Seahawks Insider

Morning links: 5 keys for Hawks vs. Rams

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 30, 2012 at 8:42 am with 69 Comments »
December 30, 2012 8:42 am
St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (Jeff Roberson/AP).

Good morning. The weather for the Seattle Seahawks regular-season finale at CenturyLink Field is expected to be cold, but dry this afternoon, so you might want to break out that winter jacket.

Here are my five keys for the Seahawks as they try to finish 8-0 at home for the first time since 2005.

Play with a purpose: Even though Seattle already has locked up a playoff berth, the Seahawks still have plenty to play for on Sunday – including better playoff seeding, an undefeated record at home and a little bit of revenge against a St. Louis team that beat them 19-13 earlier this year. And Richard Sherman still has that enormous chip on his shoulder after winning his appeal this week. Bottom line, the Seahawks should have plenty of motivation and not come out flat today.

No action for Jackson: St. Louis running back Steven Jackson is 10 yards away from 1,000, and would become the sixth running back in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in eight straight seasons, joining Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, Thurman Thomas and LaDainian Tomlinson. That’s pretty impressive, but Jackson has yet to rush for 100 yards in 16 games against the Seahawks, and the Seattle defense needs to keep it that way.

Protect Russell Wilson: The Rams do a nice job mixing complex blitzes with four-man rush to get after the passer. St. Louis is tied for third in the league with 43 sacks, and got after Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson in the first game. And with J.R. Sweezy still finding his way at right guard, communication will be a key up front for Seattle’s offensive line.

Watch for trick plays: St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher is known for going to his bag of tricks to create a game-changing play. The Rams successfully ran a fake field goal that changed the game against Seattle earlier this year. And you can bet he’ll have a couple gadget plays on offense, so the Seahawks have to stay disciplined.

Watch for the big play: Offensively the Rams did a nice job of creating some chunk plays against Seattle in the first contest this season. Speedster Chris Givens got upon for a 52-yard pass play on Richard Sherman, and seem ball to tight end Lance Kendricks on a seam route. The Seahawks need to guard against the deep ball today.

Here’s my game advance. The Seahawks have plenty to play for today.

Dave Boling of The News Tribune compares this year’s team to the 2005 Seahawks team that advanced to the Super Bowl. Linebacker Leroy Hill, who played on both squads, says he’ll take this year’s Seahawks.

John McGrath of The News Tribune says you’re either all in or all out when it comes to Pete Carroll.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Steelers claimed former Seahawks defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo off of waivers.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com takes a closer look at some matchups to watch this afternoon.

Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times provides his keys to the game.

Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network gives us five key matchups to watch in tonight’s Cowboys-Redskins matchup, which a lot of you will be watching this evening.

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Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 69
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Week 17… How does it come so quickly? The NFL season just gets faster and faster every year, it seems. Sigh…

    Beyond what Eric mentioned above, my biggest hope for today is that they come out of this game healthy. Granted, not necessarily a key to victory against the Rams (who will come in barrels blazing. Fisher will assure that they will play hard and if Seattle is looking to next week already, they’ll lose.) but important moving forward.

    This game can’t get over soon enough for me. It’s a good thing I’m not on the team, because I am looking to Sunday night to see who they most likely play next week. lol

  2. Who’s taking the Cardinals on the moneyline today?

  3. I’d have to agree about Arians as well for COTY. PC is an excellent coach (I’m all IN) but for a guy to step in and do what Arians did for the Colts this year speaks volumes not only on the field, but off of it as well.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    At +1025 there’s clear value, aside from the fact it will take a small miracle for them to actually win.

  5. I took the Cardinals, Eagles and Colts on the money line today. For entertainment purposes only of course.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    You didn’t get much value on those ML bets (Phi, Indy). You were better off taking the points there, IMO. But, your money…

  7. montanamike2 says:

    I’d like to crush them for that trick play that cheated us out of the division lead, keep the beat downs at home coming so next year teams will dread coming here, maybe for years to come.

  8. I put 100 on the Seahawks pre-season down here – the line was set at 7 wins – so I cleared it long ago. I should have taken 10+ not the line, then today’s game could have yielded some serious payout, as it is I’ll win 55, could have been more than a grand at +10.

  9. bbnate420 says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UesLZL8t9F4

    Latest Real Rob. Sherman says he is innocent again.

  10. Dukeshire says:

    Vegas -20 / 20… You played smartly however. Well done.

  11. Memo to James Laurinaitis: Keep your head on a swivel for #64.

  12. Duke, yeah, think back to before the season, no reasonable person thought 11 wins was close to possible…especially considering a pretty strong schedule.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    Agreed.

