Seahawks Insider

Morning links: 5 keys to Hawks vs. Cardinals

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 1, 2012 at 7:46 am with 27 Comments »
January 1, 2012 7:46 am

Good Morning. It will be sunny and about 79 degrees here in Arizona at game time this afternoon, but none of that really matters because the Seahawks will be playing inside at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Here are five keys for the Seahawks (7-8) as they try to finish the season at .500.

Pressure Skelton: The second-year product out of Fordham University has made some plays at the end of games to help Arizona win, evidenced by his four fourth-quarter comebacks. However, like Chicago’s Caleb Hanie a few weeks ago, Skelton is a guy that will turn it over if you get some pressure in his face. So I think Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons could play a huge role in this game in terms of bringing pressure off the edge.

Blanket Fitzgerald: One thing we do know about Skelton is he will force it into Larry Fitzgerald whether he’s open or not. The Seahawks did a nice job against Fitzgerald earlier this season, holding him to five catches for 64 yards, including no catches in the second half. Both Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman will be tested today.

A strong finish for Lynch: He has a career-high 1,118 yards and 13 touchdowns, and I expect Marshawn Lynch will add to that total today. Arizona’s Beanie Wells also has topped 1,000 yards this season, and I expect the offensive line that dominates the line of scrimmage and helps control time of possession will come out on top.

A playmaking T-Jack: Although Pete Carroll already have given him a vote of confidence for next season, this is Tarvaris Jackson’s last chance to show the Seahawks that he’s the right guy to lead them to the playoffs. He took a step forward in the Chicago game, and then took a step back against San Francisco. We need to see Jackson have a more assertive role in leading this offense, especially during critical moments of the game.

Play a clean game: Any time teams go on the road, they have to limit penalties and turnovers to win. And that will be the case for Seattle as they try to finish at least .500 on the road for the first time since 2006. The Seahawks have done a better job with penalties the past two weeks, with an average of six a game. That needs to continue.

Here’s my advance for today’s game, which includes this nugget from Marshawn Lynch: “We want to finish the season out right. And 8-8 would look a lot better than 7-9.”

Dave Boling of The News Tribune says the Seahawks will continue to play with the same swagger and confidence in the team’s final game of the year.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com previews the game here.

Dan Pompei of the National Football Post says after several tryout with other NFL teams, Brandon Browner was in the right place at the right time in Seattle.

John Czarnecki of Fox Sports says this game will come down to who has the better game running the ball, Marshawn Lynch or Beanie Wells.

Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports picks Arizona to win 17-14 in the video below.

Categories:
Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. Happy New Year!!!

  2. Dukeshire says:

    Yeah, hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year’s, and all have a healthy and happy 2012!

  3. Dukeshire says:

    I can’t believe this is the final week of the regular season. They go by faster every year. I’m confident however, this will be the last season for a while we’ll be watching the playoffs from the outside. NFL, look the hell out for the Seahawks in 2012!

  4. Happy new year to you all too – i’m tired, sleep deprived, and planning to watch a ton of football today . . .

  5. Drive #1 – Not impressed with Flynn.

  6. Did not look comfortable in the pocket and MUST take care of the ball and not do his best T-Jack impression and fumble it away. Good opening throw, but that’s it. Bad drive.

  7. SeahawkFan12 says:

    Flynn is a game-manager at best. He is not a franchise QB. I’d rather mortgage the future to get Luck rather than get Flynn on the cheap. You get what you pay for, especially at the QB position.

  8. Drive 2 – Nice job of buying some time in the face of pressure and remaining focused down the field on a 3rd and 6. Second clutch 3rd down conversion on drive (other converting a 3rd and 9 pass for 9 yards). Another nice pass on a 3rd down (3-3). The Lions have been getting pressure too, so it’s not like he’s consistently getting all day in the world. Nice to see. Bad throw on 1st and goal. Got too trigger happy. 3rd and goal dumb check down to slow FB with no chance to score when he could have bought more time to actually try to get a TD. Good drive (3 points). Could have been better, could have been worse.

  9. Drive 3 – 9 yard run on 1st down. Nice, quick Flynn throw/slant for 1st down on 2nd down. Nice 8 yard throw (nothing special to open WR but got it there quick). 2nd down run for 1st down. Throwing early has opening run game up, seemingly. Nobody open and ran it for a few yards. Good mobility (not great, not bad). Nice fire to Nelson (1st and Goal). Probable TD if DB hadn’t held. Doesn’t matter — TD pass to Nelson (Nelson did most of the work though on a short catch/longer run). Decent drive from Flynn. Looks much more comfortable than first drive. Life much easier when you get ball around midfield though. Packers up 10-9.

