Seattle Seahawks (2-2, 1-1 2nd in NFC West)at Chicago Bears (4-1, 1-1 1st in NFC North)
Location: Soldier Field
Announcers: Chris Myers (Play-by-Play) and Brian Billick (Color Commentator) FOX
Last Meeting: Bears won the last meeting between the two in the week three matchup of the 2009 season 25-19. The Seahawks wore their lime green jersey’s for this game.
The Seahawks return to action after their bye week with a new running back and a new receiver at the flanker position. Those moves are what Seahawks fans are hoping to be the keys to getting the offense going, but that won’t be the case. Offensively the Seahawks line has to give Matt Hasselbeck time or the Seahawks might be seeing Charlie Whitehurst in Chicago. Russell Okung is healthy and should get his second career start in his rookie season, but he needs to stay healthy from here on for the Seahawks to have a consistent line. Marshawn Lynch should get the running game going, but there will still be some problems with the running game. Hopefully though they can establish an improved running game so the ball won’t have to be in Hasselbeck’s hands to throw it away.
Jay Cutler returns from his injury and the Seahawks should send blitzes every time Cutler will pass. Cutler has shown if he’s pressured he will make mistakes with the ball and that’s what Seattle has to feed off of. The defense has kept the team in the game only to watch Hasselbeck give it right back to the opposing offenses. Hopefully this week the defense stays consistent long enough for the offense to get things going with a new running back in the house.
-Seahawks Assistant Line Coach Luke Butkus left the Bears to come over to Seattle after spending 2007-09 with Chicago.
-Bears Tight Ends coach Mike DeBord coached the Seahawks from 2008-09.
-Bears Offensive Line coach Mike Tice played tight end for the Seahawks from 1981-88.
Seahawks News of the Week(s):
-Seahawks acquired the 2008 AFC Pro Bowl RB Marshawn Lynch early in the week leading up to their bye week.
-Seahawks traded WR Deion Branch to the team that drafted the one-time Super Bowl MVP- New England Patriots.
-After acquiring Lynch the Seahawks cut ties with RB Julius Jones. He signed earlier this week with the defending Super Bowl champions the New Orleans Saints.
Seahawks Making their Seahawk Debut:
-#24 RB Marshawn Lynch.
CB Nate Ness
CB Kennard Cox
OL Allen Barbre
OL Breno Giacomini
OL Chester Pitts
TE Anthony McCoy
DT Brandon Mebane
DE E.J. Wilson
S Major Wright
CB Joshua Moore
RB Kahlil Bell
LB Lance Briggs
OL Roberto Garza
DE Charles Grant
DT Marcus Harrison
Todd Collins is the third quarterback.
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Let’s start with how we feel about a 2-2 record. How do you feel now? And how would you have felt about that before the Season started?
The Seahawks acquired 2008 AFC Pro Bowl Running Back Marshawn Lynch for a 2011 4th-round draft pick and a 2012 conditional draft pick.
Lynch is expected to get right into action with the Seahawks according to Head Coach Pete Carroll. Lynch has played in four games- starting three of this year piling up stats of 164-yards and a fumble.
Julius Jones was not at Seahawks training facility today.
The Seahawks also re-signed OG Chester Pitts today.
I will have more on the Lynch trade later on in the night.
Brett weighs in on the trade:
The more I sit back and think about the trade the more I like it. The Seahawks were able to add a hard nose back who will not only compliment Justin Forsett he will give them the most talented back they have had since Shawn Alexander. This move is clearly sticking to the “win now” philosophy and should help take some pressure of the passing game. I see much better things to come as far as the running game is concerned this season. Not just Lynch but having Okung back really increases the running potential.
Seattle Seahawks (2-1, 1-0 T-1st NFC West) at St. Louis Rams (1-2, 0-1 3rd NFC West)
Stadium: Edward Jones Dome
Announcers: Ron Pitts (play-by-play) John Lynch (color commentator) (FOX)
Last Meeting: The Seahawks won their 10th straight versus the Rams on Nov. 29th in St. Louis with a 27-17 win.
