Seahawks Insider Blog

5 keys for Hawks vs. Broncos

Seattle Seahawks players had their pre-game meal and went through a short, walk-through meeting here at the hotel in Denver before leaving for Sport Authority Field in a few minutes.

It’s pretty hot here, about 90 degrees, and we are expected to have thunderstorms later this evening.

Here’s five keys for the Seahawks heading into their final dress rehearsal again Denver this evening

Score: I thought we’d keep it simple, since the first unit offense has not got on the scoreboard yet in nine drives over two preseason games, including the inability to punch the ball into the end zone on first and goal from the 2-yard line against Minnesota last week. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson needs to show control of the offense, and to move the team down the field and finish drives.

Play a clean game: Coach Pete Carroll was particularly disappointed with all the penalties his team had last week – eight in the first half, including a head-scratching personal foul penalty on linebacker Aaron Curry. So he’d like to see the miscues cleaned up against Denver.

Defensive pressure: Seattle have four sacks in two games, and only two of those – one by Raheem Brock and one by Jimmy Wilkerson – have occurred with the starters in the game. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley would like to get more pressure this season from the front four, and the Seahawks blitzed more in the second game against Minnesota. So let’s see what kind of pressure they can generate against Kyle Orton.

Get a push in the run game: Tom Cable can’t be pleased with the 3.8 yards per carry Seattle is averaging on the ground so far. The Seahawks want to establish a consistent ability to run the ball, particularly on early downs. So look for the Seahawks to see what Leon Washington and Justin Forsett can do with Marshawn Lynch sitting this one out with a sore ankle. Tyler Polumbus and Robert Gallery on the left side of the line in particular need to play better in the run game.

Stay healthy: With the compressed time schedule one of the overriding goals for Carroll is keeping his guys healthy for the regular-season opener at San Francisco in two weeks. It’s why DE Chris Clemons and WR Ben Obomanu have not played until tonight, and also why the team is taking a cautious approach with OT Russell Okung and DE Red Bryant. So look for Carroll to get his starters out of the game early in the third quarter once he feels they’ve gotten enough work done.

Players to watch tonight: S Josh Pinkard, LB K.J. Wright, WR Golden Tate, WR Doug Baldwin, S Jeron Johnson, S Atari Bigby, S Mark LeGree, TE Anthony McCoy, QB Tarvaris Jackson, WR Mike Williams, WR Sidney Rice and CB Walter Thurmond.