What To Watch In The Seahawks’ Week 5 Game At New Orleans

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3. How do Seattle’s rookie tackles handle another tough test?

Through four games, a big bright spot for the Seahawks has been the play of rookie tackles Abraham Lucas and Charles Cross. Those two have more than held their own in their first month of facing NFL defenses, and are a big reason why Geno Smith has taken only six sacks, and why the offense as a whole is functioning so well.

This week, however, will represent one of the biggest tests yet for those rookies, not just because of the talent on New Orleans’ D-line, led by edge rushers Cameron Jordon and Marcus Davenport, but also because the Superdome can be one of the loudest venues in the NFL. Seattle’s offense functioned well last week in a loud environment at Ford Field, but given the quality of New Orleans’ defense, this might be the biggest test yet for the rookie tackles.

“I think they’re maxing out what we’ve expected of them at this point playing all four games and doing their stuff, run and pass,” Carroll said of Lucas and Cross’ play. “There were a lot of question marks about the running game; they’re really growing fast. They’re just marvelously handling it. They’re just really chill and poised about it. And it’s not too big for them. They’re having fun, but they’ve been really respectful about the whole challenge of it. This will be an enormous test this weekend with the two guys that they have on their edge.”

4. DK Metcalf vs. Marshon Lattimore, Round 3

DK Metcalf has a pair of huge plays in his two meetings against the Saints, an 84-yard score last year, and a 54-yard catch in 2019, but outside of those two plays, he had only two catches for 25 yards in those games. One reason why it has been tough for the Seahawks to get the ball to Metcalf against the Saints is the presence of cornerback Marson Lattimore, a four-time Pro-Bowler.

Metcalf won’t back down from a challenge from any opponent, and the two have had a few post-whistle extracurriculars in the previous meetings, but Lattimore also has Metcalf’s respect.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting matchup,” Metcalf said. “He’s a good corner. They got a good defense. Their defensive structure is pretty much the same as we’ve seen last week so looking to see some similar coverages, but it’s going to be an exciting game; closer to home for me, so going to have a lot of family at the game. It’s going to be a very exciting time to be back in the South.”

If the Saints defend the Seahawks similar to how Detroit did last week, that could be good news for Metcalf, who had a season-high 149 yards on seven catches.

5. Will Seattle’s defense clean up the big plays and costly penalties?

Seattle’s defense, looking to improve upon a rough outing in a Week 3 loss, got off to a good start last week, forcing a three-and-out. Detroit still scored quickly thanks to a fumbled punt return, but then after another Seahawks score, the defense got another three and out, though again, Detroit got its offense back on the field, this time thanks to a fake punt. So while Detroit scored twice early, the defense felt it was actually playing better in the first half of that game, but the second half saw the Lions stay in the game thanks to far too many big plays, including a 51-yard touchdown run and a 81-yard catch and run that set up another touchdown. Add to that the continuing trend of penalties on defensive backs that lead to big gains and first downs, and Seattle’s defense is allowing opponents to move the ball down the field far too quickly and easily.

The Seahawks know that to begin turning things around on defense, they don’t suddenly need to be perfect, they just need to get some of the big mistakes out of their play.


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John Boyle

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