6 Reasons You Can Get Excited About the 2017 Seahawks

September 9th, 2017 | Written by Brandon Adams

I want to profusely thank my longtime friend Rob Staton for the opportunity to write for his blog. I might as well ask for his forgiveness now, too, while I’m at it. 

This is an optimism piece. Gird yourself accordingly.

Before the 2013 season started, I correctly predicted a Super Bowl win for the Seahawks that year. I even identified their eventual opponent.

That doesn’t mean much. I know nothing. And things are different this year.

Back then, I was impressed by the innovations of the Seahawks’ front office. They stood at the leading edge of early-decade evolutions in NFL play, finding ways to exploit market surpluses, setting trends that NFL teams still copy today. The 2013 road was bumpy for the Seahawks, requiring more than a few ridiculous narrow escapes from teams who had no business keeping up (Houston, Tennessee, Tampa). But they found ways to win, and in the end, their toughness and depth were a perfect Ragnarok for the finesse Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.

Walking into 2017, the Seahawks aren’t necessarily new anymore. Teams know about Russell Wilson. They’ve remembered that the run matters. Seattle’s simplistic, just-try-to-beat-us Cover 3 defense has been solved, at least enough to give opposing offenses a wedge in the door. Instead of holding a novelty advantage over the league, Seattle must rely on talent, depth, effort, and resilience.

No problem. They’ve still got that.

The 2017 offseason got me jazzed. Offseasons rarely do that. I’ve been seeing pretenders and fools’ gold everywhere since 2007, and my therapist doesn’t know what to do with me anymore. But this offseason was the first time since 2013 in which Seattle’s moves really seemed to be targeting 1) the unique strengths of the team and 2) the elements most commonly considered crucial to winning. It’s left me with a simmering optimism for the Seahawks’ 2017 prospects.

Here are six reasons why.

 

1. Special Teams

Depth, depth, depth.

It was one of the least recognized, most essential aspects of our 2013 run. It insulated the Seahawks’ playoffs chances from injuries, and it strengthened special teams.

Do you remember when we used to lean forward in anticipation with every Steven Haushcka kickoff, waiting for someone to fly down and knock the ball loose from the opposing returner’s hands? I remember. Pepperidge Farm remembers. Winning the field position battle and generating the occasional special teams turnover was an enormous defensive advantage that year – and something that took a precipitous drop for Seattle in 2016, partially, perhaps, due to losing influential gunner extraordinare Ricardo Lockette:

2013: 25.8 yard line (starting field position for opponents)
2014: 25.7
2015: 23.8
2016: 28.4

(source: Pro Football Reference)

This year, depth has returned to Seattle, like salmon returning home (weird analogy, but I’m hungry). If preseason proves one thing, it’s the quality of its depth.

And it should, at least in theory, bolster their special teams unit. Seattle’s focus on drafting defensive backs higher than normal wasn’t just an attempt to reload the aging Legion of Boom – it was an effort to bring nastiness back to special teams. S Delano Hill was a particularly intriguing move on that front. Throw in underrated moves like trading for proven special teams ace DJ Alexander, our embarrassment of riches at RB/hybrid WR, and our acquisitions at linebacker, and Seattle could have the makings for a championship-caliber special teams unit. Not a factor to be underrated.

Speaking of which…

 

2. Options at running back

It wasn’t until I saw SI’s Andy Benoit waxing poetic about the Atlanta Falcons’ running backs, and how many options they afford the offense, that Seattle’s moves at the position snapped into focus for me.

It’s not just about sandbagging against injury. All these running backs and hybrid WR’s? Seattle wants to be the Falcons. Or, as you might have suspected after the NFL’s opener on Thursday, the Chiefs, whose head coach Andy Reid is matched by no-one at employing running backs downfield.

Having talented running backs who can run routes and disguise offensive looks is worth its weight in gold. That’s why it’s hard to get consterned over Seattle’s seemingly thin WR roster, which after Jermaine Kearse’s departure seems to pretty much end (at least as far as proven experience is concerned) after three small and somewhat injury-prone guys. It actually doesn’t end there. C.J. Prosise brings a proven ability to get vertical and force offenses to reveal coverages just by lining out wide. They’re hoping J.D. McKissic can do the same; his potential at mimicking both Prosise and WR Tyler Lockett’s skill sets went a long way towards securing him a roster spot. Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls are at least decent pass-catchers. Even rookie Chris Carson showed some chops here in the preseason.

This is the most hauntingly intriguing assortment of Swiss-army knife RB’s Seattle has had in years. IT’s fair to mention that Seattle’s limited options at tight end might cap our efforts to be the Falcons. But should Darell Bevell find ways to maximize this potential (and keep everyone healthy) while getting the read-option working again, Seattle’s opponents could still find themselves with their hands full.

Speaking of which…

 

3. Russell Wilson’s health

I pushed this down a bit in an attempt to be different, but it could just easily go #1.

Everyone noticed when Wilson got slow last year. Folks assumed it came courtesy of an ankle crush by Ndamukong Suh in Week 1 against Miami. What only a few observant fans noticed is that he was already looking slower during the preseason. Media literature confirmed that Wilson had intentionally bulked up somewhat over the 2016 offseason as part of an injury-prevention program. The ankle tweak in Week 1 slowed him further, and in Week 3 he was sacked awkwardly by a spying San Francisco linebacker on a rollout play (by definition not the offensive line’s fault, it’s worth mentioning), leaving him gimpy for most of the season and hampering Seattle’s running game into the bargain.

The lesson learned, apparently, is that the best way for Wilson to absorb hits (and the biggest benefit to Seattle’s running game) is to avoid taking them at all.

