Seahawks Insider

Seahawks beat Bears, keep playoff dreams alive

Post by Darrin Beene / The News Tribune on Dec. 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm with 34 Comments »
December 18, 2011 1:41 pm

Keep on believing, Seahawks fans. The playoffs are still possible, thanks to a big second half in today’s 38-14 victory over the Bears in Chicago.

With the win, the Seahawks have a 7-7 record, the same as the Bears and Giants. However, Seattle has now beaten both teams so they own the head-to-head advantage, and first tiebreaker, should the teams finish with the same record.

The Hawks can’t catch the Falcons, who are 9-5 and own a win over Seattle, so it helps Seattle if the Falcons earn the top wild card seed in the NFC. The second wildcard, and the sixth seed, though, is still very much in play.

What would help the Seahawks is for Detroit – who plays an afternoon game in Oakland – to lose. So, as weird as it sounds, Seahawks fans should root for the Raiders to win this one, so that Detroit would fall to 8-6 on the year, and just a game ahead of the Seahawks. And it would help if Cleveland beats Arizona today, which would knock the Cardinals a game behind Seattle.

But back to today’s win, the team’s fifth win in six games.

The Seahawks were flatter than 2-day old soda in the first half, trailing 14-7 and lucky to be that close. Seattle’s only score came as a result of a Bears turnover inside Chicago’s 25, and the offense struggled to get going, registering just 73 total yards.

Then came the third quarter.

Tarvaris Jackson, who completed just four of 12 passes for 51 yards, and misfired on his last six passes before the half, came out hot. He hit on 8 of 10 passes for 129 yards and Seattle scored 17 points to grab a commanding lead.

Lots to talk about, and we’ll let you all get started while Eric gathers info in the locker room. He’ll give you updates later in the day.

• Wounded receiving corps. What’s happening with Mike Williams? An ankle injury knocked him out of the game after his second reception. Are the Seahawks going to be in trouble without him and Sidney Rice? Can Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate – who was solid again – keep on getting it done?

• The Beast Mode. Marshawn Lynch did not have his most productive day from a yardage standpoint, but he added two more touchdowns, cracked the 1,000-yard barrier – the first Seahawk to do that since Shaun Alexander in the Super Bowl season in 2005 – and broke Alexander’s team record by scoring in a 10th consecutive game. Is he now a must-sign – if he wasn’t already – at the end of the year?

• T-Jack. Yeah, that was a forgettable first half, but his play in the third quarter was outstanding. Throws to Obo and Tate led to the tying TD on the opening drive of the third quarter. And from there, he didn’t mess it up, which is more than you can say about the Bears’ Caleb Hanie, who threw three costly picks. Have you warmed to T-Jack?

• Big Red Bryant. His interception and TD return broke the tie and continued to show that the big guy is so key to the Seahawks defense. Is he the most important Seahawks defender?

• The Earl of Turnover. If Bryant’s not the guy on D, how about Earl Thomas, who had two of the team’s five turnovers vs. the Bears? Thomas had a fumble recovery that led to Seattle’s first TD and then made an interception in the end zone to thwart a Bears scoring chance in the first half.

• How do you feel about the team in Pete Carroll’s second year? The seven wins equal last year’s mark, and there’s still games left to play (San Francisco, Arizona). The team achieved a 1,000-yard rusher, established a run-crunching and turnover-forcing D, and won game in prime time. Is this year a success even if there’s no playoffs? Or, are you going to lament – and blame Carroll and staff – for close losses to Cleveland, Atlanta and Washington, games the team should have but didn’t win?

Leave a comment Comments → 34
  1. Losses to atlanta, washington, and cleveland really really really really sting right now. Can you believe this team is 500, in good position to finish 9-7, and is 3 weird games from being able to finish 12-4? If it weren’t for the botched special teams play in the season opener @SF, (which in my opinion, set the tone for this season), this team would be looked at as a legitimate contender.

