Instant reaction: Seahawks defense dominates Eagles

November 24th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton


The Seahawks under Pete Carroll have always attracted chaos. So many games are close (sometimes unnecessarily so). They’ll frequently raise their game for top opponents and play down to weaker teams.

It makes for exciting (albeit tense) viewing.

It’s also noticeable how different and unique their ‘weird’ games tend to be. This was another example.

With Jadeveon Clowney ruled out with a hip/core injury — this 100% felt like a day for Russell Wilson and the offense. The Seahawks played as if that was the case. Long-developing pass after long-developing pass was called. It felt like Seattle tried to score early in every drive.

Whether it was the wind, poor execution, Philly’s excellent defense or simply an off-day — it was a really poor performance from the offense.

In fact it was a mess.

Even without Clowney — and then eventually Jarran Reed who left with an ankle injury — the defense raised up and won the game for the Seahawks. Philadelphia was without Lane Johnson and most of their skill players. Losing Clowney and then Reed was no small deal for Seattle either.

The defense stood tall, built on the 49ers game and answered the call.

They had three sacks, six TFL’s, two interceptions, five forced fumbles, numerous pressures and played arguably their best game of the season. It’s in the running considering who they were missing up front.

Ziggy Ansah, Rasheem Green, Shaquem Griffin, Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson, Tre Flowers — all stepped forward to supplement the key defenders by making big plays. We’ve talked for weeks about how underrated Bradley McDougald is. He had an interception and no doubt improved his top-10 passer rating on targets per game. Quandre Diggs has slotted in seamlessly. The linebackers are starting to become a force again. Shaquille Griffin has had a great 2019.

It was all vital too. The offense had only 14 first downs, they were 5-14 on third down, there were 12 penalties and the run game took a complete back-seat to deep shots that mostly didn’t work.

Nothing sums up the situation better than this sequence:

— The defense forces a fumble (collected by Quinton Jefferson)
— The offense is penalised twice for a false start and a delay of game
— Joey Hunt is penalised for tripping
— On third and long, now well out of field goal range, Wilson throws a pick

The Seahawks defense made a huge play and the offense couldn’t capitalise, took points off the board and kept Philadelphia alive. It felt like it happened numerous times.

On another day this could’ve been a repeat of the 42-0 hammering from 2005.

Ultimately though, the Seahawks found a way again. The flea-flicker from Wilson to Malik Turner was perfectly executed. Rashaad Penny’s rumbling 58 yard score was clinical. Two explosive plays, combined with this defensive performance, was enough.

They’re now 6-0 on the road. They’re 9-2 overall and in contention for a playoff bye. This team has exceeded expectations, found a way to stack wins and they deserve immense credit for that.

There are still some lingering concerns. Metcalf needs to learn to track the ball and high-point to realise his massive potential. Chris Carson fumbled again — but recovered — and had the bizarre botched hand-off for a turnover on the next play. The injuries to Reed and Clowney are concerning. They need those two players in a big way.

Yet the defense has now put together back-to-back fantastic games. We know the offense can play better than this. If the defense continues to perform at this level then the Seahawks will be a dangerous opponent and yes — a contender.

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205 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks defense dominates Eagles”

  1. Dave says:

    Always tough to tell if it’s the defense executing well or the offense playing poorly but today Wentz certainly did his team no favors. I understand he had limited help from his receiving core but he had way to many poor throws and poor decisions. Either way great game from the Hawks D and so much fun to watch all the turnovers!

  2. Paul Cook says:

    This game was AGONIZING to watch for most of the way. It’s time for this team to put a whole game together, offense, defense, and special teams. Doing so against Minnesota at home next week would be a welcome sight, and good for my mental health as a fan.

  3. Volume12 says:

    Wait. Did N.O. just get screwed by the rule the league put in place because of them?

    Seems bad.

  4. Trevor says:

    Time to give Pete Carrol some credit for getting this team to play hard every week no matter the situation. Three trips to the east coast for early starts and 3 wins is amazing.

    Hawks are now 55-0 in the Pete Carrol / Russel Wilson era when leading at the half by 4 Pts or more. That is a mind boggling stat to me. Think about that no team has ever come back on a Russel Wilson led team when trailing at the half by anything more than a field goal. WOW

    You can criticize his game management and his dogged determination to have a run game but the results speak for themselves. Pete and Russ will be a HOF coach and QB duo before they are all said and done. Even if it wasn’t always pretty.

  5. Trevor says:

    It is amazing how in 2 weeks my concern has gone from the DL to the OL. Really hope they give Jemarco Jones the chance to start at one of the G spots down the stretch.

  6. Trevor says:

    Two much maligned young players Penny and Green were the players of the game on each side of the ball IMO. Really happy for both of them and it has to do a ton for their confidence going forward.

  7. DC says:

    This team can’t risk getting a playoff bye with a home playoff game. These boyz is Road Warriors.

  8. Kingdome1976 says:

    Carson is really becoming concerning to me and it was nice to see penny get more snaps.

    Metcalf will never be able to high-point the ball for the rest of his life because those of us who have good hand-eye coordination know that this is a skill learned early in childhood and is like riding a bike later in life even though it’s been 20 years since you’ve been on a bike. It would be like trying to playing a musical instrument later in life when all you had for practice was elementary school classes. I could go on but I won’t.

    • GoHawksDani says:

      Everything can be learned. And he’s still young and raw. I HEAVILY criticized him. But he’s pretty good. Needs to get better and learn more. But he was underused in college and still learning a ton of things. He’s a rookie. He won’t be amazing in first year. He won’t be the best WR in his 2nd. He won’t even be in his 3rd. But he’ll get better. And he’s already solid. And I think he has chance to become maybe even top5 in 6-7 years if he can stay healthy

    • Jeff M. says:

      I’m on the record as a pretty big Penny skeptic (from draft day onward) and Carson booster and have have pointed out multiple times that RB fumbling issues are normally fixable with a little coaching and focus.

      But Carson doesn’t look like he’s getting it fixed (which by the way is a real problem for him career/financial-wise as well–take away the fumbles and he’s probably in line for a big money extension this offseason, but I can’t see it if he’s putting the ball on the ground every week). And Penny ran well on the snaps he saw.

      I wouldn’t mind using Penny as the early-down back and Carson as the 3rd-down guy the next week or two… Ride the hot hand and see what you’ve got with Penny, while also maybe giving Carson the kick in the pants to work harder on securing the ball.

  9. Edgar says:

    Metcalf isn’t correcting this issue anytime this season. He is absolutely horrible at feeling the ball. He is D-Jack and K Robinson all in one. I’m calling him Shrek Stone Hands until he shows otherwise.

    The pre snap penalties are killing us.

    But overall, the team still has the will to win. Philly playing like garbage on offense helped a lot. Hopefully we clean things up for the Viking game.

    • hawkdawg says:

      Actually, he’s had catches this year on which he plucks the ball nice and clean. So he can do it, in some situations. But on those long balls, not so much…

    • neil says:

      He seems to be earning the nickname ” Hands of stone “.

    • GoHawksDani says:

      You guys are being incredible hard on him.
      He shouldn’t be play and get this much targets. Lockett didn’t get and he was way more polished. He can catch well, even amazing sometimes. I think these are concentration drops which will get better

  10. Paul Cook says:

    Philly was trending downward and we were trending upward heading into this game. That’s why I felt good about it. Having said that, can we please put a team away when they’re practically begging us to?

  11. CaptainJack says:

    DK….

    so much athleticism But needs to get better at catching the ball.

  12. Doug says:

    This game was soooo close to a blowout, if DK had caught the first two passes that might have been enough. With Clowney out, and rain in the forecast, I was thinking this would be a loss.

    The D stepped up big-time and this is going to help the team in the last five games. The experience of playing well (thinking about Green in particular) without Clowney (and then without Reed) is going to be a big confidence boost all around. Diggs looks great. The DBs as a unit look great, albeit vs Wentz lacking skill at WR. The run D looks fantastic.

    Had there been even a marginally better execution by the offense (or fewer penalties) this would have been an easy win. Even still, not close even thought the late garbage time score made it appear so.

    Just sayin’ that 4-1 down the stretch is 13-3, and I don’t think 14-2 is impossible for this team.

  13. Henry Taylor says:

    Rasheem Green was the player of the game today, an absolute clinic from a guy that’s always had the potential and is starting to put it together. Still just 22 years of age.

