Seahawks Insider

Morning links: 5 keys for Hawks vs. Bills

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 16, 2012 at 8:22 am with 23 Comments »
December 16, 2012 8:22 am
Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller. (AP File photo)

Good morning from Toronto, where we’ve got light rain and a high of 47 degrees predicted for weather this afternoon. Of course, that won’t matter much because the Seattle Seahawks will be playing inside at the Rogers Centre.

Remember, even though we’re on the East Coast it’s a late start today – 1:05 Pacific Time.

Here are my five keys for the Seahawks as they take on the Bills and try to get to 9-5 on the season.

Feed the Beast: Even though he will not talk about, I have to believe that Marshawn Lynch will have a little bit of extra juice playing against his former team in Buffalo. And while Russell Wilson’s growth has allowed Seattle to create more balance on offense, this is still a running team that leans on Lynch. The Bills are giving up 134.5 yards a contest, which is 28th in the league. However, in the past four games Buffalo has allowed just 81 rushing yards a contest in the last four games.

Go get the football: Both Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley talked about it this week – the Seahawks are great at creating turnovers at home, but not so much on the road. Of Seattle’s 25 takeaways, only eight of them came on the road. The Seahawks need to change that today, and they should have opportunities against a Buffalo team that has turned it over 26 times this season.

Tackle in the open field: Buffalo has some guys who can create explosive plays in running back C.J. Spiller, receiver Stevie Johnson and tight end Scott Chandler. So it will be important for the Seahawks to be sure tacklers on passing downs, particularly in nickel when Seattle will have less experienced players on the field in Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane and Malcolm Smith.

Bring pressure on Fitzpatrick: Ryan Fitzpatrick can make some plays if he has a clean pocket. But like most quarterbacks, Fitzpatrick will turn the ball over if he’s under pressure. Fitzpatrick has thrown 21 touchdowns, but also 13 interceptions. So Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin, Jason Jones and Brandon Mebane have to do a good job of keeping Fitzpatrick inside the pocket and get him on the ground a few times.

Play a clean game: With 92 penalties for 733 yards, the Seahawks are still No. 6 in the league. Pre-snap and personal foul penalties have been drive killers for Seattle, particularly on the road. And regardless of Buffalo’s 5-8 record, this is a team that has some talent and will beat the Seahawks if they do not play a clean game.

Here’s my advance for today’s game. The Seahawks face speedy Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller, the latest elusive running back Seattle’s defense will have to contain.

Dave Boling of The News Tribune delves into the reasons for Seattle’s improvement on offense, and also talks about the shared duties of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable.

Larry Stone of The Seattle Times writes that Buffalo offers the potential of a trap game for Seattle.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that the Seahawks are proving draft experts wrong with the success of this year’s draft class.

Clare Farnsworth of writes that the Seahawks are looking to put together their first, three-game winning steak since last December. previews the game here.

Jerry Sullivan of The Buffalo News writes that C.J. Spiller vs. Marshawn Lynch should be an entertaining matchup today. Sullivan provides an interesting perspective on what went wrong for Lynch in Buffalo.

Bob Mitchell of The Toronto Sun breaks down the game here.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Eric hits on an important thing here: sure tackling. Spiller can get loose on you if you if you don’t bring him down a first contact. I’m referring to the d line and Chancellor, primarily.

    An ideal scenario for this team, would be to have multiple score lead heading into the second half so Lynch (and Rice) can both get some rest. If only one lesson was learned from last week, it’s that your key players should not be playing late in blowouts. Rice was very luck to walk away uninjured from that wicked lick he took over the middle.

  2. I’m hoping to see more long drives that rests our defense and wears down theirs. More Lynch/Turbin running the rock that could eventually lead to play action deep strikes.

    Focus on every play is the key. Containing Spiller, pressuring Fitz and jammin’ Stevie @ the line will go a long ways.

    We need this one bad…


  3. Ewalters7354 says:

    I believe we will see a lot of base defense today.Just to limit those young guys from making mistakes.

  4. ah, 47 and raining. just like home. You’re back near my old home-town of Buffalo, Eric. Get some hot wings before you fly home.