  2. I’m impressed by the ability of the coaching staff, to constantly make important changes in the halftime, this is not the first time this season, that the team changed magically in the second half, and turned it around, it’s not the second time either. I was disgusted by the first half performance, but boy, playoffs is still an possible!

  3. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Raiders just scored TD on Lions.

  4. boycie99 says:

    Heres hoping for the play offs.
    Detroit still have to play the Packers, will Green Bay losing today and not now playing for perfection mean they rest their starters for that one….

    Wouldnt it just be Seattle football, that we win just enough to have to pay a kings ransom for the QB we need but dont win enough to get to the play offs…. Who cares keep winning baby

  5. Seahawks2620 says:

    Although sad about Williams, I am very excited to see what Lockette and his speed can bring to this team. Assuming they use him, that is.

  6. boycie99 says:

    Danny O’Neil tweeting Williams has broken his ankle

  7. Got to give it to Carroll for this defense he’s put together in two years. Young, big, playmakers all over the place, they punish teams now. And how long have we all been waiting to cheer on a physically tough team?

    We are going places . . .

  8. Seahawks2620 says:

    I know free agency is still a long ways away, but defensive end has been a glaring need all off season. Other than Clemons, the pressure has been zero to none from the rest of the D line. Who could you all see the Seahawks pursuing via free agency to address that need? Also, could you see the Seahawks writing Carl Nicks a check to play LG. I understand that Gallery is under contract for another year, but do you really pass a talent in Nicks just because you have injury prone Gallery for another season?

  9. bird_spit says:

    I see LG as a glaring need. Gallery is too injury prone for this young offense to have consistency.

  10. Turnovers were the key again. Great def backfield play also. Gotta like the big guys back there. :)

  11. How good is KJ Wright? Tons of plays again today, looking like another draft steal for us. So much more of an impact than Curry.

    We definitely could use another pass-rushing DE. One player move that doesn’t look smart these days is letting Babin go.

  12. bulldog80 says:

    Our defense kicks ass and is only getting better!! Big Red has found his calling in this scheme. I can’t remember ever being as excited about a pair of safeties as Thomas and Chancellor.

    No, I haven’t “warmed up” to TJ. He’s a scared little boy that looks like he came to work with his daddy. He makes some good throws, no denying that, but he has absolutely NO pocket presence. He holds the ball too long and cannot seem to improvise at all. The biggest glaring need for this team is consistent QB play.

  13. “No, I haven’t “warmed up” to TJ. He’s a scared little boy that looks like he came to work with his daddy.”

    That Bears defensive TD was totally on TJ. But your comment is way off. I’ll agree that his lack of pocket awareness is a weakness, but nothing he’s done all year makes me think he’s scared to take a hit. He’s a tough guy who’s played through injuries, taken tons of shots, and never once called out a teammate.

  14. Another thing – Tate is playing himself into a roster spot next year. And the way things were going earlier this year, I don’t think that was a certainty. You can see that he’s the best receiver we’ve got in terms of running after the catch.

    I’m thinking now that BMW is the one who isn’t around next year.

  15. That Defense is Bad Ass. LOVE those guys. Haven’t heard too much regarding Gus Bradley lately. It’s so entertaining to watch the skeptics seek credit and redemption now after such criticism and perpetual negativity. Better late than never I guess.


  16. HawkyHann says:

    Aaron Curry just scored a TD. I’m actually rooting for him since we need the Raiders to win.

  17. Can someone please tell me how the Raiders fail to cover Calvin Johnson on the bomb with a lead late in the game?

  18. Johnny Knox to have stabilizing back surgery first thing Monday…

    Prayers to him that he is able to make a full
    Recovery.. Very sad the amount of sacrifice these guys pay for our entertainment.

  19. bulldog80 says:

    It’s not that he’s scared of getting hit, it’s the fear of not knowing whats going on. The game moves too fast for him. He can’t process the information fast enough to respond correctly. He just can’t. This uncertainty manifests itself as fear, you can see it in his eyes presnap. I’m not saying he’s an axe muderer. He seems like a really good guy. But no matter how much you want him to be better he’s just not going to be.

