Instant reaction: Seahawks beat Vikings, make a statement

December 6th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

The rest of the NFC are peering through their fingers. Is it safe to look?

The Seahawks, as they so often do, are hitting their stride in December. Nobody else in the conference will be feeling particularly festive about that.

They never really got the credit they deserved against Pittsburgh. A fantastic passing performance was put down to a bad defense. Ben Roethlisberger’s sensational display was put on Seattle’s defense, not Big Ben’s brilliance.

It was a shoot-out game that had to be won. And was.

Still people wanted more. The critics demanded Darrell Bevell create a game-plan could enough to toast a better defense on the road. Seattle’s unit had to step up and control Adrian Peterson.

Job done. Again.

Suddenly the Seahawks are on a three-game winning streak with slumping Baltimore, Cleveland and St. Louis ahead before a rematch with Arizona.

This was an ass-kicking.

Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s leading rusher, had 18-rushing yards. Teddy Bridgewater looked overmatched and didn’t have a chance.

Minnesota had nine first downs compared to Seattle’s 25. They were 2/10 on third down compared to Seattle’s 9/13. They had 125 total yards compared to Seattle’s 433.

At the heart of everything was another masterclass from Russell Wilson. Teddy Bridgewater has eight touchdowns and eight picks for the season. Wilson has nine touchdowns and zero picks in the last seven days.

Wilson is on a tear. He’s seeing the field, he’s finding the open man. It’s like the shackles have come off the offense — the pass-pro is much improved, they no longer have to fit specific key players into a game-plan.

This is suddenly Wilson’s offense. He’s free to lead. To be the focal point.

And he’s thriving.

Wilson’s brilliance was summed up by two back-to-back plays. First, a 50-yard run for a touchdown. He sprinted away from defensive backs looking like he’d clock a 4.4. It was called back for a Luke Willson hold. Never mind. On the very next play, he simply threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin. Wilson stood in the pocket, waited for the receiver to get open, knew he was going to get hit and delivered a perfect strike anyway.

The ultimate playmaker and he’s a surgeon right now. He’s taken the controls and he’s driving this team back into contention. Just what you need from your franchise quarterback.

He’s not doing it alone though.

I suspect we don’t really appreciate just how good Doug Baldwin is. If he was playing for Green Bay or New England he’d have a 1000-yard season in his career by now (he’s on pace for one this year). As a route-runner he’s one of the best in the league. He consistently gets open. He also has that gliding running style — similar to Jeremy Maclin in full stride.

If there aren’t many QB’s playing better than Wilson right now (if any) — the same can be said about Baldwin and the NFL’s receivers.

It hasn’t really been discussed — but getting Baldwin signed to a contract extension should be one of the big off-season priorities. He’s up after 2016.

Where Wilson and Baldwin lead, Thomas Rawls follows. After a disappointing early fumble he responded with another 100-yard game and a score. The Seahawks need to add another runner in the draft — but they’ve got the heir apparent to Marshawn Lynch on their roster.

The offensive line played great again. There was a sentiment during the week that J.R. Sweezy had his best game of the season against Pittsburgh. On first viewing today he also looked exceptional. On several running downs he made the key block. Seattle’s greatest weakness in the early part of the season suddenly looks like a strength. It might be changing the complexion of the off-season too.

Is it time to wonder if the best thing for the Seahawks is for this current starting O-line to take the field in 2016?

This was another fine game called by Darrell Bevell. Creative, productive, well-designed, inspired.

I’ve made this point before — but think of the role of offensive coordinator in Seattle. You have a Head Coach that demands ball control but also states publicly he wants to be the best scrambling team in the league. You have an Assistant Head Coach who controls the running game and picks the offensive linemen — and the pass-pro was bad for several weeks this season. You also get the task of trying to fit a tight end into a system that demands blocking (and he can’t do it) while making sure he and a high-profile running back get their touches.

That’s one hell of a gig. Now that some of those issues have gone away it seems like Bevell is revelling. Seattle were ranked #4 for offense by Football Outsiders’ DVOA this week. That could go up again after this performance. And people want to make a change?

Frank Clark has three sacks in his last two games. This was another big outing — and he lined up inside and out. It was about time he received more snaps and look at the outcome. This is his pre-season form. Overall the four-man rush was much improved today.

Suddenly the Seahawks look like one of the hot teams in the league. Now the challenge is to keep it up. It’s never easy going to Baltimore but this is a Ravens team without Joe Flacco, Steve Smith, Justin Forsett and Terrell Suggs.

If they do keep it up — a wildcard spot will be secured. This performance shows what they can do against a supposed playoff opponent on the road.

So, NFC. Hands up who wants to face this version of the Seahawks in the playoffs?

No, I didn’t think so.

201 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks beat Vikings, make a statement”

  1. Trevor says:

    Just a flat out dominating performance. Russ is balling, rookies,Rawls, Locket and Clark all played huge. Does any team have 3 rookies making a bigger impact?

    Also Bevel called a great game and this team seems to be getting its groove back. Take out one special teams play and it was the most dominating performance I have seen from this team in 2 years.

    • Volume12 says:

      “Does any team have 3 rookies making a bigger impact?”

      I’d be hard pressed to find one.

      All flat-out steals too. Straight robbery.

      • Nathan says:

        I was curoius about a few of the receivers that were getting press before the draft last year and looked them up.

        Jalen Strong, the guy who went 1 pick after Lockett, has 58 yards for the season.

        Sammie Coates got picked up by Pittsburgh, has 1 catch for the year.

  2. AlaskaHawk says:

    I’ll start with my message in last thread.
    A classic beat down. Seahawks offense and defense looked great. Only part I could critique is a ragged and penalty prone special teams performance. Way to go Seahawks!

  3. cha says:

    Game Balls:

    Offense – Bevel & RW
    Defense – Wright & Clark

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      I agree with the Clark game ball. He showed up with at least 2 sacks and several QB prssures. He also made some nice plays in space vs RB and WRs.

      • Volume12 says:

        And a couple pads deflections from Clark. Finally healthy, and is legit. He’s gonna be huge for Seattle the next few years.

  4. Forrest says:

    Great win, Wilson is on fire, Rawls is great, Baldwin is perfect, and the Defense looked dominant. Oh, and Frank Clark finally showed up…Great game…

  5. Grant G says:

    That was fun…

  6. Trevor says:

    I thought the best player for Min was a guy we talked about quite a bit about on this blog before the draft last year in in Daniel Hunter.

  7. Trevor says:

    With Bal, Cle and Stl on deck we should be 10 and 5 heading into final week against Ariz. Hope we can get to the 1st wild card spot and play Wash or Giants in Rd #1

  8. Ukhawk says:

    Best pleased, that’ll do for a confidence boost on both sides of the ball

  9. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    This is the Seattle team we know and love. Very dangerous WC team, should they make it.

  10. Ben says:

    I’m still reeling. This is the best offense that the Seahawks have sported under Russell Wilson, and he’s playing better football than he ever has.

  11. Volume12 says:

    Wow!

    Are we back? First the critics said we hadn’t beat a team with a .500 record and then we hadn’t beat a good team on the road. Check and check.

    RW is ballin’ out of control. A magician who’s starting to make plays from the pocket? Watch out NFL. Dude will be unstoppable if thatk’s the case.

    Becoming a bigger and bigger Rawls fan by the week. They got a diamind in the rough with him. One of the best young backs in the game. Right behind only Todd Gurley IMO. Stud.

    Tyler Lockett is special. One of the best rookies in the NFL.

    Frank Clark is a bad boy! He impacted the game early and often. What a monster. He totally set the tone for this defense early on. More than anyone else. This kid is scary good.

    Defense dominated all game long. Shut down the best back of this generation with 2 ‘old and slow’ DTs. Their DEs create plenty of pressure from the inside on stunts and twists.

    ADB lookin’ like the most underrated WR in the league.

    Great game, huge win, and the offense and defense played in pergect harmony today. Flawless, suffocating outings by both sides of the ball. Could not be more excited going forward. Minnesota just got thumped!