    Lifelong suffering Bills fan here before I made Seattle my home. One thing to watch about the Bills is that they always value Special Teams more than most other clubs. They’re always erratic because their front office does an erratic job of keeping good players on their roster, but they believe in Special Teams, and Chan Gailey can really coach offense. The Bills can sting you.

  5. princeaden says:

    I get nervous in these games. Many times it seems that the Seahawks ( and all Seattle teams) have a way of making the mediocre teams and talent have career days. I just hope the players are taking this game seriously and not looking past the Bills. Also, I agree with Duke about the sure tackling. I thought about that as soon as I read about the “No Pad” practices from here on out.

  6. It’s being reported that RGIII is inactive today. Good opportunity for RW to seize the reins of this Offensive ROY race with a strong performance. Even going turnover-free on the road today would be a big point in his favor.

  7. HawkfaninMT says:

    A couple of thoughts on Bobby Wagner…

    Remember on draft day when we got him? Rumor was the Hawks wanted Kendricks, they traded down and the Eagles swooped him up, and the Hawks were left with Wagner? LUCKY!! I don’t even know if Kendricks is routinely active for the Eagles and Wagner is in the conversation for DROY.

    So it is sounding like the competition for DROY is between Wagner and Kuechley… Any insight on what it takes to be DROY? Is it a stats thing? In which case Wagner > Kuechly in every meaningful category other than total tackles. Team success? Hawks>Panthers. National Press? Kuechly has a bit of an advantage due to his draft status and expectations….

    How does this guy not win DROY?

  8. HawkfaninMT says:

    Has a team ever won the OROY and DROY? Anyone know how many ROYs were not drafted in the 1st round?

  9. Eric or Dave, did Butler go with the team to Toronto?

    The stats show that the Bills have tightened up on defense and are playing well as a unit. I’m glad we aren’t taking this game lightly and that the bosses understand the dangers. One game at a time and this one is just as important as next week’s game.

    Stay focused and win! Go Seahawks!!!

  10. HawkfaninMT – I’d be shocked if Bobby Wagner got rookie of the year. Shocked and pleased. I won’t claim to have real ‘insight here’ lol, but IMHO, what it takes to be a Rookie of the Year is:
    – top stats
    – first-round status (in last 10 years, only 1 was not a first-round pick)
    – being on a team with a lot of national tv exposure sure doesn’t hurt

  11. Dukeshire says:

    I never felt like Kendricks as a realistic option for Seattle. Wagner is every bit as athletic as well has having the long leverage Schaneider and Carroll love in their defensive players. Kendricks is built more like Tatupu which does not fit their drafting profile.

  12. in last 10 years
    1 DROY was not a first rounder (DeMeco Ryans)
    2 OROY were not first-rounders (Clinton Portis and Anquan Boldin)

  13. We need something big from special teams I think, and we really have to avoid the penalties that kill drives.

  14. HawkfaninMT says:

    And the only category Ryans led all rookies in was… Tackles! Crap!

    I agree with you Stevos… Stats, Draft status, and TV Coverage trump, and Wagner got drafted in the wrong round by the wrong team to win the award… Too bad for him, but I am happy to have him!

  15. Ewalters7354 says:

    I don’t think either will get the award.Luck and RG3 can complete a 10yrd pass following back to back picks, and they will make it seem like that completion won the super bowl.Russell Wilson has a game winning drive, and the credit goes to the defense and the beast.

    Kuechly has a bunch of tackles in part of Carolina’s horrific option offense. But since he was a top 10 pick and leads the league in tackles, he will get the award.Just another way to hype up high draft picks smh

  16. TomPDX: Butler is here in Toronto. Don’t know if he’ll be active or not.

  17. Thanks Eric. Hope he makes a clutch 3rd down conversion for us that leads to a touchdown and ices the game! :-)

  18. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Bears up 7-0 on Greenbay.

    Peterson 82 yard td run.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    Not anymore. 7 all. Go Pack

  20. No way I’m rooting for Pack. Need them to lose as well as Giants and Niners…all of which could potentially pave the path for Hawks to get #2 seed, bye and host home game!

    go bears (vs pack)


  21. SO – almost everything falling our way today

    WA -losing
    TB – Losing

    and for getting the #2 seed
    NYG losing
    GB – Well not so much but there is time and there are other chances!!

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