Good morning. We’ll host our Monday Morning QB live chat at 1 p.m. today. There’s plenty to talk about, so stop by if you have some time this afternoon.
A quick look at the NFC playoff picture shows the Seattle Seahawks still clinging to the No. 6 seed in the playoffs after the team’s 24-21 loss at Miami on Sunday.
With that, let’s take a spin around the web to get reaction on the Seahawks’ effort over the weekend.
Here’s my game story. Although Seattle head coach Pete Carroll took the blame for the loss, Seattle players also understand they have to hold themselves accountable for what’s happening on the field with the team’s struggles on the road. “To me, it’s pathetic when you look at it,” Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said about his team’s struggles on the road. “The field is the same size – there’s nothing different home or away. You just have to eliminate the distractions that are outside the playing field. It’s so frustrating because we had so many opportunities and didn’t close it out.”
John McGrath of The News Tribune writes that Seattle’s frustrating loss at Miami is a minor inconvenience compared to the struggles the team may have if Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner’s four-game suspensions are upheld. McGrath: “Sherman and Browner will be allowed to appeal the suspensions, but if the PED test results are upheld, the Seahawks haven’t merely lost a pair of dominant players at a premium position. The team has lost the essence of its identity. Sherman and Browner embodied the rescued-from-the-scrapheap philosophy of roster building espoused by coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.”
Here’s my story on the Sherman and Browner suspensions. If the suspensions are upheld, I think Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell will be the likely replacements on the outside, and Marcus Trufant will continue to work as the nickel cornerback.
Steve Wyche of the NFL Network reports that Sherman is proclaiming his innocence. “Something I have never done,” Sherman told Wyche via text, referring to the usage of Adderall, a drug typically prescribed to patients suffering from attention deficit disorder. According to Wyche, Sherman added that he has not “taken anything,” that would cause him to be suspended under the NFL rules for performance-enhancing drugs.
Check out this video put together by Reuters News Service on why some NFL players are taking Adderall.
Seattle safety Earl Thomas criticized the officials for a roughing the passer penalty called on him that allowed the Dolphins to score a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter. Thomas: “It was a tough loss, but the refs definitely need to get out of the way when it’s a crucial situation like that. They control the game, and that was a great example right there.”
Leon Washington’s 98-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter was a big play, giving Seattle a 21-14 lead. But Seattle’s defense couldn’t make it stand up. “There’s no consolation prize after a loss like that,” Washington said. “But I’m just glad I was able to score on that play. My wife was in the stands saying I had to get it, so with her pushing me, I knew I had to go out and do it.”
Here’s video of the sprinklers going off at SunLife Stadium in the third quarter. Apparently the sprinklers were still set for a Saturday schedule.
Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times writes that the Seahawks suffered a meltdown on the team’s longest road trip of the year. O’Neil: “This Seahawks team that has playoff ambition lost for the fifth time in six road games. This Seattle defense that was supposed to be the strength of this team surrendered a fourth-quarter lead for the second consecutive road game.”
Steve Kelley from The Seattle Times says this should have been an easy win for the Seahawks. Kelley: “This is the kind of unforgivable loss that can haunt a team in late December when the playoff math gets complicated and the possibility of injuries and suspensions can sabotage a season.”
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that the Seattle is still searching for ways to earn victories on the road. Farnsworth: “As difficult as it will be to put this one behind them, that’s all the Seahawks can do. They can’t let a hangover from this loss affect their preparation for next week’s game against the Bears in Chicago. As disappointing as this loss was, they can’t allow it to become discouraging. There still are too many games to play, and too much to play for.”
Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle says it’s gut check time for the Seahawks. Salk: “The Seahawks defense has struggled in five of its last six games. It gave up 388 passing yards against New England, 175 rushing yards in San Francisco, 12 of 16 third-down conversions in Detroit, 243 rushing yards against Minnesota and now 189 rushing yards in Miami. That is a terrifying trend.”
David Neal of the Miami Herald writes that Dolphins receiver Davone Bess kept getting open against Seattle’s secondary.
Steph Rogers of the Miami Herald says that the Dolphins 1-2 punch of Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas ran wild against Seattle to the tune of 189 rushing yards for Miami.
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated writes that Seattle’s defense let them down in the fourth quarter, giving up 17 points in the final 12 minutes of the game.
Here’s what Clark Judge of CBS Sports had to say about Seattle after a loss to Miami. Judge: “ Seattle’s loss tells me a lot about the Seahawks, and what it tells me is that if the Seahawks qualify for the playoffs they’re going nowhere. First of all, they can’t win on the road. Second, their defense couldn’t hold two fourth-quarter leads … against Miami, no less. In fact, it allowed the Dolphins to score 17 points on all three of their fourth-quarter series. Not good.”