This year, Wilson is back to his spry 2015 weight and looked red-hot during the preseason. He should be a danger to take off from the read-option again. That’s one of those things that Seattle’s opponents know about but can’t stop without either having a Pro Bowl defensive line (ahem Rams cough) or making sacrifices elsewhere on defense. Remember Mike Holmgren famously saying that he didn’t care if he was predictable as long as the predictable was unstoppable? As long as Wilson’s healthy, Seattle is in a similar position.

Speaking of which…

 

4. Pass rush

You have no idea how depressed I got when top draft pick DT Malik McDowell was lost to the team.

Forget the offensive line for a moment. It’s the defensive line that’s quietly been the biggest bugaboo in Seattle’s shoe since 2014. A deep, consistent pass rush that can generate pressure without blitzing is a must-have when you’re targeting the big dance.

Seattle hasn’t had that for years. It’s well-known to the attentive that Seattle’s postseason demise in both 2012 and 2014 came partially at the hands of injuries to crucial pass rushers (Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril respectively, with Jordan Hill lost earlier in the 2014 season).

Avril and (surely you’ve noticed) Michael Bennett remain on the roster, but their effectiveness came into question towards the end of 2016. Seattle’s lack of pressure against Falcons QB Matt Ryan last year wasn’t necessarily the end of their effectiveness so much as Ryan having a career game from the pocket in his own right (against a defense lacking Earl Thomas). But the fact remains that, while both Avril and Bennett have the attitude and resilience to join the ranks of the league’s long-suffering Dwight Freeney’s, they’re also on the wrong side of 30, and Seattle would have been fools to not make contingency plans. DE Jarran Reed is an excellent Brandon Mebane replacement but not a QB-reacher, nobody else on the interior has really stood out over the years, and it was unfair to ask (admittedly scintillating) edge rusher Frank Clark to shoulder the load alone. Seattle needed an interior penetrator.

Enter Malik McDowell. There were questions about his effort, but otherwise? Calais Campbell upside. He could have been the answer to Seattle’s pass rush problems, possibly even the most impactful Seattle draftee since Russell Wilson himself. That’s the importance of interior pass rush.

Welp…he got injured. Despite being sighted in Seattle’s locker room, I am operating on the assumption that he won’t play this year.

But then Seattle pirouetted magnificently from the blow and landed DE Sheldon Richardson in a trade from the Jets. Richardson is young, undeniably disruptive against both pass and run, and, as Rob has written before, NOT as un-re-signable as some are saying. It would take some doing, but as Seattle found with Jimmy Graham, there is the sense that sometimes you just have to open your wallet. Few positions are worth it like interior defensive tackle.

Thanks to Sheldon, Clark, the still-intense duo of Avril and Bennett, and McDowell (if he somehow returns this year), Seattle has, on paper, the ability to puncture pockets, stuff talented running backs, and pressure quarterbacks into errant throws without overtaxing their linebackers, not to mention the depth to keep their line fresh. More than any season since Red Bryant’s departure after 2013, offensive coordinators will be awake at night when thinking about the Seahawks.

 

5. The schedule

I’m trying not to be fooled by this. Schedules can change; underdogs can emerge.

But Seattle has avoided a lot of pitfalls on the schedule this year. The division is low. Arizona has lost defensive talent. San Francisco and St. Louis have giant flashing question marks at quarterback. Seattle faces only one 10am road game (a monkey Seattle actually ripped off its back years ago, but whatever), and it’s against Jacksonville. No back-to-back road games exist anywhere on the slate. Facing the Giants and the Cowboys on the road is a challenge (especially after the recent news that Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott might be playing this year after all), but after that – manageable. Not gimmes, but quite manageable.

 

6. The back seven is still there

This defense boasts eight Pro Bowlers, several of whom are motivated to nab one more year of glory before getting separated by the excruciating contract decisions Seattle will have to make in the next few years. They’re hungry again, they’ve got Earl Thomas back, and they’re ready.

Call that a shallow take if you want, but the entirety of their dropoff last year can be explained by the loss of Earl to injury. They’ve got the best set of options at cornerback they’ve had in a while. I’m intrigued by LB Terence Garvin. They’ve dramatically improved their safety depth. Again…depth, depth, depth. The Seahawks have it back there in a way they haven’t since…yep…2013.

 

 

So…do I think the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl?

I’m going out on a limb and saying yes.

That’s just my call, and it always carries a bit of trepidation. You certainly don’t have to feel the same way. I know there are common reservations (I’d like to address those next week in another post). But that’s my prediction. It’s fun to make.

Many things have aligned right. There’s a pop to this September. Seattle managed 10.5 wins last year despite injuries to Wilson and Thomas, with a harsher schedule. Alter the outcome of three Hauschka kicks and it’s 12 wins. Reports of the demise of this championship window could well be greatly exaggerated when you look at the grand scheme.

There might be tough games. Seattle might barely squeak out wins against some bottom-feeders instead of looking terrifying week in and week out like the New England Belichicks (which is what most fans prefer to our ragged, ugly 2013 run). But winning ugly can still bring you a Lombardi.

I’m hoping for a revenge win against the Belichicks in Minneapolis, personally, but I’ll take whomever feels like getting trampled.

231 Responses to “6 Reasons You Can Get Excited About the 2017 Seahawks”

  1. Smitty1547 says:

    the big difference is strength or lack there of on the OL, however the rest of the team has so much more experience than we had then it could help off set it.

    • Brandon Adams says:

      Thanks for being the first responder to my faceplant of a writing career here on SDB!

