Good morning. Here’s some links to check out as you get ready for this afternoon’s game, along with keys for the Hawks to get a win against the Chicago Bears.
Bring the heat: Seattle is tied for third in the league in sacks with seven, and needs to continue that trend today by getting consistent pressure on quarterback Jay Cutler in order to make him uncomfortable. The Seahawks have not had to blitz that much to get pressure in the first two games, so I would expect with two new replacements starting at linebacker that trend will continue.
Run the rock: The Seahawks need to get Julius Jones, Justin Forsett and Edgerrin James going early in the game, puts some points on the board and try to play with a lead. It will be important for Seattle’s offensive line to get a consistent push to break those running backs loose.
Special teams play big: Seattle hasn’t had a big return in either the kick return or the punt return game, but with a backup quarterback going in Seneca Wallace, the team will need to create some big plays either in the return game or on defense to help get better field position and make it easier for the offense to score.
12th man bring the noise: Head coach Jim Mora is counting on the fans at Qwest Field to make their presence felt and create an uncomfortable environment on Sunday. That’s one of the reasons the team is Going Green today. They want to get the crowd fired up.
A mistake-free Wallace: QB Seneca Wallace has to make sure he doesn’t try to win the game by himself. If Wallace just plays mistake-free football, take what is given to him and keep the chains moving Seattle’s offense should move the ball well enough to put some points on the board.
My story today takes a look at Cutler’s first few weeks in Chicago and what Seattle needs to do to stop him.
TNT columnist Dave Boling says Mora needs to figure out some creative ways to get an injury-depleted team a win today against the Bears.
Greg Johns from Seattlepi.com previews today’s game.
More Johns: The Seahawks running game has sputtered of late.
Even more Johns: He predicts a 27-20 Bears win.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times writes about Deion Branch’s latest comeback from injury.
Clare Farnsworth at Seahawks.com says the Hawks are playing the hand they are dealt with all of the injuries.
More Farnsworth: He previews the game here.
ESPN’s Mike Sando details why running back Justin Forsett might not be ready for a starting gig yet.
Vaughn McClure and Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune detail some key matchups in today’s game.
More Pompei: He says Chicago’s blitz percentages defensively are up with Smith calling the defense now.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times says the Bears front office has to be pleasantly surprised with the way this year’s draft class has played. He also offers some keys to the game.
San Francisco 49ers
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says that the Niners will have to figure out a way to get past the Williams’ Wall, Viking defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams.
Kevin Lynch of Niners Insider previews the 49ers-Vikings game.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that the Niners-Vikings contest is the only battle of undefeated teams this week.
Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury says the 49ers will try to steal some of the national spotlight from Minnesota with a win in the Metrodome.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic writes about the Cardinals keeping talented receivers Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald happy in the wake of Fitzgerald’s apparent frustration that he didn’t get the ball enough last week against the Jags.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com previews today’s matchup between the Cardinals and the Colts.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams will finally retire the jersey one of the most feared defensive lineman during his time in the NFL – Deacon Jones. Brian Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the story here.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch breaks down the Rams-Packers game.