Seahawks-Redskins Preview ... Key to Victory #1 ...

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  • Alright ... because I've gotten some comments on this consistently over the past few weeks, I'm going to try breaking this up in to pieces (for my ADHD folks especially) so that people can digest them easier. [That and our Redskin guests can tell me how cracked in the head I probably am as far as my assessments go. LOL!] As I get these pieces done, I'll go ahead and post them ... and then will also post the whole thing in its entirety (probably late Friday Night or so). We'll see how this goes. That said, let's get our Preview going with Sehawks Key to Victory #1 ...

    Double Impact …
    5 Keys to Victory for the Seahawks vs. the Redskins …
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    [Hank Williams, Jr playing:] “Are you ready for some football?” Yeah Baby, here we are at long last – back in the playoffs! Seattle finished the 2012 regular season 11-5 – just the 3rd time in franchise history that the Seahawks have topped the 11 win mark. But of course … the Hawks have their sights set on a much higher prize – the Lombardi Trophy. The Seahawks enter the playoffs on a hot streak, having won 7 of their last 8 games and outscoring teams 170-43 over their last 4 games. They are a team that no one truly wants to play. Well on Sunday, the Hawks face another team that enters the playoffs equally hot – the Washington Redskins. I said back at the end of November that this Redskin team was one to keep an eye on, and they certainly proved that, winning their last 7 games in a row. For most of this season, most of the national discussion surrounding who will win Offensive Rookie of the Year has centered on the first 2 picks of the 2012 NFL Draft – the Colts Andrew Luck … and the Redskins Robert Griffin III. After the Bear Beat-down in Chicago though, the rest of the country woke up to the fact that there was a 3rd Candidate – one who hadn’t been handed his job from Day 1 … an unheralded too short 3rd Round Pick who actually had to earn his position as the starting quarterback of an NFL Team … and to prove that he belonged week in and week out – Seattle’s Russell Wilson. This Sunday afternoon it’s Griffin and Wilson – mano a mano – each with a chance to pad their resume … and to get one step closer to football’s ultimate prize. Here are 5 Keys to Victory for the Seahawks as they face Griffin and this high powered Redskin Team …


    Key #1: Put a Governor on the Twin Engine Race Car …
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    “How would you game plan against your offense?” That was the question that 710 ESPN’s Mike Salk posed to Pete Carroll last week – a question that Carroll refused to answer. This week, Carroll is going to have to answer that question, as the Redskins Offense in so many ways mirrors the Seahawks own. Though most of the attention will be placed squarely upon stopping Robert Griffin III … stopping the Redskin passing game shouldn’t be the primary focus for the Seahawks this week. A brief comparison of the Redskins and Seahawks Offenses shows why …

    Redskins Offense
    442 pass attempts (46% of time) … 3666 passing yards
    519 rush attempts (54% of time) … 2709 rushing yards
    961 total offensive attempts … 6,375 total yards

    Seahawks Offense
    405 pass attempts (43% of time) … 3,234 passing yards
    536 rush attempts (57% of time) … 2,579 rushing yards
    941 total offensive attempts … 5,813 total yards


    As you can see, like the Seahawks, the Redskins RUN the ball more than they PASS the ball.

    If you take a look at the Redskin Offense purely by number of attempts …stopping Alfred Morris becomes front and center the #1 Priority for this Seahawks defense. Alfred Morris had 335 attempts rushing attempts this season -- so in essence, handoffs to him accounted for 34.8% of the total plays that either Redskins Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan called (or Robert Griffin III has called for himself via the Read Option) this year.

    As if 1,613 Rushing Yards and 13 Rushing Touchdowns by Morris weren’t bad enough … the Seahawks ALSO have to contend with a quarterback who does the exact same things Russell Wilson does – run the Read Option and makes plays with his legs.