    Did I mention, all this without Beast Mode and Jimmy Graham?

    • cha says:

      RW was 21 of 27. I counted at least 3 thrown out of bounds to avoid the rush, 1 easy Helfet drop and 1 Kearse should’ve caught. That’s 5 of his 6 misses not specifically his fault.

      Then the scrambling. The running.

      This might be the genesis of what PC envisioned a QB doing.

      • Volume12 says:

        I don’t think there’s a hotter QB in the game right now. RW is playing brilliant football and is unstoppable.

      • sdcoug says:

        Ironic timing of the Seattle Times article on Kearse knowing how many fans feel about him. Catch the dang ball Jerome

        • Magmatizer says:

          I think you mean Jermaine Kearse. Jerome Kersey was a forward for the Trailblazers back in the day (May he rest in peace). I initially got them confused myself.

      • Nathan says:

        The Kearse 1 I can excuse(If it’s the 1 where he was reaching up over his head) Helferts was a shocker though.

    • Phil says:

      What strikes me is how our WRs are suddenly getting such separation. It used to be that most of RW’s throws were essentially contested passes. All of a sudden we are seeing our receivers run routes where the DBs are barely in the picture …

  12. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Excellent tackling. I don’t know if they missed a single one all day. They pitched a defensive shut out on the road vs the top RB in the NFL.

    Another good red zone performance (3 of 4).

    Wright was all over the field. Clark, Marsh, Willson – each flashed today.

    I missed Baldwin’s 53-yard TD and Patterson’s return because the game was originally aired in LA market (not available on Sunday Ticket locally) but it was such a blow out that FOX switched to SF-CHI and it took a while for DirecTV to stream it on Sunday Ticket.

    • cha says:

      The previous play, RW had a 52 yard TD run negated by a Willson holding penalty.

      Oh, no TD huh? OK, next play bomb it to Baldwin for the TD.

      It was sick.

  13. C-Dog says:

    Frank Clark stepped up big time with the pass rush, INSIDE. That was huge, and a delight to see. My enthusiasm is only tempered slightly by the fact the Viking’s interior pass blockers look terrible, but he did what he had to do, and should do if Seattle wants to develop him there. Very cool.

    Russell Wilson is on fire and playing like an elite QB. 11 TDs in 3 games, 0 INTs. No Marshawn Lynch. This is becoming his offense now.

    Gilliam is not giving me more faith as the long time answer at RT. Forget the false starts, he is too easily victimized by the power rush. This is what I see way too often out of him. I think the idea of him replacing OKung at LT is absolutely absurd.

    Little reality check: With the Vikes top defenders Joseph, Barr, and Harrison Smith out, the Seattle offense had a really solid advantage, but they did what they were supposed to do; they took total advantage. The Vikes were taken completely out of their game plan with Seattle’s scoring, ball control, and solid early tackling on Peterson.

    Fantastic game to watch.

    • cha says:

      The vikings got some dubious penalty calls too. A couple of those in that 1st &38 series were beyond ticky-tack.

    • Volume12 says:

      Thought Frank Clak too control of this game early.

      I’m beginnng to wonder, if Seattle lies using their DEs as inside pass rushers, and let rhe big bodies do what hey do best.

      I could see Seattle taking a Charles Tapper this year for inside stuff. That type of build.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Tapper converts speed into power the way Bennett does. Just a really hard guy to block anywhere on the line. He stands out even in Striker highlights. One of my favorite DLers in the draft.

        • Volume12 says:

          Exactly.

          I’m starting to become more convinced Seattle likes having a couple DTs, and instead of having a dominant 3-tech (hard to find) they want a wave or multiple DE/DT types. The 6’3-6’4, 275lber-285lber.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            When the LBs are as good vs the run as Irvin-Wags-Wright, you don’t need big bodies to plug gaps. Better to have “smaller” quicker, faster more active types.

            It’s nice to watch Marsh and Clark start ascending. I know Clark made the splash plays, but Marsh had another good game after a nice day vs PIT last week.

          • cha says:

            I noticed Marsh lined up inside at times too. I didn’t spotlight him but he seemed solid inside. Anyone else have any insights on him today?

            • Volume12 says:

              Marsh is becoming a beast on STs all the while becoming a very solid, rotational D-lineman. Like Frank Clark, Marsh is still getting better. Your right, he’s flashed quite a bit recently.

              It’s funny, I look at those 2 as a different version of Bennett and Avril.

            • C-Dog says:

              Marh was a former 300 pound DT at UCLA, but he must have hated being a fat kid, and slimmed into a skinny 250 pound LEO. He must like skinny jeans, or something. He should know what to do inside and can probably be used their in a pinch, but I think he’s set on LEO, and is becoming a good rotational player. Not any worse than Schofield was.

          • Ukhawk says:

            Yes. I’ve been wondering the same thing & checking out Mssrs Buckner, Oakman, Nassib, Lawson, Jonathan Allen & Bullard… Think Bullard may be a steal in a later round

            • C-Dog says:

              I have a sneaking feeling, depending how what he show’s in the senior bowl, and combine, DQ might target his former college player in Bullard high in the draft. They need DL in a bad way there, and DQ should know him pretty well. If he passes on him, within the first 2 rounds, he could drop. He’s always looked like a pretty heady player to me though.

      • Trevor says:

        Vol I am a huge fan of Tapper as well. I watch all the Sooners games because Striker is one of my favourites and Tapper has balled out this year. He would be a great addition to our DL! Wonder what range he will go in? Does not seem to get much press nationally.

      • C-Dog says:

        I think that’s the model they like to employ. If you look at what they have done in the past under Pete, they have always had a guy that is a DE/DT type. Anthony Hargrove, Jason Jones, Mike B have all been players that have been Ends and DT’s at various points.

        Yeah, Tapper is an interesting player, and fits that model. IMO, you can’t have enough of those guys on your roster, if you want to run this style of defense.

        I’m suddenly feeling much fuzzier about Clark’s potential inside, as well. It will be interesting to see how he continues here on out, and how that effects what they decide to do this offseason at DT. When we drafted him, I looked at whatever scouting clips I could find, and one of my thoughts was, body-type and style, he looked the potential of a 3 tech. When we started practicing him there in preseason, I got more excited. When you look at the broadness of his shoulders, his arm length, and the size of his legs, he looks like someone who, by adding more muscle weight about 10 lbs or so, could mature in that position, and not loose much explosion, if any at all. He’s really raw, though, as he had never done any of this in college. It was a great site to see him disrupt like this today.

        As we do forward this season, though, I wonder if he jumps head of Hill at all inside in the nickel

        Still feel like they can do an upgrade at the base down 3 tech, though. I like Rubin, but think he’s more a 1 tech playing out of position. He has good pursuit for a big man, but not in love with how he gets through blocks. He looks more comfortable as a player who should tie up blockers, but Mebane does that to much better effect. I’m willing to temper that thirst in this coming draft, if they can find that guy in free agency.

      • Michael(CLT) says:

        There ya go… tapper is definitely intriguing.

  14. Ehurd1021 says:

    That was a IMPRESSIVE game by Russ, the O-line and Bevel. Its fantastic to see Russ and the offense using quick rhythm passing to keep a defense on their heels. The O-line got after it today – I still hate the penalties, but as far as them getting of blocks and being a force in the run game, they are getting it done. I cant stress how great Wilson is playing right now… he is locked in and focused and shredding teams from the pocket. ADB looks so much like Steve Smith Sr to me personally… just not as physical but you can tell Baldwin has tried to build his game around what Steve Smith made a hall of fame carer around.

    The defense is lights out right now. The one thing that I still remain concerned about is Shead’s ability to cover faster, slot WR types – basically what Arizona has a abundance of. I think as Lane continues to get is legs back and knock off the rust the defense will get better. Kam is stating to look better, which makes sense, he basically was in pre-season for the first few weeks and now looks like he is in mid seasons form. Sherm looks motivated and playing fantastic and FRANK CLARK is starting to look like pre-season Frank Clark.