  14. GeorgiaRay says:

    A must read (the Seahawks section for sure) Simmons is as snarky as it gets, but pretty funny stuff….He recalls picking the Seahawks to go to the Superbowl before week 1 this year…

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8787184/technical-difficulties

  15. I like the Dave Boling piece comparing this team to 2005. So, so different in scheme and personnel and personality, and as yet far less mature and less proven than that 2005 team. But I just love that we can even have this conversation.

    If we add a star Split End and a consistent 3-tech DT to this team in 2013, this team could be the best Seahawks team ever.

  16. @Duke – agreed, my biggest hope is also that we come out of this game healthy.

    We can win this game simply by grinding out yards on the ground and controlling the clock and frustrating the Rams offense. No need to get cute. I’d like to see us rest Rice and Lynch for the playoffs. Just tell the offensive linemen this one is on them – grind out a W and get the team ready for next week.

  17. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo – I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Tate has played well at SE mostly this season. WR needs depth to be sure, but I have to give some credit there.

    As for 3-tech: I’ve been beating that drum for years now. This defense has to find a consistent presence there, and a 3 down player (not situational guys which is what they have now), in order to realize their potential.

    But no question, this core is poised to become the best ever.

  18. bbnate420 says:

    Luck trying to turn the ball over, as usual. Too bad the refs are blind, dumb, or both. If it was a pass, it was either a backwards pass or intentional grounding. No way around that.

  19. Duke, absolutely, Tate has come on big time and he absolutely deserves credit. It just took him a few years of work to put things together. I just don’t see Tate as an ideal SE, still see him as a great third/fourth WR to play out of the slot and convert third downs. I just think that’s where he’s best. At SE, I still would like to see a big physical Dez Bryant or Brandon Marshall-type.

  20. He sucks so bad he should kill himself.

  21. With all this hype around Andrew Luck and Chuck Pagano today, if the Colt’s win today I think Luck will be named rookie of the year just based on the amazing story of the Colt’s season.

    Even if that happens, it won’t take anything away from the equally amazing story of Russell Wilson and the 2012 Seahawks.

  22. HawkfaninMT says:

    There was a kid from Rutgers that looked like a nice se to me… Put Doug and Tate inside on a 4 wr set would look nice! Coleman I think his name was?

  23. thursday says:

    Luck looked like he was about to cry after that play maybe the refs felt sorry for him lol

  24. HawkfaninMT says:

    And the guy from va tech that was covering him looked like a nice cb as well now that I mention it… 6+ ft, 200 lbs with man cover skills… Elum was his name

  25. and Chuck Pagano will be Coach of the Year. After all, he beat leukemia. But my vote will still go to Pete Carroll.

  26. A little more depth at OLB might be helpful as well, but a star (or potential star) 3-tech and another speedy WR…the draft will be very interesting this year because the needs are so finely focused and a lot of the draft will be to provide depth and competition where there already is strength – an “opportunity” draft.

  27. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo – I would never disagree with that. I’ve always considered WR a complimentary piece to the equation, and now that Seattle has most of the foundation in place, I would absolutely support drafting a bookend to Rice in the 1st or 2nd, if the right player were there.

    Where is this anti-Luck sentiment coming from? If we’re talking about “trying” to turn the ball over, the list begins and ends with Sanchez, IMO. lol.

  28. HawkfaninMT says:

    Agreed Vegas… Free agency could be interesting as well. I don’t think we have any big names up for FA, so it will be interesting to me to see if they spend their money on extensions, or on new free agents

  29. Dukeshire says:

    Vegas – OLB will definitely be on the shopping list. Not sure however it would be a 1st or even second day pick. But there is a long ways to go before any of that really comes into focus.

  30. bbnate420 says:

    Pagano shouldn’t be coach of the year. Sorry, but he didn’t coach most of the year.

    Bobby, that was my point. Nice job decoding it.

  31. HawkfaninMT says:

    @duke: I think it’s more about being pro Wilson, than anti-luck… The enemy of our friend so to speak

  32. Dang…all the games that count are on at the same time (except Wash/Dallas later). A swivel neck afternoon.

  33. bbnate–Good link on Sherman. Glad to hear him say that. Sucks for Browner…

    On the Colts: the only thing amazing his how everyone is freaking out about them. They have good coaches, and that staff doesnt get enough credit. Also, they have Reggie Wayne, who is a total pro and an utter beast.

    It isnt so surprising to see them win this year, as they faced one of the weakest schedules in the NFL. Its pretty common for a team like that to find a qb, and improve from worst to winning record. Next year will be the test; just like the Niners this year, who couldnt top 11 wins after winning 13 last year, and the Falcons many times in their history, success is easy one year, but difficult to sustain over time.