The Seahawks offense hasn’t been its strength this year. Matt Hasselbeck is putting up solid numbers given no true No. 1 receiver on the roster and not a strong running game. However the offensive line is doing its job of protecting Hasselbeck and giving him time to find the open guys. Expect this week to be a decent game for Hasselbeck in St. Louis. Look for the Seahawks to try and get a running game going against the Rams and if Justin Forsett gets going look for Hasselbeck to spread the ball this week, but my fantasy sleeper today on the offense is TE John Carlson. He’s had a slow season, but the Rams will be a good time to get things going.
Defensively the Seahawks have been a force. Last week they shut out the Chargers when CB Marcus Trufant was in the game (good news 12th Man he’s active today) and look for him to be splitting time at the position. The Seahawks have to put as much pressure as they can on the rookie QB Sam Bradford. Steven Jackson is hurt and being bothered by a groin injury if St. Louis is going to beat the Seahawks let it be through the air. Look for a long game if they create pressure and also watch out for Aaron Curry blitzes.
-Seahawks Secondary-Cornerback coach Jerry Gray started his NFL playing days with the Los Angeles Rams in 1985-91.
-Seahawks Offensive Line coach Art Valero coached the Rams in 2008-09.
-Kicker Josh Brown signed with the Rams after the 2007 season after spending 2003-07 in Seattle.
-Rams Punter Donnie Jones played in six games for the Seahawks in 2004 which was his rookie year. He averaged 38 yards a punt with one block.
-Rams Wide Receivers coach Nolan Cromwell worked with the Seahawks from 1999-2007 under Mike Holmgren.
-Rams Defensive Coordinator Ken Flajole spent 1999-2002 with the Seahawks as a Defensive Backs and Linebacker coach during that span.
-Rams Defensive Back coach Clayton Lopez coached the Seahawks in 1999 until 2001 as its Defensive assistant/quality control coach. Then he took over as assistant secondary coach in 2002 until 2003.
Seahawks News of the Week:
-Let go of OL Chester Pitts as he is making slow progress with the knee.
-Placed LB Leroy Hill on the season-ending injured reserve.
-Seahawks signed WR Brandon Stokley and he will be active today.
-Brought back DT Craig Terrill after being let go September 7th.
Making NFL Debut:
-First-round and sixth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft OT Russell Okung could earn his first start today at left tackle.
RB Julius Jones
CB Nate Ness
OL E. Dietrich-Smith
OL Allen Barbre
OL Breno Giacomini
TE Anthony McCoy
DE EJ Wilson
DT Craig Terrill
TE Michael Hoomanawanui
DT Clifton Ryan
TE Billy Bajema
WR Laurnent Robinson
S Darian Stewart
OT Ramon Foster
LB Chris Chamberlain
DT Dorell Scott
When the Rams have the ball
The Rams will try to catch the Seahawks defenders out of position using a heavy dose of play action passes, counters, and screen passes. Mark Clayton (89) is the go to guy on passes from 8-20 yards. Their big play threat is Danny Amendola (16) he is quick and their biggest play maker excluding Steven Jackson who is questionable with a groin injury. The majority of the pass plays will be under 7 yards where Sam Bradford has been pretty proficient. A handfull of times they will go deep but these have not been successful for them this year. They run to the middle and right 97% of the time. The Seahawks linebackers need to avoid being sucked in on the play action and the miss direction plays if they want to avoid being picked apart by this much improved Rams offense.
When the Seahawks have the ball
They will need to us the play action and miss direction to slow down this heavy blitzing agressive defense. Ball protection must be a priority because much like the Seahawks defense the Rams are looking to get the ball. The Rams are susceptible to the rushing attack outside either tackle. Middle range pass plays (8-20 yards) will take advantage of the soft spot in their secondary.
The Rams have a decent special teams unit. The punt coverage has had a few mistakes but nothing too big. I do believe that one of those mistakes Golden Tate could have returned for six.
The Seahawks will join the Huskies in removing the road monkies off their backs as they manage to beat the Rams in similar fashion. I expect a close game, a tough game with some tempers flaring. These Rams have fight in them and they are not going to lose without a fight. 21-20 Seahawks win.
Leroy Hill was placed on the season-ending injured reserve with an Achilles injury Friday.
To fill Hill’s spot on the 53-man roster the Seahawks brought a familiar face back- defensive tackle Craig Terrill. Terrill was drafted in the fifth-round of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Purdue he was let go September 7th. He has a career total of 90 tackles and eight sacks.