  15. Colin says:

    If Jimmy and Paul weren’t done for the year, I’d think this team is a serious consideration for another Super Bowl run, but I’m not sure. Minnesota looked flat out inferior today. Bridgewater is a mediocre, at best QB. Forget what happened last week, Ben is a monster and MIN is nowhere in the same class. They got exposed.

    With that said, if Seattle wants another Super Bowl push, they’ll have to rely on Wilson being a complete Savage.

    • Volume12 says:

      Seattle keeps converting on 3rd down like they are, they could win every game. Playoffs included.

    • Ehurd1021 says:

      Is Richardson done for the year? Because even if he doesn’t come back and the O-line continues to improve and Wilson continues to play and look the way he has for these past two weeks then I think we are the scariest team going into the playoffs. You also have to add into the equation Shawn coming back as well… that alone will provide a huge emotional and physical uplift for the entire team.

      • Volume12 says:

        Yeah-they IRed him.

        Add him next year as the 4th-5th WR, and he becomes something of a ‘secret weapon.’ Design a package for him. 4-5 plays.

  16. Cysco says:

    Can we all agree it’s now time to fire Darrell Bevell once and for all? I mean seriously. My game day routine involves drinking a couple beers, watching the game, then coming on here to read a bunch of comments about how terrible Bevell is.

    What was that crap today? I can understand playing well on offense the last few weeks, (Even a blind dog finds a bone every once and a while) But today? WTF? Can we please just get rid of him to get some semblance of normalcy around here?

    Thanks for ruining my sunday Darrell.

  17. Ehurd1021 says:

    I need to re-watch the game but Shead is playing fantastic right now. I know Teddy is not very good but every time something went Shead way he seem to be in position and ready to make a play. I pray he locks down that #2 spot for the rest of the season and in the future.

  18. Forrest says:

    Baldwin should be a priority for a long term deal…him and Wilson are too good to break up.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I agree, they should resign Baldwin. I would love it if Golden Tate rejoined the Seahawks next year. It would be the old one two combo with a sprinkling of new receivers to round it out.

      I gotta say- I’ve had some preconceived notions that the Seahawks need a big Calvin Johnson type receiver. Well they have been playing great without that big receiver. Maybe the Seahawks play better when there isn’t a super star in the receivers or running backs.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        I think they play better when the WRs actually hit their routes and get away from sticky CBs. The rpime example is #16. He is able to make catches in space and scare defenses… I hink the defenses are playing timid and that is helping all the WRs. Seattle needs one more guy who can do this… which is why I keep thinking they will go “small” + “fast/quick” in the draft at a WR pick.

      • Forrest says:

        I sort of agree, but it wouldn’t hurt for them to draft a big guy to develop for down the road. As for superstars on offense? Lynch worked well (but he’s super unique), and Graham, as long as he comes back healthy, will still be a really valuable piece in the offense.

        • Phil says:

          I concur re: Graham being a “really valuable PIECE in the offense” — with emphasis on the “piece”. RW plays much better, IMHO, when he doesn’t focus on a particular receiver. My only question is whether Graham will be satisfied with playing a less-dominant role in the future.

  19. lil'stink says:

    I know that re-signing mid tier players hasn’t been a focus of our front office, but Shead is looking like he deserves to be extended. We gave Wright and Avril their extensions right around Christmas time last year; perhaps Shead and Baldwin this year?

    • Drew says:

      Baldwin can be done in the offseason as he has 1 more year. Shead needs to be re-signed. He’s the DB swiss army knife.

  20. nichansen01 says:

    Yep I definetly agree, Shead and Baldwin need to be extended. Shead looks like a legit Byron Maxwell replacement to be right now. Baldwin looks poised to break 1,000 yards receiving, something a seattle receiver hasn’t done in a long time.

  21. Cysco says:

    If GB keeps playing the way the are and we keep playing the way we are, we’re facing the NFCE winner. OMG please. please please. let that happen. Might as well call it a bye week.

  22. seanmatt says:

    I’m might be crazy crazy but I’m really starting to think that we should cut Marshawn, Jimmy, and Carry Williams in order to re-sign Okung, Baldwin, and Sweazy. This offensive line is starting to look OK and with more time together could become decent. Remember, we were the best team in the NFL with only a decent offensive line. And maybe our offensive is destined to be better with a bunch of homegrown, blue collar guys with chips on their shoulders.

    • Jimmy Chitwood says:

      Keep Marshawn. He is going to run wild in the Super Bowl. We need more than one RB. Graham and Williams can go.

      • Cysco says:

        Lynch will come back and play, but should get a pretty good split carry role with Rawls. Next year though? He’s gone. I imagine he’ll retire after this season. The FO is going to tell him he’s going to be in the back0-up role next season and that’s not something he’ll want to do.

        Williams is also gone. He could be cut right now and no one would even know it. (not even sure he was active today.)

        Graham? That’s a tough one. I suggest the same thing last week after the injury give his salary, lack of dead money and severity of injury. Rob made some good points about how the team is likely to stick with him.

        It’ll be interesting to see what they do with him. That’s a lot of money dedicated to a player coming off a tough injury.

        • cha says:

          Williams was another healthy scratch today

        • Jimmy Chitwood says:

          Lynch has been hurt all year. He will come back strong like AP has done. Those two are still the two best backs in the league. There is no reason to believe Marshawn is at the end of the line. I could see a contract renegotiation, however. He is due to make $11.5M. Too bad they cannot give some of that to Rawls.

          Jimmy Graham, doesn’t make us better. His injury is more severe. He will be a training camp decision. A renegotiation or buyout is a possibility with him, too. I would have traded Graham before the injury occurred. We need a traditional, blocking TE. We have two of the best RB’s in the league. Jimmy just does not fit the offense.

          • Ben says:

            Yeah, Lynch has been hurt all year, and why do you think he won’t next year? We’ve been better with him out, and there’s no reason to think that Lynch will be healthy next year. I say draft another back, and let Lynch walk (hopefully by retiring).

            • Jimmy Chitwood says:

              He has a stomach muscle pull. That is not something that will be career ending. He has always kept himself in great shape. He will come back well rested. Lynch is no more likely to get hurt next season than Rawls will. We can use two guys at the position … just like every other position. If we cut Marshawn and Rawls gets hurt we are down to a rookie. We got lucky this year finding Rawls. We could be starting Michael or Turbin this season.

              • nichansen01 says:

                Last year he had constant back problems. This year he had a bad hamstring and a bad back and miised a few games before he hurt an abdominal muscle. Hes been considering returing for the last two years. If the seahawks win the superbowl (which is this teams goal right now) and he gets to get carries in the playoffs, it is very hard for me to see him wanting to play another year.

            • Michael(CLT) says:

              Lynch, in my honest opinion, is the Seahawk. It is now Russel’s team, but man… I am not ready to move on from Lynch.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I’d take the opportunity to relish his return from injury (providing it happens). I sense we’re watching the dying stages of the Lynch era in Seattle (and maybe the NFL).

                • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

                  Lynch not playing in the NFL… would make it a less interesting league to watch and follow.

          • Jimmy Chitwood says:

            I suspect that if Lynch were to retire, he would give the team a years notice so that they could have a season to bring in his replacement from the draft. Taking Rawls as an UDFA does not suggest to me that Lynch has indicating to the FO he intends to retire any time soon. Nor, did they seem concerned about replacing him because he is ‘too old to do the job’.

            • Ben says:

              See, I don’t see that. Marshawn doesn’t do things that make a lot of sense to me, so I don’t have any expectations of him, though we do KNOW that he has thought about retiring.

      • Ben says:

        We can draft another running back. Those 6 million dollars will be huge. Williams is already gone in my book. I’d prefer not to get rid of Graham though, I really think that he could still come back, though I may be delusional.

        • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

          The combo of drafting a RB, bringing Lynch back if possible (he might retire) and keeping Graham would be the wise move. I also see Seattle grabbing a TE in the draft, as insurance. Trying to keep the OL intact mostly, would be a wise decision as well…..

