Saturday, November 27, 2010

SEAHAWKS/CHIEFS PREVIEW PART II: What A Seahawks Win Might Look Like

Kansas City deserves respect. The one game they were blown out (49-29 in Denver), they trailed 35-0 before outscoring the Broncos 29-14 the rest of the game. Take a look at the box score. The Chiefs out-gained Denver, and only had one turnover. Matt Cassell had QB rating of 116.0 and Dwayne Bowe had over 180 yards receiving and two TDs. These are not the stats that usually spell blowout loss. The Chiefs, however, are not your typical team. Look one more time at the box score and find the rushing yards for, and against. Denver is the only team all season that shut down the Chiefs rushing attack. Some of that was due to good Broncos defense, and some of it was due to getting out in front early so that KC had to rely on passing the ball. Holding down the Chiefs running game is the only way you beat them. Houston managed to beat them without doing that, but the other three KC losses were their three worst rushing performances of the season. The Seahawks must contain the run. Hold the Chiefs under 120 yards rushing, and the Seahawks have a good shot at winning. Only two teams have eclipsed that mark against Seattle. Even with the "poor tackling" last week, the Saints only ran for 113.

Height will matter for the second straight week. Whether or not Mike Williams plays, the Seahawks WRs have proven they can go up and win a jump ball. The Chiefs cornerbacks are all 6'0" and under. A few of them are in the 5'9" range. The offense has to like their chances with Golden Tate, Ben Obamanu and even Deon Butler going against those guys. The rest of league has liked their match-ups as well, as KC ranks 25th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game. Consider that the Seahawks just torched the NFL's 1st ranked pass defense for nearly 400 yards. Williams status will be important, and could turn an advantage into a dominant factor, but the Seahawks don't need Williams to win on offense this week. Seattle should eclipse 300 yards passing for the third straight week. The key will be pass protection. Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali checks in with 8.0 sacks. Matt must have time, and stay healthy.

Michael Robinson is questionable to return, but he may be a key factor in unlocking the run game for Marshawn Lynch. Lynch is best with a full back, and John Carlson has been filling that role horribly for a few weeks while Robinson has been out. Marshawn should be running mad, even more than normal. This could be the week the running game busts out. The Chiefs run defense is not great. Seattle might be able to break 125 yards rushing, and if they do, this becomes a comfortable victory.

This is not a game that Seattle should win, but it is not one they should lose either. Both teams enjoy some distinct advantages they could exploit on the way to an important victory. KC is eager to prove they can win on the road. Seattle has momentum and are coming home for the stretch run. This should be a great game.

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