      I’ve never been as worried about the OL as most people. To my eyes, the Seahawks have managed 10+ wins for five years running despite never having an OL better than “slightly below average” (2013 wasn’t that good – Paul McQuistan? One-dimensional Carpenter and Sweezy?). If the OL were as important as some say, Wilson would be out of the league by now.

      That’s not to say it isn’t important; it’s to say that it’s less important on some teams than on others. Seattle has the most OL-proof quarterback in the league. They have the ability to discourage blitzing with quick passes, with the read-option, and now, potentially, with multiple versatile options at RB. If there’s any team that can withstand growing pains at the OL position, it’s the Seahawks.

      • DC says:

        Thanks for writing.

        I will add that Seattle’s OL starters were healthy for the playoffs that year. It made a big difference. But yes, the championship optimism is back full force! It would be satisfying and fitting to bury the NE legend in Minny.

        Here’s to our health!

  2. Volume12 says:

    Fun read! Look forward to the next one.

  3. Sea Mode says:

    Good stuff, Brandon, and well written. Thanks!

    I am optimistic as well about our chances this year. I just hope we shake the infamous “slow start” narrative that has appeared to haunt us at times. If the preseason is any indication, it shouldn’t be a problem this time around.

    • Brandon Adams says:

      Agreed, Mode, though I won’t be too thrown off if the Packers edge us out. Week 1 is a weird week and rarely means much in terms of season-long implications. Just look at the Patriots – they’ve lost three Week 1 games and won the Super Bowl all three years.

  4. Roger Davis says:

    Brandon – Good article! I like that GIF – A LOT!

    Unfortunately, I more or less agree with it all, I was hoping I’d be able to start a pillow fight. Sigh.

    You seemed slightly ominous about Avril and Bennett – but I feel the same way. The differences between the great and the formerly great can be inches, or centimeters as we Canucks say. Both those wonderful players have a lot of miles on. I still remember all the oxygen leaving the Universe when Avril went out against you know who in the you know what game…

  5. Volume12 says:

    Penn St. Mark Geisecki is a stud, but I think I like my guy Oklahoma TE Mark Andrews more. Will be interesting to see who’s the 1st one off the board.

    Andrews is huge (6’5, 255), fluid route runner, strong hands, matchup nightmare, and I cant remember the last time I’ve seen a TE of his size with his ability to make guys miss. Not a big time athlete, but he’s different man.

  6. Volume12 says:

    Penn St. S Marcus Allen is a grown man!

  7. C-Dog says:

    Terrific write up, Brandon!

    I dig the optimism and see it founded in all these points. Really, really excited about this season. Excited about those backs. Excited about More sprite Russell Wilson. Really excited about what that pass rush could be about.

    Thanks for the reminder on the value of teams. There does seem to be an extra emphasis placed upon the quality of teamers kept this year. There’s a reason why Thorpe was kept over Desir, and McKissic and McEvoy over Kasen Williams.

    • Brandon Adams says:

      I do feel for Kasen. He worked his tush off for a spot on this team. But I imagine Pete and John knew that placing him on the waiver wire would either sneak him through to PS or give him a chance to start for a different team, and the Browns(!!!) COULD…just could…make some noise this year.

      • C-Dog says:

        Agreed on both fronts. The Kasen cut stills stings and I think the Browns could be quite interesting this year. I thought that defense looked good in the preseason, and I like the decision to go with Kizer.

        • Brandon Adams says:

          Kizer did a great job of forcing the Browns’ hand. Exactly what a real QB will inevitably do, just as Wilson did.

  8. Trevor says:

    Thanks Brandon!

    Nice job. I am pumped about this squad as well.

  9. Trevor says:

    Lamar Jacksons #s at the end of this year may go down as the best of all time!

    • Rob Staton says:

      Such a talented player. It won’t be long before some of the Allen/Darnold/Rosen hype suddenly turns into Lamar Jackson hype.

    • Ishmael says:

      He’s a monster. 300 yards passing and 100 yards running two weeks in a row? Six touchdowns in a game? Volume stats obviously aren’t everything, but he’s freakish. What were the third down numbers like? Felt like he converted a crateload.

  10. Old but Slow says:

    Injuries are a big key. In 2013 we were pretty healthy all season, last season, not so much. Heres hoping that McDowell and Fant fills the quota.

    • Brandon Adams says:

      Injuries at some positions (such as QB) are usually death to a Super Bowl run no matter what a team does in the previous offseason. However, I think we’re significantly deeper at other positions (especially in the secondary), and it will help us in the event of a season-ending injury to someone.

    • vrtkolman says:

      To be fair Percy was out pretty much all year, and you can make the claim that he was our best offensive weapon.. definitely on par with Lynch.

  11. Turp says:

    Welcome, Brandon! I enjoyed your stuff at 17power. Nice Week 1 pickup, Rob 🙂

  12. vrtkolman says:

    That was an awesome post Brandon! Appreciate it. What do you think about our punt and kick return blocking? In preseason it was pretty bad… Will Lockett make a huge difference?

    • In preseason, the blocking was being done by guys who are no longer on the roster. Special teams ability went a long way towards deciding who got cut and who didn’t, so it’s not unreasonable to expect at least a small improvement.

      And coaches always talk about how an electric returner bolsters his blocking and makes life easier for the entire unit. Lockett just needs to demonstrate that he’s able to handle the pounding. That injury was brutal.

  13. RWIII says:

    Totally agree with old. Staying healthy will be the key. The Seahawks are loaded. If the Hawks can stay healthy see you in Minneapolis.

  14. Smitty1547 says:

    Rawls is game time decision, that would be an easy one for me, with the rest of the backs ready to roll i would let him get healthy 100% before i put him out there.

