These are four things Seattle must do to win their home opener. They need to keep rookie quarterback Russell Wilson upright and out of trouble. They need to establish and utilize a run game. They need to stop a very good running back in DeMarco Murray. Put pressure on Tony Romo. Finally they need to win the turnover battle.
Russell Wilson had a rough start to the season, in a hostile environment. He was under pressure all day from an assortment of blitzing schemes used by Arizona. It seemed that the Seahawks were not comfortable all afternoon when in passing situations, which also caused a lot of false start penalties. With the return of John Moffitt and being at home may make the line more stable. The Cowboys Demarcus Ware got two sacks last weekend and Sean Lee led the team with 10 solo tackles. Both of those players had solid games last year against the Seahawks. They are going to have to pay special attention to both these players in their game plan.
Seattle needs to start running on earlier downs, as it is the heart and soul of the offense. Seattle attempted 33 rushes versus Arizona, and had a grand total of 115 yards. Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 21 times for 85 yards, averaging 4 yards a carry. Russell Wilson has 8 carries for 20 yards, for only 2.5 yards a carry. Both Leon Washington and Robert Turbin had 2 carries apiece for 5 yards; averaging 2.5 yards a carry. Once again; the offensive line needs to do a better job at opening holes, keeping a block going, and also getting to the second level. Last week Dallas held NY to only 83 yards rushing, but that was only 19 rushing attempts total by a team. Getting the run going early and often will help open up things for Wilson, as well as establish a tempo for the game.
Seattle is going to have their hands full with Murray, a running back that got a starting job midway through his rookie season. He carried the ball for 131 yards last week on only 20 carries. That is an average of a whopping 6.6 yards a carry. Seattle is going to have to make sure they contain Murray as he is a very good back. The Seahawks defense has been extremely solid against the run since Pete Carroll has taken over. They are going to have to be Sunday if they want to win this game.
They are going to also have to get pressure on Tony Romo. Last week Seattle only had one sack, from Chris Clemons. Chris Clemons the last two years, has been the only true pass rush Seattle has to offer, and one of the issues they thought they had addressed in the offseason; either with the draft or free agency. They will need to get more pressure this weekend on a quarterback who is known to make mistakes while in pressure situations. Last week Dallas only allowed two sacks by last year’s Super Bowl winning Giants. Seattle really needs for their offseason acquisitions to come through for their home opener, and for the notoriously loud crowd at Century Link Field to help disrupt the Cowboys rhythm on offense.
Last, but not least they need to win the turnover battle. Seattle forced two fumbles last week, but only could recover one. They also picked off the Cardinals once. Dallas forced and recovered a fumble last week against the Giants, but could not intercept any passes from Eli Manning. Seattle also had two turnovers last weekend. One was a pass thrown up by Wilson at the end of the half, which wasn’t so costly. The other a backwards pass ruled as a fumble, that Arizona recovered. Luckily for the Seahawks, on a similar play the replacement refs missed the call. Dallas also had one interception. Both teams are even on turnover ratio.
If Seattle can take care of these five things, they most likely will be 1-1 after the game.
All stats provided by ESPN