The Seahawks will finish their preseason schedule playing two games in the next six days. The first of which kicks off in a little more than an hour as the 'Hawks will travel to Arrowhead to face the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.
The starters are expected to play into the third quarter tonight, which is the usual strategy for the third preseason game. However, the team plans to sub in a few backups with the starters as the team attempts to get a better feel for who will make the final 53. One man who will no doubt see quite a bit of action with the first team will be preseason breakout star, defensive end Nick Reed, who is pushing former first rounder Lawrence Jackson for the backup job and has been the star of the preseason with a stat line that reads 2 1/2 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and a blocked punt.
While Reed has made a name for himself the last couple of weeks, the name on everyone's mouth leading up to tonight's showdown is recent free-agent signing Edgerrin James. James was signed earlier in the week to add a boost to running game that has only managed to produce a measly 2.9 yards per carry this preseason, but the all-time active leading rusher is a game-time decision as he's still getting adjusted to offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's offense.
Another decorated veteran to keep an eye on tonight will be former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, who is yet to notch a reception in the preseason. With the team not expected to carry more than five receivers to make room on the roster for a offensive line ravaged by injuries, Branch will need to put on a show to keep his roster spot from the likes of youngsters like Ben Obamanu, Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent. Speaking of the offensive line, the team will going with yet another different starting formation. With starters Walter Jones and Charles Spencer out indefinitely, the offensive line for tonight will consist of Sean Locklear(in place of Jones), Rob Sims, Steve Vallos(in place of Spencer), rookie Max Unger and Ray Willis(in place of Locklear). The O-line will need to step it up dramatically as the team not only tries to make up for last week's effort against Denver in which they gave up three sacks but also attempt to get better production out of running game that will now feature James and incumbant Julius Jones.
They shouldn't have much of a problem doing that against a Kansas City team that lacks a proven pass rush. The same, however, can be said for Seattle's defense as well. Of the team's eight preseason sacks, only one came from the first team defense(Cory Redding's sack on Phillip Rivers in the opener). They'll face a Chiefs offensive line that has struggled to protect quarterback Matt Cassell and a big game here could be the confidence boost this defense needs going into the regular season.
With Oakland coming up in a few days, don't expect too much aggression from Jim Mora's squad as they try to limit any more damage to a roster that has already been bitten pretty bad by the injury bug. With the starters notching most of the playing time, this will be our first good look at the 2009 Seattle Seahawks. Hopefully, they can make it out in one piece.
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.