The epic Seahawks opener is coming soon on Monday Night. What are we watching for in the game that Seahawks fans have been waiting 6 months for?
What can we hope for in this epic Seahawks season opener?
“You’re either competing or you’re not. I’m leaving it up to the 12s. It’s game time. However they take it, I’ll follow their lead.”Pete Carroll during his September eighth press conference referring to upcoming Monday Night Football versus the Denver Broncos.
Will we see playing time from Drew Lock?
It would be foolish to say that Geno Smith’s starting role is cemented for the 2022 season. He has shown little promise through the years in the NFL and has been an adequate backup. It’s unclear how much patience Pete and the coaching staff will have if things don’t go well in Smith’s first start. Will he have multiple games or could we see Drew Lock in game one? I think Lock makes an appearance on Monday night.
Is Jamal Adams fully healthy and used in the same schemes as previous years?
Jamal Adams’ finger injury from training camp is healed. He’ll need to make an immediate impact in his return in the season opener versus the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, his impact has been limited to a box safety role and pass rush in previous seasons. During the 2020 season, he was the Seahawks leading pass rusher. But he has been ineffective thus far in pass coverage schemes. We will be watching closely to see how Adams is used on defense and if he can be effective in both pass rushing and pass coverage responsibilities.
Can Geno Smith responsibly take risks with downfield throws maximizing his air yards?
Smith averaged 7.4 yards per completion in 2021. As we discuss below, this falls well short of the league average. When the game situation is at home, week one, primetime game, heavy underdogs—Smith will need to take risks to win the game. Even if they fall short, the Seahawks offense should pull out all the stops and use the full playbook. If Smith can hit one or two twenty-yard passes early in the game, it should boost his confidence and open up the rest of the playbook for the offense.
What play call selection can we expect from Seahawks OC Shane Waldron?
The Seahawks are NOTORIOUS for running the ball on first down. In 2022, we know however, that this is generally not the most efficient play call for first down. During the 2021 season, an average NFL completion was 10.23 yards, and the average completion percentage in 2021 was 64.28 percent. This isn’t even considering that completion percentage goes up with short pass schemes such as screens, pop passes, shovel passes or other ‘high-percentage’ passes. Granted, these passes likely won’t be as effective as the league average completion distance of 10.23 yards.
However, in the scenario where a short pass and a run are executed on a first down, a team will likely be setting themselves up for a second-and-short (executing a high-percentage pass play) instead of a second-and-long (executing a run play). Hopefully we see more passes on first down from the Seahawks tomorrow night.
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