seahawks received the worst news possible when Russell Wilson was diagnosed with an injury to his middle finger on his throwing hands. Reports have stated that he’ll miss a minimum of four weeks, and it is more likely that he’ll miss six to eight weeks with the two injuries to his finger. This will be the first time since he’s been drafted that Wilson will miss a game. It’ll be a difficult adjustment for the Seahawks, looking to stay competitive in the NFC West. Seattle will need these people to elevate their game in his absence.
While it will be nearly impossible for Geno Smith to replicate what Wilson can do on the football field, he’ll need to run this offense like it’s his own. Smith doesn’t have the playmaking ability that Wilson does, but he is a solid athlete. The thing that will help Geno Smith the most will be limiting turnovers. By limiting turnovers, the Seahawks will have a chance to win. Geno tends in his career to throw costly interceptions. If this issue can be tamed by conservative play-calling and a ground-and-pound approach, Smith won’t cost the Seahawks many games. Geno Smith doesn’t need to do Wilson; he cannot give the ball to the other team.
Seattle Running Backs
Without Russell Wilson, more responsibility will be put on the Seahawks’ running backs in his absence. Chris Carson will likely receive more carries, and so will Alex Collins. Geno Smith can’t be relied on to carry this team, so the stable of running backs on the roster will need to do extra lifting in the absence of Wilson. Smith will be thrown blitzes to force him to make mistakes, and getting the ball to his running backs will alleviate some of the pressure off his shoulders. Chris Carson is the focal point of this offense, and he will be given even more attention in the weekly game plan. These runners on the roster will need to tote the football if they want to win any games during Russell’s extended absence.
A good coach can coach when everything is going well. A great coach can right the ship when things are falling apart. That’s the ship that Pete Carroll is on right now as he looks to guide his team with Wilson for potentially half the season. Carroll will need to get his team motivated to play sound, mistake-free football. Carroll is a coach that players love to play for, and they respect him because he’s a winner and a great person. Pete Carroll will need to devise a scheme to fit his players while Wilson recovers from his injury. Pete Carroll has always had his team be reliant on defense and a ball-control offense. Pete Carroll always has his guys playing hard, and they will need to do that in the next month or two if they want to remain competitive in the NFC West division.
The Seattle Seahawks have been an excellent team for a long time. This stretch without their franchise quarterback will be daunting and challenging. Pete Carroll and his team will need to come out aggressive on defense and have a game plan centered around the run game. If they can stay around .500 without him, chances are the Russell Wilson will be able to come back after healing from his injury to lead this team to a playoff berth. The team needs to stay afloat in his absence as he recovers from his injured finger.