Seattle Seahawks' fans had an added incentive for today's game when they saw the Tennessee Titans on the home schedule last spring. It was a winnable game and a chance to welcome ex-Washington Husky star Jake Locker back to town. Locker's hip injury suffered two weeks ago scuttled the latter, but the former is still very much in play. The Hawks hope to erase the unpleasant memories of Indianapolis with a convincing home win today.
At quarterback Tennessee brings Ryan Fitzpatrick off the bench for his second consecutive start. The former Buffalo Bills' starter is 24 for 49 through the air, for 355 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Consistency, both game to game and in-game has been a problem for the nine year pro out of Harvard. At times he looked like the QB to make Buffalo fans forget about Jim Kelly. Other times he made Buffalo fans remember that he is Ryan Fitzpatrick. He will need to bring his A++ game to Seattle if he hopes to spring the upset at Century Link Field.
Tennessee will attempt to control the clock with the rushing stylings of Chris Johnson. Now four years removed from his electric 2006 yard season of 2009 Johnson has hardly looked the part of star runner since. He has yet to garner 100 yards in a game this season, and will be hard-pressed to notch his first century mark against the tough Seahawks' defensive front.
As for the Seahawks, there is work to be done. Their 4-0 start obscured some failings in the passing game, and Pete Carroll hopes to get those ironed out during the softer part of the schedule. Russell Wilson is completing 58% of his passes but his quarterback rating is down 9% from last year. Wide receiver Percy Harvin is on his way back from injury but he's still a week away. Wilson hopes to find a rhythm with Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, and Doug Baldwin.
The always reliable Marshawn Lynch will be a key component of the Hawks' attack today. But even in the rushing attack there is improvement to be made. Lynch's 82 yard per game average places him fifth in the NFC, but his only 100 yard game came last week when he tallied 102 at Indianapolis in the Seahawks' only losing effort to date. Tennessee's 10th ranked rushing defense in the AFC might be fertile ground for Lynch to plow toward a big harvest.
Las Vegas sharps list the Seahawks as an 11.5 point favorite. This is a hard one to call as 10-12 points seems about right. But given that both teams are going to want to run the ball and shorten the game, let's call it a slight lean to Tennessee and the points.
The game is scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. PDT kick and is available locally on KIRO 7. If you are outside of western Washington Seahawks/Titans can be seen on DirecTV's Sunday Ticket Channel 713.