Instant reaction: Seahawks win NFC West

December 15th, 2016 | Written by Rob Staton

Considering Seattle’s struggles against the Rams over the years, a comprehensive 24-3 victory shouldn’t be taken for granted.

That said, this was a typically sloppy Thursday night game. And the Seahawks still don’t really look like the Seahawks.

After a five-interception performance against the Packers, a conservative game plan was expected against a Rams team with an interim Head Coach and starting a rookie QB. Yet the Seahawks, again, didn’t seem overly interested in establishing the run. Their bread and butter for years.

Nothing summed it up better than a 1st and goal at the one yard line. I-Formation. And the Seahawks run a play action pass to a covered Jimmy Graham which was incredibly close to being picked off.

That’s how little trust they have for their running game it seems.

In the first half they managed 15 yards from 11 carries. Two of those carries were Wilson scrambles and one was a Jimmy Graham screen. Thomas Rawls tried eight runs — one being a throwaway draw play on 3rd and 15.

That’s not trying to set the tone and impose yourself.

They finished with 97 yards, 33 coming on the fake punt by Jon Ryan. Rawls managed only 49 yards from 21 carries.

Maybe they weren’t confident running right at LA’s strength (interior D-line)? Yet Seattle’s strength used to be a physical, pounding running game. And increasingly they’re going away from that.

This was another night when the offense — and pretty much the entire team — was going where Russell Wilson could take them.

It’s such a delicate situation. Pass protection is not a strength. If Wilson is impacted and pressured and if the offense faces adversity — what can they turn to?

This type of game is manageable in the safer climes of Century Link field. On the road with crowd noise in a hostile environment? Isn’t this why Seattle is 0-4-1 at NFC opponents this year? Scoring 8.5 points a game.

It comes back to the glass cannon argument. This team is potentially so potent, so explosive. But even a modest setback creates a crack. There’s always a real danger it’ll shatter.

After the Green Bay game it felt like the biggest future need was interior pass rush. Tonight makes you realise they equally still need to fix the run. They need a consistent running game.

Some other notes:

— What on earth was the end of the game all about? A fake punt, leading to a concussion for Jon Ryan. Throwing on 3rd and 20 and forcing an interception? A meaningless drive, risking injury, shaking the cage and trying to embarrass the Rams. All it achieved was an injured punter and an interception. Madness.

— How healthy is Rawls? Is that a factor at all? And how concerned are the Seahawks about their depth? Alex Collins didn’t get a single carry.

— Russell Wilson finished with an impressive stat-line. He still didn’t look anywhere close to his best. He was a Jimmy Graham big toe away from a vital red-zone interception. He had another possible pick dropped in the end zone in the first half. The late pick was as ill-advised as any of the Green Bay turnovers. His eleven interceptions is a career high. Is he taking more risks? And if so, why?

— The pass rush was better tonight. LA’s bad O-line was overmatched and the EDGE rushers feasted. This is their type of game. They had five sacks. Surprisingly they didn’t force a turnover despite a couple of near misses for LA.

— Mike Morgan had a really nice day, getting off blocks to make two big TFL’s. It’s not easy to tackle Todd Gurley in space, he did it on both occasions. All of the linebackers played well again.

— It’s a good job the Seahawks don’t play for 10 days. With Michael Bennett and Jon Ryan leaving the field with concussions — they’ll need as much time as possible to make it back for the Arizona game. Ryan isn’t just the punter — he’s the holder on field goals.

— The Seahawks are NFC West Champions again. A few weeks ago, with Wilson hobbled, that felt like it would’ve been a big achievement. It still is — and should be celebrated. If Seattle wins out they have a very good chance to be the #2 seed. They have time to find form before the post-season — but they’ve got a lot to work on.

214 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks win NFC West”

  1. Volume12 says:

    NFCW champsl

    Pass rush looked great. Ca$h Mar$h out there balling tonight. Bennett was dominant. And he looks uninterested? OK

    Lockett is so damn explosive. He’s a game changer man.

    That take punt almost had me in tears I was laughing so hard. Slow as molasses. Who fumbles it upwards, untouched?

    Nice to get a mini bye. It will help Bennett and Ryan in the concussion protocol.

    RW rebounded as we thought he would, but still looks like something is bothering him. Would it be surprising it he has another injury?

    Tough, physical game and a Thursday Nighter. Was anyone expecting a flawless game. I know I wasn’t.

    We’ll win out, Detroit will stumble, and the 2 seed will be ours again.

    • Nick says:

      Love your positivity and analysis, man. Thanks for all you write and bring to my fandom.

      • Volume12 says:

        No, thank you. I wouldn’t do if it people didn’t like it. If that happens I’ll move on, but I appreciate the sentiment.

        I see silver linings in black clouds. I’m an optimist, glad half full kind of guy. Life is to short for hate and negativity.

        This team is battle hardened and tested. Get ready NFC!

    • DC says:

      Congrats to the Seahawks on their 8th NFCW Title in 15 years! Batting over .500 ain’t bad at all.

  2. Austin says:

    Play calling was weird all game, Wilson still doesn’t look fully healthy and the line was abysmal and they still won convincingly. I’m not sure how to feel after that game lol.

  3. Trevor says:

    That was as ugly a 21 point win I have ever seen.

    I know DL and an interior rusher is a big need but wow that OL is about as far from being a bully as you can get. Ifedi looks lost at Guard sometimes. I really think putting back out at tackle might be out best option with him to make his blocking assignment reads easier and let him use his length. I love his upside still but he has been a disappointment so far.

    Back to Gilliam today? If Bolles is there he has to be the pick doesn’t he?

    Tyler Locket is all the way back!

    • Volume12 says:

      I don’t think moving Ifedi helps him at all. Let him settle in. He has to be taught not to lunge. That’s why they put him in a doorway. You see what happens when he reaches? He gets broken off.

      • Trevor says:

        Do you see what I mean about him looking lost and missing blocking assignments? It is surprising that there are still so many mental mistakes.

        • Nick says:

          Hey Trevor – yeah I can understand both of your perspectives. I, for one, think Ifedi should stay at RG. He clearly doesn’t have a full grasp of the game yet. And to throw him into another position (albeit, one he’s played before) seems like a mistake.

        • Volume12 says:

          lol. I agree, but TC is gonna let these guys make mistakes.

      • Trevor says:

        I was all in for him as a Guard with the idea he could be an Osemelee clone but I am just not seeing the improvement you would expect out of such a physically gifted kid.

        • Kelly says:

          I feel the same way. He has been a disappointment this year for sure. I am not even seeing anything amazing in the run game from him when he is touted to have a mean streak and immense strength. But for what it’s is worth after tonights game and after the Arizona game. There aren’t any defenses left to face that are as good as those two. Closest one would probably be Bucs,Vikings, Lions if those make the playoffs.

          • Volume12 says:

            Ifedi is an athlete. Never was nor will he probably ever be a technician. He needs patience and development. He’s getting that.

    • Drew says:

      Remember, this was the first time Ifedi faced Aaron Donald.

  4. Nick says:

    Great article, Rob. The bedwetting in Seahawks Twitter is ridiculous. Yes, there are serious problems with this team. But they are also full of champions that do their best when they are up against it.

    Everyone, me included, needs to keep perspective. We are two wins away from the #2 seed. We have a top 10 defense. We have a Super Bowl winning QB. We have Pete Carroll.

    While I understand this blog is about analyzing the future needs of the team, let’s make sure to realize that there are some serious strong points in this current roster. The fact that we can lose Earl Thomas and have a serviceable back up? Amazing. The fact we can lose Prosise and Michael and still have an above average RB? Pretty cool.

    Yes, run d and run o needs to be the focus. We still need to become the bullies. But we can still be the champions this year.

    • Mobilebro says:

      ^+1 The last time the Hawks wore rave green, Jim Mora Jr coached, Senneca Wallace threw passes, Julius Jones ran the ball, and Aaron Curry missed assignments. We lost to the Cutler lead Bears at home. We may not be as dominating as our potential might suggest but wow have we come a long way! Arizona seems to be in meltdown and the Niners are a shadow of themselves on a good day. Its up to this team to grab the #2 spot and keep this crazy mixed up season rolling.

      • arias says:

        It was hard for me to get past the hard neon glow of their uniforms, turning the whole event into an eyesore for my sore eyes.

        I don’t understand the weird forays into bizarre uniform colorings like that. Is this a NFL marketing gimmick?

  5. Trevor says:

    Anyone have an update on Prosise and if he will be back before playoffs? They clearly have zero confidence in Collins he never even got a touch tonight.

    • Volume12 says:

      Boy they miss Prosise don’t they? Not a coincidence for me at all year that this offense was firing on all cylinders with him in there.

      • Trevor says:

        Yeah he definitely adds a different dimension. He was also a great outlet when Russ was pressured. Really hope they get the bye week and can get him back for playoffs.

      • GeoffU says:

        He pretty much won us that NE game. Guy was amazing. Can’t wait to see him and Rawls in there together.

  6. JT says:

    The #1 need is blocking, plain and simple. I’ve wanted an interior pass rusher as much as anyone, but it’s easy to see that better OLs are needed. The run blocking is poor, and the pass protection is abysmal. “Running game” isn’t the top need. Competent blockers in both phases is. Our will can’t be imposed with this line, even if prime Marshawn was running behind it tonight. Lynch dealt with some shoddy blocking in his day, but that was nothing compared to the turnstiles we employ at 3 OL positions this season.

    • Volume12 says:

      Rawls was getting no help. I know that front 4 in LA is ridiculously talented, but how many plays were blown up in the backfield before he could even square himself up?

    • Rob Staton says:

      1. Seattle ran the ball with a substandard O-line in previous seasons. As noted after GB — even when Lynch would have a 60-yard type game, you still felt the impact.

