Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Reaction to Hawks 30-28 loss to Falcons

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 14, 2013 at 10:12 am with 46 Comments »
January 14, 2013 11:15 am
Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) reacts to his game winning field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 30-28. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) reacts to his game winning field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 30-28. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Good morning. I’m making my way back to Tacoma. The Seahawks are scheduled to have locker room clean out this afternoon. I won’t make it back in time, but we’ll have a reporter there to provide an update.

I’ll also host our regular Monday Morning QB live chat at 2:30 p.m. today. So stop by if you have time.

With that, we take a spin around the internet to get reaction of Seattle’s 30-28 loss to Atlanta, ending their 2012 season.

Here’s my game story. While still upset after the game, Red Bryant believes this year’s playoff experience will help the team next season. “This is going to make us tough,” Bryant said. “It’s going to make us hungry. We’ll be looking forward to next year, and we’ll come out of the gate swinging. We know what type of team we are, and we know what it takes to win.
“So we’ve got to swallow this one, and hopefully we’ll be back next year. And be able to go farther.”

Dave Boling of The News Tribune writes that Russell Wilson furthered his legendary rookie year with an impressive performance in a gut-wrenching loss to Atlanta.

More Boling: Tight end Zach Miller suffers a torn plantar fascia early in the game, goes in for treatment and returns to play perhaps the best game offensively in his career.

A couple risky decisions by Pete Carroll in the first half worked against him, mainly going for it on fourth-and-1 and failing to convert when Michael Robinson was dropped for a yard loss.

John McGrath of The News Tribune writes that the Falcons, including veteran kicker Matt Bryant, remained cool under pressure after the Seahawks stormed back. McGrath: “Bryant’s kick scotched a Seahawks’ effort that deserves to be remembered as among the most remarkable second-half comebacks in NFL playoff history. Ah, but part of the deal is finishing the deal, and when the air pressure in the Georgia Dome reached a point that might have suffocated a younger team, the Falcons answered with the poise of those who’ve done this drill a few times.”

More McGrath: Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez plays a critical role earning his first postseason win.

Seattle’s running game was the most talked about, but Atlanta showed that they know how to run the ball, too.

Art Thiel of reports that the Seahawks, including tight end Zach Miller, wanted to seal the deal against the Falcons for their quarterback Russell Wilson. Thiel: “But beyond the outcome, there is little debate about one thing: The Seahawks have set themselves up nicely for a few years. Assembled here is a team of youth, speed and strength that has bought into Carroll and Wilson, and once they quit dragging their lower lips, will see that the final game would have been a disaster only if they had quit at 20-0.”

Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times writes that the heart-breaking end brings the Seahawks season to a close too early.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 46
  1. FleaFlicker says:

    Commence with the draft speculation!

  2. SandpointHawk says:

    When does free agent season begin?

  3. The time out – I want to know about the time out!!

  4. HawkfaninMT says:

    Took me a day, and now I am moving… Like RW says, looking forward to the next opportunity and next play!

    Offseason moves I would like to see given that we do not have any big contracts up this year and according to a previous link we have the 3rd most amount of cap space as of the end of November. Obviously that comes with caveat taht teams will be dumoing players and freeing up space of thier own.

    1) Contract extension for some key contributors. Can’t extend them all, but we have money this year so lets get Sherman, Kam, and Earl restructured and re-signed now so we don’t have them all come up in the same year.

    2) “Big name” Free Agent targets in order of preference for me: Mike Wallace, Randy Starks, Michael Johnson

    3) Re-sign Branch, Re-structure Clemmons

    4) Keep drafting like gang busters!

  5. All good thoughts, MT, but I’m saving the offseason needs chat for after the post-season Mourning Period has passed. lol.

    I can’t help it. I know it might piss some people off, but I am so happy about how far this team matured and developed this year. I am so happy about what we have the opportunities to do next! This was a GREAT Seahawks season!

  6. I would be interested in hearing Dave and Eric’s take on Red Bryant and Kam Chancellor going forward. Those 2 bring massive physicality in the run game but are massive liabilities in the pass game. And it appears this run defense lives and dies on Bryant’s ability to stay healthy which is way too risky.

