In my story today, the Seahawks are one of the few teams that can match up physically to 6-foot-5 Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson, dubbed “Megatron” because of his superhuman-like ability on the field.
Seattle’s big corners, 6-4 Brandon Browner and 6-3 are looking forward to the challenge.
“He’s a big dude,” Browner said. “We ain’t really worried about him being too shifty at the line of scrimmage, but he poses a challenge for the simple fact that he gets a lot of targets. He’s a great athlete. He runs a 4.3 (40-yard time). He can jump out of the gym, so it will be a fun challenge for us.”
Sherman changed his Twitter handle to “Optimus Prime” this week – Megatron’s nemesis in the TV show.
Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman provided a blueprint for how the Seahawks might deal with the athletic Johnson.
At 6-2, Tillman is similar in stature to Sherman and Browner. He harassed Johnson all evening and contested most of his 11 targets, limiting Johnson to three catches for 34 yards in Chicago’s 13-7 win over Detroit on Monday night.
Tillman earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his effort.
Dave Boling of The News Tribune writes that the Seahawks under Pete Carroll bring the intensity for each game. In Carroll’s last 15 games, Seattle has won nine. And in the six losses, none were more than a touchdown. Boling: “Whatever else has gone on, win or lose, this team’s effort and emotion and competitive energy have been absolutely above reproach. This team shows up to play every week.”
Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com writes that Seattle’s weakest position, wide receiver, took another blow with Doug Baldwin out because of a high-ankle sprain. Thiel: “One bad game doesn’t condemn a season, but it does invite the use of a magnifying glass. Rice, the Seahawks’ No. 1 receiver, has been targeted 38 times, catching 22. The No. 2 guy, Tate, has been targeted 27 times, catching 13. That’s 54 percent, a low number for the two prime downfield targets.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that the Seattle’s offense performs well early in games using the first 15 scripted plays, but succumbs to the pressure of the game after the opening quarter. O’Neil: “I would argue that if you look back at the past three games, Seattle has been hampered by its attempts to adjust to in-game situations. Specifically, the offense has performed a proverbial swan dive once Seattle has gone past its 15-play offensive script.”
It’s an interesting take by Danny, but it doesn’t explain Seattle’s ability to rally in the fourth quarter. I think there’s been plays to be made in all of the games, but what Seattle does in the fourth quarter is lean on players like Marshawn Lynch and Sidney Rice to make plays for them in critical stretches of the game, and they need to do that in the meat of the game. I don’t think it really has anything to do with in-game adjustments.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com notes in his practice report that quarterback Russell Wilson is rooting for Detroit in the World Series because his older brother grew up playing with Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander back in Virginia.
ESPN’s Mike Sando notes the big drops in penalties for Seattle now that the replacement officials are gone, something Carroll talked about this week.
Brian Burke, writing for the New York Times Fifth Down blog, gives Seattle a 44 percent win chance against the Lions.
According to this Seattle P-I report, Marshawn Lynch has bought a $3.6 million house in the Bay Area.