Seahawks vs. Titans: 4 important matchups to watch in Week 2

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The Seattle Seahawks have a chance to start the season 2-0 if they take care of business against the Tennessee Titans at home this week. On paper, Seattle has a more talented roster and the Seahawks are favored by 5.5 points going in. However, to pull off a victory they’ll have to execute and win a few key individual matchups.

Here are four that we’ll be keeping a close eye on for Sunday.

Bobby Wagner vs. Derrick Henry

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Bobby Wagner is still playing middle linebacker at a superb level in his 10th season in the NFL. However, Wagner will have his hands full this week as he faces a legitimate force of nature. In his last 16 road games, Titans running back Derrick Henry has averaged over 125 rushing yards and scored 20 touchdowns. Wagner excels at tackling, but Henry is the hardest human to bring down in football. Last season, he posted 978 yards after contact.

Seahawks corners vs. Julio Jones, A.J. Brown

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Seattle started D.J. Reed and Tre Flowers at the outside cornerback positions last week and they acquitted themselves well. However, the Colts' wide receiver corps is a lollipop compared to the next one on the schedule. A.J. Brown was already on his way to becoming an elite receiver when the Titans traded a couple draft picks to the Falcons for Julio Jones. Now, they have arguably the most-potent receiver duo in the AFC. Jones missed half of last season and still posted 771 yards, while Brown totaled 1,075.

Benson Mayowa vs. Taylor Lewan

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans also have a tough offensive line, or at least they're supposed to. Left tackle Taylor Lewan got dominated by the Cards' Pro Bowler Chandler Jones last week, allowing five sacks. Lewan thanked Jones for exposing him and has vowed to get better. Benson Mayowa is not in the same league as Jones as a pass rusher, but he can still be disruptive. Winning one-on-one against Lewan would go a long way towards making Ryan Tannehill's job much more difficult.

Tyler Lockett vs. Janoris Jenkins

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One area where this Tennessee team is weak is on the back end of their defense. They got lit up by the Cardinals' receivers in Week 1, allowing two touchdowns each to DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. Seattle should have the edge at every WR/CB matchup on offense, but we're particularly interested to see Tyler Lockett line up across from Janoris Jenkins, who is capable in coverage but prone to mistakes. Lockett is exactly the kind of intelligent receiver who can make him pay dearly when he does. [vertical-gallery id=75230]

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