Instant reaction: Seahawks beat Lions, head to Atlanta

January 7th, 2017 | Written by Rob Staton

As enjoyable as that was, is it wrong to ask where this brand of football has been for the last few weeks?

The Seahawks committed to running the ball, overpowered Detroit and battered them into submission. This was classic Pete Carroll football.

This is what this team was built to do.

Admittedly it would’ve been tougher to repeat this against Calais Campbell and Aaron Donald — but it showed the Seahawks are capable of this type of offensive performance. Russell Wilson was back to being a point guard, the O-line used their size and explosive qualities to create huge running lanes. The defense benefitted from the ball control offense.

If they can build on this into next week, this could be a dangerous team after all.

Seattle dominated in every key facet. They were 9/16 on third downs (56%) compared to Detroit’s 2/11 (18%). They had 387 yards of offense compared to 231. The Seahawks gave up just 49 rushing yards but managed 177 of their own.

This is how you win in the playoffs.

The 26-6 score didn’t flatter Seattle — and they limited Detroit in a way Green Bay and Dallas (their previous two opponents) could not. The Packers and Cowboys conceded 24 and 21 points respectively against the Lions. Detroit didn’t get a sniff of the end zone in this one, barely reaching Seattle’s 35-yard-line.

It’d be quicker to list the players who only played a decent game. Everyone, collectively, had an impact. I’ll mention a few names but you could run through the whole team:

— Thomas Rawls showed his incredible talent. His big challenge is to do it again next week and stay healthy.

— Kam Chancellor was quietly exceptional again both in coverage and his play recognition to impact the LOS.

— Frank Clark is quickly developing into one of the more underrated players in the league. This was a ferocious performance of splash play magic on a night he was needed.

— DeShawn Shead had his best game in a few weeks, with only a dropped easy interception blotting his copybook.

— Mark Glowinski had arguably the best performance of his short career and he was ably supported by the rest of the line, including what felt like another strong outing by Garry Gilliam.

— Jeron Johnson had a spectacular night on special teams.

I wanted to save Paul Richardson for the end. This Tweet says it all:

And let’s hear some credit too for the offensive staff. This was a well crafted and executed offensive gameplan.

If there was a downside it was Steven Hauschka’s latest missed PAT. That’s seven for the season now, apparently a NFL record.

Next week in Atlanta will be a very different contest. The Falcons have a better offense and they have momentum going into the post-season unlike the Lions. They are thoroughly dynamic — finding creative ways to feature their running backs and of course Julio Jones.

The Seahawks will need to continue this level of performance and then some to have any chance against an opponent they only just beat in the regular season at home.

That said, Atlanta’s defense has given up some points this year. Just look at their home scores:

Tampa Bay 31-24 Atlanta
Carolina 33-48 Atlanta
San Diego 33-30 Atlanta
Green Bay 32-33 Atlanta
Arizona 19-38 Atlanta
Kansas City 29-28 Atlanta
San Francisco 13-41 Atlanta
New Orleans 32-38 Atlanta

That’s 27.75 points per game they’ve conceded at home and a 5-3 record that includes a one-point victory over the Packers.

You can see how potent they are on offense (35 points per game) but they also lost to the Buccs, Chargers and Chiefs in their own backyard.

It feels like the game will come down to Seattle’s defense being able to have some kind of control, the offense not starting poorly as it did against Arizona, Green Bay and Tampa Bay and avoiding first half mistakes. Keeping it close early, establishing the run. Similar ingredients to tonight — while acknowledging the Falcons are going to get their plays and points on offense over the course of 60 minutes.

Special teams and turnovers could be key. It’s a while since Seattle had a big return in the kicking game. The defense hasn’t had a single interception since Earl Thomas broke his leg against the Panthers in week 13.

The Seahawks will certainly be helped on offense if C.J. Prosise returns, as Pete Carroll has suggested is possible.

By the way, someone was watching the game closely tonight:

211 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks beat Lions, head to Atlanta”

  1. GoHawks5151 says:

    Anyone else feel like Steve Hutchinson raising the flag helped the run game? 😊

  2. LordSnow says:

    Whatever blocking scheme they were using tonight, please stay with it.

  3. Forrest says:

    Great win overall, hopefully it carries over to next week. I think the offense can play well against the Falcons defense, but the Hawk’s defense really needs to show up and be consistent in order for them to win this next game. I think it’s doable as long as this momentum continues until next week.

    • Volume12 says:

      Defense played great tonight. Would’ve been nice to get some TO’s (hits Shead right in the #’s), but impressive performance.

      • no frickin' clue says:

        I was impressed with the offense, but the DL still wasn’t bringing serious pressure on the QB until nearly the end. That is going to get us killed against a QB of the calibre of Matt Ryan in Atlanta.

        However, if Rawls and Collins (and maybe CJ? Please?) can run like that, then I think we have a very good shot. I want the Hawks to run to shorten the game. String together some drives with multiple first downs, give the D some time to rest, make it easier for them to try and get to Ryan.

  4. DC says:

    We’ve won at least one playoff game in each of Pete’s trips as Seahawks HC. Impressive stuff. Go Hawks!

  5. Volume12 says:

    I’m pumped man!

    That was Seahawk and PC football. If they can keep running this way, they’ll be tough to beat.

    What more can be said about Rawls? He was unstoppable. I’m excited to think about the possibility of Prosise back. We haven’t seen him and Rawls together yet.

    P-Rich was huge too. He’s gonna huge for us down the stretch. And the PI happened before he had ahold of his facemask.

    Thought the defense was lights out! 2 plays they gave up that were killers. That 20-30 harder Lane gave up and that ridiculous catch Zenger made.

    Stafford got out of how many sacks? 3? Hoping Frank is alright. We need him.

    We need a LT, but with a full off-season with the 1’s, maybe Fant takes that next step in his development?

    I’ll say it again. What RW has done this year for us is incredible. Carried us on one leg & one arm.

    Can Kearse catch a break? Douggie stole one from him!

    Bring on Atlanta. We’re turning up down south.

