Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Reaction to Hawks 20-13 win

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 31, 2012 at 8:39 am with 55 Comments »
December 31, 2012 8:39 am
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) pushes past St. Louis Rams' Eugene Sims for a 15-yard run in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 20-13. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Good morning. We’ll have our regular Monday Morning QB chat at 11 a.m. today, so stop by if you have time.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, the Seahawks will travel to Washington to face the Redskins in the first round of the NFC Wild Card on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised on FOX.

Vegas has installed the Seahawks as 2 ½ point favorites on the road at Washington.

That said, let’s take a spin around the web to get some reaction from Seattle’s 20-13 win in the team’s final regular season game over St. Louis on Sunday.

Here’s my game story. The Seahawks finished at 11-5, which is the third-best record in franchise history and Pete Carroll’s best record in his pro career.

Dave Boling of The News Tribune argues that Russell Wilson’s rookie season rises above Peyton Manning’s rookie year of 1998. Wilson tied Manning for the rookie touchdown record with 26.

Ryan Divish of The News Tribune writes that Golden Tate once again made one of the biggest plays of the game for the Seahawks – recovering Marshawn Lynch’s fumble to keep the game-winning drive alive.

The Seahawks believe Marshawn Lynch and the running game gives them an edge in the playoffs.

Don Ruiz of The News Tribune writes that the Seahawks had to figure out how to stop a Rams pass rush that sacked Wilson a season-high six times on Sunday. “Our whole D-line really just pushed the pocket and kept (Wilson) in the pocket,” said St. Louis defensive lineman Chris Long, who had three sacks on the day. “For the most part we took advantage of our opportunities. We got him down for the most part when we had the opportunity. He’s tough to get down. It was a group effort.”

John McGrath of The News Tribune writes that the hard-nosed game between the Seahawks and the Rams is a preview of what’s to come in the NFC West. McGrath: “The toughness of the NFC West, officially clinched Sunday by the 49ers in San Francisco, is a concern better left for next season. So are the Rams, who competed against the Seahawks as if the conference championship were at stake. Sooner or later, that scenario could determine a Super Bowl berth. My hunch is on the sooner.”

Steve Kelly of The Seattle Times writes the Seahawks regularly practicing the fumble drill came in handy on Golden Tate’s recovery of a Marshawn Lynch fumble.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com offers an initial preview of the Seattle-Washington matchup.

ESPN’s Mike Sando details what makes the Seahawks a tough out in the playoffs – Russell Wilson’s decision-making ability.

Mike Jones of the Washington Post offers some observations from Washington’s win over Dallas, along with their chances in the playoffs. Jones: “Seattle will be better than Dallas was, that’s a fact. But at this point, it’s hard to pick against the Redskins. They’re playing at such a high level and with a healthy confidence and stone-cold focus that you definitely get the sense that they have a chance to do something special and continue this run.”

Bob Young of The Seattle Times reports a lot of beer drinking and trash talking attending the Seahawks-Rams game as a fan, but that he never felt threatened.

Black Monday already is underway, with head coaches Chicago’s Lovie Smith, Cleveland’s Pat Shurmur, Kansas City’s Romeo Crennel, Buffalo’s Chan Gailey and Philadelphia’s Andy Reid already receiving pink slips. New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum has been fired, and general manager Gene Smith suffered the same fate in Jacksonville. Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated is doing a nice job tracking the changes here.

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Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 55
  1. The only thing that worries me in the playoffs is the Defenses ability to make the key stop late in a close game against the NFC playoff QBs. They won’t have Sam Bradford giving games away.

  2. Morris is going to be a load for us in Washington as well. Big, strong back who is on a roll lately.

  3. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Sunday should look like a college game – lots of read-option and big bombs down the field.

    Did anyone think we really overdid it with the read-option yesterday? Seemed like every play started with that action. Can we just run some ISO for Marshawn please? Must be something Pete/Darrell saw about the STL ends.

