Seahawks Insider

Morning links: The real Super Bowl Sunday

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 22, 2012 at 8:14 am with 79 Comments »
January 22, 2012 8:14 am
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke writes that today’s NFC and AFC championship games serve as the real championship Sunday, providing more intensity and drama than the Super Bowl in two weeks because of the desperation of the four teams scratching and clawing to get into the big game.

I’d agree with that. I attended Seattle’s NFC championship win over Carolina during the team’s 2005 Super Bowl run, and I remember seeing grown men crying and hugging each other as the confetti came down during the celebration after the game was over. I think there’s probably more raw emotion in championship games, versus the celebratory feeling most fans have with their teams making it to the Super Bowl.

Enjoy the games today.

Plaschke: “Sunday is the greatest single day of the NFL season. Sunday is the real Super Bowl, only twice as much and twice as good.

The two conference championship games played Sunday will be more compelling than the one game played two weeks later, and it won’t even be close.

Sunday is the Super Bowl minus the capital letters, Roman numerals and incessant glitz. Sunday is real football, played in real weather, in front of real fans, for real stakes.”

Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated examines the premise of do your really need an elite quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

Check out highlights from the East-West game here.

Dan Pompei of the National Football Post provides a run down of the top 10 prospects from the East-West Shrine game according to scouts he talked to down there.

Dane Brugler of provides his top 10 players from the East-West game, which includes University of Tennessee transfer, University of Tennessee- Chattanooga quarterback B.J. Coleman, a possible late-round target for Seattle.

Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post gives us a scouting report on a possible diamond on the rough in defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, who played at the East-West Shrine game on Saturday. Hicks was highly recruited out of high school but wound up at the University of Regina in Canada, the same college Seattle Punter Jon Ryan played at. At 6-4, 325 Hicks is raw but has physical tools to dominate.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports has a nice read on the beginnings of New England’s two tight end sets, and why they are so successful at exploiting defenses with the scheme.

Russ Lande of the Sporting News has Seattle selecting Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in his latest mock draft.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that Miami doesn’t assume they will land Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn in free agency by hiring Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin – but they’re interested.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 79
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Eric, I agree with you. There seems like there’s a sense of relief after a Super Bowl win as much as anything vs the “raw emotion”, as you put it, after the Championship game. (I too was at the Championship game in ’05, and that was such an incredible feeling, as a fan. I was in disbelief in some ways. lol)

    A cornerback in the first? Kirkpatrick fits Carroll’s profile for a CB, but that’s simple not an area of need for this team. And certainly not with the 11/12th overall pick.

  2. Ewalters7354 says:

    As much as I love Kirkpatrick,we don’t need him.I personally would be happy if we draft the best pure pass rusher in the draft like the Giants did with Pierre-Paul.

  3. I have been lucky enough to go to the Super Bowl twice (probably never again, unless they get a new stadium in Minnesota and I can get lucky with reasonable tickets). I went to the ‘Hawks game in Detroit and then went to Arizona a few years back for the Pats-Giants game (wanted to see what the experience was really like without having the drama/nerves of your team being in it – plus we got tickets easy – long story). I was not at the ‘Hawks game in ’05, but next time around, I’d much rather be at the game that got you to the Super Bowl vs. the actual Super Bowl. There’s too much corporate crap at the Super Bowl and not enough die-hard fans. I was an example in AZ of a fan that simply showed up to watch the game, sit on my butt, and not really care who won it but to soak up the experience. In a way, I may have been part of the problem in that one. If the Hawks ever host an NFC Championship Game again, I’m going to try my best to come for that game and watch the Super Bowl at my house.

  4. hawkfan777 says:

    I went to the game vs. the Panthers in 2005 and it was probably one of the most awesome game experiences of my life. We started accross the street and watched the Broncos and the Steelers play (and so did thousands of others). When it was game time the crowd was loud and ready for the game. I have had season tickets since 2004 and no other Seahawks game came close to that one as far as noise levels. Maybe the Saints game last year but I still think the Panthers was louder. Eric is right, there were guys crying and hugging each other all over the place when the confetti started falling from the sky. It was pretty amazing.

  5. JazBadAzz says:

    I like the Kirkpatrick pick, if he becomes a Revis, I bet you all would agree. I know its not a need but who knows what anyone needs until the games are played? Who knew our secondary would be a strength this year, I sure in the hell didn’t think so before the season…teams that dominate on defense year in and year out always draft to their strengths…think a team like steelers drafting LB’s every year…or pats drafting a OL…colts drafting WR’s…

    Teams that jump around from year to year always have holes in the roster by the end of the year because there is always misses and then your screwed for another year!