      2. They are not even trying to establish the run, which is not like this team. That isn’t just down to ‘bad blocking’. It’s a combination of factors. And that is why the run game overall is an issue.

      • Volume12 says:

        Oh I agree. They definetly need help and another RB.

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          It felt like they started to try coming out of the second half when they ran the ball twice in a row then they stopped.

      • JT says:

        I vividly remember the ‘substandard’ O-lines Lynch ran behind before, and this year’s version is still a far cry from any prior year. Lynch could still make an impact on the low yardage days, but he’s also the ideal HOF-level grinder, and the Hawks used to have better run blocking than pass protection. This year, they’re both in the pits.

        I agree that more effort should be made to establish the run, but at what cost? This entire season, the Hawks have essentially only had 1 competent RB in the lineup at a time. Michael -> Prosise -> Rawls. The coaching staff knows how injury prone Rawls is, and the running game is absolutely screwed if he gets hurt again. We can’t give him the ball 20+ times every game and hope he makes it through. Especially not on days where its clear he’s going to get hit in the backfield on every run (like the Rams game). That’ll change come playoff time, but for now I understand falling back on the passing game, using a ridiculous amount of misdirection (as they did yesterday) to hide the OL’s pass pro flaws. Also, game script had a lot to do with it, but the run/pass ratio was 30:26 yesterday.

        Since we are tied to the development of Ifedi, 2 massive upgrades are needed on the OL over the league’s-worst tackle play of Fant & Sowell/Giliam. The only player currently on the roster that I have some faith in providing that next seaosn is Odhiambo.

      • Subterranean says:

        Rob – in your opinion what aspect was substandard? In 2013 and 2014 we certainly had a substandard pass protection but was the run blocking that bad? Seems like Breno, carpenter and Sweezy were all guys that played better in run than pass. This year feels worse because they don’t seem to do either consistently well.

        • Tim says:

          They were near the top of the league when it came to run blocking. The whole “substandard line” bit is complete BS. They weren’t good pass blocking, sure, but Lynch never came close to running behind a line as bad at run blocking as they are now.

          A really easy way to debunk Rob’s thinking here is look at the yard before contact in previous years, compared to this year. That right there will tell you most of the story when it comes to our run game.

        • Rob Staton says:

          In 2013 Bowie and McQuistan started a large portion of the season at tackle. They were absolutely smothered in several games (eg Rams on the road).

          I don’t think this year is worse. It hasn’t been good — but if it is worse I don’t think it’s by much. I think they’re in flux as an entire offense.

  7. Trevor says:

    Most positive sign of the entire game for me was Bennett looking like himself again today. Really hope the conclusion is not serious. We need him for this playoff run.

  8. I won’t be confident about this team until Russell is throwing with good fundamentals. Have read he isn’t using proper footwork lately and that’s why he has been so inaccurate and throwing the picks (along with bad mental decisions).

    Did you hear about Sherm screaming at Bevell after the almost Jimmy INT?

    Lastly…my god…I think Terrell might suck. That one play early was AWFUL.

    • Volume12 says:

      He was screaming at him because he wanted them to run the ball.

      This defense wants and needs the run game.

    • Drew says:

      Come on….one play that Terrell misreads and now he sucks? He’s a competent backup, but just because he’s not All-World FS Earl Thomas doesn’t make him terrible.

  9. Greg Haugsven says:

    Your right a win is a win. I think the run stats might have even been worse than that. That run blocking was atrocious. At the end you could see Rawls put his hands up saying, WTF basically. Well take the win though. The pre snap penalties are a really problem too. 3 false starts and 3 offside is ridiculous. Very sloppy.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I saw that from Rawls and I sympathised with him — but he’s also going to get hurt doing that. And they were facing Aaron Donald in fairness.

      • B. Eburg says:

        Which is why I don’t care for the scheme. It’s obvious at this point the line cannot block in space. If I was OC for a day we would go to a bunch formation. 2 tightends tight to tackles but just behind. Then just double team and bulldoze your way 3/4 yards at a time. At some point the defense will start sucking in tight. This leaves a receiver on each side with a lot more space. The 2 receivers I would use come from the trio of Baldwin/Lockett/Graham thus keeping Kearse on the sideline. Those 3 in space would get open more quickly thus shorter pocket times for Wilson.
        2 tightend sets, think similar to Patriots. One battering ram RB and then 3rd down back.

  10. Trevor says:

    I know they hate the Thursday night game but with a 10 day break this team should be really healthy for the playoff run. If we can get the 2 seed and the bye this team will be well rested and scary come playoff time. Despite our obvious weaknesses we have as good a shot as anyone to win the NFC.

  11. Jack Laughing says:

    The pass rush was back but back against one of the worst O-lines in the NFL. And even still the Rams decisively moved the ball down the field on two different drives. This in spite of an inept O-line and a seriously rookie QB, as well as a nearly non-existent run game. If these LA Rams are threatening to score in C-Link on multiple drives you have to wonder what the hell is going on with the defense. The Rams were held to 183 yards of offense but that’s only because FIVE of their later drives were held to a single total yard. So yes, the SEA D were great after letting Jared Goff drive downfield to the Red Zone twice. As much as I’m worried about the offense, the defense has been scaring the shit out of me this season. They can’t let a shit offense work them down the field in the first quarter.

    As for the Seahawks offense, the Rams defense has a huge advantage on them. The run games was a blocking disaster but holy shit, running up the gut on the Rams? Good. Luck.

  12. I am disgusted with the false start penalties. What did they have today 4 or 5? The o line seems so jittery that the Rams took advantage of it by shifting and making jerky moves on the D line. It is supposed to be the visiting team that gets the off sides at Clink. What was it 14 total penalties, and 24 yards rushing ? You are not going to win n the playoffs with stats like that. PC has never been able to clean up the consistent penalties, and that is discouraging.

  13. Cysco says:

    John Ryan is one of my favorite players. You just know he’s going to be laughing about the play for the rest of his life. Hope he’s ok.

    I feel the interior pass rush is going to have to come from free agency. Drafting a difference making interior lineman capable of collapsing a pocket isn’t likely to happen at the bottom of the first round. The team’s best DL players have come out of free agency and I think they’ll need to go shopping again this off season.

    Man that OL is just flat out bad. No excuses, it’s just bad. Last year’s line was terrible, but at least they finished the year strong. This year’s line seems to have regressed as the year’s gone on. I was really hoping by now we’d see progress and some hope for the future. I think now there are just as many OL questions going into next season as there were this season.

    If I were coaching this team I’d abandon the run too. How many times did a Rams defender almost take the handoff tonight? How many TFL did they have? The OL was completely overmatched. It’s kinda embarrassing how bad the run game has become. Maybe they should consider letting some money walk from the defense to even out the spending cause this “cheapest and youngest OL in the league” schtick is getting real old.

    • Volume12 says:

      I’ll be laughing about that play for the rest of mine. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

      He did last year too in the playoffs against Minnesota. Took a face dive and appeared to break his nose in the process.

      He’s a loony toon, but I love him as well.

      • Cysco says:

        Not sure if you knew this, but his wife is a professional standup comedian. He and his wife make an appearance down here in Dallas on the sports radio station at least once year. The hosts absolutely love them both. They’re both incredibly funny and Jon seems like such a cool dude.

        • Volume12 says:

          Yeah I did. Sarah something right?

          He is a funny dude. A character for sure. I can see how and why he fits this team perfectly.

          Is she from Dallas or…

          • Cysco says:

            I think so? I know she does numerous night of stand-up in dallas every year and I’m pretty sure she (he?) is involved in some charity thing down here.

            Funny story, two years ago when they were on, JR was telling the story of his TD pass. We was getting so excited telling the story, that he accidentally drops an “F-bomb” live on air and the board opp was too slow to catch it. The hosts and producer freaked out cause everyone knew it went live and they were going to get nailed for it. The rest of the segment was just chaos and laughter as the entire show went off the rails. Funny stuff.

  14. Trevor says:

    Poor Rawls is going to need a lot of ice tonight. I have never seen an RB take so many clean shots behind the line of scrimmage in one game! Worst part is you can’t even pinpoint one guy as being the problem. Not sure how Cable can fix this in 2-3 weeks before the playoffs but let’s cross our fingers because that was a flat out awful performance from our OL.

    • Trevor says:

      It reminded me of Fournettes last two games against Alabama when the DL gets penetration so quick that the RB does not have a chance.

      • Volume12 says:

        Its on RW. He has to carry this offense for now.

        • Cysco says:

          My thoughts exactly. For this team to do anything in the postseason, RW is going to have to take over the game with his legs. Maybe that’s part of the plan. Play conservative and just get into the dance as healthy as possible, then take the training wheels off for the playoffs and let RW go crazy. Who knows. All I know is man that offense is playing some seriously ugly football.

  15. Kelly says:

    Had no problem with the Jon Ryan fake punt. He just needs to get his ass down when someone gets within 5 yards of him. Thankfully after we play ARI the best defenses we will face won’t be until playoff time if we have to face DET, MIN, or TB. But those defenses besides MIN don’t scare me nearly as much as the Rams or Cards. Russell still looks a bit off and I could see some frustration with him and Rawls tonight at the consistency of the Rams defenders constantly being in the backfield. One more tough game then hopefully an easy one in SF. Get the #2 seed and we are only 10 points behind MIN for best scoring defense. GO HAWKS!

  16. 503Hawk says:

    Positives:
    Another division championship. Next; secure the #2 seed.
    Beat the “hated” Rams.
    D-line looked good. Bennett, Clark, Avril. No turnovers?!
    Lockett is a game changer.
    Realatively uninsured.

    Negatives:
    That O-line… (Glow really struggles. I know he was going against Tez… I mean Donald. I haven’t been impressed, all the way back to ARZ last year.)
    You know ARZ is going to take 3-4 shots against Terrell.
    Something is up w/ Russ.
    Rob; what do you expect the Hawks to do concerning the run game?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Re: the running game

      I’m not sure what they can do this season. Either commit to it or keep doing what they’re doing.