  15. Thy Hawk is Howling says:

    I’ll take Dante Pettis for six Alex.

    Question – who is the all time Pac12/9 leader in punt return touchdowns with 7?

    Damn I want Dante on the Hawks so Bad!!!

    Go Dawgs!

  16. Volume12 says:

    HAHA! 😂😂😂

    Ummmm….

    This tweet from BR’s Matt Miller is interesting to say the least.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/nfldraftscout/status/906666329595408384

    • Ishmael says:

      Ahaha gotta get thicc

      • Volume12 says:

        He could’ve just said bubble. I doubt scouting reports say something like, ‘we like our DEs with thick hips who lick their lips.’ That’s some lowkey… Ah I won’t say it.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          Ahhhhhh what a chuuuump.

          You can say ass without sounding like you’re gonna put him in a music video.

          “Gotta hav dat bubble, gotta gotta hav dat Bubble whoa/
          Thick a** and some fat thighs. Thats what I need on my DLine/
          Gotta hav dat bubble, gonna gonna get those bubbles whoa!”

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          Hey dude we should throw together some kind of segment talking about how to scout.

          Things we look for and different stats we value.

          Comparisons of a good bubble and a bad bubble

  17. Volume12 says:

    Oklahoma’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is a tough eval. Reminds me a tiny bit of Hassan Reddick. Meaning, I love him attacking upfield and getting after the passer, but ask him to move the other way? Rough. Reddick was much beyyer buzzzing the flats though. Hope he’s not another one of these undersized rush LB’s who get to the next level and get caught out of position so much they need to be told where to go.

  18. Volume12 says:

    USC WR Deontay Burnett. How fun is he?

  19. Volume12 says:

    Rob, you seen that RB from Iowa St.? David Montgomery? He’s only a true SO, but that kid is a tank. Physicality for days. He’s one to earmark for next year.

    Another dude caught my eye today as well. Maryland’s Tye Johnson. 5’10, 208 lbs. Incredible burst. Had over 1,000 yds last season at 9 YPC. Big time dual threat.

    • Volume12 says:

      * Tye Johnson with 5.26 yards after contact last year too. Tops amongst returning starters in the BIG 10. That’s more than Barkley, LJ Scott, Akrum Wadley, and the Minnesota duo.

      • Ishmael says:

        Like that size, and those YAC. Will check him out 🤙

        I think getting backs who can catch is going to be massively important these next few years, have to be able to dictate matchups on offense.

        • Volume12 says:

          Agree. They don’t sound too happy with Prosise. He’s the guy I think they’ll look to replace or at least add competition for. Maybe Lacey, but he should come cheap.

          • Thy Hawk is Howling says:

            Hey now this is only Procise’s (just Jesting) Prosise’s 2nd season now. Let’s see how this year transcends before we have to think about replacing him! Am I right?

            Go Hawks;

            • Volume12 says:

              I hope so. I love his ability to take over games. PC finally has his stable of RBs. 3-4 different guys just like he did at USC and all of them, like there at USC, have different skill sets and sizes. So hopefully Prosise playing in more of a rotation and not counted on to solely lease the rushing attack if an injury occurs will lessen the wear and tear on him.

              Seattle and KC have the right idea. Always draft a RB because their shelf life is so short.

  20. taxspecialist says:

    Enjoyed your positive article Brandon. Like you I am very excited about the Hawks this year. I understand we probably won’t win all of our games but I look at the schedule and can’t see a game where we won’t be in it and couldn’t win. I think our offense will be much improved this year and will because our defense will create a lot of turnovers will face shorter fields. Love this team and can’t wait to see the defense perform.

    Carroll has them focused on the end game. If Seattle doesn’t make it to Minnesota I think it will be the result of multiple key injuries as the team has the talent to win it all and the depth to replace limited injuries. Although I would be happy to crush New England in the SB and expect they will recover from their KC loss I have to admit I would enjoy weekly New England losses. Go Hawks!

  21. Volume12 says:

    Stanford has a couple dudes at CB. Alijah Holder and Quenton Meeks. 2 guys that are very ‘Seahawky.’

  22. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    Do you remember when we used to lean forward in anticipation with every Steven Haushcka kickoff, waiting for someone to fly down and knock the ball loose from the opposing returner’s hands? I remember. Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    This was gold Jerry, GOLD

  23. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    I have been of the opinion that the Steelers are the team to really watch-out for in the AFC.

    They have remade their defense and still have a very potent offense.
    If something happened to L Bell or A Brown, then they could be in trouble….. but these 2 guys are so outstanding, they cover for a little bit of thinness at the RB and WR positions. Oh yeah, I want to see a Steeler / Seahawks SB…. because it is time for some payback.

  24. Kenny Sloth says:

    This was a mess you should be ashamed!

    Jk. I really liked it. I haven’t been getting any hype pieces from nfl media. Its all race shit nowadays (with due cause).
    This was a welcome reprieve.

    That being said. My knuckles are raw and white from thoroughly rapping every piece of wood around me.

    This article is just one big jinx lol 😂

  25. Adog says:

    Just like the great novel a Tale of Two Cities, the Seahawks season will be determined by characters. The plot will not matter not will it ever in a Pete Carroll coached team. We think it is the “compete” formula that separates this team from others, but it is individuals of unwavering eccentricity that made that 2003 team Superbowl champs, and will make this team a Superbowl champ. Then it was Lynch and Wilson on offense and Kam and Sherman on defense. When Carrol says he wants his players to compete, I suspect that he wants his players not so much better the opponent, but to raise themselves up, to destroy the placeholder, to turn pride into hunger.

