By Jarrod Patterson @J_M_Patterson on August 13, 2014
The Seahawks were involved in what appeared to be the most heated preseason battle of Week 1 as they were pitted against the Denver Broncos. The meaningless Super Bowl rematch took place at Mile High Stadium, and both teams showed areas of promise and concern throughout the game. Seattle now turns their attention to the San Diego Chargers this week as they will look for continued progress in several key areas. Here are five things to watch for.
The Seahawks are proud owners of (arguably) the greatest home-field advantage in the NFL. CenturyLink Field, known to fans as "The Clink," is truly a piece of engineering brilliance. Anyone who has ever had the privilege of attending a game there knows the noise is truly deafening. Obviously, that helps explain Russell Wilson's unbelievable 15-1 home record. While it's just the preseason, fans will be glad to see their champs return home.
Against Denver, the Seahawks O-line struggled to get any push in the run game. Clearly, a large part of that was due to the absence of offensive linemen Russell Okung, James Carpenter and Max Unger. While the availability of these three key starters for this week is still in doubt, Assistant head coach Tom Cable will likely fix any mental mistakes made by Seattle's young players last week, which should lead to a better outing.
One of the great storylines of preseason Week 1 for the 12th Man was the emergence of several rookies on the roster. With a multitude of starters sidelined for various reasons, many first- and second-year players saw extended playing time. Of those who played, the three rookies who stood out most were probably DE Cassius Marsh, WR Paul Richardson and LB Brock Coyle. Look for these three and more to make their presence known in preseason Week 2.
As things generally go throughout the preseason, coaches tend to ease their starters into the mix slowly. It helps minimize risk of injury and also tends to keep game plans under wraps. Yet, if things hold true historically, fans should expect to see a little bit more of their starters on both sides of the ball, at least those who are healthy. That means more Russell Wilson, more Earl Thomas and perhaps most importantly, more Richard Sherman.
While it will certainly be nice to see more from Russell Wilson and the L.O.B. in Week 2 of the preseason, the fact is all eyes will be on Marshawn Lynch. After all, the 12th Man breathed a collective sigh of relief last week when the man known as Beast Mode finally reported to training camp. Additionally, head coach Pete Carroll has remarked how well Lynch has looked thus far, making his preseason debut an interesting storyline to follow.
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