  6. Volume12 says:

    Florida St’s DeMarcus Walker talking about this one. Would be a great addition in the PNW.

  7. Forty20 says:

    There were still a few miscues from Russ in the first half and the pass rush didn’t get home as much as I would have liked but that was a very well rounded game from our Hawks and exactly the sort of platform we wanted to build from heading to Atlanta.

    I think that was the tightest our pass coverage has been in some considerable time. Lane has been really inconsistent this year but barring the one absolute gem that Stafford dropped over him he was on his game big time. Beyond that Shead missed an interception opportunity that was almost too easy but the tightness of our coverage really made Stafford second guess himself through the game.

    There is still stuff to work on heading into next week. Fant was worked over badly in the first half, the pass rush needs to get home earlier in the game etc…but that was a victory that resonated with the classic Seattle identity under Pete Carroll.

    • Volume12 says:

      Not giving up a TD in the playoffs is huge.

      Agree about the pass rush early on, but Stafford squirmed out’ve 2 or 3 of them.

      • Forty20 says:

        Yeah, Stafford did exceedingly well to dodge past some of our interior pressure. Zenner also had a huge block on Wagner blitzing up the middle.

        Not conceding a TD is a brilliant team effort. Deserves plenty of praise and I imagine Pete will single it out in his post-match presser. Hell, if they did not have Prater and his ridiculous leg it could have been a shut out.

    • rowdy says:

      Not really mad at shead for the drop. He was about to jump in front of the receiver when Stafford threw it right at him. Tuff split second catch to make when you already decided to go the opposite way.

  8. Elliott Atkinson says:

    This felt like a 2013 win, classic Seahawks football.

  9. Lenny James says:

    I really hope Sherm follows Julio next week

  10. Saxon says:

    Good win. Thought we let them hang around too long, though. That was a beat up football team that couldn’t get a call. At least we stepped on their throats by the end.

    Atlanta has to be a 7-10 point favorite. Fortunately their D is average at best and Ryan is due for a lousy game.

    I never know which Hawk team I’m going to see each week. Hopefully they bring the one with the strong running game to Atlanta.

  11. Whatever the reason that it took this long for the Seahawks to remember who they are, this was not the game Atlanta wanted to see happen tonight. The Seahawks are still dangerous.

    The whole team just showed up. Offensive line. Legion of Boom. Our receivers especially. Everyone brought their A-game.

  12. Greg Haugsven says:

    Except maybe the Giants, all the remaining g defensive line es are average at best. Hopefully we can keep this up. Detroit only had 9 drives for 23 minutes. That’s how we beat Atlanta

  13. KingRajesh says:

    Prosise coming back will be huge to spell Rawls. Don’t know what happened to Collins, but he could be out.

    P Rich man… the FERRARI finally got out of the garage! So happy for him, we’ll need him down the stretch. Get that man some more touches.

    Baldwin was finally fed up with Kearse getting all of the redzone targets so he made sure he got his. I love it.

    I didn’t buy into the O-line needing a game to gel, but if they were going to gel after a game, it was this one. Night and day on some plays – the broadcast showed that they opened up a NINE YARD HOLE for Rawls at one point. Wow. We’ll need those next week.

    It was clear that they were scared of Jimmy, and they resorted to triple coverage on some plays.

    My only negatives:

    Pass rush has been inconsistent, and was MIA for the 2nd and 3rd quarters against a poor O-line.

    Defense hasn’t had an interception in a while. We need to get some soon.

    Russell didn’t look as deadly as the stat sheet might show (77% completion, 2 TD), but perhaps he was tentative in his first game without the brace.

    Still too many targets for Kearse in the red zone.

    • I believe Baldwin has 21 tds this year, Kearse in single digets ? However it is obvious one of them was not running the correct route. If it was Baldwin to steal the td that could cause internal friction.

  14. DC says:

    Who’s got the best defense of the other NFC playoff teams, NYG?

    Aside from them we wouldn’t see another D like the ones we hate to see. Lots of good offenses out there this year though.

  15. Trevor says:

    That was one of the most enjoyable Hawks game in the last couple of years. Just seeing GLow, Britt and Ifedi fire off the ball and move people was so nice to see!

    The coaching staff had a great night. The offensive and defensive game plans were dead on.

    So happy to see Rawls and Prich have great nights. Two guys whom have battled back from bad injuries and seem to be such great team guys. PRich steping up to replace Locket is huge.

    The defense did not have to play a ton of snaps which is huge and to be honest this game looks like a blessing now to give this Ol some confidence and to get the run game going before facing Atl and Dal.

    Next week has the potential to be a classic!

  16. Trevor says:

    Calias Campbell on NFL network tonight you can tell he has a ton of respect for Hawks.

    Man he would look good in the PNW next year.

  17. JT says:

    Complete victory tonight that definitely inspires hope moving forward.

    Detroit had the league’s worst defense according to DVOA this season, but it was still nice to see the offensive line show some improvement. I was so impressed with Glow, especially in the first half. And ifedi had some nice plays mixed in with his miscues as well.

    Frank Clark is an explosive freak on the DL, even playing somewhat out of position as a nickel nascar DT.

    The Falcons are very susceptible to the run, so the game plan will likely be similar next week. The defense has to avoid the miscommunications that led to big plays in the previous ATL game this season.

    PC has at least 1 win every season the Hawks make the playoffs. I love this team.

  18. Rawls1234 says:

    Rawls is a really good running back. I know a lot of people here want to draft a rb high, but if Rawls can stay healthy he can be better than all of them. Getting a LT is going to be crucial for the future. I wouldn’t be opposed to Okung coming back after he gets released by the Broncos in the offseason.

    • Volume12 says:

      I agree. Grab a back for some depth and roll with Rawls, Prosise, rookie, & Collins.

      Love Rawls myself. Hope he can stay healthy.

      https://mobile.twitter.com/joshuajodec/status/817968269453770752/video/1

    • C-Dog says:

      I love the bleep out of Thomas Rawls, and want him to be the man, but feel like It’s likely Seattle will look to add there because of the durability concerns with not just him, but Prosise, Collins, Pope, etc. May not be in the first round, might not even be with the draft, might even just to add depth to the competition, but I think they look to add there.

