Keys for the Seahawks:
Really looking forward to watching both Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane perform tonight. It's one thing to be the back up and come in for a handful of plays and not have the expectations placed on you like there is with starters. How these two respond tonight will certainly go a long way in shaping how the game unfolds.
My assumption would be that Sean Payton and New Orleans will come out tonight and really challenge those two young defensive backs and see if they are up for the challenge. A lot has been made about Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas and Jimmy Graham being the focal point of the teams passing game, however, something tells me tonight that we will see Marques Colston, Kenny Stills and Lance Moore getting a ton of opportunities in the passing game this evening.
Seattle is a more physical team than New Orleans. On both sides of the ball tonight Seattle must establish that physicality from the get go. I know the Saints want to play more physical this year, but they are no match with what Seattle has to offer. If Seattle routinely punches New Orleans in the mouth , I think the Saints will eventually wilt in the fourth quarter and Seattle will be victorious.
For whatever reason I feel that Russell Wilson is going to have a real special game tonight and will once again establish himself as the best young quarterback in the NFL. I'm not sure what his line will read, but I can envision something like this: 25/30 290 yards, 2 passing TD's, 8 rushes, 60 yards and 1 rushing TD. I think the Saints under Rob Ryan will take some chances in their blitz packages and Wilson, in my opinion, will routinely make the Saints pay.
Sarkisian to USC
In what was the biggest news of the day, Steve Sarkisian has left the University of Washington and has taken the head coaching job at USC. First of all, Sarkisian has every right to leave for USC. For Sarkisian it's his hometown and he probably has always dreamed of coaching at SC and the opportunity presented itself and it was too good to pass up. But, I find him very disingenuous. Sarkisian spent a lot of time praising UW and saying over and over again that Washington is a premiere job and you can win championships at Washington. As recently as this year on his coaches show, Sarkisian said his goal was to coach at Washington one more year then the late Don James. He talked about winning more Rose Bowl titles than James. He talked an awful lot about the legacy of James. However, at the end of the day it wasn't about Washington or James, it was about taking care of Sarkisian himself. And, I guess at the end of the day that's all that matters, but, Sarkisian is just one of hundreds and hundreds of coaches who do what's best for them and will say and do anything perpetuate their public facade.