The Seattle Seahawks have not had good luck against the Dallas Cowboys ever since the famed Wild Card game with the fumble heard ’round the world between the two teams. Since that game, Seattle has had to travel to Dallas for each matchup.
This time…Dallas comes back to Seattle where Tony Romo is probably still having nightmares about.
After last week’s loss to Arizona, Seattle has a lot to improve on if they want to have even a slight chance in this game.
There are so many players that will need to step up this week that it was hard to choose just 5. With parts of both the offense and defense needing help, plenty of guys will need to impress this week to beat the Cowboys.
Here are my top 5 players (or groups of players) who must impress this weekend against Dallas.
The offensive line
Last week, it was hard for Russell Wilson to do much of anything. It’s hard to stand in the pocket and deliver solid passes when you’re constantly running for your life. That’s exactly what happened to Wilson against the Cardinals.
With J.R. Sweezy being replaced with John Moffitt, the Seahawks are hoping the line will be shored up just a little bit more at least this week. Russell Okung had way too many false starts last week and needs to avoid being jumpy off the line.
If the Seahawks offense is going to get going, it all starts with the offensive line.
The defensive line
Using the same point about successfully being able to pass the ball, the defense has to put pressure on the opposing quarterback to stop him from getting off quality passes. Last week, the Seahawks lacked putting pressure on Arizona quarterbacks and we see how that worked against the Seahawks.
Chris Clemons was the only Seahawk to register a sack in the game and very rarely did the team get into the backfield to pressure Kevin Kolb or John Skelton.
They need Bruce Irvin to learn quickly on how to get through the offensive line without trying to bull rush every play. With his limited experience at DE, he is already somewhat of a liability on the field. When he tries to go through people, he gets shut down.
He needs to learn alternative ways to get past the 300+ pound linemen stopping him every single play.
If him and Jason Jones, along with Clemons, can pressure Tony Romo this week, the Seahawks can force several errors that go in their direction.
The Seahawks linebackers played poorly last week. While they were part of several plays and made many tackles, the coverage in the middle of the field was porous at best. It almost reminded me of Aaron Curry being in the game again.
The linebackers need to shore up the middle of the field to avoid short passes and dump passes, because the Cowboys dismantled the Giants by playing that style of offense.
Their run defense was superb, but the ability for Seahawk opponents to drop passes in the middle of the field to running backs, tight ends and slot receivers will essentially nickel and dime this team into allowing anybody to march down the field with ease on them.
The linebackers need to shore up their pass defense or there will a lot of wide open passes down the middle Sunday.
When the Seahawks first signed Braylon Edwards, I was not happy with the move. From his troubled past, I wasn’t sure he would work out. After seeing his progress is mini camp and during the preseason, though, I was thoroughly impressed and thought to be proven wrong.
Then week 1 came.
Edwards route running was poor at best, not giving Russell Wilson many chances to make good plays because he refused to get open.
When Edwards saw Wilson scrambling for his life, instead of trying to get away from his defender to help Wilson out, he stood there and watched the poor guy run for his life and ultimately throw the ball away.
The Seahawks are desperate for a #2 receiver and between Edwards had the in to be that guy. He NEEDS to improve his route running and stop being lazy on plays in order to help this team in any way.
I singled out Russell Okung in the offensive line category, but he made me so mad last week he gets his own, too. Okung racked up several false starts last week going against Cardinals linebacker Sam Acho.
Okung is our best blocker and allowed a lower tiered linebacker scare him into multiple false starts to get the jump on him.
Not only that, but Okung’s lower body seems to be made of glass.
It’s as if he hurts himself each time he hits the turf.
Okung needs to step his game up personally in a big way. The line needs his leadership and skill to help set the tone.
When he is committing the most penalties and coming out of the game with injury, he is absolutely no good to this team.
Okung needs to settle down and do what he does best. When he plays well, it will set the tone for the rest of the guys who usually follow his lead.
If not, I hope Russell Wilson got plenty of rest this week, because he may be running a marathon again Sunday.