Instant reaction: Happy Birthday, Jim

December 23rd, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

Marshawn Lynch had two touchdowns in today's latest beat down

For the third week in a row, the Seahawks delivered a beat down. Except this one was a little bit different. It wasn’t against a hopeless Cardinals outfit, or a Bills team going through the motions. This was on a whole different level.

This was a division rival. A ten-win division rival and the current division champions. A team that beat Tom Brady and the Patriots in their own back yard last week. That were placed by many as the NFL’s #1 in several national power rankings. This was the San Francisco 49ers on Jim Harbaugh’s 49th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Jim. And Merry Christmas, too.

Enough of that. Tonight’s all about the Seahawks. This was an opportunity to make a statement to the nation. The TV camera’s were in Century Link and all eyes were on the NFC West. Seattle’s message was, bluntly, “You don’t want to play us in the post season.” Message received, loud and clear.

It was a perfect evening for this franchise. Let’s list the reasons why…

- The fans showed once again that nobody is louder, that the true 12th man lives in the Pacific North West. Colin Kaepernick was visibly confused, used two time-outs in the first quarter and suffered multiple delay-of-game penalties. The 12th man helped Seattle set the tone early and set the stall for a one-sided affair.

- Russell Wilson made his greatest statement yet that he should be offensive rookie of the year with four touchdown passes. He wasn’t perfect, but he was playing one of the best defenses in the NFL. It all looks so easy to him – a testament to his work ethic, preparation and talent. This team has a franchise quarterback.

- Marshawn Lynch was in full-on beast mode. He has three 100-yard games against the 49ers since 2010. The rest of the NFL has two 100-yard games against the 49ers. He’s the most productive running back in the league not named Adrian Peterson.

- Red Bryant had a key blocked field goal that probably goes down as the play of the game. It made a likely 14-3 lead a 21-0 advantage instead. That was a huge turning point.

- Two Stanford players had big days against their former head coach. Richard Sherman returned the aforementioned blocked field goal for a touchdown and added a red-zone interception in the second half. Doug Baldwin scored twice and led the team for receiving yards. Neither display was a coincidence and the Seahawks visibly fed the ball to Baldwin. Sherman has seven interceptions for the season now – only Chicago’s Tim Jennings has more.

- Aldon Smith, chasing the NFL sack record, was a complete non-factor. The offensive line was again superb as a unit, but Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini deserve a special mention. Okung is a sure-fire Pro-Bowler based on his performances this year. Giacomini continues to play far better than anyone’s prepared to give him credit for. Over the last few weeks, you’ll struggle to convince me there’s been a better right tackle in the league.

- Seattle’s 42 points means they’ve averaged exactly 50 in their last three games. Who’d have believed that after the first few weeks?

- This is the fourth time a team has left Century Link Field not just beaten physically, but also emotionally. You could visibly see the life draining out of San Francisco’s players and coaches as the game continued. The same happened to Dallas, the New York Jets and Arizona.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider inherited a joke of a team in 2010. There were no building blocks on either side of the ball. No identity. The only thing left over from the Tim Ruskell era? An extra first round pick that turned into Earl Thomas. Aside from that one parting gift, they had nothing to work with.

In three seasons, this team has made the post-season twice. That is an underrated and incredible feat. The Seahawks suddenly have multiple cornerstone and franchise players. They’ve found a legit quarterback in round three, a shutdown corner in round five and a superstar running back via a steal of a trade. Then there’s the rest.

This team means business. Tonight was the exclamation point. Bring on the Rams and then the playoffs. Fear nobody.

57 Responses to “Instant reaction: Happy Birthday, Jim”

  1. John says:

    Words cannot express how happy this win made me… I hate the niners more than any team and its not even close. I hate the niners media attention, I hate Harbaugh, I hate Kaep… Terrible way to live but I really hate them haha. Finally we got a win on them after barely losing the last two and it was a big time win. So happy.

  2. Hawksince77 says:

    Earlier today I was going to post how I thought this game would go. I was thinking a 35 – 6 victory. For exactly the reasons it happened. Kap hasn’t played a good defense, and it showed (he was playing against Jason Campbell in the Chicago game). Seattle has a very good defense and deserve the game ball.

