Or anyone for that matter
On Monday, my editor sent me this Seattle Seahawks pitch, asking if I would be interested in writing the piece—he already had the headline picked. I had to laugh a little bit at first because I actually had this conversation with my buddy at at a recent game.
The actual conversation wasn’t really about Marhawn Lynch versus Adrian Peterson; it wasMarshawn Lynch versus any other running back. But that is the direction I am going to take this piece.
I was looking up at the rafters, admiring all the numbers that hang from the top of the stadium, and for the first time in a very long time, I am content in the fact that every number that deserves to be up there is there.
Lynch doesn’t have his number retired in Seattle—yet.
- 12 – For the fans, though we haven’t been living up to it lately
- 80 – Steve Largent, one of the best wide receivers to ever play the game
- 71 – Walter Jones, the best offensive lineman to ever play the game
- 96 – Cortez Kennedy, the one that took far too long to be raised
So I thought to myself, “Is there a current Seahawks player who I could see earning the right to his number hanging among the greatest players in Seattle, and the entire NFL for that matter, has ever seen?”
Seahawks turn it around at home
Seattle Seahawks 30, Minnesota Vikings 20
When: 1:05 PM PST, Sunday, November 4, 2012
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
At this point in the season, the Seattle Seahawks offense is a lot further along then I expected them to be.
Sunday they needed it to win.
I would still expect them to have ups and downs during the remainder of the season, but it was a lot of fun to watch them click against the Vikings.
Russell Wilson #3
Every time that Russell Wilson takes the field, he is better than his previous outing. I wish Darrell Bevell had given Wilson a chance to air the ball out a little bit during the game, but other than that, I couldn’t have asked for much more from the rookie.
Russell had a multiple touchdown game for the second week in a row. His 3 touchdowns, mark the second time he has done that this season.
Jeremy Lane #20
Where has this kid been hiding? I would have to say he is one of the best young, up and coming gunners in the NFL. Jeremy Lane really gets down the field quickly, not just because he’s fast either. Jeremy uses excellent technique off the line to get clean releases.
Seahawks beat Vikings 30-20
Growin’ up before our eyes
Last week the offense played well enough to win, but the defense gave the game away. This week the offense held the ball for 1o minutes and 53 seconds of the fourth quarter, including the final 5:27, where they converted on two 4th downs, to put the game away.
In all fairness, the defense tightened up and played great during the second half, after giving up 228-yards during the first half.
Almost 200-yards on the ground alone! The Seahawks defense held the Vikings to just 59 second half yards.
I have to be honest, there wasn’t very much energy at CenturyLink on Sunday. Half the stadium was seated during the Detlef Schrempf 12th Man introduction.
I don’t think I have ever seen the fans go through the motions like that in the 70+ games I have been to.
During the raising of the 12th Man Flag, the crowd kinda got loud, but quieted down before the opening kickoff.
There were a few plays sprinkled in when the fans got loud. There is a reason the Vikings didn’t have any false starts Sunday, we just didn’t bring it.
The run defense was terrible, especially during the first half. It can all be traced to poor execution on the part of the players.
Clinton McDonald and Alan Branch were getting blown off the line of scrimmage. Bobby Wagner kept creeping up into the trash inside. That caused him to be out of position for his gap responsibility. More. . .
Five things to watch
The Seattle Seahawks are half way through the season. So far, they have lost just about every game that I expected them to win, and won just about every game that I expected them to lose. On the bright side, they are 4-4 just like I thought when I originally looked at the schedule.
Going into the season, there was a lot of talk about how great the defense was going to be. Although they are a top 5 defense overall, they are far from elite, or great for that matter.
You cannot call yourself elite when you are the 26th worst defense in third down situation.
Over the last four games, they have been mediocre in total defense (15th in NFL), the last three games have been terrible (29th in NFL).
