Heaps: These 3 Seahawks must step up against the Cardinals
The 5-0 Seahawks face the 4-2 Arizona Cardinals on Sunday Night Football in Seattle’s first NFC West matchup of the season, and the stakes are high for both teams.
The Seahawks can extend their already franchise-best start to the season by going 6-0 and maintaining both the NFC West crown and the NFC’s No. 1 seed while the Cardinals can get within one game of Seattle for first place in the division.
With high stakes in this Week 7 showdown, players on both sides will need to step up. If the Seahawks are to continue their unbeaten streak, which players will need to make a big impact? Former Seahawks quarterback Jake Heaps gave three names on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy on Friday.
“To me, the guy on the defensive line who has to come up big is going to be Poona Ford,” Heaps said. “Poona Ford as your 1-technique and Jarran Reed as your two interior defensive linemen, they need play well in order to limit and slow down (Cardinals running back) Kenyan Drake and this running attack.”
The first four games of the season were great for Seattle rushing defense, which was third in the league in rushing yards allowed per game and per rush. But in Week 5’s win over the Vikings, Minnesota ran for over 200 yards, though Reed had his best game of the season.
Currently, Drake is fourth in the NFL in rushing yards and the Cardinals are fourth in rushing as a team as well.
On the other side of the ball, Heaps wants to see one of the Seahawk’s biggest names have a big game.
“Now on the offensive side of the ball, I truly believe this is a week where Tyler Lockett has to come up big,” he said. “He’s been quiet the last couple of weeks.”
Through the first three weeks, Lockett had 259 yards and four touchdowns. In Seattle’s last two games, Lockett has just six catches for 83 yards and no scores. A big reason why? The play of his fellow top receiver.
“It doesn’t mean (Lockett) hasn’t been effective, but DK Metcalf has gotten a lot of the big plays down the field and I think teams are going to start to really favor him and try to eliminate his effect on the game down field,” Heaps said, “so that’s where you could see Tyler Lockett be the beneficiary and I think he’s the offensive X-factor in this one.”
Listen to the second hour of Friday’s Tom, Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.