    I wish they would have brought pressure on that 4th and 17 – the only way Kap makes that play is with time.

    With Justin Smith out, I didn’t think they’d be able to contain the running game, and they didn’t.

    I was surprised at how many times Wilson had to pull the ball down and get sacked or scramble. They must have played great coverage on the back end.

    The hit Kam had on Davis was absolutely perfect – shoulder into the body, jarred the ball loose. And he gets flagged. A little pay-back on a similar call against the niners.

    Seattle is very special right now. It will be interesting to see how the NFL community digests what they witnessed tonight.

  3. Colin says:

    And yet seemingly, if they don’t win the whole thing, there should be no disappointment.

    The best is yet to come.

  4. Hawkspur says:

    I was thinking along similar lines re: Giacomini.

    And seeing the lack of effectiveness of A. Smith without J. Smith makes me wonder what Irvin and Clemons could be like if we somehow manage to get a beast of a DT somehow. Speaking of which, I noticed Shrugs make a play or two to get into the backfield.

  5. PatrickH says:

    The amazing thing tonight is that the Hawks were 90% or more in third-down conversion against a premier defensive team. RW seemed to be unstopable.

    Breno has a great performance, especially since Ahmad Brooks seemed to have jump offside a few times (and called only once).

    • PatrickH says:

      I just looked up the final stat. The 3rd down conversion rate was actually 11 out of 13, 85% instead of 90%. Still, an amazing performance against a top-5 defense team.

      • Zach says:

        Well that stat includes the kneeldown at the end of the game. They were 11-12 when they were actually trying to convert….

  6. Hawksince77 says:

    In football, anything can happen. For example, the lone pick RW had was off the hands of Turbin and a nice play by Willis. Sure, the ball was thrown hard and high, and it was slick with rain, but that happens sometimes.

    Another example: the blocked field goal. That can’t be predicted nor replicated. It just happens sometimes, and it can happen by any team against any other.

    Flukes, in other words.

    And at this point, I think that is the only way Seattle gets beat. Every other NFC team (Packers, Falcons) have serious weaknesses, mostly on defense.

    Seattle is the most balanced team in the league. Going into this game, their defense had allowed one more point than San Fran. That means they must now be the best scoring defense in the league.

    Special teams has been consistent to very good; kicking, coverage, turnovers, returns – all pretty good.

    And now the offense can’t be stopped. RW doesn’t make mistakes (although that throw to Turbin might qualify – both the decision and the execution). He (and/or Bevel) will exploit whatever weakness the opposing defense shows. Seattle can run, option, throw anywhere on the field (short, medium and long).

    Lest everyone forget, Arizona has one of the best defenses in the league, and Seattle tore them up. Buffalo’s defense had played much better in recent weeks, but it didn’t matter. And just last week, San Fran was ranked the best team in the NFL in most power polls.

    Finally, looking over the entire season, nobody has put a beat-down on Seattle. The worst game they played was against San Fran in week 7, a game they lost by one score. They have put dominating losses on Dallas, Carolina (more dominant than the score reflected), Minnesota, NYJ, Buffalo, Arizona and now San Francisco.

    I know everyone wants to credit Wilson and the offense, but it’s the defense that has kept Seattle in close games, and held down opponents in recent weeks while the offense pummeled them.

    I am no longer concerned about traveling to Green Bay to play the Packers. By then, Browner will be back. If Sherman is still playing, I think Seattle walks away with a non-controversial win. (If Sherman and Thurmound are out, that probably shifts the odds in the Packers favor.)

    Same with Atlanta. I think Browner and Sherman match up as well as anyone against Jones and White. And that defense (along with Green Bay’s) won’t be able to stop Seattle’s offense. Snow and ice in Green Bay probably favors Seattle’s game.

    Seattle could go deep and win big this year. Who’d a thunk it.

    • adog says:

      i think that J. Lane is playing outstanding football right now. When Browner returns, the secondary should be alright no matter the situation on Sherman or Thurmond.

