Sunday, December 21, 2008

Game Preview: Seahawks vs. Jets

by: Chris Sullivan

Well, it's been ten years in the making, but today is the last home game for Mike Holmgren as head coach of your Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks face an uncommonly steep hill to climb in order to send Holmgren out with a victory, but one would imagine the team will be motivated to give it their all in his home game swan song.

The game looks to be bogged down by the cold and snow, with the potential for high winds throughout. As most of you know, this type of weather typically suggests that the best running team is going to walk with a W--here's how I think the Hawks will pull it off today:
  • The offensive line must continue its surprising play and then some. For the third consecutive week, the Seahawks' line has no reason to be any good at all (the top six starters on our O-Line are all on Injured Reserve), but the Seahawks will, for the third week in a row, rely on them to play like a veteran unit. With the running game being the key to the game, the only way to get the recently stalled running game going is through solid, NFL-level play by the young offensive line.
  • The running backs must provide a spark. I don't care if it is Maurice Morris or Julius Jones, though I imagine we will be seeing more Mo Mo than Ju Jo today, because Morris has more on the line right now (free agent in '09) and Holmgren is going to lean on the guys most likely to play their hearts out for him. Whoever lines up behind Seneca today MUST be explosive and at least play up to the level of rival back Thomas Jones.
  • No mistakes from Seneca. He has had two back-to-back very good games. He needs a third, desperately. We don't need 300 yards and 3 TDs, we just need 65% completion percentage and no more than 1 turnover.
  • Contain Thomas Jones. This is the biggest task for the Hawks in this snow bowl; Mebane and Bernard must keep the middle clogged up like they have all year long (along with Terrill and Howard Green). The linebackers must be solid in defending against the run game too, especially if we manage to push Jones out to the edges.
This is going to be a very tough game for the Hawks. The Jets have much more experience playing in this type of weather, and this will be Seneca's first snow-start since at least college. Still, it is Coach's last home game and there is not a fan in the stands not rooting for a big win here. If the fans SHOW UP despite this snow and send Holmgren out with the goodbye he deserves, I think we can pull the upset today.

Your thoughts?