It’s almost here. After months of waiting, the NFL regular season is merely days away from officially kicking off. The Seattle Seahawks start their 2023 campaign where they ended their 2022 season – at home against the Los Angeles Rams.
Seattle swept the downtrodden Rams for the first time since the 2013 Super Bowl season, but it was not a cakewalk for them. The Seahawks had to grind out two hard-fought wins, including a 19-16 win in overtime for the regular season finale. It would be foolish to think Week 1 will be any different for Seattle.
The Rams are going to come out firing, rejuvenated from their atrocious championship-defense season. If the Seahawks want to start the season 1-0 (and a third-straight win over LA) they’re going to need certain players to step up. Here are a few to keep an eye on in Week 1.
The battle for the starting center role was won by former Detroit Lions starter Evan Brown. Seattle’s offense line had rapid improvement in 2022, but the interior – specifically at center – was still a liability. Brown will need to show he can be the considerable upgrade, because a certain big bad bully is coming back. Aaron Donald missed both games against the Seahawks last year, but he will be ready to go to kick things off in 2023.
Dre’Mont Jones – Defensive end
Dre’Mont Jones was Seattle’s splashiest free agent signing this offseason. The Seahawks rarely engage in the first wave of free agency, but bucked that trend when they went after Jones to help bolster their defensive front. Seattle has an early test to see if the improvements they made to their defensive line were enough, and they’re going to need Jones to make an impact.
The Seahawks raised a few eyebrows when they signed Julian Love. Not because he is a bad player – precisely the opposite. Love is a legitimate starter, and despite having Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams returning, Seattle brought in a third safety. We know Adams is already ruled out for Week 1, which will bring more attention to seeing how Love handles his new role in the Seahawks secondary.
We haven’t talked much about Kenneth Walker III lately. With training camp injuries and being held out of the preseason, Seattle’s star young running back has not been in the limelight. But Walker is slated to start in Week 1, and as the lead back he will be leaned on heavily. How Walker is able to help the Seahawks move the ball against Aaron Donald and the Rams defense will go a long way to determining how much success Seattle will find.
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