clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Seahawks at Chiefs Game Thread

I spent much of the week on projects and never got a chance to share last week's second half. Let me tell you, It. Was. AWESOME. The second half of the preseason, when the kids are beatin' each other to death for a shot at their dream, is some of my favorite football all year. It's the speed and looseness of college football, but with better talent. It's the intensity and schemes of the NFL, but less serious. It's the last time each season a football fan can watch football without suspense. Just watch football.

That's on the shelf tonight. The third preseason game of the year is the prologue to the regular season. To do it justice, I am going to dedicate as much time as I need to break down the first three quarters. That's when the starters should play, and that's when, if Seattle has so-far disguised elements of their defense, we should get a first look at the new playbook. The outcome doesn't count, but this is serious football. Seattle needs to show up. Statement game is a cliche, but tonight is almost nothing but.

Here's the top ten things to watch:

10. Sean Locklear: Locklear had trouble with personal matchups and performing his role within Seattle's system. He needs to show up and hold his ground. Not get beat up and beat around and camped behind Matt Hasselbeck's back. Look for him to control his zone and look for him to hold ground. He's never excelled at the latter, but as a left tackle he must be able to.

9. Red Bryant: Bryant isn't going to start over Colin Cole anytime soon, but Seattle might need him more as a second-stringer. The better Bryant can mask Craig Terrill's deficiencies, the better, because Terrill-time has been bust-a-rush-time for opposing offenses. Watch Bryant hold point. Watch him demand, demand, triple teams. And see if he can step up his pass rush.

8. Courtney Taylor and Ben Obomanu: Taylor and Obo are the favorites to fill out Seattle's receiving corps. Numbers are pitting the former Auburn teammates against each other. See who gets looks with the first team. See who shows up as a receiver. And see who shows up as a blocker. Seattle has been creative with Taylor, motioning him underneath and having him contain the backside.

7. Return game: Seattle needs to figure out its return game and now. Hopefully Justin Forsett can show something.

6. Julius Jones: Seattle's running game might be functional and station-to-station rather than exceptional and immolation between the hashmarks, but that drab rushing game could be the foundation of this offense or its downfall. Jones needs to show he can be productive in Seattle's new scheme, both as a rusher and receiver.

5. Matt Hasselbeck: Hasselbeck showed some of the old preseason fireworks last Saturday, but is he synchronized with this offense or still seeing Bobby Engram's ghost. Look for him to target receivers other than T.J. Houshmandzadeh and John Carlson. Hasselbeck needs trust to thrive.

4. Max Unger: The faster Max Unger can replace Steve Vallos at center, the better. As soon as he is substituted in at center, hope he excels. A middle O-line of Rob Sims, Max Unger and Mansfield Wrotto is loads stronger and more athletic than Sims, Vallos and Unger/Wrotto.

3. Brandon Mebane: Seattle has faced two very good offensive lines. Tonight, Mebane feasts on an interior that's Brian Waters and two journeymen. The journeymen comprise the right. Mebane has shown excellent power and penetration against the run, but Seattle is absolutely starved for the interior pass rush he is capable of producing.

2. The secondary: Zones work if everyone is aware of their responsiblities and able to react and attack. Zones fail when the line can't pressure and coverage schemes are confused. Seattle doesn't need excellence from its secondary, but with Marcus Trufant out, it needs excellent execution. See how Josh Wilson is adjusting to starting. See if Seattle can stay disciplined even under pressure. Look to see how early Jordan Babineaux subs in. And see if the Seahawks can stop the underneath assault.

1. Aaron Curry: Show us something, Justice.