    The Redskins 519 Rushing Attempts were the 3rd Most in the NFL (Seattle was #1) … so slowing down the running attack should certainly be first and foremost on the mind of Gus Bradley this week. Here is a brief look at the Redskin Running Attack and how the Seahawks Rush Defense compares …

    Redskins Rushing Offense vs. Seahawks Rush Defense …
    Redskins Off. CategoryNFL RankSeahawks Def. CategoryNFL Rank
    27.2 Points Scored/Game4th Most15.3 Points Allowed/Game#1 in NFL
    169.3 Rushing Yards/Game Avg.1st103.1 Rushing Yds/Game Allowed Avg.10th
    5.2 Rushing Yards/Att. Avg.2nd4.5 Rushing Yds/Att. Allowed23rd
    16 Runs of 20+ Yards4th Most10 Runs of 20+ Yards Allowed Avg.16th
    22 Rushing TD’s2nd Most8 Rushing TD’s Allowed5th Fewest
    341 First Downs7th Most295 First Downs Allowed8th Fewest
    13 Rushing Fumbles2nd Most20 Forced Fumblestied for 5th Best
    Stuffed Behind LOS 16% of Time3rd Best36 Tackles for Loss32nd


    As you can see from the numbers above, the Redskins have been highly productive on the ground this year. Along with the Seahawks, they have been one of the top rushing offenses in the league. Like Frank Gore, Alfred Morris is a squat, big, physical explosive back (5’9” 218 pounds) who (though he only runs a 40 in 4.67 seconds) has great vision, change of direction, and cutback ability. All the 6th Round Draft Choice out of Florida Atlantic University has done this year has been to set the Redskins All-Time mark for Rushing Yards in a season. Thanks to Morris and the dynamic legs of Robert Griffin III (RGIII runs a 40 in 4.41 seconds), the Redskins have 16 Runs of 20 Yards or More (4th Most) … average a phenomenal 5.2 Yards/Rush (2nd Best) … and have scored the 2nd most rushing TD’s in the league (22). And in the tradition of the Redskin hogs they have always seemed to have had, they have had an excellent group that has consistently blasted open holes for Morris and RGIII. According to Football Outsiders, the Redskins Offensive Line is the 7th Best Run Blocking Team in the league. On average, Morris and RGIII have been stuffed at or behind the Line of Scrimmage only 16% of the time (that’s 3rd Best in the league).

    For a team like the Seahawks who this year allowed …

    Frank Gore to gain 131 Yards and average 5.5 Yards/Carry in Week 7 …

    Adrian Peterson to gash them for 182 Yards, average 9.0 Yards/Carry, and score 2 TD in Week 9 …

    The Miami Dolphins to gain 189 Yards, average 6.8 Yards/Carry, and score 2 TD in Week 12 …

    and C.J. Spiller to get 103 yards, average 6.1 yards/carry, and a score touchdown in Week 15 …


    … such productivity on the ground honestly should make Seattle fans a bit nervous. And I would say that the main reason those runners were able to post such numbers against the Seahawks was due to the lack penetration we have seen from Seattle’s Defensive Front 7 all year long. As you can see from the statistics above, the Seahawks have been exceedingly poor at getting consistent penetration in to opposing teams’ backfields, as their 36 Tackles for Loss ranks DEAD LAST in the league. Look for Defensive Line and/or Linebacker to be a high priority come Draft Time. In the meantime though, Gus Bradley and the Seahawks defense was got to find a way to slow these guys down this Sunday. To say that Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, and Bobby Wagner need to have big games goes without saying.

    That and the Seahawks propensity for allowing big plays downfield at times is exactly why I suggested last week we might see “the Amoeba” Defense brought out of mothballs for this game … as a 6 or 7 Defensive Back package actually might be just the ticket to cut down on those big plays and to bring greater speed and quickness to bear against Morris and RGIII.

