When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m., Qwest Field
Record: 7-8 after losing to the San Diego Chargers on Christmas night
Where they rank: No. 13 on offense (2nd rushing, 23rd passing); No. 28 on defense (10th rushing, 31st passing)
Series: Seahawks lead 9-4 and have won the past five meetings, including the last one in 2005
Star power: Chris Johnson. The quest for 2K continues at Qwest. The Titans’ all-purpose back has a definite purpose in this seemingly meaningless game – becoming the sixth back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards. Johnson needs 128 rushing yards to do it, and has averaged 124.8 in getting to his league-leading total of 1,872. But there’s more to Johnson than chasing history. He’s also the Titans’ leading receiver (47 catches for 483 yards), which plays into him leading the league in yards from scrimmage (2,355). Oh, and he also has scored 14 touchdowns, second most in the league.
Unsung hero: Michael Roos. The label doesn’t exactly fit for a guy who went to the Pro Bowl last year, but the Titans’ left tackle definitely has a story worth telling. He was born in Estonia and lived in the former Soviet Republic until he was 10. That’s when his mother moved to Vancouver (WA, not B.C.). Roos played football at Mountain View High School and Eastern Washington University before the Titans selected him in the second round of the 2005 draft. Since then, he’s been starring in his own Bond-esque thriller – “From Russia, With Shove.”
On the spot: The Titans’ run defense. Yes, they rank 10th in the league, allowing an average of 104.7 rushing yards per game. But last week, the Chargers, who had the 30th-ranked rushing offense in the league, ran for 166 yards and four scores – two each by LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles, who also caught a TD pass. The Seahawks’ running game ranks 30th in the league, but has shown more-productive signs early in the past two games.
Burning question: Is this the team the Seahawks finally pile up some points on? The Titans have allowed 389 points. Only the Lions (457), Rams (408) and Chiefs (400) have yielded more – and that not exactly a good group to be part of. The Seahawks, of course, have scored one touchdown in each of their past three games.
Familiar faces: In addition to Roos, seven-time Pro Bowl C Kevin Mawae entered the league in 1994 as the Seahawks’ second-round draft choice and RB Alvin Pearman also played for the Seahawks (2007). GM Mike Reinfeldt worked for the Seahawks (1999-2003 and 2005-06). Secondary coach Marcus Robertson (2001-02) and assistant secondary coach Tim Hauck (1997) played for the Seahawks.
The last word: “I know how I am going to respond, and I just hope everyone marches to the same tune. I want to be able to walk off that field and be able to hold my head high about something, and if I can help Chris become No. 6 on that list then it will be something I can hold onto. I’d like to be able to hang my hat on something, and that would be it.” – tight end Alge Crumpler, on being eliminated from the playoffs but motivated to help Johnson reach 2,000 rushing yards