      • Steele says:

        I think Rawls is better as the second back in a corps. Durability is a serious concern. He almost went out of this game. Draft pr free agent/trade for a stud who can co-lead with Rawls. Let the others compete for depth.

        • C-Dog says:

          It was a vicious hit to the head. I think he has starter talent, for sure, but durability is a concern, it would be less of a concern if Prosise doesn’t also have durability concerns. That’s why I think the add there. I don’t thought Nik they want to go another season rifling through a slew of RBs like they did in 2017.

        • Volume12 says:

          For all of Rawls durability concerns, legit, and struggles, they obviously trust him and their faith in him has appeared to have never wavered.

          They just drafted 2 backs (3, but obviously Brooks ain’t here). Let’s give them some time to prove themselves. I’m not saying they won’t or shouldn’t add one though.

          Collins, Prosise, just like Ifedi should all be SR’s for their college teams. They need to get adjusted to the physicality, speed, and complexity of the pro game. As for Ifedi, he probably was better off coming back, but should be better for it in the long run.

          • Volume12 says:

            Jay Ajayi could hardly stay on the field last year. He’s been the leading rusher since week 6.

            Le’Veon Bell probably only plays 10-12 games a season.

            Tevin Coleman couldn’t catch a cold, let alone hold onto the ball. Now he’s one of the best, or better no. 2 receiving backs in the league.

            How many chances have Dion Lewis and Jamaal Charles for example, been given after being hurt for what seems like every year?

            • C-Dog says:

              Solid points.

              • Volume12 says:

                I’m kinda thinking 3rd round. Maybe I’m a bit biased. I really like a backfield of Rawls, Prosise, and Colin’s.

                • Hawk Eye says:

                  I think it is more important that the rookies and 2nd year players from this year step up in 2017. The draft class will look great in April and then most will barely see the field next year. Maybe one or two make an impact, but let’s not think that some rookie tackle will come in and solve the o line issues next year. How many first round draft picks this year made a big impact? How many showed promise, but struggled?

                • C-Dog says:

                  I think it’s totally understandable to be biased on these guys. There’s nobody on that roster I root for more than Thomas Rawls, and I will be very interested to see what comes out of Prosise and Collins in the future. It will be interesting to see what they do there in the offseason. If they were to make a deep playoff run on the back of the run game, with all these guys factoring in, that’s probably going to change up a bit what the offseason priorities are, at least in my mind.

            • GerryG says:

              Prosise from injury number 1 in mini camp struck me as a Maxwell-type whose body is not ready for the NFL.

              Give him a full off season of upper echelon conditioning, getting his upper body stronger, and we’ll see if that will keep him on the field more.

              • C-Dog says:

                Good comparison, although RB takes much more punishment than corner. That said, I want to be patient with Prosise because he’s such a special athlete and playmaker.

  19. Trevor says:

    One last note. Huge props to Garry Gilliam for bouncing back like he has after being benched. He has been out most consistent OL since. I don’t think he will ever be the big mauling road grader we like at RT but he is getting the job done right now and being solid is OK.

  20. GeoffU says:

    Oh God yes, please make it back Prosise. Can’t wait to see him and Rawls on the field together.

  21. GerryG says:

    Fant was helpless on the pass rush against Ansah, but they managed to help him out. They can’t let Beasley destroy Russ like CAR did to us last year; he’s on fire.

    If they can run the ball, they have a chance. Great to see them play well. Long snapper was solid, huge plus there.

    • Josh says:

      Can anyone explain what was different tonight with the OL in run blocking? I know the broadcast highlighted the double teams overwhelming the DL but why did that work tonight? Is this something that is repeatable?

      • Rob Staton says:

        Commitment to the run IMO

        • Volume12 says:

          Yup. And blowing people off the ball. We could see and feel it watching through our screens. Bevell saw what was going on.

        • C-Dog says:

          Absolutely. Carroll gave some pretty clear indicators this week that they were going to commit to Rawls and the run game. Since none of the remaining playoff teams have D lines like the Rams and Cardinals, no reason why they can’t stay with this.

        • Nolan says:

          100% agree rob is was at the game and I was screaming for them to run it every time.

      • JT says:

        Detroit is awful against the run, (and has been all season long), which made things a lot easier than what we’re used to.

        Still a great performance with the run game nonetheless.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          Not true. DET aren’t great but they aren’t awful. They’re middle of the pack – ranked 18th in the League for run defense (106.3 rush yds/game)

          FWIW ATL ranked 17th in the League for run defense at 104.5 rush yds/game.

          • JT says:

            DVOA ranked them 23rd in run D, last in overall D. So ‘awful’ is a strong word for their run defense – they’ve been worse in coverage with Ansah, Slay & Levy missing a chunk of the season.

            The yardage total is skewed a bit by lack of reps. The lions run a keep-away offense which limited their opponents to under 400 carries on the season. Definitely a below average team vs the run.

      • GerryG says:

        Commitment is huge, but can’t gloss over execution. Aside from the goal line play where Ifedi whiffed on Ngata, and first play of 4th qtr where 89 had to block a LB and Willson had Ansah (only awful play call all night) the guys made their blocks. Those were the only two times there were guys in the backfield ASAP.

        • JT says:

          Great point. The team has come out trying to run the ball the last few weeks, and Rawls has been stymied to the tune of about 1.5 ypc.

          Execution was the key tonight. The line got great push instead of allowing penetration on run plays, and Rawls showed great vision and tackle-breaking ability.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I thought Fant played better than usual. He was staying in front of his guy on passing downs and getting pushed back. That is better then whiffing on the block. Russell was holding on to the ball a little too long on some plays, and dodged the wrong way.

      • EranUngar says:

        Fant has a good looking kick step and reasonably quick feet and the instinct to stay in front of the rusher from his basketball days. He lacks the hand work and anchoring needed to hold NFL rushers.

        He may actually do better against the 245 lbs Beasly than he did against the 275 Anash.