  20. Seahawks2620 says:

    Sometimes I realllyyyyyyyyyy despise your team Eric.

  21. I get what you’re saying bulldog – but let’s give the guy his due. Last three games, QB ratings of 137.0, 96.4, and 94.4; all three wins for the Hawks.

    And while the Bear’s offense is obviously very banged up, their D is no joke, and our O-line was allowing pressure on him all game.

    And the guy really doesn’t throw many picks – sometimes I agree that he is too cautious, but when you’ve got a running game going like we do, and a defense playing this well – not throwing picks becomes one of the biggest things we want from the position.

  22. Great win, even if the playoffs are now extremely unlikely (with Detroit winning and the Packers losing). I wanted to see improvement this season and we’ve certainly seen it. Super Bowl championship next year? I’m starting to dream.

  23. I think we can win the Super Bowl if we continue to get a couple of defensive TDs per game and are able to start 3-4 drives per game in our opponents territory (which, as we all know, makes it much easier to score, even on good defenses).

    pdway – One problem I have with todays QB rating is that it doesn’t take everything a QB does into consideration. For example, when Jackson lost the ball for a Bears TD in the end zone, that was all him hurting his team and yet that didn’t do anything negative for his QB rating. No QB can drop back into his end zone and wait that long before throwing the ball (especially without even stepping up). It allows the defense more time to A. get to you, and B. if any of your OL hold, that’s an automatic safety, too.

    I’ll give him props for playing well in the 3rd quarter. No denying that. He made some big league throws that were impressive and definitely helped us win the game.

    It’s just that the boneheaded stuff drives me crazy like the end zone TD giveaway and when he had Obo open for an easy TD in the 4th quarter, it was overthrown by quite a bit.

    At times there are intangibles that can’t be measured by a QB rating. I mentioned yesterday about having an on-field presence (something we need) where a leader is going to get mad and hold some of the people accountable who commit some of these repeated dumb penalties (like the 393,935 false start penalties this year) instead of quietly walking back to the huddle and running the next play. I love how a guy like Brady has that fire to get irate when someone does something stupid.

    I like Tarvaris the person and the back-up QB. I never thought I’d say that I wanted him to be the top back-up, but he’s won me over there, but I’m still not sold on him winning us a Super Bowl (unless it’s a scenario like the Ravens of some years ago or a situation like today where there’s a bunch of drives started in the opponents territory and a couple of defensive TDs).

  24. 1. BMW. He hasn’t really helped us too much this year, so his loss isn’t a big deal on the field.

    2. Beast Contract. I don’t like giving long-term contracts to RBs, but he is pretty young so if you were going to do it, Lynch may be the guy to pay. However, just b/c the Panthers were stupid in giving Williams that much monty, that doesn’t mean we should have to overpay like that. Ideally, we do work out a 4-5 year deal, but I’m okay with the franchise tag to keep him hungry for the carrot. Under no situation will Lynch leave thanks to the franchise tag so it’s not as big of a deal as some will make it out to be.

    3. See above.

    4-5. Big Red/ET (most important). I think this defense really feeds off of everyone, which means there really isn’t a most important player. The biggest need, in my opinion, is defensive line depth. We’ll really be hurting if there was a significant injury to a starter.

    6. This regime has this team on the right track. It’s an exciting time. If we had a healthy Peyton Manning for 2012 I think we’d be just as good as the Packers and better than everyone else in the NFC. Wait, did I just say that? lol

  25. I believe that the 1986 Seahawks were the best team in the NFL in December of that season but they failed to make the play-offs and were left out in the cold (I really do believe they could have won it all that year, if not for their too slow start).

    I don’t believe we’re better than the Packers or Saints at this time, but I’d say that the way we’re playing there are some definite similarities to this team and that team. The Lions winning today really makes the play-offs look bleak, but one thing this team has taught me is to not count them out yet.

  26. Lastly, I’m about as dumb as someone can be about rooting for the ‘Hawks. When they suck, I believe in them. When they’re good, I have doubts (which means now we’ll probably get killed next week since I’m FINALLY on the kool-aid, for the most part).