    It really pisses me off that they make excuses for Luck. You just cant compare his play with RG3’s or Wilsons. The stats dont lie. How the hell did Wilson throw all those TD’s with so few chances, especially since at the halfway point he had so few?! Luck is going to be a fine qb, but he flat hasnt played as well as RG3 or wilson. He hasnt run for many yards, and just hasnt played like the other two, and its impossible to say what he might have done on a better team–all we have is what we have.

    I know Im gonna get slammed, but my pick for Rookie of the Year is RG3. The guy has a cannon of an arm that is more accurate than Wilsons, he’s made more big plays, and he’s run for more yards and TD’s. He’s also only thrown 5 picks, which is insane. And he can throw the intermediate routes with far more accuracy. He also has a better passer rating and higher completion percentage.

    RG3 is having the best rookie qb year EVER, by a huge margin. Yeah, I think his coaching staff outcoached ours for 9 games this year, and he’s got some good WR’s and a stud young RB, but Wilson has Lynch.

    Wilson is a solid number 2 runner up, but there is no freaking way Luck deserves to win. If he does, its East Coast Bias, Media Hype, Racism, and folks not wanting to be wrong when everyone figured he’d win it easily in preseason, all rolled into one big poop sandwhich of wrong…

    I wouldnt trade Wilson for Luck. Im not sure Id trade him for RG3 either, but I’d have to think about it. Im so glad they picked Wilson, and not Tannehill (who is also pretty good).

  34. Dukeshire says:

    HawkfaninMT – You’re probably right.

  35. bbnate420 says:

    I just commented on a play, bad call by the officials, and Luck’s propensity for turnovers. I didn’t slap his mom. I do think he is overrated for the way he has played. I also think he will be a very good QB for years to come.

    He’s definitely no Sanchez, Duke. Guess PC was right about him? Remember when some people here, Seattle fans in general, were clamoring for them to draft Sanchez in 09? Not that we didn’t pick a stinker. On that note, is it time to put out a BOLO for ACIB? ;-)

  36. Other teams who were flashes in the pan going worst to decent then back to awful; Bengals, Browns, Cards, Titans, etc…

  37. Wow, Houston has just fallen off the cliff lately – they’ve turned into pumpkins.

  38. Dukeshire says:

    Griffin is having a great season, no question, but the best ever by a “huge” margin is not quite accurate. If it were, he’d be dominating every category and he isn’t. IMO, he’ll be ROY and deservedly so. But let’s be reasonable here.

  39. HawkfaninMT says:

    Better shot at RoY… Wilson or Wagner?

  40. bbnate420 says:

    STTBM, I agree with your assessment of the Colts and Luck. I also said I believe that RGIII should be OROY a few weeks ago. It has gotten closer. RW could even overtake RGIII in my mind if he has a big game today and RGIII drops a stinker and loses tonight. See, I don’t just look for an argument with you. ;-)

  41. I think RG3 should get Rookie of the Year also. He was strong from the first game.

  42. Dukeshire says:

    bbnate420 – Slap his mom…? lol. I just think the anti-Luck hype is a bit much. He’s really good and has little in the way of surrounding talent compared to what both Griffin and Wilson have. And yeah, Carroll was 100% right about Sanchez. Just awful…

  43. Dukeshire says:

    Wagner has zero shot at rookie of the year. So between those: Wilson.

  44. bbnate420 says:

    Wagner’s numbers are comparable to Kuechly’s but, he plays in Southern Alaska and isn’t a QB. Not a great chance is my guess.

    I would disagree about Luck having little in the way of surrounding talent, but that is definitely subjective. On offense I mean. We clearly have the superior defense. Washington has a crappy defense, but they definitely have some talent on offense.

  45. Dukeshire says:

    Kris Durham with his first NFL TD, for Det…

  46. Luck’s pass catching targets are better than what Seattle has.

  47. Dukeshire says:

    I totally disagree with that. Wayne and who…? Hilton? Avery? One might be able to argue that as a collective they are equals to Seattle, but better? No.

  48. bbnate420 says:

    I agree about Luck’s targets. He has some very good ones and one great one. RGIII has a RB that has had one of the best seasons this year, and he has 4 WRs with more than 500 yards. He had Fred Davis for 7 games. I think their o-line is pretty good too.

  49. bbnate420 says:

    Avery and Hilton both had more yards than our top WR coming into this week, and Hilton has 1 less TD. The TE Allen has 500 yards. Indy has thrown the ball more, but I’m just saying. Not a huge stretch. I guess you can make the chicken and the egg argument with Luck and his receivers.

  50. chuck_easton says:

    ROY is coming down to RGIII and luck. Wilson will be lucky to be a distant third.