      • rowdy says:

        As much as I want them to upgrade the oline through the draft I think bringing in some vets is the best option. More rookies won’t be an upgrade for 2 to 3 years. Nothing can be done this year except some more film room and study.

        • 503Hawk says:

          I feel if they had “committed” tonight against that Ram D-line they would have had a lot more 3rd and longggg.
          What we have seen is our O needs to get positive yards on first down, stay on schedule, and keep 3rd down manageable.

      • Cysco says:

        I don’t think the lack of a running game is due to a lack of commitment, but rather a byproduct of the OL being incapable of run blocking. All a commitment to the running game would get them is 3rd and long over and over again.

        It really is hard to imagine this team going far into the playoffs like this. I really didn’t expect it to be the case, but this is the worst OL in the PCJS era.

        • Radman says:

          It all depends on matchups. A strong front 7 takes this offense off the rails. If they don’t have to face that in the playoffs I like their chances. But a strong front 7 shuts this offense down like a light switch.

          Every time they have a good showing against a weak D – we rave about the O line. When they get shut down by the big boys in the league we wonder where this team is at. 🙂 such are the ups and downs of fandom I guess. But the pattern is pretty clear. This team has a very soft underbelly and a tough D can exploit it.

          Rawls and Gurley are living shared experiences right now. They have talent that doesn’t get displayed because the run game is over before the play even develops.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I don’t think it is just the OL. It’s part of the problem, but not the whole problem.

          I’ll keep highlighting — last year’s line wasn’t very good. The 2014 line wasn’t very good. They still ran a ton better than this and had their identity.

          • Rad man says:

            Yeah. It’s not the whole problem. Probably only 90% of the problem.

            I’m watching the game on replay now and almost every time Rawls gets room, he gets positive yards. Sadly, that’s about one out of 5 attempts.

          • Austin says:

            What do you think it is then? I think the threat of the read option would help but Russell isn’t there yet. I wonder if we see it after a bye and in the playoffs. Being slightly cautious and he’s not fully healthy but getting closer. Just a hunch.

      • B. Eburg says:

        Replied up thread RE: running game
        Go to a two TE set, let line double team more and bulldoze for 3/4 yards. But then be happy with 3/4 yards and stick with it. At some point D will start collapsing which opens space on outside, play action. Give me Baldwin on one side and Lockett on the other with space and I will take that everytime.
        What we currently are doing isn’t working consistently. Scheme to fit the talent you have.

  17. Vin says:

    While I’m glad as any to reclaim the NFC, I’m just baffled with the sloppiness and the self-inflicted wounds. Ifedi had a really bad night, and I don’t know if that’s 100% due to facing Donald, but he looked completely lost 3. Multiple false starts on the offense, multiple offsides and the unsportsmanlike on Bennett, which then leads to him leaving the game (Karma). Concussion on Ryan. Late INT for RW. And what was with the JG screen pass play? Hopefully they pull that from the PB completely.

    I’ll admit that I thought the fake punt was cool, but why then? Was it to help the D or give the O more reps? Was it retaliation for all the times the Rams got us for special teams plays? Oh well. Glad Bennett looked back on track. Same with Lockett Absolutely love every time Willson scores. And Wagner stopping Gurley was simply Awesome!! Not many MLBs make that play. And Shermans hit on Goff–Welcome to the NFL. Glad for the team. Good time for mini-break. Go Hawks

    • rowdy says:

      Carroll said he had a wrenched neck not a concession at least. Can’t blame for the unsportsmanlike penalty either. That’s always been his sacks dance along with many other players in the league. First time I ever seen it called.

      • 503Hawk says:

        Wasn’t that an insanely incredible play by Bennett!

      • Volume12 says:

        That was an awful call. And he might get held more than any D-lineman in the league.

        • Volume12 says:

          All the pre-snap penalties seem to be from the fact that the lines on both sides of the ball are such quick twitch, explosive guys they can’t control themselves and try and jump the count.

          Yes those need to stop, but PC has always had teams with far too many flags even at USC. 13 is way high though. I’ll take 5-6.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            The Rams center did rock the ball back and forth slightly on the NBC replay…. waited about 1 tick, then snapped it. Bennett is still getting it back together and rolling. Not that concerned, since by the time the playoffs happen….. he should be in excellent shape ready to wreck offenses.

        • HI Hawk says:

          He normally does a Rick Rude style hip swivel (in a circular motion) – that’s his standard Sackual healing dance. This time, he thrusted his hips forward – and he did it three times. He earned his flag on that one in my opinion, they’ve consistently penalized that sort of celebration, whether you like it or not. He would have been fine, and gone unpenalized if he had done his standard celebratory dance.

    • 503Hawk says:

      Against a good team, all of those self inflicted wounds would be game changers. How many first downs did we give the Rams? And how many false starts did we have? (@ home none-the-less).

    • My gripe is that it never seems to improve. Year after year the Hawks are at or near the top of the penalty list. You have to put that on PC. Pre snap penalties should carry a hefty charity fine or some other repercussion. I know I bring Belichic up a lot but you have to admire his teams consistency and professionalism, even with injuries.

  18. Sorry about my original post. The sterling 2.4 yds per carry must have stuck in my head and I converted it to 24.

  19. JC says:

    Okay, so that was a lot closer than the 24-3 score indicated. The early 2 chances for a Rams TD on the 2nd drive, the oh-so close to being “review stands” 4th down stop, the oh so close to INT to Graham, getting a penalty on the play Goff was injured, and Wilson and Lockett finally connecting deep.

    I don’t mind the fake punt under the circumstance. That was Jon Ryan as Moses with the hole that parted for him.. but what should have been coached, and Pete during postgame admitted that’s what they didn’t drill, SLIDE! Get the first down and slide. Only have 1 punter. Now they probably have to toy with the roster and carry 2 punters.

    The Russell INT, he was kind of in between passing or take the sack, maybe a strip sack, on 3rd and long, so hucking it deep for a 3rd down punt wasn’t the worst move.

    • JC says:

      I should add, since there’s too little positivity in all the comments after a WIN, NFC West Champs again! Woooooo! It’s all good, just get Bennett and Ryan back in action soon, please.

    • Drew says:

      Only problem on that INT is that he didn’t huck it deep. It was at the goal line into triple coverage. Thow it to the back of the end zone or to the outside, not the middle of the field where all the defenders are.

  20. Forrest says:

    Extra days of rest will be key for the AZ game. Overall I was pleased with the result. Ryan going out and running for it was a little unnecessary, and Wilson (despite the 3td-1int stat-line) didn’t look fully right, but I was pleased. Kearse is a hazard in my opinion. Just my opinion (after months of me watching his body language and “effort”), but still worth discussion I think. Offense looked good but not “out of this world.” Defense was strong and stout. The #2 seed is within their grasp. GG, go Hawks!!

    • PPast says:

      Given how ineffective Kearse has been this year, and given how little P Richardson has done, I have to think the ‘Hawks will draft a receiver on day 3, maybe even day 2.

  21. Matt says:

    Weirdest 21 point win you will ever see in the NFL, but I will take it.

    I still contend that this offense is pretty much broken. RW still looks…well, off. Run game is non-existent, though I can’t blame Rawls. OL is just…I mean atrocious. I’m not terribly sure how I have more confidence in a UDFA LT than I do our 1st round RG, but Ifedi is just not good. There’s really no other way around it. He makes a ton of mental mistakes and his power/athleticism seems to be limited to the program. Troubling to say the least. I’m not hating on Bevell/Cable, but quite frankly, I just don’t get what the philosophy is. Maybe that’s a result of such a porous OL, but then what does that say about Cable? I don’t see a fix this year, but it’d be nice if 2017 showed a stable, consistent philosophy on this side of the ball.

    Our Defense looked fast and aggressive, but it’s too hard to take away much from a game like this. Nice to see Marsh play well and generate a pass rush.

    All these complaints/concerns aside, we are amazingly fortunate to have won the NFC West (again) and despite the holes on this team, we still are most likely the biggest contender to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, which says an awful lot about this season.

    • Cysco says:

      I don’t see how we could be favored. Dallas is built to give Seattle fits. Without an interior pass rush, that dallas o-line will give Prescott all day to pick apart the secondary. Their defense isn’t anything special, but they do enough and given how horrible our o-line is playing I wouldn’t expect seattle to light them up.

      Dallas has to be the frontrunner at this point. I’m really looking forward to that sunday night game to see how they handle a defense that’s in the same ballpark as ours.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        Dallas has been slacking off the past few games. Or the other teams are getting better. They are beatable. It’s going to take grit, determination and some hard hitting.

      • Ukhawk says:

        If we make it to the NFC title game, we may not play Dallas

        This Super Bowl run will entirely depend on the matchups vs Hawks strengths/weaknesses

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Dallas is built to bully smaller defenses with a rushing attack. Seattle would be very susceptible to this against Dallas. I’m actually not worried about Dak passing the ball per sai, but his mobility could cause fits for most NFL defenses. Seattle might be uniquely equipped to stop him,. since they are extremely athletic and have excellent football IQ (as a group). I think the teams would have an excellent game in the post season, if they happen to meet.

  22. Coleslaw says:

    Prosise and Reece in the same backfield… Lethal. Reece is a huge threat, he adds a bunch of plays to the playbook. Keeps the defense honest, and one play in particular, that should have been a touchdown, is a major bonus to our red zone/goal line passing. Having him and Prosise running routes with Baldwin, Graham and McEvoy or Willson in there, man that could be something.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

      I like the looks they are giving him.. and even the FB dive play in a short yardage situation looked decent. He didn’t get the first down, but the LB made a great read and reacted to stuff the hole. As a lead blocker, as a pass catching FB and as pass protector….. he is a true asset to this offense. I’ve always liked the guy, glad to see he is getting some offensive play-calling love.

