We try to boil today’s game between the Seahawks and Dolphins down to one single key that could determine the outcome.
So many different angles we give you to try and see what’s in store for the Seahawks as they open the 2016 season against Miami at CenturyLink Field today.
But this season I’m taking a different approach on game day.
One. Single. Key.
Football is a complex sport. Every team goes through significant changes in the offseason. There are new coaches, new players, new schemes, injuries, and even 2,000 mile moves (we see you LA Rams). It makes first week analysis a slippery slope to be sure.
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Some weeks the ONE key will be subtle; a specific DB on WR matchup, perhaps.
This week it’s obvious as hell: the ONE key to the game between the Seahawks and Dolphins is….
HOW WELL THE SEAHAWKS OFFENSIVE LINE PERFORMS:
Yeah, I know. Shocker….right?
The Hawks spent the offseason hearing that their offensive line would be the key to any Super Bowl aspirations they have. They made moves to address it; spending a 1st round draft pick on one O-lineman and taking two more later on. Then they added veterans J’Marcus Webb and Bradley Sowell through free agency.
Ifedi’s injury Wednesday after an outstanding preseason is cause for even greater concern, particularly in light of the fact that Webb, who hasn’t looked good at all since his signing, will be starting in his place. The other starters in this new-look unit are Sowell at LT, Mark Glowinski at LG, Justin Britt at C and Garry Gilliam serving as the only player to hold down the same position from a year ago at right tackle.
The interior trio of Glowinski, Britt and Ifedi were a high point of the preseason, adding to the pressure Webb faces today. Together, they’ll have to deal with Miami’s DT Ndamukong Suh. Meanwhile, Sowell and Gilliam will be trying to keep a healthy Cameron Wake and free agent acquisition Mario Williams off of Russell Wilson.
If Seattle can establish a consistent running game (and as good as Suh is rushing the passer from the inside, he’s also know as an undisciplined run defender), and Wilson isn’t pressured into bailing from the pocket every time he drops back, the Hawks should win this game comfortably.
If the opposite holds true, we could be looking at a second straight season of opening up 0-1.