Bills Parcells mentioned in a press conference that Seattle averages 6.62 yards per play on first downs, which is the best in the league. Not surprisingly, a big reason for that is that the Seahawks usually pass on first-and-10 -- they do it 58.4 percent of the time. (Only five teams pass more on first-and-10, and three of those -- Oakland, Minnesota and Tennessee -- do it only because they've usually been losing. Only Philadelphia and St. Louis pass more on first-and-10 in normal situations.) When the Seahawks are on their own side of the field, they pass 66.7 percent of the time on first-and-10 (more than Philly or St. Louis). On the opponent's side, it drops to 46.5 percent. In the first quarter, they pass 56.8 percent of the time on first down. It's 75 percent in the second quarter and 61 percent in the third, but only 40.4 percent in the fourth. And they pass more than 60 percent of the time on first-and-10 when they're losing, tied or winning by one score but only 43.5 percent of the time when they're up by at least two scores. In other words, the Seahawks pass to set up the run, not vice-versa. So unless they do something contrary to what they've been doing, expect them to pass most of the time on first down unless they're ahead by a lot or ahead in the fourth quarter. If they throw an incompletion on second-and-10, expect the Seahawks to run the ball to try to set up a shorter third down. They run the ball 62.1 percent of the time on second-and-10 -- 62.5 percent on their side of the field and 61.5 percent on the opponent's side. As expected, the numbers go up the more they're leading by -- they run 60 percent of the time on second-and-10 when they're tied, 75 percent when they're up by one score and 85.7 percent when they're up by two scores. When they're losing, it's only 28.6 percent. What's interesting is that in the fourth quarter, they've run only 16.7 percent of the time on second-and-10. Where the Seahawks' offense is particularly weak is on third-and-long (6 yards or more). Matt Hasselbeck is ranked only 11th in the NFC and 21st in the NFL in third-down passing, with a rating of only 67.2 and a completion rate of only 48.6. Drew Bledsoe, on the other hand, is ranked No. 1 in the NFL with a rating of 108.6 and a completion rate of 70 percent. The Seahawks have converted only 20 percent of the time (six out of 30) when passing on third-and-6 or more. Compare that to Dallas' 41 percent, which is a big reason why Dallas is No. 2 in the NFL in converting third downs. So what does this all mean? It means pass defense should be a big key on first downs. If we can force an incompletion on first down, they probably will run a majority of the time on second down. And if we can stop it for a gain of 4 or less, we'll put the Seahawks in third-and-long, where they struggle. But if we're letting them complete passes on first downs, they're in a much better position to run Alexander and pick up first downs.