Pete Carroll is not going to continue to lose with an offense that is playing this conservatively. Expect to see the coaches challenge the lineman, receivers and quarterback this week with a game plan that pushes the ball farther down-field. Carroll will want to get the fans into the game early. A long throw to Sidney Rice or a trick play is likely. The player who may benefit the most from this change in attack is Zach Miller. Hugh Millen has been beating the drum all week about getting Miller out in pass patterns and away from pass blocking. Miller will catch at least five passes today, and will be Jackson’s primary target. Doug Baldwin could also benefit from attacking the middle of the field, and Golden Tate could finally see some of those bubble screens and swing passes fans have been calling for. The coaches know they can’t get away with an ultra-conservative game plan, and spent last week just trying to protect their quarterback in a game they had very little chance to win.
Inaugural Regular Season Game @ CLINK
Qwest Field opened in 2002 with a regular season Monday Night Football game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks lost 28-21 when Terrell Owens caught a 37-yard TD from Jeff Garcia and did his infamous “sharpie” celebration by signing a ball and throwing it into an endzone suite. Trent Dilfer started that game, and it was Shaun Alexander’s first game as the featured running back after moving on from Ricky Watters. Bobby Engram was the leading receiver. The Seahawks first game in the Kingdome was back in 1976 against the St Louis Cardinals. Somehow, the Cardinals manage to be the team opening up CenturyLink Field 35 yeards later. Weird. The Cardinals won that game in 1976 30-24. Jim Hart passed for two touchdowns and Jim Otis ran for 140 yards and a TD. Steve Largent began his amazing Seahawks career with 5 catches for 86 yards, but Sam McCullum led the team with 112 yards receiving. The only other time the Seahawks opened the season at a new stadium was in 2000, when they played their first home game at Husky Stadium. They lost a heart-breaker to the St. Louis Rams, 37-34. The “Greatest Show On Turf” was in full effect with 476 yards of offense behind Kurt Warner, Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk, and Isaac Bruce. Jay Bellamy tried to spark the Seahawks with an 84-yard interception return for a touchdown. Jon Kitna brought got the Seahawks back to even at 34-34 with a touchdown pass to Darrell Jackson, but Jeff Wilkins ended things with 27-yard field goal. The Seahawks have not won a stadium-opening regular season game in three tries so far, but some great players made great plays in each game. Let’s hope we are talking about the impact of Earl Thomas, Sidney Rice, Russell Okung, Kam Chancellor, K.J. Wright or some other player five years from now.