Good Morning. Here’s five keys for the Seattle Seahawks as they host the Green Bay Packers tonight on Monday Night Football.
A fast start: One way Seattle can control the tempo of this game is by getting an early lead, like the Seahawks did against Dallas last week. So creating some type of game-changing play early would help, like a turnover or special teams play. Scoring on the opening drive also would do the trick.
Limit explosive plays: The Packers have just seven passing plays of 20 or more yards this year, which puts them in a tie for No. 24 in the league. Last year Green Bay had 70 passing plays of 20 yards or more, No. 2 in the league. So the Packers are capable of gashing you with the big play. The Seahawks need to limit those big gains and make Aaron Rodgers grind clock and use the running game. The Seahawks defense has given up only six passing plays of 20 more yards, tied for fourth-best in the league.
Get off the field on third down: Seattle’s defense has allowed opponents to convert on third down 43.5 percent of the time, which is not good. The Packers offense is converting on third down 37 percent of the time. So the Seahawks need to do a better job here in order to keep Green Bay’s potent offense off the field.
Keep your composure: This young Seattle team hasn’t been in very many big games like this, so keeping their composure and not letting the moment overwhelm them will be important. Seattle finished with just five penalties last week after a season-high 13 penalties in the season opener at Arizona. Seattle just needs to play a smart game and not give Green Bay more opportunities to score by stupid penalties.
Feed the beast: It’s the goal of Seattle’s offense every week, give Marshawn Lynch the ball at least 20 times a game and let him do his thing. Lynch has rushed for at least 100 yards in six straight home games. The Seahawks need Lynch to make it seven to come out on top tonight.
Here’s my game advance for tonight’s contest. The Seahawks have a 17-8 record in Monday Night games, tops in the league. Seattle also is 2-0 against Green Bay on Monday nights.
John McGrath of The News Tribune takes a closer look at the national following developed by the Green Bay over the years. McGrath says the Packers fans have the most fun.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that the Seahawks will attempt to take advantage of the national spotlight by handling Green Bay tonight.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com previews the game here.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that tonight’s game will serve as a barometer for where Seattle is at in 2012.
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, writing for ESPN, believes Seattle’s defense can contain Green Bay. You must be an ESPN Insider to view this.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that Green Bay’s offense has struggled to adapt to different defensive looks in 2012.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette provides three keys to the Hawks-Packers contest for Green Bay.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that the Arizona Cardinals are 3-0 to start the season for the first time since 1974 with a convincing, 27-6 win over visiting Philadelphia.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com writes that the Minnesota Vikings, not San Francisco, looked like on of the top teams in the league in handing the Niners a humbling, 24-13 loss – San Francisco’s first loss of the season.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Rams received a dose of reality in a 23-6 loss at Chicago. The Seahawks travel to St. Louis, 1-2 on the season, this Sunday.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated writes that hopefully the NFL has reached a tipping point with replacement refs after another week of questionable calls.