  6. chuck_easton says:


    I couldn’t disagree with you more. CB is the strength of the team. We have 5 young, big fast CBs. Why add another? There are several other positions that need to be addressed before we look at another CB.

    If you draft a CB at #12 he’s expected to be a starter. Browner showed he has a nose for the ball with all the interceptions. Sherman was a rookie and is only going to get better. Throw Thurmond, Maxwell, Lewis and Trufant into the mix and I don’t see a need to draft a 1st round CB no matter how good he may turn out to be.

  7. Dukeshire says:

    Yes, but you have to draft for need. Otherwise you end up like the Matt Millen Lions and take a WR, like 3 out of 4 years, with your first pick.

  8. Ewalters7354 says:

    I agree guys.I also see what Jazz is saying.Its not gonna happen but still that’s just luxury.We really need to add a pass rusher in this draft and depth at linebacker and RB.

  9. JazBadAzz says:

    Chuck, you do realize that browner got exposed by the shifty quick type receivers this year?!? Look at what Lloyd did to him and the steelers wr’s also. There is no guarantee Thurmond will stay healthy, Tru got a bad back and a bad contract to not be a starter. Lewis is not good enough and Maxwell is a special team player.

    Our opponents next year will have elite QB’s, and great receivers that browner is sure to pile up the pass interference’s trying to guard.
    Green Bay (Rodegers)
    Chicago Bears (Cutler)
    Minnesota Vikings (Ponder)
    Detroit Lions (Stafford and Megatron)
    Buffalo Bills (Fitzpatrick)
    New England Patriots (GoldenBoy)
    Miami Dolphins (Flynn/Manning?)
    NY Jets (Sanchez)
    Arizona Cardinals 2x (Fitz)
    St. Louis Rams 2x (Bradford and Blackmon?)
    San Francisco 49ers 2x (Alex and Crabtree)

  10. chuck_easton says:

    Still not convinced Jazz. CB would be a luxury pick. The best CBs can’t cover forever. No pass rush and any CB would be “exposed”. DL and LB will be taken before Seattle takes another CB.

  11. Ewalters7354 says:

    Jazz,now you are talking crazy.Browner may have given up plays at times and gotten a bunch of penalties but the guy can play and he will only get better.Roy Lewis is not good at all but Maxwell has the potential to be a stud.Elite QBs are gonna get their stats regardless if you have 5 Darrell Revis inbthe field.WE NEED PASS RUSH!Without that we are gonna get sliced yo shreds anyway.

  12. JazBadAzz says:

    I’m not saying it we should, just that I don’t see it as a bad pick.
    I would like a pass rusher also but I don’t see a dominate one on the same scale as Kirkpatrick could dominate at CB.

  13. JazBadAzz says:

    Time to pre-game…ttyl!

  14. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I think the safeties are the strength of the team. The Corners appear to be looking good and getting better, however, were they really tested last year? How many top qbs did they play against last year? And Browner has some cleaning up to do before he becomes a top corner, imo. Just look at what Fitzgerald did to him in the last game.

    Unlike WRs, good CBs are hard to find, and you can never have too many good ones, imo.
    Kirkpatrick, with his size and speed would be a hard one to pass up if we were lucky enough to have him fall to us.

  15. Ewalters7354 says:

    Georgia,it was Sherman that got schooled by Fitz not Browner.You also have to realize that it is Larry Fitzgerald.The guy cannot be covered by any human being so that doesn’t carry any weight.I think you guys forget that pass rush helps the secondary and is the key to having success.That’s why the Giants were able to hold down the Packers.Cmon now.

  16. HawkfaninMT says:

    I think there is another aspect to the CB vs DE debate going on and that is player quality. Sure a pass rush helps the DBs and great cover DBs help out the pass rush. So which player is going to impact the games more? A great pass rusher would be super.. but is there any to be drafted?

    Seems like the names I am seeing being taken in that spot would be Couples (I am not convinced he will be a consistent edge rusher), Melvin Ingram (I haven’t watched enough to have an opinion), and Nick Perry (Pete will know him best). So will any of these 3 have a greater impact than adding Kirkpatrick would have?

  17. IF they think Kirkpatrick is elite they should take him. who knows some of the guys we have could be traded on draft day (like how we got Washington – 1.e. swap 4th’s with ya and we will give you Thurmond to move up – never know)

    But also if he is there at 12 and they don’t think they want him – maybe there is someone at 15-18 that would swap and give us a 2nd or 3rd to move up.

    I like where we pick – right in the spot where a sliding player draws some trade opps OR – if he is the guy we want we grab him.

