The Seahawks have played very well the past few weeks and are currently on a four-game winning streak. They also will get a boost confidence after the front office made a move to improve the struggling offensive line by trading for Duane Brown on Monday.
They take on the Washington Redskins, who have had major issues with injuries this season. Washington has five players listed as questionable and eight listed as doubtful or out leading into the game against the Seahawks.
The Seahawks will hope that the addition of Duane Brown will cure the issues the offensive line has been a key part of this season. One of those issues is the run game, with Seattle having one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL, besides what Russell Wilson adds to the rushing stats. Seattle is 22nd in the league in rushing yards, but if it weren’t for Wilson, they would be right at the bottom. Wilson has accounted for 28 percent of Seattle’s rushing yards. Also, the combination of Wilson and Chris Carson, whose has not played since Week 4, account for 58.8 percent of Seattle’s rushing yards this season.
With the running back committee approach not working of late, the Seahawks will likely give Eddie Lacy the majority of the carries. This could be the week to get the run game going, as the Redskins have given up 105.1 rushing yards per game, which is the 13th best in the league. But the Redskins have dealt with injuries in their front seven, losing Jonathan Allen, Mason Foster, and Matt Ioannidis to injuries. With these injuries, their rushing defense has not been as good. Brown’s addition to the line can only help the Seattle get their run game going.
The spot that Brown will be needed the most is blocking the Washington front seven. Ryan Kerrigan will be the biggest threat to Seattle offensive line, coming off a two-sack performance against the Cowboys a week ago. He is likely to line up away from Brown and put him against Germain Ifedi. But the addition of Brown will allow the Seahawks to give help to Ifedi, as Brown can succeed when blocking on an island. Brown’s addition also helps rookie left guard Ethan Pocic, as he can receive help from either Brown or center Justin Britt.
If Seattle can pass block better than they have this year, that will give Wilson the most time in the pocket than he has had all season. Wilson has been putting up MVP numbers this season, and is coming off a 452 yard and four touchdown performance against the Texans. He will be going up against a Washington pass defense that has given up 217.4 passing yards per game. Washington deploys their corners in a similar fashion as the Seahawks, playing their corners on a certain side of the field. Standout Josh Norman typically plays on the left side of the defense, and he could shut down that side of the field for Russell Wilson.
On the defensive side of the field, the Seattle pass rush could have a big week. With multiple injuries on the Washington offensive line, there is a chance the Seahawks will be going up against four backups on the Washington offensive line. Coming off a five-sack performance against the Texans, they might be able to match that this week.
The defense will be without Earl Thomas and will be starting Bradley McDougald in his place. Although McDougald is not the superstar that Thomas is, he is still a solid player. They will be going up against Kirk Cousins, who has thrown an interception the past three games. He will not have much time in the pocket with this patchwork offensive line, and he is going to need to get rid of the ball quickly. But he will be without his top receiver Jamison Crowder. He will rely on Chris Thompson out of the backfield, who has been his leading receiver this season. Thompson is also the leading rusher for Washington, but may not have many running lanes with the offensive line.
With all the injuries that Washington is dealing with, Seattle should be able to push their win streak to five games. But shown multiple times this season, Seattle has kept it close with teams they should have beaten.