Here are three things to watch in the Seattle-Washington game tonight:
TAKING AIM AT ALFRED MORRIS
Kirk Cousins will again start at quarterback for Washington with Robert Griffin III out with a dislocated ankle. And after Cousins threw four interceptions in his last game against the Giants and now going against the Legion of Boom secondary, expect Washington to lean even more on running back Alfred Morris. Morris has rushed for 316 yards to rank fifth in the NFL and at 5-10, 224 is a prototype physical, power back. “He’s kind of like a one-cut get up and down hill back,’’ said Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. “Very physical, strong legs.’’ Wagner, though, said Seattle should be up for the challenge. “I see Marshawn (Lynch) every day. Nobody is tougher than Marshawn.’’
WILLSON HELPING WILSON
The one big personnel change for Seattle in this game comes with second-year tight end Luke Willson filling in for injured starter Zach Miller, out at least two games after having arthroscopic ankle surgery. Even more critical than filling in for Miller’s pass-catching ability is replacing his blocking, especially in protecting Seattle QB Russell Wilson. That will be a challenge in this game as Washington has two good pass rushing outside linebackers in Ryan Kerrigan, whose five sacks led the NFL heading into the weekend, and Brian Orapko, as well as end Jason Hatcher, who has 2.5. Kerrigan figures to often line up on the side of Seattle rookie right tackle Justin Britt, and Willson will undoubtedly called on to help out in pass protection at times.
A BREAKOUT FOR THE LEGION OF BOOM?
While stopping Morris could be the most critical factor for Seattle’s defense in this game, not far off could be the ability of the Seahawks to take advantage of any mistakes made by Cousins. Cousins has thrown five interceptions in 114 attempts, a percentage of 4.50 per 100 attempts that is the fifth-highest in the NFL of quarterbacks who have thrown more than 19 passes (in contract, Wilson has just one interception in 87 attempts, 1.10 percent per 100 throws). Seattle’s defense, meanwhile, has just two interceptions this season after leading the NFL last year with 28. If Seattle can stop Morris and make Washington one-dimensional, there could be some gifts to be had for the Seahawks secondary.