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November 17, 2014 at 5:04 AM

Seahawks Second Thoughts: Seattle favored against Arizona

A few more notes and thoughts on Sunday’s 24-20 loss to Kansas City and what happens now:

— The one really obvious second guess from Sunday’s game is whether Pete Carroll made the right decision to go for it when the Seahawks faced a fourth-and-goal at the 2 with 7:11 left, trailing 24-20. There was still plenty of time to kick a field goal, and then try to get a stop and then need only a field goal to win it. Carroll said the two reasons he opted to go for it were to take the lead, and also that if Seattle failed, the Chiefs would be in a deep hole and Seattle could still get the ball back in good field position with another chance.

As we know, the latter happened, as Seattle didn’t get the touchdown but did get the ball back in good shape to again threaten (and again, unfortunately for the Seahawks, come up short).

But as Jayson Jenks wrote, it might also have said something about Carroll’s lack of faith in a defense that has now allowed 23 or more points five times in 10 games after doing so just twice last season.

Was it the wrong decision? Certainly, since Seattle lost, you wonder if kicking the field goal and getting to within one would have put some pressure on the Chiefs and then, who knows?

But if anyone in the locker room afterward questioned the call at all, I didn’t hear it.

Sort of just feels like the way this season is going that when Seattle needed a yard or two it couldn’t get it.

— I assume much will be made this week of Marshawn Lynch and the NFL.com story and that he didn’t go into the locker room at halftime. His future has been much discussed, and for now, the consensus remains that it’s unlikely he’ll be back next season.

Aside from all of that, though, his health also seems to be an issue becoming worth watching. He was on the injury report this week with both calf and rib issues. But what seemed to be bothering him more Sunday was his back — that’s what he appeared to be having worked on during his stints on the sidelines during the game.

That he’s getting as banged up as he is obviously has implications for the rest of this season and Seattle being right in the middle of a streak of 13 games in 13 weeks. Lynch has been getting a lot of work of late, and is now on pace for 283 carries — he’s averaged 300 the last three seasons with totals of 285, 315 and 301.

That he’s getting banged up, though, also has implications for the future. One reason Seattle would want to move on is questioning the wisdom of paying a 29-year-old running back who would have more than 2,000 carries $7 million or more. If he’s beginning to have the kind of issues now that indicate that maybe his body is beginning to feel the toll of all of those carries, that could obviously factor into whatever decision Seattle makes on Lynch.

For now, the Seahawks obviously need Lynch healthy to have any chance to really make anything of this season.

— Next week’s game is now a total must-win for the Seahawks, and maybe somewhat surprisingly, the Seahawks have opened as as much as a six-point favorite. That certainly speaks to the power of CenturyLink Field. But it’s interesting that Seattle was only a 4 or 4.5 point favorite against Green Bay and Denver earlier in the season. Sort of seems like there might be more reason to question Seattle now and have belief in the Cardinals. But maybe it also speaks to some lingering doubts about how for-real Arizona really is, especially with Drew Stanton.

— Kansas City’s 6.5 yards per play was the most against the Seahawks this season, topping the 5.7 of both Dallas and Washington. It was also more than any game last season when the high was 5.4 by Tampa Bay and Houston. The Seahawks had just one tackle for a loss which is also fewer than in any game since at least 2012. While Kansas City is a good offense and is known for its ball-control manner, the Chiefs had been sacked 25 times in the first 10 games. Seattle, meanwhile, didn’t have a single quarterback hurry.

 

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