        The sacks by Anash came 4 seconds after the snap. That’s on RW/Bevell/WRs…

  22. Austin says:

    Seemed more than commitment though as they were getting chunk plays early and often. I couldn’t tell if it was Rawls running better or the line or a combination of both but it was working.

    Bevell called a very good game and Russ was efficient in the 2nd half. Great building block for next week too.

  23. Volume12 says:

    This was not what the rest of the NFC wanted to see.

    Seattle going back to their identity. Rawls with a Seahawks postseason record. Very cool. And this was only his 3rd highest rushing total in a single game.

  24. Volume12 says:

    Rob, do you think Haushcka is resigned, grab a K in UDFA, or perhaps both?

  25. 1976Hawk says:

    Salient points by all as usual. I thought I was in a time machine watching the 2013-2014 Hawks and you know what, I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. Kudos to P Rich, the O Line (I agree having Hutchinson in the house was a motivator & bring him to the ATL to provide further motivation), the defense was on it (although like a few on the board I concur I wish they would’ve got home more) and finally Keep It Rawling, T Rawls. We will have to play this way next week to have a shot, but maybe, with the combination of: Rawls, Collins and Prosise, we can pull it off. HAWK YEAH!

  26. JimQ says:

    PK-Zane Gonzalez, Arizona St., 6-0/190. 2016: 23/25-FG, 39/40-XP, A possible Rd-7/UDFA pick in the coming draft – would at least provide some good completion for Harsh$ and if he wins out, some Cap $’s would be freed up!

  27. vrtkolman says:

    Great win, I feel better about next week. Anyone else think we knew exactly how to get under Boldin’s skin from his 49er days?

  28. John says:

    Is Clark ok? Any updates on him from the press conferences? Twitter? We really need him!!!

  29. Cysco says:

    Am I the only one who is actually thankful we didn’t get the bye? It feels like the team needed this game. A performance like that should give the team a lot of confidence, especially the offensive line.

  30. John_s says:

    From Brock Huard

    Tremendous adjustment from Tom Cable & Darrell Bevell to mix iso and power run concepts w/their traditional zone run #PlayoffExperience

    http://twitter.com/BrockESPN/status/817985094468059137

    • Sea Mode says:

      This is AWESOME!

      Hope Brock (and others) break it down to show us how exactly they finally got it to click.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Question is, were they keeping this under wraps for the playoffs or what…?

      • Ukhawk says:

        That’s my biggest question. How much is necessity and how much is forward planning? I wonder this over & over. For example, why is Graham not targeted more in the redzone, is it pure insanity or are they keeping it under wraps? Why is RW not running the option to at least keep teams more honest?

        • Radman says:

          I have season tix and go to just about every home game. Graham is consistently double and triple teamed in the Endzone and all the fans around me are griping about not throwing it to him.

        • C-Dog says:

          Teams are doing whatever they can to take JG away in the RedZone and leaving others like Kearse in 1 v 1 situations. That’s kinda why I feel th team might seek out another red zone target.

  31. Seahawcrates says:

    This game is a testament to what the team can look like when the parts connect. Kick coverage was good and Detroit often had long fields. The Lions could not play mistake-free against a constricting defense. Eventually a drop, a penalty, and later a sack would doom the drive. Only two extremely long field goals on a cold night kept them from being shut out. When the Hawk offense had the ball, they rested their own defense with decent drives rooted in pounding run football. The team imposed their will in all phases.

  32. AlaskaHawk says:

    What a great game. Rawls is finally back and running hard. Richardson had some surprising catches. It was nice to see Seahawks looking like the Seahawks of old.

  33. C-Dog says:

    Great to see Seattle get back to it’s DNA. Hopefully they can continue riding the Rawls train throughout the playoffs.

    A strong run game makes everything and everything everyone better.

    Outside of the play of Rawls, and P Rich, I think I was most happy seeing Mark Glowinski absolutely have his way with A’Shawn Robinson all throughout the game. Not bad for a JAG. Go Hawks.

    • Volume12 says:

      Thomas the Train. Choo-Choo!

      Fingers crossed we get ‘Prosisely’ back to.

      If we can keep Atlanta right around 20 we should be good.

      • C-Dog says:

        Yeah, if we can keep Matty Ice off the field as much as possible, I think that’s the key. Also, I kinda like Seattle’s pass rush more against Atlanta. You know Bennett is going to want to bring the hurt they way they went after his knees. This could be a really good match up, especially if we get Prosise back.

      • Ukhawk says:

        The Thomas Train is definitely Rawlings now

  34. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    A performance like tonight’s could really catapult PRich into the regular rotation, and not just for the remainder of the post season, but into next year as well.

    Imagine a healthy Lockett and PR on the field at the same time. Or spelling each other in rotation.

  35. Sea Mode says:

    Rob, loved how you gave props to the offensive game plan. Seems like Bevell and Cable only get blamed when things don’t go right, but never enough real credit and “screen time” when it all clicks.

  36. Sea Mode says:

    Wow, check this out:

    Sheil Kapadia ‏@SheilKapadia 1h ago

    Per @ESPNStatsInfo, Thomas Rawls had 72 yards after contact. Last player with more in a playoff game: Marshawn Lynch in 2010 vs. Saints.

    https://twitter.com/SheilKapadia/status/817986369104519169

  37. nichansen01 says:

    ready to have my heart broken in atlanta for the second time in the past few weeks…

    • LordSnow says:

      Seattle has a better chance than I’d originally thought based on that running game performance:

      – WHen Rawls is on, and guys are holding their blocks and not letting defenders into the backfield right off the snap, our running game should be superior to Atlanta.

      – SKill position we should be equal. Two franchise qb’s. They have Julio, we have Jimmy. But we have Baldwin. Sanu is good, but Baldwin is elite.

      – THeir oline is way better, I’ll grant them that

      – They have one pass rusher, we have three

      – We are better against the run

      – Our shutdown corner is probably the only guy in the NFL I’d say could slow Julio

      A win will be tough but wouldn’t surprise me at all. But what team will show up? Like 2012, I think the game will be decided in the last two min.

