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Scouting the Opponent: Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Enter Week Four With the NFL’s Top Defense


The Buzz:Since the Pete Carroll regime began in 2010, the Seahawks have made the playoffs in five of six seasons and they claimed a Super Bowl win in 2013. Sunday's matchup will be the 'Hawks first time back at MetLife Stadium since they passed around the Lombardi Trophy following a 43-8 shellacking of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Last season, the 'Hawks clinched a wild card berth and squeaked by the Minnesota Vikings before losing to the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers in the divisional round. This season, Carroll's club is off to a 2-1 start with both wins coming at CenturyLink Field.

The Staples:
Fifth-year QB Russell Wilson hit the ground running as a pro. Since being drafted in 2012, Wilson has played in two Super Bowls, been named to three Pro Bowls and he led the NFL in passer rating in 2015. With a career passer rating of 101.1, Wilson has thrown for 108 touchdowns to his 35 interceptions while completing 64.7% of his passes. What makes the former baseball player extremely dangerous is his ability to tuck it and run — he's rushed for 2,463 yards and 12 touchdowns in four-plus seasons. Wilson suffered a sprained MCL in week three against the 49ers, so his scrambling ability could be impacted against the Jets on Sunday.

The Seahawks don't have a prototypical number one receiver, but Doug Baldwin is their go-to wideout. The 5'10", 192-pounder had his best statistical season in 2015, recording 1,069 yards and 14 touchdowns. Baldwin is off to a hot start in 2016 as he already has hauled in 20 receptions for 276 yards with 1 TD.

New Faces:RB Marshawn Lynch retired in the offseason, leaving the Seahawks with a new look in the backfield. His replacement, Thomas Rawls, has received a limited amount of work because of a lower leg contusion that held him out in week three. Consequently, the bulk of the load has fallen on fourth-year player Christine Michael, who rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 37-18 romp over the San Francisco 49ers.


The Anchors: **The Seahawks are notorious for having a stellar defense as they've finished with a top four unit every year since 2012. They currently rank No. 1 in total defense (250.3 yards per game) and No. 2 in scoring defense (12.3 points per game). The secondary, better known as The Legion of Boom, accounts for 12 Pro Bowl bids between the starting players. CB Richard Sherman only had two interceptions last season, but his ball-hawking ability has steered quarterbacks elsewhere on the field. Safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor have earned a reputation as one of the top duos in the league.

The Silent Hero: Similar to David Harris, Seahawks MLB Bobby Wagner keeps a low profile off the field. However, Wagner's persona on the field is a different story. In his rookie season, Wagner racked up 140 total tackles, three interceptions and four passes defended. The Utah State product has posted at least 100 tackles in each season since, as well as 19 more PDs, three picks and two forced fumbles. Last week, Wagner intercepted 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert and knocked down two passes.

Wilson suffered a sprained MCL in Sunday's win and Rawls is still recovering from a lower leg contusion.

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