    I really thought we’d be so bad this year that we’d Suck for Luck. Ouch.

    I remember back in 2002 I bought these Super Bowl ticket “shares” where if the Seahawks made the Super Bowl, I’d get tickets. I drank the kool-aid in ’02, ’03, and ’04. Finally, I got sick of buying these “Super Bowl” tickets so I didn’t in ’05 and that’s the year we went to the Super Bowl and then I had to get them a different way!

    Moral of the story – if I think the Hawks aren’t going to be good, they aren’t. If I think they are going to be less than stellar, they will be good.

    As I said yesterday, we all have hits and misses and they are pretty funny to look back on.

  27. jaybrank says:

    I’m tired of the TJ bashers. They complain about him when the ‘Hawks win, they complain more when the ‘Hawks lose. Tavaris has been playing behind an inexperienced line that’s being shuffling parts all year. He’s been hurt for a good chunk of the year. He came in August and has made more adjustments than just about anyone on the team this year. He’s holding the ball at times because 1)he doesn’t completely trust the receivers 2) he doesn’t want to force it into coverage. Certainly, he’s made errors in judgement, but he’s been tough and he’s made plays. In regard to the fumble that let to the TD, why is the back-up LT singled up on Peppers? That doesn’t seem like a good match up when your back is against the end zone.

  28. He’s been playing behind a line who has been dominant at run blocking the last few months. Poor him.

    He’s had good pass protection after the first few weeks (HE’S the reason for a bunch of the sacks on the stat sheets b/c he holds onto it too long with his horrible pocket presence). Poor him.

    Made more adjustments than anyone? Yeah. He didn’t know the offense and everyone else outside of Sidney Rice did. Poor him.

    Do you really think any QB should take that much time in the pocket in the end zone without stepping up (or not smart enough to know the LT is singled up on Peppers)?

  29. Palerydr says:

    During the game somebody called out the LT McQ for that play saying he got blown up. Look again as he forced Peppers to the ground where he(Peppers) had time to get up and McQ was forcing him to the endline where Peppers reached out and hacked the ball outta Jackson’s hand. Jackson was in the endzone and in a pass play he HAS to know he has run outta time and get the ball out instead he holds the ball too long and gives up a TD. That play was all on Jackson’s inability to find an open rec or just get the ball out, punt and live to play another day. Jackson will be a fine backup QB for us or somebody else next year but as has been said your back up QB will win you 7 games and lose you 7 games….. McQ spent the rest of the game abusing Peppers.

  30. Yes, this season is a big success for the Seahawks, whether they get into the playoffs or not.

    I’m okay with Detroit winning today, making it unlikely we’ll see the playoffs. This team has learned a lot, grown a lot, and will keep working, playoffs or no. By missing the playoffs, we will draft several picks higher in the first round. Drafting at 25 last year didn’t work out so well. I’m very proud of TJack, but I still want a better and younger QB in the draft.

    But what’s not to like about this team right now. They have flaws, but they fight to the finish.

  31. Stevos – agree with all of that last post.

  32. mojjonation says:

    It’s nice when your coach doesn’t throw your team under the bus. It’s nice when you lose offensive guys, and people step in and make plays. It’s nice that the O-line was able to lose three starters, and still have Lynch go for 1000+ yards and 11 TD’s (scoring in 10 straight games). Read: Mora sucked. Okung, Carp, and Moffitt fell. BMW will be gone next Season. Rice is not sorely missed. Lynch will never be looking for a place to fall down. We may not make the playoffs, but no one wants to face these guys right now. San Fran borrowed the trophy for a year, but it will be back here next season.

  33. oldmanfmdac says:
  34. jaybrank says:

    Like I said, TJack bashers complain win or lose. They will
    not give up until he is on the bench or playing somewhere else. Yes, too many pics this year, 1:1 TD/INT ratio not good either.But, I thought this team would be 4-12, 5-11 at best, so the season has turned better than I expected with him as the starting QB.

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