During the next four games, I want to see if the Seahawks defense can figure out how to protect the middle of the field. Teams have figured out that Seattle is very vulnerable to the inside passing game, especially underneath. Teams have also figured out that the Seahawks achilles heal in the running game is the inside trap.
It looks like John Moffitt will be returning to the starting lineup for week 9. Since being drafted in 2011, John has managed to start 11 out of the Seahawks 24 games. He has been injured 54.2% of the time since joining the team.
From Hasselbeck to Jackson, now Wilson
After the Seattle Seahawks signed Matt Flynn this off season, one of my readers (Todd) asked me if I would compare Flynn’s first 8 games as a starter to that of Matt Hasselbeck’s and Tarvaris Jackson’s. He wanted to see how the new quarterback stacked up to those two, since they were the most recent Seahawksstarters.
I agreed to write it if he would remind me after the 8th game of the season.
All three quarterbacks became starters in vastly different ways. Matt Hasselbeck spent his first two seasons backing up future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre before being acquired by Seattle, via trade. Matt was named the starting quarterback of the 2001 Seattle Seahawks.
Tarvaris Jackson started for the first time on week 16, the Vikings 15th game of the season, after spending most of the season backing up Brad Johnson.
Russell Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Most people, including myself, expected Wilson to spend his first season backing up Matt Flynn, unless Flynn fell flat on his face, or was injured.
Instead, Wilson won the job in training camp. Flynn didn’t lose it. RW did enough to impress Pete Carrolland beat out Flynn to become the starter at the beginning of the season.
Matt beat the 10th best passing defense, Tarvaris lost to the leagues 17th ranked passing defense, and Russell lost to the leagues 4th best passing defense.
Russell Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft
Jackson had the roughest outing, managing only 50 yard on 20 pass attempts. Ironically, Hasselbeck and Wilson each had 34 attempts in their 1st game. Matt had two more completions for 15 more yards but unlike Russell, he was unable to find the end zone.
All three quarterbacks faced top 10 defenses in their second start. Russell Wilson was the only one of the three who was victorious.
Jackson’s 213-yards were the only time he surpassed the 200-yards mark during his first 8 starts.
It was Matt Hasselbeck’s worst game in his first 8 starts.
Russell Wilson didn’t do anything spectacular. He just played extremely efficient football, completing 75% of his passes and ending up with a 112.7 passer rating.
For the third straight week Matt Hasselbeck faced a top 10 passing defense, but Jackson and Wilson got a bit of a break. Tarvaris faced the 23rd ranked Falcons while Russell faced the 19th ranked Packers.
Hasselbeck was the only quarterback to lose his third start, but he did throw for the most yards. Matt injured his groin during the game and was replaced by Trent Dilfer for the next 2 games.
“Autobots, roll out”
That was the message that Peter Cullen (the voice of Optimus Prime from the “Transformers” movies) left onRichard Sherman‘s voice mail, according to the Fox game broadcast of the Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions. Peter learned that Richard changed his name on twitter to “Optimus Prime” in response to Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson’s nickname “Megatron”.
Of course the media jumped all over Sherman’s name change, and it made for great bulletin board material for in Lions’ locker-room. I had to jump on it because I grew up watching the cartoon. Between “G.I. Joe” and “Transformers” I was a very happy kid on Saturday mornings.
For the fun of it I decided to match a few players to characters from the movie:
|Optimus Prime – Richard Sherman||Megatron - Calvin Johnson|
|Jazz – Earl Thomas||Starscream - Titus Young|
|Ironhide – Brandon Browner||Frenzy - Matthew Stafford|
|Bumblebee – Kam Chancellor||Bonecrusher - Brandon Pettigrew|
Optimus Prime and the Autobots were able to contain Megatron as expected. Unfortunately, Frenzy was able to find Starscream and Bonecrusher whom were open all day, and the Decepticons stole the show.
Okay, I got the little boy out of me, now I am ready to get down to the nitty gritty.
Every loss is tough to handle, yet I actually feel pretty good about this one. The offense really stepped up and played well Sunday morning, in Detroit. Russell Wilson and company did more then enough to win the away game, if the defense had shown up to play.
