Seahawks vs. Steelers Week 2 Preview: 4 Things Seattle Must Do to Avoid 0-2
The Seahawks have numerous injury issues across a multitude of positions and need a win quickly before the season spirals out of control.
Perhaps too much pressure is being put on this team to repeat as division champs after their run in last season's playoff.
In order to avoid an 0-2 start, which is a steep hill to climb to reach the postseason, the Seahawks will need to do these four things against the Steelers.
Find Consistency on the Offensive Line
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Throughout the offseason, consistency on the o-line was hard to find from the Seahawks. Numerous penalties, false starts, holdings and delay of games killed drives and put Seattle’s weak offense into difficult situations.
Against the 49ers, the Seahawks again looked weak on the o-line with Gallery missing time with a knee injury. I’m still not sure Okung is entirely healthy from his offseason injury. Also, center Max Unger still may be a little shaky from his injury last season.
The offensive line will need to avoid costly (drive killing) penalties, give Tarvaris Jackson (or Charlie Whitehurst) time in the pocket, and create lanes for Marshawn Lynch and Seattle’s stable of mediocre running backs. The Seahawks will need more than 64 total rushing yards against the Steelers.
This is, in part, a continuation from the previous slide.
Three main injury concerns for the Seahawks are on the offensive line (read previous slide), wide receiver (Sidney Rice—shoulder), and in the front seven with Chris Clemons and David Hawthorne.
The Steelers have injuries of their own (Cotchery, Carter, Gilbert), but the Seahawks will need to be near 100 percent to have a chance of competing.
Better Special Teams Play
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I think this is pretty implied.
For anyone who missed the end of the Seahawks vs. 49ers game, the Seahawks gave up two special teams touchdowns to end the game.
When the team on the other side of the ball, the Pittsburgh Steelers, has a better offense and defense than you, you need a strong outing from your special teams.
What do the Seahawks need?
To prevent all big returns and create one or two of their own.
Dominate the Red Zone
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The one glimmer of hope against the 49ers was the Seahawks' defensive ability to keep the 49er offense out of the end zone down on the goal line. In five 49er attempts, only once did the offense punch the ball in for a score with the defense forcing three field goals.
The Seahawks have to continue to bring the pressure and hold the strong Steelers offense to field goals. Seattle won’t win a shootout with many teams, so saving every point will be vital.