  26. You know two years ago I thought the seahawks should draft Joshua Perry from Ohio state well the chargers draft him and today I read they cut with IR settlement..if we can stay relatively healthy I really believe the seahawks can return to the super bowl

  27. Volume12 says:

    God I love CFB! All Hail.

    Did you guys see that LA Tech had an 87 yd loss on a play? 3rd and goal from the opposing 7? Aka 3rd and 93!? The ball was kicked backwards or maybe it was forwards, I’m still trying to figure it out, like 5 or 6 different times.

    Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield spikes his teams flag at Ohio St’s 50 yd line

    Then we get some midnight football with that Boise St./Wazzu game:

    – Mike Leach benches his starter, backup comes in, his 1st throw is a shovel pass, its picked off, and returned for a TD
    -the most ‘common man’ sensible anouncer ever in Rod Gilmore can not understand why Wazzu isn’t running behind their 6’8, 350 lb guard all game long. The poor man just wanted to go home!
    -The referee at the coin toss in OT forgot who had the ball and says, ‘ Wazzu’s ball. No its Boise St’s ball. Oh. Right. Right. Boise St ball. Right.’ WHAT IS GOING ON!?
    – then Rod Gilmore explains the rules of college OT to us. Stating that u want TDs and not FGs. JFC! This poor man needs sleep and some breakfast
    – To top it off? Wazzu throws a f***ing fade outta the shotgun from the 1 yard line!

  28. Sea Mode says:

    Interesting article on a new helmet technology that has come out. It is developed by VICIS, a Seattle-based company. Apparently six Seahawks, including Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin, plan to wear it this season.

    http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/247179/fashion-over-function-a-safer-helmet-battles-the-cool-factor

    I like how the article highlights not only the technology side of it, but also the cultural side. Even if you have a better piece of equipment/technology, you still have to get the players to buy in. Long-time habits die hard, and the NFL is full of them.

    Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, along with quarterback Russell Wilson, plan to wear the helmet this season. Baldwin agreed there has been an adjustment period.

    “It sits on your head differently,” Baldwin said. “It feels different because it feels more like a glove, rather than an overall shell. And then there’s 13 degrees more of peripheral vision because of the way that the helmet is designed. And so as a receiver, I’m seeing a lot of noise that I am not used to seeing. And so it took a period to get adjusted to that, to not get distracted by that extra sight.”

    I know we occasionally voice our concerns (at times bordering on guilt) at paying for entertainment that can put people’s long-term health in danger. Hopefully this becomes a worthwhile advancement. Of course, it won’t eliminate concussions, but every little bit helps.

    I found it interesting as well that they (Riddell, I think) plan to put sensors in helmets in order to collect data and develop position-specific ones over the next 5 years. That could be another step forward.

  29. KD says:

    I’d like to congratulate Lamar Jackson on being the 2nd play in history to win back-to-back Heisman Trophies.

  30. SheHawk says:

    Wazzu v. Boise St game was anything but boring!
    Still hard for this Husky to accept the Cougs actually have a defense. While we missed Luani last draft, anyone else eager to see the Seahawks draft Hercules Mata afa?? He’s so quick and gifted. Could be an intriguing SAM at next level?? Plus it’d be cool to add a God to the LOB roster names

    • Volume12 says:

      Love Mata’afa. He’s a monster. Top 65 talent that no one, NFL draft media, have caught on to yet.

      At least for me he’s more Frank Clark like. His ability to cause pressure from 3-4 spots on the D-line, motor, and his raw power just remind me of him so much. I doubt he’s the athlete Clark is, but still a fantastic player.

  31. H says:

    I’m usually the eternal optimist when it comes to sport, and with good reason with the Seahawks. So I love the positivity of this article. Let’s go win a title!!
    As far as College football goes, is Baker Mayfield the forgotten man in the year of the QB? Thought he made a statement against a brutal Buckeye front. Looked like Russel out there; running for his life but still finding a way to make plays and lead his team to victory. Certainly lots of potential in this class, perhaps someone of good value does find his way into day 3 where Seattle might feel comfortable taking a QB.

  32. D-OZ says:

    I want the Hawk’s to come out of the 2018 draft with Baker Mayfield in the worst way. So far the most underrated QB at the College level. Major competitor for years now and has a knack for staying healthy. Love his field vision and quick decision making and release. Remind’s me a lot of RW. GO HAWKS!!!

  33. Volume12 says:

    Seattle has this highest priced roster in the league and pay their secondary $51 mil? $10 mil more than the next closest team? Interesting.

  34. Volume12 says:

    What happened to QB Carson Wentz? That dude is a**!

    I’m already bored by this league. Can we have the storylines and drama of CFB please?

    • Volume12 says:

      And FedEx field has already ruined someones ligaments 2 quarters into a season.

    • cha says:

      Raiders have a 1st and goal at the 2. Call a slant pass play to Cooper which fails.

      Call 2 more passes which fail.

      LOL. Easy to squawk in the offseason you’re giving Lynch the ball in goal to go situations, isn’t it boyos?

      • Volume12 says:

        Finally! Someone to talk to! Thought I was the only one here at SDB watching this garbage league.

        And then Lynch played salty little b***h and pulled himself. Even he’s had enough! lol

        QB Matt Stafford calls an audible yelling ‘Cleveland!’ ‘Cleveland!’ And then throws a shovel pass that goes no where and actually drew a flag. Make of that what yoiu will.

        • cha says:

          Hauschka badly misses a FG try and then hooks a PAT just inside for a successful attempt.

          • Volume12 says:

            Good lord!

            How is there so much bad football being played these last few years?

            There’s really only 10- maybe 12 teams that are even worth watching.

