On the road again
The Seattle Seahawks are on the road this week, taking on the Detroit Lions. Both teams are reeling from painful losses to division opponents last week and each is looking to make some moves in their respective divisions.
With lots on the line for both teams, this could be a very physical game – especially with the highlighted matchup between Richard Sherman and Calvin Johnson.
With Detroit in last place in their division and the Seahawks looking to keep up with the 49ers, each team is going to need to step up in big ways to win this game. Detroit is struggling in the first half of games while Seattle is struggling on the road, period.
With many questions needing to be answered after last week, lots of people are going to need to be impressive. How do I pick just 5 Seahawks?
Here are my 5 Seahawks who must impress on Sunday against the Lions.
Richard Sherman is drawing arguably his toughest assignment of his pro career. While Calvin Johnson has been shut out in a lot of games this season, he is still widely known as the top receiver in the league. Sherman has to counter that, much like Chicago’s Charles Tillman did last week to Johnson.
The newly anointed Optimus Prime will need to stay with Megatron step for step the whole game in order to eliminate him from the game. If he can stay in his face and disrupt his route running and bat down incoming passes, this could be Sherman’s best game yet.
It will be no easy task, but if anyone is up to the challenge, it’s Sherman.
Each week, Russell Wilson makes this list. He’s a big part of the offense and needs to be reliable week in and week out. While his numbers last week were ugly, we all know by now that it wasn’t his fault…this time. And he needs to keep it that way. (If things go wrong at all)
Wilson needs to do what Wilson does best in this game – roll out and throw the best possible pass he can. Last week, he put several passes in perfect places but his receivers couldn’t help him out by making the routine catches.
This week, he takes on a Lions secondary that is pretty good against the pass so he will need to thread his passes and avoid making costly mistakes.
This is a message to each eligible Seattle receiver in this game, running backs included. This team CANNOT win games when they make as many errors as they did last week in San Francisco. Dropped passes were the most painful blemish in the game, but it was also evident in the lazy route running (again) and general lack of effort at times.
These Seahawks receivers need to make the best of their opportunities while they come – not only is this team the worst passing offense in the NFL, but with many people already calling for a changing of the guard at the wide receiver position on this team, they could be playing to save their job, not for contract extensions.
I’m calling out Golden Tate specifically this week in addition to the above generalization of the receivers. Along with a terrible drop last week, I was alerted to something absolutely atrocious that would get a lot of players benched.
On a play late in the game, a pass went to Ben Obomanu. Instead of making a key block that would’ve freed Obo to get the first down and more, Tate gingerly gave a defender a push. That defender went on to make the tackled on Obo, short of where they needed to be.
It was as if he was pouting that he is either not getting the ball or that in that particular instance, he didn’t get thrown to. Either way, that lack of effort cost this team. It seems little, but if you look at the big picture, a late game drive would have been extended, giving the team a chance to make a comeback.
The Lions don’t have many weapons offensively right now, so the linebackers get somewhat of a reprieve this week.
Last week, all 3 Detroit running backs fumbled the ball. Nate Burleson went down for the season.
All this team seemingly has left is Calvin Johnson and tight end Brandon Pettigrew.
Pettigrew is a big, athletic tight end and if the Seahawks give the middle of the field yet again, Pettigrew will eat them alive. With Sherman on Johnson, it leaves one more big, key assignment and that is to stick to Pettigrew and not let him own the middle of the field on them.