  38. Forty20 says:

    I think the post-match interviews with Doug Baldwin and Thomas Rawls are both worth a watch. I thought Baldwin’s response to an initially humorous question about stealing Jermaine Kearse’s TD was quite poignant while Rawls was typically infectious.

  39. All I see is 12s says:

    I have to ask the most educated Seahawks forum. What do we like better, Air Dougy versus Minnesota or PE rich facemask touchdown against Detroit ? Both are legendary, but which do we like most?

    • Volume12 says:

      Damn. That’s a good question. IDK if I can pick one. Maybe P-Rich going Spider Man?

      • Volume12 says:

        And I say that because I have a feeling this is his coming out party. He had a good rookie year, but an unfortunate injury set him back.

        • All I see is 12s says:

          I think I agree. As amazing as Baldwins catch was, I think it serves more as a tone setter.If I remember correctly, that drive ended with an interception. The PR score may be the momentum setter towards something great. So happy to finally see what this kid can do.

  40. Volume12 says:

    Calais Campbell asking some interesting questions to BWagz on NFLN as their special guest. Showing some love too.

    • C-Dog says:

      I caught that. I chalk Campbell up as one to monitor.

      • C-Dog says:

        Also, I wonder how it’s sitting with him that Arians came out after their season finale saying Chandler Jones is the one they are working to resign.

        • Volume12 says:

          Interesting thought.

        • DC says:

          If CC actually hits the market we’ve got a realistic shot at landing him. He knows this team and our players well and he’s respected by all of us who have watched the havoc he unleashes on our OL twice every year. He would have a blast playing for Seattle. And we have the required cap space to make it happen.

          • C-Dog says:

            I think there is a lot of respect between the players of Arizona and Seattle. It’s a very interesting rivalry. I don’t feel it’s built on hate like it was with San Fran. If Campbell hits the market, if I were a Cardinals fan, I’d be really nervous about him making a visit to Seattle.

  41. KD says:

    FIRE BEVELLE!

    Sorry, would not seem like a proper game thread unless someone said it. It’s a SDB tradition.

  42. nichansen01 says:

    Gonna root for NYG tomorrow. Let them take out dallas for the third time.. then head to Seattle.

  43. nichansen01 says:

    And I have said this before… but after seeing Lane play we NEED to go corner early.

    • JT says:

      Like it or not, Lane is here to stay. It’s going to be hard to cut him until at least 2018 based on how his contract was designed.

      He’s been mediocre or injured every season, so competition/depth is needed, but it won’t come early. They always wait on CB, and already have the 3 ‘starters’ under contract.

      Watch out for Cordrea Tankersley from Clemson. Could be the steal of the draft if his stock doesn’t heat up soon.

    • Rob Staton says:

      On a night when the opponents offense didn’t get past the 35-yard-line, we’re talking about cornerbacks.

      A position they have never drafted early.

      • Isaac says:

        Not never of course…. Truant was early draft pick, different F.O. obviously. But other than him, I feel like Thurmond was highest drafted CB in recent memory

        • Rob Staton says:

          Yep, I meant the Carroll era Seahawks not never ever. Thurmond in round four is the earliest Carroll has drafted a CB. I don’t see any reason to imagine that changing any time soon, unless an absolute stud is sat there somehow and they address all the other needs in FA.

      • peter says:

        Listen Rob,

        We can either talk CB’s, Fire Bevell, Fire Cable, or the hotly anticipated LS draft break down clips I’m working on….it’s your blog!!

        Heck I’ll take anything as long as it’s not “Is Russ fat or not?”

      • Seahawcrates says:

        Not only do they not draft corner early, it likely requires the most technique specific training of all the positions on the team. Pete has very precise expectations for what his corners do. Rookies at corner are the least likely to be plug and play. Look what happened with Carey Williams when they tried to insert him without time in the system. It seems clear that Pete wants highly intelligent athletes who are coachable at corner (along with specific physical measurements). I think Pete is confident he kind find those qualities later in the drsft and teach the player over time. It took time for Sherman, Maxwell, Shead.

  44. Such a relief to have a game that never reached the heart attack stage. Just a smooth, efficient win. My scorecard:

    1. Rawls and O-line – when he’s got the room to run in that whirlwind style, it’s a joy to watch. A few weeks back, I compared him to the 80s-era boxer Aaron Pryor, but he also reminds me of Benny Malone, an obscure 70s-era RB who played briefly for the Dolphins right after their SB run. Malone was a bit bowlegged, and he had a way of hurling himself at the line that reminds me of Rawls, though without the same explosion. It’s equally clear that RB by committee is the only way the running game will work going forward. Rawls’ daredevil style opens him up to injury. He is not a bell cow like Lynch. He needs breaks, and the team needs the contrast of Prosise and others. Thank goodness Collins seems to be a step faster at this point.

    2. Richardson – well, that was just great. DET was determined to take Graham away, and they bottled Baldwin up in the early stages. So cue the redemption. Isn’t P-Rich (before he got hurt) the first version of Lockett? An all-everything guy in college, playing on a so-so team? It was so important for someone other than the usual suspects to step up and add some steel to the glass cannon. Those catches were magnificent — and savvy.

    3. Baldwin – he’s the 21st century Largent. So damned smart, such game awareness. He seems to have an extra gear in big moments.

    4. D strong overall, but the effect was deceptive. The pass rush is not there yet. My sense is Bennett is still not at full strength, but Clark’s emergence is a huge help, as are Wagner’s elite play and Wright’s excellence. A certain lack of heft in the middle of the D line is still an issue. They got the garbage sacks late, when Stafford had to work from behind. His receivers didn’t help with the drops. The run D was strong, but Zenner is not Devonta Freeman, my biggest worry apart from Julio Jones next week. Let’s hope for Calais Campbell next year, and hope he’ll take less than he deserves in the interest of winning.

    5. Secondary – better, but they weren’t facing an elite group. They bottled up Ebron nicely – he played soft. DET’s offense is thoroughly vanilla. Not one real playmaker, apart from Tate, who is a complementary player, not a star. Lack of INTs surprised me. Ryan is better than Stafford, and he has better weapons. Sherman, to my eye, has raised the tackling side of his game in a big way this year. Next week is the biggest test for the LOB — ATL has the best passing offense in the playoffs, apart from Pittsburgh.