        • onrsry says:

          Graham can be Jason Witten or Heath Miller type security blanket for Wilson in 1-2 years, with more time and experince in this system.Even if injury affect his career in a bad way,he will be useful and a legit big receiver is always good to have. And team loves Jimmy IMO. He loves this team too i guess.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Odds are one of the 2 won’t make it back. Mostly likely Graham with his foot injury. So I would be careful about guaranteeing money to either.

      • Phil says:

        With a 2016 cap hit of $11.5 M, Marshawn is expendable.

  23. Jimmy Chitwood says:

    Too bad Cooper Helfet cannot catch a cold. Of the six passes RW missed, Helfet dropped three of them. This is why we need another TE in the draft.

    For all of you offensive line haters; Bevell haters; Frank Clark haters; and ‘We gotta have a big receiver’ guys; … the apology line forms on the left.

    RW has put this team on his back. In the past it was Marshawn leading the way with RW doing just enough to keep the defense honest. When Marshawn comes back this team is going to be unstoppable. Their confidence will be sky high. Bevell is probably scheming ways to use Marshawn and Rawls in the same backfield right now. How many teams have explosive running and passing games combined with a shut down defense? Adding WR Corey Coleman to this team in the draft would make the games unfair. The Separation is in the speed and agility to separate.

    • Volume12 says:

      If Coleman doesn’t go top 10-15.

      • Cysco says:

        I don’t think the team needs to go early with WR again. If (and I suppose it’s a big if) Richardson and Graham come back healthy, and if the offensive line doesn’t lose any/many pieces, and if the offense continues with its current identity (pass to set up the run)

        then, this offense could be ridiculous next year.

        • Jimmy Chitwood says:

          Chris Matthews is already gone. Kearse is a FA. Graham will be too expensive to carry if injured and Richardson … who knows. That is a lot of receiver talent in doubt. I see them bringing in two guys from the draft to challenge Kasen Williams and Kevin Smith and a couple TE’s. We cannot leave RW with no targets.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        2nd or 3rd round is the sweet spot, if they like a WR guy when they pick.. they should grab him.

    • bigDhawk says:

      Not going to apologize for being critical of Bevell. If anything, this win today makes me even more critical. Where has this offense been all year? And why did it take five losses to figure it out? We blocked fine today without Jimmy, so why did we waste so much time using him as a blocker? We are dominating with the short and intermediate passing game to Baldwin and Lockett, so why could we we not have dominated even more by using Jimmy exclusively in that role out of the gate?

      Of course, it’s more than just Jimmy. We all know what’s been wrong with the offense – and defense – for the first half of the season so no need to rehash everything. The point is very little of the offensive woes were necessary. There is no reason the offense we see now we could have been our offense the entire year – and even better – if we had just chosen to do. Specifically, if Bevell had chosen to do so.

      We are on the right track now. It’s a shame it took so long to get here. We’ve needlessly frittered away the division title and I hope our late season surge is not too little, too late. This season is shaping up a lot like 2012, and we all remember how that ended on the road in the playoffs as a wildcard team. Let’s hope it ends better this time.

      • Rob Staton says:

        “Where has this offense been all year?”

        Two words: Pass protection.

        • Ehurd1021 says:

          I would also add change in philosophy, too.

        • bigDhawk says:

          Other than Patrick Lewis yelling a little bit louder making calls at the line and Jimmy not blocking, I’m not so sure there is much that has changed with the actual pass protection. Certainly not personnel. What has changed is a new-found commitment to a robust short and intermediate passing game, which gets the ball out quicker and makes the pass pro look a lot better. This is something we could have been doing all along – and even better with a properly utilized Jimmy – instead of run-run-throw deep on 3rd and short-punt, which cost us the first and fourth quarters of so many of our losses.

          This goes back to my question. If there is no real reason why we could not have done offensively in the first half of the season what we are doing now – including pass pro for a quick strike passing attack – why didn’t we? Only Bevell can best answer that. But, hey, if he has finally grabbed a clue and keeps us in this track then maybe another championship is a possibility. That doesn’t exonerate him from the failures that put us behind the eight ball in our division this year. And if he does move on take a HC job a BYU or wherever, I won’t be brokenhearted.

          • Jimmy Chitwood says:

            I would argue that they tried to utilize Jimmy Graham in a traditional TE role by lining him up tight and letting him either block for the run or work the seam routes. This is not his game. There was a lot of talk about how he was ‘willing to learn to block.’ They tried to fit him into what the team needs … a traditional TE role. It was like playing 10 on 11 since Graham cannot block for the run or the pass. Lining up in the middle of the field makes Graham too easy to cover with LB’s. His best use is when he can use his 6-7 size against a CB. Without Graham we are using more spread offense with no TE or used Luke Willson in that blocking role. We also are now able to put Tyler Locket on the field for a lot more snaps creating more open targets in the quick passing game.

            • bigDhawk says:

              That was my point about Jimmy. We shoehorned him into a traditional TE role in our offense, which was wrong. I hear what you’re saying about the CB’s, but I’ll take Jimmy in the slot against a LB over the middle all day. You can still get Lockett and Baldwin on the field at the same time and do what we’re seeing now, probably better.

              • Jimmy Chitwood says:

                If he cannot do the blocking role then he is just a big, slow outside receiver.

                • bigDhawk says:

                  He is big, but not slow. That’s what makes him special and why we paid the price we did to acquire him. He is not just a big, slow outside receiver, blocking or no blocking. Yet we tried to use him as a blocker, which was absurd, and a contributing factor to our offensive woes the first half of the season.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            BigD you gave life to a lot of my thoughts. It’s impossible to know who was responsible for the poor training and other decisions (rookie defensive center anyone?) which seems to occur beginning of every year.

            I’m as grateful as anyone that the Seahawks are finally playing a normal looking offense of running and passing instead of that awkward mess they began with.

            So when the offensive coach can field a normal looking offense all year long I’ll quit butching about them.

      • Michael(CLT) says:

        Sigh. Move with life… Move with change my brother.

      • Amar says:

        Really?? You are going to criticize the #4 ranked DVOA offense in the league BEFORE today’s game?? As Rob pointed out, Bevell has a very tough job – no full access to running game (that’s Cable), keeping Lynch happy with enough touches, keeping Jimmy happy with enough touches, keeping Carroll happy by keeping turnovers low but yet at the same time be explosive (yes, that’s Carroll’s expectation)…

        Now with no lynch and no JG, he is free…RW is free…it’s RW’s offense now. Would we ever had thrown on back to back plays from our own 2-yard line with Lynch on the field? That would have resulted in probably at least one Lynch runs on 1st or 2nd downs and a 3rd and long probably and then a punt.

        Lynch is great. But, with a high profile RB, there are expectations to get a certain number of touches…with Rawls, there are no expectations from him to get a certain number of touches.

        There might be days against good defenses where this offense doesn’t put up more than 17-20 points because these WRs are still a bit limited (DB is great, Lockett is getting there…but when we have to get in 3 and 4 WR sets, JG and PRich will be missed).

        • Steele says:

          Agree, Amar. They are “free”, and playing like it. I do feel that they would rather do it this way in the stretch run, stick with the familiar, even with the limitations. With what is known, it is natural and instinctive.

        • Phil says:

          Agree entirely.

  24. Cysco says:

    I kinda expected this kind of day from the offense after Graham went down. Not that Graham was the reason the offense struggled at times, but I do think there’s something to this team playing better when they’re unpredictable. With no Lynch and no Graham, Defenses really don’t have anyone to key in on.

    The offense today was in such a rhythm. It was like playground football. It really goes to show that this is Wilson’s team. If the o-line continues to perform, I don’t know how teams will plan to defend this offense.