  7. Ely says:

    Would have lived to see Wilson keep it on a couple of the options. I know you don’t do it when they’re up big but it was wide open after the second half. SF D was crashing hard! Wilson has to be in the conversation for ROTY but I’m sure it will all hinge on RW3′s performance against the cowboys. So conflicted in that game…, want RG3 to lay an egg but I hate the cowboys every bit as much as the 49ers and almost as much as the Steelers. Either way go hawks and go Cards!! They have an outside shot at the 9era after that deflating beat down the 9ers just received! It’s a great time to be a hawks fan!:)

  8. AlaskaHawk says:

    That game was as satisfying as laying on a sunny beach drinking a margarita while on vacation! I’ve been waiting for us to play a good opponent, and we tore them apart. The offense looked great. I’ll give Breno his props = he played a great game. The rest of the offense did fine in pass protection and run blocking once the they wore SF down. Marshawn and Turbin both looked good. Turbin dropped the screen pass for a bad interception, but made up for it with a tough catch and first down later in the game.

    Defensively, we played well. The secondary and linebackers especially well. Yes Kam had his penalty for hitting a defenseless receiver, but jeez it’s called football. I noticed that the refs stopped calling those in the playoffs last year. We will see what happens this year.

    Cheers to a great Seahawks game and deep run into the playoffs!

  9. Rock says:

    I will give Breno his props, he played well tonight. That does not excuse the fact that his penalties earlier in the year cost us two games. We would have 12 wins and a playoff bye if we had a tackle that had been effective all year. There is no depth behind him so what can we do? It is a position we must address in the draft.

    The defense was playing lights out tonight. For once, they were collapsing the pocket. If we got that kind of push all year we would not be discussing the need for a 3-Tech in the draft. Our secondary continues to be the strength of the team. Richard Shermam and the backup DB’s were more than enough to contain the SF passing game. We had Kaep’s receivers blanketed most of the night. When we needed it Cam was there to bring the pain. A good job by all.

    It does not get much attention with the QB problems in Arizona and New York but Jake Locker was 13/30 with 1 TD and 2 INTS. His QB rating was 41.0. Tennessee is going to need to admit that Jake is just not getting the job done. Another year of waiting for Montlake Jake to develop isn’t something they can afford. Flynn might be a good option for them.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure you can lay the blame for any of the defeats squarely at Breno’s door. Against Arizona, was he dropping catches in the end zone? Against St. Louis, was he asleep on the fake FG or responsible for the turnovers? Was he playing defense on the final drive against Detroit? Was he dropping passes against the Niners in San Fran? Or getting gashed by Ryan Tannehill in Miami?

      The penalties were incredibly frustrating earlier in the year, but they weren’t the difference between 10 wins and 12.

      • Rock says:

        I charted every one of his penalties in the games we lost. Against St. Louis he had 2 personal fouls and a false start. We had five penalties and Breno committed three of them. The personal fouls lead directly to punts on two separate possessions. When you generally only get 10 possessions per game that is huge. Against Detroit he gave up a sack late in the game that ended our last possession … game over.

        Breno and everyone else benefits from a highly mobile QB. Our O Line is not as good as it looks on paper given how few pass plays we run. Flynn or Hasselbeck behind this line would be getting killed and Marshawn would not be gaining nearly as many yards. Then there is the problem of no quality depth at the OT positions. We might get away with it until RW has an injury that forces him to sit. Then everything will unravel at once.

        • GH says:

          I’ve been as hard on Breno as anyone, but he played well last night, and I acknowledge he’s been playing better.

          But I remain unconvinced that a 4th/5th wr isa higher need than depth at OL. This team has health problems on the line, and I don’t think a championship team is starting Sweezey, not at this point at least. I’d sure like them to get a warford or fluker in the 2nd or 3rd round. The case for the 3 tech DT has been well made, but I don’t see WR depth as nearly as high a priority as OL depth. Especially given the WRs expected to be around in the middle rounds.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Wide receiver is a much greater need than offensive line depth. Seahawks fans need to get over this obsession, they really do. This team is fielding one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Top two rushing attack, Wilson isn’t getting sacked by Mario Williams, Julius Peppers or Aldon Smith. They’ve had injuries for two years on the OL and still plugged guys in and succeeded. The depth is more than fine. The Seahawks have one of the best and most expensive offensive line coaches in the NFL and it shows on the field. It’s a complete non issue in terms of the offensive line.

