Three biggest priorities for the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1

After a long 270-day wait, the Seahawks will play their first meaningful football game of 2023 against division rival, the Los Angeles Rams.
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I'm not going to mince words. Priority number 1 for the Seattle Seahawks whenever playing the Los Angeles Rams should be slowing down Aaron Donald. Donald might have a legitimate case for the greatest defensive player of all time, just look at his resume: Defensive Player of the Year a record three times, a Pro Bowler in all nine of his NFL seasons, and a first-team All-Pro seven out of his nine seasons.

This will especially be a priority because of Seattle's questionable interior offensive line play. Evan Brown (center) and Phil Haynes (right guard) will get their first taste of being a full-time starter. The interior lineman with the most experience as a starter, Left guard Damien Lewis, is questionable with a shoulder injury so best-case scenario he won't be playing at 100 percent.

It can probably be expected to see a lot more of Zach Charbonnet, as Seattle will likely need the help in pass protection with such a dominant force inside in Donald. Not to mention Walker was dealing with a groin injury throughout the week.

Three ways the Seahawks can beat the Rams in Week 1

Priority No. 2: Attack the Rams secondary

The Rams went all-in to win the Super Bowl in 2021, and their current roster is a reflection of the assets they were willing to give up in exchange for their run two years ago. Due to neglecting their draft picks, and giving up said draft picks for aging veterans (like Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller) the Rams roster is now a shell of what it used to be.

After trading CB Jalen Ramsey for a 3rd-round pick and Hunter Long, the Rams secondary has major questions to answer. Pairing that up with what's probably the best WR trio in the NFL, and a re-emerged veteran QB in Geno Smith, it'll be a really tough matchup for the Rams and the Seahawks should take complete advantage of it. But Beating Los Angeles through the air requires step one - slowing down Aaron Donald - to be a necessity.

Priority No. 3: Stop. The. Run.

This last key to victory could be the most important in the Seahawks case. A trait that Seattle has to improve in if they want to have a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl, is the run defense. Fans know how frustrating it was to watch teams like the Panthers (post-Christian McCaffrey trade by the way), Falcons, and the Buccaneers run all over the Seahawks en route to victory. Teams that felt like Seattle were better than when they started off the season 6-2, but couldn't beat because of their biggest weakness.

This defense has a new look though, both up front and in the Linebacker room as well. Seahawks legend and future Hall of Famer Bobby Wagner is back, Jordyn Brooks is fully cleared to go after his season-ending injury last season, Dre'Mont Jones and Jarran Reed are starting additions, and they'll get back Jamal Adams sometime soon, although not in week one.

This will be Seattle's first true test of how well these additions have boosted the run defense. Los Angeles RB Cam Akers went on a tear last season toward the end of the year, putting up 100+ rushing yards in each of his last 3 games, including against Seattle in week 18. Not only this but with recent injuries to Cooper Kupp, you'd have to think that they're gonna lean more into the run game without their star receiver.

Comparing what expectations were from last year to this year, it's a really exciting time to be a Seahawks fan. The organization has done a good job turning this supposed "rebuild" into a team that feels like they're just opening their Super Bowl window. There are going to be ups and downs this season, especially with a tough schedule like the Seahawks have, but if they can put the pieces together and get wins against teams like the Cowboys, 49ers, and Bengals, this could be a Seahawks team that's closer to the Super Bowl than most people might imagine. It should be a fun season, one that may push Seattle into the elite tier of NFL teams.

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