Week 3 of the NFL season finds eight teams with a record of 2-0, nine at 0-2, and the Dolphins and Buccaneers at 1-0 and 0-1, respectively, since their game against each other was postponed. Mired among the 13 teams with a record of 1-1 are the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans. Sunday will decide who enters Week 4 with a winning record – or a losing one.
The expectations are high for the Titans in the mediocre-at-best AFC South. They dropped the opening game of the season at home to the Raiders, then trounced Jacksonville on the road. If Tennessee lives up to their high billing remains to be seen, but Seattle will pose a second challenge in their own building.
The Titans’ offensive line is strong, anchored by Pro Bowler Taylor Lewan. The line has allowed just two sacks for five total yards in the first two weeks of the season, 274 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Seattle’s ‘Death Row’ defensive line will have to step up in order to bring pressure on quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The Seahawks bring their own issues to Nashville, most notably along the offensive line. Quarterback Russell Wilson missed several passes early in the season, and while his protection has been less than stellar, he has been responsible for a sack or two of his own.
Someone to watch on Sunday is rookie running back Chris Carson. Seattle’s running game has suffered in the absence of Marshawn Lynch and with an unsettled offensive line. Carson could likely shoulder the load again while the other running backs fight for time on the field.
While the Seahawks have struggled on the road in September, they have a good chance on Sunday, particularly if the run can find traction against a good Titans’ front seven, who only managed pressure 11.1 percent of the time Week 1 against Oakland. Week 2 in Jacksonville, their front saw just two sacks against Blake Bortles.
If the Seahawks’ offensive line is indeed improving, they should not only keep Wilson upright but allow him time to throw.