  14. Seahawcrates says:

    “If the defense continues to perform at this level…” Precisely , Rob. I did not expect this from the D after the first nine weeks. It IS further testament, I think, to Pete’s tenacious discipline of belief and mindset.
    The offense was not good against a strong opponent. How great to see the Calvary was Seattle’s own defenders.
    Really fun to see Penny break loose and I was shocked/encouraged by Ansah. What fun also if Griffen can provide some selective edge rush. He flashed more than once.

  15. Jamho3 says:

    They all did what they could it was glourious! Team win!!! Earned!

  16. astro.domine says:

    Perhaps it was a bit premature to label Ziggy a “busted flush”, as Rob put it. Wouldn’t it be amazing to pair Clowney with a rejuvenated Ziggy down the stretch? Has me dreaming of a first round bye.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think it was premature and one game isn’t changing my view.

      I firmly believe he won’t be in the league next season barring an improbable turnaround to end this season.

      But it was nice to see him make a play or two today.

      • astro.domine says:

        Based on Carroll’s comments and his play today I’d say such a turnaround is a distinct possibility, and that’s exciting.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Carroll basically said he was happy for Ansah and that he’s put on weight which is a good thing. Wasn’t exactly a gushing review.

          Last week he benched him for Shaquem Griffin. The chances are he would’ve seen limited snaps today too if Clowney was healthy.

          You’re going to have a big task on your hand to convince anyone that one game where Ansah didn’t look finished is a sign that he’s about to have a tremendous comeback world tour.

          • Duceyq says:

            Missing a season is hard, which Ziggy pretty much did last year, and it takes time to return to form. Game speed can’t be simulated. He missed preseason along with the first two games. This premature condemnation of his skills you have are, I guess, premature. He’s preformed at All Pro levels before in his career and I think we just have to be patient in our evaluations of players returning from injuries like his. This guy will be in the league next year and in a game where Seattle didn’t have its best D-Lineman and lost its second best he balled out and served a great position depth. I think today is a sign of things to come for him and as a defensive unit as a whole. Hopefully is play changes your point of view of him, I’m sure you would be happy to be wrong on this one ; )

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’d be very happy to be wrong. I’m certain I won’t be though. He’s a complete shadow of what he used to be — and what he used to be was still wildly inconsistent.

              I’m happy he had a good game yesterday but he’s been lousy all year and was in the process of losing his job to Shaquem Griffin — who they were basically taking a punt on because there was no other option due to Ansah’s ineptitude.

              This is a last hoorah for Ansah and I hope he sees it that way, plays well to the end and gives us something for his not insignificant salary. But when the year is done, Ansah will be too. He’s created a trio with Eddie Lacy and Luke Joeckel.

      • hawkdawg says:

        Seemed stouter and stronger today, with more push and explosion. We’ll see whether that becomes a trend.

        • Pickering says:

          Pete said – I know, pinch of salt – that Ziggy needed to regain weight, and he apparently did. As much as whatever Pete says, especially when he’s being super positive, often needs to interpreted and questioned, I’ll take his word over those of his critics. Believe it or not, Pete might know more about football and his players than the quants at FG, etc.

    • mishima says:

      Like Robert De Niro’s character in ‘Awakenings.’

      Dude had 2 weeks to get up for 1 game. He did alright.

    • WALL UP says:

      “November 16, 2019 at 5:49 pm
      It’s good to see the consensuses of most, if not all, is a that Clowney is a must keep. JS & Company, no doubt, share the same sentiments. Yes, the “GM of the Year” has a plan in place to work that out.

      Unfortunately, Ansah was not able to fully reach his potential, as yet. But the season is not over yet. It is possible that he does get stronger as the season goes on, if he continues his rebuilding maintenance, as did Dissly for his injuries. For the sake of the team this year, and also for his career, I hope he puts in the work.”

      Another example of how Pete supports his players, and doesn’t give up on them as the fans do. I’m happy Ansah IS putting in the work to recover from his injury.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Pete literally gave up on Ansah last week in the biggest game of the season, by benching him for Shaquem Griffin.

        Look — I’m glad he had some plays today. But let’s be real.

        • WALL UP says:

          Only time Pete will give up on his players is when he releases them. He’s always coaching up his players until that time comes. He really cares about them, that they do their best, even when it’s not quite good enough. PC is an exceptional HC.

          • Rob Staton says:

            That’s just rhetoric to be fair. Pete has consistently not used players he doesn’t think are cutting it. There was no benefit to cutting Ansah and he’s here for the duration. But he was ingloriously benched last week for Shaquem Griffin. I’m glad he took that as a kick up the backside and actually did something today when Clowney couldn’t go.

            • Duceyq says:

              To be fair, he was benched for a bonehead offsides penalty and rightfully so, not for his play. But it was great because Seattle has gotten a chance to see SQ with legitimate snaps as an edge rusher. I just think that move has expanded Seattle’s DL rotation, with Ziggy, not in spite of him.

              • Rob Staton says:

                He was benched because he’s been rubbish.

                • GoHawksDani says:

                  Not a fan of Ansah, but you’re too stubborn.
                  He might be benched for Shaq because of the offsides or Shaq is more of a speedrusher and PC thought speed can win more matches there.
                  I like you Rob, and respect the heck out of you as a draft analyst. But you tend to build up scripts in your head and you won’t really deviate from them.
                  You are knowledgeable as an NFL/draft expert, so you’ll be right more than not. But it seems like you think you’re always right.

                  As for me: I agree with you on that it’s most likely the end of the Hawks-Ansah relationship (unless he comes back for vet minimum), and most likely he won’t be a true disruptive force on the DL. But he can be a solid rotational piece. And it’s possible he can be a valuable asset and a starter down the line. And it’s even possible that he’ll the the second best lineman for the Hawks (I doubt it, but there is possibility)

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    Stubborn?

                    The conversation around Ansah over the last 24 hours has been ridiculous.

                    Ansah has been an absolute waste of money this year. He’s offered virtually nothing. He was losing his job to Shaquem Griffin. It’s one game, against a depleted O-line on a day when everyone on that line feasted. I really hope Ansah can contribute more in these last few games. But one isolated game doesn’t prove any of my previous opinions about Ansah to be wrong.

        • poweroflogic says:

          Today Ansah had 3 sacks (one negated by penalty), 3 hurries, 3 tackles and a forced fumble, according to the first run of PFF stats. I’m sure I don’t need to remind anyone that no Seahawk has more than three sacks for THE ENTIRE SEASON.

          Carroll has never given up on Ansah. If he had he wouldn’t have given Ansah 37 snaps today and instead would have given all the work to Jefferson, Green, Jackson, Collier and Griffin. On the contrary Carroll was crystal clear two weeks ago about not giving up on Ansah — because he was “washed” — making it clear that the problem was Ansah had not recovered his full weight and strength (which Ansah’s style of pass rush heavily relies on) and that they had a solution too (“a regimen”). It’s obvious the plan included more cautious management of Ansah’s snaps, which probably should have happened long ago. Nevertheless, as someone reported here recently, Clayton has said that the team always knew Ansah might be a “December signing”.

          None of this should be surprising to anyone after Ansah’s major reconstructive shoulder surgery and long rehab marked by some reported setbacks along the way. Many had projected he would not play until well into the season. Ansah may have been “cleared” for football three weeks in but he wasn’t anywhere near his pre-surgery physical capacity. None of this has anything to do with Ansah suddenly and inexplicably falling off some magical age/skill cliff just a few months after he was getting top of the league pressure rates. And by top of the league, I mean literally: according to PFF in 2018 he had a Pass Rush Productivity of 11.9 which was #1 in the league among edge rushers. For comparison Clowney’s PRP sits now at 7.4.

          I have no idea which direction things go now for Ansah but Carroll’s faith and medically-grounded explanation make a lot more sense than anything else I’m hearing from impatient and cynical fans “upset” with a player’s post-op recovery.

          • Rob Staton says:

            You can all keep trying desperately to claim Pete Carroll hadn’t given up on Ansah but the fact is he was benched for a guy they haven’t even considered as a pass rusher for 1.5 seasons. They were desperate and benched him for Shaquem. He only played as much as he did in Philly because Clowney was out.

            I’m glad Ansah played well today. Hopefully he performs in the coming games too. But come on.

