Not many NFL prognosticators give Seattle a chance to get a win in Miami today. They point to the 0-11 record of West Coast teams playing in the East Coast time zone and Seattle's struggles on offense as reasons they won't get it done.
But the Dolphins certainly don't expect an easy game.
So I decided to take a look at some reasons why Seattle could win today.
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Miami's defense vulnerable – The Dolphins' defense is ranked a pedestrian 22nd overall in the league in total defense, including 26th against the pass. Now we know Seattle has struggled passing the ball this season, but if Seneca Wallace can be efficient throwing the ball the Hawks have a chance to stay on the field and sustain some drives. If Wallace can throw the ball, it will loosen up Miami's defense and allow Julius Jones and Mo Morris to break free. And if Seattle can move the chains, they'll be in it.
Hawks Defense needs to make plays – For the Hawks to get over the hump, the defense has to play well. Even with the team's best pass rusher, Patrick Kerney, out, Seattle must put pressure on Miami quarterback Chad Pennington to force him into mistakes, creating turnovers to provide some scoring opportunities for the offense. After getting gashed early on, Seattle's defense is only giving up 3.8 yards per carry, tied for 10th in the league.
Now the Dolphins have been efficient throwing the ball. Miami's wide receivers Greg Camarillo and Ted Ginn are solid, but not world beaters. They only have one touchdown between them. If Seattle's defense can apply pressure on Pennington and keep Miami's receivers in front of them and not give up the big play, again they have a chance to win the game.
Mare returns home – Florida native Olindo Mare returns to Miami, where he started his career, playing 10 years for the Dolphins. Mare has been the most consistent player for Seattle, hitting on 13 of 14 field goals this season and making every extra point. This game could come down to a late field goal, and right now Seattle has one of the best kickers in the game.
Special teams play – After a terrible start, Seattle has gotten better, all-around play from its special teams. Specifically, the return game with Justin Forsett and Josh Wilson has provided Seattle with good field position. Seattle ranks sixth in kickoff returns, starting on average at the 25 yard line. The Hawks will need another strong performance from its special teams to stay close in this one.
View a preview of the game here.
Frank Hughes talks about Koren Robinson and the affect that he has had on the team so far this season, along with Robinson's commitment to staying sober this time around.
Miami's Wildcat offense caught teams off-guard early in the season, but defenses are beginning to defend the running formation better.
Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald asks if it's possible for the Seahawks to go 8-0 in the second half of the season.
The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero breaks down the game here.
San Francisco 49ers
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle reports the 49ers will have to shut down Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and the Cardinals high-powered offense Monday night.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat writes about Shaun Hill getting his first start of the season.
The 49ers elevated second-year receiver Dominique Zeigler to the active roster to bolster the receiving corps with Arnez Battle out. To make room, the team waived offensive lineman Kirk Barton.
Kurt Somers of the Arizona Republic discusses how the Cardinals found a diamond in the rough with new starting running back Tim Hightower.
More Somers: The Cardinals are facing new defensive schemes with all of the success they've been having.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals are ready for the national spotlight on Monday night.
The Cardinals look to keep hard-hitting safety Adrian Wilson active in the defensive scheme, Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune reports.
St. Louis Rams
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asks if the Rams have improved from earlier this season when they fired head coach Scott Linehan.
Antonio Pittman will start at running back in place of an injured Stephen Jackson.