    Great pass rushers are every down players. They don’t just come in on 3rd down.

  7. HawkfaninMT says:

    I have not seen anything about Pete disputing the timeout so he obviously called it. The main issue there, it seems to me, is that he did not want them to allow Bryant to kick it at all. It really should have been a delay of game penalty on the Falcons for him continuing with the play after time out was called. But if Pete is not filing a grievance I do not see why we should have our panties in a bunch about it

  8. That’s right MT – i saw it in another link online – Carroll’s complaint was not that he didn’t call the TO, it was that the Falcons kicker got the warm-up kick.

    Wow, how about Miller? What a tough guy.

  9. FleaFlicker says:

    Stevos: you’re right. Going to take a few more days to absorb that now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t trip to the NFC Championship game.

    So close….

  10. SandpointHawk says:

    He was standing next to the ref and looked over at him and said “time out”. I read lips and there is no doubt he called the time out. All Pete said as the ball sailed through the uprights for the game winner was “f-word”….

  11. Dukeshire says:

    He was healthy and they got gashed. I do agree that they are in need of a 3-down DE (perhaps 2 depending on Clem). Irvin has a long way to go before he can develop into that. Yesterday he was simply washed aside with regularity. In any case, for me the d line is a unit that is in most need of help.

    Speaking of development, how far did Tate come this season? Really impressed and proved me wrong.

  12. Pete was pissed because Bryant got a free kick. In the after game presser, he said he talked to the refs before the game about the scenerio, and that the kicker should not be allowed to kick if a TO is called. That is why he was so pissed off. He absolutely called TO, was just mad that Bryant was able to get a free kick out of the deal.

  13. thursday says:

    My thoughts for offseason acquisitions include a better receiving threat, a big playmaker, someone who can consistently get separation. A Torrey Smith, Larry Fitz kinda guy. Then, obviously the defensive line needs help. Needs depth and needs help.

    I do love the fact that we honestly have very few holes though. Get those things in place and our awesomeness would know no bounds.

  14. Tate has indeed come very far – his final step is to become a consistent 5-7 catch a game guy instead of 3 big plays a game. At this rate he will get there.

    They said Bryant has been playing through a foot injury since the SF game. Either way, I don’t know if he is part of the solution or part of the problem.

    I’m leaning towards bringing in Osi as a full time starter. It’s harder to find a good pass rusher than a QB on today’s NFL.

  15. HawkfaninMT says:

    There is a gigantic atheltic DE coming out of Oregon that fits the Bigger Faster Stronger mold of Pete to a “T”… not sure if he will last til the Hawks pick though. Dion something?

  16. Overall, a wonderful season (minus the pass rush). I’m happy, but I’m also still mourning “what could have been.” I wish I could have a blue sky today, but it’s rough. I hope to be as happy as some of you in the coming weeks because I do know it was a good season (and it’s more fun to be happy than dejected).

    Looking forward to many years with #3 giving us a chance each season…

  17. HawkfaninMT says:

    Not sure they would bring in Osi given his 30+ age…

    I think that they would lean towards Michael johnson if the Bengals don’t franchise him given his age and measurable.

    Intetresting thought: Do you guys think the success the hawks had this year, the toughness they play with, and the youth they have at most position make Seattle a spot that FAs will want to sign with? As opposed tothe idea that we had to outbid everyone for a chance at a marquee player

  18. ChrisHolmes says:

    Remarkable season. I’m proud to be a Hawks fan today.

    We have a franchise QB now… How exciting is that? The kid doesn’t flinch. We’re young, fast, talented… This is the kind of team we always hoped someone would assemble for us. And now they have.

    Sure, it’s disappointing to lose in the final 25 seconds after the greatest comeback in playoff history. But as my wife said yesterday, “It’s only football.” There are far worse things going on in our world. She’s right. Some perspective is in order here.

    I’m excited for our future. I was impressed on the drive home listening to RW talk in his post-game press conference. The kid isn’t a Debbie Downer. He’s ready to get back to work and kill it next year. I love his attitude.