  4. I am surprised that the line down here favors the Seahawks. I suspect that it will tighten a bit over the week as there are a lot of tourists down here now for New Year’s and they will place their bets before the game. The Redskins always get strong betting down here from eastern visitors. I would expect it to be 1 1/2 or even closer (Pick ‘em maybe) by game time. So wait on it ‘Hawk fan bettors, you’ll get better play next Saturday than today.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    If there’s a more under-appreciated defense in the league by their own fans and Seattle’s, I’d love to know who it is.

    As great a year and Griffin had, he’s not close to 100%. He was gimping around noticeably last night. Seattle really needs to contain him between the numbers. They do that and Seattle wins.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    Vegas – I was thinking that myself. Seattle a road fav against a team that hasn’t lost since first week of Nov? And I agree, Seattle may even get a hook by kickoff…

  7. The line opened at 1 last night and the masses came and pushed it up.

  8. Dukeshire says:

    Well aware and more reason why it will fall.

  9. Yup, hold yer money boys until just before kickoff. I am sure that Griffin being gimpy is what that line is about. And that isn’t all that bad an omen for the Seahawks…they guys down here know their business and know they are going to attract some serious east coast money during the next few days with the hordes down here. They think the Seahawks can take ‘em out on the road apparently.

  10. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I would rather face a gimpy Griffin then a healthy Cousins. I just hope we don’t knock Griffin out of the game. Cousins scares the heck out of me.
    What a great rookie class this is!

  11. Dukeshire says:

    Vegas – You got that right. Those palaces in the desert aren’t building themselves…

  12. This line won’t get back under 1.5.

  13. thursday says:

    I agree with one of those links on addressing the WR position in the offseason. As capable as Tate and Rice are, we really need a third wideout that can really reliably get some separation. If we get that next year, I expect us to be insanely dangerous

  14. RDPoulsbo says:

    Seattle’s defense will be a big problem for the Redskins and the read-option. Not only does Seattle have the ability to crash the ends and force RG3 to keep the ball, the CBs are much bigger than their WRs and can easily shed their blocks to contain RG3 when he goes wide. Plus, you have KJ Wright’s speed on the weak side, where they typically run it to force it wide.

    Also, don’t think for once second that Choke-mo’s 3 INTs are any indication that their secondary is good. It’s absolute crap and Wilson should be able to torch them all day long.

  15. I agree with all that RD. But I need to be cynical because I have witnessed this team’s 30 year road playoff history.

  16. Ewalters7354 says:

    Agreed Duke.I’m mean they only gave up 28 points as a season high,lead the league in scoring D, finished in the top five, and have gotten better on 3rd down.You can’t expect for this D to dominante all game long.As young as this D is, they have done a great job

  17. SandpointHawk says:

    Lovie Smith 10-6 this year. Fired…

    Rex Ryan 6-10 this year. Keeps job…

  18. thursday says:

    I know we’ve had road issues for basically ever, but I’m trying to look at the second half of the season team as the REAL team and not the first half. That team won two games on the road and frankly, even the ones we lost were very winnable. I’m just hoping this team will be fired up enough to make the road not an issue. Especially the defense, because everything else being equal on offense, I think the defense really gives us the edge against Washington.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    The Jets are quickly becoming, or have become, one of the worst run franchises in the league. Their lockerroom is a mess, they have no clarity under center, and as a collective, no discernible direction.

  20. Ewalters7354 says:

    Yea that sucks in Lovie’s case.He just couldn’t find an offensive coordinator or talent to save his life.

    I’m am worried that Tom Cable name may come up as a head coaching candidate.Boy would I hate to lose Tom.

  21. RDPoulsbo says:

    I can somewhat understand keeping Rex Ryan around considering the GM was the one making all the crap decisions like trading away a bunch of picks for Sanchez and then going out to get Tebow. He’s a defensive minded coach and that side held up reasonably well. Still, it doesn’t mean he’s safe. The new GM will likely have new ideas of his own.

