Week 8: Bengals at Seahawks (Game Thread)

Today, the Seahawks go up against another stout defensive team, the Bengals.  How good have both defenses been?  Well, take a look:

Team Rush Yds
Allowed
Rush
Yds/Att
Rush
TDs
Pass Yds
Allowed
Pass
Yds/Att
Pass
TDs
Bengals 537 (5th) 3.3 (2nd) 5 (13th*) 1134 (4th) 6.4 (4th) 6 (4th – tied
with SEA)
Seahawks 630 (7th) 3.2 (1st) 5 (13th*) 1498 (18th) 7.7 (20th) 6 (4th – tied
with CIN)

(* Eight-way tie between Rams, Saints, Texans, Steelers, Patriots, Vikings, Bengals, and Seahawks)

Both offenses are going to have to work for everything they get today, and the wet weather isn’t going to be doing them any favors.  Thankfully, Seahawks will also be getting back RB Marshawn Lynch, C Max Unger, and TE Zach Miller.  QB Tarvaris Jackson’s return is a bigger question mark, but he looked good in Friday’s practice and has a better than average chance to play in this one.  And yes, the Bengals have the better record (4-2, as opposed to Seattle’s 2-4), but don’t let that fool you.  One of those wins was versus the resurgent Bills, but the opponents in those other three wins were the Colts, Browns, and Jaguars — not exactly powerhouse teams. 

This game is winnable, as long as:

1) Jackson kickstarts the no-huddle offense.  Before being sidelined with a pectoral injury against the Giants, Jackson was starting to look suspiciously like a competent starting QB, and his command of the no-huddle had a lot to do with it.  He needs to pick up where he left off in week five and put some pressure on the Bengals’ defense.

2) The offensive line continues to improve.  The o-line has looked better in every game this season, and LG Robert Gallery’s return last week greatly boosted the unit’s effectiveness.  Keep it up, guys.

3) The secondary holds up.  After putting CBs Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond on injured reserve the last two weeks, the Seahawks will be starting their third new left cornerback this season, rookie Richard Sherman.  Sherman isn’t alone back there, though.  CB Brandon Browner has steadily improved since getting torched by the Steelers in week two, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas are swiftly becoming one of the best safety tandems in the league, and S Atari Bigby and CB Roy Lewis (newly activated off the PUP list) are both effective nickelbacks.  How they fare against the Bengals’ young receivers AJ Green (15.6 yds/catch) and Jerome Simpson (16 yds/catch) will have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.

Kickoff just can’t come soon enough.

SEA! HAWKS!

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