Seahawks keys to victory
For the second time in franchise history the Seattle Seahawks will play in the NFC Championship game at home. On January 22, 2006, at 3:30 PT Seattle hosted the Carolina Panthers in Qwest Field (Now CenturyLink).
The 2005 Seahawks jumped out to an early 17-0 lead on the Panthers and never looked backed.
The Seahawks won the game 34-14 in front of 67,837 screaming fans.
Fast forward eight years and the 2013 Seahawks will host the San Francisco 49ers on January 19, 2014, at 3:30 PT (PS. That’s today). Interestingly it is the same time slot as the 2006 game. Even more interestingly the game will be held on Walter Jones’s Birthday and be the final game played before Jones is selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This years championship game is likely to be much closer. Both teams know each-other extremely well and have great defenses with questionable offenses.
Many times Russell Wilson has indicated that he wants to win multiple Super Bowls as the Seahawks quarterback. That is great to hear but hard to accomplish. As simple as it sounds, in order to win Super Bowls you have to be able to perform on the big stage.
In other words this is the time where he needs to step up and take control of the game.
The last several weeks he has been inconsistent. He’s thrown incompletions on third down forcing a punt when he could have easily used his feet to keep a drive going, he’s thrown balls behind receivers and also not seen open receivers as of late.
On Sunday he will need to be the Russell Wilson we saw during the second half of the Falcons game last post season. I’m not saying that he has to throw for 300-yards and run all over the place. What he needs to do is make plays when they present themselves.
Wilson is going to need some help though. It would have been nice to have Percy Harvin in the game but unfortunately Pete Carroll stated on Friday that Harvin was not going to be ready in time for the game.
Seattle’s wide receivers have complained about not getting enough credit during the season. No offense to them but they haven’t exactly proved their critics wrong with their play on their field. On Sunday they need to get consistent separation when they are in one on one situation and find soft spots in zone coverage.
They will see those opportunities more often than not because the 49ers will likely stack the box often to limit Marshawn Lynch‘s impact on the game.
Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, and Jermaine Kearse need to make the 49ers pay for not respecting them enough to keep an extra player or two in coverage when they stack the box. Every opportunity must be taken advantage of because the Seahawks will only throw the ball between 20-25 times during the game.
The defense has been the strength of the Seahawks all season and it is going to need to be again on Sunday. Last week, as good as the defense was, they missed opportunities to make big time plays.
If the Legion of Boom desires to be listed among the great defense like the “Purple People Eaters” and the “Steel Curtain” they must make those game changing plays on Sunday.
This big time game is going to come down to big time players making big time plays in big time moments. The Seahawks are going to need to make the plays they missed against the Saints last week in order to earn the trip to New Jersey.
I predict a very close game that is hard fought across the board. These are the best two teams in the NFL squaring off to see who can call themselves NFC Champions.
One will stay on the field and celebrate while the other starts planning their vacations.
This game is a coin flip. The Seahawks seems to have a quiet confidence about them that could really help them settle into their game early. That and the fact that they have the 12th man in their corner leads me to give them the slight edge in this game.
Don’t just assume we are going to be loud on Sunday, we need to be the loudest we have been all season.
Seahawks win 17-13.