5 keys to victory: Redskins at Seahawks
Here’s the 5 things ill be watching for the Seahawks to send the Skins home with a loss.
1: Protect Tjack.
The Redskins come in tied for second in the league in sacks with 31, behind only Baltimore(38) that has played one more game, and collected 9 in that game. They have 4 players with at least 4.5 sacks each. Ryan Kerrigan, 6, Brian Orakpo, 5.5, Adam Carriker, 5, and Stephen Bowen, 4.5. Orakpo and Kerrigan are both linebackers, showing the ability to get pressure from both levels of the defense. Tjack and Max Unger are going to have to be on top of identifying blitzes and making sure the line picks them up, or Tjack is in for a long day. I expect Pete to keep tight ends in and to chip linebackers with running backs coming out of the backfield. This game has the leagues tenth best pass defense in Washington, going against the 25th ranked pass offense in Seattle. Look for Tjack to have a low yards per attempt, but a high completion percentage as I expect a lot of check down throws due to being pressured. I suspect this could be a tough game for the right side, especially Mcquistan. Hopefully Pete stays committed to the run the way he has in the past three weeks, this should help keep the pass rush at bay.
2: Keep rolling on Defense:
Seattle’s defense is allowing 333 yards per game, good for 11th in the NFL, as well as ranking 13th in takeaways. Over the past six games, dating back to the New York Giants game before the bye week, only one team in the NFL has forced more turnovers than the 15 Seattle’s defense has caused, Thanks to @hawkblogger for that tid bit. Washington has also allowed 30 sacks this season, ranking 26th, and 70 Qb hits, only better than Seattle and St. Louis. The way Clemons looked against St. Louis, I expect another nice game from him. I suspect that Qbs are starting to get the hint that Kam Chancellor is a big time hitter, and that he’s not going to back down. They will have to start thinking twice about throwing to their receivers over the middle of the field, which might be all the time Chris Clemons needs to get some pressure. This defense is on its way to gaining the hard nosed, bullying reputation every fan salivates over.
3: Run the ball:
Washington is allowing over 4 yards per carry this season, 18th overall in the league. Seattle is averaging only 3.7 yards per carry throughout this season, a figure that should improve against this team. With the new found commitment to the running game, I would love to see the Hawks run over 30 times Sunday. Through time and commitment, this running game should start coming together. Pete can’t let the offensive line injuries limit his dedication to running the ball, Tjack could tear his peck and be lost for the season on any given throw, further hampering the gelling of this young team.
4: Keep coachin’ em up:
Pete Carroll contained his aggressive, rah rah approach to football last week on several occasions. I get the feel that he is starting to really trust this defense (and should) to stop opposing teams, or even get the ball back consistently. This is a trademark of most successful football teams. You won’t see the Steelers, Pats, Packers, or Saints trying franchise record field goals, starting an inept backup qb when the starter is health enough to play, or leaving points on the filed as time expires very often, but I digress. Pete needs to keep his emotions in check and give this defense a chance to win close games and not give the opponent the opportunity run away with games because of bad decisions. I feel this defense is giving him that opportunity.
5: The 12th man:
Anyone who is lucky enough to be a regular part of the 12th man at the Clink needs to be heard. You are a major factor to team’s game planning, and you FINALLY have a hard hitting dominating defense to scream about!!!! SO BE LOUD, BE PROUD, AND GO SEAHAWKS!!!!!!