            • poweroflogic says:

              FWIW I totally agree there was a lame attempt here to call you out or pull an “I told you so” — Seahawk discussion could do with a lot less of that kind of pettiness — and that seems to have stoked this pointless and false controversy. But there is no desperation on this side of the argument. On the other side perhaps there is, if it really, truly amounts to arguing that Ansah was “written off” for good one week and then miraculously ‘saved’ the next simply because of Clowney’s absence. This despite the head coach making it abundantly clear what he thinks has been holding back his storied pass rusher and #5 salary cap investment. I just don’t get why anyone would entrench in such a position however.

              If Ansah was “written off” with 10 snaps in all of one game, then that must come as bad news for Green as well, who had 5 snaps that game, and probably for Jackson too with his 15 snaps. In fact Shaquem had all of 13 snaps that day! Quite obviously he wasn’t replacing these or any other players. The team has been desperate for weeks to experiment and inject something new because the defensive line as a whole was not showing up (that included Clowney who disappeared several games and had produced 2 sacks up till then). So they started looking to mix in a speed rusher, first signing Dakoda Watson, before needing to unceremoniously dump him, and then plumbing the depths of the roster. It was obviously never anyone’s intention to replace Ansah, Green, Jackson or anyone else with 215 pound Shaquem.

              It’s also not consistent on the one hand to (correctly) counsel patience on Collier’s non-performance to date, because he missed preseason etc, while on the other hand counsel mothballs for Ansah, who while certainly underperforming expectations was doing a hell of a lot more than Collier despite missing vastly more time with a very serious injury/surgery/rehab process leaving him 15-20 pounds underweight. And unlike Collier we actually know Ansah can perform at the highest level — and was doing so immediately prior to his surgery.

              The issue for Ansah this year was never skill/age/motivation/washed/whatever but simply a case of serious injury and major recovery — could he come back. Clearly he was rushed into play time before he was 100% ready (sound a bit like Dickson?). And now we see a glimpse of what Ansah can do: PFF’s objective pass pressure metric and subjective pass rush grade for Ansah yesterday were nearly the same as Clowney’s for the previous game, and that was without counting Ansah’s negated sack/fumble (I wouldn’t go that far but whatever). And today former Dlineman Stephen White remarked “rarely have I seen someone bull rush Jason Peters with the ease Ziggy Ansah did yesterday”.

              Will Ansah keep going or revert? I have no idea, but I’m not betting him.

              • poweroflogic says:

                *betting against him.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I don’t think there’s any lack of consistency. Collier is a rookie who lost his first training camp to injury. Ansah is towards the end of his career and was signed purely for impact — not as someone they’ve invested in over numerous years to develop.

                And I’ll say again — I’m delighted Ansah has had a good game. Yet the entire D-line feasted against Philly and we’re a game removed from him being replaced by Shaquem Griffin. Nothing about Sunday changed my mind about Ansah being virtually finished and that he’s more or less on the Joeckel/Lacy list as a free agent signing. I hope he contributes over the next few weeks to prove that wrong but I’m not expecting him to.

      • WALL UP says:

        All (3) will play on passing downs. Clowney, when healthy, will rotate with Ansah playing 3Tech on those passing downs. You can never have enough pass rushers. This is a good thing to have additional guys after the QB isn’t it???

    • TrojanHawk says:

      I agree! Ansah’s power showed up today. Its all working out perfectly for a prove it contract next year

  17. Nick says:

    I think Penny deserves a start against MIN next week. Carson fumbles the football far too frequently. Obviously we should use them as a tandem, but a point has to be made?

  18. Misfit74 says:

    Rashaad Penny had a great game. Best player on offense much of the day. Shouldn’t be an afterthought.

  19. MarkinSeattle says:

    Any thoughts on BC’s Dillon as a mid to late round FB target? He has put up a lot of yards this year and plays at about 250 lbs. he can also catch out of the backfield. No clue on how he will test.

    Good win, hopefully Reed and Clowney are back for Minny next week.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Any FB target needs to be able to play special teams. Their FB on the roster this year is basically 99% a core special teamer.

      • Jeff M. says:

        Yep. Pete and Brian want to use TEs (enough so that during an injury crisis at the position they’re turning Hollister into a core player and using Fant as the blocking TE), and they want to use WRs.

        There just aren’t going to be that many snaps in 20/21/22 personnel (you’re either taking a Dissly or a Lockett off the field in favor of a FB); we’re going to stick mostly in 11/12.

  20. AndrewP says:

    Pretty big day for the ‘18 draft class: Penny, Green & ‘Quem all with contributions and hints at what could lay ahead.

    I’m excited to see what this team can do rest of season, but seeing these youngsters show they can perhaps help make ‘20 and beyond special as well? Just so, so exciting…

  21. Cameron says:

    Looks like my estimated over/under of 11.5 wins earlier in the season turned out perhaps slightly conservative, rather than unrealistic. Guess counting on that November/December improvement paid off.

    Go hawks 🙂

    • Rob Staton says:

      And I’ll say the same thing I say every week.

      Just enjoy the win and let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

      12 wins is still three wins away.

      • Cameron says:

        Enjoying the win while looking ahead to what can be. 3 of 5 in December for this team has never proven a monumental ask. Hard to argue, in my opinion, that anything less than 11 wins is now the reasonable floor for the season.

        Certainly won’t be easy from here out, but should be a hell of a show.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      I wouldn’t go over 11 wins right now…. very tough games ahead. Even if they get to 12, they might still get the wildcard. Vikings and 49ers games are even bigger now. Can’t sleep on the Panthers either. They might be down and out, but are still dangerous. Hell, the Cardinals are starting to round into form and are no “easy” win.

      2-3 is kind of where I peg them right now…. for last 5 games. But, we can dare to dream for something greater, just be ready to have a few scares along the way. 🙂

      • GoHawksDani says:

        2-3 is relaistic-pessimistic
        3-2 is realistic imo
        4-1 is optimistic a bit

        Hard to say. If the D keeps the momentum and the offense play well, they could win out all of their games. If the defense declines or the offense keep playing this bad they can lose all of the remaining games.
        They beat the niners and rams once. Panthers can be tricky because of McAffrey and Olsen and they have solid D, but they seems beatable. Vikes are solid, but a bit overhyped. They are not the niners or the Ravens.
        I think all will depend on how the team can build the momentum and play together as a unit and how healthy they can be in December.

        I feel 3-2 will be the rest. Losing against the niners and rams (both will want revenge) but win against vikes, panthers and the cards.

  22. Brazilian Hawk says:

    The most impressive win this season IMO.

    The Seahawks dominated away against a top 10 team. The Eagles are very balanced in key facets of the game – OL, DL, QB play.

    This defensive line impressed me for the second straight game. In theory, this level of performance matches better the amount of talent in the defensive interior with Poona, Reed, Jefferson, and Woods.

    I don’t think Ansah’s improvement is a fluke. Read somewhere he’s playing under 250 and is still conditioning. Good to see Green and Griffin flash too, if they keep playing like this we can do great things in the playoffs.

    Our defensive backs game is excellent at the moment, the highlight of our defense.

    It’s great to be able to win without Wilson’s brilliance.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Ansah is trying to gain weight. I hope today is a sign of progress. But he basically played today because Clowney didn’t. Shaquem ate his snaps in San Francisco.

      • TrojanHawk says:

        Ansah has played well against the run! He couldn’t lift weights due to his Shoulder injury but it looks like he’s lifting now. We need both players! Queem’s spin move and getting skinny has improved big time since the SF game; also defending the 2 minute pass offense you can see his impact due to his endurance. Bennet & Avril always got gassed defending the 2 minute, it was a smart move to add a smaller faster player to defend against the 2 minute offense. Penny finally had a dominant performance because he figured out it sucks tackling him.

      • Brazilian Hawk says:

        Griffin just got 16% of defensive snaps against SFO. Between week 4 and week 9, Ansah had a 40% low and 64% high snap count in weeks 4 and 5 respectively.

        They probably just threw a Hail Mary with Griffin, because up to that point, we were not getting any pass rush from the edge by anyone not named Clowney.

        Whatever the case is, we will still need Ansah to improve because he’s definitely getting 30-50% of the snaps on defense. Griffin is not going to become Dee Ford overnight, and neither Jefferson or Collier are going to become Michael Bennett anytime soon.

