Russell/Marcus I

Intriguing Game- Week Three

Seattle Seahawks (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-1)

Seahawks: They’re off to the same start as they were last year and that’s with a lot of concern for their offense because they haven’t looked great at all. This is my pick to win the NFC and usually, people will select them because of the defense which is always remarkable, but the offense has to be able to handle its business as well. They have two big issues. The first is the inconsistent running game and it’s been this way since Marshawn Lynch left the Seahawks. That concern can be solved if Pete Carroll decides to start rookie running back Chris Carson. I just don’t trust Eddie Lacy and Carson came in and ran the ball pretty effectively, 20 carries for 93 yards and an average of 4.7 yards per carry which isn’t bad at all. Concern number two has been their offensive line and you don’t want to see your quarterback running for his life out the pocket and when that happens, the quarterback tends to get really frustrated which leads to him making bad throws which can result in a turnover. Their defense is still one of the absolute best in the business right now. The secondary is still elite and feared and having Earl Thomas back has definitely made a difference and Michael Bennett is their best defensive player. Everything is there for Seattle to just take off and go on a winning streak. They’ll try to get their first road win of the regular season in Nashville on Sunday when they face the Tennessee Titans.

Titans: So after a disappointing start against the Raiders in week one, they bounced back nicely with a dominating win over Jacksonville. Then again, a pop warner team could beat the Jaguars. This is one team that I raved about during the summer when I previewed divisions. Each year since drafting Marcus Mariota, they have improved and have gathered people’s attention. Behind the Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders, they have the third best offensive line in the NFL and they play with that old school edge. They want to run the football and establish the tight end as one of the key primary weapons. They have a good one in Delanie Walker who just about does it all for them and the thought of establishing your tight end is one thing when your head coach is a former tight end himself. The biggest questions still sit with the Titans defense and are they able to get off the field. They struggled to do so in week one and did much better last week, but can they be consistent and continue to get off the field on defense? That’s the answer we’re all still looking for. Their ground game is averaging 137 yards per game so far and this is their identity, they want to establish the ground game and really control the line of scrimmage from a physical standpoint. They will look to win their first home game of the year on Sunday with the Seattle Seahawks coming to town for a tilt.

Seahawks Player To Watch: Paul Richardson– After trading Jermaine Kearse who was a very solid number two wide receiver, that spot was open for the taking. Someone needs to be that other option for Russell down the field and that complementary asset to Doug Baldwin. He has the skillset, he has good speed to free himself and get open, great body control to position himself to stay in bounds after he makes the catch and you can put him just about anywhere on the field and he’ll find a way to come down with the ball.

Titans Player To Watch: Wesley Woodyard– He’s in year ten of his career and he’s been very effective and this goes back to his days with the Denver Broncos. He’s one of the few inside linebackers that can cover tight ends and and drop back in coverage to take away the flat. He’ll be seeing a lot of Jimmy Graham on Sunday (if he decides to show up for a change).

Final Analysis: This is a very intriguing quarterback battle of two guys that can scramble, move the pocket when necessary and make nice throws down the field. Just like Seattle’s first two opponents, I’d attack their offensive line because it’s such a glaring weakness. If I’m Seattle, continue to get Chris Carson the ball and expose the Titans weakness which is their secondary.

Prediction: Titans 20 Seahawks 13