            And yet the WR depth is non existent. Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin have all suffered multiple injuries during their time in Seattle. If one of them goes out, you’re relying on Jermaine Kearse or Charly Martin. That’s not good enough. The Seahawks don’t just lack depth, they need more talent for this unit. Wilson needs playmakers. How many times yesterday did he have 10 seconds to throw and nobody got open? It’s a clinical need for this team going forward. And as mentioned in an earlier comment, I dream of the day people realise there’s more to endless drafting for the offensive line. The O-line is set. It’s time to get some weapons on offense for the young QB and find that three-technique.

            • Michael says:

              I completely agree with you Rob. I think the fear comes from watching the ridiculously poor play of the post-Walter Jones/pre-Tom Cable lines. In the back of every Seahawks fan’s mind is this idea that an injury or two will send the unit into a downward spiral that will destroy not only an entire season but also our most precious comodity… the new found franchise QB.

              Keep preaching it Rob, and help us all overcome the traumatic events of the Ruskell era.

              • GH says:

                I don’t see why you have to denigrate it as an obsession, several of us have stated that it’s not the highest priority, but also stated that you can address both- painting it as an either/or seems a bit obsessive if you want to use the word.

                The fact is this draft has far better OL prospects then WR prospects. The fact is PFF shows three of the OL as below average and two of them pulling the average way up.

                I think you can improve the O line and the WR situation in this draft without being obsessive about it, and without being totally dismissive to a counter view.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Against Detroit we allowed a long, 80-90 yard drive to lose the game. We had about 12 seconds on our final possession to score a touchdown. Against St. Louis we had three avoidable interceptions, got duped on a ridiculous fake field goal and chased that trick play with an ill advised onside kick to start the second half. To suggest Breno Giacomini was responsible for these two defeats is frankly ludicrous. I’m not trying to offend you here, truly I’m not, but clearly those penalties were not the key difference between a win and a loss.

          Since he cleared the penalties up, he’s been superb. The entire line has. We have no way of knowing if Hasselbeck or Flynn would get killed. The fact is, this offensive line is churning out the second best rushing attack in the NFL and Wilson isn’t getting sacked. Giacomini and Okung have had to deal with rushers like Julius Peppers, Mario Williams and Aldon Smith in recent weeks – and none have had any impact on the games. In some cases, Okung and Breno have dominated those opponents. There is absolutely no basis for an argument to criticise the offensive line. I dream of the day when Seahawks fans accept this offensive line is more than good enough.

          Final word from Tony Bruschi pre San Francisco game. He said the Seahawks were probably the only team in the league that has an offensive line capable of beating the crap out of the 49ers. He was proven completely right.

        • Brandon says:

          DVOA has this O-line as the top run-blocking unit in the NFL. #1. Pass protection they could improve in, but to say Lynch would drop off dramatically is ignoring this line’s talent at runblocking.

    • Rory says:

      Don’t forget that Jake Locker is still really young. QBs tend to have the prime of their careers later rather than sooner. It’s easy to forget that with all the rookie success lately. Plus, Jake’s year hasn’t been as bad as people think. He’s had some good games, and the int’s tend to happen when you’re playing from behind and have to force things.

      I wouldn’t write him off yet.

    • Jeff says:

      Mike Person is the OT depth. The coaches seem to like him.

    • Regan Sayer says:

      Little early to give up on Jake. That OL has been decimated by injuries and is by far the worst in the league right now. Tenn would love to have a Breno right now!

  10. Ryan M says:

    For the love of FSM, don’t apostrophize plurals!

    Oh yeah. Great game too. Just hope we can recreate that in the playoffs.

  11. Rory says:

    Impressive performance for sure. I don’t care if it was at home and SF was without Justin Smith, that’s still a damn good team that we crushed.

    There were a couple areas where I could see room for improvement. It’s the same as prior weeks, we need a pass rushing 3 down 3 tech. We really didn’t get a lot of pressure on Kaep. There were numerous times our edge rushers got around the tackles, but Kaep just steeped up or easily escaped. I didn’t think he had a good game, not very good accuracy or decision making. A better qb would have made this game a lot closer.

