Seahawks Insider

Saturday playoff primer: Stopping Graham, homefield, Beast Burger and, simply, playoff time

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on Jan. 11, 2014 at 12:26 am with 86 Comments »
January 11, 2014 9:52 am
Seahawks fever has gripped the area. / AP photo
Seahawks fever has gripped the area. / AP photo

Good morning. Welcome to game day.

In my advance of the game, I spent some time looking at the Jimmy Graham Issue. The Seahawks held Graham to three catches on nine targets in the first game this season, twice knocking the ball out of his hands late.

In the week leading up to the first game, Kam Chancellor said Graham may be more athletic than recently retired Tony Gonzalez, but he doesn’t have the same hands or “catch zone.”

Despite all the hand-wringing this week about the absence of K.J. Wright, the Seahawks dealt with Graham in multiple ways the first game and are likely to do so again. It didn’t all fall on Wright by any stretch.

Wright, Byron Maxwell, Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin and Chancellor all had coverage duties on Graham. The Seahawks also mixed in a lot of zone after taking an early lead.

The Seahawks jammed, ran with and zoned Graham knowing Richard Sherman didn’t need help with Marques Colston. The most interesting cover technique of the day came when the Seahawks were in a two-deep zone and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald dropped off the line to search out Graham on a shallow crossing route and was able to cover up the passing lane. It was a perfect defensive call.

Saints head coach Sean Payton will try to get Graham going today. How the Seahawks counter will be a key, as will how they handle the power running of Mark Ingram.

> Our Dave Boling wrote about the influence of homefield advantage.

> Don Ruiz writes from New Orleans about Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

> Our John McGrath says fighting words don’t show up easily in Seahawk-Saints matchup.

> From our news department, a look at Seahawks superfans in the South Sound.

Seahawks links:

> Russell Wilson’s success is no surprise to quarterbacks coach Carl Smith.

> USA today wonders if homefield is a playoff perk.

> 710 ESPN says the Seahawks’ defensive mantra is the Saints have to deal with them, not the other way around.

> Jim Moore says the Seahawks should turn Percy Harvin loose.

> with five matchups to watch.

> Pro Football Focus with three matchups to focus on.

> Peter King was in Seattle this week and writes about Percy Harvin, plus makes his picks for the weekend.

>’s Audibles blog takes an educated guess at who could be a hidden gem this weekend. Michael Bennett is the selection for Seattle.

> Picks from CBS.

> Picks from ESPN.

> Picks from SI.

> Here’s where to watch a live stream of the game if need be.


Saturday primer

Non-Seahawks game of the day

Indianapolis at New England, 5:15 p.m.

Hmm, tough choice.

> The Boston Globe writes that despite a spate of injuries, the Patriots soldier on.

> Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star writes that Tom Brady will beat the Colts.


Highlights from the first Saints game

Just like they drew it up, off Davis’ helmet, into Coleman’s hands.


Flashback video of the day

Will it get old? Probably not.

Since he was in the news this week, a video double-dip:


Today in bacon


Chalk talk with Brock Huard


Recipe of the day

Beast Burger.


Today’s weather

Going to be wet and windy.

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 9.21.18 PM


Sunday’s schedule

San Francisco at Carolina10:05 a.m.FOXBank of America Stadium
San Diego at Denver1:40 p.m.CBSSports Authority Field

Leave a comment Comments → 86
  1. SandpointHawk says:

    Thanks Todd, good way to start the day. Now to stay busy for the next 12 hours…

  2. SandpointHawk says:

    A nice little fluff piece on Russell Wilson from

  3. montanamike2 says:

    I’m glad the Whiners play an AM game on the East coast tomorrow.

  4. GeorgiaHawk says:

    What a way to start game day, a Tornado passed through about five miles north of where I live this morning. Lots of rain and lightning.

    I hope that’s a good sign for later.

    GeorgiaRay, a storm is headed your way!

  5. Southendzone says:

    I picked up a ticket after all. Best wishes to all you Hawk fans today wherever you are.


  6. Dukeshire says:

    I’m two hours from boarding the train from Portland on the way to the game. This is going to be awesome! SEA…

  7. Dukeshire says:

    … HAWKS!

  8. Seven hours and twenty-two minutes to go……..

  9. Hammajamma says:

    Playoffs: the cure for low T.

  10. montanamike2 says:

    Southendzone and Dukeshire i wish i was going too, have fun.

  11. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Duke, give us a scouting report on the weather when you get there, if you can.
    It will be interesting which direction the wind gusts will be headed.

  12. man, who can sleep in today . . . .HAWKS

  13. Dukeshire says:

    10-4 and will do.

  14. I just watched the BeastQuake run 8 or 9 more times. It hasn’t gotten old yet.

    The Saints are in big trouble today.

