Week 13: Matchups of the Game


Oct 7, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (81) celebrates after scoring in the third quarter with guard Paul McQuistan (67) and center Max Unger (60) and tackle Breno Giacomini (68). The Seahawks defeated the Panthers 16-12 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Coming off a soul crushing loss and very disappointing news regarding our corner tandem it seems that Seahawks nation is licking its wounds this week. This may be true but all it takes is one win to reignite the excitement in Seattle about a pretty exciting squad. Unfortunately, getting that win is easier said than done as the Hawks take on a quality Bears team on the road, trying to improve their road record from an ugly 1-5 to a very poor 2-5. Let’s take a look at some of the big matchups in this one.

Matchup #1: Richard Sherman vs. Brandon Marshall

I sort of planned on avoiding discussion Sherman in this post, because enough has been said on the topic here and elsewhere, but while Sherman is still with us it was impossible for me to ignore this compelling matchup. Sherman draws a virtually impossible matchup on Sunday against the highly productive Marshall. Marshall stands at 6-4 229 lbs and is one of the few receivers with a real size advantage on Sherman. His reunion with Jay Cutler has been highly beneficial as he is gaining 92.5 yards per game on 7.4 receptions per contest. These numbers are career highs and Marshall has been hard to stop this year providing Chicago with the receiving threat they have lacked during Jay Cutler’s tenure. Sherman will have to be physical with Marshall while being cognizant that he will not be able to simply bully him. I don’t know who comes up on top but this is a fascinating strength on strength matchup.

Matchup #2: Paul McQuistan vs. Henry Melton

Due to Russell Wilson’s shorter stature keeping throwing lanes open and preventing pressure up the middle is essential to the Seahawks’ offensive success. Today Seattle faces one of the best 4-3 DT pass rushing threats in the league. The unheralded Melton had 7 sacks last year and already has 6 this year to go along with 2 forced fumbles. McQuistan has been competent this year but he will be sorely tested by Melton’s explosiveness. Melton is small for his position at 6-3 280 lbs so he does not figure to push the much larger McQuistan around, but his quickness giving him the potential to be very disruptive. I’d like to see McQuistan have the kind of game that he’s often had this season, one where I don’t hear his name called very often.

Matchup #3: Michael Robinson vs. Brian Urlacher

Seattle needs to get the running game going again if they hope to pull the upset on the road this week. Although Urlacher isn’t the intimidating force he once was if you want to run on the Bears he is the man you are going to have to deal with. I’d like to see the Seahawks take it to Urlacher with the help of their Pro Bowl fullback. Look for a couple of big collisions in the hole between these two. Due to the fact my formative years as a Seahawks fan were during the Mack Strong era I’ve always had a soft spot for the blocking fullback and Seattle has a quality one in Robinson. With any luck he gets an opportunity to make a couple of big blocks on old man Urlacher.

Last week was an opportunity that Seattle squandered but this week is a chance for redemption. This week there has been a lot of negativity regarding what to expect for the remainder of 2012 but a win here would help stem the tide of pessimism. The Seahawks have yet to get a big road win this year. There’s no time like the present.