  23. EranUngar says:

    Yes, we have all seen the game and the run game was not there.

    By the time the season ends we’ll know if a RB is a major need. It may be.

    There is however no question that run blocking was a big issue in this game. A part of those issues will get better as Ifedi, Fant and Glow get into their 2nd playing year but OL help is still a must.

    What we can realistically expect from a late 1st round pick for the 2017 season is exactly what we have with Ifedi this year. Does anyone here thinks that would be a major improvement in 2017?

    The more I see, the more confident I feel that if we look to improve the OL beyond the progress of the young players on this OL – It has to come in the shape of a proven FA ready to contribute on day one.

    We have the cap for it. A road grader, physical bully at RT could change the whole complexion of this OL. In my mind – it’s worth 6-8M for top of the line RT if one is available.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I am one who thinks they need to keep trying offensive linemen – no matter where they find them. As far as player growth, they may have better luck changing their blocking schemes. All I ask is that they each block one defender.

    • Troy says:

      question is who and do they fit in our zone blocking scheme

      • EranUngar says:

        Big question indeed.

        But, If anybody suitable is available, pull out that checkbook and go get him. I do want a rookie on that line next year. The complexity of ZBS blocking combined with learning the basic fundamentals of NFL blocking technique takes time to master even for the top OL picks in the draft.

        Whoever they draft for the OL should red shirt….

      • JT says:

        Andrew Whitworth would be ideal, since he still plays at an all-pro level. He’d be an expensive short term contract, but is unlikely to leave Cincy unless he wants to go searching for a title.

        Riley Reiff could be relatively cheap coming off a down season, though he might not be a great fit.

        Sebastian Vollmer – Incredibly injury prone, and will need to sign a ‘prove-it’ deal this offseason. That presents an opportunity, as he is an excellent right tackle when healthy. He is also a freak athlete: http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=33032&draftyear=2009&genpos=OT

    • Rob Staton says:

      If there’s a top OT out there, left or right, he’ll cost a lot more than $6-8m.

      The entire league is after better OL play with only a couple of exceptions.

  24. Cysco says:

    At what point is it fair to start asking whether part of the OL problem is the front office and coaching? In the entire PCJS era has there really been a single OL player that they’ve drafted and coached who became a legitimate NFL asset? ( I suppose Okung has done OK even he had his issues though. ) It’s arguable that Britt has become a solid player, but it’s taken how many years and three different positions. Just seems that given the volume of players they’ve brought in and how “good” of a coach Cable is supposed to be, that we should have at least bottom-third offensive line, not a worst in the league one.

    • Rad man says:

      I’d be very open to a switch to a power run game, with a more simplified blocking scheme that’s more based on a 1v1 blocking assignments. . I think the complexity of this system, and the search for players that fit it under such narrow physical parameters, inhibits them in both player selection, and player development.

  25. vrtkolman says:

    Man that was one of the strangest games I’ve seen. None the less, a blowout win against the rival Rams has to be a good thing. I think we have something in Marcel Reece, he’s a good receiving option at FB and remember this offense thrived with Michael Robinson and Derek Coleman catching passes out of that spot.

    Steven Terrell is bad. He is very lucky that Rams receiver dropped that easy touchdown.

    Our success in the playoffs will depend on Russell Wilson. The offensive line simply isn’t good enough to support a run heavy gameplan. I said it earlier, but the line looks as bad as it ever did. First round pick Germain Ifedi had his worst game as a pro, and he’s almost a full season into his career. Cable is still juggling players, as Gilliam came in pretty early. The offense still can’t help themselves throwing inside the 5. Even though this was a good win, it’s time to do some soul searching and figure out how they will succeed in the playoffs.

    • Drew says:

      Again, 1 bad play, does not make a player bad overall. Have we never seen Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor get beat on a pass play? Come on now, it was one play, stop with the knee jerk reactions every one.

      • Radman says:

        Earl is a great player – a sure fire HOFer- and even he has his share of missed tackles and assignments. He had a real turd of a game earlier this year in fact. Terrell will have his miscues as well.

  26. BHarKnows says:

    I get that the O line needs to improve it’s run block (and pass blocking) but I don’t think the solution is as easy as “throw one more 1st rounder at it and boom we are cooking with gas.” People were pounding the table to spend early draft capital on the OL last year this team. The team did just that and people were thrilled that we got a Osemele clone. Except things aren’t going as well as our elated post-draft selves might have hoped. Now we find ourselves in exactly the same position… with mediocre line play. I don’t think frantically taking whichever OL is available whenever we pick is the way to go. Hopefully PC/JS/TC look long and hard at what they’ve got and find the RIGHT person, regardless of where he is in the draft. Heck it took 3 years for them to find a spot for Britt but look at him now. It pains me to watch Russ running for his life or Rawls being blown up in the back field but we have to be realistic and pragmatic about solving multiple issues on the team.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      You got to look at the offensive line as a whole. And as a whole they aren’t paying much money, around 6 million for starters, and they have in draft capital a late 1st, late 2, a 4 or 5th round and an UDFA. It is at best a half assed attempt to assemble an offensive line on the cheap. They got by with it for many years – but this year they just haven’t improved.

      I’m not going to say they have to draft offensive line first round – but they really need to make some solid picks in the 1-4 rounds.

      • Rob Staton says:

        You keep making this same point Alaska and it is inaccurate. You keep complaining about the lack of spending — draft and $$$$. They have spent a ton in the draft. And you are unwilling to accept the context on why they’re not spending big on this OL.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          Oh come on Rob, we started this season with the hopes that the five starters woulsd work out and improve. We are ending the season knowing they need to go back to the drafting board. And given the line they currently have, they haven’t spent a lot of draft capital – yet.

          • GeoffU says:

            You don’t think any of these players will improve next year?

            We have two rookies, one second year player, a player who transitioned to center, and a free agent nobody wanted. Add a few more draft/FA bodies to that and I think we’ll be ok. For next year. For this year it is what it is — a complete mess of growing pains.

            I’m optimistic about a super bowl because there doesn’t appear to be any complete or great teams. It’s wide open this year. As long as we don’t run into any great D-Lines, we actually have a pretty good shot at a title. Our defense can hang with the best offenses, and those best offenses don’t have great defenses, which means our offense has a chance. Especially at home.

            • AlaskaHawk says:

              I guess I’m thinking that if the Seahawks continue with trying to draft the offensive line, they will need at hit on at least one starter per draft. They may also decide to retain someone after their rookie contract ends, there has been some talk about retaining Britt for instance.

              It also seems like 2016 draft was the start of an attempt to make some higher draft picks for the offensive line. Ifedi being a first rounder, and Odhaimbo a third, and Hunt a 6th round. We just haven’t seen Odhaimbo or Hunt playing. But Fant, Sowell and Gilliam are getting playing time. I haven’t included third rounder Vannett but he is a significant weapon for Russell Willson and really I should include him in the offensive line. So Yes they made a huge effort to upgrade last draft.

              Lets compare that to the search for a second running back. They picked Prosise in the third round, and Collins in the fifth, and Brooks in the seventh, and Pope was UDFA. So a pretty significant effort, though at a cheaper draft price. This may be because of the devaluation of running backs and that it is hard to predict which will be successful.

              Yes the existing line will improve I hope. They have improved every year going into the playoffs. Even with improvement is not hard to imagine a few future draft picks working their way into a starting position – especially at tackle.

              • Rob Staton says:

                I think accuracy is important Alaska and it is incorrect when you say (on several occasions) they haven’t spent on the OL in the draft. They’ve spent more picks on the OL than any other position, including last years first rounder.

  27. sdcoug says:

    I appear to be in the minority here, but im ok with the lack of RB commitment THIS game.

    I do wish the running attempts we made were more successful, but as every one has pointed out, its a beastly rams D-line, with fast LBs

    Now more to my point…this is one of the first times we actually bothered the attack the Rams differently, and guess what…we won 24-3. was it always pretty? No. Both teams missed opportunities.

    What do we typically do against the Rams? We try over and over to run into the teeth of that brick wall to embarassing results…and had lost 3 in a row (plus a few other times) to a team we just havent been able to out-physical very often. Im sure we would have loved to have all cylinders firing, but i feel tonight it was more of a strategic understanding of what currently might be more successful against this opponent.

    (noteable exception: first and goal at the 1. sound familiar? quit getting cute there)

    • pmoney says:

      Agreed. I don’t understand all the hand wringing here. If you’d have told me before the game that we’d win by 21 and only give up 2 sacks to the Rams I’d have been thrilled–and I am.

      • Rad man says:

        yep. I was very tired of watching them get destroyed on run plays and ended up in 3rd and 17 situations against this team. I thought the game plan is a good one for the opponent. Accepting the reality of their offensive shortcomings is a positive step.

    • RockNRowland says:

      I liked the call on first and goal! (Richard Sherman tirade notwithstanding). We have JG for a reason and we tried to get a 1v1 matchup jump ball in the end zone. I’ll take my chances just about every time. We complain when they DON’T go to JG in the RZ! Can’t have it both ways. That said, there’s nothing wrong with calling a run with Rawls and if you don’t get it then try the play action on 2nd down.

  28. Mac says:

    I’ve been really disappointed with Kearse this year. I could almost swear that he accounts for half of Wilson’s interceptions. Saw Lockett take the start in 2 receiver sets, hope tanner McEvoy takes more reps from Kearse.

    • Drew says:

      Kearse has been the target of 11 of RW interceptions since 2012.

    • LordSnow says:

      If they had started Kearse in the two receiver sets, they wouldn’t have taken advantage of that backup cb. It would have been a wash. I have little faith in JK at this point.

      And putting Lockett out there, indicates that they may be losing faith in him as well.

