Coming off a high in which they successfully dominated in almost every category, the Hawks will face a very weak Vikings team at home. Despite their overall weakness, the Vikes have one of the greatest running backs ever in their backfield. If he does play despite his current groin injury, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will present a significant challenge for the Hawks. The key to their success in this week’s game will be limiting Peterson’s success.
Although the Vikings are equipped with a prominent rushing attack, the Vikings are not a balanced football team, ranking fourth worst in opponent passing yards and 25th in passing yards gained. The areas in which the Vikings struggle are areas in which the Hawks must find success in order to win. Hopefully, the Hawks can capitalize with a successful passing performance and an ability to create turnovers with the legion of boom.
Eager to watch Peterson take the field against the Hawks, I am worried that he may give the Vikings a chance just as Bucs RB Mike James gave the Bucs a chance in week 9 when he ran for 158 yards. In order to win the Hawks have to minimize Peterson’s impact on the game, and continue their balanced offensive attack they displayed last week against the Falcons. Keep in mind there is still the possibility that Peterson may not take the field Sunday, in that case I look for the Hawks to win with ease.
Last Sunday the Hawks beat the Falcons in a dominating 33-10 victory. Throwing for 287 yards and two touchdowns, Russell Wilson led the team to victory. His efforts were only made possible by much improved offensive line blocking and a powerful rushing attack in which Marshawn Lynch rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown. Defensively the Hawks were equally as dominant in their abilities to stop the run and the pass, limiting falcons quarter back Matt Ryan to only 172 yards passing and a touchdown, and holding running back Steven Jackson to 11 yards on 9 carries.
In comparison to the games played against the Rams and the Buccaneers, last week’s game was a blowout, not because of the difference in score, but because of the difference in performance. In weeks prior to the Falcons game, the Hawks struggled to generate a balanced offense while protecting the QB, and they also failed miserably at stopping the run. This last week, Lynch set a new season high for rushing yards in a game, Wilson played excellently and was able to stand in the pocket comfortably, and the defense proved that they can defend the pass and stuff the run at the same time.
The Seahawks defensive efforts were collective in their performance, every facet played well and no single player stood out. The Falcons on the other hand had a one man tackling machine by the name of Paul Worrilow. Worrilow recorded 19 total tackles in his start for injured Falcon LB Sean Weatherspoon. After his breakout performance, Worrilow will likely be guaranteed a spot as a Falcons starter.
Despite the Hawks overall success, I’m apprehensive to give them too much credit in their ability to stop the run. Although they did hold the Falcons to a total of 64 rushing yards, they accomplished the feat against a rushing offense that ranks last in yards gained. This Sunday’s games against the Vikings will prove an adequate test for their run stopping abilities, as they face Adrian Peterson.
The key to tomorrow’s game is good pass protection. Lately the Hawks have struggled mightily in the realm of pass blocking, and it has shown in their slight victories over bad football teams. This Sunday the Hawks will attempt to beat the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The last time the Hawks faced Atlanta at the dome, the game ended in an unfortunate but close divisional playoff loss. This time around the Hawks are equipped to beat a much less dominant Falcons team.
The Falcons are currently 2-6 and haven’t shown any signs of a possible season turnaround. Despite their terrible record, hawks fans should not underestimate the Falcons, the Hawks have had significant trouble beating weaker teams in recent weeks. Much of their struggle can be attributed to the poor play of the offensive line. Russell Wilson is the most pressured quarter back in the league, he has been under pressure on 40% of his pass attempts. If the Hawks are to squeak by another weak opponent, they have to find a way to give Wilson more time.
Even though the Hawks have had trouble stopping the run, averaging 202.2 rushing yards allowed in the last two games, expect Richard Sherman and the legion of Boom to flourish against a struggling Falcon’s pass attack. Falcon’s quarter back Matt Ryan has thrown seven interceptions in his last two games, and his interception total will likely increase on Sunday as he faces a tough Seahawks secondary.
The Hawks secondary will remain consistent as their offense attempts to get on track. As long as the O-line can keep Wilson up right, the Hawks should move to 9-1 on the year.
Despite their disgraceful performance last Sunday against the Bucs, the Hawks pulled out the win. The sloppy victory has caused much concern, and I myself among many, am very worried by the two straight weeks of non-existent rushing defense and offensive line blocking. I place full blame for the 21-0 hole on the Seahawks, even though a terrible call against S Earl Thomas caused a momentum swing that favored the Buccaneers.
The Hawks poor performance ultimately boiled down to terrible play from the offensive line. Although they didn’t give up a single sack, the hawks O-line struggled significantly, and their struggles resulted in a battered and bruised QB. Russell Wilson was on the ground after almost every other play and the effects could be seen in his play. For the first time, I saw a Russell Wilson that was not calm and collected in the pocket, he was frantic and hurried. As a result of this, Russell made two unusually bad throws near the end zone that resulted in interceptions. Fortunately, the run game was on track as usual and Lynch ran for 125 yards.
Accompanied by the bad pass blocking, the Hawks had tremendous trouble stopping the run. The buccaneers ran for 205 yards against the Hawks. Lately the Hawks have been uncharacteristically terrible at run defense. It’s a mystery as to where the problem lies in stopping the run but if the Hawks are to contend for a super bowl, they must fix their championship caliber defense.
It’s reassuring that the Hawks can come back from 21 point deficits, but in the future they can’t dig themselves into holes this deep, because they may not always be able to climb out of them. Fortunately, even when he’s under distress Russell Wilson can lift the Hawks to victory.
This Sunday the Hawks will attempt to rebound against the winless Buccaneers. Coming into the game with and 0-7 record, the Bucs aren’t expected to be a challenge for the Hawks. Even though the Hawks struggled last week, they will most likely find tremendous success against a very bad Buccaneers team.
On offense, I predict that the Hawks will have minimal trouble in scoring points. The play of their offensive line was terrible in last week’s game, but against a much weaker Bucs’ defensive line I don’t foresee any problems running or passing the ball. Defensively the Hawks should not have any problems, the Bucs rank 26th in passing yards and 22nd in rushing yards. The inefficiency of the Bucs offense combined with the strength of the Hawks defense should result in a marginal victory.
Unfortunately, the Hawks lost WR Sidney Rice to season ending injury last week. The loss of Rice has worried many Seahawks fans, but the potential return of WR Percy Harvin in coming weeks leaves me optimistic. That being said, I don’t wish to see Harvin in action this week. There is no need to rush his return against a weak team like the Bucs.
Ultimately, the Hawks will find success at home against the Bucs. This week is more about getting healthy and finding an offensive rhythm.
Despite winning in the final seconds of their week 8 game against the Rams, the Seahawk’s were far from extraordinary. They allowed 200 rushing yards to one of the worst running teams in the NFL, and managed to accumulate only 91 yards passing. The only reason the Seahawks were able to come away with a victory, was because they didn’t turn the ball over a single time.
The Seahawks Offensive Line played terribly, allowing a total of seven sacks and failing to generate any sort of rushing offense, generating only 44 yards on the ground. The Hawks failure to rush was matched by their inability to stop the rush. Rams RB Zac Stacy had 134 yards rushing on the night. Fortunately the Hawks did not allow the Rams their first rushing touchdown on the year and capitalized on turnovers.
Their successful turnover margin and their final goal line stand, were the only positives of last Monday Night’s game. Even though our play was good enough to beat the Rams, we need our O-line to play better moving forward. Next Week against the Buccaneers at home, the Hawks will attempt to get back on track against a very weak opponent.