It would be hard not to feel amazing if you are the Seattle Seahawks right now. Before the season began, there was so much talk about how good the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys were going to be.
It actually seemed like the Seahawks were becoming somewhat forgotten in the NFC. But, after Sunday’s dominant with over the Atlanta Falcons, the Hawks are feeling better than ever and getting the respect that they deserve.
Seattle fans wanted to let their coaching staff and the team to “Let Russ Cook” and that is exactly what he did in his first game of the 2020 season. The Pro Bowl quarterback made his first grand statement for MVP in one of the best games of his career. He went 31-35 for 322 yards with four touchdown passes. He ran through the Falcons 38-25.
The win over Atlanta marked just the fourth time in Wilson’s career that the Seahawks have run the ball 20 or fewer times in a game where he threw it 35 times or more. It was clear early in this one that Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde would be used sparingly in the running game and more efficiently in the passing game. Screens and designed passes set Seattle’s running backs up for success in this one.
“We wanted to spread the ball around,” Wilson said after the game. “We wanted to get the ball to a lot of different guys. We wanted to be aggressive in our approach.”
Something that all Seattle fans were excited to see was Jamal Adams’s first game as a Seahawk. Adams looked like the most dominant player on the field every time that Atlanta had the ball. His speed, aggressiveness, and knack for knowing where the ball is reminds us of Earl Thomas. It seems like Seattle truly has another special defensive back on its defense. He racked up 12 tackles and a sack.
“Defensively, you couldn’t help but watch Jamal Adams,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “He was all over the place. He had 12 or so tackles, a sack and was close on a couple others. He just made some beautiful plays, tackles and hits and pressures and all of that. He’s an extraordinary football player.
Seattle got a lot of love after the game from insiders, reporters and analysts from all over the league. Both NBC Sports and ESPN ranked the Seahawks 4th in a new power ranking, behind the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints.
Another great compliment the Seahawks received was from the coach that they will be playing on Sunday. The Hawks are slated to take on the New England Patriots who seemed to get on just fine without future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady under center. Bill Belichick was impressed with what he saw from Seattle as they prepare for their matchup that takes place on Sunday Night Football at 8:25 Eastern Time. One guy he will spend most of the week prepping for is Wilson.
“He’s more than a good quarterback; he’s one of the top players in the league, and has been for his entire career. He’s just a tremendous player, obviously tremendous person. He’s just really good at everything. You have to defend the whole field with him. He’s very dangerous in the pocket, out of the pocket, great deep ball passer, excellent vision, super competitive, hard to tackle. He’s a great football player, and there’s nobody I have more—I mean I respect a lot of players, all the players really—but he’s certainly at the top of the list of people we compete against. He’s really tough.”
The Patriots are coming off of a 21-11 win against the Miami Dolphins. It was obvious that the Pats offense picked off right where they left off as one of the league’s most dominant defensive units in the National Football League.
This will be an interesting matchup of running quarterbacks and a game of who can penetrate the other defense more. Russell and Cam are quite similar in playing style and in stats, but Wilson has a bit of an edge over him.
The Hawks QB has 87 career wins compared to Cam’s 69. Wilson has thrown for more yards, touchdowns and less interceptions. He has led more game winning drives and picks up more yards per play. But there is no denying that Newton uses his legs more and has Wilson pegged in almost every rushing category.
These two teams are certainly even-matched come Sunday. It appears that Seattle has a more potent offense but that New England defense has been top-notch already in week one and is ready to come out firing in week two. The Seahawks may not have fans in the stadium, but not traveling is also a major plus.
Coming into the game, Seattle is a four-point favorite and the over/under is set at 45.
Seattle should be getting more points in this one. New England is still trying to gel on offense and while Cam was able to rush for two touchdowns, the Pats offense was quiet most of the game.
Seattle will need to continue to “Let Russ Cook” in their second game, but getting the running game going and opening up the play-option could be huge. This will be a game where the Seattle defensive front is tested right off the bat. The Patriots are a team that love to run the ball and they have no shortage of options. Seattle can expect to see Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkehead and others taking snaps in the backfield.
This will be Newton’s first primetime game as a Patriot and the pressure and spotlight will be on. Seattle, having much less to play for or to prove, should feel more comfortable here.
I like Seattle by at least a touchdown and I’m predicting a 24-17 victory. Here are my three keys to a victory:
- Run the ball early and develop the play-action. Keeping the Patriots strong defense on their toes will be important.
- Keep Cam at bay and make him pass the ball. Newton can kill with his feet and the Hawks will need to keep him in the pocket.
- Let Russ Cook: Just like last week, Seattle should let Wilson take control of the game. He is one of the best players in the league after all.