    • HI Hawk says:

      That doesn’t jive to be honest. Graham should be taking the defenses focus which should have been opening Baldwin, Lockett, and Kearse up. Even if they aren’t throwing to Graham, his presence opens up other guys. Now, if Bevell is calling different plays than he was before, that’s a different matter all together. If that’s the case, then that is on Bevell (or Pete). But, having a talent on the field is never a bad thing. If Russ was trying to force too many to Jimmy, that is then on Russ – he needs to recognize what works and stick with it. Put the best players on the field and throw it (or hand it) to the open one. I would hope that when Jimmy comes back healthy next year (hopefully), the offense doesn’t change what they’re doing. Though one exception is there should always be one or two “Jimmy” plays deep against single coverage and a boatload in the redzone. Going forward, I would love to see Jimmy take the #2 WR job from Kearse next year, leave Luke in at TE and let Jimmy work as a full-time WR.

  25. EranUngar says:

    A week ago i said that if we can resign Sweezy and Okung we will not pick OL before day 3. Rob shot me down. After the MIN game i’ll add my reasoning:

    If we all agree that this OL (2 UDFAs a 7th round DT and a 2nd T playing LG) is on a curve that got it from horrendous to functioning and bordering on solid then maybe Tom Cable had it right when he stated those are the best guys he ever coached. If we accept that then the concept of picking “Cable’s guys” in later rounds and grooming them for the task actually works. He is also grooming Glo and Soko to join the ranks. Why would we “waste” a high round pick when Cable proved his system works???

    Also,

    When PIT took the field last week they were a top 10 D in points allowed. They left with 39 new points added to that total and are branded a horrible defense here. Min was ranked 2nd in points allowed and get to add 38 points after our visit. I’m sure it is all about their injuries and not a credit to us hanging those points without 2 of the 3 top TD scorers in the last 4 years.

    And yes, the 2015 draft will rival the 2012 draft in the history of the JS era.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Nobody shot you down, EranUngar. Disagreements are allowed on the blog. Coming back after a big win to look for crow isn’t really what we do in this community.

      • EranUngar says:

        Sorry Rob, it was not a crow dishing. Different opinions (disagreements) are what makes this place unique and fun to read. I’m sure we still disagree on Jordan Matthews too.

        I didn’t reply last week because i respect your opinion way more than my own.

        I wanted to make the point now that my view on the topic is not just “OL plays good, no need to draft help”.

        It’s part of a broader view that looks at the philosophy behind building this OL and understanding that if the process does eventually work, there is no need to change it. If Cable can indeed create a valid OL from late rounders and converts, it’s a huge advantage that enables us to use our top draft capital to improve other positions and fill other holes. Why not add another 4th/5th rounder to the current stable of Cable’s guys plus an UDFA or two and let him keep building continuity especially if we are able to keep Okung at LT?

    • Trevor says:

      I think even if we resign Sweezy and Okung that we need to continually add young OL talent. If Ifedi or Coleman are there when we pick in RD #1 then I think they still make the most sense.

    • Nathan says:

      The O line performing doesn’t mean we don’t go there early in the draft.

      Look at what Cinicinatti did this year with their first 2 picks.

      I would still like to see add some top talent if it’s on the board when we pick so we’re not constantly patching the line up.

      • Nathan says:

        I would also argue that the system doesn’t necessarily ‘work’ If it take about 12 games(pre and reg season) to get the line functioning at an acceptable level.

        • C-Dog says:

          If this is the year for O-lineman coming out, it’s the year to grab one early. Every year I want to see them grab offense or defensive linemen early, either in the R1 or R2. Every year, no matter what. If the DT’s are blah, edge rushers are blah, grab OL. I think they are now “getting by” with Gilliam. Not sold he’s a long time answer. If they do WR and LB in the first couple rounds, I’m going to have to cut out salt from my diet.

          • mrpeapants says:

            agreed Gilliam needs to be replaced

            • Rob Staton says:

              Not based on the last few games’ evidence.

              • Michael(CLT) says:

                Have you guys noticed how aware Gilliam is. He is constantly pointing out blitzes from his side. Live Gilliam.

                • C-Dog says:

                  I haven’t caught that. He’s a Penn St guy, so he should be pretty smart. What I have noticed is when he gets overpowered by a mean bull rush, which I think Robison had his way with him on for a sack. I think he’s playing better ball, but still has a ways to go.

              • mrpeapants says:

                agreed hes playing better but I still think a upgrade is needed.
                the line as a whole is playing better but the standard was pretty low.
                great game go hawks

                • Ben says:

                  The standard was set low, but they’ve been raising the bar for the last few weeks. Yeah Gilliam’s been beaten a couple times, but he’s also had some really nice blocks in both the run and pass game. I don’t think he needs to be replaced at all. He’s only 24 after all, still growing.

      • Phil says:

        Nobody seems to be talking about drafting a backup QB. Playing without RW scares the hell out of me — with no disrespect to Tjack.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Will you feel any more confident if it’s a late round rookie backing him up?

          • Phil says:

            I guess that depends on the skills that the late-round rookie develops.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I guess the point is — if Wilson goes out, there isn’t going to be a replacement that anyone feels comfortable with. It’s the same with Green Bay and Rodgers, or Arizona and Palmer, or Carolina and Newton. The idea of any franchise QB being injured scares the hell out of any team because it’s the most important position.

              Drafting a QB in this class — whatever the round — will not quench that problem. Presumably they won’t take one in the first few rounds because you’d be taking a player you ultimately never want to see start a single game. If they take one later on — you need to weigh up the pro’s and cons vs Tarvaris Jackson. The rookie has to learn the playbook, the pro-game. He has to do it with virtually no snaps in practise throughout the season. And you’re hoping that if Wilson does miss a couple of games — he can hold the fort and see you through.

              Jackson, if nothing else, knows the league. He knows the playbook. He knows the players he’s throwing to. And they know him. He isn’t a starter caliber player but for the Seahawks he’s just perfect. A guy that they trust — but ultimately hope to never see.

              • Phil says:

                “If Wilson goes out, there isn’t going to be a replacement that anyone feels comfortable with.” I can’t argue with that.

                But, on a team that epitomizes the next man up motto, I think talking about drafting a backup QB is a legitimate topic of discussion.

                I have some concern that Wilson might walk away from the game after his contract is up. I think the growing evidence that repeated blows to the head can lead to long-term health problems has got to concern any intelligent player. And, I think that Wilson loves a challenge and would like to see if he can hit a curveball any better at 30 than he could at 20.

                • HI Hawk says:

                  Backup QBs are largely pointless as far as usefulness, T-Jack is about as solid as you’ll find league-wide. He might be able to play .500 ball, maybe even pull out a 9-7 year. Generally, if your starter goes down for the season, the season is shot. Finding talent in unexpected places is something John relishes, at every position. I’m sure they’d love to do what Green Bay used to do and bring in guys every few years to develop behind Russ, but what late round QB has been worthwhile lately? I really liked Cody Fajardo, currently on the Raiders PS, but Kaepernick’s struggles show how steep the learning curve is from Nevada to the NFL. That said, if John and Pete thought he could be a Russ in training, they’d probably find a place for him on the roster. The fact that there is no young backup on the team (and that B.J. was moved to WR) shows that John and Pete don’t see your worries as a problem.

  26. JC says:

    Brandon Coleman with the go-ahead TD just now for the Saints. Rob will enjoy that one.

  27. Wall UP says:

    This is just the beginning of what the Hawks can be. Patience is needed when you build a young cohesive unit. Cable could see the potential when a majority would not. Now the majority is witnessing the fruits of patience. A may be warranted to acknowledge what Cable is doing with”his guys”.

    Sure, many have commended their growth as “fill ins holding the fort”. Why not go a step beyond that? Just let “his guys” continue to grow. Lets not be so quick to tear apart this building process by calling for outside FAs to supplant what Cable is building via the draft. Let Cable show us what patience can bring. With Marshawn coming back it just might be another SB.

  28. drewdawg11 says:

    Under no circumstances do we give a raise to Sweezy or maybe even Okung. Sweezy made some blocks today in the run game but he got blown up a couple of times in pass protection, (again). Invest heavily in the line. I want josh Garnett to be our left guard next season. He’s just a great player. We also need a tackle. Enough patchwork offensive line garbage.