    We know how to get to a Superbowl – it would help if it came through Seattle. Home field advantage. And I think these kids can get it done next year.

    As for needs: I thought our DL just got mauled. It wasn’t just the absence of Clemmons (though he really was missed), we just didn’t play well defensively, especially up-front.

    Our guards got mauled too. And I am still not sold on Baldwin… he seems to really disappear at times. I think another playmaker at WR would open things up even more for RW.

    I’d say, offseason needs: DE, OG, WR, DL (in general), CB (we have to get someone who can stay healthy and cover the slot).

    Anyway… great season. Who thought this would be our season back in August? Not me… pleasantly surprised.

  19. princeaden says:

    I don’t know if they will re-sign Branch. He wasn’t consistent enough IMO. I would love to see Starks and Wallace but, I’m not sure that Schnieder and Pete don’t have something better up their sleeve. Pete alluded to 10 upcoming picks and that it will be tough for them to make this team. I wonder if they package some together to move up to address some specific needs. I am curious to see.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    HawkfaninMT – Dion Jordan.

  21. I’d swap out Mike Wallace for Sydney Rice and hope Tate develops into an 80 to 100 catch guy.

    Young good pass rushers just don’t come on the FA market. You either have to go older or through the Draft. The good thing is that some of these DEs can play at a high level until their mid 30s.

    Aldon Smith and JJ Watt were drafted right where the Seahawks would have drafted had they not won the 7-9 division title.

  22. I would rather have Michael Johnson over Osi too. However, at the age of Johnson, he’s going to get a huge contract (if he’s not franchised). Osi is at the age where he’s not going to get an overly huge payday. He’s a guy (or Dwight Freeney) who can come in and help the pass rush right now. Even if we draft two DL in the first two rounds of the draft… look at Irvin yesterday, it’s not like they are going to come in and dominate at getting to the passer as rookies (that’s why I’d like to resign J. Jones if he’s healthy AND use a high pick on a 3-tech). We’re so close but the pass rush must be addressed via FA, draft, and potential trade. Personally, I’d like to see a proven vet like Osi brought in AND a high pick brought in at End AND Tackle.

    Personally, my top 3 needs come from the DL (end & 3-tech) and then WR. My next concern is far below those three things.

  23. princeaden says:

    Did anyone ever hear of the severity of Carpenters re-injured knee ? If that was a major setback then I feel like Guard could be an area of weakness.

  24. seahawk44 says:

    Free agents will WANT to come to Seattle and be part of the Wilson/Carroll/Schneider Dynasty!

  25. Seahawks22360 says:

    What’s going to be interesting is seeing how this team reacts next season when are no longer a young, under-achieving, no namers. And are instead a battle tested, vet team, with arguably one of the top QB’s in the game. We will be expected to win next year and can’t play the under dog role so frequently. GO HAWKS!

  26. prince – He reinjured it (per Eric) but didn’t need surgery. He’ll be 100% for training camp.

  27. FleaFlicker says:

    BobbyK: have to agree. Zero sacks yesterday just hurts. Almost by definition, you’re going to see the best QBs in the playoffs. And if you want to get to and win a Super Bowl, you’ve got to be able to take those opposing QBs out of their comfort zone. Let’s see what PC/JS can put together in the draft and the off-season.

    But to echo a few other comments on here: it was a heck of a great year considering where we were four months ago. Remember all that QB controversy? Our predictions of an 8-8 season? This team really caught fire down the stretch.

    My biggest disappointment of the year: loss at Miami. We get that game and we are a 12-4 #2 seed and Clemons and Haushka don’t get blown up by crummy FedEx turf. What could have been….

  28. HawkfaninMT says:

    Regarding Tate: Huge step forward in my opinion. He could be an 80-100 catch guy if he were on the Pats or the Lions. He plays for Seattle who is run first team and spreads the ball around. So a 60 catch season here is a big year.

    Signing Mike Wallace and having tate in the slot would give RW all the weapons he needs. Not a slight of Baldwin, but he took a small step back to the median this year in my opinion and he would be dynamite as a WR4 in a 4 wide set.

