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Chiefs at Seahawks Game Thread

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I watched Chiefs-Bills this last Friday. Here are my impressions in brief.

  • Charlie Weis calls a good game. He reminds me a little of Mike McCarthy in his ability to be creative while assembling a functional, grounded offense. Kansas City's playbook isn't too far from the norm, but it builds around the team's talent and targets the opponent's weaknesses.
  • Todd Haley is very aggressive about going for it on fourth down, but instead of playing for three downs and then attempting to convert the fourth if necessary, Haley and Weis plan for fourth down on first down. For instance, on third and six, Weis might call a play that easily converts five instead of calling a riskier play for six or seven. The Seahawks should anticipate this and adjust coverage.
  • The Chiefs use Jamaal Charles a bit like the Falcons used Jerious Norwood. He takes some draws and pitches. He takes a few runs between the tackle. He is regularly split wide. Charles is a "weapon." It's been wildly effective.
  • Thomas Jones has better burst than Julius. He's otherwise a very similar profile of back. Thomas doesn't wow you with his moves, but he sprints forward and takes what is given. He shouldn't run through tackles the way Chris Ivory did, and if Seattle can control the line like they did against the Saints, the Seahawks rush defense should have much better success. That will be vital, today and going forward.
  • Matt Cassel reminds me of Redskins-era Jason Campbell. His numbers are good enough, but his individual performance is not impressive and his role within the offense seems complementary rather than essential. Seattle's pass defense has been a mess, and so it wouldn't surprise if Cassel put together a good game, but if the Seahawks can stop the run, its pass defense might enjoy a "get healthy" game against Cassel.
  • My rough estimation of the defense is that the line is quality if not stand out, the linebackers are very, very talented and Eric Berry is an active strong safety that contributes against the underneath patterns and the run. It's young, a little unpolished but very talented and very fast and hard-hitting.

So, all that established, what is on the line for the Seahawks?

  • New Orleans was supposed to be a top ten pass defense, but injuries weakened them a bit and now their ranking has sagged back towards league average. That doesn't negate what Seattle was able to accomplish, but it gives us a little context. The Seahawks were able to open up underneath patterns by attacking deep early. Seattle either needs to prove the deep attack wasn't just a one-week phenomenon or that they can attack underneath without forcing the safeties and corners deep. If not, we know what this passing offense can look like.
  • Seattle assembled its interior line to be able to match against 3-4 defenses. Well, any kind of run game would be nice, and this should be a golden opportunity for Marshawn Lynch to do ... anything.
  • Speaking of which, how much is the passing offense dependent on Mike Williams, without Williams can anyone force a double team, how much has Ben Obomanu developed, and how desperate are we for Golden Tate to step up?
  • The Seahawks are in a tight race for the NFC West, at this point in the season, I no longer care about anything else. Seattle needs to win today and win next week because it can not count on winning against Atlanta or at San Francisco or Tampa Bay.
  • The Rams travel to Denver. Seattle had its heart torn out by the now 3-7 Broncos. I don't know what to make of St. Louis. I don't think they can recover from a significant deficit, and Denver can score in bunches.
  • Take care of business, and Seattle doesn't need to scoreboard watch.

SEA!