  29. GoHawks5151 says:

    Nice win! Not all of them are going to look pretty, especially against a division opponent. I am seriously tired with the redone offense though. Honestly, inside the 5 yard line the options should be zone read or Graham on a fade. They have been over thinking this area for YEARS now. Literally any other team would isolate Jimmy on one side of the field and throw him a high ball. The patriots do it with Gronk, KC with Kelce, heck the bucs do it with Cameron Brate! Instead we try and get cute with Jimmy and keep him in-line then run him through 2 zones in which he can pick up defenders. Not saying it shouldn’t have worked but if you are going to throw it to him at the back of the end zone any way them put him in the best situation.

  30. nichansen01 says:

    Didn’t get to see this one. But a weird season for sure.

    • nichansen01 says:

      Can we please move on from Kearse though….

      • 503Hawk says:

        I’ve been a staunch defender of Kearse (in part because of the legendary catcheS he’s made), but I’ve got to agree w/ you at this point.

        • Greg Haugsven says:

          I agree but we only save about $400k in cap space to cut him next year. I see him on the roster next year and that as his last.

  31. Ed says:

    As bad as they have looked at times this year, a Giants win vs Detroit and they are back in 2nd place and a bye with a struggling Arizona and away at SF. Get the train heading in the right direction, get a bye then beat NY/TB/Atlanta at home and either away to Dallas or home to Det would be sweet.

    Go Hawks

    • I hope it is not Atlanta. Remember we were just lucky to win earlier. Sherman got away with a hold which would have put Atlanta in position to win with a minute to go or so. You can never underestimate the revenge factor when handicapping football games.

      • Coleslaw says:

        I’m most worried about the Giants, the defense could force Wilson into 5 picks again if he’s not on his A game, and their run defense is plenty to give us fits. With an explosive offense. I’m honestly scared of NYG this year

  32. First time I’ve felt compelled to suggest that Rob should take a breath and remember the Patriots game, when the vision of the offense coalesced to perfection.

    The only good thing the Rams have is that D-line, and they played with abandon. Rawls was not going to make a dent. I understand the concern about improving the running game, but I strongly believe it’s going to get better in the weeks ahead.

    Look, one thing that’s obvious is how truly great Lynch was. You don’t replace a HOF player. But that was always going to be the case this year. Consider how injuries have affected the planned RB-by-committee approach that started this season. Imagine how things would have looked with a healthy one-two punch of Rawls and Prosise all year, and no injuries to RW. The conception was sound. The injuries ruined it. The season has been a slog of attrition.

    I understand the glass cannon theory, which is premised on the absence of Lynch as a force. But the hidden element the theory doesn’t touch is the defense, the equalizing force that made offensive shortcomings look less important.

    With Lynch in his prime, the identity was running – but come on, we were all there. We all watched, and saw grinder, nail-biting games that leaned on the D’s ability to rescue the offense. We complained about lack of production from Sidney Rice, fretted over injuries to Zach Miller and bitched about Bevell. We wondered where the points would come from, and worried about this short little QB everyone dismissed as a game manager.

    The offense was vanilla, but that didn’t matter – the defense was the spirit-breaker. Percy Harvin arrived, and we were joyful: look, just look at this weapon! Surely our ugly O will improve! And for a little while, it did. But that was transitory.

    To me, the incremental downturn of the defense is the greater problem for this team. It is not a killing issue – yet – but the signs are disturbing. Against the Rams and that woeful offense, the D looked OK. But they got away with stuff: the long dropped TD that Earl wouldn’t have allowed, etc. If we run into an offense that exploits TE throws, it’s going to be ugly. I remain convinced that the departure of Bruce Irvin has hurt more than anyone admits. He was an inconsistent head case, but he was also a freak. Have you noticed how teams are attacking that side of the D all the time?

    That’s my worry at the moment. I have zero problem with the throw to Graham at the goal line. I think Sherman is wrong. I *want* that throw, because that’s why Graham was acquired. The play was a bad break and then a lucky break, but I liked the call.

    Is RW screwed up? Maybe. But this was another game when he had to scramble against a nasty D-line, and he survived, made a few runs, got away with some crap throws, etc. And he won. That’s what matters. His rhythms with Lockett are looking great, and his psi-link to Baldwin is solid (DB’s move at the goal line was a piece of art.) Against the defenses to come, Rawls’ whirling style will pay dividends.

    Think about likely opponents ahead. I’m not overlooking AZ and SF, but they’re out of it, damaged and demoralized. The best remaining defense is Tampa. At home, Seattle will have better chances in the running game. The best remaining offenses are Atlanta and Dallas. Dangerous, but survivable. All the teams left have flaws.

    Whatever happens, I still have hope – but I think defense in the draft is the first priority.

    • Ukhawk says:

      Here , here! Great post! I’m right in line with your thoughts.

      I only disagree with the last bit. Whilst I think we should draft (some) D which I fully expect JSPS to do as its their priority, I think in large part the injuries mostly affected that side of the ball too. I don’t feel they need to invest too much to get the D back to its standard. I also think that the spots they do need some help in will not cost that much draft/FA capital as they are somewhat easier to fill:
      NT
      Rotational inside rusher to get 10 TFLs & 5 sacks
      SLB
      Backup S/DB

      I do think the OL requires more significant upgrades than the D. Going from Glass Cannon to juggernaut won’t take too many parts, but I think will take higher draft/FA capital

    • Volume12 says:

      Really good post.

      LA sold out to stop the run and did the same thing to Lynch. Your right. They were never gonna replace Lynch this year just like Minnesota is figuring out. It was always gonna be a 2 pronged approach, but injuries happen. And they suck.

      I still think they need another back though so when an injury does happen they have the 3 guys they’ve always wanted. The margin for error is smaller without a dominant run game.

      While I agree that the defense isn’t the same, what Bruce brought more than anything was a playmaking presence. That’s why I always say, they need 1 more playmaker regardless of position.

      And that’s what Lynch gave us as well. A mentality and identity. Yes , they can get that back by relying on the run game next year with hopefully a healthy stable. But for now, its on RW and help ain’t coming unless its Rawls who was running very well before tonight, or Prosise is back for a stretch run.

      BTW, I didn’t mind the throw to Graham either. Running the ball from inside the 5 three times straight makes teams not respect the pass.

      Sherm probably shouldn’t have done that on the sideline, but that’s who he is and he has a right to express his frustrations. Wrong place, wrong time. But, Sherm being Sherm.

      • C-Dog says:

        Fantastic post, DQ.

        I fully agree about the defense missing Bruce, and I’ve noticed, pretty much all season long, teams attacking the area of the SAM. Zach Cunningham could be a very tempting player for PC.

        Moving forward beyond the season, looking at the LA Rams, whoever takes over the ranks down there, I think it would be hubris for Seattle not to attack the issues on offense regarding the OL and the run game. You still have to run the ball. Having either a RB that is a tone setter, or a more complete OL is critical. Right now, I’d say Seattle has neither. RT is still unresolved, and they are a Thomas Rawls injury away from Alex Collins being the starting RB.

    • LordSnow says:

      Pretty much agree with everything you are saying.

    • 503Hawk says:

      DQ; that was a great post.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m willing to take that on the chin, no problem at all. I will say though — that NE game is a classic example of the glass cannon. On the night when there was zero adversity (and the Pats barely even tried to pressure RW in certain scenarios) they were explosive. But when they face even a minimal portion of adversity — we’ve seen what has happened in the road NFC games.

      I’m as positive as anyone about this team. But this offense, in it’s current guise, is on the brink of exploding or imploding virtually every week. It can be great or horrifying. That’s not a healthy position to be in. There’s no consistency, they don’t trust the running game. It’s all on Wilson.

      I sincerely hope they can iron out the wrinkles before the playoffs.

      • peter says:

        I get the being the bully thing, but after watching tape after tape of running backs in this draft and assuming no fournette move perhaps its tome to consider (more) weapons fir Russell and a change of blocking identity? Graham, Baldwin, and Lockett are awesome. Procise if healthy could be awesome. Perhaps another catching/weapon back or bringing in a few more recievers at least take the recievers back to a greater level of roster churn.

        I hate to reference the pats but they did this. People forget they were a defense first ball security team for many years before the became a pass first offensive machine. I just think it may be time to adjust offensive identity.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I genuinely think the last thing this team needs is yet another mouth to feed in the passing game. Unless suddenly Odell or Mike Evans was sat there. But they won’t be.

        • Ed says:

          I don’t disagree that an evolution may be necessary, but with that so does the type of passing offensive they want to turn into. Pass blocking is a bigger issue than run blocking. So unless DB turns it more into a quick passing game like NY and NE, moving to passing offense won’t help that much.

          I just think it’s time to go to a man blocking scheme and let the boys loose. The Cable technique for changing player position and players without much experience etc… has not really worked. Let them stop thinking and just block the player in front. Get a 220/230 pounder and run the ball 25 times per game whether it’s working or not. Teams wear down if you keep running it even without success.

      • Ed says:

        Pretty funny you are the pessimist for a spot Rob. But that’s how I feel all the games when you try and talk me off the cliff. It’s never that they win or lose, or score a lot of points or a few points. It’s how they look and what they can do and how the deal with other teams. I don’t see the 24 against a terrible team as that good either.

        But a Detroit loss from being back in 2nd. I really can’t believe that. WIth how bad they have looked and still to be in the position they are in, how fortunate.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I don’t think I’m being a pessimist. I prefer constructive criticism. And I hope that people will respect this stance and appreciate I say these things for a reason. This is not just ‘FIRE BEVELL AND CABLE’ or some of the other nonsense we see.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      The argument for defense winning superbowls is embodied in the Giants and last years Broncos.