    @ Duke: thanks for the assist on Dion jordan. Not sure he makes it to us, but he screams of the type of defender PC/JS have been bringing in since they got here. Eerily similar to Michael johnsons measurables if memory serves me. I got to dust up on my draft knowledge now that the season is in the books

  29. Ambassador says:

    I couldn’t even look at any news of the game until today. I can’t imagine what the guys in that locker room felt, and are feeling today. Despite the loss it’s good to be a Seahawk fan.

    I can’t wait to see how all the draft evaluators line up to praise the moves JS PC make in the draft. The hawks are on the map folks, and they definitely got the respect they deserve.

  30. Until they fix this Defense’s ability to close or even acknowledge its a problem, we can forget about winning a Super Bowl. It’s been the biggest problem this team had had the past 2 years.

    It would have felt better if the offense never scored the game winning TD. At least that way the ending wouldn’t have been so obvious.

  31. No. Last year the QB position was, by far, our biggest need.

  32. SandpointHawk says:

    The draft evaluators will indeed be interesting this year. Will they praise John and Pete because of their track record or will they still act like they are idiots? You know John and Pete are going to have some surprise picks. I bet they will at least stop and think a bit more this year before flapping their jaws….

  33. This team needs more pass rushers than I thought, especially in light of Clemons’ injury. Irvin needs to hit the weights; get a little bigger, definitely stronger. He hit that rookie wall pretty hard. Now he just needs to improve his conditioning. But this team still needs another end rusher, via the draft or free agency. Still need a LEGIT 3-technique DT. Definitely need to think about adding depth, making some changes at DT all around.

    Outside of a first round pick (maybe 2nd), or an expensive free agent, I’m not seeing how you replace Kam Chancellor. A lot of what Kam is taking the blame for in yesterday’s loss is mostly relative to great play-calls, HoF type playmakers, and ultimately a porous job by the front seven in terms of both pass rush and effectively stopping the run, which left Seattle’s secondary extremely vulnerable at times.

    This team could also use some help at LB. I think Malcom has come along far enough to at least be favored to win the spot at WLB come camp. I could also see them turning towards the draft early to grab a LB specifically for that Will spot, provided the right one is available.

  34. Russell Wilson can have the greatest 4th quarter in NFL playoff history and it still won’t matter as long as the other team was able to run even 2 plays. And we all saw this coming.

    We should have had a legend up there with “The Catch” and “The Drive” and instead we have the same Divisional playoff loss a 7-9 team had.

  35. HawkfaninMT – I have not seen anything about Pete disputing the timeout so he obviously called it.

    Download this morning’s podcast of Pete’s conversation with Brock and Salk on 710 radio’s website once they post it later today. Pete talked a lot about that timeout and kick.

    Before the game, the officials told the coaches to not try to kick a practice field goal, but they didn’t specify a penalty for it. Pete suggested the NFL competition committee might take up a new rule for this in the offseason. Pete said he intended to ice the kicker by calling the TO before the kick, but the snap was too quick and the officials were too slow. He, like us, hated that the kicker got that kick off. It wasn’t supposed to happen.

    I have to give credit to Atlanta’s special teams coach for having these guys ready to blast that FG quickly. The practice kick definitely helped them. On the other hand, I have to question their special teams coach for calling the squib kick at the end of the game. That was hormonal.

  36. Looking at the ending of some of these games, it seems to me that Bradley just doesn’t understand when to play prevent, a soft zone or standard defense.

    No matter the game closing situation, he seems to just default into a soft zone where he is fine with 20 yard passes as long as the tackle is immediately made in bounds.

  37. So. Close. I was looking forward to sending my daughter to preschool next Monday in her Seahawks jersey after we beat SF (one of her teachers is a huge Niners fan). Oh well.

    It has been a great season and I am jacked, pumped, and stoked that PC and JS found a franchise QB. I thought RW was sure to struggle much more than he did. The kid is a great story and I hope to see him hoisting a bunch of Lombardi’s over the next decade.