  29. Trevor says:

    I think Baldwin has really matured this year and become the leader on and off the field for the WR group. If he is not a pro bowler this year it is an injustice to how well he has played. He is always open.

    I really believe the self admittd bone head TD celebration is the Super Bowl was a big wake up call and learning moment for him. He has gone from being and angry immature kid to a well spoken mature leader on this offense.

    If any player deserves to get an extension this off season it is Baldwin as he is home grown and has shown he can thrive in our system. I don’t think PC/JS chance him becoming a FA as I truly believe letting Tate walk was their biggest regret to date.

  30. Trevor says:

    One other player who really should get some props for the improved play of our offense is Patrick Lewis. He has really sured up the middle of line. The pressure up the middle is what give Russel and most QBs the most problems and the last 4-5 weeks there has been a lot less. I am not sure if Lewis is the long term answer but for me he has been one of the most pleasant surprises this season.

    Would love them to keep Okung and Sweezy to keep the continuity of the OL and then add some talent in the draft and maybe one Vet Guard or Center.

    • Jimmy Chitwood says:

      I am sure the play of Patrick Lewis had a lot to do with the decision to trade Unger. The only complaint I have heard about him is that he is not vocal enough as a leader. They seem to have given him the confidence he needs to do that role also.

      This is a front office that is always two moves ahead. They never release a guy and then go, “Who do we replace him with?” They bring in replacements a year or two in advance. We have Marsh and Clark to replace Avril and Bennett. We have Richardson and Locket to replace Baldwin and Kearse. I am sure they intend to keep Okung because there is nobody waiting for his job. Sweezy has several guys behind him.

      • Trevor says:

        All very good points. I think the fact Okung fired his agent and is representing himself probably says a lot as well. They like already have the framework done for a deal.

      • bigDhawk says:

        Point taken, but good gravy I hope we don’t replace Bennett or Avril with Marsh anytime soon.

  31. Trevor says:

    I have been a supporter of Bevel and I am glad to see how the offense has flourished with his ability to open up the playbook with this injuries to Lynch and Graham.

    I have also been very critical of Cable and his ability to draft and develop OL talent. On that note I have to admit this OL group once again is starting to gel in December. Somehow our OL always finds a way to round into form right before the playoffs every year. For that I have to give Cable props.

    • Cysco says:

      There’s no shame in being critical of the OL play this year. It’s been down right awful at times. I wouldn’t fault Cable too much on the drafting part. I think he’s done the best he could given the draft picks he’s been given. Heck, when’t the last time you’ve heard Britt’s name called out during a game? (that’s a good thing)

      The fact that the O-line has made such strides is a testament to Cable as a coach. What we should be hopeful of as fans is that the FO doesn’t put the team in a position to replace so many O-line pieces again in one off season. I really don’t want to go through another year of on the job training for 3/5ths of the o-line again. It would be awesome to return all or all but one member of this line.

      • Jimmy Chitwood says:

        Cable is the Assistant Head Coach and Running Game Coordinator. I am sure the draft picks he got is exactly what he wanted. He has been a HC before. He has no ego or he would not have agreed to work for Pete. He has no fear of failure due to a lack of high draft picks in his OL group. He is confident in his ability to coach up an offensive line and the other coaches believe in him, too. Cable knows the best way to build the team is to spend the high draft picks on some other position group … most of the time. They loaded up at OG last year because Sweezy is leaving. The loaded up at OC the year before that because Unger was leaving. I expect they will re-sign Okung and bring in a swing OT because there is little OT depth other than Terry Poole. I also expect a RB because Fred Jackson is at the end of the rodeo. Marshawn will be back because they did not select a single RB in last years draft and neither Turbin nor Michael was good enough to hold on to the third RB job.

  32. Steele says:

    I was among the few who suspected that Russell Wilson and this offense would function better without Jimmy Graham, and even without Marshawn Lynch. That they would be “freed up”, just Russell and receivers that he has always relies on; known quantities. With Rawls instead of Lynch, a slightly different running attack that is less predictable.

    And here they are.

    This is perhaps the first game in which the defense played like the Seahawks defense, and the first complete game by the entire team.

    Congrats to them all.

    • Cysco says:

      I’m not getting too carried away about the defensive performance. That vikings team is a terrible passing team. Don’t forget what happened last week. Those problems likely still persist. This version of the hawk’s D has shown to be pretty good agains the run. It’s the up tempo, quick hitting passing game that gives them fits.

      At this point, I’m extremely confident that we won’t be truly tested on defense until the second round of the playoffs. (this assumes we get the 5th seed and that ARZ takes the last game of the season off since they’ll have things wrapped up by then)

    • Wall UP says:

      This team would excel if both Lynch & Graham were still on the roster. When Marshawn returns the running attack will be unstoppable with the newfound passing attack. Defense would have to pick their poison. The OL has played a large part of this upswing of offense. They know what they’re doing. Enjoy what lies ahead.

      • Steele says:

        WallUP, I really think Russell and Bevell are much more comfortable without Jimmy. That chemistry involved work, and they were still figuring it out. They are now “relieved of duty”, and flowing freely. RW knows exactly how to work with his veterans. Lockett has blended in pretty seamlessly.

        As for Lynch, hard to say. Rawls is quicker, cuts differently. I think he is an easier assignment for this newer o-line.

        • Trevor says:

          Steele I think it is Lynch they are more comfortable without as now they are free to run whatever they want without having to worry how many touches Beast Mode gets.

        • Wall UP says:

          A healthy Beast would only enhance the running game. It would be downright scary. It would be a tag team match with each one taking turns running over or around someone. At finish time the defenses would be spent because both would be fresh.

          That tandem would be the best in the league. If allowed to continue another year it may become the best duo in the history of the league and not just the Hawks franchise. These two together can be special. We’ll get a glimpse of this if the Beast comes back healthy and hungry.

          Graham was doing great before he went down. I think the scrutiny of Graham not blending within the offense was blown out of proportion by the media because of expectations of him putting up #s that he had while at NO. But, those involved in this offense knew that would not be the case, including Big Red.

          The last few weeks the offense was beginning to click because of the growth of the OL. PPro by them has allowed all the receivers to run their routes for completions. BR was a big part of that, leading in PYR. He will continue to be an effective weapon in the offense upon his return as they welcome him back with open arms. Hopefully, he comes back stronger than ever.

          This is a SB team. All the pieces are there if they were healthy. I just hope we have a chance to see BR & the Beast healthy and together to prove it.

    • Nathan says:

      They looked OK with Jimmy last week.

      I think the improved O line play and running game has been what’s helped.

      What are defences going to do to stop him now.

      Pittsburgh kept him in the pocket, he torched them, Minnesota let him run, same result.

  33. franks says:

    Seahawks are getting hot at the perfect time especially the offense. The line is blocking and Wilson’s hitting his throws. Lewis is still starting at center and the other 2 young guys are getting there.

    Obviously a good game by Bevell but let’s not get carried away here, ONE GAME does not a season make. Irks me to hear all the “Fire Bevell” detractors come out of the woodworks every time something good happens and disregard history. It’s less clear than ever who was behind the offense’s early season problems and let’s celebrate yeah but let’s not act like this has been happening all year. If you guys don’t want us to talk about Bevell when he sucks, which has been most of the time, then you should get off your high horse and stop whining about our whining. We want the team to be “championship” good, just like you do. It’s not irrational to want our offense to be much, much better than it’s been.

    Good to see Clark get it done today and I haven’t been a Clark hater, I’ve been wanting him on the field but when he missed that tackle in Arizona, I understood why Pete is taking it slow with him. Yesterday was great but he hasn’t been a consistent presence yet and the team hasn’t either, that missed tackle against the Cardinals continues to have happened and it was huge and so is being out of contention for the division crown.

    My position is unchanged:
    -staying with Novak for that long was stubborn and foolish
    -Russell’s head wasn’t in the game for the first half of the season
    -had we signed a new OC and got it right, we’d be contenders for the NFC West and homefield in the playoffs
    -the SB hangover hasn’t been easy.

