Two games in five days. That’s what the Seahawks are facing this week, as they already have put Sunday’s last-second victory over the Patriots behind them today so the emphasis can be clearly on Thursday night’s nationally televised game against the 49ers in San Francisco.
The Seahawks went through this same condensed schedule last season, when they lost to the Redskins 23-17 on a Sunday (Nov. 27) and then beat the Eagles 31-14 on a Thursday night (Dec. 1). But both games were played at CenturyLink Field. This season, there is travel involved – even if it is the team’s shortest trip.
“We’re utilizing the same system, basically, from what we did,” coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly Q&A session with the media. “We thought we played pretty well and got done what we had to get done.”
For the players, the physical drain is obvious. For the coaches, it’s a matter of putting the game plan together and then installing it with limited practice time.
“You don’t have a whole lot of choice physically, you’ve just got to get there,” Carroll said. “So it is the learning and the acquiring of the game plan and the style of play that you’re up against in a condensed fashion.
“So it’s really important, and we talked as coaches, that we have to teach really well and present information really clearly and make sense and maximize every second that we have. And meanwhile, take care of the guys as they return to get their bodies back. A big physical challenge, there’s no question about it.”
Against a very physical opponent. The Seahawks and 49ers are 4-2 to share the NFC West lead with the Cardinals.
Guard John Moffitt, who has missed the past three games because of a knee injury, is the only player who has been ruled out for Thursday night’s game, Carroll said. The others should be able to play, and that includes Pro Bowl strong safety Kam Chancellor, who injured an ankle in Sunday’s game.
Chancellor was not expected to particiate in today’s walkthrough, along with defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (groin) and cornerback Byron Maxwell (hamstring).
Cornerback Walter Thurmond, who has been on the physically unable to perform list, begins his three-week window where he’s allowed to practice. But Carroll admitted that because of the limited practice time this is a tough week for Thurmond to jump back in for the first time since he injured an ankle in the Week 7 game against the Browns last season.
STATS ’N STUFF
By yielding 475 yards to the Patriots, the Seahawks’ defense slipped from No. 1 to No. 4 in the league in average yards allowed (294.7) – behind the 49ers (275.8), Cowboys (285.2) and Bears (291.2). The Seahawks are second in average rushing yards allowed (70.0) to the Bears (65.8).
Despite rushing for a season-low 41 yards, Marshawn Lynch remains third in the league with 549 yards – behind the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles (591) and Texans’ Arian Foster (561). He’s also second in the NFC in total yards (619), nine fewer than the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson.
Leon Washington is second in the league in kickoff return average (31.7), while Jon Ryan is fourth in the league in net punting average (43.1) and fifth in average (50.7).
Chancellor and strongside linebacker K.J. Wright share the team lead with 43 tackles – one more than rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Heath Farwell continues to lead the team in coverage tackles with seven – one more than Chris Maragos.