  23. One Bad Mata'afa says:

    And THAT is why you don’t give up on a 1st Round RB in only his second season

    • TrojanHawk says:

      Yup especially when the primary issue is the OL

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Didnt stop anyone else from getting theirs.

        Perhaps he was a young rookie from a very specific college scheme that never made him make his own reads personal.

        Maybe it was that instead of an entire unit being to blame, Idk.

  24. TrojanHawk says:

    Ansah is coming around just like I thought he would, same goes for Queem & Griffith! My prediction is this will be best D in the league by playoffs. Ansah & Clowney will be back next year! OL will be retooled next year to deal with all young DL talent in the league. Got a Dime on the Hawks to win NFC West @ 4 to 1 & a Dime on the Hawks to win the SuperBowl at 33 to 1. If we beat the Vikings without any injuries I’m betting on the Hawks to win the NFC!

  25. Denver Hawker says:

    Hard to ignore the impact of Diggs. Defense has turned around coinciding with his regular play in the backfield. I know other players have made plays, but he seems to be a missing ingredient to fire up the rest of the Defense with his style of play.

    Kendricks seemed to tackle very well again today which is promising.

    Iupati is a liability in passing and next to Hunt is problematic for the offense going forward. Going to need that line depth down the stretch.

  26. Volume12 says:

    How is Jason Garrett still the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys?

    Kicking a FG from the 11 yd line down 13-6 in the 4th quarter. Even if you make it, ya still need a TD. Then again, not surprised he’d make that call.

    ‘We’ll go down from 7 to down 4’

    • cha says:

      I love the little teaser from Rapsheet this morning that if Garrett is fired his preferred destination is the Giants.

  27. neil says:

    Lets hope the Packers win tonight. But if the Hawks can’t win the division, the Vikings will probably take the 5 seed. next weeks game is critical for both teams. If the Vikings win they only have one tough game left, the Packers, After that it is pretty easy sailing for them. If they win next week they could easily finish 12/4. Even if the Hawks win the Vikings could do 11/5 with out too much trouble.

  28. Rob Staton says:

    Post now updated with an instant reaction podcast at the top of the article.

  29. Michael Hasslinger says:

    Was at the game today. I wish the wind really was a factor… it was not. Both teams AB simply misfired constantly. The Hollister overthrow was mind boggling.

    Something has to be hurt on Wentz. His throws lacked zip, crispness.

    The game was embarrassing to watch. That and the two drunk Seahawks fans escorted out.

    Fun day. Bad game.

  30. Sean says:

    I don’t remember seeing Ugo out there. Does anyone know if Ugo got snaps at nickel today?

    • Rob Staton says:

      He didn’t, they played Akeem King as the nickel.

      • Duceyq says:

        This is one overlooked aspect to Seattle’s defense this year. Depth and Versatility. Being able to play Big Nickel versus two TE sets or go small with true slots with Amani or even Diggs (in a pinch). They have a secondary that can really mix and match now when they decide to leave Base.

        Base is working better now with Diggs manning Single High and allowing McD to slide down into the box again. What a great trade!

  31. Aaron says:

    Alright Packers, give us a gift you discount double check cheeseheads.

  32. Erik says:

    Rob, who are you rooting for in tonight’s 49ers vs Greenbay game?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Green Bay. I’d rather be in first place in the NFC West. Any advantage to win the division I’ll take.

      However, I can see why people might root for San Francisco. We play the Niners again and they have to go New Orleans and Baltimore. After this game, Green Bay might be able to run the table with their schedule. So if you’re planning for first round bye’s, that’s worth considering.

      I also wonder if ‘chasing’ the Niners will retain focus for the coming weeks.

  33. Gohawk5151 says:

    Offense carried the team for most of the season. The defense has for the past two games. Pete, Russ, and the Seahawks have been a great team in December. This year has the the look of a year where the hot team heading into the playoffs will get to the SB. Seattle hasn’t hit their peak yet. It could be them. Teams like Baltimore and SF could be peaking too soon. New names like Diggs, Green, Turner and Penny could raise the level of play while other get on track. I trust the trackj record and heart of this team despite today. Not going to argue about a road win vs a team a half game back in their division.

  34. Aaron says:

    Hawks > Packers

    I’d say it’s…

    1. 49ers
    2. Saints
    3. Seahawks
    4. Packers
    5. Vikings

  35. Adog says:

    It’s interesting to think what fueled this defensive turn around…a career day by clowny? He did not contribute today. The addition of diggs? He seems to have spurred McDougal’s play to a all pro level. The tackling has been much better these last two weeks…but it had nowhere to go but up. I give credit to Norton Jr and Carrol for sticking to their philosophy and not trying to make any drastic changes. I’m not hopping on the sign clowny to be the highest paid defensive player in the NFL boat. I’m signing ifedi first and foremost…and then fant …will there be enough left over for clowny? Aaron Rodgers wishes he had the Hawks o-line.

    • GerryG says:

      It’s no one thing, but to me Diggs is the biggest factor.
      TT made numerous blunders, and that weakness trickled down across the D. Having assignment sound S play with leadership and big play ability is a game changer. Look at the reaction of Detroit players when he was traded.

      • poweroflogic says:

        I am searching for answers here too for this pretty dramatic (seeming) defensive turnaround. Clearly Dline pressure is a component, not reducible to any one player, but it seems to be much more than that.

        Diggs replacing Thompson, resulting in fewer costly errors, and McDougald back in his best role, are surely factors of improvement. But I get the sense that performance upgrades (covering, tackling, etc) at the individual safety positions are also only a small piece of the puzzle.

        I wonder how much of the transformation is driven by schematic shifts. While I haven’t tried to look ‘under the hood’ I have noticed what seems like more use of press man coverage and some return to single high. These too might owe something to the arrival of Diggs, and the trust Carroll seems to place in him. I also recall a couple weeks ago Carroll being quoted as having had a kind of ‘a ha’ moment, claiming to have ‘figured out’ the problem on defense (of course he didn’t elaborate). Whatever it is, altogether it seems to have given Garoppolo and Wentz problems and deprived them of the easy yards on quick passes that we were seeing so much of before.

        I am hoping some of the film study gurus will take a closer look and take stock of any schematic shifts over the last couple games.

        • Kyle T says:

          I posted on this 3 weeks ago and listed a number of factors where the sum would be greater than the sum of each part in terms of the effect. I believe that’s what we are seeing here:

          A little better pressure from the DL, improved secondary play, a few personnel changes. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make it all click.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      I think the term “do your job” is what you are looking for. The defense couldn’t play cohesively since their were busts in coverage or gap fits or w/e.. leading to explosive plays yielded. Once they calmed down the safety play, this led to a calming of the CBs play and elevation of Flowers, in my opinion, so he could play his game. This then caused the LBs to have to worry about less overall and worry about gap fits in the run and zone coverage in the pass…. seek and destroy more now than early in the season. Then, the DL could get an extra second or 2 to pass rush and hammer at the OL. They appear to be working better together as a unit. It is beautiful to see.

    • GerryG says:

      I cant pretend to be some sort of X-O’s guru on here, but I think the addition of S Griffin to pass rush has a positive impact too. Putting speed on the edge has coincided with better interior push (QJ being back helps that). Even though Griffin’s lack of size makes it pretty easy to get a hand on him and limit his rush, he is making the OL honor the outside rush, widening them out. OL have not had to worry about any sort of outside speed rush the first 9 games this year.

  36. GerryG says:

    I’m with Rob, pump the breaks on this Ziggy resurgence. If it lasts great, but he made few plays against mostly backups (granted, not the first time this season he’s faced a backup, and I did see a good rush against Peters).

    The miscues on offense today were frustrating, but the defensive performance two weeks in a row has me far more optimistic than I’ve been for most of the season. Next week is gigantic, SF is still winning and Min is the other wildcard.

    Pretty happy to see Penny shred today. I know Carson is the “identity” but to me he should be benched for a game, active, but emergency only. Every other player is held accountable, but he isn’t. Total bs imo.

    Can’t believe this team is 9-2, we will see what they can do next week against a strong balanced offense and a solid D.

    Go Hawks!

    • neil says:

      The defense was real good today, but that damn prevent defense they go into at the end of games sucks. It didn’t prevent much with a minute to go today. Last week either.