    Also if we feel the need to move up they can as well. will be interesting

  18. HawkfaninMT says:

    I have been a propenent of drafting a WR in the 1st if RG3 and Luck are not options and I have now reversed that idea after looking at the Free Agent WRs this offseason. Granted many of them will probably re-sign with their team. But among them are: Dwayne Bowe (27), Vincent Jackson, Stevie Johnson (26), Marques Colston, Mario Manningham (26) and DeSean Jackson (25). Some very talented guys and some that are still young enough to make in impact for years to come.

  19. HawkfaninMT says:

    @xcman: ANother player I could see a trade being made for is DeCastro or one of the OTs if there is a run on them. I think Lions are interesting trade partner for any of the above positions

  20. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I haven’t forgotten at all about our pass rush needs, infact I have been commenting for over a year now, and well before last years draft, ( a great year to draft D-lineman, unlike this year ), that we needed to take advantage of a draft that had so many top defensive lineman in it.
    So what does the FO do? They reach for a O-lineman that they probably could have gotten in the second round. Look how that has turned out so far.
    Now hopefully The FO can find something in this draft and/or free agency that will upgrade the pass rush for the front seven, because we all know that is one of the teams greatest needs, however I am not going to jump on the “we have to use our first round pick on a pass rushing d-lineman” bandwagon.
    If there is one worth taking when we pick I will be happy, however if we reach again like last year and give up the chance to pick a much better player that may play cornerback or right guard I will be p oed!

  21. HawkfaninMT says:

    Is the prevailing opinion here that a Pass rushing DE would be more valuable than Pass Rushing DT?

    That kid Michael Brockers looks like he could be really good matched up with MeBane

  22. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I don’t know much about Brockers but I love the name! Lol.

  23. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Go Ravens! And send the Brady bunch home.

  24. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Flacco, the Jackson of the AFC.

  25. First Harbaugh out, now for the second!

  26. Flacco played great, you can’t fault him for this one even though I want to, now, let’s just hope that either the Giants or the Patriots can obliterate the 49ers.

  27. GeorgiaHawk says:

    If I were Peyton Manning I would sign up with the Ravens. They have everything but a qb.
    We have just about everything but a qb.

  28. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Brady is one tough dude! The way he was layed out at the goal line by Ray Lewis was just an amazing display of laying it all out for the TD.

  29. HawkfaninMT – Personally, I’d rather add a stud pass rushing DT over a stud pass rushing DE. However, these guys are harder to find, IMO. Suh is the only sick force I’ve seen come in right away and dominate from the interior, whereas you more often see young edge rushers come in with freakish type of athleticism with ability to get to the QB more often. Not that this happens all that often, just a lot more than you see with a DT.

    I don’t think Flacco is overly good, but if Lee Evans does what he’s paid to do (heck, he’d already caught the ball, now just hand onto it) then he’s going to the Super Bowl. It’s amazing the small window of opportunities between many teams and games in the NFL. Still, I’m not complaining. I wanted to see a Harbaugh-less Super Bowl and we’re half way there. Go Giants!

  30. I hate not being able to edit missspelled (get it?) words!

  31. jarred767 says:

    I’m starting to enjoy watching Harbough cry and wine on the sidelines for the 49ers. Literally every time a penalty is called, he’s whining (even Davis’s obvious penalties). Makes me want to really watch the Hawks beat them twice next year.

  32. Interesting stat by the announcers that the 49ers were one of the healthiest teams in the NFL this year. That’s an area I wish we could get lucky with one of these years.

  33. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Wow! Victor Cruz! An undrafted free agent that is very similar to our own Baldwin.

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    As long as we have the cushy state of the art facility on the lake that should be for retired folks I don’t think we will be one of the healthiest teams for a long time BobbyK.

  35. RDPoulsbo says:

    Going for the G-Men all the way. I couldn’t take the Cards in the SB, and I sure as hell couldn’t take the 49ers in it either. As for the Championship emotions vs. the Superbowl, I wasn’t there, but I have to admit I was crying like a baby. I was wondering if I’d ever see the day I’d see the Hawks go to the SB. It could be because they lost in the SB, but I’m sure I’d cry all the same to see them win it all. I think the emotion thing is real though. It’s either your home crowd or you’re watching your team in try to come out of a hostile environment a victor. Either way, the crowd brings an emotion that a SB crowd could never generate.

    If Kirkpatrick is available, I hope the Hawks can trade down and let someone else get him. Not that I don’t think he’ll be good, just that given who will be available at that spot, there’s probably more value to Seattle moving down and adding pick along the way.