    The Bears firing Lovie Smith seems more about Angelo and acknowledging they’ve depended on an aging defense for too long and need to rebuild than Lovie himself. He’ll have no shortage of job offers this offseason.

  22. RDPoulsbo says:

    I thought is was funny that NBC mentioned that Bevell was occasionally mentioned as a HC candidate this offseason. I still don’t think he’s all that good. It’s not his genius to have Wilson scramble and buy time and make positive yardage out of a busted play. T-Jack is gone and Flynn’s on the bench, so he’s not a good fit as an OC in Seattle so he might be on his way out. They could do it just to elevate Cable to OC/Assistant HC and make it harder for Cable to talk with other teams.

  23. Dukeshire says:

    I still contend that Bevell doesn’t get the credit he deserves for Wilson’s development this season and tayloring schemes and game plans he is able to effectively execute. Is he capable of being a HC? No idea. But he and his staff have done an admirable job with this offense, overall.

  24. princeaden says:

    There is no salary cap for Coaching Staffs correct ? They need to pay Cable accordingly so he has no desire to go anywhere.

  25. Dukeshire says:

    Correct.

  26. KJ Wrights speed?! Isnt that like Military Intelligence?!

    Seriously, Wright is one tough, smart football player and Im glad we drafted him, but he isnt very fast, and thats a fact. He often gets beat when covering downfield, but he’s damn fine vs the run and in zone coverage.

    That was why he fell so far in the draft, because he lacked speed.

    Our Defense was really hurt by losing Browner, Thurmond, and Jones. Getting Browner back will be huge. Still, to show zero pass rush vs the rams is incredibly concerning. That was just plain awful. We are stuck with the personnel at hand at this point in the season, so the coaches have to scheme us into some sacks or we are in trouble.

    This defense is pretty good, when the coaches gameplan well, and make scheme adjustments. They can hang with anyone. Its the pass rush, and guys like Wright and Tru in coverage giving up reception underneath and down the seam to the slot WR’s and TE’s that worry me.

    The Redskins coaching staff is doing one hell of a job, and their line is playing very, very well. They will be a real test for our Defense.

    Our line has GOT to play better than they did vs the Rams, especially in the first half. That kind of clueless performance from Sweezy will result in a loss if it happens again.

    But Lynch is beasting, they’ve figured out how to run block at least, and I think the coaches know to get WIlson outside the pocket on bootlegs and playaction EARLY in the game, instead of waiting for us to be down a TD to do that…

    Rice will hopefully be feeling better next week too, he looked tentative and out of it all game. That should reap dividends for Tate, McCoy, Miller and Baldwin for sure. A healthy Rice demands defenses at least pay him some attention from a safety…I think in this game, they knew he was gimpy and so werent as worried as they could have been.

    Play hard, fast, disciplined and smart, and there isnt a team in the NFC that can beat us. Play like we did vs the Rams and its an early exit…

  27. RDPoulsbo says:

    Oh come on STTBM, that whole paragraph is all about stopping RG3 and Morris in their read-option, which is not about the passing game. Wright and Browner on the weak side with Clem crashing the inside will make it very difficult to run it. Likely, the Hawks will be playing a lot of heavy defensive formations with Washington’s heavy run scheme. If they take those away, and they should, it makes them one dimensional and force them to beat the Hawks’ D with the weakest part of their offense.

    If you feel Seattle’s pass rush is inconsistent, Washington is worse with their 2 best pass rushers on IR

  28. sluggo42 says:

    Ya, I think I go with stopping the run first. I don’t think they have the defense to cope with us all game long. Our kids know the option from running it ourselves, but so do they. Will be interesting.

  29. Don’t forget this playoff game is on grass.

  30. RDPoulsbo–I was just trying to be a little light-hearted and funny..I know, I know, 10,000 comedians out of work, and me trying to be funny…But I meant no harm.

