The Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers both won their opening games of the 2013 season. This sets the stage for a huge rivalry showdown at CenturyLink Field in Seattle this Sunday night. To help you get ready for that matchup, here is what you need to know heading into Week 2.
|San Francisco 49ers||1||0||1.000||34||28||+6|
|St. Louis Rams||1||0||1.000||27||24||+3|
The only loss in Week 1 for the NFC West came inside the division with the Arizona Cardinals losing to the Rams in St. Louis. So far, this division looks to be arguably the toughest division in the NFL. Also, all three games in Week 1 were decided by a touchdown or less.
|Player||Injury||Likelihood They'll Play|
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll addressed the media Monday and spent much of his time discussing health of individual Seahawks players. Most of this report is taken from his comments.
Jeron Johnson was the only injury suffered in the game on Sunday. He strained his hamstring on the opening kickoff and did not return. Carroll referred to the injury as "minor," but his availability for Week 2 won't be set until later this week.
Cliff Avril was "close" to playing in Week 1 and should be in the lineup this week. The game plan is being developed with the assumption that Avril will be available.
Chris Clemons will get some actual reps in practice this week, but he still remains a long shot to play. Carroll said the team is taking it "one day at a time" with Clemons, via Jessamyn McIntyre of ESPN.
Brandon Browner ran on Sunday and will run again before practice on Wednesday. The team will make a determination on him at that time.
Sidney Rice and James Carpenter played against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1, but both were limited in the number of snaps that they played. Both players are working on improving their fitness level after missing most of training camp and the preseason and should see an increased role this week. Carroll would not comment on whether or not Carpenter would start at left guard in Week 2.
Brandon Mebane and McDaniel both played, and started, in Charlotte in Week 1. Neither should be limited this week.
What Must Improve
It is quite clear that the Seahawks must improve their blocking up front. Russell Wilson was under pressure all game, and the running game failed to get rolling until late in the fourth quarter.
The performance ratings for the offensive line by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) bare that out. Breno Giacomini's 1.8 was the only positive score for any of the seven offensive linemen used in the game by the Seahawks.
There is reason to be hopeful that things can improve. Russell Okung and Max Unger were both Pro Bowl players in 2012, and both were part of the problem in Week 1. Seattle needs them to return to their 2012 form, and there's no reason at this point to suspect that they won't be able to do so. The Seahawks are also hopeful that James Carpenter will be able to finally live up to the promise that caused him to be drafted in the first round back in 2011.