Keys to the Game: Week 4

The Seahawks are taking on the downtrodden St. Louis Rams, who, while generally in a crappy spot, might be flying high after an upset victory over the Washington Redskins last week. With a win today, the Rams can be tied atop the NFC West with the Seahawks at 2-2, and that would mean a LOT for those guys. How can we stop it?

  • Run early and often, again. The Seahawks need to get their ground game going and there is no better team to do that against than the St Louis Rams. The Rams lack much talent-wise on defense, so they blitz a lot. The most effective counter to a steady stream of blitzing is a steady stream of running. If we can attack their blitz and make them pay, it shouldn’t be too hard to score some points.
  • Screen pass. Not sure if you guys have heard, but the rumor out on the streets is that Matt Hasselbeck can’t throw a deep ball and has never, ever been effective in throwing them. If we want large chunks of yardage, we can get them, but in 2008 Jeremy Bates had as much success springing Eddie Royal on long gains from screen passes as he did from Brandon Marshall catching bombs downfield. We have a ton of threats who are built primarily for such gains — Golden Tate stands above all others, but Williams, Butler and even John Carlson could be effective in this way. Bringing in Brandon Stokley is huge for precisely this reason.
  • Hit Sam Bradford like he smooched ya mama. Rookies don’t like getting hit and they are easier to rattle than a seasoned vet. If we can get in Bradford’s head early, he’ll start making mistakes. Add to that the fact that we got no pressure on Kyle Orton in Denver, and we just need to prove that we can get home on the road.
  • Blitz! Sam Bradford’s receivers are, uh, not great. Mark Clayton is very good and has been great for the young QB, but after that you’ve got Danny Amendola and Seahawks castoff Brandon Gibson. Scared? You shouldn’t be. Walter Thurmond and Kelly Jennings can cover these guys, which means you’ve got a bit of room to bring some heat — especially if you don’t need to spy Steven Jackson with a linebacker every play. The Seahawks were very effective blitzing last week, but again, sucked royally on the road against Denver. Bring the heat, Pete!

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