      The Giants just grind it out against the best of the best. Who can forget the Patriots unbroken winning streak dying in the superbowl? Did the Giants win pretty – hell no. It was an ugly game, and one that could have easily gone the other way if Brady hadn’t thrown one pass behind Wes Welker. But such are the fortunes of war and Eli Manning wears the ring.

      And the Broncos – I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an active, agile and strong defense as they put together last year. Even a hall of famer with one bum leg could win a game with that crew to defend!

      And this years long grinding Giants win over Dallas. Dak was looking like a tired rookie by the fourth quarter of that game. Yes defense wins superbowls!

  33. C-Dog says:

    Random thoughts:

    1. I was actually kinda dreading this game. Not just the GB debacle, Glass Cannon theory, but more compounded on the Rams defense built up quite nicely to give Seattle problems, and then after the Fisher firing, a team that might be extra determined to prove they weren’t the reason was fired. The way things had initially started when Seattle first had the ball, I developed a grim feeling. The way the Rams moved the ball on their second possession, I felt almost certain the #$%ing Rams were going to come into Century Link and stick it to the reeling Seattle Seahawks. I will take this 24-3 victory any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    2. I fully agree that the run game has got to be the top priority in the off-season, but let’s be honest, Seattle wasn’t going to have much success running against that LA front seven. Not with this line, and what LA was doing (Germain Ifedi, meet Aaron Donald, and his pal William Hayes). I have no problem with the play calling in this game, because it seems LA is weakest on the backend of their defense. I thought Russell Wilson, overall, had a pretty good game, especially considering how much he had Donald and company in his grill. The pick was another stupid one, he should have thrown the ball away. His reaction was about the most anger I think I’ve ever seen out of him, I’m sure he knew that. This was a game in which I felt going in, he was going to have to be on it, and for the most part, he was. My biggest concern was that he wasn’t. Seattle won’t see a tougher D line the rest of the way.

    3. In terms of the defense, Dline, and the concerns of the interior, it was interesting to see that Jarran Reed actually started ahead of Tony McDaniel. Jordan Jenkins was interestingly inactive against the run heavy Rams. Throughout the game, I saw 3 or 4 good pressures Reed got, and in a couple of the sacks, he was closing right in. Also, Frank Clark got that first sack rushing as a DT. As obsessed as I am about the DT position, I am still not totally convinced it is as top of a priority as many think. I’d never argue against signing Kawaan Short, or Calais Campbell, or drafting Jaleel Johnson, or Derrick Nnadi, but along with Reed, there’s a couple other players still on this team.

    Quinton Jefferson could legitimately be a big factor next year. Michael Bennett was asked a couple weeks ago how he was watching the games, and he mentioned he was hanging out with Jefferson and they were watching them together. Could Michael Bennett be taking him under his wing?

    Also, I think the team has Garrison Smith for a couple more seasons from the waiver claim they put on him, and I kinda think he is the guy everyone has forgotten about. The first few games of the year, he was playing really active inside.

    I still think they add a player, either a vet or a draft pick, but it may not be a big splashy name, and it may not be a high draft pick. I tend to think those first couple picks probably go to the offense, unless Earl Thomas really does retire.

    4. Tyler Lockett had a monster night. It was interesting that he got a lot of looks in the 2 WR sets. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see this more. I think I’m in the minority on this, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Seattle drafted WR high-ish again next year, if the right player is there. Jermaine Kearse is practically a none factor to the passing game now. I could see their fist three picks go OL, RB, WR in no particular order, again, if the right player was there.

    5. Not to beat the dead horse, but the OL got abused by the Rams DL, by and large. If the Rams would have had Robert Quinn in the game, it could have gotten down right scary. With all the talk above Seattle moving up for Fournette, maybe there should be talk of Seattle moving up a bit for Bolles. Or dropping back a bit and grabbing Dorian Johnson, moving Ifedi to tackle. Just grabbing the best OL available. Not sure FA is the way to go, because teams tend to hang onto good players, and the teams that shop more often times than not, overspend on players that aren’t that good. It’s kinda rare that an Osemele hits the market. I think this team has better results going after free agent DTs.

    6. I see a lot of positives out of this game. Seattle is going to get some much needed rest. Marcel Reece has a chance to get more intrenched in the play book, and the team with him. I think he might factor in big. Getting Damontre Moore back is going to help with the rush. These two players could prove to be important mid and late season acquisitions. If they get CJ Prosise back for the playoffs, that could be huge. The Superbowl may not be that big of a pipe dream if this team wins out the next couple weeks.

    7. I actually loved the fake punt.

    • Volume12 says:

      Here’s what I don’t like about FA. Your paying for a guy that was successful in someone else’s scheme. I like that Seattle is very picky when it comes to that. Don’t overpay for what was.

      Use draft capital to try and get a difference maker, because odds are, and the draft is a lottery, picking at the end of round 1 your not getting a great talent anyways.

      And as PC and other coaches have said, what’s the difference in the learning curve between a 1st round pick and 4th or 6th for example? Zero.

      • Radman says:

        Great point s I’ve s out Moore. Hopefully he will be a factor and just what the D needs. He has a great physical profile for them.

        I also liked the fake punt. I think it’s worth it there to try to finish with the ball.

      • C-Dog says:

        I totally agree. That’s why I think it’s remote that Seattle will make a big splash on free agency. Now, if a week or two goes by, and a big name player is still out there, and wants to sign with Seattle short term to bet on themselves, like Avril and Bennett did, that’s a whole other thing.

        They will have some $ to spend, and that’s exciting, but I’m not going to get overly pumped that it will be a big splash. I’ll believe it when I see it.

        Manipulating the draft to help out their running game identity, or filling another need, I totally see that happening.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Finally something we see differently V12 😉

        Here’s what I like about FA – you’re paying for a guy who has proven himself capable of performing in the pros. Sometimes you pay less for a guy who didn’t perform as well in someone else’s scheme, but will perform better in yours. Sometimes you pay more for a guy who performs well regardless of scheme (and sometimes you pay for someone who just won’t work out). And some positions aren’t as scheme-sensitive as others. I’d argue DL is less scheme sensitive than OL.

        The learning curve for a R1 and a day 3 pick may be the same, but the R1 pick presumably comes with greater athleticism, greater football intelligence, greater awareness and instincts.

        • Volume12 says:

          ‘The learning curve for a R1 and a day 3 pick may be the same, but the R1 pick presumably comes with greater athleticism, greater football intelligence, greater awareness and instincts.’

          That’s not true at all. If that were the case why are there just as many UDFAs on NFL rosters as there are day 1 picks? Your banking on that being the case.

          • CHawk Talker Eric says:

            “If that were the case why are there just as many UDFAs on NFL rosters as there are day 1 picks?”

            Simple. It’s a numbers game. In 2016 there were 448 UDFAs signed to NFL teams. There were only 31 Day 1 picks. Do the math.

            Also if your assertion that my statement about the presumption regarding day 1 picks having greater athleticism, football intelligence and awareness/instincts is incorrect, then why are prospects ranked and rated? Why would a team select one prospect over another, if not for the greater athleticism, greater intelligence, greater awareness/instincts?

            • Volume12 says:

              I knew the math thing was gonna come into play. And how many of those UDFAs actually make an impact for a team. Surely not 448.

              Why would they select one player over another?

              Why did Seattle have Odhiambo as a top 45 guy when most teams probably had him rated much lower? Because the only thing that seperates prospects is one teams opinion. Adam Gotsis in round 3?

              We see it every year. There’s maybe 15-20 guys that all teams have a consensus on.

              • Volume12 says:

                If teams are smart like Seattle, they’ll do their homework on prospects and know that teams won’t draft a guy for a specific reason, so they target them in UDFA.

              • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                You didn’t ask why there are just as many UDFAs making an impact on their team as day 1 picks. You merely asked why there are just as many on rosters. The answer is odds. There are far more UDFAs who have a chance to make a roster than there are day picks. More than 10x as much.

                Also it’s undeniable that some prospects are better athletes than others, some are smarter than others, some have better instincts than others.

                If that weren’t true, why have a scouting Combine? Why have Senior Bowl? Why is there an entire subindustry devoted to ranking and rating prospects (of which you and I are amateur participants)?

                I totally agree that all rookie prospects face the same learning curve. But some prospects handle that curve better than others, for a variety of reasons (athleticism, intelligence, instinctual, etc.). And that’s why some go on day 1 and some in UDFA

                • Volume12 says:

                  Yes, there’s many more opportunites for UDFAs. But, the learning curve is the same regardless of draft position. Athleticism doesn’t play into that.

                  You know as well as I do that great athletes fall through the cracks all the time. Its a crap-shoot my man. 1st round picks should be locks, but their not. Even moresowhen picking at the end of round 1.

                  The combine isn’t just for the drills. It goes medica evals, interviews, then the drills. The All-star games are to showcase talent under NFL coaching.

                  Yes, there are superior prospects in terms of athleticism, IQ, instincts. And a lot of the times day 2, 3, and UDFAs can be better than round 1 guys in that regard.

                  The National and Blesto companies are trying to do just that. Find the diamonds in the rough. Because teams will make their picks on their own assessments. Every GM knows a Fournette or Teez Tabor. How many know a Malcolm Butler or Doug Baldwin for example?

                  Your ranking prospects to try and match your team needs and where you can fill those said needs.

                  I love the debate we’re having, but we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

                  • Kenny Sloth says:

                    I’d have to say, though, that more than tangible qualities and overall more desirable characteristics draft position comes down to value and awareness.

                    I think the trade-up for Bruce Irvin was a very clear example of this. Few had him in the first round projections, but Seattle NYJ were targeting him and made the move to grab him. Does that diminish his value? I’m not sure.

                    Health has a lot to do with it too. Belief in the prospects ability to stay on the field and mental makeup. That grit we’ve mentioned.

                    Every system has some kind of profile for positional paragons. And most of them probably read the same, with different responsibilities.

