Keys to success
Last week the Seattle Seahawks lost for the first time this season. It wasn’t one of those games where the team was outmatched; it was one of those games where the team was outplayed.
Those losses are the ones that tend to stick with a team and the players.
The real question is whether the Seahawks will use that fire to destroy the Titans on Sunday, or if they will let the fire consume them and lose a very winnable game at home. These are the moments that define a football team.
The Titans aren’t a bad program. In fact, they do several things well on both sides of the ball. It will be up to the Seahawks to attack their weaknesses and minimize their strengths.
For the most part, I think Seattle has the personnel to accomplish the task.
This week, Max Unger should be back at center. The Seahawks need him in there making the line calls if they have any hope to keep Russell Wilson off his back. The Titans can definitely bring pressure, so the line will have its work cut out for it this week.
Tennessee’s secondary does a nice job defending the field.
They fly around making plays and are an excellent perimeter tackling team. Not good news for the Seahawks, who like to run a lot of screen plays.
I suggest that Darrell Bevell attacks the middle of the field with a depth of between 10-15 yards from the line of scrimmage. That has been the Titans’ weakness defending the passing game.
Where the Seahawks can really do damage is in the running game. If Marshawn Lynch tries to run the ball outside, they will swarm him and he will go nowhere. However, if Lynch and company run the ball straight at the Titans, there will be a lot of yardage to be had.
It’s A Big Field
Russell Wilson should also have some room to run. It’s true that the Titans can bring some pressure, but they often leave open running lanes for a quarterback like Wilson.
On the defensive side of the ball, it is all about being physical. The Titans are a finesse team and their receivers don’t do well with contact. Watching them play this season, I noticed that they get banged up a lot. The Legion of Boom likes to bring the boom, so the Seahawks should have no problem in that department.
There will be a lot of underneath routes by the Titans’ offense — thats where they do the most damage. The Seahawks must find a way to make them pay for every reception.
It’s okay to give up a bunch of short completions early if the Seahawks tackle well and punish the receivers. But if the Seahawks’ defense doesn’t tackle well, the Titans have the ability to take those short-yardage passes to the house.
Chris Johnson has not had a lot of room to run inside this season. I don’t expect that to change Sunday. Where he can hurt the Seahawks is if they fail to contain the backside of the runs. He definitely has the speed to change directions and burn a defense.
Johnson will also look to bounce the ball outside and turn the corner. It will be up to the Seahawks to set the edge and force him back inside to the heart of the defense.
If the Seahawks can break out to an early lead, Ryan Fitzpatrick will try too hard and literally throw the game away.
Until then, the Seahawks’ defense needs to contain him.
He isn’t know as a running quarterback, but last week he pulled the ball down and ran it six times for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Keys to the game:
- Protect Russell Wilson
- Pound the ball straight at the Titans defense
- Attack the middle of the field in the passing game
- Russell Wilson’s legs
- Be physical
- Contain Chris Johnson
- Contain Ryan Fitzpatrick
If the Seahawks accomplish the majority of the keys, they will beat the Titans at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. I expect that’s exactly what we will see.
To be honest, I feel a bit sorry for Tennessee. Seattle has been on the road for two weeks and is coming off a disappointing loss. I fully expect it to play inspired football and beat the Titans easily.
Seahawks win 35-13 with one touchdown coming from either the defense or special teams.