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On the Beat: 5 questions about the Seahawks

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  October 14, 2012 02:31 PM

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Little late with this, but better late than never. Danny O'Neil, the great beat writer for the Seattle Times, gave us his take on the Seahawks. Check him out on Twitter and the Times' coverage.

1. Can the Seahawks make enough plays offensively to win this, and do you think we could possibly see Matt Flynn if they fall behind by a few scores?

DO: "This is the biggest question facing Seattle. New England has failed to score at least 20 points only four times going back to the start of the 2010 season while the Seahawks are 3-16 in that time when allowing 20 or more. The Seahawks have shown the ability to sustain offense with two touchdown drives of 80 or more yards in the second half of its Week 2 game against Dallas. On the other side, of Seattle's eight offensive touchdown drives this season, four began in the Patriots' half of the field.

As for the possibility of Matt Flynn, hard to see that unless it's an absolute blowout. Seattle plays on Thursday at San Francisco, and it's unlikely that Seattle would want to make a quarterback switch in this game that would affect the preparation in a short week."

2. Who is the one Seahawks player most Patriots fans don't know right now, but will by the end of the game on Sunday?

DO: "Richard Sherman. He's the one member of Seattle's starting secondary that did not make the Pro Bowl last season, but he's a very confident, physical cornerback who wants opposing offenses to challenge him. He's a playmaker in the secondary."

3. What's the biggest weakness on the Seahawks' offense you expect the Patriots to try to exploit?

DO: "Seattle's pass protection can be suspect as Arizona and St. Louis both demonstrated, and rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has demonstrated the not-so-surprising tendency to flee at the first sign of pressure instead of stepping up into the pocket. Seattle is confident in its ability to run the ball, but the passing game is very much a work in progress, and that starts with the protection."

4. What's the biggest weakness on the Seahawks' DEFENSE you expect the Patriots to try to exploit?

DO: "The Seahawks rotate the personnel on their defense, switching between the run-stuffing base formation and a pass-rushing nickel. Expect New England to try and lock the Seahawks into a personnel group with their tempo, and if the run-stuffing defensive end Red Bryant is on the field, the Patriots can push the tempo, and if rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin is on the field in the pass-rush package, New England can try to run between the tackles."

5. Finally, Seahawks win today if....

DO: "They hold the overall advantage in time of possession. That will be a sign that Seattle's offense has been able to control the ball, minimizing the number of chances Tom Brady and this Patriots offense get at Seattle's defense. It would also point to Seattle's ability to run the ball effectively against New England, whose rush defense is significantly better than a year ago."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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