    6. Pass pro – still not as effective as I hoped. Those sideline pop passes started to worry me, and Ansah was much too dangerous for my taste. Once Rawls softened them up, the dynamic changed, and RW had more time. Beasley is better than Ansah. What’s the answer? (Note that SEA plays HOU next year at C-Link, and presumably Watt and Clowney will both be healthy. I’ll need antacid for that game.)

    7. RW – he really needed this game. Efficient, occasional desperation, but once he had that extra split second of time, he looked much more like himself.

    I remain very worried about Atlanta, but I agree with others above: losing the bye was a blessing in disguise. Go Hawks.

    PS: Can’t decide whether to root for NYG or GB. Maybe it won’t matter.

    • Schuemansky says:

      What a great post. I was thinking about so many things writing down and you captured them all in a much better way that I could ever have done it.
      What does all this mean for FA and draft?
      As you said: our running has to be by committee. We won’t have to spend an early pick there IMO.
      What a difference would Campbell make! If we could get him …
      No high pick on WR needed IMO either, would hope for secondary picks on day one and two.
      One other thing I forgot: what do you think, is it still the injuries or is it the weight gained, but RW does not look like Houdini anymore.
      For Atlanta: if we can bring it all together it will be an epic battle.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I think RW looked more like his Houdini self last night than an any point this season. That downfield (*cough* illegal *cough*) block reminded me of him circa 2013 so much I almost forgot what year it is. And what better time to start showing those tricks again than now?

        It’s been said before, by V12 and others, that we don’t (yet) fully appreciate what a special athlete and competitor RW is. His injuries, starting from the very first game vs MIA, were significant enough to sideline most any other QB in the League. Heck, the cumulative effect of all the injuries he suffered this season were enough to sideline pretty much any player, regardless of position. For him to have remained active, and even competitive, in light of that is Michael Jordan-esque.

    • Volume12 says:

      Great post. Enjoyed it.

      Lance Zierlein and Dane Brugler said they were sitting at a table with Rawls when he told them he looks for brick walls to run through. Zierlein said he literally watched Purdue’s safeties tap out against Rawls due to his physicality.

      Doug Baldwin is Steve Smith 2.0 So similar even down to the jersey #. But, I get your Largent comp. Thing is, for me, I never got to see Largest except for highlights and a few old VHS tapes from my uncle.

      Douggie, Lockett, and P-Rich with Graham and a couple other usual suspects has the chance to be scary good. Richardson is more Emmanuel Sanders esque.

      Giants. We match up better.

      • Cysco says:

        That’s awesome, but also scary.

        Rawls has the mentality of Lynch, but not the body. Given his will to run as hard as he can and fight for yards, I just can’t see the guy staying healthy.

        There were several times last night where after a run, it took him a bit longer to get up and there was another time he got knocked out for a few plays for what appeared to be the concussion protocol. I just find myself holding my breath every time he breaks a run and has a greater than normal impact with a defender.

        If they’re going to stick with Rawls next season, I think they’ll want/need to find another back or two that shares the mental makeup of Rawls for when he inevitably misses some time.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          That’s why I’d like to see a real bruiser added to the rotation. If a vet, someone like J Stewart. If a rookie, someone like Perine or perhaps Jamaal Williams. Perine gets knocked for being injury prone, when in fact he’s missed only 3 games in his college career. Also working in rotation would reduce the abuse on his body. But for me there’s no other RB in this year’s Draft that takes it to the defense more than he. I like Williams’ bruiser style too, but he’s not as big as Perine, which makes me wonder how effective he’ll be with that style in the pros.

          For all his aggressiveness, Rawls is more slasher than bruiser. And Prosise is glider and strider. We don’t necessarily need a bell cow as much as role player. Collins could be that guy. He certainly doesn’t shy from contact. But a big, strong power runner like Perine could be just what we need to restore the run game.

      • peter says:

        We had season tickets when I was a kid and I’m pretty sure you would have loved seeing him live. I’m not that old and I rarely like to be a honk but his game would have absolutely translated now. Maybe even more so with the extra layers of protection for players.

    • peter says:

      Honestly if it all goes right I want GB. I don’t feel anything one way or the other about NYG. But after the NFCCG listening to Josh Sitton say “we should have one we beat their butts up and down the field,” on a night when the stat line was nearly identical……EXCEPT….we spotted them +3 turnovers and they still couldn’t win made me hate them. I’d just like to see them one time with no goofy calls and where Russell doesn’t gift them a jillion TO’s.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      One of the best, most enjoyable comments I’ve read on SDB in the 4+ years I’ve been lurking around here.

      Nice work Dq :)

    • C-Dog says:

      Fantastic post.

      I noticed with Bennett that he was uncharacteristically really late off the ball at least once, but Clark looked down right sick firing out when he slipped inside a few times.

      If we get Tony McD back against the Falcons, that will give depth up front against the run against Atlanta. It’s still going to be a really tough matchup. If Seattle can get Prosise back for that game, he could be an interesting X factor that they didn’t have in the first match, they also didn’t have a healthy and inspired Thomas Rawls.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        @JacsonBevens: Most under-rated aspect of this game is that Frank Clark is playing *nose tackle* and dominating

        • Volume12 says:

          Give Rawls his 15-18 carries, Prosise his 10-12 and 3-5 targets in the passing game, and then you have either Collins or a bigger back/rookie giving you 5-8 short yardage opportunities.

          And if Rawls or Prosise miss more than 4-5 games, we have Collins and one other back to help carry the load.

  45. Volume12 says:

    I gotta say 2 things I didn’t mention.

    Cassius Marsh is lowkey good. Didruptive. How many teams around the league would he be starting for? Over half is my guess.

    And Detroit just got a franchise LT with the 18th pick. Taylor Decker was and has been sensational. Loved him last year.

    • JT says:

      Decker is just… solid. He’s got some nasty to him as a run blocker and does his job over and over – exactly what you want from the LT.

