The Seahawks (3-0) are headed to South Beach for a Week 4 matchup against the Miami Dolphins (1-2). Here are the five burning questions of the week that will determine whether or not Seattle is able to keep a perfect record through the first half of the 2020 season.
1. Can the Seahawks establish and maintain a two-score lead?
Seattle’s offense has established a two-score lead in the second half of all three games thus far. However, the defense has struggled to maintain the advantage. Each of the Seahawks' last two games have come down to the final seconds with the defense’s back against the wall. Both times that group has come through, once with a goal-line stand against Cam Newton and just last week with an end zone interception against Dak Prescott.
Sunday’s game should offer a chance to win more comfortably. The Dolphins, while competitive through three games, are nowhere near the Seahawks caliber. Josh Allen torched Miami’s defense for 415 yards and two touchdowns just a few weeks ago. Russell Wilson's should be able to do the same. The bigger question is whether Seattle’s defense will be able to protect that lead.
2. Will Shaquem Griffin leave his mark on the game for a second-straight week?
As expected, Griffin was promoted to the active on Friday. Pete Carroll alluded to this move earlier in the week when he said Griffin earned a chance to play for a second-straight week.
Griffin had a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and a pass breakup against the Cowboys and played a pivotal role in Seattle’s final defensive stop. It’ll be a chance for him to prove he’s worthy of a permanent roster spot.
3. How will the pass rush fare without Jamal Adams?
Adams (groin) has been ruled out, which means Seattle will be without its best pass rusher on Sunday. One way to look at it is a chance for the Seahawks front four to get the job done without having to blitz. Seattle has struggled to get pressure with just a four-man rush. That puts some pressure on Alton Robinson, Benson Mayowa, Jarran Reed and others to step up in Adams’ absence. The Seahawks took a step forward last week when they hit Prescott 10 times but still had just two sacks. That means the focus is on capitalizing on those missed opportunities and finishing plays.
4. Will Fitzmagic torch Seattle’s secondary?
Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t Prescott, Newton or Matt Ryan, but he’s been undeniably solid through three games. He put up 328 yards against the Bills in Week 2, and then completed 18-of-20 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout win over the Jaguars in Week 3.
Seattle’s secondary has allowed a league record 1,292 passing yards through three games. That group will be without Adams, Quinton Dunbar (knee) and likely Lano Hill (back). That means Tre Flowers will start at right corner and Ryan Neal could be looking at his first career start at strong safety. Everyone will be watching to see if the secondary can tighten things up and limit the explosive plays allowed to Miami.
5. If Chris Carson plays, will he be on a noticeable pitch count
Carson (knee) seems destined to play on Sunday. He practiced fully on Friday and is officially listed as questionable. Pete Carroll indicated that Carson looked great all week. Still, especially given the slew of injuries the team faced at running back a year ago, it’ll be interesting to see if Carson sees his full workload. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Carlos Hyde, who has just nine carries the last two weeks, take on a bigger role in Miami.