The Seahawks (1-0) are set to host the Patriots (1-0) in Week 2, a clash that is getting the primetime treatment on “Sunday Night Football.” Below are five burning questions, the answers to which are sure to tell the story of Sunday’s matchup. As always, we’ll review each of them on Monday.
1. Can the Seahawks establish an early lead?
The Patriots offense is about as opposite as it gets from the Falcons. New England won’t want to get into a track meet. After running the ball a remarkable 42 times in Week 1, controlling the clock and grinding out long possessions will surely be the Patriots recipe on Sunday as well.
I’d love to see the Seahawks remain aggressive and continue the pass-first approach that worked so well against Atlanta. Granted, New England’s defense is far superior, but that shouldn’t deter Seattle. The Seahawks have enough firepower to overwhelm just about anybody. Getting an early lead would force Cam Newton to sling it more frequently, which is something Seattle should welcome given the Patriots limited options in the passing game.
Whichever team is able to best stick to its offensive identity will win this game.
2. How will DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett fare against JC Jackson and Stephon Gillmore?
Metcalf and Lockett feasted in Week 1, catching a combined 12 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. They’ll have a much tougher time getting open on Sunday against the talented corner duo of Jackson and Gillmore. That leads me to believe that this could be a game where Greg Olsen shines. Pete Carroll said after the win in Atlanta that Olsen will have games where he catches 8-10 passes. This one would certainly seem like a game where Olsen has the more favorable matchup compared to Lockett and Metcalf.
If Seattle’s top two wideouts can still total around 125 yards and a touchdown, the Seahawks offense should in good shape given the other weapons who are capable of chipping in.
3. Will the Seahawks go for it on another pivotal fourth down?
Fourth downs were the story of Week 1. Seattle held Atlanta without a conversion on four attempts, while the Seahawks cashed in big the one time they went for it. Wilson turned a 4th-and-5 into a 38-yard score to Metcalf. Brian Schottenheimer admitted the coaching staff talked more than ever before about being more aggressive in 2020. That shift in identity showed up in the opener, and I’ll be curious to see if Seattle rolls the dice again against the Patriots.
4. Is this the week L.J. Collier gets his first-career sack?
Collier should see increased reps in Week 2, particularly in passing situations with Rasheem Green (neck) not expected to play. Collier expressed his desires to be a part of Seattle’s rush groups. He played 30 snaps in the opener as he made his first-career start at 5-tech. However, much of that work was in base while Green subbed in to rush the passer. Collier is hoping he can get the first sack of his career on Sunday.
Also keep an eye on Alton Robinson, who is likely to make his NFL debut with Green on the shelf. Robinson was a healthy scratch in Week 1.
5. What does Phillip Dorsett have in store for his former team?
This will obviously be a silly question if Dorsett (foot) doesn’t play on Sunday. He’s listed as questionable but didn’t practice all week, which makes his status a legitimate coin flip. I’m guessing he plays, especially since his former team is coming to town. If Dorsett does play, expect him to be used sparingly. However, all it takes is one play for the speedy wideout to leave his mark on the game. He’s surely eager to catch his first deep ball from Wilson.