    That said, the Seahawks did contain Frank Gore the 2nd Time around, holding him to just 28 yards in Week 16, rendering him a complete non-factor in that game … and doing the same to backs like Steven Ridley (34 yards) … and Matt Forte (66 yards). They have also had good success against running quarterbacks this year, holding Cam Newton [last year’s RGIII to only 42 yards rushing and a QB Rating of 56.8] and Colin Kaepernick (just 31 yards rushing and a QB Rating of 72.0) in check. So we’ll see if they can duplicate that same success on the road this week.

    But we should also add that Robert Griffin … hasn’t been Robert Griffin for the past few weeks. During the 2nd Half of Redskins 31-28 OT win against the Ravens on 12/9, Griffin took a shot by Haloti Ngata, trying to extend himself to get every single yard instead of sliding. It cost him in the form of a right sprained knee that has hampered his ability to scramble ever since.

    Griffin returned 2 weeks later against the Eagles … and gained only 4 yards on 2 carries. And though RGIII did gain 63 yards on 6 carries against the Cowboys … they limited him in the passing game to just 9 of 18 pass completions for 100 yards. Griffin did look like he had some of his mobility back, but he certainly didn’t look like his old self scrambling around back there.

    If there’s one problem that has been noted about RGIII … it’s that he takes far too many chances trying to get the extra yard (In that arena, Russell Wilson has been much smarter, as he knows when to get down). My advice to RGIII – don’t do that against this defense. There’s a reason this Seahawks Defense has the nickname “The Legion of Boom”. This is an incredibly physical, big time hitting defense that could very well be a factor in RGIII’s ability to scramble around in this game. If Griffin tries going for the extra yard against THIS group … he’s liable to get his head taken off by big time boomers like Brandon Browner or Kam Chancellor.

    But Robert Griffin III can do much more than simply run the ball … (Which is where we'll turn our attention next)
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  • Good stuff! Thanks.
    Richard Sherman doesn't just wanna get in your head, he wants to build a vacation home there.

    R. Sherman: "I don't want to be an island. I want to be a tourist attraction. You come, I take your money & you go."
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  • I love these man. Excellent work. I think spreading them out will help everyone read them all through, because they are loaded with excellent information and very well written. And I love the pictures, always very cool.

    I definitely agree with you that this game is going to come down to the running game. Thanks for the chart showing the Skins Run Game/Seahawks Run Defense side by side. Great stuff.

    Thanks again!
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  • Look forward to the rest of it.
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  • Awesome work, love the visuals. Takes it an extra step! Looking forward to #2~!
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  • Although I agree with you on most of this. I do have to disagree with you on CJ Spiller. He only had 28 yards on us before we started to run away with the game.
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  • Another interesting stat on the running games is attempts.
    Seattle is #2 in opponent rushing attempts (17 on opponent passing attempts). Would have to dig into the number to see if the last 4 games skewed that number.
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  • great job writing this up . . . i would be a bit leary of using too many DB's against the Skins running game . . .while the extra speed may help slow them down, Morris is a lot like Lynch in that he will lower his shoulder and run over guys which is an easier task against corners and safeties than again linebackers and d-lineman . . .

    as for RGIII, i think his lack of explosion last week against the Cowboys was more due to his knee brace than the knee injury . . . and from what i heard this morning RGIII is being fitted for a new, much lighter more flexible brace . . . as a Skins fan i sure hope so, because i don't give us much of a chance with the RGIII from the Cowboys game as the Seahawks defense is far faster and healthier than what Dallas put on the field Sunday night . . .
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  • SkinsGuru wrote:great job writing this up . . . i would be a bit leary of using too many DB's against the Skins running game . . .while the extra speed may help slow them down, Morris is a lot like Lynch in that he will lower his shoulder and run over guys which is an easier task against corners and safeties than again linebackers and d-lineman . . .

    as for RGIII, i think his lack of explosion last week against the Cowboys was more due to his knee brace than the knee injury . . . and from what i heard this morning RGIII is being fitted for a new, much lighter more flexible brace . . . as a Skins fan i sure hope so, because i don't give us much of a chance with the RGIII from the Cowboys game as the Seahawks defense is far faster and healthier than what Dallas put on the field Sunday night . . .