    I’ll spell Bevell’s name right if he keeps calling games like this. I’ve noticed fewer weirdo calls for a few weeks now and that’s good too. But I still want this team to be all it can be, and every game still counts.

    • Wall UP says:

      Man, chill… They’ve gone back to back to (2) SBs. Guess what, this may even 3peat. And guess who will be making the calls? A talented OC that the team believes in. That’s why things are clicking. The players trust in the system and execute the plays that are called and they’ve taken off. So, instead of being critical, enjoy the ride. A 38-7 win, who can anyone be critical of that?

      • Tien says:

        -staying with Novak for that long was stubborn and foolish – totally agree. In fact, I was shocked that they started Novak rather than Lewis, a veteran who had success last year starting at C.

        -Russell’s head wasn’t in the game for the first half of the season – Not sure what you meant here but I don’t think that Russell’s poor play the first half of the season was due to him being distracted or not fully committed. For whatever reason, he was not seeing the field/making the correct reads and was holding to the ball for way too long, especially with the OL’s lousy performance at the start of the season.

        -had we signed a new OC and got it right, we’d be contenders for the NFC West and homefield in the playoffs – Disagree. Bevell has also frustrated me at times throughout the season with his play calling (and I still blame him for one of the most terrible calls ever in SB history) but our OL was playing so bad, both in run and pass blocking, that I don’t think any OC would have made us NFCW contenders. Our D was a hot mess at the beginning of the season also and that’s not on Bevell.

        -the SB hangover hasn’t been easy. – Meh. I’m sure there was some SB hangover but IMO, the reason why we did so poorly in the beginning of the season was really poor execution on both the offense (primarily the OL) and the defense.

        Great dominating win on the road against a team that we should beat. I was happy to see the OL continue with its improved play (still need to cut down on the false starts/illegal formations) and with Russell still making quick reads and firing accurate passes to his receivers. In fact, Wilson was so perfect that the only bad play I can remember from him was on a Read Option when the DE, Hunter(?), clearly stayed home and didn’t follow Rawls, and Russell still kept the ball and of course, was promptly tackled by the DE. I think we have potential to be a really dangerous team in the playoffs but I’m trying not to get overly confident because the Vikings was in reality a paper tiger and not as good as their record. Here’s hoping we continue with this solid play. Go Hawks!!

  34. M says:

    Simply put, the best game of the year for the Seahawks…they were consistent and relentless.

    It’s funny that pundits just a few weeks ago were saying that this team was even less than their mediocre record.

    I’ve always thought the opposite…this team has lost games due to great plays by the other team, uncharacteristic breakdowns, poor tackling and a loss of intensity. However, the potential was always there and remains there.

    I also think Bevell got the wake-up call three weeks ago when it was obvious the offensive simply had no identity anymore. Didn’t Lynch say that he couldn’t recognize anybody out there anymore? I don’t know who lit the fire under Bevell but these last weeks, he has clearly gotten the message and has absolutely been on fire. Kudos (deservedly so). Finally.

    I simply disagree that “force-feeding” Graham was a problem. When you have the best pass-catching tight end in the game and you truly and significantly struggle to find ways to make him meaningful …that’s not an issue of talent, that’s an issue of offensive play-calling. And that falls absolutely and definitively on Bevell.

    As far as unsung heroes, Tom Cable deserves his due. This O-line always had significant upside and he deserves a lot of credit for this transformation. It may have taken longer than thought but think back 4-5 weeks ago to some of the comments…

    To me, this team has always been the most talented in the league.. and, if these past weeks are any indication, we’re in for an interesting and potentially long ride.

    • franks says:

      Most talented team all year, I think that’s where the frustration was coming from.

      Cable is looking pretty good right now. Maybe he does know how to pick’em. He would’ve looked better from day one though if he started Lewis or Jean Pierre but that’s gotta fall on Pete, I think. But the line had a big role in our start and the climb looks steep, and needlessly so and that’s part of his record this year. We’ll have to win 12 games in a row to hoist the Lombardi.

      But we’re playing good football, finally.

  35. Ed says:

    I have always said, the OL wouldn’t be as big of a problem if the OC called a better game and had a better scheme. That is starting to come to fruition. It really allows PC and JS to draft how they have in the past. If they decide to keep Sweezy and Okung, we will probably continue to see OL drafted 3-6 and a difference maker taken in 1st and 2nd.

    I know it won’t happen, but a lot of money could be saved letting Lynch and Graham go.

    • sdcoug says:

      Agreed. All the comments telling “Bevell haters” to pound sand is kind of funny. No, he was not entirely to blame for the struggles, but YES he played a large role. As much as I will tip my cap to him for the recent 3-game stretch, it’s fair to wonder how it took us (Bevell) an entire half-season to work in quick passes to assist the OL

      • Rob Staton says:

        If only it was as easy as, ‘initiate the quick passes’.

        If teams know you can’t protect and will throw quick and short, they’ll scheme to take it away. If you can’t then run and protect to open things up — the end result remains the same.

        Today is a day to celebrate another great offensive performance.

        • sdcoug says:

          As I said, I tip my hat to him. And as you said earlier, this is a place for conversation

        • bigDhawk says:

          Chicken or egg? Could we not protect because we weren’t throwing quick passes or can we now protect because we are throwing them? We obviously could pass pro for the short game all along because we’re doing it now an not much has changed, other than a commitment to pass quicker. And no one has been able to schematically take it away yet. The argument that we could have realistically been doing this all along is legitimate and it’s a valid indictment of Bevell’s coordinating the first half of the season.

          • DC says:

            The answer is the chicken. That OL was so dog shit bad to start this season that Russ was in danger of becoming a shell shocked QB. There were 2 and 3 man jail breaks going on with regularity.

            • Steele says:

              Chicken and egg, harmonic convergence. OL improving, as well as Russell/Bevell clicking with different timing tactics. Just in time.

              This does not get them off the hook for what preceded. Going forward, we’ll see if they maintain this higher level. A lot will depend on the veterans on both sides of the ball finding the intensity and passion that seemed missing.

              Now they are smelling the finish line, and playing with urgency.

  36. mrpeapants says:

    best all around hawks game ive seen in 2 years!
    every things already been said, but I will repeat 2 things

    RW is on fire!!!!! and

    This was an ass-kicking. yes it was go hawks

  37. Wall UP says:

    I like to say the old expression has merit, ” If it ain’t really broke, then don’t waist time hiring someone to fix it”. Just keep what have in good condition. There’s nothing better than a little healthy competition via the draft. That keeps everyone at their peak competitive condition. Just no hired expensive is necessary.

  38. Jimmy Chitwood says:

    I think today we saw the merits of a quick passing game. The QB has 3 seconds to get the ball off. Somebody has to be open. This is why I favor the smaller, quicker receivers that can get separation. The big bodied, 6-5 guys take too long. They need 20 yards to build up speed. By the time they are open the QB is either sacked or running for his life. Tom Brady has made a nice living getting the ball out quickly to a bunch of smurfs. We need to copy this model by providing Wilson with these kind of targets. Replace Richardo Lockett with Baldwin on that goal line, slant pass and we would have two SB trophies.

    • Trevor says:

      Agree completely. In the SB it was not the play call that easy such a mystery but the personnel. If Matthews is running the pick and Baldwin is making the catch it is an easy game winning TD.

      The quick passing game is a huge reason why the OL has looked better since the bye week.

