The Seahawks’ first game day of November dawned with light snow in Seattle. Nothing sticking in the city here, just wet and cold. A 50-percent chance of rain or snow showers during the game against the beaten-up Washington Redskins at CenturyLink Field, with the temperature maybe making it to 40 degrees.
That’s weather that is conducive to the Seahawks making good on coaches’ vows this past week to run Eddie Lacy more. We’ll see.
Earl Thomas will not play because of his pulled hamstring. Bradley McDougald will make his first Seattle start, at free safety.
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I wrote for Sunday’s News Tribune about the origins of Paul Richardson’s burst of touchdown catches, and why quarterback Russell Wilson trusts the fourth-year wide receiver more to throw the ball to him this season.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (3-4) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-2)
Sunday, 1:05 p.m., CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Line: Seahawks by 7.
TV: Channel 13 Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM
The series: Washington leads the series 11-5. On Oct. 6, 2014, in the last meeting, the Seahawks ended a six-game losing streak in the regular season against Washington that went back to 1998 with a 27-17 win in suburban D.C. Seattle has won the last two home games against the Redskins, both in the playoffs, in January 2006 and January 2008. The Seahawks’ last regular-season home win over the Redskins is Sept. 20, 1998, 24-14. Ricky Watters ran for 136 yards to offset Hall of Famer Warren Moon’s rare inaccurate passing day (16 for 33) in the Kingdome.
SEATTLE’S KEYS TO VICTORY
Is Lacy the man?: Eddie Lacy hasn’t been yet this season (108 yards in the five games he’s played). But someone has to get Seattle’s running game going. The 16 carries for 5 yards the backs got last weekend against Houston will not get the Seahawks deep into the playoffs. Wilson’s passing and running by himself can win home games in October and November. It can’t get the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. So the coaches have vowed to give the ball more to Lacy first and keep him in for more than a couple tries in this one. They need results.
Beat the beaten-up guys, get to Cousins: Three of Washington’s five starting offensive linemen missed multiple practice days this past week, including standout tackle Trent Williams. Kirk Cousins (13 touchdowns, four interceptions) is having another strong season. But he doesn’t typically extend plays for as long or as exquisitely as Texans rookie Deshaun Watson did against Seattle last weekend. The Seahawks had a season-high five sacks against Watson. Michael Bennett, Frank Clark, Dwight Freeney and friends could get as many or more against Cousins if they can pound an already beaten-up line.
Unleash the linebackers: Washington’s best offensive threat this season has been third-down running back Chris Thompson (31 catches, three for touchdowns). He’s small (5 feet 8) and hard for most to tackle once he gets the ball in space. Seattle is uniquely equipped to stop him, with All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and Pro Bowl outside linebacker K.J. Wright. Wagner has been resting a sore hamstring, but if he’s on his game he can take away the Redskins’ favorite weapon.
The pick: Seahawks, 27-13. This is a beaten-up Washington team. The Seahawks’ defense is still ticked how Houston shredded it last weekend. Seattle gangs up on Kirk Cousins and makes the visitors’ offense inert for a fifth consecutive victory.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year
76 Duane Brown LT 6-4 315 10th
If he’s 315 pounds, I’m Vince Lombardi. Mammoth addition to O-line, a 3-time Pro Bowler, makes his Seattle debut.
27 Eddie Lacy RB 5-11 250 fifth
May be his last chance to prove he should be the lead runner in an offense that really needs one
50 K.J. Wright LB 6-4 246 seventh
Chris Thompson is coming his way on pass routes outside. He’s handled them before.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year
25 Chris Thompson RB 5-8 191 fourth
Team’s leading rusher and receiver is short and tough to tackle. His offense has gone through him.
24 Josh Norman CB 6-0 190 sixth
Still can take away one-third of the field from passing games with exquisite coverage.
91 Ryan Kerrigan LB 6-4 259 seventh
6 sacks in 7 games off the weak side. Russell Wilson calls him "one of the best players in football for several years now."