Hill could very well never suit up again in Seahawk colors. Hill has been involved in legal problems the past two-off-seasons involving marijuana charges and a domestic dispute with an ex-girlfriend. Throughout his NFL career he’s played in 68 games piling up 376 tackles, 14.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries- one for a touchdown. His contract also expires after this season.
It’s unknown if Terrill will be active Sunday against the Rams.
-OG Mike Gibson was also added to the 53-man roster filling the spot created by Chester Pitts release Thursday.
-WR Mike Williams is expected to play this week despite being nicked up with hip and shoulder injuries.
Quinton Ganthers agent David Canter has confirmed his client was released by the Seahawks today. This move makes room for new WR Brandon Stokely, the 34 year old WR was released from the Broncos a couple weeks ago after and injury settlement. Seahawks also sign former Pakers T Breno Giocamini.
Update, thanks to @adamleecurtis
Seahawks Sign G/T Allen Barbre and release G/T Mansfield Wrotto and G Mike Gibson.
The New York Jets weren’t sure how Leon Washington would bounce back from a compound leg fracture so they decided to part with the 2008 Pro Bowl and All-Pro Selection running back.
Seattle decided to make a run at the running back and see how he would fit in with Lendale White and Justin Forsett in the back field and possibly in the special teams area by giving the Jets a fifth-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft. Little did they know that White wouldn’t fit in the Seahawks future plans and would be handed a pink slip before Training Camp even opened up.
That left Forsett, Washington and Julius Jones as the running backs in Seattle.
Washington has taken full advantage of the situations that the Seahawks have given him. As kick returner for the Seahawks Washington’s leg appears to be just fine and if you don’t believe it maybe you should ask the San Diego Chargers special teams unit.
As the third-quarter was underway Washington took the game into his hands and decided to run with it- a full 101-yards for a touchdown. The longest kick return in Seahawk history to put them up 17-0, but with an injured Marcus Trufant the Chargers were able to throw themselves right back into the game and make what looked like a Seahawk defeat into a 20-20 game.
With 6:24 left in regulation and the Chargers on a 20-3 run Washington again took things into his hands. This time a 99-yard return.
That’s all that was needed for the Seahawks 27-20 win over the AFC West and put them 2-1 heading into NFC West rivals St. Louis Rams.
Now Leon Washington is a Seattle super hero. He’s received recognition by Sports Illustrated’s NFL writer Peter King and could very well earn the honor of NFLs Special Team Player of the Week.
And opposing special teams know what Leon Washington can do, but more important Leon Washington knows he’s come along way from his injury during the 2009 season with the Jets.
All for a fifth-round pick the Seahawks have the most explosive kick returner in the NFL heading into the fourth week of the NFL Season.
Watch out St. Louis for kick-off.
San Diego (1-1, 0-1 T-2nd in AFC West) at Seattle (1-1, 1-0 1st in NFC West)
4:15 ET, 1:15 PT
Stadium: Qwest Field
Announcers: Ian Eagle (Play-by-Play) and Dan Fouts (Color Commentator) (CBS)
Last Meeting: In 2006 the Chargers beat the Seahawks 20-17 as Matt Hasselbeck tossed for 189-yards and Shaun Alexander rushed for 140-yards in the Christmas Eve meeting in week 16.
A new coach and staff yet the same inconsistent play by the Seahawks in the first two-weeks of the 2010 NFL Season. After a huge 31-6 win over NFC West rivals San Francisco the Seahawks went out to Denver and got beat 31-14. The Seahawks will have the 12th Man behind them this week but will be going up against a strong Chargers defense. The Seahawks passing game is doing decent and the line hasn’t been playing as well as some would like to see, but they’re getting the job done. Look for Seattle to try and get a decent run game going so they can open up the passing game, but if not the line has been doing well with the pass block. Mike Williams should be healthier this week than last weekend and he will be involved as well as Deon Butler and Golden Tate.
