We need to keep Lynch under control. We need to generate turnovers.
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Miller: Stopping Lynch should be top priority
The Chicago Bears (8-3) face a Seattle Seahawks (6-5) team clawing to keep their playoff hopes alive. Seattle is coming off a close, gut-wrenching 24-21 loss to the Miami Dolphins last week. The biggest key to the game was Miami’s ability to shut down Seattle’s biggest playmaker: running back Marshawn Lynch.
Former NFL executive Pat Kirwin and I caught up with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during this week on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Carroll discussed the reasons why Lynch was unsuccessful. It may very well be the key for the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
The Seahawks rushed for only 96 total yards against the Dolphins. Lynch, for that matter, only averaged a paltry 2.4 yards per rush on 19 attempts for 46 total yards. After watching the game, Carroll seemed to think the Seahawks interior offensive line was the issue.
Carroll stated, “We really got pushed very aggressively by their inside guys on our guards and center, that kind of set the tone for the game on the day.”
Carroll felt his offensive tackle play was serviceable, but explained the offensive rushing problems were solely on the interior.
“They beat us inside a little bit for really the first time that happened to us in a game. They got off on us really well in a number of ways and pressured us a little bit.” It wasn’t just the Seahawks offensive line; the Dolphins' defense was stuffing on the inside," Carroll said. “The Dolphins knocked some runs around which were uncharacteristic in that Marshawn had to take a couple losses. He did not get a chance to get going very much.”
Undeterred with their lack of success running the football through the first half, Carroll gave a window into the Seahawks mindset when he said, “Very frustrated with that and, of course, we are committed to it so we kept pounding away and it did not work out as well as we wanted."
The Bears' defensive line has had plenty of time to study the Dolphin game tape. When watching the game Sunday, try and focus on the Bears' defensive tackles and see if they have similar push against the Seahawks' interior line. If the Bears are able to win the interior battle stopping Lynch, their percentages of winning increase greatly.