3 players to watch in Seahawks’ Week 9 matchup vs Chargers
The Seahawks will return to Seattle this Sunday to face the Los Angeles Chargers in what will be just their third home game of the season.
Despite that home field advantage, the Seahawks will be challenged: the Chargers (5-2) have won four of their last five, and quarterback Philip Rivers is completing almost 70 percent (69.1) of his pass attempts, with 17 touchdowns to his three interceptions. In what will be his 200th start, Rivers will be headlining an offense that ranks sixth overall in yards per game (402.7).
With that challenge in mind, here are three Seahawks players to keep an eye on Sunday:
CB Tre Flowers
The challenge posed by Rivers will test the full secondary, but going against a savvy veteran quarterback is no easy feat for younger defensive backs. Rookie Tre Flowers has adjusted well in what has been not just his first year in the NFL, but also his first season playing cornerback. (The fifth-round pick played safety at Oklahoma State.)
Through six games, Flowers has 30 tackles and three passes defended. He also forced a fumble in a Week 4 win over the Cardinals. But Seattle is entering just the second in a streak of five games – which began with a Week 8 contest against Matt Stafford and the Detroit Lions – pitting this relatively young defense against top-tier QBs. Rivers, Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton all are on the horizon.
DT Jarran Reed
The conversation surrounding Seattle’s pass rush tends to focus on fourth-year defensive end Frank Clark. That’s fair, since Clark is the senior-most member of the defensive line and leads the team in sacks. However, third-year defensive tackle Jarran Reed is having his best season yet, already having recorded a career-high four sacks, including a strip-sack of Stafford last Sunday.
The Seahawks’ pass rush was dominant in three of the team’s wins this season (against the Cowboys, Raiders and Lions), but Seattle has struggled at times to maintain pressure in other contests, including allowing 468 passing yards in a Week 5 loss to the Rams. It’s not easy to force Rivers into making a mistake, but the more pressure the line can bring – particularly from standouts Clark and Reed – the better for Seattle.
WR David Moore
The Seahawks have been able to dominate time of possession in their brightest performances by running the ball and forcing turnovers on defense. Like their game earlier this season against the Rams, though, this weekend will find Seattle facing a high-powered offense. The Rams might rank higher than the Chargers in points per game (33), but the Chargers are just four places behind at nearly 28 points per game.
Should Seattle’s offense lean more heavily into the pass than against the Lions, emerging second-year pro David Moore could be another deep target for quarterback Russell Wilson. Tyler Lockett has been the team’s leading receiver this year and Doug Baldwin, typically the No. 1 receiver, has been improving in his return from two injured knees. But with Wilson appearing more keen to spread the ball around, it’s worth keeping an eye on Moore, who now has four touchdowns in his last three games.