Seahawks Insider

Morning links: 5 keys for Hawks vs. Panthers

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 8, 2013 at 5:35 am with 19 Comments »
September 8, 2013 7:25 am

Good morning. The weather forecast for game time here in Charlotte calls for 88 degrees and sunny this afternoon, so hopefully the Seahawks are hydrated and ready to go.

With that, here are five keys for Seattle as they try to get a win against Carolina. The Seahawks are 3-6 in road season openers since 2000.

Win the turnover battle: This was Seattle’s strength last season. Seattle finished No. 6 in the NFL in sudden change situations in 2012 with a plus-13 turnover differential. The Seahawks forced 20 turnovers and only turned it over five times in the last eight regular-season games, so it’s no surprise Seattle won 7 of 8 down the stretch. Last year at Carolina, the Seahawks actually lost the turnover battle 3-2, but still won the game. That will not happen today.

Put pressure on Cam: The Seahawks sacked Cam Newton four times last year, one of the reasons they held Carolina’s offense to 190 total yards. Seattle likely will be playing without Bruce Irvin, Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril, so who’s going to pressure the passer. Watch for Michael Bennett. He’s been playing like a beast in practice, and I think he’ll create pressure up the middle for Seattle today. Along with that, the Seahawks need O’Brien Schofield, Mike Morgan and Benson Mayowa to bring pressure off the edge.

Feed the Beast: This is one of the five keys every week, but even more important for Seattle when on the road. Because when this team runs the ball well, they control the tempo of the game. Lynch ran 21 times for 85 yards at Carolina last season. I think he needs to top 100 yards for Seattle to win today, and that will not be easy against an improved Panthers defensive front.

Dial up explosive plays: When you’re on the road, you have to take some shots in order to make it easier to put some points on the board. Expect to see that from Seattle. And I like Stephen Williams getting a couple chances deep, based on what he accomplished this preseason. With Carolina’s small corners, look for Seattle to go to Williams on a couple deep go routes.

Win on third down: On defense Seattle has to get off the field on the money down, and on offense the Seahawks have to stay in front of the sticks. That means no head-scratching penalties like this team had during preseason games. If Seattle can keep the third downs manageable on offense and get off the field on third down on defense, the Hawks have a chance to escape with a win here in Carolina.

Here’s my advance for today’s game. With several options at his disposal, Russell Wilson’s focused on getting the ball to the open man.

Dave Boling of The News Tribune predicts that Russell Wilson will complete 70 percent of his passes today. He also predicts a 12-4 record and Seattle reaching the Super Bowl.

Check out Seattle’s two-deep roster here.

Jim Moore of 710 ESPN Seattle likes the Seahawks 23-21.

Clare Farnsworth of gives us four matchups to watch in today’s game.

Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times writes that the journey begins for the Seahawks.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. Good morning everybody.

    Game day is finally here….. go hawks!

  2. Skavage says:

    Games like this make me nervous as hell. We’re a young team and we have a hugely important game at home next week against our biggest rival. Let’s hope these young guys are not looking past this game. Turnovers and field position are the biggest keys imo. Go Hawks!

  3. Can’t believe the first game of the season is finally here, I’m honestly very nervous about this game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us start slow again this year and I’m not feeling that confident about the team going into this one, but hey I’m usually wrong. At least we have the early game, my European ass will be able to go to bed early, but I’ll probably end up watching the Packers – 49ers game anyway, lol.

  4. I know all the media and analysts are picking the Seahawks to win this game, but with all Clem, Irvin and possibly Avril and Browner out, I think the game is going to be close. As Eric says, need to win the turnover battle and scoring first would quiet the crowd and give us some momentum.

  5. edstang45 says:

    Morning everybody…The key I am worried about is the pass rush, heres to the young guys stepping up and kicking ass..and if we can dial up some serious pressure then winning 3rd downs on Defense will be a win if Cam has all day then it could a long day…Hey JacDG where are you dude….Go Hawks

  6. Singularitarian says:

    not trying to be obnoxious, but I can’t figure out how a team can be 3-6 in 12 seasons…

  7. Singularitarian says:

    I think it’d be great if Stephen Williams gets targeted deep a few times, it’d be nice to get him going and exploit those match ups. Not much I could add to that list except maybe score touchdowns instead of field goals. Though that could be said every game. I’d like to see Seattle up over 28 points

  8. I’d like to see a continuation of Z. Miller from the ATL game last year and that both TE’s come out of this unscathed. Other than that, it’s the same old formula. Control the clock, pound the ball, get off on 3rd downs and win turnover battle.

    I can hardly wait.


  9. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Pinch me! Tell me this day is finally here.

  10. SandpointHawk says:

    3-6 in season openers “on the road” since 2000

  11. edstang45 says:

    Remeber Singularitarian (long nic) there has been a few forgettables seasons…

  12. FleaFlicker says:

    GeorgiaHawk: took the words right out of my mouth! Feels like Christmas morning when you’re the first one awake….just have to stare at the ceiling until presents get opened.

  13. Have fun everyone! Go Hawks!!!!

  14. montanamike2 says:

    I slept in a bit because i was too excited about today!
    My cousin came in from out of town last night and was surprised when i told him today would be one of the most important days of my life. He thought it was because of him, ha ha ha, he knows nothing about football!
    He’ll meet me after the game, i don’t want any bandwagon type distractions, last time he watched a game with me, he talked about meaningless shit the whole game. FairbanksDoug was spot on yesterday with his comments. Cheers to all, i hope we have a good victory and GB takes care of business too. I’ll be gone all day so i’ll talk to you later.
    Go Hawks!!!

  15. Audible says:

    I wouldn’t worry about the Seahawks looking past game one of the regular season on the road…more likely to happen later in the season.

    We had a lot of roster churn this past year with 18 new players…these guys are going to bring some extra intensity, and particularly the guys who are getting an opportunity to play because of injury. I think that enthusiasm will be contagious.

    Our freakish speed on defense will help contain Newton.

    If they stack up against the run, Wilson and his Posse of talented receivers are going to make mincemeat of that secondary.

    It might not be a blow-out, but I think we’ll see a dominating performance today, which will set the stage for our Superbowl run.

  16. LocalGutterGuy says:

    Holy (insert word here). I am jacked and READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL! Frankly mebane being hurt scared me the most. He seems healthy and we are going to be okay.


  17. pabuwal says:

    And that would make this one of those rare times in franchise history where the Seahawks went on the road and dominated in a 1 PM ET game.

    After 30 years of getting my head kicked in, I don’t trust them in this game. The Defense is my biggest concern – they’ve looked average at best and below average at worst on the road the past few years.

  18. “After 30 years of getting my head kicked in”

    Is that why you are the way you are? LOL!

    Just kidding. And I agree – but the vibe I’m getting from this team is different than all those other teams. I hope I can continue to believe that after they get a road “W” today. I’m still going to have full faith in a great season even with a “L” today, but if they do lose there is still gonna be that “road” thing in the back of our minds regardless until they can start winning these 10:00 a.m. games.

  19. Pabs and Bobby —
    ‘Average’ does not, will not, describe this year’s Seahawks defense. You know this. You have to believe this. Let’s watch.

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