Arrowhead Stadium is the 2nd loudest stadium in the NFL and has proven a difficult place for the Seattle Seahawks to play. In 25 meetings in Kansas City, Seattle is 5-20. But, the last time these two teams met there was no Marshawn Lynch and no Legion of Boom. Here are a few interesting things to keep in mind while you watch the game on Sunday.
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Seattle’s #1 rush offense against KC’s #18 rush defense – Marshawn Lynch proved last week, as he does every time he has the chance, that he is in it to win it. Regardless of what goes on off the field, he doesn’t know how to not pound the ball, knocking over or juking past opponents as he goes. As proficient as he is, and despite the 140 yd, 4td performance last Sunday, the Chiefs have not allowed a single rushing td this season. The Seattle o-line, which is at almost full strength, will have to be at the top of their game and really push if Lynch has any chance of getting into the end zone.
Russell Wilson and the Seattle WR/TE’s vs the KC’s #1 ranked pass defense – The Chiefs are ranked 2nd in points allowed in the NFL at just over 17 per game. Wilson will have to be nearly perfect in his passing game which has been below his historical average of late. He has already been intercepted 5 times this year and his decision making has not been as sharp as it was last year. The Seattle receiving core must finally start shaking off their coverage and make catches when called upon. Cooper Helfet and Luke Willson have to catch balls and hang on to them rather than dropping them.
Seattle RT Justin Britt vs KC OLB Justin Houston – Justin Houston leads the NFL in sacks with 12. Rookie Justin Britt must continue his upward trend at his position and his most important task will be stopping Houston from getting to the QB.
Seattle’s #4 rush defense vs KC’s #6 rush offense – Without Brandon Mebane to plug up the middle, it falls on the rotation of all pro tackle Kevin Williams, Jordan Hill and Tony McDaniel to take on that role and stop Jamaal Charles. Charles is currently ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing yardage.
Legion of Boom vs KC’s passing game – At the risk of repeating myself, the Seahawks have not yet been able to consistently stop the short passing game. They do appear to be improving and this will mark the first time since the week 3 Dallas game that the LOB will have all 4 starters back. On the plus side, the Chiefs have yet to score a passing td to a wide receiver, even though Travis Kelce leads the league in yards after the catch.
Finally it’s both teams vs the weather. The forecast calls for a possibility of snow and a game time temp below freezing. Uncomfortable at the very least, it could prove tough on both teams.
One can, and I know I do, hope for a Seahawk win, but it will be a tough go. The loss of Mebane may prove to be too much for the Seattle defense to overcome. With both temas reversed evenly on strengths, this may be a game that’s all about the kickers, Steven Haushka and Cairo Santos. It’s a pivotal game for both teams and the team that can overcome their weaknesses best will win.