SEATTLE - Last week in our keys we talked about chemistry and communication in the opener in Denver. As we saw a few times -- still a work in progress.
What about Monday Night against the Bears?
Key #1: Convert
As in third downs!
Against the Broncos, the Hawks were an anemic 16.7% converting just two of 12 chances. It's tough to win when you're constantly behind the chains.
The reasons, according the Coach Carroll: six sacks, only 64 yards rushing, mistakes and penalties on first down. All combined made for too many third and Longs.
It just makes sense: converting 3rd downs keeps your offense on the field and gives Russell Wilson more opportunities to make big plays. Keeps your "young defense" on the sideline. And it gives you a chance to wear out maybe the best defensive player in football in Khalil Mack.
"Convert"-- a third "C".. it *can't hurt!
Watch the Scouting report on Saturday at 7 p.m. for a complete preview of Sunday's game against the Broncos. Hear my one-on-one interview with defensive end Frank Clark, my '710 with 710' conversation with KIRO radio's Mike Salk and Danny O'Neill and more.
Key #2: Time to “Step Up”
The big guys on the line of scrimmage, on both offense and defense, have to "Step Up". That said, it's tough to judge 300-pound guys, getting their first full-game playing time since last season, at an altitude of over 5,000 feet. But neither side of the ball was in mid-season form.
On the offensive side, the Hawks only ran for 64 yards. Chris Carson did average over 7-yds a carry, but much of that was on second and third efforts. And he only carried the ball 7 times.
Like last year, Russell had to scramble too much. he was sacked 6-times. Just not good enough!
On defense, Seattle gave up 146 yards rushing in Denver and chalked up just one sack -- that one by Frank Clark. On too many drives, the Hawks "D" just could not get off the field.
With young guys in the secondary, the Seahawks defense can't give the Bears Mitchell Trubisky, or any other QB, that much time to throw.
Monday Night is the perfect time for Big Guys to "show up" big. Look for Duane Brown and Jarran Reed to get after their respective groups.
Key #3: History
Simply put, the Seahawks have the best winning percentage in the history of Monday Night Football.
The Hawks are 23-9 all-time, almost 72%. They *had won 11 straight til that streak was broken last season with a three-point loss to the Falcons.
In fact, under the bright lights, Coach Carroll -- since taking over in 2010 has led Seattle to a 22-4-1 record in prime time games.
This, from the guy who preaches no one game is bigger than any of the others.. bright lights or not.But the Hawks haven't just succeeded in prime time -- they've dominated and have outscored opponents 704-376.
And one more bit of History: it was against the Bears, in Chicago's Soldier Field, that on Dec 2, 2012.. a rookie QB named Russell Wilson came of age.
He led his team to the game-winning score in the first possession of overtime.
It began a five game win streak that took Seattle into the playoffs and cemented Wilson as the "franchise QB".
Let's see if history repeats itself under the bright lights of Monday night.
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