Here are a four things the Seahawks need to do to get an important victory over Jacksonville this afternoon.
Contain MJD: If Frank Gore can rush for over 200 yards against this defense, it’s scary to think of what a back the caliber of Maurice Jones-Drew can do. However, the Seahawks were missing key pieces to the defense in DT Brandon Mebane and LB Lofa Tatupu when Gore exploded for his long gains. When those two have been in the lineup, Seattle’s run defense has been much better.
Protect Hasselbeck: This goes without saying really, because if Matt Hasselbeck suffers a big hit the team’s chances of winning decrease. Expect some short drops and quick throws by Hasselbeck, and look for Seattle to help Brandon Frye at left tackle.
Create turnovers: Seattle’s defense only has three turnovers on the year, and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said the team has recommitted to trying to recreate turnovers this week. Having cornerback Josh Wilson back should help in that area. But the Seahawks need a couple big plays by the defense to help put some points on the board.
Big plays in return game: Nate Burleson is due for a breakout game as a punt returner. And Seattle’s kick return game has steadily improved each week. Seattle will need the return game to be strong in order to win the battle of field position.
The Seahawks offensive line injuries this season bring back memories of the rash of injuries the team experienced at receiver in 20008. Hawks head coach Jim Mora said the team could not have foreseen the type of injuries that occurred to the offensive line this season. However, the team had a history of injuries on the offensive line heading into 2009. Should the team have taken an offensive tackle instead of Aaron Curry with the No. 4 overall pick? We set the ground work for you to make that determination here.
Dave Boling of the TNT says if Seattle fails to beat Jacksonville today it’s time to put the Seahawks organization under the microscope, starting with general manager Tim Ruskell.
Greg Johns of SeattlePI.com predicts an easy victory for Seattle.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks host a hot team in Jacksonville.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com profiles Lawrence Jackson, focusing on the improved play from last season to this year.
Wide receiver Nate Burleson is interviewed by NFL.com in this video link.
Photographer Rod Mar of Seahawks.com provides some photos from the Indy game here.
Ryan Robinson of jaguars.com reports that Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio played little league baseball with Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu.
Vic Ketchman of Jaguars.com previews the game here.
Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union says the Jaguars traveled out to Seattle on Friday to get acclimated to the colder weather and time change.
A Seahawks fan was stabbed on Monday night after the Minnesota-Green Bay game in Minneapolis trying to break up a fight between a Vikings and Packer fan in a local restaurant.
There were some concerns from blog posters here that the Seahawks fan was frequent comment poster BobbyK, who lives in Minnesota.
However, the Hawks fan turned out to be Leif Heide, who frequents Seahawks.net’s message board and apparently is out of the hospital and OK.
BobbyK is alive and well, penning inspirational poetry to get Hawk fans fired up for Sunday. Here’s BobbyK’s offering.
‘Twas the night before Jacksonville, and all through the VMAC
Not a creature was stirring, but a loss tomorrow, and the FO will eventually pack;
Qwest Field was ready for the 12th Man with care,
With hopes of a victory soon would be there;
While visions of three losses danced in their heads;
With fans at the field, and I at home in my cap,
Am about to settle down to watch the playcalling of Greg Knapp,
When out of the tunnel, the Seahawks will hear a loud clatter,
We fans will see Sunday if the rest of the season will matter,
Away with the season, it could do down with a flash,
And then the fans will have Ruskell and Mora to bash,
But a win will give followers a sudden, optimistic glow,
As opposed to a loss and the season buried in snow,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But optimism, and another reason to cheer,
With a grumpy d-coordinator, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment that Gus must be ticked,
More rapid than actual Seahawks his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now Mebane! Now Lofa! Now Grant and Wilson!
On Cole! On Jackson! On Herring and let’s do some blitzzen!
To the line of scrimmage to create a big wall,
Now blitz away! Blitz away! Blitz away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to left tackle the blitzers they flew,
With a passion that was promised at a January press conference too.
And then, in a twinkling, I hear through the TV,
The announcer say another turnover and it’s fun for fans like me.
As I drew the remote, and happiness was found,
Down came Garrard, hard on the ground.
He was battered and bruised and knocked out of bounds.
He was dressed in visitor white, but a black helmet and shoes on his foot,
And his uniform was all ripped and looked like ashes and soot;
A bundle of picks he flung from his back,
The ball was thrown before there was time for another sack.
And after the game, as we heard the final whistle,
And away the flew back down the home field tunnel like the down of the thistle,
But I heard Matt Hasselbeck exclaim, as he ran out of site,
“Happy Sunday to all, and to all a good-night.”