    Our receivers struggled to get separation, they did an amazing job catching Russell’s pinpoint passes (Baldwin particularly), but far too often Russell had to hold onto the ball way too long, then tuck down and run for 2 yards. Some of that was scheme, and the 49ers playing like the 49ers, but we still need to find a way to get some more separation.

    Both of these are priority spots to fill via the draft.

    • Rob Staton says:

      We saw again last night why WR is second only to three-technique in terms of need. Sidney Rice was hurt and clearly not 100%. They fed Doug Baldwin and he looked a lot sharper, but the depth just isn’t there. They need at least one more starting WR to add to the group.

      And if people want to know how good the LEO position could be, watch Aldon and Justin Smith in San Fran. They work together. And that is how the three tech and the LEO are supposed to work in the 4-3 under. Get that legit three-tech and we could see Clemons pushing 15-18 sacks.

      • John says:

        A Smith has completely disappeared without Justin Smith. It would be scary to have someone like that in Seattle that could collapse the pocket and free up Clem and Bruce. But Aldon Smith does not look nearly as amazing as his numbers indicate and it stood out right away when J Smith left in the Pats game and more so today.

        I really think Seattle needs that receiver that can draw coverage. I know Rice is supposed to be that guy, but he really isn’t. I think Seattle should keep an eye out for someone that can be that guy. I don’t see Tate ever being more than a #2.

        All that said… it’s stunning to me what Pete and John have done in such a short time. It really just blows me away. I bet even they are a little taken aback at how much talent they’ve brought in. I remember the 2010 season where it just felt like Seattle was tapped out in terms of potential. Like we saw them at their best and it won a playoff game. This is a completely different feeling. To have ORoY and DRoY candidates is absolutely crazy.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Let’s give our receivers some props for making difficult catches. If they hadn’t held on to the ball and got both feet (or a knee) planted in bounds then RW would have had much poorer stats.

          • Hawksince77 says:

            Yeah, they made some fabulous catches. Wilson also made some incredible throws, into very tight windows (necessitating great catches). Prior to the TD pass (to Baldwin, I think) Kearse had a chance to haul in another perfect pass by Wilson. A good WR makes that catch.

            Even so, there were several plays where Wilson had time (or made time) and couldn’t find anyone open. Without studying the all-22, I suspect it was because the niners played great coverage and/or Seattle WRs simply weren’t capable of getting the separation necessary for Wilson to pull the trigger.

            For the first time, I can see the advantage of drafting a genuine difference maker at WR. Kearse was an UDFA, as was Baldwin. Rice was hobbled a bit, and Tate looks more like a star slot guy than the play-making outside WR Pete seems to favor.

            Someone like Patterson, perhaps…(see, I’ve been reading Staton…)

            • Paul Levy says:

              I agree we need a STUD WR! There are plenty viable candidates this upcoming draft.
              Patterson does look good, so does Terrance Williams from Baylor, Justin Hunter from TENN is 6-4 and a high jumper! Keenan Allen from Cal looks good, and then there is Tavon Austin- he was the leader in all purpose yards last year. He runs EXTREMELY FAST with a 4.3 40! He has played WR, Slot WR, punt return/kick return, and has been used as a RB! So u get 4 for 1! The trick of it is he is ONLY 5’9″, 174… I believe just like with Wilson, that his height is not only NOT a limitation, but actually a BENEFIT. He is hard to see, to find, and running that fast- BOOM! I can see them lining him up in the backfield w Lynch OR TATE, and using some pistol type plays….

              Tavon Austin is like a mix of “Sproles/Percy Harvin/and Wes Welker”! and what scares me the most is- if we don’t draft him, one of the teams right after us will- and they will have him for years and we will have to bet him in the playoffs w say Brady or the Texans…Yikes

      • GH says:

        I can flip that and say the reason why rw was running around was because of the OL, who had a hard time w/o justin smith, and SF secondary is one of the best.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Receivers couldn’t get open, one of the reasons he was having to buy loads of time. You can’t block clean for 10 seconds against San Fran. The blocking overall was superb on the night, nobody can argue against that. Sensational performance from the offensive line.

  12. A. Simmons says:

    Awesome game. I want to see Pete play Bruce Irvin as the starting Leo next game. Clem is fine with rest. Get Bruce playoff ready at the LEO just in case.

