Found September 28, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Well Seattle, here we go It is week 4 and the Seahawks are heading down to Houston to take on Andre Johnson and the Texans. (I don’t care how good JJ Watt is, Andre is the name that goes before the team. Because he’s my favorite player that isn’t a Seahawk and he is awesome. Although Seattle is 3-0 and has had a solid season, they still show areas of struggle that they have overcome because of their overall greatness. However, they will have quite the mountain to climb come Sunday. What I’m watching for. JJ Watt vs Whoever is at Tackle One key injury you never want to see on your team is left tackle – arguable the hardest to replace behind quarterback and maybe an elite wide receiver. Unfortunately Seattle’s Russell Okung went down with a toe injury – and will be out likely 7-8 weeks. Fortunately Seattle has one of the deeper offensive lines as well as innovative o-line/assistant coach Tom Cable. So they should be able to overcome Okung’s absence. But now right tackle Breno Giacomini and All-Pro center Max Unger are likely out for the match up. When it rains, it pours in Seattle. Max Unger likely out for this match up. Roh-Roh. This would be horrid news in any case, but of course Seattle is facing the best defensive player in the NFL this Sunday, JJ Watt. The man is 6’5″ 289 lbs of pure insanity. For those of you who don’t know, just watch here: This man, along with Wade Phillips’ heavy-blitzing defense will be attacking this scotch-taped offensive line all day. It will be interesting to see how Lemuel Jeanpierre and 7th-round rookie Michael Bowie hold up to the pressure. Big spot for these guys. Richard Sherman vs Andre Johnson As I previously stated, I have been a huge Andre Johnson fan since his days at The U. The man is simply a freak athlete, has great hands, runs smooth routes and lets his game do the talking for him – rather than run his mouth like every other diva-receiver out there. However, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Dre take a day off this week. And I don’t suspect Richard Sherman will slack off by any means against the 6-time pro bowler. Andre has been bitten by the injury bug all throughout his career. And sadly, at 32, his prime and “healthiest” years are likely behind him. This year has been no different, as he has already had a concussion and a shin injury. He is expected to make the start this Sunday, but even at his healthiest – will have his work cut out for him going against the top shut-down corner in the league that is my guy Sherm. One thing I am excited to see is the chatter between the two. Andre is a humble man, who rarely speaks. But we have all seen what he did to Cortland Finnegan – another known chatter box on the outside. If you haven’t, enjoy: Hopefully Sherman’s mouth won’t get him in the ring with Dre, but will just keep Andre and his play quiet. Seattle’s Front Seven vs Houston’s Running Game Now notice I didn’t say Arian Foster. Last year I would have. But it is officially a running back committee in Houston with Ben Tate having an incredible year in the backup role – 27 carries for 184 yards, 6.8 ypc. As much as the fantasy player in me hates to say it, it is true. While Houston has an elite wide out in Johnson, the heart and soul of their offense is the running game. When it’s rolling, it opens up the play action for Schaub which gets Owen Daniels open up the seam and Andre in single coverage. An attack that is very difficult to slow, which is why we must stop the running game from the get-go. Seattle is 12th in the league in rush defense, allowing 95 yards per game. However, the starting running backs on all three teams have done very little against Seattle’s front seven. DeAngelo Williams: 17 carries for 86 yards and 1 fumble Frank Gore: 9 carries for 16 yards Maurice Jones-Drew: 19 carries for 43 yards and 1 touchdown (on a drive that began on the SEA 2) As you can see, most of the yards given up were either to quarterbacks or backups. Meaning, we should keep an eye on Ben Tate. Darrell Bevell vs Wade Phillips This will ultimately decide the outcome. Wade came into Houston and resurrected a last place defense and brought them up to 2nd place in his first year. HIS FIRST YEAR. Bevell is going to have a lot of eyes on him Sunday. Incredible stat. Since then, they have shown glimpses of greatness, yet seem to crumble against decent teams. He is likely licking his chops when he sees our injury report – and is dialing up several blitz packages to try and take Russell down. Bevell is going to need to counter. Houston is 9th in the league in rush defense, so with a battered offensive line is going to be very difficult to get Marshawn Lynch going. I’m sure he will pound those legs into some tough yards and squeeze out 60-70. But we shall see how much push our o-line will be able to get. This is why Bevell is going to have to get Russell on the move. If – worst case scenario – our ground game stalls, it will be crucial to get Russell out of the pocket and give him time to get the ball to his wide outs. Whether it be designed boot legs or just natural avoidance abilities by Russ, his movement will be vital to a victory. The Seahawks vs a 10:00 am Road Game It has been said and said again, how Seattle struggles on the road. They showed their struggles in week one when they traveled to Carolina and won in a grind-out against Cam Newton and that underrated front seven. It wasn’t a pretty game, but we won. This cannot be the same style. Seattle must get more of a running game and can’t allow Foster to get running room like they did DeAngelo Williams. Seattle travels more than any other team, and the 10:00 am games are no easy task to overcome when playing a game with the intensity of football. But Pete Carroll is going to have to rally his boys and get them going early, so we can start off strong and get a victory down in Texas. GO HAWKS!!!! CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE AT NWSB!

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