    Did you forget our corners ARE linebacker sized and powered, with corner speed? Thats what makes our defense suited to stopping the Redskins.
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  • KitsapHawk wrote:
    SkinsGuru wrote:great job writing this up . . . i would be a bit leary of using too many DB's against the Skins running game . . .while the extra speed may help slow them down, Morris is a lot like Lynch in that he will lower his shoulder and run over guys which is an easier task against corners and safeties than again linebackers and d-lineman . . .

    as for RGIII, i think his lack of explosion last week against the Cowboys was more due to his knee brace than the knee injury . . . and from what i heard this morning RGIII is being fitted for a new, much lighter more flexible brace . . . as a Skins fan i sure hope so, because i don't give us much of a chance with the RGIII from the Cowboys game as the Seahawks defense is far faster and healthier than what Dallas put on the field Sunday night . . .


    Did you forget our corners ARE linebacker sized and powered, with corner speed? Thats what makes our defense suited to stopping the Redskins.


    you have a great secondary i'll give you that . . . but i'd still rather try to run over a corner or safety than a linebacker or d-lineman . . . a big corner is still smaller than a linebacker
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  • People whined about you posting them all in one post? Hell, that was more convenient and easier to find. For the people that have issues with it, read part one and come back later, crybabies.

    Good stuff, and I hope in the future you'll go back to the giant wall of text in one post. ;)
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  • If you saw Jeremy Lane (DB) going against Anthony Davis (RT) in the 9ers game, you don't want a lot of looks with multiple DBs being your main run-stopping option. Malcolm Smith has great speed, so if you need to, alternate him with Hill if the Skins are spreading the D out. KJ Wright and Wagner have speed as well and I would rather see them in than Guy. Jeron Johnson isn't bad at safety. Maxwell as well at DB.
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  • Very concered about Sidney rice. Dude is hurt and has been invisible the last two games. Hope he gets well quick. I have a bad feeling about this match up. The Skins blits like crazy and with Moffitt and Carp out this is not shaping up well at all.
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  • Shock2k wrote:Another interesting stat on the running games is attempts.
    Seattle is #2 in opponent rushing attempts (17 on opponent passing attempts). Would have to dig into the number to see if the last 4 games skewed that number.


    That's an interesting factoid -- someone can dive in to that one further if you're so inclined.

    I know that a lot of the experts out there are going to be saying stopping RGIII is the key to this game ... but (for the Seahawks now), I'd say looking at the numbers -- Alfred Morris is the real key to this game for the Hawks. If they stop/limit him ... they have an excellent shot in this game with Browner and Sherman and the way they play defense.

    Two other factoids related to the Redskins running game that I didn't highlight in the main piece ...

    1) On Goal to Go or 3rd and 4th and Short situations ... I believe the Hawks have the advantage there. Football Outsiders ranks the Redskins Offensive Line 24th in those situations ... whereas they rank Seattle's Defensive Front 7 3rd Best in that category. So in those situations, the odds favor the Hawks.

    2) The Redskins had 13 Rushing Fumbles on the season (2nd Most in the league). Against a defense that prides itself in creating turnovers, that could really come in to play.
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  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    Shock2k wrote:Another interesting stat on the running games is attempts.
    Seattle is #2 in opponent rushing attempts (17 on opponent passing attempts). Would have to dig into the number to see if the last 4 games skewed that number.


    That's an interesting factoid -- someone can dive in to that one further if you're so inclined.

    I know that a lot of the experts out there are going to be saying stopping RGIII is the key to this game ... but (for the Seahawks now), I'd say looking at the numbers -- Alfred Morris is the real key to this game for the Hawks. If they stop/limit him ... they have an excellent shot in this game with Browner and Sherman and the way they play defense.

