How are we at Week 3 already? This week sees the (1-1) Seattle Seahawks travel to Nissan Stadium in Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans (1-1).
Nissan Stadium is a grass field, something that doesn't fair well for the Seahawks in seasons past. Let's discuss if their fairing on grass will continue into the 2017 season.
The Titans are a real up-and-coming team in the NFL, from an 'outsider' they seem well managed, they scout and draft well, and have found their franchise quarterback, who seems to have developed incredibly well considering this is only his third year in the big league. Nobody turns red zone trips into more points than Marcus Mariota does, something any Seahawks fan will be particularly jealous of, not to mention their legit offensive line...
The Seahawks seem to play up to stiff competition and down to teams they think they'll breeze over. This game, to me, reeks of last seasons embarrassing 14-5 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Will they learn from their mistake and appreciate that there really is no easy win in the NFL? Any given Sunday and all that. We'll find out in a few days
Match-up wise there's going to be some interesting battles going on. I'm unsure of DeMarco Murray's status going into the game but Derrick Henry is a beast. He's ran for 607 yards on 130 carries in his short NFL career for an impressive 4.7 yards per carry average. That's not to be ignored. Equally, the Seahawks seem to have found a diamond in the rough in this years draft. Seventh round pick RB Chris Carson has impressed the team and fans alike, he's a one cut and run type of guy who can be leaned on to run the clock. He's very new to the Seahawks and their system but everything is pointing to a promising NFL career for the young guy.
Let's be honest, the Seahawks' defense is historically good, loaded with pro bowlers and taking up a big chunk of the Seahawks' salary cap so I'm excited to see how Mariota will perform against the best D he'll face all season. It'll certainly be a test. I'd imagine he won't test Richard Sherman on the left side and focus on the middle and right side held down by Jeremy Lane and rookie Shaq Griffith.
The Titans will definitely want to focus on getting the run game going early and often - this plays into the Seahawks strength as their run defense is impressive. Sheldon Richardson, Michael Bennett, Jarran Read, Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor all play pivotal parts in stopping the run and they do it very well. For three quarters at least...
If the Titans can get the run game going with occasional passes and keep Seattle's D on the field for long periods of time they will get into the redzone and will score, no doubt about it.
Both teams will have a plan in place and the game really is going to come down to execution on both sides. Each team could easily take the win, but I'm betting on a low scoring game whereby the Seahawks' D holds the Titans to only a few points and the Seahawks' offense beats themselves (again!) and can't execute time and time again.
A win is a big thing in the NFL and a win on either side will put the team into 2-1 on the season heading into Week 4. A win here for the Titans will be a statement that screams "take us seriously".
I'm as excited about the game as I am nervous, let's hope for a close battle that isn't hampered or aided by the officiating and, of course, no injuries on either side. Go Hawks!