Keys to the Game – Week Eight

The Seahawks are back from the bye (FINALLY) and are ready to face the Cowboys. This is a very difficult game, for a number of reasons…

First, the Hawks play poorly on the road, the defense usually stalls for at least a quarter or two to start the game and there is just no way we can get away with that. Secondly, the Hawks play especially poorly for 10 am starts. You know the history there. Third, the Cowboys are surging of late, winning a close one against a bad team (Chiefs) two weeks ago, but then destroying the Falcons last week.

So, how do we win this one?

  1. Start off strong. The Hawks offense must score early and, hopefully, often. Look at how the Cardinals took the Hawks out of the game two weeks ago: they marched down the field slowly on a demoralizing scoring drive, then quickly got the ball back and scored again. We don’t have to do that precisely that way, but we need to get ahead early and the defense needs to make some stops early on. If we fall behind by more than one score, the game is likely over.
  2. Prove we have a coaching staff. Jim Mora, Greg Knapp and Gus Bradley have had two full weeks to prepare for this one game. This is a proving grounds kind of game for those three. Other than Tatupu being gone (Hawthorne has stepped in admirably thus far) and Locklear still out (McIntosh will start, gulp), the team is finally healthy, or at least, healthyish. There are no more excuses and a bad loss begins to reflect primarily on the coaching staff who has not yet impressed.
  3. Stop Miles Austin. Wasn’t expecting to ever type those words, but Austin has been incredible the last two weeks, primarily with YAC. If he slips by his Cornerback, can we trust Babs to make the play? He hasn’t wowed anyone thus far this year, so lets see Big Play Babs come back. Two of his all time biggest plays have come against the Dallas Cowboys, after all…
  4. Stop Jason Witten. Witten is always a threat and he remains one of the best tight ends in the game. Again, stopping him will be on the LBs and Safeties and, honestly, they’ve done a fairly good job stopping tight ends this year. Don’t be shocked to see Will Herring out there from time to time, especially as the Hawks are planning to ease Hill in a little bit.