    • Michael says:

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Bruce at the Leo for a full game, but I doubt Pete is gonna rest many guys with the outside chance (very, very outside) of a division crown still being in play. If anyone is gonna get some rest I would hope it would be Sidney Rice. Great game from the WR group tonight.

  13. Darnell says:

    Given the MO of the front office, I wouldn’t expect it, but I would be totally on board with jumping up to get Sheldon Richardson, if we you can keep the 2nd rounder and future picks. I really like Sylvester Williams and am okay on Kawann Short but I think the difference between Richardson and the others is worth the price of a jump up. There also may be a chance to buy low on Sed Ellis or Glenn Dorsey and try a reclemation.

    The team is so deep, I don’t see where 5-7 (I believe they have 9 picks) rookies make the team next year.

    RD1: Richardson
    RD 2: Woods/Hopkins/Wheaton/Rogers

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I like your draft ideas. On the other hand PC might have a few DTs that we haven’t thought of. He is willing to go against convention in the first round.

    • Hawksince77 says:

      As far as draft capital goes, its looking more and more like Flynn gets traded. There’s just going to be too much demand for starting-quality QBs next year, and I think Flynn is so considered.

      Plus, Pete will be motivated to do right by Flynn, and of course, Flynn will want a chance to start somewhere.

      So many teams in need, so few options…

      • MJ says:

        I didn’t think Flynn was going to get traded…but I agree with you. I think it’s almost certain he is gone.

        I’m not the biggest Flynn fan, but there are so many QB holes in the league and not enough guys to fill it. This year’s class is uninspiring, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see someone pony up. I don’t think it will be anything more than a 3rd or a 4th + a 7th, but I think it behooves us to move him, and get a backup who has a similar skill set to RW (Josh Johnson?).

        With extra draft capital, I think we might see some high upside gambles this year due to the depth we have. We still need a good 3T DT and a top notch WR. Maybe we gamble on Patterson or Hunter and hope they live up to their potential.

      • Rob Staton says:

        The league has to judge Flynn as a starting quality QB. That wasn’t the case last off-season. And there will be plenty of options. Let’s not forget here, as bad as Sanchez has been in NY – he’s got his team to two AFC title games. Alex Smith will be available too. Then there’s the draft.

        • Michael says:

          I could see Alex Smith returning a good draft pick to the Niners (unfortunately) other than that I don’t think there is a single QB trade netting better than a 4th rounder. I would like to see a backup with a skill set more similar to RW’s and would be fine with moving Flynn outside of the division for some day 3 draft capitol, assuming we could fill the backup spot with a more system compatible option.

          Josh Johnson would be a great fit. He’s available without giving up draft picks, he’s still only 26, and he’s cheap. You want a kicker? How about the fact that he is the cousin of Marshawn Lynch, and is yet another player that may want to stick it to his former coach Harbaugh!

        • Hawksince77 says:

          The supply and demand situation for starting QBs was different last year: top guys in the draft, and Manning. The Dolphins settled on drafting Tannehill, and the Browns Weeden. So much for the demand. That left Flynn going to Seattle.

          This coming year, completely different. Upwards of ten teams looking to upgrade the starting QB. How many starting QBs are there available? Alex Smith, maybe (but I don’t think he’s that good – a great team around him and his game closely managed made him successful. If I can see that, so can others). Anyway, I think Flynn is a better option than Alex Smith.

          Who else? Who are you going to draft this coming year and start as a rookie? One, maybe 3 guys?

          Finally, while Flynn’s reputation may have taken a hit having been beat out by Wilson, at this point I think everyone understands: Wilson is special good. So Flynn gets drafted behind Rodgers, and signs with the team that drafted Wilson.

          Somebody is going to want Flynn, at least as a competitive option. The demand will be there. How much will they offer? Depends on how desperate they are, and how many teams are competing for his services.

          Regardless, the sights and sounds coming out of the Seahawks all point to making the trade.

