Seahawks Insider Blog

Seahawks' key to beating the Giants today: Run well on early downs with Marshawn Lynch

Russell Wilson was "mic'd up" on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown show this morning. At one point after an errant throw in his 17-for-35 passing day -- only his sixth sub-.500 game of his career -- Wilson is shown on the Seahawks' bench asking offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell "What am I doing wrong?"

--For those not in the Seattle area game day here has dawned wet with off-and-on rain. The forecast for this afternoon at CenturyLink Field is temperatures in the mid-50s with a 50-80-percent chance of rain showers beginning during the game's second half, much like last weekend's home win over the Raiders.

Expect Kam Chancellor to be out today for the second consecutive game with a groin injury, on top of bone spurs in his an, kles and whatever else pains a thudding, veteran strong safety eight games into a regular season. Before this Chancellor had missed just one game in his career, in 2011 against Atlanta when he was also injured and Atari Bigby (!) started for him.

Today, Jeron Johnson is poised to make the first start of his four-year career for Chancellor at safety next to Earl Thomas, who may have to do more of the traffic-cop directing he did last week against Oakland.

--If you missed it yesterday the Seahawks activated nickle back Jeremy Lane off its injured-reserve-to-return list and put reserve center Stephen Schilling on season-ending IR.

--Join TNT columnist Dave Boling, the TNT's Kenny Via and me for the News Tribune's weekly live chat from the press box today beginning at 12:45 p.m. Pacific Time here on the blog, at blog.newstribune.com/seahawks.

--Here's my SEAHAWKS GAMEDAY capsule that appears in today's News Tribune:

NEW YORK GIANTS (3-5) AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-3)

1:25 p.m., CenturyLink Fie

TV: Channel 13 Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM

The series: New York leads the all-time series 9-7. The Seahawks have won the last two meetings, in 2013 and ’11 both in New Jersey’s Meadowlands, and have won four of the last five meetings in Seattle daring to 1986. The lone Giants’ win in Seattle in the last 22 years came in 2010, 41-7 during Pete Carroll’s first months leading the Seahawks.

SEATTLE’S KEYS TO VICTORY

Use the return of Unger, Okung wisely: The Seahawks are getting 40 percent of their starting offensive line back today. Even when fully healthy the line hasn’t consistently pass blocked well at all for Russell Wilson. Maybe not so much today – New York is 22nd in sacks per game – but definitely in the six, season-defining games that begin next week at Kansas City, Seattle needs to give Wilson more time to diversify the offense beyond Marshawn Lynch runs and screen passes.

Run it well on first down: Seattle has been near the bottom of the league most of this season in third-down conversions, but has improved the last two games. Not randomly, the Seahawks have won both those games. Running Lynch on first down consistently has proven to set up the offense for more manageable third downs on which coordinator Darrell Bevell can use more of his vast playbook. Don’t forget about No. 24 on first downs so third downs will be easier.

Hammer down early: The Giants spent all week listening to how their season is over, how they have no heart, how this today is Mission: Impossible way out here. So the Seahawks need to bury them right away, to snuff any hope they’ve mustered amid all their negativity. Momentum is clearly on Seattle’s side going into the game. The Seahawks need to keep it that way, right away.

The pick: Seahawks, 31-14. Yes, nothing’s easy for Seattle this season. But the return of Unger and Okung will help immensely on offense. And the defense will make New York one dimensional.

PRIME NUMBERS

SEATTLE

No.  Name                    Pos.     Ht.        Wt.       Year

60    Max Unger             C          6-5        305       sixth

Seattle’s O-line has been so bad recently the return of its anchor can be nothing but good.

23    Jeron Johnson       SS        5-10      212       fourth

Poised for 1st career start with Chancellor still aching. NY TE Larry Donnell will target him.

88    Tony Moeaki          TE        6-3        252       fifth

Former Chief impressed new team in 1st practice Wednesday, catching down the middle.

NEW YORK

No.   Name                   Pos.     Ht.        Wt.       Year

13     Odell Beckham     WR       5-11      198       rookie

Carroll loved him coming out of LSU. Will test Seattle’s DBs as NYG’s deep threat with Cruz out.

90    Jason Pierre-Paul   DE       6-5        268       fifth  

NY’s top sack man challenged teammates this week to show more heart. So he’ll bring his.

21    D. Rodgers-Cromartie CB   6-2        193       seventh

Veteran is banged up but still is a ball hawk. Seahawks may challenge to see how healthy he is.

  Comments