Keys for the Hawks vs. Bengals
- O-line, O-line, O-line
Unless you have been living underneath a rock located at the bottom of an underwater sea canyon, you are familiar with the JV’ness that is the Seahawks offensive line. Russell Wilson has been under constant pressure and last week against the Lions the line was as porous as ever.
2. Get the run game back on track
At the time of this post, Marshawn Lynch is still listed as questionable, but referring back to point number one, it probably doesn’t matter who is lined up in the backfield. This team is built on running the ball and we have seen that even with Russell quietly playing very well, Darrell Bevell’s offense is not built to win relying on the pass.
3. Win the turnover battle
Andy Dalton is on fire with 9 touchdowns against only 1 interception, looking nothing like the Dalton we have seen lose 4 straight playoff games. Maybe picking him off shouldn’t be expected, especially since the Seahawks have not force an interception yet this year.
But the Hawks have a few things going for them that might turn the odds in their favor. After the Detroit game it seems Kam Chancellor is 100% back, against Chicago it would have been unreasonable to expect him to have his powers, but we saw how he dropped Calvin Johnson (not a small dude) and then forced a game saving fumble, no doubt Kam is back.
Second is the play of Cary Williams. Sherman still isn’t getting thrown at and against Detroit Williams showed that he is starting to grasp the team’s scheme and held his own against arguably the game’s best receiver in Johnson. A.J. Green is no slouch either, but it looks like Williams is up for the challenge.
Last is that Dalton hasn’t faced any elite teams yet, therefore he hasn’t been forced to throw as much in pressure situations. In fact the Bengals have only thrown the ball 116 times (28th in the NFL) The only teams he has faced with more than one win are the Raiders and Chargers, both at 2-2. It will be interesting to see how he responds to being tested by one of the best defensive units in the league.
4. Keep the game close
For the past couple years the Seahawks have won in the second half by staying close and wearing teams down. Rarely have they been hot out the gate and had a game wrapped up by halftime. They win by running the ball and suffocating defense. The past couple games they’ve only given up 10 points, showing that they are back in top form. And if they can hang around, We have seen Russell and the rest pull out miracles before.
Photo: Bleacher Report