It is easy to get excited about the debuts of Jadeveon Clowney and D.K. Metcalf this Sunday. There are some names that have the potential to emerge from the shadows and steal the show.

#5 – Al Woods

Many Seahawks fans still do not know this name. If you are one of them, let me introduce you to your starting defensive tackle for the next six weeks while Jarran Reed is suspended. Woods is a 32-year-old veteran who was one of the six or seven best interior linemen in the NFL just two seasons ago (2017).

ProFootballFocus.com had him rated (87.7) in the same range as a guy like Linval Joseph from the Vikings. His strength is in defending the run. It’s not a sexy skill, but given how awful the Seahawks were at stopping opponents run game last year, it could be pretty darn valuable.

Woods looked back to his disruptive self in the two games he played during the preseason. He could be lining up next to Clowney and may have never had a player like that drawing attention next to him. We might see the best Woods has to offer.

#4 Jaron Brown

Brown was barely part of the offense last season, and was cut just a few days ago. Russell Wilson has looked very comfortable throwing to Brown all preseason. He could get more targets than the younger Metcalf.

#3 – Will Dissly

All Dissly did last season in his first two professional games was go for over 100 yards in his first and get touchdowns in both. He is back from a serious injury and is the team’s top tight end.

The Bengals are far better at corner than they are at linebacker. Look for Dissly to get some chances to shine.

#2 – Ezekiel Ansah

Ansah was one of the big stories until about a week ago when Clowney burst onto the scene. It was Ansah who was supposed to be the key to the Seahawks pass rush, and we all were going to be watching with bated breath how he looked.

It is Ansah who will face the Bengals backup left tackle in Andre Smith as Cordy Glenn was officially ruled out for Sunday. Ansah also has been the better pass rusher over his career.

This is the guy who was had 14.5 and 12.0 sacks in a season during his time with Detroit. He has also forced 10 fumbles in his career. Sunday would be a perfect time for number eleven.

#1 – Poona Ford

Ford has certainly been the talk of Seahawks Twitter as far back as last season. The bulk of Seahawks fans are still unfamiliar with what this rolling ball of fury has to offer. Ford was nearly unblockable during training camp and preseason.

The combination of Ford and Woods on the inside could be comparable to Clowney and Ansah on the outside in terms of disruption. Ford is getting his first true start and will get more snaps than he has ever seen in his career.

Expect to see him in the Bengals backfield much of the afternoon.

3 Responses

  1. Doug

    Even though he is “questionable” to start my vote is for Ziggy. With Clowney on the other side, he will be 1:1 on a below-average T. It doesn’t get much better than that for a debut. Fingers crossed for a big day from all of the ‘sleepers’!

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  2. Uncle Bob

    Moving Ziggy to questionable so late is probably an acknowledgment that he’s still seen as “fragile”. If the Bengals O line is as weak as they appear it might be a prudent choice to give Green some extra snaps to help his slow evolving learning curve.

    I don’t disagree with J. Brown needing, and maybe more able than credited by fans, to step up to the #2 WR status. But maybe not in this game. The secondary of the Bengals is relatively good, but their linebackers aren’t so in passing defense. That should work well for both tight ends and running backs catching the ball, both supposedly a bigger priority this season. Maybe even some slot WR action depending on defensive alignments shown.

    Mixon could be a good test for Poona and Al Woods, maybe even some warm up for Clowney. But overall we need to keep in mind that this first game is somewhat like a preseason game for the planned starters. They’ve practiced a fair bit together, but haven’t had much work together at game speed and intensity. Good that they’re at home against a comparatively modest performance opponent as they work on coordinating their efforts.

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  3. charlie

    I think we will see a fabolus game today as u mentioned Fod Brown Clownet Metcalf and all others will shine today and watch out for Rashad Penney his first 100 yd game Seahawks 21 Browns 10 our possesion time will be double of the browns. Ex game today Superbowl here we come

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