      • poweroflogic says:

        It burns clock while preventing explosive plays and quick scores, forcing opposing teams in catch up mode to make costly mistakes and/or rely on onside kicks (which are all but impossible now). Fans might get upset and worried about the Eagles, Falcons, etc. mounting some big comeback but the game is usually firmly in hand. There’s a method behind the (apparent) madness or we wouldn’t have that nearly unbelievable stat — Carroll’s 55-0 and counting record when leading by 4 or more points at half.

    • GoHawksDani says:

      Russ is not hold accountable either ever. PC has his darlings. I love Russ, he’s probably the best, or at least in the top3 QB right now, but he can play like a rookie who going towards being bust.
      Everyone throwing sh.t on DK and Carson, but Russ played as much bad if not worse today.
      Everyone loves when Carson run over defenders, or break 3 tackles for a TD, but when he fumbles he’s the devil. Everyone cheered loudly, and throw up a middle finger to every other team for not drafting DK when he makes a cool catch or break free for a deep route, but they also say he lacks some basic things that’ll make a good WR.

      I’m not on the Penny wagon. I think if they’d use him well he could be an amazing #2. But he can’t run inside without big holes. And PCSchotty loves inside runs. Carson always breaks the first or first 2 tackles. Penny cannot break tackles until he’s in his stride.

      I’m frustrated with CC, but without coaching mindset change, Penny is not the answer. And when stones are thrown they should be thrown to everyone who made big mistakes

  37. Aaron says:

    Packers are fraudulent x2

  38. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    With today’s win, Russell Wilson becomes the only quarterback in NFL history who has led his team to a winning season in each of his first eight seasons

  39. Paul Cook says:

    Packers exposed a bit tonight. Maybe a little bit more than a bit. It’s okay. We’re not going to be in first place, but the Packers are below us now, with only the Saints and 49ers above us.

    It’s all good. And it’s all about us. We take care of business, we’ll be fine. It’s a good year for us.

    *Cheers*

    • Donald says:

      I agree. The NFC West will conceivably be the strongest division in the NFL, having 2 of the top 4 teams next to NE and Baltimore. The pressure will be on both Seattle and S.F. to keep winning every week to keep up with each other. This will lead to a winner take all for the NFC #1 seed showdown on the last game of the regular season in Seattle. Kittle will be available which will help S.F.. Winner gets a bye week, and the loser has to play an extra playoff game.

    • GoHawksDani says:

      Yeah, but it sucks. We could be 12-4, the niners 13-3, the rest of the NFC 10-6 or worse and we’d still be only a wildcard team

      • Paul Cook says:

        The thing is though, we control our destiny with the 49ers. If we both win out (probably not going to happen, but…) we win the division.

      • neil says:

        People complained about us some years ago, winning the west at 7=9 ibelieve. The Saints were 10=6 and had to play us in Seattle. The Hawks won.

  40. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    I wonder if SEA still would have won if Kittle had played

    • Aaron says:

      He didn’t play so it doesn’t matter

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        He probably will next time, so it kind of does.

        • John_s says:

          The W-L column shows a win. I’m not going to play what if now.

          Week 17 if he suits up, the 49ers offense will look different with Garrapolo’s safety blanket out there but keep with the formula, stop the run and get pressure on him especially at the Clink

    • steele says:

      I think the Hawks are in a better position than the 49ers.

      The Hawks have ground out ugly, tough wins but are on the upswing, and despite flaws. The Niners have benefitted more than most from a far easier season vs. teams with injuries. They’re swagging and cocky, and appear to be peaking and getting ahead of themselves. Yes, their D is the real deal, very scary front line. But their offense, even with Kittle, can be beat. Because a good D can get into Jimmy G’s head.

      If the Hawks keep improving, they will peak in time for the pivotal Niners rematch, and whatever happens beyond.

      I like the Hawks’ chances. In the NFC it will come down to SEA and SF.

      GB was exposed as a big puff of nothing. Niners win didn’t prove much.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      With Kittle already out, when Emmanuel Sanders was injured early, the 49ers quick passing game was broken and the Seahawks made a great adjustment to stop the run and force the 49ers into a different kind of offense.

      The Seahawks will have a different defensive challenge the next time they play San Francisco if Kittle and Sanders both are healthy. But the way Seattle’s defense is trending I think the Seahawks are up for it.

  41. EranUngar says:

    10 days ago I posed this:

    “The current DL just had that marquee game that teams need to build upon. That game when it all went according to plan or better is crucial in the development of a unit.

    It was clear to me that we’ll have to wait till the 2nd half of the season before we can evaluate what this unit can or can not do.

    Do not be surprised if the Seahawks will march into January with a decent plus defense.”

    4 weeks ago the consensus was that the DL will be the downfall of this team and we were already looking for the missing pieces that we will need to resurrect it next season. Rushing to such extremes is common in a sport played over a 16 game season. In any other sport, the first 8 games are usually the tune up period.

    After yesterday it looks like we have a very competent DL and a very deep one at that. With Wood, Reed and Ford manning the middle and playing the run perfectly, players like Green, Shaquem, Qjeff can step in and make a difference and losing your best player for a game does not unravel the whole unit.

    I saw above the Ansah’s game did not register as a major step forwards, i wonder why?
    A healthy Ansah has always been a force on the field. It was clear he was not healthy when he sat out the first 2 games and looked skinny upon his return. He was a work in progress as he was fighting back to full football shape. There was every reason to wonder if he will ever get back to being the player he was, I get that.
    But, once he puts up a game like yesterday, that’s all you need to understand that he is physically capable again. He wont post a sack and FF every game but playing across from Clowney he can and will have an impact.

    Finally, so far this team kept finding ways to win:

    This team has won by RW dragging them on his coat tail.
    This team has won by winning the turnover battle.
    This team has won with RBs totaling over 100 yards a game. (7 out of 11 games)
    This team has won with a suffocating defense.

    There may come a day when none of the above will rise to the challenge.
    There may come a day when just one of the above will not be enough to win it.

    But, there may come days when most/all of the above will show up on the same day.

    You are what your record say you are. A 9-2 team IS a contender, especially when it’s a PC team playing in winter with their eyes on the prize.

    • Rob Staton says:

      You seem to be calling me and others out for simply watching the games and speaking in factual terms — that the defense was awful and the pass rush embarrassing. To suggest we were the ones who simply needed to have a bit more faith is poor form.

      I’m glad the defense is turning around. I can live without this ‘I told you so’ act though when there was zero logical reason to believe in the unit. It was either blind faith or honesty and I chose honesty.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Didnt watch this game yet, but it does seem a bit knee-jerk, all the praise for a defense that hasn’t done much of anything all year. Coming off a bye against a tattered offense, you expect to dominate.

        Cautiously optimistic is a fair take, imo, but you can’t rely on this team.

        Cold and windy game in philly? It only gets colder in the playoffs guys

      • EranUngar says:

        This was not an “i told you so”. I saw the same poor performance everybody else did and I certainly was not sure it would turn around.

        This is about me as much as it is about many others here.

        It is a lesson we can learn or ignore.

        Teams grow and evolve over a season. Some start hot and just fizzle while others get better as the season progresses. We need to look at the process, try and identify the causes (like, reed is away, clowney just arrived on week 1, Ansha is not healthy and certainly not is game shape after over a year away etc.) and adapt our view accordingly.

        After being dead wrong preseason last year and ignoring what PC, Wags, K.J. had to say, I promised myself I would not repeat the same mistake again.

        And since its poor form etc. – It’s not just a question of blind faith versus honesty. It’s also about being right or wrong. Yes, many may have had every reason in the world to declare “there was zero logical reason to believe in the unit”. It was still the wrong call in hindsight.

        Once you own that, it helps temper your views when you are faced with it again.

        • Cameron says:

          Well said.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          It’s one game.

          They have a lot to prove before we declare anyone made “the wrong call.”

          They did their job against a tattered offense. Give them a pat on the back and pray they do it a few more times.

          • neil says:

            I think the answer will come this week against the Vikings. Confidence or trepidation moving forward.

            • Kenny Sloth says:

              I dont think it’s quite as black and white as all that, but yeah a big test coming. Minnesota has a lot more talent available than Philly rn.

              Calvin Cook will be huge

        • Rob Staton says:

          How is it the wrong call if there was zero logical reason to believe in it? It can be both extremely logical to hold a position and for a unit, in this case the defense, to surprisingly play better in two games against all expectations.

