Now a few days removed from a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Titans, the Seahawks have shed their disappointment and have fully shifted focus to their trip to Minnesota. While this will be their fourth year in a row facing the Vikings, this matchup is particularly special because it marks their first-ever regular season visit to U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings may be 0-2, but they've only lost by a combined four points. Sound on defense and stocked with firepower on offense, they pose quite the challenge for the visiting Seahawks. As such, this has the makings of a great battle up north.
But before the two sides square off, it's time for this week's edition of "3 Takes" coming off Seattle's first loss of the year.
1. Wasted timeouts, aimless challenges not present so far, but Seahawks still have major problem with clock and game management
Seattle—namely head coach Pete Carroll—has been heavily criticized throughout the years for poor clock management. From burning timeouts in utterly confusing ways to unnecessarily throwing challenge flags, these are issues that have long plagued the Seahawks at certain points in a season. For now, those issues haven't been present in 2021, but Sunday's loss to the Titans showed Carroll and company still struggle to control the clock and the flow of the game as a whole. Entirely losing their rhythm on offense in the second half, the Seahawks were out-possessed by nearly 20 minutes and controlled the ball for just three minutes and 36 seconds on their final four drives of the game. While they're one of the league's best teams in generating explosive plays, that cannot be their whole identity from start to finish. They must improve at eating clock and methodically moving the ball down the field when the moment calls for it. If not, their defense is going to play a colossal amount of snaps and that's just too much for that unit—or any—to bear.
2. DK Metcalf's knee injury is concerning
Metcalf landed on the injury report this week after tweaking his knee against the Titans. Carroll has downplayed the extent of his star receiver's ailments, but it's hard to ignore how banged-up he looked before the game came to a close. He appeared nowhere close to 100 percent and was generally ineffective in the passing game afterward, practically serving as a decoy for the rest of the afternoon. With Dee Eskridge still working his way back from a concussion suffered in Week 1, not having Metcalf at the top of his game either could be a massive blow moving forward—especially if he's forced to play through pain the rest of the way. While his status against the Vikings doesn't seem to be in jeopardy, his health will be something to monitor over the course of the afternoon.
3. Losing to Vikings could send Seahawks on disastrous spiral
Of course, the Seahawks have fought—and won—countless bouts with adversity under Carroll, but after the way the 2020 season ended and the offseason drama that ensued, coming out of the gate 1-2 could be damaging to this team's psyche. And there will be no soft landing spot for them to correct course, with divisional matchups against the 49ers and Rams coming up in back-to-back weeks and just a four-day turnaround between those games. This early in the season, classifying any game as a "must-win" is typically hyperbolic. But a victory over the Vikings may very well be needed or else a 1-4 start could begin to creep in the collective minds of everyone involved. It would be best to get back on track and build some momentum heading into two highly important affairs.