            • cha says:

              Adoree Jackson looks good. He’s matched against Cooper or Crabtree nearly every down and has done some great hand fighting / pass deflecting work. Playing with full confidence.

              • Volume12 says:

                Oakland is a team worth watching and Tennessee is very close if not there this year.

                I like both of those teams. Mariota is screaming out for a TE that can work the seams.

    • Ishmael says:

      Nothing, he’s the great white hype. He’s not bad or anything, just nowhere near as good as the early narrative around him.

  35. cha says:

    Adam Schefter ✔ @AdamSchefter
    Tom Savage lasted one half; benched. DeShaun Watson going in.
    11:45 AM – Sep 10, 2017
    102 102 Replies 1,624 1,624 Retweets 2,654 2,654 likes

  36. Ishmael says:

    Jags defence has been awesome today, Campbell is a monster.

    Browns playing the Steelers tough, I think they’re going to be okay. Falcons haven’t put the Bears away yet, and the Cards are down against the Lions… Could be a couple of upsets coming.

  37. Kenny Sloth says:

    Matt Stafford is an elite running back

  38. Ishmael says:

    Tolzein might be the worst pro QB I’ve ever seen. He’s absolutely horrorshow.

  39. Volume12 says:

    Here we go again.

    Anyone still not want help at OT?

  40. Ishmael says:

    Thorpe is such a stud on special teams

  41. Ishmael says:

    Lane getting picked on early

  42. Volume12 says:

    Nasty Naz!

  43. Ishmael says:

    NAZ! Get in son!

  44. Ishmael says:

    Wtf?

    No pick 6, Lane ejected. What happened?

  45. Ishmael says:

    Adams started that with Lane… Lane/Hawks absolutely screwed by the zebras

  46. Kenny Sloth says:

    Props to Naz Jones.

    These refs man……

    How did we go from a pick six to punting it from mid field

  47. Ishmael says:

    And the block in the back? Avril got Rodgers in the shoulder. I’m not a referee conspiracy guy, but far out. Not getting the rub of the green so far. Home field advantage I guess.

    • Vista says:

      It looks like they are protecting Rodgers and the Packers. And they said that Lane threw a punch, not even close

      • Ishmael says:

        They’ll always protect Rodgers. He’s a famous white QB. Can’t touch them, everyone knows that.

        Commentators saying the calls were awful. Refs overreacting maybe? Trying to get on top of an edgy game early.

        Coleman should have come up to take Rodgers there.

        • Vista says:

          I think the refs are trying to make a point. At least the commentators agree it is bad and Pereira are saying the calls were BS

    • Vista says:

      That block in the back is something you see on almost every punt and isn’t called nearly half the time, so of course they call it here. I did like the flop that Nelson did to get the PI too, he just fell over.

  48. Volume12 says:

    Great play ‘Quill!

  49. Trevor says:

    Once Avril gets the outside shoulder on an OT he is the best in the league at bending the edge and getting back to the QB his technique and the angle he takes is awesome.

  50. Kenny Sloth says:

    Special teams looking great exactly as the fabulous Author predicted

  51. Ishmael says:

    Getting absolutely nothing going. Need to get fat Eddy going upfield, not bouncing outside. Have we even picked up a single first down? Defence are going to be cooked.

    Still, 0-0 at quarter time. Super important not to let GB get out to a big lead.

  52. Ishmael says:

    DJ Alexander paying off early! Great coverage. Thorpe earlier too. It’s worth having top tier ST guys on your roster.

  53. Ishmael says:

    This is where I’m not massively sold on Griffin, he gives such a huge cushion. Better than giving up big yards over the top but…

  54. Kenny Sloth says:

    Tom Cable is a genius

    • Trevor says:

      Joke right?

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        No? Look at all the movement and creativity in the blocking scheme

        • Trevor says:

          Kenny when our OL is not in the bottom 1/3 in league average it will be the first time in the Cable. There is nothing genius about our OL

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            Stats tell almost nothing for OL. Im insulted you even made that argument.

            Look at the slides and the way they finish at the second level.

            Its on Wilson not seeing blitzes presnap and audibling away from it.

            I’m disappointed. I thought he was further along in his development. Still runs into danger and doesn’t change plays.

            Its ignorant or rather archaic to assign stats to OL

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Him and Darrell Bevell are genius’

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          The most important thing is to establish the run. You must run the ball over and over. No matter how many times you are stopped, you must get up and run the ball again. Run the ball until you succeed, or hang your head in shame.

    • Trevor says:

      Kenny our OL is a disgrace once again. Please never use genius and Cable in the same sentence.

      • Tien says:

        Agreed Trevor. Even with all the blatantly bad calls against the Hawks, our D played well enough that if the OL and offense was event competent, we would have easily won the game today. I’m really disappointed because from watching the pre-season games, I really thought the OL would be at least average this season. They still may be by the end of the season but they’re definitely not there yet.

  55. Ishmael says:

    Carson looks like our best back so far. He’s almost AP-lite?? Stiff hips, upright, but so thick and strong.

  56. Ishmael says:

    This is the best Ryan has been in… Five years?

  57. Vista says:

    Tre Madden seems to be having troubles so far today

  58. Ishmael says:

    Offense has been absolutely dire. Hard to know what’s going on though, looks like some weird personnel calls. Some weird flow. The run game isn’t happening, Wilson is missing shots. Green Bay are probably covering well downfield, but still.

    Fortunately the defence has been outstanding.

  59. Vista says:

    Who blew coverage on that last play before the 2 minute?

