Oct 14, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (81) and long snapper Clint Gresham (49) react to defeating the New England Patriots at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated New England 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
Today the Seahawks face a team that is a mess offensively (27th in the league in yards per game) and not nearly as good as it used to be on defense (16th in yardage) and they get to face them at home. They say there are no easy wins in the NFL but this is a win the Seahawks have to get if they have any serious playoff aspirations. While it’s true the Jets aren’t just going to roll over for them, Seattle is the superior team and personally I don’t think it’s close. Let’s take a look at some of today’s deciding matchups.
Matchup #1: Chris Clemons vs. D’Brickashaw Ferguson
Clemons have an impressive 7 sacks through the first 9 games of the season and although a great deal of that was concentrated in the Green Bay game he looks on track for a third consecutive double digit sack campaign. Clemons has been quiet over his last 3 games with only 4 tackles and no sacks and he might be in tough again today. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, my favourite name in sports, is a quality tackle, who has lived up to his draft pedigree (4th Overall) with 3 Pro Bowls to date. Ferguson is an athletic pass protector who is unlikely to be beaten by Clemons’s pure quickness. Sitting at 295 lbs he is small for an OT and as a result the best way to beat Ferguson is likely with power, not really Clemons’s strong suit. Clemons could use a big game but I think a quiet game is more likely against New York’s steady tackle.
Matchup #2: Marshawn Lynch vs. David Harris
Lynch was coming off a career year last season and it was fair to expect some level of regression but instead he has absolutely taken off in 2012. He is on pace to blow away his career high in rushing yardage considering his yards per game is 17 higher than last year’s total. His yards per carry is an impressive 4.8, blowing away his previous career high. There is credit to be given to the offensive line here as well, but Lynch has been every bit the beast Seahawks fans have come to love. His challenge between the tackles today is the stout, strong tackling machine David Harris. Harris is on pace for 130 tackles this year and can be found all over the field when the Jets are on defense. Harris is an underrated playmaker with the size (6-2 250) to counter power backs like Lynch. Regardless of the skills that Harris possesses I don’t see him slowing down Marshawn today. Lynch has faced more intimidating run defenses and succeeded and I think he should be fine against Harris today.
Matchup #3: The Seahawks Defense vs. Multi-Purpose Threat Tim Tebow
I’m just kidding. Tebow is irrelevant. I do hope he gets his comeuppance regarding his comments about the crowd noise at the Clink in the form of dozens of false starts for the Jets though.
Actual Matchup #3: Golden Tate vs. Kyle Wilson
Golden Tate has really come alive this year and is starting to become the kind of weapon and “touchdown maker” that Carroll envisioned when he used a 2nd round pick on him back in 2010. Tate is on pace for career highs in every category and while he’s not lighting the world on fire statistically, he is doing his part in an offense that relies heavily on the running game to do the heavy lifting. Sidney Rice is likely to draw Antonio “Best Cornerback in the NFL” Cromartie, who is very good despite the absurdness of his claims, which leaves Tate with Kyle Wilson in a matchup he will need to win for the Seahawks passing game to really get going. Some questioned the Jets for drafting Kyle Wilson with a first round pick when they already had two quality corners but Wilson has already made 19 starts in two and a half years. Injuries happen and quality depth is important. So far Wilson has been quality depth be he has yet to really shine. Tate has no height advantage over Wilson but he is bigger and stronger and should be able to beat the jam should Wilson attempt to apply it. Look for a lot of targets for Tate today in the short passing game.
When a 3-5 team comes to town that is a game a good team has to win. It is my belief that the Seahawks are a good team. It is also my belief that they will win.