          • Paul Levy says:

            I agree- all signs point to trade. We save the money on him and draft a rookie w a rookie pay scale paycheck. I think we should trade him to one of the needy QB teams for their 2nd round pick. Others say it is too high, but how about we throw in one of our extra 5th round picks to ‘sweeten’ the deal. If we could manage to turn a benched Matt Flynn into a 2nd round WR, then BOOM! MAGIC

  14. Michael says:

    This is already my favorite Seahawks team of all time. Is there a single team in the league with a brighter future that this one? Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner, Russell Okung, and Max Unger are all current or future pro-bowl caliber players. Every last one of those guys is also 25 or younger. Seriously, is there another roster that boasts that much young talent? The job Pete and John have done so far is just ridiculous, and if there is not some kind of coach/executive of the year hardware coming to Seattle this year I would be shocked.

  15. Phil says:

    An awesome performance. It’s great to see the backups stepping in and playing so well. Adding the read option to our offense has really opened things up. RW is running it so well that you’d think that he years of experience at it. The Seahawks are doing a great job of mixing it in with our “normal” running game.

    A couple of suggestions for the playoffs: (1) forget about throwing screens to our RBs, (2) remind Sidney Rice that he can always throw the ball away if his receiver is not open, (3) forget the 3-man rush and zone coverage on 3rd and long.

    • Hawksince77 says:

      Concerning your last point, I was so disappointed to see a 3-man rush on the 4th and 17. But looking back on it, it was kind of PC’s way to NOT run up the score, almost conceding the TD with his back-up defense on the field and not rushing the passer.

      Had it been me, I would have put my best players on the field for that play, and put on my best blitz…

  16. Steve in Spain says:

    Aaron Schatz tweets: “Seattle is the first team since 1991 Redskins to have over 50% WEIGHTED DVOA after Week 16. (Even the 2007 Pats had gone below 50% by now.)” Wow, better than the Brady-Moss juggernaut???!!!! It’s hard even for us die-hard twelvers to make sense of what’s going on with this team.

  17. Jeff says:

    The teaching of the coaches at LB and DB must be phenomenal. To take an extremely raw guy like Lane, and to have him ready to start in prime time at the end of his first season, is a huge accomplishment.

    • GH says:

      agreed!

      A lot of that, I think, is they like to draft players who want to get better and work hard in practice. They put a big emphasis on this. Combined with their coaching, you get a big time improvement in guys really fast, it seems.

      These guys love playing football and they all seem really motivated.

    • Darnell says:

      Agreed. Kris Richard sure seems like an up and coming superstar in the coaching profession. ET was really the only guy that he’s worked with that came in with an elite pedigree.

  18. MJ says:

    This is the most fun team I have ever watched in my life, no matter the sport. Just amazing.

    What this game did do for me, was reinforce the fact we need a top notch 3 technique and another starting caliber WR. RW bought so much time and still WRs struggled to get open. I really am dead set on hoping Cordarrelle Patterson is the pick. This team would be absolutely scary with a guy like him on offense.

    The scary part about this team…they can still get better. It’s mind boggling to think what the next few years will look like and I am just simply amazed at how much progress RW has made. I don’t think I have ever witnessed evolution like this in professional sports. RW is making Malcolm Gladwell scratch his head. Outlier of outliers?

    • bjammin says:

      Love your comment MJ. Well put. Steve in Spain as well. Things are looking up for years to come for sure. Rob seems to be pretty spot on for the top offseason priorities. DT, WR then lb. I’d be tremendously excited at the prospects for the offseason already if the Seahawks weren’t playing so damn well. Guess we’ll have to wait a bit longer than last year to start the offseason craziness. Darn.

    • Paul Levy says:

      Cordarrelle would be great! Any of these big and fast guys, having to work daily with RW, will turn into a beast and one hell of a combo for years! Just think Dalton and Green! Let’s get it done!!

  19. Chris says:

    Thank god the world didn’t end before that game…

    Glorious.

  20. bjammin says:

    Amen Chris.

  21. diehard82 says:

    Rob, great article. Agree with everything. Thankful to have your blog to look forward to reading daily. Thankful to have the playoffs to look forward to. Thankful Pittsburg won’t be part of it. Confident that we will do well. Glad to see Baldwin back. Pleased that Lane stepped up. Concerned about WR depth though. Hopeful that refardless of how the season ends, that we can pick up Randy Starks in FA, and spend our 1st round pick on best WR. What are your thoughts on Quinton Patton from Louisiana Tech? Russ Lande at Nat Foot Post has him rated highly.