A little programming note for the Seahawks bye week: Pete Carroll will have a press conference this afternoon, but after that, we’ll have no access until next Monday. Eric gets a bye this week, too, so I’ll be driving our Seahawks Insider blog much of the week.
After seeing so many Seahawks needing practice time off last week, it’s obvious this team can use a week to heal up. They go into it with momentum as their 28-7 win over the Jets on Sunday lifted them to 6-4 and brought them into legitimate (although very early) playoff discussion.
Eric’s gamer from yesterday touched on the high points of a game that featured a strong fourth-quarter offensive performance after being a defensive struggle most of the day.
The best quote came from Russell Wilson, who has 11 touchdowns and no interceptions at CenturyLink: “There’s no place like home.”
My column focused on Golden Tate’s recent performance (three touchdown catches and one TD pass in the past two weeks). Tate’s playmaking ability has been obvious from his first days in Seattle, but his professionalism and preparation were suspect initially. I asked him how often he thinks back to his rookie year when he was inactive for the first game of the season because they couldn’t trust him to run the right routes and play with discipline. He said he thinks about it every day, and his goal since then has been to earn their trust. A highlight play was his 13-yard catch in which he somehow invented ways to display his outrageous athleticism.
The best quote on Tate came from guard John Moffitt: “He looks like he can hang in the air like he has some kind of super power.”
John McGrath’s column featured every writer’s favorite Seahawk, cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman put together another gem, spicing up his usual blanket coverage with an interception and also a fourth-quarter sack-and-strip of Mark Sanchez. As McGrath writes, Sherman read the formation and decided to blitz on his own since there was no receiver to his side.
Best quote from Sherman: “It was a pretty heady play by me … I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but that’s what it is.”
Clare Farnsworth at Seahawks.com offers a gamer hitting the high points of the win. Best quote (from Sidney Rice concerning coach Tom Cable’s halftime instructions): “I think we started out a little sluggish in the first half,” Rice offered in the locker room. “But coach Cable came in here at halftime and made a statement that we weren’t playing Seahawk football and we need to go out and execute. So we took that and ran with it in the second half.”
At the Seattle Times, Steve Kelley writes of Marshawn Lynch’s cracking 1,000 yards rushing this season. Of course, Marshawn declined interview requests after the game. Best quote (from back Leon Washington about Marshawn): “With Marshawn, it starts with his attitude.”
Mike Salk at 710ESPN gives credit to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for his play calling, particularly exploiting Russell Wilson’s talents with the read-option run. Wilson looks very comfortable with the execution of the read and also with the run. Salk also cites the way in which the playbook was opened up against the complex Jets defense, attacking with the Golden Tate end-around pass and also the flea-flicker with back Robert Turbin.
Mike Sando’s NFC West blog at ESPN.com features this game story about the weird tie between San Francisco and St. Louis. The Rams appeared to have the game in hand, and even could have won it late and in overtime but for a couple penalties. Best quote (from the Rams’ Chris Long about the bruising and competitive game): “… I think we’re going to see a lot of those battles for years to come here because we are a different team now. I think they know that from playing us now.”
We’ll have further reports on bye-week plans and injury updates, etc., after Pete Carroll’s afternoon press conference.