With Thomas Rawls' injury, it seems like Christine Michael has vaulted into that top spot. Is he a pure runner or will the 'Hawks try to get him out of the backfield and on a Jets 'backer in the pass game?
The Seahawks would probably prefer to limit Michael's workload with rookie C.J. Prosise dealing with a wrist injury, but he's certainly capable of becoming a threat in the passing game Sunday. The addition of C.J. Spiller comes into play here as well considering he's always been a valuable pass-catcher, and he could see a reasonable amount of snaps. Spiller caught 34 of 42 targets last season with the Saints (7.03 yards per catch) and can line up in multiple positions for the Seahawks, if needed.
How do you think the Seahawks offensive line will match up with the Jets defensive line? And with Russell Wilson dealing with a pair of injuries, do you expect him to be forced into more of a pocket passer this weekend?Well, for starters, any offensive line going up against the Jets' defensive line is going to have a challenge with all of the talent Todd Bowles has there. This is really going to be another great test for the Seahawks' line, a crew that has already faced some terrorizing units like Miami's and Los Angeles'.
For Wilson, I think it's always hard to make the case he'll stay in the pocket more since he's made a name for himself partially because of his ability to extend plays with his feet. I think the Seahawks will focus more on the ground game to limit how many throws he has to make by working in more two tight end sets like they did last week against the 49ers. Getting Jimmy Graham back into the fold helped with that, equaling in the Seahawks getting 48 (Luke Willson) and 47 snaps, respectively from their top two tight end options.
We know Richard Sherman is one of the NFL's elite cornerbacks. Do you expect the 'Hawks to use Sherman as a shadow on Jets WR Brandon Marshall? Or will he stay primarily on one side of the field?The great thing about Sherman is that he can really do both if the Seahawks need him too. Ultimately for Sunday, I think where he might be used hinges on whether or not Eric Decker plays. If he does, maybe he stays primarily on one side of the field, but Sherman has shown he is more than up to the challenge of following opponents' top receivers when the defense calls for it.
The Seahawks only have one defensive turnover this season and that's largely because teams are going short and not taking many chances against them. Sherman's ability in coverage is one of the reasons for that.
"Just look at how few balls Sherm [Richard Sherman] has had a chance to play down the field." Pete Carroll said yesterday. "They just won't put the ball up at him. There is some style to that, in the way that they're playing us," he said.
We imagine Bobby Wagner will see a lot of Matt Forte at MetLife Stadium? We know Wagner is a tackling machine. How has he been in coverage?On top of his ability to stuff the run and captain the defense, Wagner's awareness, diagnostic skills and instincts allow him to consistently drop back and be one of the NFL's elite linebackers in pass coverage. The Seahawks haven't faced a heavy pass-catching back like Forte just yet this season, but they're well equipped for them with Wagner controlling the unit.
Lastly, are the Seahawks one of the few West Coast teams who don't mind the early kickoffs?Luckily, the Seahawks have started to get accustomed to early games the last few years, playing 10 a.m. PT contests about four to five times a season (this is actually the first of only two early matchups in 2016). They had back-to-back 10 a.m. games last season (at Minnesota, at Baltimore) and won both of those contests, plus the wildcard game against the Vikings. The facts are that you wake up and go through your normal gameday routine significantly earlier than normal, but Carroll has made sure it's not an excuse for his team.