    Wright is still too slow to contain RG3 one on one. But I get your point. Im more worried about RG3 scrambling on a busted play than I am the read-option, but what do I know? If I was so damned smart I’d be working for the Hawks already, right?! ;p

    The Skins have won 7 in a row, 2 better than Seattle. Their defensive coaching staff has done an amazing job making up for losing thier top-2 DE’s. Dont take them lightly.

    I know we can beat them as long as they play disciplined and smart.

  31. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    i think it would be a better idea to start smith over hill this week. smith is fast and could be a great shadow for RG3.

  32. sluggo42 says:

    And g et tru off the field with bob coming back…

  33. sluggo42 says:

    Lol, I love spell correcting from my maxi-pad.

    BB returns, and suddenly we have another strong safety on the field. And hopefully, Tru gets some extended bench rest., but, will he? Or is Lane going to the bench and Tru stays?

    I am really hoping the RW decides to quit being the lead blocker on the option play. I know he is stout, but look no further than rgiii. His knee is all yacked up, and how severe is it really? Will it require surgery? Will it affect him for the rest of his career, or his life?
    RW runs a lot, and while its fun and cool now, what happens when somebody gives him a dirty hit and blows up one of his knees?
    But, for now it’s a dangerous offense. Too bad tebow can’t throw to save his life, he coulda really been something…

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Maxi-pad?

  35. SandpointHawk says:

    And to second that notion Sluggo42, that is exactly my worry about RW’s running, not a clean tackle but the dirty hit aimed to maim. So although I get a thrill whenever he is out there blocking I wish he would stay home a bit more.

  36. montanamike2 says:

    I think RW is a much better scrambler than RG3. He was a baseball player and slides with ease and knows how to get his head down fast.
    RG3 has all the physical tools but may go down the path of Michael Vick. Luck is a big old fashioned pocket passer, i’m sticking with the small guy we took at #75, that’s another thing, being small and compact makes you hard to tackle. For sure Sweezy is the weak link this year maybe he’ll get much better or get Carpenter, Moffitt to step it up next year. I knew they rushed Carp back because he was so out of shape. Why is Moffitt in the doghouse? Can it be rectified?

  37. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Sweezy may be the weak link right now, however that’s not saying much about the others if they can’t step up and take his job imo.
    Drafting DeCastro would have been the best solution to this problem. Lol.

  38. “Seriously, Wright is one tough, smart football player and Im glad we drafted him, but he isnt very fast, and thats a fact.”

    I think that Colin Kaepernick would beg to differ on K.J.’s field speed.

  39. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Sekolah- Agree. Seems like K.J. was all over the place against the 49ers.

  40. Black monday indeed – tons of coaches canned today.

    I’m a little surprised AZ fired Whisenhut. I guess he shoulders the blame for the QB situation – but it seemed like AZ would be a decent team if they could get that spot figured out. Kolb not panning out basically cost Whis his job. Guess they should’ve drafted a QB in the 3rd round this last draft . .

  41. KJ had his ups and downs this year but he’s a good, solid player moving forward and I’m glad we have him.

  42. For the record, although there were downs… I think there were most “ups.”

  43. comment on the espn board:

    Mike Freeman at CBS:

    “The name Russell Wilson was pointed to on Monday as a grand example of why so many people got fired so quickly. Owners in places like Cleveland and Jacksonville might have been asking why didn’t their franchises discover Wilson, who was the 12th pick in the third round? And how is it that a franchise like Seattle can develop him so quickly and our franchise cannot?

    Andrew Luck is one thing; he was the first overall pick. But when franchises start finding franchise throwers in the third round and the failing teams do not, then someone is getting fired.”

  44. agree w/bobby re KJ, definitely adds to the overall play level of the defense. I thought he was playing at a pro bowl level over the first stretch of the year. Had some dings, and some issues in coverage (against some very good QB’s), but I think he’s mobile, active and hard-hitting.

  45. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Andrew Tredinnick say’s- ” no one is feeling sorry for the Packers.” Sounds like he is at least one that is.