Defensively the Seahawks will have a test this week. Ryan Mathews most likely won’t be rushing the ball for the Chargers, but they have a very good quarterback in Phillip Rivers. Rivers will look to his go-to-guy Antonio Gates so look for the linebackers to be busy covering him. If the Seahawks can get pressure on Rivers and create him to look at other players other than Gates the Seahawks could be in a position to win the game. In week one the defense kept the Seahawks in the game until the offense was able to get going. Look for this to be the story this week, but unlike the 49ers it can’t go on for too long. The defense will be busy with Darren Sproles running the ball.
-Seahawks assistant offensive line coach Luke Butkus played center for the Chargers from 2002-03.
-Chargers offensive coordinator Clarence Shelmon worked with the Seahawks from 1992-97.
Seahawk News of the Week:
-The Seahawks named Peter McLoughlin as new president of the Seahawks. He previously was the St. Louis Blues of the NHL CEO.
-ESPN.com is reporting sources tell them that Leroy Hill is facing a two-or-three-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. He already plead guilty on a marijuana charge and is now being charged in a domestic dispute. He’s been sidelined with an Achilles injury.
San Diego Inactives:
JT O’Sullivan (Emergency Quarterback)
Also don’t forget to check Hawk096 out on Twitter for up-to-the minute game info, news and notes. Enjoy the game 12th Man!
When The Chargers Have The Ball
The Chargers offense has trouble with the crowd noise causing it to make mistakes that are costly both from a field position perspective and Phillip Rivers is a bit of a baby and he gets frustrated easily throwing temper tantrums on the field is not beneath him. The 12th Man is the loudest in the NFL and should have no problem making Phillips day terrible, I would suggest that Norv Turner bring the Nilla Wafers and some milk in a tippy cup to calm Rivers down between drives. From Williams post it looks like it’s going to be a soggy day and the Chargers offense had difficulties with that in the game against the Chiefs. The Seahawks need to dial up the blitz packages and use them to put the pressure on the offense, and the weakness is the interior of the offensive line. The Beef in the middle of the Seahawks defense has done a great job stuffing the run and I expect that will continue through the Chargers game. San Diego likes to use the short passing game to try to get receivers into position to pick up YAC (Yard After Catch) yards. They are fairly Proficient 22 for 25 over the past 2 games in the short passing game. It is important that Earl Thomas know where Malcom Floyd is at all times because he is Rivers go to guy deep already having a pair of 54 yard receptions this season including a TD. The San Diego offense is very balanced they like to have the number of runs vs passes almost even the entire game, it only gets lop sided when they fall behind so it is important that Seattle get off to an early lead and put them into a more predictable offense.
When The Seahawks Have The Ball
Its important that the Seahawks don’t get behind in this game, when the Chargers are up they like to bring the blitz often The Seahawks were much better running the ball last week at Denver and that could help them take advantage of the middle of the San Diego Defensive line. They are fairly porous and have trouble when the back lowers his pads and runs right at them, I’m not saying huge runs but 4-6 yard a rush all day should be available with a couple breaking for 10+. Matt Hasselbeck must be careful with the football and not lose track of Antoine Cason, #20, because Antoine has the ability to make Matt have flash backs of Antrel Rolle.
This could be the area where Seattle has an opportunity to take control of this game. San Diego’s punt coverage and Kickoff Coverage leaves much to be desired. Seattle appears to have found a replacement for Nate Burleson, who signed this off season with Detroit, in Golden Tate. When he gets his hands on the ball he shakes and bakes and spins and the next thing you know he’s gaining serious yards. Pete Carroll announced that he is the Seahawks new punt returner.
What I Expect
I expect Qwest to be a loud miserable place to play for Phillip Rivers and Co. I think that Seattle can use the 12th man to its advantage and get some pressure on Rivers and get him to make some mistakes. Earl Thomas will have his first interception this game, just a gut feeling, and the run defense will force Rivers to carry the team. Matt will throw an interception or two but will only recieve minimal pressure, 1 sack a few hurries maybe one or two knockdowns. Golden Tate scores his first touchdown and helps Seattle win the Field position battle. Seattle beats long time foe San Diego, on a side not thats who I first saw them play in the kingdome, 27-17 in front of a sell out exhausted crowd. Thats right, I said it, I expect Seattle to win a game that I previously had them losing. That my friends is because this team is proving its much better then last years and no matter the record if this keeps up we can all say it was a successful year. But, alas, I am way ahead of myself. Go Seahawks!