    As a Hawks fan, it was strange to see the team regularly fight back and pull games out this year. I’m not sure there’s many Seahawks teams over the history of the club that would have come back from the WAS or ATL deficits not to mention the last minute comebacks. If only the D had been able to give up 5-10 fewer yards yesterday…

    All I want for the off season is some pass rush. It kinda feels like Bruce is a little light and he is one of those players who works best when he’s got someone like Clem on the other side.

  38. Ya pab, i agree. The corners were giving the receivers way too much cushion..they were lines up 15 yards off them. After the game Browner was really pissed and told Q13, “we were in a soft zone”, and he sounded so pissed off (as i’d image they all were). But i take from that, that he was not happy with the play call there. As i said before i am not much of an X & O guy, but i’d think they would be in something that they are better at. It would seem smarter to me to almost allow the huuuuge play down field but take away the short to intermediate routes that they’d be looking for. I just hope this is something they improve upon next year. They can’t have late game breakdowns like that, and i put that on the playcalling first, and obviously execution second

  39. RDPoulsbo says:

    I think 3-technique and Leo will be the top 2 priorities this offseason.

    Clemons is not going to come back like Peterson. He’s lighter than Carp, but his job also will require putting a lot of pressure on that knee. As for Irvin, he’s making strides, but he’s not going to stand up against the Joe Staleys in the league, especially with the NFCW becoming primarily a run first division.

    As for 3-technique, Jones was a disappointment and is a FA anyway. That leaves Scruggs, and McDonald under contract. Pretty thin even if they re-sign Branch since he’s really a 1-technique.

  40. SaigonSun says:

    I have to admit I am way,way to happy with this season. I did hope for a 10-6 regular season ( but, was to “chicken” to post it); the ‘Hawks did better than that, plus a road playoff win !! At the season’s start I was a troll about Rice and Tate.It is time to eat some crow. At the end of the season Bevell proved me wrong—hence more crow (pass the Tabasco,please).
    In JS I trust ….PC –not so much ( but, I am worming up for him).
    I love the fact JS got us RW and PC had the wisdom ( and testicular fortitude ) to make him a starter from day one.
    As for Bruuuuuce… lets try to use the credit JS/PC got for getting Wilson in the third, and apply some towards taking Irvin in the ftrst. Overall—
    A+ for 2012 draft ! Thanks JS/PC for beautiful 2012 year.
    DO IT AGAIN IN 2013 !

  41. I too was horrified to see Browner lining up 10-15 yards off Harry Douglas (or whatever his name is), the slot WR for Atlanta, when they put either Julio JOnes and/or White in the slot for match-up reasons; the guy isnt that big or fast, Browner would have beat the crap out of him in press; instead, he kept his cushion, and Douglas ran right to the first down sticks, turned around, and there was no way in that soft zone D, that Browner could do anything but push him out of bounds.

    They did this same bullshit in the Detroit and Miami games. I dont get it. Why the hell have Browner if you arent going to jam guys at the line a lot–especially when Atl lined up their slot guy outside. That was freaking STUPID!

    Im pretty damned disgusted with Bradley’s gameplanning and playcalling for this game, and that wasnt the first time either. Taking Thomas and using him as a nickel back, and using him as a SS in the box, even after he got ran over repeatedly, was totally stupid! Chancellor is a good player, but he is incapable of playing the deep cover safety with any success against guys like Jones and White. That defense shouldnt have been run.

    Too many times this year Bradley tried to get cute with Browner and Sherman, having them play soft coverage instead of press, and with Chancellor and THomas switching roles, and we lost games because of it. Its stupid to try to use a 5-9″ 195 lb guy who runs a 4.4 40 in run support (Thomas) and a 6′-4″ 235 lb guy who runs a 4.8 40 as the deep cover safety. Bradley tried that crap too often last year, and this year I didnt see it as much, but it sure failed yesterday. And why have guys like Browner and try to make them play like you’d have 5’10” speedy corners do?! Why not have them do what they are best at?!