                    I think the subterfuge of draft season is underplayed among fans

  34. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    — What on earth was the end of the game all about? A fake punt, leading to a concussion for Jon Ryan.

    My take on this particular play, since it was 4th and 1….. Ryan had the option to run to get the 1st down if the ST of the Rams had a particular look.. Someone forgot to tell the RAMS ST to cover the middle of the field. I swear, I have never seen a wider running lane than was created. Ryan saw the middle defender on ST falling back with his back turned to the LOS and he went for it. Why he didn’t slide after maybe 20 yards, I’m not sure… but maybe he had a bit of the American Ninja warrior come out during that play….. and took it to the Rams ST.

    The question everyone should be asking is why on earth on the opening drive the Rams went for it on 4th and 1…. inside of very makeable FG range. Forgoing points on the board early. Then trying the punter throw out of 4th and long… which landed way short of the WR, who was not even deep enough to get the 1st down. This is at least 6 points the Rams gave up … and might have made this game much tighter. If Fisher was coaching, they might still have lost, but they sure as hell would not have taken these types of gambles early, when the game was very tight.

    • Cysco says:

      I think the fake punt was to serve two purposes. They were trying to give the defense a break and they were trying to embarrass the rams. Let’s face it, the rams have done enough of that kind of stuff to us and I think doing it to them sends a nice message. I’m personally OK with it.

      The Rams have officially mailed in the season. We should all be happy that they have been unable to figure out the offensive side of the ball while Aaron Donald is on his rookie contract. He’s a top-5 defensive player in the league making rookie money. When he’s due for a new deal, he’s going to command Su type money. Have fun with that LA.

      • Matt says:

        I think the fake punt comes down to one thing…

        Putting a “trick play” on tape for other teams to worry about come playoff time. We are always the most overly-conservative team with this stuff. I have no doubt this was just a way to steal preparation time from opposing teams.

        • Sea Mode says:

          Hmmm, makes sense, though I tend to think they do the opposite: keep part of the playbook under wraps until the playoffs come around so they can then throw some formations/plays at the opponent that they have never seen on tape. I am hoping Prosise will bring a lot of this come playoff time!

          Also, I wouldn’t call us overly conservative, more that we just trust our defense and prefer to win the field possession battle. GB game (sorry to remind you that happened) showed why: all drives starting on our side of the field led to points. Yes, there were plenty of other problems too, but that was definitely a prominent one.

          • Volume12 says:

            That punt was all on Jon Ryan. He thought he was scoring a TD, got greedy, saw contact coming, that ball started popping loose, BAM! Lights out.

            Get down or lay down!

  35. LordSnow says:

    Anyone notice KJ and Wags yelling at each other on the field on 3rd down on one of the rams possessions in about the 3rd quarter, then after the play was over and the rams had to punt they carried it over to the sidelines?

    • vrtkolman says:

      I did not notice that, but with how many holes there were in coverage last night maybe it was about that?

    • John_s says:

      I noticed it. Wagz pointed to a spot that KJ should be at but KJ didn’t go there.

      • LordSnow says:

        And it appeared that KJ was yelling back at him, and after the play they carried it over to the sidelines. This kind of stuff must happen a lot out there, I just hadn’t noticed it before, but they looked pretty intense.

  36. Fletcher says:

    In Russel’s defense, the pick was on what he (and everybody I was watching the game with) thought was a free play. He got Hayes to jump offsides and did what you are supposed to do on a free play, throw it to the endzone and don’t worry too much about the coverage. He was pissed not because he should of thrown the ball away, but because the officials kept the flag in their pockets.

    • Mr. (On)Season says:

      I agree with this. I haven’t seen the replay but on first blush I saw the defensive end jump across early. I thought it should have been offsides and Russ thought that too. 99% of the time that gets called, so I don’t blame us for the pick on that one. I don’t know what the refs saw though. It may be he didn’t come across.

      On the Ryan fake I have no qualms about that either. If any team spreads the field like the Rams did in punt formation, every team should make that same call every time. The play calling should not be blamed here. How could they have known that Ryan would fall victim to a phantom strip fumble that results in a concussion. If they run that play 100 times, Ryan gets down unscathed in 99 of them. Criticizing that play is easy but ultimately nit-picky.

  37. East Side Stevie says:

    Rob how does Josey Jewell finish the year with 114 tackles and not even make 1st 2nd or 3rd team All American list? Not to mention he was a Butkus award finalist. Iowa plays in the big 10 and I think you could make the argument that Big 10 football was second to the SEC this year as the best football conference. So its not like they could say his level of competition is preventing him from that All American list. Now, Iowa didnt play a very hard strength of schedule but like I said it is Big 10 football.

  38. Sea Mode says:

    I agree with going pass first vs. Rams. Remember last game when we just ran up the gut every time on 1st and 2nd down for no gain/loss? Yeah, we lost that game… our weakness right at their strength…

    Here’s the other piece of good news: we are back on track for the scoring title by 0.5 pt.
    (in parenthesis the final 3 opponents for each team)

    SEA 16.8
    MN 17.3 (IND, @GB, CHI)
    NE 17.7 (@DEN, NYJ, @MIA)
    BAL 18.2 (PHI, @PIT, @CIN)
    DAL 18.3 (TB, DET, @PHI)
    DEN 18.6 (NE, @KC, OAK)
    NYG 18.8 (DET, @PHI, @WAS)

    No gimmies here of course, but ARI y SF are definitely good matchups for us in this sense. Hopefully we can hold low again and not give up points in garbage time.

    I remember Sherman’s comments last year mentioning that they were all well aware of where they stood in this, so I know they have it on their minds and aren’t going to let up. I think his whack on Goff yesterday speaks to that attitude as well! Every blade of grass (or turf, haha)!

  39. Sea Mode says:

    Oh, and bonus content: while JFG was not particularly productive, his catch was actually pretty much a one-handed grab if you look closely. Going for the record this year?

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap3000000757558/Jimmy-Graham-bulldozes-Rams-defenders-for-huge-31-yard-gain

  40. STTBM says:

    Rob, excellent points, really nice write-up.

    I have no idea what the hell Carrol was doing calling a fake punt up by 21, other than sticking it to the ST’s Coach of the Rams for making him look the fool in past games. Petty. Senseless. And costly, since its pretty clear Ryan will miss at least a week after being knocked unconscious.

    Seattle’s inability to run block this year is utterly baffling. How can guys so big strong and athletic be so pathetically unable to block? Germain Ifedi is playing like a bust, and he and Glowinsky were utterly abused by Donald. Fant is what you’d expect, but Sowell and Gilliam are just as bad if not worse and at some point, blame has to be placed on Cable and Carrol and Schneider for their talent evaluation and philosophical failures. The proof is in the pudding, and Seattle’s line is bottom third in pass pro, and pretty much worst in the league in run blocking anyway you slice it.

    No way around it, this line stinks.

    Bevell’s playcalling was conservative and predictable, especially in the Red Zone, but I believe its more a total lack of faith in the O-lines ability to do anything than it is a problem with The Bevell. Im giving him a pass–he’s doing what he can with the mess he’s been handed by Carrol, Schneider and Cable.

    Russel Wilson has not earned his money this year. The guy cant hit a barn door, and though he misses quite a few open WR’s running down the field every year, he’s missed as many the last few weeks as he has in any previous season. While his playing through injury was admirable, it also could cost him long-term, and looking back it would likely have been better for him to sit out 2-4 weeks than to play–we lost games after he got healthier, and even now he looks so much slower and less agile than in past seasons. He’s obviously not totally healthy, no matter what he or the team says.

    His decision making has been poor, and his accuracy has become extremely scattershot. Even his TD to Lockett was a terrible throw, late and underthrown. He missed Reece open for a TD and threw two passes that should have been picked off, not to mention his bonehead INT.

    Dont know what his problem is, whether his pec injury is still an issue or if his head isnt as in the game as it once was or what, but he didnt play as well as the stat line says he did.

    Cant see this team winning so much as a playoff game with the line playing as it is. But at least we beat the Rams lol!

    • Donald says:

      ST…..Yes, the O-line is very young and needs to grow together. I believe we will see an improvement with these guys next year.

      Regarding Bevell’s play calling, I give him credit for doing a great job with what he has to work with. Rushing plays on 22 attempts for 34 yards. What do you expect him to do when the OL doesn’t make holes? You run it when you can to keep the defense honest, and you pass to attack the back ups in the secondary. You want him to keep calling running plays that yield nothing?

      You call the plays that takes advantage of your strength against your opponent’s weakness. Bevell is doing fine.

      Wilson not earned his pay? Just him gutting it out on a bad ankle and knee and getting hit behind a porous OL and still winning games has earned my respect. Russell has definitely earned his money. He needs to stop forcing throws to Kearse when he is triple teamed, and look to throwing it to other WR who are open. His loyalty to Kearse can be a problem, but he still gets the ball to WR when he needs to.

      Take it easy, they just won the NFC West title. They must be doing something right.

  41. STTBM says:

    What on Gods Green Earth was Sherm doing yelling at Carrol and Bevell about Red Zone Playcalling?! None of his damn business! You didnt see Doug Baldwin screaming at Kris Richard during the idiocy of the Atlanta game! Carrol needs to sit Sherms butt down and lay it on the line–that little outburst and his talking about it after the game to reporters should not have happened, should not be tolerated, and is very concerning to me at least.

    I had no problem with Sherm going postal on Richard during the Atlanta game once I found out Richard jumped SHerm and blamed him for McCrays mistake, but this was something entirely different.

    This team is a mess. They just dont seem to be playing as a team, more like a College All Star team…Senior Bowl stuff. You cant win a SB that way, no matter how talented your personnel.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Why not? He didn’t hurt our team in any way.

    • icb12 says:

      Of course it’s his business, winning is his business
      Personally I like that the defensive players are also invested in the offense.