      I was low-key hoping he’d fall to us last year, but at the same time knew the Hawks wouldn’t be intrigued by his athletic profile.

    • Trevor says:

      Have to admit you were dead on about Decker last year Vol. I was just luke warm on him but have to admit I was wrong about him. He is a legit LT.

  46. Trevor says:

    I don’t know if they will ever admit is publicly but that was a much more power run blocking scheme than ZBS tonight. Glownski in particular was just lining up and driving his uy off the line 3-4 yds. They uses there superior explosiveness and size in the middle of the OL finally. This is what we have been bagging for all year.

    Thank you Tom Cable for putting pride aside and allowing these guys to just play not think!

    • Phil says:

      The OL’s performance last night sure improved Cable’s chances for a head coaching job.

      + + +
      RW just missed connecting with McEvoy on one of the few times that RW was able to extend a play. I like McEvoy’s ability to make a play when called on.

    • JT says:

      They mixed in both, as they have all season. Almost all of those “double-teams” Collinsworth kept referencing were on inside-zone or zone-read run plays out of shotgun.

      Bottom line is the OL just run-blocked much better than we’re accustomed to, which included shotgun zone runs.

      • Trevor says:

        JT I will have to respectfully disagree. If you watch the tape this was much more of a power blocking scheme with inside zone combo blocking. They were going straight ahead not side to side looking to open up holes.

        I am no expert but even someone with basic knowledge like myslef can see there was a difference even is PC said it was the same scheme. I am sure the differences will be hilighted this week when the talking heads break down the tape.

        • JT says:

          yes they were running inside, but what you said – “this was much more of a power blocking scheme with inside zone combo blocking.” – those plays are 100% ZBS.

          They ran inside zone (often with a QB read-option) with great success, which is the staple of the shotgun zone-blocking scheme.

          The difference is they really cut down on the wide zone plays that demand so much from the OL. Everything was designed to go between the tackles (which more closely resemble man concepts), but those SG runs they ran with so much success were still ZBS plays.

          What’s most interesting to me is the OL’s were consistently holding on to the double teams longer than usual, before reaching an LB on the second level. That seemed to be by design, and it’s something to look for next week as well. Atlanta’s front 6/7 are maybe even worse than the Detroit’s against the run.

          • JT says:

            Hey Trevor I just did a quick re-watch of Rawls’ reps yesterday and they did run undercenter man-blocking concepts more than I thought. They still had some great success on the zone runs, but had just as much (if not more) success running iso & power runs.

            They had Reece lined up in the I-form on the majority of Rawls’ good UC runs, which is really nice to be able to do after a couple years of Tuk.

      • C-Dog says:

        Wasn’t the best pass but still was a catchable ball the McEvoy should make. If you can get both hands on it, you should catch it. Still, I lik this guys upside a lot.

    • Cysco says:

      I am not educated enough on OL play to say what was different, but to my untrained eye something was definitely different with the blocking scheme last night. I’m pretty certain it was more than just them executing the regular scheme properly. It just seemed like the assignments were less complicated than normal.

      I’m eager to read/see some analysis of what they did last night compared to the regular season.

  47. Cysco says:

    I’ll be curious to see if they use RW on the option run a lot next week. Last night’s game was awesome to see as a fan and probably frightening to see as a member of the Falcons. Atlanta spent the last week preparing for the Seahawks team they had tape on for the last few weeks of the season. Now all of a sudden, they trick up their OL blocking scheme and go for over 160yds on the ground.

    I imagine Atlanta’s coaches are going to be scrambling to review last night’s game to prepare for what we did against Detroit. There could be some massive opportunities for Wilson to keep the ball.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Just as long as they don’t trick themselves. What worked last night should be the focus moving forward.

      If Atlanta has to commit more to stop the run — Jimmy Graham could have a big day next week. That’s the wrinkle I would look for. Utilising Graham within the framework of a great running attack to the tune of a big day for JG.

  48. Ed says:

    Still had a slow start (can’t happen against Falcons). They have a better O and D than Lions, so they need to wake up early.

    It was awesome to see the OL lock it up. A few of the sacks were really Wilson not sliding in the pocket correctly, something Stafford does really well. And some of the holes Rawls could run thru (I know it was a combination of the defensive scheme, but still).

    My biggest complaint for the night, was all the 3 and 1. It has been problem in the past and could in the future as well. Why in the world doesn’t Wilson just push up on Britts butt and QB sneak. He is smart of enough to see that (I hope) and 3 times last night both DT were lined wide on the guards and still nothing. Those are things that could cost the Hawks in Atlanta, so I hope they watch the tape and put that wrinkle in.

    Will Sherman shadow Jones?
    Atlanta has good outside rushers, will Wilson read the pocket pressure correctly?
    Will DB stick to the run?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think it was a slow start per se… just a typical playoff game. Both teams taking a look.

      If the Seahawks had started any better it would’ve been about 35-0 — which is unrealistic against a playoff opponent.

      • Ed says:

        It was 10-6 after the 3rd. That’s more than a feel out. The Hawks won’t hold Falcons to 6 thru the 3rd, so they better get out to a better start. That will not cut it against Atlanta.

        On a side note, how awesome for PC and the organization to going up against Quinn. Too bad Gus bombed in Jax. His D was real good, Bortles was just terrible. They will make a big flip next year because of the D he put together, but he won’t get the credit.

        Now Richard getting interview with the Bills and Cable with 49ers, wow.

    • sdcoug says:

      Seattle ranks 20th (3.9) and 28th (2.7) in 1st and 3rd quarter scoring respectively. i’d say starting slow has been a big problem for a long time.

      Conversly, Atlanta is #1 in both 1st and 3rd qtr scoring.

    • C-Dog says:

      I kinda think a 5-11 quarterback isn’t the best option for a sneak player. Usually those places work best with tall quarterbacks. Seattle tried that recently and it was flat out embarrassing. Don’t need to see that again.