    I hope we meet them again and beat them at their place and end all this crying! See Giants last year.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-replacement-referees-cost-the-green-bay-packers-a-first-round-bye-2012-12?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider+%28Business+Insider%29

  46. The Seattle Seahawks have placed CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring) on Injured Reserve.

  47. Maybe if the Packers could beat the worthless Vikings in week 17 they could have had a first round bye, too.

  48. Dukeshire says:

    Wright can absolutely contain Griffin. Reason being he play on the strong side on the line and sealing the edge there is far easier than the weak. Especially when Red is at RDE. Now if Wright were a Will ‘backer where he were required to get into a foot race to the number against Griffin, that would be a different story. But from scheme perspective, Wright has more than enough speed to contain Griffin to that side of the field.

  49. SandpointHawk says:

    Funny how I trust so many of you. For example I trust in Duke to critique the backers. I played on the O side so I naturally watch that side of the ball. Amazing forum we have here folks. Happy New Year to you all. Go Hawks…

  50. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    Happy New Year Everyone! funny to look back on this year the fights the back biting,ACIB…lol. Here we are heading to the playoffs 11-5 and all happy now… one big happy family…most days anyways.

    looking forward to many healthy debates and a few fights for many years to come.

    have a great one!

  51. Did anyone hear Mack Strong on the Bob and Groz show today? There was something about an event where they were giving away air fair and 2 game tickets to the Game this weekend!!!

    I would definitely go to that!!!

  52. Dukeshire–Yes I get that. My point isnt to dis Wright, he’s a good football player and one of the smartest most knowledgeable guys on the defense; my point is, he isnt fast enough one-on-one to be an elite player. Thats all. Perhaps his hard hitting and smarts can make up for not being as fast on most plays, but the fact remains you cant teach speed.

    WR’s can make up for a lack of straight-line speed with quick feet, disciplined route-running, agility, trickery, etc…LB’s can make up for it with guile and understanding of offenses, but only to a point.

    We still need another fast big LB to complement the speed of Wagner and Malcolm Smith (likely next years starter in place of Hill). Wright has certainly been a real find in the draft, and as I said Im glad we have him. If only he were a little faster…then again, we wouldnt have been able to draft him had he been much faster, its why he was ignored on the first day of the draft. Thats other teams loss though, and our gain.

    Here I am beating a dead horse again! Doh! I like Wright too. Im gonna shut up and enjoy being 11-5 and in the playoffs with a five game winning streak, baby!

    Happy new year to all! Especially Eric and the other writers etc with the Trib for making this blog happen. It wouldnt be the same without y’all.

  53. @STTBM

    You are seriously missing it on the issue of K.J. Wright’s speed. Who is it exactly that you are thinking of? Who is this mystery sam LB that’s out there that’s better than 6’5 and 250 lbs., who yet can also run in the 4.3 – 4.4 range like Wagner and Malcolm? Seriously. Find me this guy. Maybe he’s one of the top 5 to top 10 picks in next year’s draft. Then again, maybe not. You are talking about a rare breed of player.

    Please compare K.J. Wright to some other names around the NFL for us. Names of other traditional sam LB’s who have this incredible speed that K.J. lacks.

  54. diecastgalore says:

    Stopping the run will be critical, and the weakness I’ve seen from the Hawks this year is being able to stop the run when the QB can also run. Outside of the SF game, they have been at times ineffective when they have to watch the wide stuff and the between the tackles game. That and a total lack of a consistent pass rush. Notice how many times Bradford was hurried yesterday? That will be a concern, but the reason behind it is they are cheating towards the run game, gambling that if they stay home they can contain the run, and the DB’s can cover well enough to stop the long ball. With an athlete like RGIII that may not fly, especially at his house. It should be an interesting contest. The one undeniable for this years Hawks is that they have been in every contest right up to the last drive. That should bode well in the playoffs, because they have Wilson, who is a winner. As long as he can smell victory, he’s going to go after it, and he has managed to do quite well thus far. Go Hawks!

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