  36. It’s not like we were ever very healthy before the facility opened either.

  37. GeorgiaHawk says:

    So why don’t they go back to cheney Wa for training camp? where the men are men and where the retired folks don’t dare to show up! Lol.

  38. Ewalters7354 says:

    The Giants are playing Luke women smh

  39. Ewalters7354 says:

    The Giants are playing like women smh

  40. Trent Dilfer 2.0 and Horrible Harbough is starting to annoy me, hopefully the Giants can bounce back, Vernon Davis is (sadly) a beast.

  41. Ewalters7354 says:

    That’s because they just refuse to double him smh

  42. GeorgiaHawk says:

    That ball touched his knee! Will it set the Giants free?

  43. Nice rhyme, lol. Alex Smith has three plays today, checkdown, pass deep to Vernon Davies, run like hell, how the 9ers are still in this one after not converting a SINGLE 3rd down baffles me, defense is stud but still.

  44. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Do you think the Giants will loan us a couple of D- lineman for next year?

    Just a thought.

  45. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I see Smith is now doing his best Jackson imitation.

  46. GeorgiaHawk says:

    RDPoulsbo- I agree that moving back in the draft to acquire more picks may be the best thing to do this year.

  47. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Willis is a stud!

  48. bayareahawkfan says:

    I am loving watching the pressure mount on Harbaugh hoping to see him melt down, but I can’t shake the feeling that Eli Manning is going to prop up Harbaugh’s legend with a signature pick-6 on this drive.

    Come on Eli…time to step up!

  49. bayareahawkfan says:

    Hilarious, I’ve been mocking my niner fan friends all night with Joe Buck’s quote from early in the third quarter: “Kyle Williams: one of the best returners in football”.

    Nice to see someone on the Giants special teams make a play for once, after all the slobbering pundits have been doing over the Niners’ “fundamentally sound” special teams play all post season.

  50. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Irony- 49ers starting the season with a win because of special teams, Now losing the last game because of special teams.

  51. GIANTS! No more football this season for Alex Smith AKA Trent Dilfer 2.0, f*ck the 49ers and Jim Harbough, practically nothing could make me happier than to see Smith be this average, borderline horrible, and the 9ers go out!

  52. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Hopefully the FO of the Seahawks took note today that average qbs just don’t get it done in the clutch. Smith and Flacco are better than Jackson and could not get it done today.

    Take note FO and get something done this year to upgrade the qb position because the excuse of rebuilding will be wearing thin soon!

  53. I hope the 49ers are too dumb to realize that actually having a decent QB is a good thing.

    I hope the Seahawks aren’t too dumb to realize that having a good QB is a good thing.

  54. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Although I am not a Giants fan, for all those Coughlin haters, you can go eat crow!!! Lol.

  55. Dukeshire says:

    I tell you what, that was the best Championship Sunday I can remember (outside of ’05). Two awesome games. This will be a fun rematch.

  56. Dukeshire says:

    For whoever said here earlier, that all Balt. needs is a QB, what the hell are you talking about? Flacco was 22-36 for 306 and 2 TDs. He had a passer rating of 95.4. Come on now…

  57. Did anyone notice John Harbaugh almost, atempt, or whatever – shove one of his assistants right before he called a time-out late in the first game of the day? His little brother is about the biggest baby I’ve ever seen. I understand being mad you just lost, but did anyone notice his handshake with Coughlin? It was a quick, tough, no look, no professionalism type of handshake. It’s okay for him to win and smack backs but to lose he’s a way sore loser (as that smug, whiner cries about any call that doesn’t go his way too). I think it’s somewhat okay to be a sore loser, but don’t do it in public. Unfortunately, they seem legit moving forward except QB (and perhaps WR). We need to up our game by trying to match their pass rush and actually get a competent QB (so we can be one up on them there too).

  58. Even though Flacco is no Tom Brady, he had the better game of the two today. Granted, Flacco was going against one of the worse secondaries in the NFL and Brady was facing the mighty Baltimore Defense. But, still, if Lee Evans hangs onto that ball for one split-second longer, then Flacco is the hero and all people will want to talk about is how he’s now in that upper-echelon of QBs.

  59. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Who would have ever predicted that Eli Manning may have more Superbowl wins than his all everything brother?

    Do you think that will put a burning drive inside Peyton?

    Time for Carroll to shmooz his will on Peyton.

  60. GeorgiaHawk says:

    What about the two drives before the last one? Flacco had many chances to put this game away against arguably the worst secondary in the league.
    The look on Ray Lewis’s face said it all!

