Jake Heaps’ 2 matchups to watch between Seahawks and Washington

Dec 19, 2020, 10:53 AM

Seahawks safety Jamal Adams...

Seahawks safety Jamal Adams has recorded 8.5 sacks in nine games. (Getty)


It’s a battle of playoff hopefuls when the Seahawks face off with the NFC East-leading Washington Football Team on Sunday in Week 15, with Seattle having an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth and Washington having a chance to build on its divisional lead.

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Not only can the Seahawks punch their ticket to the playoffs for the third year in a row, they also need a win in order to keep up with the Los Angeles Rams in the race for the NFC West crown. Both Seattle and Los Angeles are 9-4 and face off in Week 16, which likely will determine who wins the division.

But before that divisional showdown, the Seahawks must first travel to Washington D.C. and take on the Washington Football Team, who are now 6-7 after starting 1-5 and have won four games in a row.

In this upcoming contest, former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps said he’ll be paying close attention to two key matchups throughout the game. He shared what those are on Friday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy.

Seahawks OL vs Washington DL

Washington overall has one of the best defenses in the NFL, ranking fourth in yards allowed, third in passing yards allowed, sixth in points allowed and are tied for fourth in sacks with 40. A big reason for that success is due to the play of the defensive line.

“Washington’s defensive line has been truly been one of the best in the NFL,” Heaps said. Montez Sweat, Chase Young, Ryan Kerrigan, Tim Settle. Just all across that front they’ve got some really, really good players that can control the line of scrimmage.”

Young and Sweat are just two defensive linemen Washington has used first-round picks on the last two years, with Young going second overall this past draft and Sweat being selected 26th overall in 2019. Washington also drafted defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne in the first round in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

That group will be going up against a Seahawks offensive line that has been one of the more pleasant developments this season. One issue, though, is that starting right tackle Brandon Shell appears likely to miss his third game in the last four weeks with an ankle injury. That would cause Cedric Ogbuehi to make his second start of the year at right tackle while the rest of Seattle’s offensive line would be regular starters Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Ethan Pocic and Damien Lewis.

“This is going to be the matchup that, as an offensive line, you’ve got to be excited about to be able to prove who you are and what you’re capable of,” Heaps said.

Jamal Adams vs. Dwayne Haskins

On the other side of the ball for both teams, Heaps wants to see how star Seahawks safety Jamal Adams does against Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Haskins, a 2019 first-round pick, was the starting quarterback to start the year before he was benched. Alex Smith has started in recent weeks, but he is out with a calf injury.

Adams, meanwhile, has been on a tear when it comes to disrupting opposing quarterbacks, recording 8.5 sacks 13 quarterback hits and a forced fumble when rushing the passer. Those 8.5 sacks are the most ever by a defensive back in a single season, and Adams set the mark in Week 14 and has missed four games this year.

“I expect and I am hoping you’re going to see Jamal Adams being sent in on pressure quite a few times to this young quarterback and see if he can rattle him a little bit,” Heaps said.

Listen to the second hour of Friday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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Jake Heaps’ 2 matchups to watch between Seahawks and Washington