Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson lost his first career start against the Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix last year. A big reason for it was because Seattle’s offensive line was unable to keep Wilson upright. There is no question one of the Seahawks’ key to victory on Thursday night is protecting Wilson.
One player in particular that must step his game up is right guard J.R. Sweezy, who will have the difficult task of blocking Darnell Dockett. It was something he simply could not do last year and it cost Seattle dearly in the first game of the season.
“I think he had 11 missed assignments in that game or something like that,” head coach Pete Carroll said, according to The News Tribune. “He had a tough game, and Darnell Dockett is a challenging guy to go against, particularly when you’ve never played before.”
If Sweezy is unable to keep Dockett at bay, it will be a long night for the Seahawks in a very tough environment.
Wilson was sacked three times and constantly ran for his life in the season opener against the Cardinals in 2012. Even though the Seahawks got revenge when they crushed the Cardinals 58-0 at home later in the season, that first game still sticks with the entire team.
The fact that Arizona has recorded 16 sacks on the season certainly has to be a concern, especially when Dockett leads the team with four quarterback takedowns. Seattle’s offense has allowed Wilson to get sacked 17 times this season, which is the 10th most in the NFL. There is no question in my mind that the winner of this particular battle could go a long way to which team wins the game.