          I’ve written countless articles on this blog discussing things I’ve got wrong. This isn’t one of them. I don’t know why you feel obliged to make these posts.

        • Doug says:

          Eran’s perspective (that I appreciate) is actually the opposite of “knee jerk”–it is about watching the process of building a team unfold over the course of a season, and not reacting too strongly to perceived weaknesses early in the season.

          I have a similar view simply from watching PC’s process through the season.

          By the way, the Seahawks record over the last 18 games is 15-3 (from a hawkblogger twitter post), the best in the NFL over that period (Baltimore can tie that mark tonight).

          I know Philly’s OL was a mess yesterday, but without Clowney (and Reed for most of the game) everyone else stepped up and had a great game. That is a big deal.

          I love where this team is headed!

          • Rob Staton says:

            I don’t think anything on this website has contradicted any of this though.

            This has been a place, from 2008 until today, that has always looked at things honestly and with perspective. This has been an unusual season. The Seahawks have shown major weaknesses and yet somehow have continued to find a way to win. Arguably they have been lucky in some cases. Nonetheless, they’re 9-2. Some areas have improved and that’s a positive too.

            But all this talk about thinking long term etc — we’ve been saying this since the start of the re-set. They’re still in the re-set. Which it is why it’s great to be 9-2.

            Yet just because you’re in a re-set and winning doesn’t mean you have to gloss over weaknesses, never criticize, never analyse, never ask questions.

            That is what I have an issue with. This borderline ‘told you so’ talk because the improbable has happened and the defense hasn’t looked awful in the last two games. Ansah coming back from the dead to have a game on a day when the whole DL feasted. This is all great and we can all enjoy it. This thirst for people who assessed the team honestly and factually to seemingly ‘eat some crow’ is so misplaced. As would be any assertion that this website isn’t rooted in perspective and bigger picture.

            • Starhawk29 says:

              I think Eran might be confusing criticism for a lack of patience among fans. Many fans are guilty of being impatient, but I don’t think that is you Rob. I think your criticism of the team is valid, factually based, and something John Schneider is undoubtedly looking at as well. Self-scouting is vital to his philosophy, and there have been some pretty obvious holes on this football team all season. Carroll and Schneider have done an excellent job continuing to rotate guys through to solve the problems, but holes still exist, and will until this offseason.

              Criticizing a team for not playing well isn’t the same as saying they can’t or won’t. This team will improve as the season goes on, they always do. Whether that will be enough to truly hide the holes on the roster will be fascinating.

              • EranUngar says:

                “Criticizing a team for not playing well isn’t the same as saying they can’t or won’t” I am all in on that with one minor change – I was and still am sure that they can.

                Before the season started I posted here that they are an 11-5 team at worst and probably a 12-4 team is they manage to win 3 of the first 4 games.

                When others saw a fatally flawed team winning close games but luck, I saw an under performing roster that still wins because they are good as they work to get everything working at the same time.

                I saw great potential on this team before the season started and I really hope we get to see it all come together on the field as we roll into the playoffs. I do not have Rob’s wisdom and understanding of the game but i follow this team for 4 decades and I trust what i see even when others do not share it.

          • TrojanHawk says:

            +1

        • Georgia Hawk says:

          “10 days ago I said this and was proven right by this one game” is basically I told you so in more words.

          Isn’t this argument basically using a knee-jerk reaction to one game as a justification for letting the season play out? At this point in the year the bad performances far out number the good ones and the good ones are the outliers. I’m certainly hoping this is the new norm, as I think everybody here is, but if you look at it objectively I don’t know how you can say with any certainty the corner has been turned. Yes it is encouraging and friggin awesome to see the D finally get it together. However, 3 sacks against 2 back up Tackles, and 1 of the top 4 WRs even playing is hardly a vindication that the pass rush is back. Saying Ziggy is back based off a 1 sack performance against a back up (and thrid string) T is hardly reasonable. Again, much more of a knee jerk reaction than the ineffectiveness of 9 previous games if you ask me.

          The first 8 games of work still carries more weight to me than one meh and one good performance. Carry it through the rest of the year and I’ll be the first one to admit I was wrong.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I just find it such an unpalatable position to take too. ‘Don’t analyse and criticise bad play because by week 12 they might have a good game and then you’ll be proven completely wrong’.

          • EranUngar says:

            Yes, I was pleased that my predictions, elaborated here before, materialized. I was actually taken by surprised when the DL played so poorly. I felt that there was more then enough talent in that group with young players who should improve to make it a better unit than last year especially once Clowney was added. I was actually about to lose hope when their play did not pick up once reed returned and Clowney had enough time to learn the system and then it started happening….

            To me, there are reasons enough why it did not work during those first 8 games and why it works now and should continue working. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

            The only reason I’m not claiming this team as a 13-3 top contender is my possible knee jerk reaction to some negative process I see with the offense in past 4 games. I hope its a combination of short term injuries, great defenses, bad days etc. but i’m waiting for the return of some sustained rhythm, the return of the the quick passing to blunt the pass rush etc. hopefully next week so i can start celebrating…

            As for Ansha, it was actually 2.5 sacks, one was called back due to an iffy holding call in the secondary. and here again, the near future will give us the answer…

          • mishima says:

            Irony. It’s wrong to judge them after 9 games, but not after 2.

            I stand by my original claim: The pass rush is weak and will prevent them from making a deep playoff run. However, if/when it returns to earth, you won’t hear a word from me.

            Go Hawks!

  42. charlietheunicorn says:

    2 clear cut above the board teams in each conference

    Patriots and Ravens are the crème of the AFC
    49ers and Saints are the crème of the NFC

    The drop off in the NFC is not that large however, but in the AFC…. it is a cliff.
    Vikings and Seahawks are playing much better now than earlier this season (overall).
    Packers have rolled out a couple of clunkers as of late, but their schedule softens so they can get right before the playoffs. Cowboys and Rams just are not firing on all.. or in Cowboys case (any), cylinders.

    Texans and Chiefs are very suspect right now, I’m not sure where they will land. Both can be very explosive, but both can get blown out. Frustrating, because I like both young QBs.

  43. Georgia Hawk says:

    Couple of numbers that I find pretty incredible:

    First, we are into the first week of Dec and it is mathematically possible, however improbable, that there will be a 14-2 WC team in the NFC this year. If both Seattle and SF win out until week 17, and Seattle wins, you have a 14-2 WC team in SF. Yeah lots of football to be played yet, but the mathematical possibility this late in the season is pretty incredible to me. It sort of puts those close wins where we spent so much time lamenting how terrible the team looked (myself included in this) in a new light.

    Second, Seahawks now have 8 consecutive seasons of winning football. Whatever else we may feel about Pete and his coaching philosophies, I think this is worth recognizing. I was born in 1984 and graduated HS in 2002, in that time frame The Hawks had 6 total season above .500 and many below it. I grew up rooting for a loser club. To have 8 consecutive season above .500 is incredible and is currently the second longest such streak in the NFL. Take a stab in the dark at the team in first…

  44. Largent80 says:

    Anyone that was clamoring for a Penny trade must feel pretty dumb. The way he trucked that defender on the TD was Beast like.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Penny is the future of the Seahawks /s

      • He had a good game yes but he definitely didnt truck anyone.He runs more like Shaun Alexander than he does Marshawn Lynch. Watch his 21 yard run where he gets close to the goal line on the far side of the field. He slows down at the end and doesnt deliver the blow. I see this out of him all the time. Ive seen him get blown up many times where you never see it from Carson. I like him as a second option but he will never be the bully like Chris is.

  45. GoHawksDani says:

    This game made me believe that this team can be an SB contender.
    I know… There were numerous injuries on the Eagles O. But even against bad opponents they couldn’t be dominant. Now even with losing key defenders, this defense WAS dominant in a big time. Apart from the trash-time-td, they only let the Eagles to score 3 points. The defense played their hearts out. It was amazing to see. Especially that Ansah, Green, Queem Griffin, Flowers the guys who had issues previously, stepped up big time. McDougald and Diggs seem legit in the backside with Blair also has potential. If Flowers could build on this then the base Griffin-Flowers-Diggs-McDougald quartet and in nickel package put Blair as S and Diggs as nCB could be a talented backside.
    Imagine Clowney being himself, Reed getting up to speed, Collier and/or Green stepping up, Ford being the monster he is, QJeff building on the early success, while also have Griffin for speed, Ansah for experience and others too for rotation.
    If the O clicks and the defense plays like they did in the last 2 games, I think THIS IS THE BEST TEAM in the NFL currently. I think the top 4 teams to beat are the Saints, Niners, Ravens, Pats currently. All though opponents but I believe a Hawks team that’s playing well can beat all of them.

