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Cyber surfing: Sunday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” on game day about the Seahawks for Nov. 13:

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the task that awaits the Seahawks’ running game in today’s matchup against the Ravens: “It’s tough enough just getting your arms around the challenge that will be standing in front of Seattle’s offensive line Sunday. Now try moving Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata out of the way. ‘It’s like trying to move a tractor,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘It’s hard to get that thing going.’ Baltimore’s defense presents a number of difficulties from a pass rusher like Terrell Suggs, who has six sacks, to the tenured bone cruncher Ray Lewis to sticky-fingered safety Ed Reed, who has intercepted 29 passes since the 2007 season began. But listed at 330 pounds, Ngata is truly the biggest obstacle the Seahawks will face, an absolute mountain of a defensive lineman who will be standing between Seattle and its continued progress in the rushing game.”

O’Neil also has his “Keys to the Game,” including: “Protect Tarvaris Jackson: After giving up just one sack in Dallas last week, the Seahawks no longer rank last in the league in sacks allowed. Don’t exhale just yet, though. Here comes Baltimore’s defense, which only ranks second in the NFL with 26 sacks. That might mean another afternoon of pass-protection assignments for Seattle tight end Zach Miller, who may be called upon to help keep linebacker Terrell Suggs from spending the afternoon in Jackson’s lap.”

Dave Boling at the News Tribune features George Hickman, the 87-year-old former Tuskegee Airman who will raise the 12th MAN flag as part of the Military Appreciation activities: “Consider him an American success story. His grandmother was the 33rd child of a Tennessee slavemaster. His father fought in a segregated infantry unit in World War I, bringing home three bullet holes in his legs from trench battles against the Germans at places such as Argonne and Chateau-Thierry. As early as Hickman could remember, his father would take him to the edge of Lambert Field in St. Louis to watch airplanes. The science and mystery of flight entranced him, and the passion that rooted with model planes he bought with paper-boy money grew into a lifelong career. Now almost 70 years later, he recalls his early flights after enlisting in the segregated pilot training program at Tuskegee, Ala. ‘There was nothing better in the world,’ he said. ‘In that biplane, the guy wires between the wings were like musical instruments.’ ”

Also at the News Tribune, Eric Williams revisits the Ravens’ past problems when they’ve gone on the road following an emotional victory: “All the Ravens have to do is go back in their memory bank for a recent example of a mental lapse against an inferior opponent, losing to 2-6 Jacksonville on the road three weeks ago, 12-7. Baltimore’s only other loss this season was to 4-4 Tennessee on the road, 26-13, in the second game of the year. ‘We’ve had this experience already and so we know that those records don’t mean anything,’ Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. ‘We’ve already lost to two teams that had sub-par records. And the stars and the players on their team – our guys know all about those guys. I’m quite sure I’ll be very disappointed if we don’t have their full attention this week.’ ”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks at how the Seahawks view this game as starting over in the second half of their season: “Today, when Seattle hosts Baltimore to kick off the second half of a so-far disappointing 2011, the hope is to turn those lessons into progress. The Seahawks want to clean up their many mistakes in the first eight games, the turnovers and penalties in particular. ‘You can take what you learned from it and just try to use it in the second half,’ quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. ‘The mistakes you made — don’t try and make those same mistakes and just build on it. We feel like we’re starting over in the second half of the season. We’re a 2-6 team, but we’re kind of coming in looking at it like we’re 0-0 and just trying to go undefeated.’ “

Christian Caple at PI.com has his “5 Things to Watch” in today’s game, including: “Find the quarterback: The opposing team’s quarterback, that is. Seattle hasn’t done that much this season, amassing only 13 sacks in its first eight games. That’s tied for third-fewest in the league. Baltimore’s pass protection has been middle-of-the-road. The Ravens have given up 19 sacks this year, 14th-most in the NFL. ‘There’s no design to have 13 sacks,’ Carroll said. ‘We should be getting two or three a game if we’re doing just average, so we’ve got to get to the quarterback more. We need to do all of the things – we need to pressure better and more effectively, we need our guys to rush, we’ve got to cover and hope they hold it more, so it’s a combination of things.’ Carroll said that part of the problem is that Seattle has been trailing in games so frequently that teams have been able to go away from the pass and simply pound the ball on ground.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at a running game that was much improved in last week’s loss to the Cowboys, but also one that faces a tough task against the Ravens, as Carroll points out: “Their football team up front is really, really good. (Terrell) Suggs is a fantastic football player and you can’t get any bigger than they are inside. And they play to that, the style plays to that. There’s no better bunch of guys that you’d want to play defense with than those guys. They’re all tough. They’re all physical. They’re all strong. And they play with a great attitude and can really make your day hard on you – as they’ve done this year.”

There’s also a look at some other key elements in our matchup box, as well as Tony Ventrella’s video preview of the game.

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has “Five Observations” from last week’s game against the Cowboys, including this one: “The Seahawks had to like what they saw from left tackle Russell Okung. When Okung plays with confidence, he makes the extra shove. I saw that from him early in the game. Okung pushed DeMarcus Ware legally but unnecessarily as a play was ending. The whistle had not yet blown, but Ware wasn’t a factor on the play. Ware walked toward Okung after the play and said something in his ear, but Okung didn’t seem to care. Okung generally fared well when matched up with Ware. He showed good awareness and hustle in retreating to help with Ware on the play Tarvaris Jackson saved with a penalty-drawing throw for Mike Williams.”

For a look at the rest of the league, there’s Adam Schefter’s “The 10 Spot” at ESPN.com; and John Czarnecki’s “Week 10 Countdown” at FoxSports.com, including this note on the Seahawks-Ravens game: “The last time the Ravens visited Seattle they got waxed by Matt Hasselbeck, losing 27-6 the year before John Harbaugh arrived. Yes, this is a tough place to play, especially after a cross-country flight, but the Ravens are coming off a huge win in Pittsburgh and should be motivated not to fall into a lull similar to what they suffered against Jacksonville in October. Tarvaris Jackson has had two 300-yard passing games at home this season, but he will face a superior defense that leads the AFC with 26 sacks.”


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