Good morning folks. Looks like weather will not be a factor this afternoon. The forecast calls for 79 degrees and sunny at game time, so if you’re headed out to CenturyLink Field enjoy the game this afternoon.
Here are five keys for the Seattle Seahawks as they take on the Dallas Cowboys in the team’s home opener.
Tate the playmaker: It’s time – Seahawks receiver Golden Tate has to finally realize the potential we’ve seen during practice and in training camp. Seattle had only one pass play over 20 yards last week, and Tate is one of the few players who can create explosive plays after the catch. Seattle need to get him at least eight touches today, either on bubble screens, slants or stop routes out on the perimeter to help soften up the Dallas defense.
Contain DeMarco Murray: The Oklahoma product ran wild against Seattle in his rookie season last year, finishing with 139 yards on 22 carries. Specifically, Murray hurt Seattle by getting to the edge of the defense. The Seahawks understand how the Cowboys will attack them, along with the physical way Murray runs, and need to have a tackling plan for the big, physical back.
Get after Romo: The Seahawks did a better job of getting after the passer in the second half against Arizona — those pressures just didn’t result in sacks. But against Tony Romo the Seahawks need to make sure they have pressure in Romo’s face or else he’ll pick them apart for big gains. Seattle also has to make sure not to let Romo scramble outside the pocket and distort the defense for big gains.
A Beastly Lynch: Marshawn Lynch was solid against Arizona last week, finishing with 85 yards on 21 carries. But I expect him to have even more of an impact against Dallas this week. Lynch ran for 135 yards on 23 carries at Dallas last year, and I think he will have a similar impact today in order to take some of the pressure off Russell Wilson. Seattle also needs to focus on getting touchdowns instead of field goals in the red zone. Handing the ball to Lynch could help that situation as well.
Avoiding 0-2: If Seattle loses to Dallas and starts the season 0-2, history tells us the Seahawks will have a tough time making the playoffs. According to ESPN, only 12 percent of teams to start a season 0-2 (22-184) have reached the postseason since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990.
Dave Boling of The News Tribune writes highlights Seattle’s tough schedule the first eight games of the year, putting even more importance on getting a victory at home against Dallas today.
In my story today, the Seahawks are concerned about defending Dallas running back DeMarco Murray. Red Bryant: ““We know we have to get his cleats out the ground. We know the way they attacked us; they attacked us on the edges in terms of their blocking scheme. And so they had a real good scheme against us. And so we’re anticipating that it will be similar to that, what they had success with last year. And it will be our job to see if we can respond.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times offers some keys to the Seahawks-Cowboys contest.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin needs to start showing why Seattle made him a first round draft pick.
Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson has the latest Real Robinson report in the video below. Robinson talks with Golden Tate and James Carpenter
Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News offers four keys to the game for the Cowboys.