In my story today, Seahawks center Max Unger returned to practice on Friday after sitting out most of the week nursing a sore hip. But the University of Oregon product, who’s probable for Sunday, said he’s ready to go, and will face a stiff test in New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.
The Patriots are holding teams to 82.2 rushing yards a contest, No. 8 in the league.
“It’s an NFL game,” Unger said about facing Wilfork. “Every player is the best player that you’ve ever played against. I think that’s the truth playing against defensive linemen in the NFL.”
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com profiles linebacker Heath Farwell, Seattle’s leader on special teams.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that the Seahawks will face a sizable task up front in dealing with New England’s defensive line.
ESPN’s Mike Sando likes the Seahawks over the Patriots 20-17.
Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston talks with Massachusetts native kicker Steven Hauschka.
All three analysts with NFL playbook pick the Patriots in this video link.
Matt Bowen of the National Football Post writes that Tom Brady vs. Seattle’s defense is one of his matchups to watch this week. Bowen: “No question the Seahawks have enough size and length in the secondary to match up vs. New England’s skill players, plus they can get home on the edge with DEs Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin. But they will have to make some plays on the ball and protect the middle of the field in the red zone to get this one.”
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald notes that New England tight end Aaron Hernandez did not practice on Friday, but did travel with the team to Seattle. Hernandez is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
Clark Judge of CBS Sports lists the Patriots-Seahawks contest as one of the three games he’d like to see this week. Judge: “Yeah, the Seahawks’ record the past few years at home hasn’t been all that great, but that’s because the Seahawks haven’t been all that great. They’re better now because their defense is superb. They rush the passer. They defend the run. Their defensive backs are tall, physical and rangy. In short, they’re tough to solve. People tell me Brady and Co. will figure these guys out with their no-huddle, and maybe they’re right. But it’s never easy here, and don’t say you weren’t warned, Brady.”
Bill Simmons of Grantland.com picks Seattle over his favorite team, the Patriots. Simmons: “There’s some serious “Pete Carroll Revenge Game” potential here, as dopey as that sounds. And after torturing me for five weeks, wouldn’t it be fitting if my pick for the NFC’s Super Bowl QB (Russell Wilson) ended up torturing my favorite team? This game frightens the living hell out of me. I hate this game.”
Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports discusses the Seahawks game in the video below. Kirwan likes the Patriots, 24-17.