Jazz and the Autobots are nothing like the 2000 Ravens quite yet.
It is difficult, yet in defeat we cannot lose sight of how big of a step forward the offense took.
I am left with a feeling of hope. Despite all the talk about how good theSeahawks defense is, they are not elite, they have not arrived.
They are nothing like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, which is a prime example of what an elite defense looks like. What they are, is a very good, very young, up and coming defense who’s window is a season or two away from opening.
They are loaded with talent but lacking in experience.
Watching the offense Sunday, particularly Russell Wilson, I am left with a feeling of optimism that by the time the defense is ready to become elite, the offense will be good enough to make the Seahawks serious Super Bowl contenders.
Time of Possession
The Seattle Seahawks are built to control the time of possession. On Sunday they couldn’t even keep it close. During the first half, the Lions held the ball for five more minutes then the Seahawks.
Seahawks drop passes and an opportunity
Seattle Seahawks 6, San Francisco 49ers 13
When: 5:20 PM PST, Thursday, October 18, 2012
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California.
The only player who seemed to be able to catch Russell Wilson‘s passes on Thursday, Doug Baldwin, was out of the game before the end of the first half. It is no wonder the Seahawks could not get anything going offensively in the second half.
Marshawn Lynch #24
For the third time this season, Marshawn Lynch ran for over 100-yards. Unfortunately, the Seahawks are now 1-2 when he hits the century mark.
The 49ers averaged 3.6-yards per carry coming into the game, yet Marshawn was able to average 5.4-yards per attempt.
Currently, Lynch is ranked third in the league with 652-yards on the ground, and he is fourth in the league averaging 4.4-yards per carry.
Brandon Browner #39
The Seattle Seahawks defense only gave up 140-yards through the air on Thursday, that is an achievement earned by the entire secondary.
Brandon Browner‘s interception is what separated him from the rest of the players.
The 49ers were driving the ball down the field when Browner intercepted Alex Smith’s pass in the end zone. Brandon should have kneeled the ball down taking a touchback, but instead he made the mistake of trying to return it. He only made it out to the three yard line.
Lynch had this third 100-yard game of the season, Thursday against the 49ers. Photo Credit: SFGate
As soon as he caught the ball I think he had flash backs to his 94-yards touchdown return against the Giants last season. More…
Dropped passes and missed opportunities
When the Seattle Seahawks 2012 schedule was released I knew that going down to San Francisco on such a short week was going to be a tall order. To make maters worse, it was the 49ers third straight home game.
Both teams only had 4 days to prepare for the big divisional matchup. The Seattle Seahawks were coming off a big home win against the Patriots, one of the best teams in the AFC.
In contrast, the San Francisco 49ers were coming off an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants in San Francisco.
The funny thing about winning and losing, it is a lot easier to focus on the next weeks game after a loss than it is after an emotional win.
The difference was evident on the field Thursday.
When you look at the stats from the game, it looks like the Seahawks defense had another great game. Unfortunately, stats do not tell the entire picture.
Both teams only had 4 days to prepare
During the first half of the game defense played fine.
Then, at halftime, the 49ers made an adjustment.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman realized that the Seahawks were vulnerable in the middle of the defense and once the 49ers started attacking it, there was nothing the Seahawks defense could do to stop the onslaught.
(Insert any trap play you like)
In the second half, San Francisco had 4 drives (excluding the final 2 plays from victory formation).
Those four drives went as follows:
- 85-yards and a touchdown.
- 68-yards, but Brandon Browner intercepted in the end zone on an ill advised pass from Alex Smith that was intended for Randy Moss. Moss had been wide open while he was in the middle of the field. His drag route, in the back of the end zone, was outside of the hash marks by the time Smith released the ball and Browner was able to step in front of the ball.
- 3 runs up the middle that totaled 40-yards. After a 49er tripping penalty More. . .