  15. slkka’l39asc.s…era[pow4098am…

    That is my hands shaking with nervous anticipation.

  16. thursday says:

    The gusts have been mostly SSW, but very strong, at least last night. Supposed to pick up again later around game time too.

  17. bird_spit says:

    I never get tired of watching big Walt do his thing.

  18. bird_spit says:

    Rain by the bucket, ice pellets , huge gusts rattling the windows…got to imagine what’s going on in the saints minds.

  19. confucious says:

    Todd, if the Hawks line play and run game is anywhere near as good as your blog content, they are locks for a superbowl win. Thanks a million.

  20. confucious says:

    Have a blast Duke! Where are you seated?

  21. Dukeshire says:

    The Saints are in trouble today, agreed. Granted, Seattle’s offense hasn’t been playing very well lately, but Harvin is such a difference maker and the additional energy of the playoffs… Sorry NO. Hopefully your plane doesn’t break down this time.

  22. confucious. +1

    If the O line can get in synch and stay there for the next three games, they can truly accomplish something great. Its the only real question I have about this team being ready for the big one.

    Truth is, the Seahawks O line is inexperienced at playing together. Talented at the T and C positions, but good offensive lines are all about experience TOGETHER and continuity and communication. To quote the old Sonics slogan “FIVE-“AS-ONE”. Its especially true with zone blocking.

    Okung and Unger have had different guards next to them almost every game. I think Unger had a fairly crappy year, mostly because he’s not in synch with the guards on each side of him. I’m guessing that Tom Cable at this point must be disappointed in the progress of Sweezy and Carpenter, and in his own decision to rotate guards.

    If our O line can pull together and play in synch for the next THREE games in a row, it will be a huge accomplishment. If not, I don’t think its because of individual players. The question is are they ready to become Five-As-One?


  23. I live 2 miles from the stadium and the wind is starting to pick up. Should be swirling a bit in the stadium today. That said, not cold and not rainy. No excuses for anybody but the kickers.

  24. seahawksteven777 says:

    I hope the run game gets going today because with the weather being what it is, we’re going to need it even more.

  25. raymaines says:

    The Great Green Eye Of Death is not happy and will simply obliterate any Southern Happy Ju-Ju the Saints may be depending on. The weather is only the first sign of impending doom.

    Surrender you fools. Surrender while you can. If you’re still here at 1:35pm you will suffer a painful fate and your loved ones will be made to watch.

  26. raymaines says:

    Lets see if this works.

    The Great Green Eye Of Death:

  27. Lets all have a great night tonight!!!

    Come on, Percy, show us the money!!!

  28. Dukeshire says:

    For what it’s worth, the wind is howling in Centralia, and considering poor weather generally comes from the south, it’s on it’s way.

  29. Payton and Vitt better bring enough Vicodin to share with the players after this beatdown.

  30. Go Seahawks

  31. rramstad says:

    Yeah, I’m in Ballard and while there was some brief clearing around 9:30 AM, the conditions are highly variable. We’re seeing gusts of wind, then bands of rain, then dry and calm for a minute or two, then another round of the same, maybe rain first then wind just to be different LOL.

    The rain when it comes is the hard pelting kind of rain, and the wind if it happens with the rain is making it go diagonally, it’s that strong.

    I have no idea what we’ll see in three hours, but playing in the current conditions here in Ballard would be annoying… you really could call a pass play when it was calm, get to the line, and then have the wind and rain kick up, making the play difficult if not impossible. Same with field goals.

  32. Soggybuc says:

    Woe be upon those who dare profane the sacred confines within the Temple of BOOM!
    For they cause the Beast to arise and the Earth shall tremble in its presence.

    3 hours to go! Duke and S. Ezone make sure no one hears your voice again till next Tuesday.

  33. montanamike2 says:

    Almost there YESSSS!!!!!!
    Only a few hours to go.

  34. Aaahhhhhhhhhhggggghhhhh!!!!

    That is all……

  35. Here’s a video I edited and posted here 3yrs ago.. Check out the jackasses on NFL Network laughing at us..

  36. confucious says:

    Nice video Moc. Thanks.

  37. Soggybuc… “Temple of Boom”

    Ha. Love it.

  38. thursday says:

    Yeah, running’s gonna be important, yet another reason why Harvin and Tate will come into play here to help open things up for Lynch. Apparently Brees is 0-5 in the rain. It’s gonna hurt them more than us, I’d say.

  39. When there’s rain and lightning, I wonder if it makes the 12th man flag raiser a little nervy – for that matter, fans sitting in the Hawks Nest?

  40. Dukeshire says:

    Mocarob – I remember you posting that before. Nice repost!

  41. Any news on who is raising the 12th man flag?

  42. Todd Dybas says:

    Hey, folks.

