Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin and Christine Michael are among our list of five players to watch for the Seattle Seahawks against the St. Louis Rams Sunday.
Here’s a look at five Seahawks particularly intriguing to watch against the St. Louis Rams Sunday.
1, QB Russell Wilson: So yes, when isn’t he a player to watch? But he is particularly one to watch when he is in the midst of a stretch of play basically unprecedented in NFL history. Wilson has thrown 19 touchdowns with no interceptions in the past five games, in case you haven’t heard. Of the millions of ways people have tried to illustrate how amazing that is, here are two more — 19 touchdowns is just one fewer than Wilson threw all of last season, and it’s enough to have been more than the single-season leader threw for the Seahawks in all but 16 of their previous 39 seasons (yes, way more than Stan Gelbaugh/Dan McGwire threw in 1992).
2, RB Christine Michael: Michael said and did all the right things last week. But as coach Pete Carroll and others made clear, it was also just one week. No one has ever doubted Michael’s talent. His consistency, on the other hand. … The other caveat about last week is that his breakout performance came against the Cleveland Browns, who rank 31st in the NFL in rush defense. The Rams have been disappointing against the run this year and come in ranked just 23rd. But by any measure they appear more talented than the Browns on defense and should provide a stiffer test of Seattle’s non-Marshawn-Lynch-and-Thomas-Rawls running attack Sunday.
3, LT Alvin Bailey: Russell Okung did not practice all week with a calf injury suffered late in the third quarter against the Browns. Bailey replaced him and will start Sunday if Okung can’t go, which given that he didn’t practice all week seems more likely than not. Bailey was the projected left guard heading into the season, then seemed to fall out of favor leading to the OL shift that resulted in Justin Britt moving to left guard and Garry Gilliam to right tackle. Okung, though, is a free agent at the end of the 2015 season and there has been speculation about maybe moving Gilliam to left tackle and Britt back to right tackle, and then possibly re-inserting Bailey at left guard. Bailey played and started all of the Dallas game, the only game he has stared this season. If he gets a chance to start and go the entire way against the Rams, it could give the Seahawks a bit more info when it comes time to make decisions about the OL in the off-season.
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4, SS Kelcie McCray: With Kam Chancellor having missed all of practice for a second straight week with a pelvis injury, the odds seem good that McCray will start again. McCray started and played all of the win against the Browns and also went all but the first series and part of the second against the Ravens, with the Seahawks allowing just one touchdown in that span. As may hardly need to be re-stated, Chancellor held out this season and missed the first two games, and there is probably zero chance he returns next season under the terms of his current contract, meaning it’s not out of the realm that he’s not back with Seattle next year —- and possibly playing his last game at CenturyLink Field today depending on how things unfold. Carroll seems really enthusiastic about what he has seen out of McCray, and the better he plays down the stretch might only increase the odds that the Seahawks play hardball with Chancellor in the off-season.
5, WR Doug Baldwin: Like Wilson, Baldwin is in the midst of an amazing statistical run with 10 touchdowns in the last four games, and at least two in each of the four. He was listed as questionable on Friday dealing with a hamstring issue, but then fully participated in practice. That would indicate he’ll play. But the Seahawks also added Kasen Williams to the roster on Saturday to add depth at the receiver spot, and the Seahawks could look to at least monitor the snaps Baldwin gets to assure he doesn’t injure the hamstring further, knowing they don’t have a bye week this time around with which to use heading into the playoffs.