    After all Wilson plays in Suth Alaska. Even though the media has realized the kid is something special the rest of the country continues to be all RGIII all the time.

    Wagner has a shot at defensive ROY.

  51. I’ll take Wayne, Hilton, Avery and Fleener over Rice, Tate, Baldwin and Miller. I don’t think Rice and Miller will be on the Seahawks in 2014 due to salary cap issues.

  52. bbnate420 says:

    The one game I saw of Durham, he made one spectacular play and then did an Evan Moore impersonation the rest of the game.

  53. Dukeshire says:

    So let me see if I understand: according to pabuwal Indy’s receivers are better because of various cap situations. And bbnate thinks they’re better due to their stats (doesn’t that devalue the anti-Luck argument as he’s the one getting them the ball?) We see thing very differently, and I’ll leave it at that.

  54. Dukeshire says:

    (although ‘nate does note the QB – WR link…)

  55. bbnate420 says:

    I wouldn’t take Wayne, Hilton, and Avery over Rice, Tate, and Baldwin long term, but you could easily argue they are better this year. You may be right about Miller if they ask him to renegotiate and he refuses, but I think Rice is here as long as he stays healthy the rest of the way. Knock on wood.

  56. bbnate420 says:

    I’m not anti-Luck. I just think he’s overhyped and turns the ball over too much at this point. Turnovers are huge IMO. He still throws the ball and someone has to catch it. QB-WR is a synergistic relationship obviously. Hard to determine who’s more responsible for success sometimes. I’d posit that at least Wayne helps Luck more than Luck helps Wayne at this point.

  57. Dukeshire says:

    Just heard this: there have been 70 pick 6s this season. Previous record what 57. Wow! That is crazy to think about.

  58. bbnate420 says:

    *throws the ball a lot

  59. Dukeshire says:

    No question that nationally Luck gets jocked relentlessly: comes with being the #1 overall. And he has thrown a bunch of picks. But the push back now seems to be a bit over the top, to me. (And that’s not directed to you necessarily.) In any case, just conversation.

  60. bbnate420 says:

    Breaking news, the WHO has hired Evan Moore to be their boots-on-the-ground in outbreak areas. They don’t have to worry about him catching anything.

  61. chuck_easton says:

    I was sceptical about Rice and Tate going into the season. Rice because of the injury history and Tate because, we’ll he’s Tate and hasn’t exactly shown he was at ND for the excellent educational opportunities.

    If Rice starts today this will be his second season ever f playing all 16 games. He’s playing hurt but he’s cowboying up and playing through pain. So much for being made of glass. He’s taken some wicked hits and keeps gaming back for more.

    Tate appears to have finally finished puberty and has begun to act like a responsible young adult both on and off the field.

    If the team adds a speed burner to stretch the field we are set at WR.

    And I disagree on Miler. Not only is he showing that he can be an integral part of the passing offence his blocking is vital to the run game. He man handled Aldon Smith on Lynch’s TD run last week. Miller will be here through this contract and likely another.

    It’s fun to get to debate with pabs again!

  62. lol bbnate!

  63. bbnate420 says:

    Hill out today. Moffitt inactive again.

  64. TY Hilton is like a DeSean Jackson type of WR the Seahawks need. Someone who can score from anywhere at anytime.

  65. Dukeshire says:

    Mike Smith elects to keep the starters in, with nothing to play for, well into the 4th quarter. Well, they just lost Abraham and Ryan getting hammered. What the hell is he doing?

  66. Dukeshire says:

    Down goes Cam Newton. Terrible looking knee injury.

  67. Dukeshire says:

    Yet, he’s up and walking. That was awful looking.

  68. bbnate420 says:

    Good for us if we face Atl down the road.

  69. Been watching Luck play today and he’s been quite impressive. I don’t think anyone is a lock for OROY at this point. Each player brings different qualities to the table. I think the anti-Luck sentiment, as you called it Duke, is more support for Wilson since he has had a great year, rookie or not. And we feel like we have to fly his flag because most of the media doesn’t seem to give him a fair shake due to his draft position and where he plays. It’s gotten better lately however. You have a number of high profile sports talk hosts and sports writers who really like what Wilson and the Seahawks are doing, including Dan Patrick and Bill Simmons. The discussion stems more from the fact that most of RW’s stats in terms of quarterbacking efficiency look much better than Luck’s. Luck has those 18 ints, including 3 pick-sixes. Wilson only has one pick six, against Carolina, and he hasn’t had one since. So one can say that while more was asked of Luck, Wison has had the better judgment, and it can not be argued that both have been very productive. But, like I said, Luck has looked like a world beater today.

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