  60. Ukhawk says:

    Should be 10-0

  61. Ishmael says:

    Ahaha ridiculous end to the half, I’ll take it though. When was the last time you saw a half like that? Maybe that weird Panthers opener a few years back?

  62. Forrest says:

    What even is this game?! I mean, lights out defense, but the offense looks skiddish (minus the final drive). Let’s hope there are good halftime adjustments.

  63. Thy Hawk is Howling says:

    Hey great way to end the first half and Walsh is good for 3!

    We’re going to get it going second half style!

    Go hawks!

  64. neil says:

    O line looks just as bad as last year. Going to be a long season.

  65. Vista says:

    Jacksonville’s defense is finally coming together, nice to see them having some form of an upswing

  66. Trevor says:

    Amazing half by Jon Ryan and the punt coverage team!

    Earl looks great! He is all the way back and on a mission. On a defense with pro bowlers galore he really is the one irreplaceable piece.

  67. Volume12 says:

    This O-line is so bad. Again.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Outside of Britt and Ifedi there is nothing.

      Shaq Griffin got bossed into the end zone and we gift them the lead

    • Volume12 says:

      And RW ain’t without blame either. They need to fix this offense.

      • Ishmael says:

        Awful stuff.

        There’s more going on than just a bad O-line, which again looks awful. What’s the design? It’s completely incoherent.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        RW lost that ball on the 5 yard line all by himself. Well the offense is getting a little more desperate as the game goes along. Putting some effort into it. Fair to say that Green Bay’s defense is stronger than Seahawks offensive line.

  68. Volume12 says:

    Why wasn’t that a flag?

  69. Ishmael says:

    Graham absolutely mugged, tackled in the end zone. Needed a TD there. Offensive design is a mess.

  70. Volume12 says:

    Sheldon and Reed look great

    • Volume12 says:

      Garvin is a playmaker man. Re-sign this man please.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Yes – Garvin just made a hustle play in the backfield. I’m afraid the defensive line is going to get worn down = they been out there a long time. Sherman is doing a lot of little grabs but hasn’t got called yet.

  71. Sea Mode says:

    Can’t believe all these no calls. That was another hold vs. Frank Clark…

  72. Coleslaw says:

    Refs wrecking the game to the point you start losing interest.. what’s new

  73. Volume12 says:

    It seems to me that Seattle doesn’t develop their O-line man because they feel like RW is so good he can just make it work.

    • Trevor says:

      Vol when are people going to start looking at the coaching.

      Our OL draft picks just don’t develop or improve.

      • Volume12 says:

        I don’t know. Someone tried saying that TC was better than Mike Tice. In the last 5 years? Absolutely not.

        • Trevor says:

          That laughable

        • RealRhino2 says:

          Was he ever? Gave him some experienced guys, they are getting worked. Gave him young guys, they got worked. Gave him high draft picks, they get worked. He just sucks, and he’s always been a loser coach. He’s like the guy who gets all the credit in the world for being an offensive guru when he just happens to start his career with an incredible QB.

          Years down the road, people finally wise up and see it was the QB, not the coach.

          He had Marshawn Lynch covering for his ineptitude, and now that he’s gone it is showing.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          I don’t even mention coaching on this website anymore. Just starts too many fights. All I will say is that the offense has sucked at the beginning of every season and has been lucky to get a 2-2 split in first four games. Then they usually improve as the season goes along and hopefully peak in the playoffs. The only consistent thing in the last five years is Russell Wilson, Baldwin, and the coaches. So you figure it out.

    • Volume12 says:

      Could’ve taken Cam Robinson who spent all day working JJ Watt. But he was bad.

  74. AlaskaHawk says:

    Offense has got to put a drive together. The defense is totally gassed right now.

    • RealRhino2 says:

      Well, we had one going, but Graham dropped the ball. And this is the guy people actually want to resign….

      Not to mention making no effort to chip block a DE that ultimately got to Russ early in the game.

      The worst thing this team ever did was trading for Jimmy Graham. You cannot have the mentality we want to have as a team when a key cog is a giant wilting flower. Sucked resources away from more important components, doesn’t run great routes, doesn’t fight for the ball enough. At least Harvin had some fight in him.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        I think Graham is useful and a great tight end. I didn’t like trading Unger for him. As for Harvin, I always thought they should have stashed him that last year, (instead of giving him to the Jets) and brought him back to the team during the playoffs. He would have been fresh and healthy, and only had to get along with other players for the last three games. Would have made a world of difference.

        • RealRhino2 says:

          What does that mean, “useful and a great tight end?” I’m being serious. His frequent indifference as a blocker means he’s neither. His inability or unwillingness to fight for contested balls means he’s neither. His failure to get separation despite his athleticism means he’s neither, IMO.

          I think Graham is a numbers guy. He will compile numbers when you focus on getting him the ball, but on plays where that doesn’t happen I’m not sure he’s a net positive. Just watch him run routes or block. Seems like his meter is always set at 80%. Twice in this game he had the opportunity to go and get the ball rather than let it come to him (and ultimately get knocked away from a defender), and both times he didn’t go get the ball. One cost us extending the drive, one cost us a TD. Our players knew what JG was when he was with NO.

          I don’t think we can be the kind of team PC says we want to be with Graham on our roster. For $3 million, where he doesn’t make it harder for us to sign a TJ Lang type? Maybe, though I still have my doubts.

  75. Ukhawk says:

    Soooo frustrating

  76. FAN Person says:

    Rob… deleting my honest post?? Why?

    • FAN Person says:

      I watched ‘green bay’ play the Jags last year opening weekend.

      The Jags DESTROYED the packers… but the refs didn’t want it that way…

      They admitted after the game that, not 3, 4, 6, 8 penalties went ‘sideways for the pack’, but 16!!!!