    Two other factoids related to the Redskins running game that I didn't highlight in the main piece ...

    1) On Goal to Go or 3rd and 4th and Short situations ... I believe the Hawks have the advantage there. Football Outsiders ranks the Redskins Offensive Line 24th in those situations ... whereas they rank Seattle's Defensive Front 7 3rd Best in that category. So in those situations, the odds favor the Hawks.

    2) The Redskins had 13 Rushing Fumbles on the season (2nd Most in the league). Against a defense that prides itself in creating turnovers, that could really come in to play.



    don't foreget that washington is 2nd in the league in TO differential at 17 . . . the seahawks are not far behind though coming in at tie with Atlanta for 4th with 13 . . .
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  • If we stack the box consistently and force RG3 to throw against our great secondary and stick mostly to man coverage, I smell a win.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:If we stack the box consistently and force RG3 to throw against our great secondary and stick mostly to man coverage, I smell a win.


    this is more what i expect Seattle to try and do . . . and if the Skins are going to be successful it will be due to Kyle scheming his WR's open, something he has done a tremendous job at this year . . .
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  • SkinsGuru wrote:and if the Skins are going to be successful it will be due to Kyle scheming his WR's open, something he has done a tremendous job at this year . . .


    I've seen that, in the two games I've watched of the Redskins' season. Unfortunately for you guys, though, it's almost impossible to shake Richard Sherman. He basically knocks whoever he's covering out of the game. Browner can be beat with elite speed, so if K.Shan is smart, he should put your fastest receiver on Browner. No sense lining up your best against Sherman, IMO. He has just been THAT good.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:
    SkinsGuru wrote:and if the Skins are going to be successful it will be due to Kyle scheming his WR's open, something he has done a tremendous job at this year . . .


    I've seen that, in the two games I've watched of the Redskins' season. Unfortunately for you guys, though, it's almost impossible to shake Richard Sherman. He basically knocks whoever he's covering out of the game. Browner can be beat with elite speed, so if K.Shan is smart, he should put your fastest receiver on Browner. No sense lining up your best against Sherman, IMO. He has just been THAT good.


    This will be a very interesting match up for sure as this will be the best secondary the Skins have faced this year . . .
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  • I just don't think the Redskins have the weapons on offense to put up a lot of pts against this defense. Washington's offense just doesn't throw anything at this defense that Seattle can't handle. They lack a big mismatch player, and you need one of those if you want to beat this defense.
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  • cesame wrote:I just don't think the Redskins have the weapons on offense to put up a lot of pts against this defense. Washington's offense just doesn't throw anything at this defense that Seattle can't handle. They lack a big mismatch player, and you need one of those if you want to beat this defense.


    Nobody does. The most points we've allowed in any one game this year is 28, to the Lions; and our defense inexplicably crapped the bed for half of that game. Not taking anything away from Detroit.

    If the Redskins get 30 on us, I'll be floored.
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  • Washingtons offense is a lot less foreboding than SF's and you saw what we did to them, and now we have browner who is an excellent run defender.
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  • Redskins have been pretty affective at scheme though. Take a 4.67 7th round rookie bruiser running back and turn him into the 3rd best rusher in the league. I mean, my hats off to that coaching staff.
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  • Largent80 wrote:Washingtons offense is a lot less foreboding than SF's and you saw what we did to them, and now we have browner who is an excellent run defender.

    I'd argue against that. The Skins have one of the most dynamic offenses in the league and are very savvy with taking what the defense is giving. People love to bring up the Hawks games against Kapernick as an example of them shutting down a Zone/Read/Pistol game but they hardly ran any pistol at all in that game. And even still, no team runs it to the tune that Skins do.

    I think the defenses will both have their hands full.
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  • You can ARGUE against it, but you have to stop it, and I don't think that will happen.
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  • Largent80 wrote:You can ARGUE against it, but you have to stop it, and I don't think that will happen.

