Here are five Seahawks who could prove pivotal in Sunday's game at Tennessee.
Here are five Seahawks players to watch in Sunday’s game against the Titans.
RB Eddie Lacy: Will he be active or won’t he? Lacy sounded a little confused by being inactive last Sunday but coach Pete Carroll said he responded with a great week of practice. That Chris Carson played as well as he did last week only seems to muddy the waters — it almost goes without saying that Carson has to be active though I’m saying it just to make sure the point is clear. And you’d think Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise, who has such a specific role as the third-down back, will be active, as well. So does that leave room for Lacy on the gameday roster of 46? Maybe if the Seahwks only go with four receivers (maybe leaving Tanner McEvoy inactive) or taking one from the defense (maybe the injuries to Neiko Thorpe or D.J. Alexander open up a spot). Whatever the case, what we know for sure is that Lacy’s situation adds uncommon intrigue to the announcement of the inactives 90 minutes prior to the game.
S Bradley McDougald: The Seahawks put McDougald on the field in a “big nickel’’ scheme for six snaps last week. McDougald basically played in running situations when the team appeared to want a stouter presence in the slot than they’d have with their normal nickel, which calls for Jeremy Lane would move inside and Shaquill Griffin to come on to play on the outside. With McDougald on the field Lane could stay on the outside — with Griffin and/or Michael Wilhoite on the sidelines. The advantage of that is that the Seahawks get a bigger body to play against the run but also someone who may defend the pass better — McDougald is 6-1, 215 and Lane 6-foot, 190 with McDougald obviously better able to defend in coverage than Wilhoite. The Seahawks went to the package with McDougald last week more often in the second half after the two big Carlos Hyde runs in the second quarter. With the Titans featuring a good running game and a big back in Derrick Henry (listed at 247 pounds) the Seahawks might be tempted to go with the “big nickel’’ package even more.
RG Oday Aboushi: Carroll won’t say it and the team may not announce it until gametime. But if the Seahawks are to make a move with their starting offensive line it will be with Aboushi replacing Mark Glowinski at right guard. One reason is Aboushi’s experience playing against Tennessee’s defense, with a front seven that as many Seahawks said this week brings pressure “from everywhere.’’ Simply knowing who to block will be a big deal in this game. But Aboushi also was neck-and-neck with Glowinski during training camp and the Seahawks may also use this game as an opportunity to see what Aboushi can do and if that might help solidify the line a little.
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DT Garrison Smith: Some of you might ask “who?’’ But Carroll made it pretty clear that the team didn’t sign Smith off the practice squad this week not to play him. Smith took the spot of end David Bass on the roster with the team needing another defensive tackle going against Tennessee’s running game. Tennessee figures to try to wear down the Seahawks — the high in Nashville is projected to be 88 on Sunday — so Seattle will need all the heft up front it can get.
QB Russell Wilson: So when isn’t he a player to watch? There are lots of extenuating circumstances, but Wilson isn’t off to the statistical start to the season he might have imagined with just one touchdown pass and throwing for only 356 yards in eight quarters. Most telling is that his yards per attempt is just 5.4 compared to his average of 7.9. The Seahawks simply need to get more explosive plays on offense be it through the run or the pass, though the pass is obviously an easier way to go to get those. The Titans have some inexperience on the corner and the Seahawks should have some one-on-one matchups they can win. Wilson needs to hit every one.