Good morning. The weather calls for breezy conditions with rain and temperatures in the 40s this afternoon at CenturyLink Field, so dress appropriately if you’re headed out to the game today.
Here’s five keys for the Seattle Seahawks as they take on Washington in the beginning of a three-game stretch at home.
Protect Tarvaris: Washington has one of the best pass rush tandems in the league with edge rushers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. The Redskins have 31 sacks on the year, tied for second in the league, while the Seahawks are playing with a makeshift line and giving up 34 sacks on the year, tied for second-most in the league. So it will be important for right guard Paul McQuistan and right tackle Breno Giacomini to communicate, move their feet in pass protection and play together well in order to protect quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.
Play with intensity: One of the things I think Seattle has done well during the past, couple weeks is play at a high intensity level, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. But playing against 3-7 Washington – losers of six straight – Seattle could be a little overconfident and might not bring their A game today. Head coach Pete Carroll needs to make sure his players are in the right frame of mind.
Feed the beast: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Seahawks have averaged 136 yards on the ground the past, three weeks. Washington allows 117 rushing yards a game on the ground, so we should see a steady diet of Marshawn Lynch getting the ball again this afternoon.
Win the turnover battle: The Seahawks have done a nice job defensively in this area the past, two weeks, forcing six turnovers in the last two games. Seattle has a -8 turnover differential in its six losses, and a +7 turnover differential in the team’s four wins. So turnovers will be a determining factor again in this one.
Score in the red zone: The Seahawks are 48.15 percent in the red zone, tied for 30th overall. For some perspective, Green Bay is second in the league in red zone scoring at 63 percent, so Seattle could be more efficient when they get inside an opponent’s 20-yard line. The Seahawks need to get into the end zone instead of settling for field goals.
Here’s my game advance for today, focusing on Washington’s ability to rush the passer.
Christian Caple of Seattlepi.com provides five things to watch in today’s game.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com previews the game here.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times offers some keys to the game.
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post writes that the Seahawks are reversing a trend of adding smaller safeties who can cover with the success of Kam Chancellor.
Mike Jones of the Washington Post provides five storylines to watch for the Redskins, including how healthy the offensive line will be today.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes the Seattle is assembling a defense that is a force to be reckoned with.