  39. nichansen01 says:

    Here are my top ten power rankings, in my Opinion:

    1. Carolina Panthers – Yes this team just barely beat struggling New Orleans. The defense struggles, but Newton was spectacular. The 12-0 record speaks for itself, though this is still a team I beleive the Seahawks could beat in the playoffs.
    2. Arizona Cardinals – Carson Palmer was been spectacular. The running game is carrying on without Chris Johnson fine. This team could man handle the panthers in my opinion if they played right now, but for now they sit in second place.
    3. Cincinnati Bengals – This team looks like the top team in the AFC at the moment, now that Nee England’s injuries have finally caught up to them. This team is just a hair behind the Cardinals, and could probably give the Panthers a real run for their money.
    4. Denver Broncos – The defense is the best in the league. Brock Osweiler hasn’t proven that this is a top three team yet.
    5. New England Patriots – Well the Patriots lost to the Eagles. The offense has been decimated due to injuries and it’s showing. The patriots are still very good, but for now rank below the other three 10-2 teams.
    6. Seattle Seahawks – They are much better than they’re 7-5 record. This team is red hot and will be dangerous in the playoffs. They can win out easily. The offense seems strangely better sans Graham and Lynch. Wilson is playing the best football of his career. In my opinion this team can beat any of the top five… They have played three top five teams this year and although all three games were losses… The Seahawks led in the fourth quarter of all of them. And since then, they have gotten much better.
    7. Pittsburg Steelers – Probably the most potent offense in the league at the moment. Can the defense preform well enough down the stretch to get the team on a deep playoff run?
    8. Green Bay Packers – This team has really struggled as of late… But Aaron Rodgers can win games man. That Haily Mary… No one else in the NFL can make the play happen.
    9. Kansas City Cheifs – They are streaking and might deserve to be ranked higher.
    10. New York Jets – Well they are 7-5 and probably better than the Vikings…

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      As I’ve said for awhile…. the Steelers and Seahawks are the 2 most dangerous teams potentially heading into the playoffs, they can beat anyone anywhere anytime.

    • nichansen01 says:

      Rest of my rankings:

      11. Minnesota Vikings
      12. Buffalo Bills
      13. Houston Texans
      14. Washington Redskins
      15. Indianapolis Colts
      16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
      17. Philidelphia Eagles
      18. New York Giants
      19. Oakland Raiders
      20. Atlanta Falcons
      21. Miami Dolphins
      22. Detroits Lions
      23. San Francisco 49ers
      24. New Orleans Saints
      25. Chicago Bears
      26. Baltimore Ravens
      27. Dallas Cowboys
      28. Tennessee Titans
      29. Jacksonville Jaguars
      30. St. Louis Rams
      31. San Diego Chargers
      32. Cleveland Browns

    • cha says:

      “In my opinion this team can beat any of the top five”

      No offense but doesn’t that mean you should rank the Seahawks #1 then? What are power rankings if not a gauge of “if #1 played #2, #1 would win”?

      • nichansen01 says:

        Please don’t feel compelled to write no offense when disagreeing with me! In my opinion the NFL is rather crazy which makes power ranking teams VERY difficult. The Eagles can get blown out by the 4-8 lions and then make it a score of 35-14 against the 10-1 patriots. If the Eagles played the patriots 5 times the patriots probably win 4 out of those five times. As you can see, the patriots are ranked vastly above the Eagles. The Seahawks can beat any team, that doesn’t mean they should be considered the best team.

    • Steele says:

      I think Panthers, Cards, Bengals and Broncos are hot but beatable. When and if healthy, the Pats are still the team to beat, but they are not healthy, and may struggle to get a favorable berth. They need all of their injured to be 100% to get through.

      As good as they look right now, I am still—still—uncertain about what the Seahawks can do. The hottest team, as well as the mystery team. Now the most dangerous team.

    • Trevor says:

      I tend to agree with your Top 10. But the 3 teams no on wants to see in the playoffs at Sea, KC, Pitt. But taken as a whole your power ranking makes total sense.

  40. mishima says:

    Unsung hero: Willson. Creates some space with his downfield blocking. Loved it.

  41. Mike B. says:

    Bruce Irvin and Kelcie McCray also had good games. Irvin had two tackles-for-loss and a sack, and McCray had 5 tackles total, which is quite a few for a special teams guy. And I love DuJuan’s dreads!

  42. Frank frog says:

    I think it is fair to say Cable deserves time to the guys we drafted this year before getting too crazy throwing high picks at the oline next year. If our guy is there great, if not Rb to get a running mate for Rawls or some beef at Dt, would be my top priority in the first round. Db is still a area of need and would love to try a 1-2 round guy in the mix there. Baldwin is the best slot since Welker with better athleticism to boot. I hate to see his snaps in the slot drop when Jimmy returns. Lockett and P-rich are similar to Baldwin though so you gotta think the hawks have planned ahead to not afford Baldwin. No Kearse or Tate style guys in tow makes me think another 2-4 round wr next year or ever year as far as I can tell. Irving is a unique talent in our defence and I don’t really see him moving on to be a bad fit elsewhere, unless Falcon/ jags get desperate.

  43. Trevor says:

    Just watched the game again and wow that really was a dominant performance. That IMO was the most complete game from start to finish on both sides of the ball in the last 2 years. Lets enjoy this win and hop we can get to Arizona on the final week at 10-5. If we can get that 1st wild card spot it would be huge to play NFC least in Rd #1.

  44. nichansen01 says:

    I am no expert on the seahawks salary cap. If Cary Williams is cut and Marshawn Lynch retires, and we let Ahtyba Rubin, Brandon Mebane, and Jermaine Kearse walk,and we dont sign anyone else, is there any way we can resign all of Jeremy Lane, Deshawn Shead, Russel Okung, JR Sweezy and Bruce Irvin? I think the first two (Lane and Shead) should be fairley easy to resign. Since Seattle’s line is famously bad, there won’t be too much interest in Sweezy and Okung from other teams, right? Irvin is the big one here.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There would be around $34m in free space if you cut Lynch and Williams.

      • nichansen01 says:

        So basically no way, right? Okung has a 48 million dollar contract already.

        • Rob Staton says:

          He’s not getting $48m in one year though.

          There’s ample room to keep Okung, Sweezy, Bruce and some of the others. It’s whether you want to keep them all — or whether they can get more money elsewhere.

        • nichansen01 says:

          It looks to me that Okung is probably a goner, Irvin has a current 9 million dollar contract and Jr Sweezy a 1.5 million dollar contract, prehaps letting Okung go is our only option but we can resign the others?

          • nichansen01 says:

            If we can resign Lane, Sweezy, Irvin, Okung and Shead, draft priorities shift to defensive tackle, and wide receiver. My mock for Seattle in this instance would look like:

            1. A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
            2. Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
            3. Chris Jones, DT, Miss State
            3c. Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pitt
            4. Running back
            5. Defensive Back
            6. Tight End
            7. Defensive back
            7c. Fullback

            • Rob Staton says:

              I would be surprised if they re-signed Irvin on top of Sweezy and Okung. I think it’s two from three. The more I’ve watched of A’Shawn Robinson, the more disappointed I became. He isn’t a pass rusher.

              I also maintain I’d be surprised if they draft any DT in round one that doesn’t have a special element to their game i.e. Aaron Donald. Just don’t think it’s part of their philosophy. And we have enough evidence now (5 years) to make those kind of judgements.

              • Trevor says:

                I agree completely Rob. In our defense the DT is more of a space eater until 3rd down when they have used guys like Bennett and now it looks like Clark. There is no DT in this draft close to Donald or even a Wilkerson. I think a guy like Chris Jones in the 3rd round would be the highest I would take a DT and might even prefer to wait till the 5th for a guy like Gostis or Heath.

              • nichansen01 says:

                If they have the funds why wouldn’t they resign the big three? (Sweezy Okung and Irvin).

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Because the player also factors into this.

                  Irvin for example might get a deal worth $7-8m a year on the open market over 3-4 years. If he’s getting those vibes and tests the market, are the Seahawks going to match or beat an offer like that to keep him? They had a chance to take up the 5th year option on his contract for $7m and declined after all.

                  Likewise Okung might wish to test the market and see what’s out there. If he does and starts getting offers worth $8-10m a year, it’s a hard deal for Seattle to match. They might be willing to overpay slightly for one or two — but all three? I think it’s unlikely.

                  It’ll be difficult to get all three to agree to terms before the market opens and if they reach the market it becomes difficult to keep all three. I suspect we might see an extension for Sweezy soon — as we did with Avril and Wright a year ago.