With the Las Vegas Raiders set to take on the Seattle Seahawks for their Week 12 matchup, the theme of the week is offseason expectations versus regular season reality. The Raiders came into the campaign with playoff/Super Bowl aspirations while not much was expected of the Seahawks. However, Las Vegas is looking at a top-five pick in the draft, and Seattle is tied for the NFC West lead at the end of November.
A big reason for the Seahawks’ success has been the play of quarterback Geno Smith as the offense has improved despite losing nine-time Pro Bowler Russell Wilson. Smith’s rise has been probably the biggest storyline coming out of the Emerald City this season, so for this week’s Behind Enemy Lines podcast, I asked Dan Viens of Field Gulls what Smith has been doing that Wilson wasn’t.
“[Smith] opens up the whole field,” Viens explained. “He makes teams have to defend the entire field. Russell Wilson, for all of his greatness...had some glaring weaknesses...With each passing week, we see what another quarterback is doing in this offense and what Wilson is doing in Denver, and how similar that looks to what happened in Seattle.
“And that was he didn’t use the middle of the field...that’s the biggest change. [Smith] operates the offense the way [offensive coordinator] Shane Waldren intends for it to be operated. And that just makes them a more dangerous team.”
The full interview and a rundown of the rest of the episode can be found below.
- Geno Smith vs Russell Wilson
- Seattle’s Olympic track team/wide receiver corps
- Kenneth Walker’s emergence
- Seahawks OL led by rookies
- How underrated is Seattle’s defensive line?
- Barton Brothers Bash
- Rookies Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant leading the secondary
- When does Pete Carroll retire?
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