Marshawn Lynch finished this season as the NFL's 5th leading rusher averaging 82 yards per game and the Seahawks will need him to have a good game against the New England Patriots on Sunday. The Patriots defense ranks 17th in the NFL versus the run giving up 239 yards per game. So there is yards to be had against the Patriots.
This season when Lynch has carried the ball 20 times or more the Seahawks' record is 8-1. When the Seahawks have success running the ball it keeps the ball from the other team, limiting their number of plays versus the best overall defense in the NFL during the regular season. The Seahawks defense was also the best scoring defense in the regular season, only allowing their opponents to score an average of 16 points per game.
Lynch will need a big game on Sunday for the Seahwaks to win their second straight super bowl.
It will be extremely important for Lynch to be in beast mode against the Patriots because the Seahawks passing game is ranked 27th in the NFL, they can't afford to let the Patriots make their offense one dimensional. The Seahawks must run the ball frequently and with success.
However, it will not be easy to run the ball effectively against the Patriots as they had the 9th best run defense in the NFL in the regular season. The Seahawks must also be able to utilize the play action pass successfully when the Patriots start to load up against the run to stop Lynch.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichik is known to try to take away what the other team does best and force them to beat him by doing something else. The Seahawks' strength is Lynch running the football so Belichik could play it two ways. He could load up against the run and make the Seahawks throw the ball, or he could play soft versus the run, but take away the big play potential in the Seahawks play action passing game.
Especially with the injuries the Seahawks have in their secondary with injuries to Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas it is of the utmost importance for the Seahawks to stay with their running game even if they are not having great success to help their defense out.
The Seahawks must also be ready to run a lot of their zone read package with Lynch and RussellFor the Seahawks to be back to back super bowl champs, Wilson must be super on Sunday.
Wilson. They are the two leading rushers for the Seahawks with Lynch rushing for 1,306 yards scoring 13 touchdowns and Wilson rushing for 849 yards while scoring 6 touchdowns.
Some really good news for the Seahawks is that rookie right tackle Justin Britt who missed the NFC Championship Game last week with a knee injury has practiced all week and appears to be fine. According to the Football Outsiders, the Seahwaks ranked 1st in the NFL at running off right end behind Britt and 25% of their running plays are drawn up to go there.
52% of the Seahawks running plays are right up the middle behind either guard or center. This will be a tough battle for the Seahawks because of the two big defensive tackles of the Patriots in Vince Willfork and Chris Jones.
Lynch will have most success running to the right
The Seahwaks mgith want to rethink where they run the ball mostly. I would fake more runs to the left that Wilson could bootleg off of. They should also work on play action passes off of running plays up the middle and when they see the Patriot secondary move closer to the line trying to stop the run they should fake it and throw it deep looking for the big play.
I think the team that makes more big mistakes or turnovers will lose this game. The winner will be the team that protects the ball and avoids the bad plays.
Seattle 24, New England 20.