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Musings RE: Bengals V. Hawks

In the process of producing my posts I always have to scrap some ideas because of insufficient information or just because they don't really fit anywhere. I think some of them have a right to be aired though as a sort of disconnected stray thoughts post. Here are some of my thoughts for Sundays' contest.

  • The Cincinnati Bengals have allowed 6.1 yards per rush on the season. Their linebackers are easily some of the worst in the league. MLB Ahmad Brooks is doubtful after suffering a pulled groin. It's basically put up or shutup time for Shaun Alexander. For a cutback rusher, this is some kind of dream setup. Alexander must not only produce against the Bengals, he must be a force.
  • It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the Hawks' corners face some mismatches this week. The level of mismatch is scary though. Chad Johnson is adept at the double move, something I have yet to see Marcus Trufant master. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a physical receiver that knows how to break tackles and screen the defender when covered tightly. Kelly Jennings is a slight cover corner who falls off tackles and couldn't outmuscle Todd Pinkston. It's beyond imperative that Seattle generates rush against the Bengals, but they also must be able to stop the rushing attack. Favorable down and distance will embolden the Bengals downfield passing attack. And a struggling rush D will force the safeties close. That's a frightening scenario.
  • The key to winning a track meet is to simply run faster, longer than your opponent. All indications are that Sunday's matchup will be a shoot`em up, first to forty, offensive slugfest. For Seattle to stay ahead Walter Jones and Sean Locklear must be able to contain the Bengals defensive ends, Justin Smith and Robert Geathers. Smith is a complete end, and easily the best Jones has yet faced. It's arguable whether him looking improved last Sunday was just facing inferior competition. Smith should let us know early. Geathers is a speed edge rusher. Sean Locklear certainly has the athleticism to stop him, but simply can't take plays off. Seattle needs to protect Hasselbeck if they want to keep up with the high-flying Bengals.