Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks preview

The Seattle Seahawks, who will host the Tennessee Titans this week, are not a good team. They’re now a team with a 5-10 record on a three-game losing streak.

If not for a very weak schedule, the Seahawks could easily be 2-13 right now. Two of their wins came against the cellar dwellers in their division, the St. Louis Rams. Titans fans saw how bad the Lambs were in Week Fourteen, in a 47-7 mismatch.

Another Seahawk win was against the 2-13 Detroit Lions. Hey, somebody had to win that game and fortune smiled on the home team that day. Fortune did not smile on the homestanding Seahawks two weeks ago, as they were upset by the then 1-12 Bucs.

So three of their wins were against teams with a combined 3-27 record. Their other two wins were against the Jaguars and 49ers, both with 7-8 records. None of their wins came against a team with a winning record. The Titans don’t have a winning record either, which should give the Seahawks some hope.

Now for a closer look.

Offense:

QB Matt Hasselbeck has been extremely inconsistent this year. In Week Five he threw four TD passes and had a 125.1 passer rating. A week later, it was zero touchdowns and a 32.5 rating. That was one of four games this season in which he didn’t have a passing TD. The slumping Hasselbeck has thrown four picks in each of the last two games, had a passer rating of 36.6 last week, and was nearly benched.

Part of the reason for his subpar performance this year has been a lack of protection. His o-line has had a lot of injury problems, giving up 38 sacks and 83 QB hits. The man has not been afforded much time to throw the ball.

Hasselbeck must sure miss future Hall of Famer Walter Jones, who’s on Injured Reserve. I’ll miss seeing him going against KVB this week. When the Seahawks and Titans last met, KVB was at LDE, so Jones faced LaBoy and Odom that day.

As I mentioned in a comment to Drexel’s request for questions to ask a Seahawks writer, Seattle coach Jim Mora is using his best RB, Justin Forsett, as a backup to the unproductive Julius Jones. Go figure.

The Seahawks have some productive receivers in WRs T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Nate Burleson, Deion Branch and TE John Carlson. With more consistency at QB this year, they ought to have some bigger numbers. Still, they are capable of posting good numbers occasionally, as evidenced by Hasselbeck’s four TD passes against the Jaguars. I would have liked to see Houshmandzadeh come to the Titans in free agency this past offseason.

Defense:

What everybody wants to know is how tough the Seahawks are against the run and particularly, if they’ll be able to contain Chris Johnson this week.

Frank Gore torched them for 208 yards in Week Two, but they were able to hold some other great runners to meager yards. Adrian Peterson managed just 82 yards against them, Maurice Jones-Drew had 34 and Gore rushed for only 34 in the 49ers-Seahawks rematch.

The Seahawks are ranked 11th in Adjusted Line Yards, but only 25th in Open Field Yards by Football Outsiders. Hmmm. I really don’t think that second part matters as much when CJ is the one who’s in the open field.

It looks like the Seahawks are pretty good against the run up the middle, so the Titans could have more success running off tackle at DEs Patrick Kerney and Lawrence Jackson or running outside. I like the matchup of David Stewart against Kerney and Alge Crumpler blocking on LB Leroy Hill. CJ could rack up some good yardage there, maybe even bust a big one.

Seattle plays a Tampa-2 as their base defense, much like the Colts, but obviously not as quick.

The Seahawks secondary is not very good, ranked near the bottom of the league in most categories, so Vince Young could have some success against them.

The Hawks are 26th in the league in scoring defense, surrendering 24.9 points per game, but in the last three games, they’ve given up 106 points, an average of 35.3 points per game. Ouch.

I’m going to predict CJ will get as many as 40 carries on Sunday, if that’s what it takes to set and keep breaking records.

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