Seahawks vs Bengals keys to the game


The Seattle Seahawks (2-2) travel to the Cincinnati Bengals (4-0) for a 10 AM PST game. Both teams have a lot to play for and this should be an exciting game. While this is not a must win for Seattle, you would love if you could find a way to steal this game in which the Seahawks are understandably an underdog. What does each team need to do to win?

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Seattle Seahawks

1: Start fast. The Seahawks actually had a decent start vs the Lions, but the ending was a bit dicey. The Seahawks need to avoid falling in a hole early with the way the offensive line is struggling. You don’t want to become one dimensional by the second quarter. The easiest way to lose on the road is to spiral the game like a snowball by having a poor start to the game. Start STRONG!

2: Keep the Bengals offense off the field. The Seahawks offense is better at converting 3rd and longs right now than they are 3rd and mediums, which is pretty frustrating. if the Seahawks can convert more of their easier third downs, they can keep the Bengals offense on the sideline. With the capability of the Seahawks defense, having a long drive on offense followed with a stop from the defense could be huge and add up by the time the 2nd half is coming around.

3: Protect your QB. This one is pretty simple, but the Seahawks offensive line has to play better than they have. They need their best game of the year not only to ensure Russell Wilson’s health, but to have a real shot of winning this game. Wilson can’t be getting sacked 5-6 times and hit a dozen more. The best thing coming out of this week may be the pride the offensive line is finally showing, as they seem to be fed up by their poor play and fans/media constantly talking about their poor performance.

4: Defend against the Bengals explosive plays. The Bengals have the most explosive plays out of every team in the NFL and is a huge reason why they are 4-0 and the favorites to become 5-0. The Seahawks force most teams to dink and dunk, but the Bengals are bound to test the Seahawks deep. This could either be a very good thing for the Seahawks or a very bad thing. There is only one way to find out, and that’ll be when that ball is in the air.

5: Get that first INT of the year! The Seahawks got close to getting 2 interceptions off Matthew Stafford last week vs the Lions, but close doesn’t make it appear on the stat sheet. It would be a huge deal for the Seahawks to get after Stafford and lower his confidence by picking him off. The Seahawks need those big plays especially on the road.

Cincinnati Bengals

1: Do what you have been doing and execute on it. If the Bengals do what they have done the past four weeks, they will become 5-0. The question is can they execute it vs the Seahawks? Russell Wilson is always hard to bring down, the receivers have talent, and the Seahawks defense is never something to take lightly. This is one of those games that comes down to execution, not trickery. Seattle knows where Cincinnati is coming from and vice versa. So let the best executing team win. If you’re Cincinnati, don’t get cute. Do what you got you here.

2: Get Jeremy Hill involved early. Jeremy Hill has been inconsistent throughout the season to this point. It would be a huge boost to the Bengals if they get the Jeremy Hill that looks like one of the most promising young running backs. You don’t want all the pressure of the game to fall onto Andy Dalton’s shoulder as he looks across the line of scrimmage and sees three defensive All-Pro’s in the secondary. Get Hill going and you can even mix in Bernard to attempt to keep the Seahawks off balance.

3: Get after Russell Wilson. An offense cannot have consistency when the Seahawks offensive line gets beat as much as it does, and you don’t want to give the Seahawks offense any optimism. The Seahawks won’t have much of a run game with Marshawn Lynch out and Fred Jackson questionable. Rawls is a nice player, but he isn’t ready to put a team on his back. Get Wilson off the spot, square him up and pin him down when he times his spin moves to get away from you. You’ve got to make it a long afternoon on Russell and get hits on him and try to get a turnover off him.

4: Stick to your game plan, but don’t play invincible. The Bengals have the most explosive offense in the NFL, but there is nothing wrong with throwing the ball away if it isn’t open or checking it down. The Bengals can have success against the Seahawks defense, but it needs to be at certain times. Don’t force things deep if they aren’t there. Earl Thomas has sideline to sideline range that you don’t really want to test, and Richard Sherman has length if you under throw a deep ball. Take your shots, but don’t take them like you’re invincible. Respect the Legion of Boom while believing in yourself.

5: Force Wilson to hand it off every time on the read option. Russell Wilson is the Seahawks leading rusher after 4 games this season. A rookie running back is getting another start. There is no Lynch to be absolutely terrified of. Force Thomas Rawls to beat you on the read option, don’t let Wilson get the edge as he is a more impressive athlete than most defenses/people believe him to be. The Seahawks offensive line has been in shambles, so you should be able to get enough penetration to where he won’t get enough yards to make it hurt. Sit a defense end on Wilson on every single read option and force him to give it to the young running back.

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