      Today the same FIX was on. Seattle was going to dominate Defensive wise, so they EXPELLED Lane, instead of Cobb, who was the actual GUILTY party. Lane never ‘punched’ anyone!!!

      The NFL has a hierarchy and power structure… Seattle means change and growth in caring about players… so we, Pete and John, get DEMONIZED…. NEVER a coach or GM of the year, but somehow Arians gets one??? #AriansDisaster

      I know others will be unable to have a clear enough vision to see this clearly…

      But Seattle did NOT lose today… that game was a Gift to Prince rodgers…who sucked today…

  77. Volume12 says:

    Oh my goodness! If RW waited 1 more tick on that completion to Baldwin he had Lockett in the middle of the field with no one around him.

    And again! No flag!

  78. Ed says:

    New year, same problems. Won’t start on the DB or TC chants, but geez. I will say, the zebra maybe cost the Hawks 14 points. The Jones INT for TD (please trade Lane) and the JG back of the endzone that should have been 1st and goal.

    On a side note, it’s game 1 and plenty of season left. Most didn’t have Hawks going to GB and winning anyway, just that the O looks so poor.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Lets not forget that Russell Wilson gave Green Bay a touchdown when he fumbled the ball on the 5 yard line, and from my view he did drop it all by himself.

      Despite the officiating, the number of first downs will tell the tale. I’m pretty sure it will be overwhelming in Green Bays favor.

  79. Ishmael says:

    Grotesque first up effort from the offence, but it is Green Bay in Green Bay. Always going to be tough to win. At least we didn’t get blown out this year?

    Same old problems are the same old problems though. Deeply frustrating.

    • FAN Person says:

      It isn’t ‘green bay stadium’… it is Darrell Bevell’s complete IGNORANCE of intuition!

      His first half play calling, and Pete’s “game plan on offense” was DESPICABLE!!!

      Our first 1st down was late in the 2nd quarter! Unforgivable!!

      Why Jimmy Graham, a 10million dollar STAR TE/WR is a blocker/screen pass guy is UNFORGIVABLE!!!

      Bevell needs to be FIRED!!! He has always shown capability, but ZERO understanding of using the present moment momentum on play calling! Today was Charles Barkley TERRIBLE!!!

      ZERO Boot legs, ZERO Roll outs!!! WHY??? Move the darn pocket!!!!!!!!!!!!

      We didn’t lose today, we acted like children on offense, and were lied to and cheated by the refs OVER and OVER…

      If this is too intense to say here, Rob, kick me out!

      But this wasn’t a game as much as a Gift to GB… by bevell AND the refs… just like the Jags last year…

    • Hawk Eye says:

      O line very disappointing. They never seemed to get any push to run the ball. Guards were not good at all. Ifedi did not seem to allow pressure. Daniels was a beast, but Hawks should have 4 beasts on D line.
      Lacy looked so sssllooooowww…
      I think Rawls and Carson will carry the load. Until Rawls gets injured, then Carson takes over.
      They needed to go with the quick passing game sooner. Seems like a theme, they try to run, run, run and then it is too late.

      But no complaints about the D. They got tired because O could not sustain any drives. Griffin looked pretty good. He got beat, but not by a lot and he will get better. And Garvin looked fast. If the O can gain some yards, a fresh defense will be dominating.

  80. Forrest says:

    In all honesty though, garbage refs… offense needs some major tweaking before next week, but the defense looks pretty good (as long as they aren’t on the field for 3/4 of the game). Refs were the difference between an 8 point game and a 1 point game. I wasn’t expecting a win though, so I’m not that peeved. Go Hawks!!

    • FAN Person says:

      The refs stole this game… Lane NEVER punched anyone…

      Jimmy had multiple penalties on his endzone pass attempt…

      Heck, even Aikman and Buck said WHAT???

      If you honestly believe that a BILLION dollar plus industry doesn’t get FIXED or manipulated sometimes… sorry you are so naive…

  81. FAN Person says:

    I watched ‘green bay’ play the Jags last year opening weekend.

    The Jags DESTROYED the packers… but the refs didn’t want it that way…

    They admitted after the game that, not 3, 4, 6, 8 penalties went ‘sideways for the pack’, but 16!!!!

    Today the same FIX was on. Seattle was going to dominate Defensive wise, so they EXPELLED Lane, instead of Cobb, who was the actual GUILTY party. Lane never ‘punched’ anyone!!!

    The NFL has a hierarchy and power structure… Seattle means change and growth in caring about players… so we, Pete and John, get DEMONIZED…. NEVER a coach or GM of the year, but somehow Arians gets one??? #AriansDisaster

    I know others will be unable to have a clear enough vision to see this clearly…

    But Seattle did NOT lose today… that game was a Gift to Prince rodgers…who sucked today…

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Sorry but Seattle did lose today. The offensive line was it’s usual bad shape. Tried to run it most of the first half, they really couldn’t. Russell Wilson was doing a lot of scrambling. Russell Wilson fumbled the ball on the 5 yard line for an easy score.

      Yes the refs were bad, but Seattle lost that game all on their own.

      • FAN Person says:

        Wrong alaskahawk… they stole a TD from Naz..

        They stole a 1st and goal from the 1…

        WIN…if they didn’t LIE/CHEAT

        ZERO video footage of a “Lane punch”, but he gets “EJECTED”???

        You really can’t see this???

  82. Nathan says:

    There was a running back getting around in black and silver who would’ve been a nice help today.

  83. Nathan says:

    Jacksonville, Wow, 10 sacks.

    0 by the Texans apparently fearsome front 7.

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