It’s Week 17 of the regular season, and the Seahawks take on the Jets at home. This game is pretty much do or die for the Seahawks in terms of playoff potential. With a 7-8 record, their chances for post-season play are hovering around 22%. A win against the Jets would bump up to 53%. This season has made me a master at tempering expectations. That said, I’d love for the Hawks to make the playoffs. Why not?
There are a lot of storylines buzzing around this game. First are the various “revenge” narratives. There’s Geno Smith vs the Jets, the first team to hire and fire him as a starting quarterback. Former Seahawks corner DJ Reed could have something to prove against the team he felt was unwilling to pay him what he was worth. Also, way back in 1995, the Jets fired then head coach Pete Carroll after an ugly 6-10 season. I’m not sure how much heft these stories really have. I suspect they’re more media-driven than anything else. A more interesting story in my opinion is the match-up of Seahawks corner Tariq Woolen and Jets corner Sauce Gardner, two of the top candidates for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Social media shenanigans from Gardner have created extra drama. And while they obviously won’t be going up against each other, they’ll both bring their most competitive edge to the game. Bring on the fun.
The Seahawks have a lot of injuries. Tight end Will Dissly and WR Marquis Goodwin, two critical playmakers, have been put on injured reserve. And there are a lot of other players out for this game. As such, some players have been brought up from the practice squad and a new defensive tackle, former Raven Isaiah Mack, was claimed off waivers. It will be interesting and possibly nerve racking to see how all these new pieces fit together. One bit of good news is that it is looking likely that Tyler Lockett will be back.
Speaking of injuries, I cut the tip of my index finger earlier today, and keyboarding is a tad uncomfortable at the moment. As such, my wish list will be short this week. Here it is:
- Tariq Woolen to ball out. It will be exciting to see both Tariq and Sauce in the same game, and I’ve got mad respect for their astonishing rookie mojo. But Tariq is my guy, of course, and Sauce is a bit of a loudmouth who needs his volume turned down a tad.
- Seattle defense to stop the run. OK, I know I said I wasn’t going to list this as a bullet anymore as it’s a perpetual given on the wish list. However, they actually showed some improvement against the Chiefs last week. I just want to see more of that.
Player to watch: Godwin Igwebuike. Once again, Igwebuike has been brought up from the practice squad for Sunday’s game. He’s been absolutely killing it on kick return and is super exciting to watch. Given that both Kenneth Walker III and Travis Homer are questionable to play, he may get some carries as running back.