      I also happen to agree with Sherman. Pretty sure we were yelling the same things at the coaches there.

    • HI Hawk says:

      Sherm was pissed, he let the coach know it. I like that he cares. The team is favored to grab the #2 seed, play at home in the divisional round and then possibly host the NFC Championship or at worst have to go on the road to Dallas, not exactly a house of horrors. The Hawks are far from a mess, they’re just in transition from Lynch’s team to Wilson’s team. The fact that they might be able to make that transition and simultaneously reach another Super Bowl is a credit to the mentality of this team and staff.

      • Volume12 says:

        He almost suspended him for it. I agree it was the wrong place, wrong time.

        But then again, if PC wants a team full of unique personalities and his players to embrace their individuality this is what happens. Sherm is gonna be Sherm.

        What does running the ball 3 times straight accomplish when you can’t get a yard anyways? Appease the fans? Defenses must respect and honor the pass down inside the red zone 5 yds in or not.

  42. Vista says:

    I was browsing stats from the game this morning and I decided to look at Kearse’s season stats (since he seems to be doing pretty bad). Kearse has been targeted 73 times this season and has caught only 35 of those passes.

    • Vista says:

      And 24 of those targets have been in the red zone

      • Volume12 says:

        And last night was the demotion of Kearse.

        Lockett was in on 2 receiver sets and accounted for about half of the offensive production.

        Time to get him the ball. He’s the fastest guy on the field with the ball in his hands. A lot like OBJ in that regard.

    • STTBM says:

      To be fair, that stat in a vacuum is misleading. How many of those passes were on target/catchable? Kearse isn’t playing well, but stats without context are incomplete at best.

  43. STTBM says:

    Apparently, Carrol agreed with me regarding Sherm: he admitted meeting with Sherm for an hour and called his behavior “a distraction” and made other comments showing his behavior was not appropriate and was not appreciated.

  44. Trevor says:

    I know this is going to sound crazy but against the teams we will likely face in the playoff our Defense and the inability to get off the feild on 3rd down scares me more than the lack of run game. I think we will likely play ATl at home then GB or Dal in the NFC final. All three team have solid OLs and have shown the ability to move the ball against us. All three all have average defenses at best.

    I think our offense can score 21+ pts vs ATL or GB at home or vs Dal on the Road. I am not sure our D can hold these teams under 24 pts the way they have been playing.

    My NFC Playoff Predictions

    #1 Seed Dallas
    #2 Seed Sea
    #3 Seed Atl
    #4 Seed GB (They win out and Det looses out)

    WC#1 NYG
    WC#2 TB or Det

    WC Round
    GB over NYG
    Atl over TB or Det

    Rd #2
    Dal over GB
    Sea over Atl

    NFC Final Sea vs Dal

    • Volume12 says:

      I’m interested to see Minnesota with AP back.

      I do agree and think that Detroit looses out and GB wins out.

      • Volume12 says:

        Oh, you asked about Prosise last night?

        We should find out on Monday.

        • Trevor says:

          My fingers are crossed. He provides a whole different element to this offense. Hard to pin your ears back and go hard after Russ when you always have to be worried about the dump down to a guy as dynamic as Prosise. I think that was a factor in NE not getting any pressure on Russ.

      • Trevor says:

        I agree about Minn. Them and TB being on such a roll are the unknowns. I just have no faith in a Sam Bradford led team and that OL opens about as many running lanes as ours. The D would be scary come playoff time though.

        • Volume12 says:

          Fair point about Bradford and that O-line.

          • Greg Haugsven says:

            I would love another shot at Green Bay, I think revenge would come in. I agree with your playoff outcome. I’d really love to see Atlanta go to Dallas, I think that might be our best chance of having 2 hone playoff games.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’d rather avoid Green Bay. When you think about it, aside from the 2014 opener they’ve kind of had our number.

              2012 — Fail Mary but Seattle didn’t really do anything on offense in the second half, easily could’ve lost
              2014 NFC Champ game — Seattle gets destroyed for three quarters, somehow comes back with a miracle win
              2015 — Relatively straight forward road loss
              2016 — First beat down in years

              Two miracle wins, a comprehensive loss and a standard loss.

              I’ll pass on a rematch.

              • Trevor says:

                Agreed the two teams I would prefer to avoid if at all possible at GB and Dal. But odds are we have to beat one or both to get to SB.

  45. Trevor says:

    I have never been a Kearse fan feeling like a minority on here the last couple of years. I was a fan of Lane however coming into this season.

    I mention this because until this off season JS had never really signed mid level FAs. He resigned the stars or looked for bargains. Most of those have been great signings.

    This off season JS made 3 what I would consider mid-level signings. Kearse, Lane and Webb. IMO they have all been terrible signings. I think you will see JS revert to his previous form this off season and re-sign the guys they feel are irreplaceable and then go after maybe one big FA acquisition then look for bargains.

    Another reason why I think the only fix for the OL is a guy like Bolles or Johnson, Morton later in the draft and then have some patience.

    • vrtkolman says:

      I thought going into FA last year, Lane was the key guy to keep. I thought they got a bargain with him. Man has he sucked this year. His track record for the most part is good, he could rebound next year and play solid ball in the slot. Kearse was meh, outside of Baldwin and Lockett we didn’t really have any WR depth. Richardson has always been an injury risk and McEvoy wasn’t even on the team yet.

      Webb was awful, and Sowell hasn’t been any better.

      • Greg Haugsven says:

        We need someone to show up as a 3rd receiver option. Kearse, Richardson, and McEvoy didn’t really see the field against the Rams.

  46. Kenny Sloth says:

    In 3 years the Seahawks will have an elite OL and still have excellent spending habits.

    Man. Imagine this Seahawks team in 7 years. With a salt and pepper bearded Russell Wilson. We haven’t peaked y’all. Not even close.

  47. AlaskaHawk says:

    Weekend rooting guide: for Seattle to get a #2 seed and a week of rest they need Detroit Lions to lose at Giants or next week at Dallas. Both are extremely likely to be losses for Detroit. Their last game is against Green Bay and we know how tough Green Bay is this time of year!

    GO Seahawks!

    • Greg Haugsven says:

      We also don’t want Detroit to lose to much. Would rather face them than Atlanta in the playoffs. If Detroit can be the 3 seed and Atlanta the 4 and let’s just for argument sakes say Detroit and Atlanta win the playoff games then Detroit would go to Seattle and Atlanta to Dallas.

  48. Kyle says:

    So I’m in a pickle with my thoughts here. I hate that we don’t have a running game to speak of. Is it the o-line guys? I honestly don’t think so. They are a bunch of huge ass men. These guys could mawl if they were let loose.

    I honestly think that it’s our scheme. Everyone knows the zbs is the hardest scheme to learn. But when mastered can get you 3-4 yards with anybody running the ball. That’s super nice, but do we really need it? If you simplify the scheme to a power run type scheme where it’s straight forward and is all about guts and strength then I think our line would flourish.

    We wouldn’t have to worry about the complexity so much and could really play to our strengths. We are an uber athletic o line that has some weight to it. These guys are probably some of the strongest o liners in the NFL. Let them prove it by switching to a less complicated scheme that relies on you bein better then the one man in front of you. If that happens I bet Rawls kills it. I bet cj would kill it. And the need for LN might not be there.

    But if we do switch to that scheme then we won’t need more o line guys high in the draft and can actually justify getting the man child LF and crushing our competition how Seattle is supposed to win. With a strong d and a strong running game.

    • 503Hawk says:

      I have thought the same thing for a couple of years. It would be nice, maybe in the off-season to have a write up.
      Its surprising to me that this topic has not been discussed on this blog before, or more often.

  49. Mark says:

    Seriously? Why are you jumping on the preposterous notion that PC was trying to embarrass someone. I thought you were smarter than that. First downs are rubbing it it now? Since when? WTF

  50. Nathan W. says:

    Just bought the new touch bar MacBook Pro! Thought I’d have to dedicate my first “written document” to the blog. I do have to say, its nice writing posts on a computer instead of my iPhone. In the salary cap era, its all about maximizing your strengths, and minimizing your weaknesses, right? You’re bound to always have a few roster weaknesses due to how you have to choose where you spend your money, and how much you want to invest in particular positions and such…. right? I’m not really looking at a chart based on where the money is going, but I would say that most of the investments have been made on defense, with a few key installments on offense to keep it running. Keep hoping for an All Pro o-line may be a silly thing to hope for. We got to two Super Bowls on tough running and tough defense, and in the end, that is probably where to bulk of our draft capital will go. Hmm, I read what a fellow blogger posted up top about this offense coalescing to perfection in the NE game… and I dunno about that. I think that Pete Carroll loves electric playmakers at skill positions, and loves the dynamic threat of his offense, but the consistent grind from the run game isn’t really being utilized anymore because we lack a bruiser in the run game. I think they hoped that Alex Collins would be that grinder in the run ame for them – a potential late round steal to do just enough to wear down opposing defenses, but he lost trust with a lack of production and a habit for coughing up the rock. A huge no-no for Pete Carroll and co. I feel comfortable with them adding to the pass rush in the early rounds, finding a late round developmental CB//S, and finding the toughest, most nasty running back other than Fournette in R2-4.

    • The Hawk is Howling says:

      Glad you got a new computer Nathan! Thanks for sharing your thought’s with us! I agree with you about on alot of what you say,
      and am sure we shall sure up both line’s and add a grinder RB in this offseaaon!

      Go HAWKS

  51. Donald says:

    After today’s games, the Hawks are now ranked 2nd in defense in points allowed. I know being ranked #1 in points allowed is very important to the defense, since they have held the #1 ranking for the past 4 years, and want to continue that trend to be considered one of the best defenses in history. Seattle has given up 235 points so far, and NE has given up 233 points, with two games remaining.