      Here’s the RW situation, as I see it. He is a 5-11 franchise QB, an outlier in the league. QB sneaks, climbing through the pocket, seeing the whole field when pressured as always going to be faced with challenge because dot his height disadvantage. He makes up for that in very special, unique ways, and it’s obvious the franchise is willing to live with those few disadvantages.

  49. Smitty1547 says:

    They made the mistake last time of not covering Jones with Sherm until we were down 14-0, I hope they learned and play whole game that way this time.

    0-0 seems to be a good first quarter for us, Ill take it.

  50. DC says:

    Looks like it’s a 1:35pm pst kickoff next Saturday. The later the better.

    Go Giants

  51. Paul d says:

    Rawls

    100 yards first half

    Hawks playoff franchise record

    Kid from Flint with heart

    Rawls

    Rawls

    • Paul d says:

      Damn, my haiku spoiled by a typo. But Rawls is our not so secret playoff weapon. If you are Atlanta, you have to worry about him (had something like 76 yards after contact!). And Richardson who may be the fastest guy on the team who can catch anything. Did y’all notice Clark rushing from the NT spot? But for two 50 yard+ field goals, could have been a shutout. Maybe this team is so experienced now that they only really get up for the playoffs.

  52. STTBM says:

    Kudos to Tom Cable, Darrell Bevell, Kris Richard and Pete Carroll: their best gameplan and in-game adjustments all year! Highlights: Cranking up the rush when it was most needed–almost as if they saved their blitzes and best moves for the end, to make sure they worked; How bout Paul Richardson? Dude still isn’t Lockett–he hasn’t gotten open deep–but if teams keep giving up the underneath he’s going to kill them 10 yards at a time…I can dig it! Really nice to see him catch the ball in traffic and not get hurt! Baldwin is like Largent crossed with Bobby Engram; love him! Graham contributed despite Lions being determined to smother him.

    And Thomas Rawls is back, baby! Still, cant wait for Prosise to come back. This offense will explode if he can return and stay healthy.

    The bad: As great as it was to see Rawls getting some blocking, he still managed 72 yards AFTER CONTACT! Most in a playoff game since Lynch. And the line still looked like Keystone Kops a lot of the time, falling all over themselves and not looking too solid. There is still a lot of work to do there. Plus, the Lions are not a good defense, and not tough vs the run. They didn’t beat a single Playoff team all year, going a pathetic 0-6.

    I worry that Seattle will feel they found the magic elixir and stick too much to the run next week, get in a hole they cant dig out of, and lose despite a furious Wilson/Baldwin/Graham comeback. Committing to the run is fine and dandy, but only if you don’t dig yourself a big hole doing it.

    Again, Beasley will cause us way more problems than Ansah, who was problem enough. Atlanta has Deion Jones at LB too, and better DB’s by far. DetrIoit has no Keanu Neal. ITs going to be a much bigger task running the ball on Atlanta. IF we can run on them, great. But if we let Atlanta score points, its not going to work to run into a brick wall till its too late.

    Defense is going to have to pressure Ryan hard, early and often. No more crappy zone schemes from Kris Richard ruining the day, just let Sherm follow Jones. No communication problems, let your supremely talented players PLAY! And for the love of Pete, BLITZ, RICHARD!

    Atlanta is not the same team that lost those games at home to crappy teams early in the year, either. They have gotten it together. But Seattle seems to have taken a step forward too. Whether its more Power/Man blocking schemes (with zone inside) or what, the line looked better, which is a relief; but they still have to improve for next week to have success, both in the run game and in Pass Pro.

    Lets Go Hawks!

    • DC says:

      Have the TE chip the piss out of Beasley.

      • STTBM says:

        Doesnt always work. We’ve tried it, and there can be confusion. Plus, that leaves Graham not going downfield–everyone is tired of seeing THAT–unless we use Willson or the blocking TE to chip….

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      @hawkblogger:

      Last time Seahawks played Falcons these players were out:
      Frank Clark
      Kam Chancellor
      Michael Bennett (4th qtr)
      Thomas Rawls
      CJ Prosise

      Of course, they did have ET3 and Lockett.

      • C-Dog says:

        Great point. These are different teams now than they were when they first played. As a football fan, I am really looking forward to this matchup. If Seattle is able to advance beyond Atlanta, that could be a very scary thing to whatever team they’d be facing next.

      • STTBM says:

        Good point. Hopefully Prosise can play. But not having ET back there vs Ryan and those WR’s is a freaky proposition indeed.

  53. Hawk22Fun says:

    I think we need to give Marcel Reece a contract extension, like NOW!

    Reece is a great lead blocker for Rawls! He it the line hard each time, then add in his catching skills, and we need to KEEP REECE!!!

    Rob…what ‘cha think? Didn’t Reece have a great game??!

  54. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Speaking of Frank Clark, his 2016 stat line (sophomore year in the NFL):

    15 games – 5 starts
    25 solo tackles
    22 assists
    10 sacks
    2 forced fumbles

    Cool Clark tweet:

    @TheRealFrankC_: Rat and roaches where I use to lay my head. Now I look down and see marble floors where I walk.

    Also, playoff team sack duo stats:

    1. SEA – Avril (11.5) & Clark (10.0) 21.5
    2. ATL – Beasley (15.5) & Clayborn (4.5) 20.0
    3. OAK – Mack (11.0) & Irvin (7.0) 18.0

    • JT says:

      + 12 total TFL’s, all on only 63% of snaps. This guy doesn’t even have great technique yet, he’s just a freak athletically. I’d love to see him spell Avril more on running downs, as I think he’s a better run defender than Cliff already.

  55. Volume12 says:

    The O-line was a huge improvement last night run blocking wise, but a lot of those runs Rawls had was him creating for himself. That seems to be getting overlooked.

    Defensively, TO’s are down, but the sign of a good defense is when they can win games and shut down opposing teams without relying on sacks, picks, fumble recoveries. What happens when your not getting sacks and INT’s? You end up with a GB style of defense.

  56. Volume12 says:

    IDK if he’s a fit for Seattle necessarily, but NC ST RB Matt Dayes is going to be a steal at the RB position on day 3. Nothing special, just a hard nosed, tough, competitive back.

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