    I wouldn’t throw rocks on DK. He’s always open. Speed, strength all show up. He is a rookie, we shouldn’t forget this. He is not a top10 pick. There’ll be some issues. His drops were a bit technique and concentration problems. Both can be fixed with exp. He runs solid routes, quick af, can push opponents. He’ll get better at jump balls and boxing out opponents and catching the ball.

    Some concerns:
    1, Carson…I get, first fumble could happen to anyone. But it doesn’t seem to happen as much to the other good RBs. McAffrey ~300 touches+targets 1 fumble. Kamara ~180 attempt (run+pass target) 3 fumble, Chubb ~260 and 3 fumbles, Henry ~220 and 4 fumble, Barkley ~170 and 1 fumble, A. Jones ~200 and 2, Josh Jacobs ~220 and 1, Fournette ~240 and 1, Elliot ~250 and 2, Coleman ~140 and zero, Bell ~230 and 1, Gurley ~160 and 3, Lindsay ~180 and zero, Ingram ~150 and 2, Breida ~130 and zero, Montgomery ~180 and 1, Mixon ~200 and zero.

    Carson? ~240 and 7 (or maybe 8, not sure if they counted last game or not)
    That is a 3% chance every time he has something to do with the ball.
    Next worst probably Gurley with 1,8%
    That is ridiculous. I love Carson, but it’s mind boggling how he cannot hold that damn ball.

    2, Injuries. Too many injuries. Guys were banged up even coming from a bye week. Not sure what’s the matter, and it’s not like only the Hawks players are injured, but I feel the medical/training staff might not be the best. OK, they are really awesome with the recoveries, truly amazing. But so many players get hurt in practice, or from a non contact thing. It’s weird.

    3, TEs. Hollister almost went out. Willson is out. Dickson couldn’t come back. Dissly is out. We saw how good Russ can be with a solid TE. He proved it with Dissly and with Hollister too. We need more TEs. And also…2-3 TE sets are amazing… Saints started to use more, I think we should too. Helps the run game and easy to create mismatches.

    So… as for the next offseason, I’d like…nope…I want, need a TE, a good TE…maybe even 2 or 3 (Dickson can go, Luke also. Dissly and Hollister are good, but I’d like at least 4 solid TEs). Just watch how disruptive a TE like Kittle, Kelce, Ertz, Howard, Hooper, etc can be. Dissly is amazing, we need more amazing TEs in this team.
    And maybe a solid, punisher RB. I want to keep Carson, I want him to be as great as he should based on his talents. But if he keeps fumbling…I’m not sure he should be #1. Penny has some talent, but he’s not an inside runner. He’s not a punisher, he won’t get the hard yards. He’ll run faster then most defenders, and can cut and jump to avoid a tackle.
    PCJS needs to decide if they go with Carson or not. If not, I want either a monster who runs over people, or a nifty little guy like McAffrey who runs through tackles and a dual weapon. I’m fine getting one in R1.

    To me R1 is most likely TE or RB (if Carson is not the answer)
    R2 is RB (if R1 is TE and Carson is not the answer) or WR
    R2 could be nCB (Diggs is OK, but he’s better as S)
    R3 a DT or EDGE
    Rest depends on how the board falls, but to me this is the priority list (based on also what is available in the draft):
    TE, RB? (depends on Carson situation), nCB, EDGE (could be higher, but draft lacks of good EDGEs), OG, RT, FB, DT

    • Georgia Hawk says:

      I keep seeing the “Penny isn’t an inside runner” argument but I’d like to point out that his long TD was right up the gut with a hard broken tackle at the second level. Sure, just one example, but still think people are selling him a bit short there.

      • GerryG says:

        I have been clamoring to give him (Penny) more carries, and said on here last week, I feared the team had given up on him. For him to have that huge play, between the tackles, is a really big. His second gear is something to be feared.

    • Rob4q says:

      On the play that Hollister was hurt, I was screaming at the TV for the refs to throw a flag – forward momentum was stopped and he’s on his knees when two guys push him backwards! That was ridiculous they let that happen! It just seems so random that refs blow a whistle early sometimes and then way too late others…

  46. Kenny Sloth says:

    No-one wants to talk about Penny’s embarrassing missed assignment that hung Russ out to dry?

    It’s that kind of stuff that’s held him back, not the OL and not management.

    If that’s what a player is putting on film, imagine him in practice or the film room. He doesn’t know his assignments, yet.

    Can’t give up on him yet, and he came in so young, but he needs to get on the same page because we’re looking for championship hungry players. Otherwise you’re gonna get flipped for a 3rd round pick, yo.

    • Bigten says:

      We do not know whether he missed an assignment or not. It looked ugly yes, but if you watch the play, Jenkins was sitting on the play while penny was in a spot to make a block. It wasn’t until Penny released that Jenkins blitzed. Had Russell been looking that way, Jenkins wouldn’t have blitzed, or Russell would have dropped it to Penny who would have been open due to Jenkins not covering him. It was a savvy veteran move by Jenkins to recognize Russell had his head turned, leaving Penny not needing. To be covered. The presnap movement was odd tho. Which might have played a factor also. I just don’t think it’s cut and dry like you are proclaiming it to be.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Normally, I’d agree with you, but dude didnt even know the alignment. QB pulled him over and his man got the sack.

        There’s also this:
        Rashaad Penny admitted he didn’t take his offseason serious enough. He’s since hired a nutritionist and has lost weight during the season. He’d gotten up to 238 pounds. Now at 230. Wants to get to 225. He said he could feel an extra burst, which was evident to those who watched.

        Which YEAH WE ALL KNEW THAT PENNY. We can tell you don’t take this shit seriously. Jeez what a bad look.

        • Largent80 says:

          Players get better with EXPERIENCE. If they are riding pine they aren’t getting it. Penny has hardly even played. Not making a block or busting off an awesome TD run while bulldozing a defender….Hmmmmm, which one to choose?

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            Why would you play someone that doesn’t know the playbook and isnt taking their off-season seriously?

            • Elmer says:

              Because you showcase them. Either they perform well consistently or you get something back in an offseason trade.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        And I really really hate to be THAT guy but Nick Chubb continues to look fantastic despite the circus going on around him.

        It’s really poor form to compare picks like that, but I had Penny rated below Kerryon Johnson and Royce Freeman.

        We drafted 2000 mountain west yards with Nick Chubb on the board

        • Brazilian Hawk says:

          Most of the flack Penny gets is out of frustration because we could have had Chubb. This is unfair.

          Penny should be analyzed by his performance and only his performance, and it is fine. The only thing keeping Penny away from a 1k rushing yards season is Carson being a powerful and consistent runner eating his carries.

          Right now, given how poor Carson’s ball security has been, and how explosive Penny looks, the coaching staff should change the carry distribution between them.

          • Kenny Sloth says:

            When you show up out of best shape and not knowing your assignments you’re gonna ride the pine.

            Yesterday may have been the coaching staff sending a message to Carson that Penny has finally gotten himself right and could eat at his carries.

    • Gohawks5151 says:

      If it is the play I’m thinking about, Russ was late switching the the protection and moved Penny over late while rushing to snap the ball. I don’t think Penny was set all the way and for a guy that is still learning to pass block he was put out of position and hung out to dry. I’d put that on Russ as much as Penny and illustrates a weird day for Russ.

  47. Paul Cook says:

    Any disappoint that’s come from me about Penny is that we spent a first round pick in today’s NFL on a RB who’s deep into his second season and still hasn’t won the starting job. In other words, he’s been playing (or not playing) far below the draft capital we spent on him so far. There’s no real arguing this fact from my point of view.

    As a Hawk fan, nothing would please me more than to see him step up and start consistently performing like the first round pick he is. Yesterday was great. Let’s see some consistency in this regard moving forward. I’d love it.

