The usually quiet, NFL trade deadline had an advantageous spin for the Seattle Seahawk fan base this year as it materialized the means to solve a major problem for the NFC West squad.
Veteran left tackle Duane Brown was acquired for future draft picks, clearly addressing the No. 1 issue that has been plaguing the ‘Hawks all season. The offensive line will be stronger, the run game will be back (allegedly) and Russell Wilson won’t be running for his life. All is fixed, right?
Brown solves all of their problems, doesn’t he?
Well…let’s not pencil them into the Super Bowl just yet. There’s still a lot of work to do, but what Brown do (or not do)?
RUNNING BACK COMMITTEE
I think every time I write about the Seahawks I bring up their ridiculous running back situation. I’d stop talking about it they would figure it out, pick one or even two, or just make a public statement that all options are terrible and they aren’t even going to try to run the ball anymore. The Philadelphia Eagles, on the opposite end of the ‘backfield situation spectrum’, traded for a running back (Jay Ajayi) and they didn’t even need one.
Will Brown help the Seahawks running game? Allegedly. I’m skeptical. Like, I believe in bigfoot more so than I believe in the Seahawks running game.
Here’s a look inside the numbers through eight games so far. (stats courtesy of www.seahawks.com)
If you take time to do the math, it doesn’t appear terrible – 85ish yards per game and a total rushing yards to date of 683. Let’s subtract Wilson’s 194 yards because he’s a quarterback and Tyler Lockett’s numbers because he is a wide receiver. That equals 55.6 yards per game. Ouch.
Kareem Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs leads the NFL in rushing yards with 763, but expecting Seattle’s whole team to compete with one rookie out of Toledo is too much to ask…right? Apparently, it is. Can Brown improve the 55.6 yards of “real” rushing per game? (Real rushing because I subtracted Wilson and Lockett).
Before I move on from the above chart, what is more annoying than Wilson being second on this list is the yards per carry of everyone bracketed in my “real” rushing yards group. Look at that! (I scrolled up to highlight it for you. You’re welcome.)
Good luck fixing that, Brown. I hope holding out in Houston forever was worth this mess.
INJURIES ON DEFENSE
Tabling the 30-plus points and the 400-plus yards of passing from Deshaun Watson – good luck to him and his ACL recovery, BTW – that the Seattle defense gave up last week for a minute, there are some issues on defense that Brown can’t do much about for the Seahawks either.
Earl Thomas injured his hamstring trying to catch up to Deandre Hopkins and hasn’t practiced much this week as a result. Maybe he’ll sit out on Sunday and contemplate retiring again – but I hope not! It’s just a hamstring…famous last words.
The other “usual suspects” showed up on the injury report as well – Cam Chancellor, Michael Bennett and Bobby Wagner. If any of them are seriously hurt – there’s not much Brown can do to help them either.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR JEREMY LANE?
In definitely my favorite part of the Duane Brown trade was the life changing moment(s) involving cornerback Jeremy Lane. He was initially traded to Houston, but failed a physical, and Seattle said, “Just kidding everyone involved.” The Seahawks changed the draft pick compensation and ended up getting Lane back.
I wonder how awkward that was for everyone involved?
At least Brown – by proxy – has a chance for Lane to resurrect his career in Seattle. Technically, Brown is giving him a second chance. One would think I had nothing better to do than think about awkward locker room conversation between players, but I can’t help it.
Anyways, Lane is back with the team and suiting up for Sunday. Please, don’t get burned deep or something.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I pick on the running backs a lot, but at the end of the day – no question Brown makes the Seahawks better. Every team in the NFL has issues when you dissect and break them down position by position – yes, Belichick – even your team!
The NFC West isn’t exactly a powerhouse division this year. The L.A. Rams are competing, but Seattle will be fine to make the post-season. The NFL draft might be a little sad when that second-round pick comes around, but for Wilson’s blind side, I will take that trade. (Note last time I said something like that was when my Colts traded their first-round pick for Trent Richardson…so, let’s hope for a better result from Brown.)
There’s probably a lot of things Brown CANNOT do. I’m not sure if he can make good waffles or not. He may be a bad driver and/or impolite towards pedestrians and bicyclists. I have no idea, but at the end of the day, he CAN block from the left tackle position – which is good news.
I’m sure Wilson bought him a hamburger or something.