Seahawks Insider Blog

5 keys to Hawks vs. Vikings

I’m getting ready to head down I-5 to CenturyLink Field. We’ll have a live game chat today hosted by Doug Pacey and myself beginning at 6:45 p.m., so check in if you are not at the game tonight.

Here are five things to look for in tonight’s game against Minnesota.

Tempo for Tarvaris: I think offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will really look to get quarterback Tarvaris Jackson in a rhythm tonight. And with Sidney Rice and Mike Williams in the starting lineup, expect Jackson to play a half, with some short timing routes, screens, slants – along with a heavy dose of the running game – used to keep Minnesota’s defense off-balance. I think we’ll also see Jackson on the move more with rollouts and naked bootlegs. It’s important for Jackson to play well and gain some confidence in his first game at home, so look for Pete Carroll to put him in the best position possible.

Ground and pound: I don’t expect Marshawn Lynch to play much again in this second game. The Seahawks know what he can do. Still, I expect Seattle to continue to focus on developing the run game. They got off to a good start last week, running for 133 yards against San Diego, so let’s see if they can build off of that. So far, John Moffitt and James Carpenter look like they can get a consistent push in the run game. And we should see more of Leon Washington tonight.

Create some turnovers: One of Carroll’s sayings is “It’s all about the ball.” Well, the Seahawks forced just one turnover against San Diego last week, a sack and forced fumble by rookie defensive end Pierre Allen and recovered by Pep Levingston late in the game. And that’s one of the staples Seattle wants to develop on defense. So I’m looking for Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and others on that first unit defense to create some explosive plays.Red Bryant unleashed: We got a glimpse of what defensive end Red Bryant can do again when healthy and motivated during practice on Thursday. I expect to see a couple explosive plays from the Texas A&M product, who will get his first action since knee surgery in October of last year. Bryant is a key part of Seattle’s defense, and they need to see what he brings to the table today.

A healthy Mike Williams: The big-play receiver has been dinged up during camp, but he should excel with Sidney Rice on the other side of him. I want to see him consistently take advantage of the No. 2 corner on Minnesota’s defense and be a dominating presence in the passing game.

Other players to watch: WR Golden Tate, WR Doug Baldwin, WR Ricardo Lockette, DE Jameson Konz, DB Brandon Browner, S Atari Bigby, K Jeff Reed, LB K.J. Wright, TE Anthony McCoy, LT Tyler Polumbus, S Mark LeGree.