The usual suspects
The Seattle Seahawks are at home again this week, welcoming in the New York Jets. The Seahawks are looking to go on a win streak after reversing their recent luck last week in a win over the Minnesota Vikings. The Jets are just looking to keep their head above water as they sink further and further down the AFC ranks.
Last week, the Seahawks must have read this weekly piece I do. Russell Wilson and his wide receivers all stepped up and Marshawn Lynch played the physical game he needed to play in order to help the Seahawks to victory. While Adrian Peterson DID go off, Percy Harvin was an absolute non-factor…and it paid dividends.
This week, the Seahawks face a similar kind of situation that they did last week: a primarily run based team who can eat up the middle of the field with dink and dunk dump passes. The only difference is that they are facing one of the more volatile QB duos in Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
With all that being said, let’s see who must step up this week in order to be victorious over the Jets.
Yet again, Russell Wilsonwill need to play well in this game to give the Seahawks a chance. While they will undoubtedly find success in the run game, they need to utilize Lynch in order to open up the pass game for. That’s where Wilson comes in.
The Jets, despite how overall bad they are, still possess a good pass defense. Need I remind you that a man named Antonio Cromartie is in their secondary? He still has the ability to be lethal when most needed. Russell Wilson can’t overlook that when trying to force passes to Sidney Rice.
Wilson will need to play the same way he has been playing recently and will have to continue to make smart decisions when passing the ball. He will also need to sharpen his spidey senses. If the pocket collapses on him, he must be able to tuck the ball and run.
Despite the fact that he will draw the hardest Jets defender as an assignment, Sidney Rice will need to play a big role in this game. Rice can play that role in 2 different ways depending on how the defense plays him and how he reacts.
Let me explain.
Rice will draw the toughest coverage assignment in the game, most likely Cromartie. Cromartie is a big guy, much like the Legion of Boom. Pete Carroll will definitely test the waters and take a shot or two with that matchup. If Rice can outwit his defender and make the tough catches, they will keep going to him.
If he has difficulty, though, he needs to become a distraction. If Rice can get a couple open looks by beating his coverage, the Jets will have to assign multiple guys to cover him. If that happens, it takes a defender off of someone else, who should in turn be open.
The Jets have a pretty decent pass defense which may force the Seahawks to run the ball a few more times. If that’s the case, then workhorse Marshawn Lynch will have to have another good week on the ground. Most importantly, he has to make it out healthy.
Beast Mode will have to run through a big Jets defensive line, but shouldn’t have too many problems doing so. Either way, he will need to do what he usually does and go off and hurt some defenders with his physical run style.
We all know Chris Clemons will come ready to chase the quarterback. Now we need it from Bruce Irvin. Irvin is going to need to find inventive ways to slip through or around the line and hit Mark Sanchez and/or Tim Tebow as many times as possible.
He will need to stop trying to over power people by bull rushing them and find other ways to use his athleticism to help him break through.
With the Seahawks allowing so many rushing yards on defense, I would normally be worried. But they have Shonn Greene. The game will get out of hand quickly and they will give up on the run. That means it should be a QB feeding frenzy for Irvin all game long.
Mike Morgan will be under the biggest microscope this week. With KJ Wright out with injury this week, Morgan gets to fill in for him. Wright’s position was locked down last week and the Seahawks expect Morgan to keep that up this week.
Morgan will have to fill in some big shoes, as many regard Wright as one of the team’s top defenders. It shouldn’t be too difficult this week, but it WILL be good practice and tryout for potential replacements.
Sanchez may resort to trying to dump it off to Greene or to WR Jeremy Kerley or TE Dustin Keller. Morgan needs to be there to stop it quickly and prevent them from doing it over and over again.