3. How do Seattle’s rookie tackles face another tough test?
In four games, a big bright spot for the Seahawks was play by rookie tackles Abraham Lucas and Charles Cross. These two have more than held their own in their first month of facing NFL defense and are a big reason Geno Smith has only taken six sacks and why the offense as a whole is working so well.
However, this week will be one of the biggest tests yet for these rookies, not only because of the talent on the New Orleans D-Line led by edge rushers Cameron Jordon and Marcus Davenport, but also because the Superdome can be one of them the loudest venues in the NFL. Seattle’s offense worked well in a noisy environment at Ford Field last week, but given the quality of New Orleans’ defense, this could be the biggest test for the rookie tackles yet.
“I think they’re playing the maximum of what we expected of them at that point by playing all four games and doing their stuff, running and passing,” Carroll said of Lucas and Cross’ play. “There were a lot of question marks about running; they grow really fast. They’re just wonderful at it. They are just very relaxed and ready. And it’s not too much fun for them, but they really respected the whole challenge. It’s going to be a huge test this weekend with the two guys they have at the limit.”
4. DK Metcalf vs. Marshon Lattimore, Round 3
DK Metcalf has two big plays in his two meetings against the Saints, an 84-yard score last year and a 54-yard catch in 2019, but outside of those two plays he only had two catches for 25 in those two plays yards games. One reason the Seahawks had a hard time getting the ball to Metcalf against the Saints is the presence of cornerback Marson Lattimore, a four-time pro bowler.
Metcalf will not back down from a challenge from any opponent and the two have had some unscheduled after-whistles in previous encounters, but Lattimore has Metcalf’s respect too.
“I think it will be an exciting duel,” said Metcalf. “He’s a good corner. They have good defence. Their defensive structure is pretty much the same as we saw last week so we’re looking forward to similar coverage but it’s going to be an exciting game; closer to home for me “So I’ll have a lot of family at the game. It’s going to be a very exciting time to be back down south.
If the Saints defend the Seahawks much like Detroit did last week, that could be good news for Metcalf, who had a season-high 149 yards on seven catches.
5. Will Seattle’s Defense Clean Up Big Games and Costly Penalties?
The Seattle defense, looking to improve after a tough game in a Week 3 loss, got off to a good start last week, forcing a three-and-out. Detroit was still quick to score thanks to a fiddly punt return, but after another Seahawks result, the defense scored another three and was out, although Detroit got their offense back on the field, this time thanks to a fake punt. While Detroit scored twice early, the defense felt like they actually played better in the first half of that game, but in the second half, the Lions stayed in the game thanks to way too many big plays, including a 51-yard touchdown run and an 81-yard catch and run that set up another touchdown. Add to this the continuing trend of penalties against defenders leading to big wins and first downs, and Seattle’s defense allows opponents to move the ball around the field far too quickly and easily.
The Seahawks know they don’t have to be suddenly perfect to turn things around on defense, they just need to pull some of the big mistakes out of their game.