    • Denver Hawker says:

      I’m not yet convinced he’s played below his draft capital. He’s been injured and stuck behind a Top-5 back in the league. His career stats are impressive on limited work. When he does get more involved in games, he produces chunk plays and shows incredible speed in space, especially for his size.

      That all said, I agree it’d be great to see him more consistently part of the game plan, but I trust the coaches to call the playes and use the players that give the team the best chance to win.

      • Paul Cook says:

        We’ll just have to disagree about playing below his draft capital so far, though I’m certainly not completely dismissive of your point of view. In today’s NFL (emphasis on the passing game), RB’s are not valued as highly as they were in the past in terms of draft capital. The exception being a RB who clearly stands out as an uber-talent (Barkley, Elliot to name a couple).

        When you draft a RB in the first round or very early in the second round in today’s NFL, the team that drafted you is a lot more than likely expecting you to be a day one starter and/or somewhat of a consistent producer by year two. They don’t expect you to be second on the depth chart and getting limited carries deep into season two. That, to me, would be playing below the draft capital they spent on a RB in todays’ NFL.

        Hopefully, Penny is somewhat of a late bloomer, at least in terms of assuming a real professional mindset about his career. That’s what I’m hoping for.

  48. WALL UP says:

    It’s interesting to hear Pete’s comments on his show about the development of Ansah, and the status of Clowney. This organization does well in developing and caring for their players. A 1st class organization.

  49. neil says:

    Even after that poor offensive performance yesterday, the Hawks have scored more points this year than any other NFC top contender except the Cowboys. And they are only 3 points behind them. Who would have thunk it !!!

  50. neil says:

    OOOPS I overlooked the 49ers sorry.

  51. Tony says:

    Every year seahawks do this. Usually it’s the offense finding rhythm in 2nd half. This year defense is finding its rhythm. I wonder if the playcalling was more pass aggressive early in season cause the D was struggling. Maybe if the defense starts playing better if we see more 50/50. Yesterday I wish they established run earlier. But hard to argue against letting russ throw. I trust the ball in his hands more than anything.

    I dont think ansah is magically fixed, but if they limit him to backup smaller role maybe they get better production. I dont expect great results but maybe his health is better now or his weight is getting back to norm. This pass rush is really set with Reed and clowney healthy. Without them we will see sporadic play regardless of a good game. You cant remove 2 studs off the line and not see a difference. Green and quem growing gets me excited. Would love to see growth out of collier. Woods and qjeff have been tremendous vets.

  52. Sea Mode says:

    But in their past two games, road wins over the 49ers and Eagles, the Seahawks have caused mayhem on defense reminiscent of their Legion of Boom glory years. The unit has allowed just two touchdowns and forced 10 turnovers in that span.

    […]

    Here’s another theory gaining steam in the locker room: Recently acquired free safety Quandre Diggs has helped spark the turnaround. It didn’t go unnoticed that his insertion in the starting lineup against San Francisco has coincided with the defensive renaissance.

    “Quandre is the man,” Wright said. “He’s probably the reason we’re doing so good. Ever since he came in, we just flipped the switch and have been playing super-dominant.

    “I like playing back there with Q, man. He fits right into what we want to do. He’s talking smack out there. He’s a great tackler. He fits the Seahawks defense.When you have a bad man in the middle of the field, running line to line making big hits, that can make a statement on your defense.”

    Diggs’ arrival has also freed McDougald to play strong safety, a position where he’s more comfortable. He had an interception of Wentz on Sunday.

    “I think the biggest thing is, I can play free safety, but Diggs IS a free safety,” McDougald said. “That little subtle difference right there is all we need. Let me do my thing, and he does his thing. I think we have a dangerous combination right now.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/seahawks/after-another-strong-defensive-performance-on-road-vs-eagles-seahawks-are-starting-to-think-big/

    • Simo says:

      Certainly agree, Diggs has made a real difference for the defense. He’s frequently around the ball and always ready to lay a big hit! WR’s want to know where Diggs is at cuz he’s gonna lay the wood on them if they aren’t aware.

      As has been said on this blog many times in the past several weeks, the pass rush desperately needed to improve and take some pressure off the secondary. That’s been happening the past couple games and the secondary looks much improved largely because of it.

      I also think we should all just enjoy the ride right now and not have unrealistic expectations of this team.

    • cha says:

      The stats on Detroit’s defense since they traded him are staggering. Giving up something like 27 or 28 pts a game.

  53. Paul Cook says:

    Nice pod/interview, Rob. You’re very well spoken live. I enjoyed it.

  54. Sea Mode says:

    Can we PLEASE talk about the real elephant in the room here? Rashaad Penny’s TD celebration skills are not up to par. I mean, a WR on the bottom of the depth chart David Moore had to bail him out with a leap frog celebration. Penny literally gently pounded his chest one time; it was hardly even noticeable. We spent a R1 pick for this?! SMH, such a reach.

    • cha says:

      I know you’re joking but I honestly have to say it was refreshing.

      This “look ma! I got a fumble!” group of 5 300lb guys run to the end zone and pose for a picture stuff is ridiculous.

  55. Sea Mode says:

    Adam Jude
    @A_Jude

    Pete Carroll, on with @710ESPNSeattle, says Jadeveon Clowney was “more uncomfortable” after getting treatment in Philly for a hip/core muscle injury, but that treatment “should have positive impact moving forward.”

    Carroll says Jarran Reed aggravated an ankle injury Sunday. “Wait and see” with him.

    Carroll on Chris Carson’s fumbles: “Chris is a guy who is a big part of our team and we’ll do everything we can (for him). … Competition is a beautiful thing and no reason not to get (Penny) back in there next week. We’ll get those guys hammering away.”

    Nov 25, 2019

  56. JimQ says:

    I think all of the close games (almost all of games played) so far this year are an actual benefit for the Seahawks team. The team has “been there done that” – with success – whereas their coming opponents may be relatively new at that experience thus the “trying too hard” aspect will often show up to their downfall. Advantage Seahawks.

  57. Matt says:

    Quandre Diggs seems to be a real catalysts in regards on field play, demeanor, and leadership. He really has changed the “temperature.” What a find.

    Still amazes me how undervalued Safeties are in this league. A good one makes a world of difference. Excited to see him continue to grow. The defense looks real good right now.

  58. fransgeraedts says:

    I was in the stadium. My first live football game ever.

    When the season started i thought that the seahawks where one season away from being a sb contender. I still think that. We need(ed) a stronger defense to complement rw and a potentially great balanced offense. So a 10-6 season, playoff participation -that was what i expected.

    Now here we are at 9-2.

    What has happened? I think two things explain where we are. Both in the end have to do with coaching and culture.

    Players have overperformed. All those close games that we won …that is not a coincidence nor is it luck. Our receivers have been unbelievably good. Carson has been very good. (Even with his fumbles included). Our OL has been good enough. Russel Wilson has been fantastic. And our defense? It has been fighting like mad and has been good enough where it matters; third downs, red zone.

    Overperformance is not constant or reliable. But in every game enough players did so to make it possible for the hawks to win. (This also explains why the hawks never blew a team out…even where that looked possible. That „look“ was a mirage)

    The team however has also developed. That is true across the board. Newcomers have slowly but surely began to understand how the team plays and what their optimal role can be. Young players have been making steady progress. And Schneider has kept adding pieces that really fit.

    Actually the progress players make in the Seahawks system is remarkable. Qjeff is an example, Rgreen will be one i bet, both Griffins will be, Poona is, Locket is, RW is !, Penny will be, i could continue.

    It is what makes PC the best motivational (overperformance) and at the seem time the best developmental coach in the league. And of course overperformance and development are interconnected.

    It could be that we are at the stage that the development is catching up with the overperformance. If that is true going forward we could be a contender already this year. What we saw from the defense in this game makes that a distinct possibility. Can Rgreen, Griffin, Qjeff, Poona, Ansah keep both stopping the run and going after the QB?

    Is our secondary now a really great unit? It could be.

    I am deeply happy with this season. The progress made makes me even more sure about the hawks being a contender next year. And it has been already so much fun.

    I think the seahawks are on course to become/stay a dynasty. The best years of RW are still ahead. He will play at least another ten seasons on a high level. The culture and the playing style are set. And maybe just maybe we can score a super bowl early, before its time, one extra, for the books.

  59. UkAlex6674 says:

    Surely to be a dynasty though you’d need to win one than one ring?