  10. SeahawksFan12 – I have no idea if Flynn is more than a game manager or not. I have only ever seen 1 of his games that he’s started before. That’s why I’m watching — so I can see for myself if he’s a guy I’d truly like moving forward. I’d rather have 10-15 starts to have watched but this is really the only sample I’m afforded (or anyone). You may be right about him only being a game manager.

  11. Drive 4 – Begins inside own 5 yard line. Two runs for about 5 yards. 3rd and 5 – missed Nelson on slant under pressure (PI could have been called, but good no-call). Couldn’t have held onto ball any longer and was smart enough to get it away when he did. Another split second and would have been hammered on blind side. 3 and out.

  12. ChrisHolmes says:

    Glad you’re doing updates @BobbyK! I can’t watch the game; very cool of you.

  13. SeahawkFan12 says:

    BobbyK, I agree on your point about not seeing enough of Flynn to make an accurate assessment on his abilities (this being only his second start of his career). I’m being hard on Flynn mostly because I think he’s (already) getting too much hype as “the” FA QB to go after. I get it, but just haven’t seen anything that would lead to the hype. I mean what I said about going after Luck, though.

  14. Soggybuc says:

    I think he will show a lot of “rookie” mistakes. he’s been in the league for 4 years but meetings and clip board holding are far from live action.
    that and the Lions D is pretty good. just got to see enough good things to see if he could be good with some seasoning.

  15. Drive 5 – 80 yard TD pass to Ryan Grant on 2nd and 10. It was simply a screen pass that Ryan Grant took to the house. It’s not that Grant made a lot of great moves either, he simply caught the ball and mostly outran everyone. Great play call on that down.

  16. Drive 6 – Nice opening throw of the drive (looked confident) but then throws a pick on the next play. CB jumps Nelson on the slant. They have given the Lions no reason to respect them deep. That throw was a rookie mistake. Not good.

  17. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks for the updates, Bobby.

  18. Chris/Duke – no problem.

  19. Drive 7 – Two runs for 6 yards to open drive. Flynn about a 15 yard nice pass to Finley on 3rd down. Next drive – PI on Driver (no chance for completion – 1st time they have really challenged Detroit deep today, I don’t know what took them so long). Looked like a nice pass that would have been completed for over 20 yards too. Nice bomb to Nelson! Flynn came back with a vengance on that drive. That was big time.

  20. Not “next drive” to Driver… meant next set of downs. Nelson was covered pretty well but that exactly the reason Mr. Happy likes his bigger WRs b/c they simply can make those (nice) plays easier than smaller guys. Good drive. Again, nice to seem them finally challenge the Lions deep and it worked really well.

  21. Soggybuc says:

    I thought the screen to Grant showed a good, smart snap decision to check it down. smart play even if it was Grant who turned into paydirt.

    I just saw the quick highlight though.

  22. Dukeshire says:

    Perhaps I’m crazy, but now that Grant appears to be healthy, I’d prefer Seattle go after him in FA as the physical presance they need, to compliment Lynch, rather than Flynn as their leader under center. Thoughts…

  23. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Green bay has the best group of recievers in the NFL, imo. Even Jackson would look good with a group like that.

    I’m sure some desperate team will throw a couple high picks to the packers this year for him based mostly on this one game.
    I hope it’s not us unless Jackson and rice are thrown in on the deal.

  24. ChrisHolmes says:

    @Dukeshire Grant might be a nice addition. As to the QB situation: I’d rather trade picks – whatever it takes – to move up and take Luck. Right now, that’s all I want to see…. I think Luck is a rare and special QB; a true difference maker, and when you find one of those guys you need to do what’s necessary to get him.

  25. Price would be too high to trade up for Luck. I don’t see them getting a QB in the first round.

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Guys like Brady and Rodgers make the Welkers and Nelsons look like hall of fame players. Seattle’s already been burned by this phenomenon in the form of Deon Branch.

  27. Flynn’s numbers look good, but I gather from BobbyK’s reports that some of his yards have come easy. Hey Bobby, watch out, Goodell might fine you for giving “real-time” updates! :-)

    Looks like the Colts have clinched the top pick in the draft, so we can forget about getting Luck. They’d be crazy to trade the pick.

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