Five Keys to the Seahawks Winning


I felt good about the Seattle Seahawks’ chances to beat the New Orleans Saints last Sunday. Not bet the house good, but good. There were five key things I felt the Seahawks need to do to win that game. Included were the following:

Establish and maintain good field position.

Do not turn the ball over.

Limit penalties.

Do not fall behind early.

The Seahawks failed miserably on every one of those counts early against the Saints. Olindo Mare put the opening kickoff out of bounds, which gave the Saints great field position at their own 40 to start the game. The subsequent drive led to a field goal. On the Seahawks’ first possession, Matt Hasselbeck threw an interception that gave the Saints the ball on the Seattle 35. That drive, which included two defensive penalties, resulted in a touchdown. Less than nine minutes into the game, and the Seahawks were down 10-0.

It could have been easy to throw in the towel and phone it in, like they did against the New York Giants. Yet this game had a different aura around it. However, the offense needed to score on the next possession or the game could have gotten totally out of hand. The Saints’ refusal to kick to Leon Washington early in the game was a costly mistake for them. A short kickoff gave the Seahawks the ball on their own 43. The offense went into high gear, scoring on six of their next seven possessions to take a 34-20 lead midway through the third quarter.

After those first two scoring drives, the Seahawks kept the Saints pinned back. Six of the Saints’ final eleven drives began inside their own 20 yard line; ten of the eleven inside the 30. The Saints’ average starting field position for those drives was their own 21 yard line. Conversely, for the game, the Seahawks never started a drive inside their 20, with the average starting field position being their own 40.

After the first drive, the Seahawks didn’t turn the ball over for the rest of the game. The Seahawks had six penalties for the game, only two after the first quarter, and NONE by the offense! They fell behind early, but charged back behind Matt Hasselbeck’s finest game ever and, of course, Marshawn Lynch.

This leads into the fifth thing I felt the Seahawks needed to do. They needed to run the ball. The Seahawks are now 6-1 when they rush for over 100 yards, which they did in Week 6 in Chicago and will have to do again to beat the Bears this Sunday.

I feel good about the Seahawks’ chances to win this week. My five keys remain the same. We’ll see how it plays out. It should be a fun game.