Good morning. I’m heading out to Qwest Field, but wanted to provide my five keys to the game for the Hawks to take care of business against visiting Kansas City.
Play stout up front defensively: While saying their replacements have played admirably, Hawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu admitted Seattle’s run defense has not been the same since Colin Cole and Red Bryant went down with injuries. And with Kansas City’s No. 1- ranked run offense rumbling into town, the Seahawks need improved play up front from guys like Junior Siavii, Brandon Mebane and Kentwan Balmer.
Get Forsett some touches: This will be the fifth, 3-4 defensive front Seattle’s faces this season. And Forsett has rushed for 255 yards on 50 carries for a 5.1 per-carry average against 3-4 teams. So perhaps Seattle’s should lean on the quick feet of Forsett against a defensive front that he seems to read well.
Time for Obo to shine: If receiver Mike Williams does not play, Ben Obomanu will face some added pressure to make some plays, particularly on third downs to help move the chains. So let’s see if Obomanu can step up his game even more in his third start.
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Hawthorne Heats up: Linebacker David Hawthorne finished with a team-high 12 tackles against New Orleans and also had an interception. He seems to finally be more comfortable in his new role as the Will linebacker and starting to make more game-changing plays. That needs to continue for Seattle to play well defensively.
A good day for Ryan: With a likely emphasis on the run game today, field position will be critical. So the Seahawks will need a good performance from punter Jon Ryan on a wet day to help control field position, along with the punt coverage unit.
My story focuses on the play of another Pete Carroll protégé, Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel, who is doing a nice job of managing the Chiefs’ run-oriented offense.
Dave Boling of The News Tribune says these Seahawks must be hard to game plan for because a new player emerges from the lineup to make an impact each week.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says stopping the run will be priority No. 1 for Seattle.
Kent Baab of the Kansas City Star writes that defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has been a difference maker in turning the Chiefs’ defense around.
Matt Bowen of the National Football Post says Denver coach Josh McDaniels getting caught videotaping San Francisco’s walkthrough practice while in London is just the tip of the iceberg of the bending of the rules that is going on in the NFL.