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Q&A With the Enemy: 6 Questions with the Field Gulls

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Leading into tonight’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, we reached out to Kenneth Arthur of the Field Gulls and asked him a few questions. Here they are:

The Seahawks rank 30th in run defense this season, giving up an average of 146 yards/game on the ground through week three. Everything about that seems counterintuitive to what we have seen from this team over the last few years. Has this been a fluke or is it an area that we should expect the Colts to find some success?

My very sincere answer to the question about the Seattle run defense is: I have no flippin’, skippin’, dippin’ dots idea.

That’s the big question surrounding the usually-dominant Seahawks run defense/total defense right now. We expected the offensive line to be a catastrophic liability, but then the run defense has taken a long fall nap too, which is especially weird given that they added Sheldon Richardson just before the season. Perhaps the addition of Richardson is a weird wrench in the original plan that they’re still adjusting around. Perhaps getting Earl Thomas back and putting Shaquill Griffin in at corner and not having Tony McDaniel this season is a few changes that just effed up the whole stew from the end of last year …

But perhaps also the Seahawks just played the best running team in the entire NFL with the Tennessee Titans. And maybe the 49ers just got lucky on two plays from Carlos Hyde that skewed the stats significantly in that game. And it could just be that Seattle’s run defense will still finish first by year’s end.

I could see it being somewhere in the middle, but if your team’s offense doesn’t already have a decent run threat, I don’t think that the Seahawks are going to suddenly make them look good. I still see them having dominant pieces in run defense and that it will either come together at some point or some major changes will be coming.

Doug Baldwin is recovering from a groin injury but from what I’m reading plans to play. If he struggles to be as effective, what offensive player has to step up to make an impact for the Seahawks offense to get going?

That’s a good question because when Baldwin went out last week, it was very frustrating for the offense. Baldwin is their rock right now, the guy that wasn’t involved when they weren’t scoring and then was the whole offense (it felt like) when they were. With or without an effective Baldwin, it would be great to see rookie running back Chris Carson have a game that he takes over. He’s a very complete player; despite being a seventh round pick out of Oklahoma State, Carson was the most complete back on Seattle’s roster, beating out Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls for the starting job. It would be great to see him going because I think he has it in him to rush for 150 yards in a game, if not more. He can catch it too.

As far as receivers go, would love to see Paul Richardson continue to grow into a consistently reliable threat. That doesn’t happen often and I’d like to see him have a game. Tyler Lockett too, but he seems to still be a ways behind Richardson (to me, this may not be a popular opinion) in terms of being a complete wide receiver.

What would you say is the biggest weakness on this Seahawks team?

The offensive line is clearly the biggest issue and that’s no secret. Russell Wilson is under pressure on something like 45% of his dropbacks, which is just insane. Left tackle Rees Odhiambo is very lost out there, right guard Mark Glowinski was benched for Oday Aboushi last week and it did not help, left guard Luke Joeckel has not done anything to improve the overall consistency of the line or the left guard spot from a year ago, and right tackle Germain Ifedi still has a ways to go in his development after being a first round pick a year ago. Overall, the line could be getting better in time and perhaps over the next year, but for right now it’s a huge weakness that I’m sure any team in the NFL could exploit. Without protection for Wilson and better opportunities for Carson and co. (he’s one of the best in the league in breaking tackles this year but he also has to be because he’s always getting touched in the backfield), the Seattle offense has little chance.

Who is a player on the Seahawks roster that Colts fans won’t know but who could have a big impact on the game?

I assume they’ve heard of Carson because of fantasy football. I’ll say that rookie cornerback Shaquill Griffin is a player to watch, this week and for the long-term. The third rounder took over as a starting corner this season basically, as Seattle runs nickel as their base so it’s him, Richard Sherman, and Jeremy Lane. And Griffin definitely seems like he could be the number two-best corner after Sherman, which is really high praise for a guy with three career games. He’s not perfect by any means, but he’s really advanced for his experience and perhaps the most talented number-four-member of the Legion of Boom ever. Yes, above Brandon Browner and Byron Maxwell.

What Colts player makes Seahawks fans most concerned heading into the matchup?

Who is rushing the passer? John Simon? Henry Anderson? Margus Hunt? Yeah, any of those guys, and anyone else who just needs to beat a Seattle o-lineman for a sack.

What is your prediction of the outcome for this game?

The Seahawks play well in primetime, they play well at home, and they don’t have to face Andrew Luck. They are just a much more talented team at this point and should bounce back from their rough three-game start with a bit more offense and a much stingier defensive performance. That’s just how I see these two teams, as objectively as I can possibly put it. Seahawks 27, Colts 13