    My thoughts exactly :)
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  • Shock2k wrote:Redskins have been pretty affective at scheme though. Take a 4.67 7th round rookie bruiser running back and turn him into the 3rd best rusher in the league. I mean, my hats off to that coaching staff.


    This is the key to the Redskins offense . . . its about not individuals, its about the scheme . . . and not just the option stuff either, but ShannyCo has put together a scheme that can be adapted very quickly to what the defense is doing . . . they have also done a great job setting up drives later in the game by showing something over and over earlier in the game . . . Seattle has a great Defense, but they have not played against this offense either and they will have to figure the Skins out as well . . .
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  • SkinsGuru wrote:
    Shock2k wrote:Redskins have been pretty affective at scheme though. Take a 4.67 7th round rookie bruiser running back and turn him into the 3rd best rusher in the league. I mean, my hats off to that coaching staff.


    . . . its about not individuals, its about the scheme . . . quote]

    Could you clarify this please, or edit it.
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  • One common opponent between the two teams is Minnesota, which is also a playoff team. Hawks gave up 182 yards to Adrian Peterson, while Redskins only gave up 79 yards. I think there should be more concern about this game. The hawks defense might matchup well with Redskins offense on paper, but I think Redskins are better in rush defense by statistical performance. This game will not be high point total game, but a grind it out ground game. RG3 will limited by injury and hawks offense has propensity for giving up sacks. This may boil down to who has the best breakout run by one of the two star running backs (Lynch and Morris), rather than on the QBs. Morris is #2 in yards and Lynch is #3.
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  • I'm sticking to linebacker discipline. Our LB Core are fast with good vision. But they have had times when they overpursue and get burned. Just talking base 1rst, 2nd down run game here.
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  • This is why we will win Sunday:
    Mike Sando wrote:Wilson leads the NFL in QBR since Week 10 (84.1) and ranks second to Manning since Week 5 (81.7). He tied Manning's rookie record for touchdown passes with 26 even though Seattle kept its offense under wraps for the first few weeks of the season. His plus-16 margin of touchdowns to interceptions was the best by a rookie in NFL history. Wilson posted an 8-0 starting record at home. He also leads the NFL in QBR on the road since Week 8 and it's not close (92.7 for Wilson, 88.7 for Ryan and 84.7 for Manning). He has 10 total touchdowns and just one turnover on the road over that span. Wilson has five touchdown passes and no picks in his last three road games.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/ ... p-watch-70

    That, and our defense is far superior.
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  • How about Penalties per game.
    SEA is 27th | 6.9/G | 55/Yds/G (21rst)
    WAS is 29th | 7.2/G | 61/Yds/G (30th)

    Factor? Oh hell let's be honest the only glaring difference is points allowed in any of the stats.
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  • Shock2k wrote:I'm sticking to linebacker discipline. Our LB Core are fast with good vision. But they have had times when they overpursue and get burned. Just talking base 1rst, 2nd down run game here.

    This will definitely be a key as RG3 is one of the best in the league at play fakes. Your LBs and DEs will constantly be put in situations where they have to make quick decisions if they want to stop the Skins O. I'm eager to see how you guys defend us.
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  • get points, love your work scanner
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  • Skins fans. Thanks for being so nice and cordial on our board. Your team is one that have almost nothing against except the biased media attention which is actually a blessing for us.

    I am glad you guys are so confident, as you should be. Unfortunately for you, we will dominate every facet of this game and it won't be close though you can console yourself with the promise of a bright future.

    Hawkscanner, thanks for the well researched analysis. But for your own blood pressure's sake, relax bud. We will handle this team.
    "I don't know why anyone thinks the NFL is going to start the season with a rematch of one of the most lopsided Super Bowls of all-time.

    They want a competitive game, not an ass-pounding." --- Broncos Fan
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    smashmouth59
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