    Steady rain and brisk winds at the moment in the stadium. Flags around the Hawks Nest whipping around. The weather, as of last night, is supposed to improve as the game goes on.

    — Todd

  43. montanamike2 says:

    Thanks Todd.

  44. I saw a comment online from a Saints fan that said “What they call rain in Seattle, we call “drizzle” here in New Orleans.”

    I know the rest of the country is jealous of Seattle, but claiming we don’t know about precipitation is taking it too far.

    I hope the Saints get crushed today. Then they can start whining about how our stadium is “specially designed for noise” (it isn’t ) or how our defense cheats (boo-hoo), or how the team pipes in artificial noise during games (they don’t), or whatever sour grapes they can think of.

    Seattle being good is just too much for the rest of the country to handle. They have to make up baloney to explain it.

  45. Nerves starting to kick in!

  46. This last two hours is taking forever to get through. I cannot wait for the Hawks to destroy the Saints! To all those Seahawk fans at the Clink…be LOUD and PROUD! Just another step towards the Super Bowl! Get it done Hawks!

  47. I’ve was in NOLA for a week and I have to agree – we don’t have weather compared to one of their thunderstorms. That’s why they play in a dome.

  48. tealskin says:

    It’s funny that a saints fan would reference the weather at all considering they play indoors. Why this knot in my stomach?

  49. Chores about done, lucky Seahawk hoody on, TV about to go over to pre-game…less than two hours to start getting that damned Atlanta ending out of mind.

  50. Ok fine, Seattle people don’t know about rain. Is there anything we get credit for?


  51. Weather is blowing up in Seattle right now. Crazy rain storm.

    This would probably delay the game if this is still happening at kickoff time.

  52. They don’t delay the game for rain, only for lightning.

  53. Dukeshire says:

    Holy cow. Hail, and a straight up downpour and gusts. Wow

  54. All the analysts on ESPN & NFL Net are drooling over the Hawks..
    That worries me.. I saw them do the same thing for the Saints 3 years ago Is this our game? Is this our season? We start to find out in 90min..

  55. I’ve lived in Seattle for 24 years and I’ve only seen a rain storm this intense a couple of times.

  56. Duke, Are you there now??

  57. This weather would be nothing in New Orleans. They would go out to the park and have a picnic on a day like this. In short sleeves.

  58. Well, All of the analysts except that chubby smurf Marshall, Marshall, Marshall Faulk. He hates Seattle.

  59. wazzulander says:

    Good stuff on graham, Todd, he’s the one guy I’m really worried about.

    The Peter king article had a nice Carroll interview for anyone who skipped it.

  60. Todd Dybas says:

    Seahawks inactives: Walters, Michael, Wright, Hauptmann, Carpenter, Mayowa, Hill.

    Pierre Thomas is inactive for the Saints. Akiem Hicks is active for New Orleans.

    — Todd

  61. Maybe I’m glad I’m not there today?

  62. James Carpenter inactive? Guess the coaching staff is finally figuring out that Bowie is better than Carp. Finally!

  63. carpenter inactive?

  64. wow, Carp inactive and injured, or not injured? Sad. Let’s go Bowie, Bailey, and McQuistan!

  65. mocarob – thanks again for that video. great stuff!

  66. Todd Dybas says:

    James Carpenter is not injured, based on what we were told all week.

    — Todd

  67. tealskin says:

    Carpenter inactive, very interesting. Are they giving up on him?

  68. storm is passing. its clearing to the west, at least.

  69. If it wasn’t clear already, James Carpenter is officially a bust. In a rainstorm where road graders are needed for the BEAST and he’s inactive… wow, that’s a pretty telltale sign.

  70. bye carpenter. don’t let the door hit your big butt on your way out.

  71. The weather is gonna be good right at the end of the game:

    Sure hope it’s SEA that has the ball then and not NO…

  72. No Carp today.Good move by Cable

  73. Southendzone says:

    Ppl askrd for weather repprt, its swirling wind, heavy driving rain.

    Hardcore shit down here.

    Go hawks!!

  74. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to put the 12 in front of the 12 yard line instead of in front of the 20 yard line?

  75. The weather is the real X-Factor here. I’d rather not see anything that can narrow the gap between 2 teams that have a huge gap.

  76. Whattya think, pabs? We’ve been here a long time… it is finally going to happen?

  77. This game should come down to SEA’s football Ms (Mebane, McDaniel, McDonald, and honorary M Red Bryant) outplaying NO’s run-blkg.

    Is Michael Brooks active?

  78. I think the Seahawks will win today.

  79. Jim Zorn raising the flag today. YAAYYYY

  80. Is it too early to start drinking beer?

  81. “Is it too early to start drinking beer?”


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