    There are many things to bitch about from that game, and from the season, but overall Im thrilled we went 12-6 and won a playoff game, and were so close to continuing. We are so close to being an elite team. Im just frustrated as hell with Bradley and with Carrols awful clock management and Bevell’s stupidity bubble when it mattered most. Its gonna take awhile to get over it too.

    Now I have to decide whether I want to lose Bradley or Bevell or both. At this point, Im leaning to keeping Bevell and not letting the door hit bradley on the ass on his way out, but I may change my mind. Im not sure Bradley got enough from his ultra-talented players. But what do I know?

  42. And blitzing a rookie DB with little playing time instead of dropping tons of DB’s into coverage on the last two ATL offensive plays was just mind boggling stupid. Bradley’s blitzes had failed all day, what made him take such a risk with that particular personnel in such a critical situation?!

  43. Next year, we need help at DT, DE, and RG, as well as a big fast WR. I dont have faith in Sweezy. He flat out sucks in pass pro, and Im not pleased with Moffit or McQ either. McQ had his worst game of the year yesterday, missing blocks all over the place. It was sad. So five years in, our line still isnt fixed, and we still need a G as bad as ever. Im so tired of that situation…perhaps we can trade Flynn for a G or DT?!

    And I dont see how Flynn would have survived our line’s “pass-pro”. Thank God for Russel Wilson!

  44. surelyyoujest says:

    “Until they fix this Defense’s ability to close or even acknowledge its a problem, we can forget about winning a Super Bowl. It’s been the biggest problem this team had had the past 2 years.”

    Last years biggest issue IMO was the QB position. And I’m quite sure there is an understanding that it isn’t cool to give up 22 yard outs in the dying seconds of a game. In the Chicago game, Sherman just misplayed the ball (and admitted it after the game). Yesterday, I’m not sure if Browner was supposed to be over the top and Wagner underneath, or what….but neither was close enough to make a play on the ball. Even in a soft zone, a pass that travels 30 yards in the air should be something that you can make a play on…..if you’re remotely on your guy.

    In any event, we can disect that play under the cows come home, but it won’t change anything. I’m quite sure it has been and will continue to be discussed internally, and hopefully rectified. They’ve got 7 months to work it out.

  45. freedom_X says:

    Seattle’s defense, 2 minute flaws and all, was still, at worst, the 3rd best defense in the playoffs.

    If Seattle’s offense is able to maintain the productivity it showed in the last 5 games then Seattle will be able to duplicate the record they had this year, even if the defense stays where it’s at now.

    If the Seahawk offense gets better, then the team will get better even if the defense doesn’t improve. If Seattle had a 10 point lead instead of a two point lead, 31 seconds doesn’t matter anymore. But the offense was shut out the 1st half.

    With Wilson going into only his 2nd year, it’s reasonable to expect he can get better – much better even – than he is now. Guard play could well improve with more experience – the guys they have are young. It’s crazy to write off a Sweezy or even Moffit/Carpenter this early in their career.

    Fans are getting spoiled by instant rookie success stories. Of course, the same type of fans were writing off Okung as recently as September/October this year. All the main offensive pieces are either young or in their prime now.

    It’s true Carroll wants a defense oriented team, but consider that Bill Belichick was a defensively oriented coach his whole career. But when he got the offensive tools driven by a QB that makes it all possible, he switched gears and went with what he has that works.

    If Wilson keeps growing at the pace he has been, and doesn’t hit a ceiling, then Seattle should have the tools to be an offensively driven team. If the offense is powerful, Carroll should recognize that and take advantage.

    What they can get in the draft and free agency probably will set the course. If a successful deep threat WR to stretch defenses vertically, and/or another good O-lineman are available to them, but not a quality pass rusher or top notch corner/db or penetrating D-tackle, then they’ll take the offensive players and adjust accordingly.

    But if they have an inflexible mentality and just lock in on the defense despite better offensive players being available, then they’ll sabotage their own effort. Get the talent and adapt the team to it. It’s great that, with the QB position solved, they now have the option to be an offensively oriented or a defensively oriented team, depending on who they can bring in. More ways to win means more chances to win.

  46. princeaden says:

    Thanks BobbyK.

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