  61. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Against the worst secondary in the league? With no clutch play at the end of the game? Come on now!

  62. It’s amazing to think that many of the players from both of those Super teams 4 years ago are no longer with the Pats and GMen. By the time we were 4 years removed from our Super Bowl, Ruskell had either lost our talent and/or failed to replenish it with relatively crappy drafts. I look at Eli’s receivers, for example, and they were good 4 years ago and they are good now too, but the crazy part is that they are pretty much all different players.

  63. The Niners won several games during the season that they could have easily lost, so it seems fitting that they would lose one like that. They may have been 13-3, but they weren’t as dominant as that record suggests.

    On another note, R.I.P. Joe Paterno.

  64. “I understand being mad you just lost, but did anyone notice his handshake with Coughlin? It was a quick, tough, no look, no professionalism type of handshake. It’s okay for him to win and smack backs but to lose he’s a way sore loser (as that smug, whiner cries about any call that doesn’t go his way too).”

    I saw it and thought the same thing.

    Here’s a positive thought – this Seahawks team beat the Giants and lost to the Niners by 2. Maybe we’re not so very very far away.

  65. Ewalters7354 says:

    Kyle Williams is my hero!Lol

  66. Until we get a real QB we’ll remain so close and yet so far away if the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl.

  67. letsworkitout says:

    A shame the SB won’t be represented by the best teams in the NFL. Lame.

  68. That’s got to be such a shitty feeling for the rest of the team when a single person can lose a game for you, and it happened twice in one day in both conference championships, that’s crazy. Both those dudes, Williams and the kicker for Baltimore are probaly both bouncin’ down to Mexico for a long vacation together. Also, what was Harbaugh thinkin’ keeping Williams in returning punts, he dives at one and then has one bounce off his leg, really, your going to give him a third shot to f it up in this game, wow. Oh well, cool, SB 42 again, yeah.

  69. Also, John Harbaugh pretty much gave the kicker a green light to choke after going for it on fourth down with overtime on the line the first time around. I don’t know how that kickers been doing all year, but that decision basically said, “hell no we’re not trusting you with the game,” probably a real confidence builder for him. Both brothers made some interesting decisions yesterday.

  70. Dukeshire says:

    Harbaugh is so classy, he refused a post game interview. He’s a clown.

    And who cares if the Super Bowl is being played by someone else’s arbitrary definition of the “two best teams”? It’s being played by the teams that played best, just as it always is.

    As crippling as Williams’ two fumbles and muffed punt were, so too was their 1-13 on third down, Crabtree’s absolutely non-existent play, and SF abandoning the run at the end of regulation. And yet they nearly won on the strength of that great defense. And make no mistake, it’s a great defense.

  71. The Pats were the #1 seed in the AFC so it’s not like they are chopped liver.

    Really, you rarely ever see a Super Bowl played in which both #1 seeds advance. It simply doesn’t work that way.

    And if we want to talk about the two best teams, I remember the 1990s and the 49ers and Cowboys were always clearly the two best teams so those NFC Championship Games were really the games in which the two best teams played.

  72. Dukeshire says:

    For those interested, NFL Network airs an hour of Sr Bowl practice today at 1:00 p.m. Pacific.

  73. HawkyHann says:

    Alex Smith completed 1 pass to a WR. HA. He looked so bad the last few drives and did not complete 50 percent of his passes. I hope the 49ers resign him.

  74. Dukeshire says:

    Holy sh*t. I didn’t realize that. Wow.

  75. HawkyHann says:

    I know, crazy.

  76. letsworkitout says:

    Alex Smith has shown throughout the season the ability to pull off big plays in the clutch. The Giants were playing great defense plus the niners are not deep at wr. Morgan the number 2 wr at the beginning of the year was hurt and out all season. The number 3 Braylon Edwards was dinged up and never panned out, then cut. The number 4 Ginn was out as well. So you have Crabtree and the early season number 5 and 6 out there. Crabtree still hasn’t shown the consistency needed for a wr. So really, Smith has done just fine with the limited weapons he has, which is one (V Davis). I would sure as hell take him over T Jack.

  77. letsworkitout says:

    Consider that T Jack has had 6 years in the same system and in Minn had one of the best rb’s in the league with a great OL, good wr group and still didn’t produce. Smith has had almost a new system to learn for every season he has played. He has had several head coaches, several wr’s. He has had Gore, that is obviously a plus for him. He had a better overall season than T Jack with far more obstacles.

  78. I’d take Smith over T-Jack in a heartbeat. Of course, I’d rather die by drowning than by fire (either scenario sucks).

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