Good morning from the Big Easy. It’s a perfect day outside, and should be sunny and in the 70s for game time, but of course none of that matters because we will be inside in the Superdome for the game.
Before we get started with the five keys, I wanted to alert you to our story today on the Trufant family, and sons Marcus, Isaiah and Desmond, who are all playing cornerback at elite levels of football.
Of course you know Marcus, who plays cornerback for the Seahawks. Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald had some interesting things to say about their relationship, which you can check out here.
But most don’t realize that middle brother Isaiah has developed into a pretty good player himself for the Las Vegas Locomotives in the United Football League, where he leads the league in interceptions.
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And youngest brother Desmond also has followed in Marcus’ footsteps, playing defensive back for the Washington Huskies.
Check out this video by our Joe Barrentine, our New Media producer, on the Trufant Family’s journey to stardom.
Here’s five keys for Marcus and the rest of the Seahawks as they take on the Saints this afternoon.
Get Marshawn in “Beast Mode”: I think they need Marshawn Lynch to have a big game running the ball today, close to 100 yards to have a chance. With the way New Orleans pressures the ball, there should be some opportunities for big plays in the running game, and the hope is the return of Russel Okung helps them get a push up front.
It’s all about the ball: It’s a standard deal when you’re on the road that you can’t make a lot of mistakes to get a win. And it’s certainly been the case for Seattle this season – they are +9 in turnover ratio in their five wins and -8 in their four losses. And New Orleans has turned the ball over this 17 times this season, and have a -4 turnover ratio on the year.
Mouse in the house: New Orleans cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter are a pretty talented corners, but they also are six inches shorter than Seattle 6-5 receiver Mike Williams. This should be a matchup the Seahawks try to use to their advantage on the outside, with slants and back shoulder throws.
Pressure Brees: The Seahawks played a lot more coverage against Eli Manning a couple weeks ago and he picked them apart. Part of the reason Seattle did that was because the offense could not move the ball and they got down early. There’s certainly a risk in pressuring Drew Brees, because it’s opens up the possibility of giving up big plays. But I think Seattle needs to force the issue on defense and not be passive.
Wrap-up: The Saints have some explosive players on offense, led by the return of running back Reggie Bush, so Seattle needs to make sure they stay disciplined, make firm tackle and rally to the ball to contain big plays.
John Czarnecki of Fox Sports is reporting that although it will be a game-time decision, it is unlikely that Bush will play today. That’s different from what I have been reading leading up to today’s game.
Dave Boling of The News Tribune says the Saints will provide a tough barometer for Seattle.
Ben Malcolmson of Seahawks.com reports that the team had a special guest at their meeting last night -- Will Ferrell.
Go-To-Guy Jim Moore says the Seahawks will be competitive, but predicts a 24-20 Saints win.
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post lists Matt Hasselbeck among his top 10 leaders at the quarterback position.
Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune breaks down the game.