Good morning from cloudy Tampa Bay. We had a little rain last night and the temperature is expected to be in the 50s, so not exactly the sun and warmth we were expecting in Florida today.
But let’s take a look at a couple if things the Seahawks need to do to get a win today.
A fast start: Hawks head coach Pete Carroll admitted that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck plays better when Seattle is ahead and he feels like he doesn’t need to press. Seattle has been outscored 81-46 in the first quarter. Getting off to a quick start would help ease some pressure on the offense to keep up with a pretty explosive Tampa Bay offense.
Give Lynch the ball: Let’s keep it simple – If Marshawn Lynch gets 20 carries I think Seattle wins. Lynch has twice had at least 20 carries for Seattle this season against Arizona at Qwest Field and against Carolina. And guess what? Seattle won both of those games.
Feed Big Mike: Along with a steady diet of handoffs to Lynch, the Seahawks offense should feature some quick throws to Mike Williams on Tampa Bay’s smaller corners. Forget the deep stuff. Stop routes, slants, back shoulder fades. Feed Williams the ball in his return to his hometown of Tampa and create some offensive balance.
Wrap-up: The defense needs to continue what they started against Atlanta’s Michael Turner, make sure to wrap-up and get 11 hats to the ball. Guys like LeGarrette Blunt, Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow can make plays in space for Tampa Bay if Seattle lets them. So make sure they get the ball carrier to the ground.
No penalties: Seattle is in the top 10 in the league in accepted penalties against them, and they have come during crucial moments of the game to either stall drives or help continue opponents’ drives. The Seahawks need to play more disciplined and not give the Bucs extra help.
My story today focuses on Hasselbeck and how he can make a case for a return to Seattle next season by playing well in these last two games.
Doug Farrar of Sportspressnw.com writes that the Hawks are patching things together at defensive end with Red Bryant and Junior Siavii out.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times catches up with former Seahawks defensive end Patrick Kerney, in his first year of business school at Columbia University.
Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports previews the Hawks game in the video below.
Christian Caple of Seattlepi.com offers five things to watch in today’s game.
Rich Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times says Tampa Bay’s offense needs to play big with the defense banged up. The Bucs have five defensive starters on IR.
Rick Brown of the Lakeland Ledger writes that Seattle’s Justin Forsett is no ordinary athlete.
Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune says the burden is on Tampa Bay’s offense to perform well today.
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post offers some thoughts on defensive ends to watch for the 2011 draft.