Instant reaction: The Seahawks play weird football games

December 10th, 2018 | Written by Rob Staton

There’s just something about the Pete Carroll Seahawks.

They play in bizarre, weird games.

This was a new one.

Seattle dominated the first half. They had 12 first downs compared to Minnesota’s five. They ran 15 more plays, gained 114 more yards, ran for 139. It was a dominating opening two quarters.

And they let the Vikings off the hook with mistakes.

A flag on Jordan Simmons and an uncharacteristic, befuddling interception by Russell Wilson meant a 3-0 half-time lead instead of a handsome advantage.

A game in control… transformed into a war of attrition.

Still the weirdness continued. A bad pass interference call on Xavier Rhodes set up a first down at Minnesota’s 10-yard line. Again, they settle for a field goal.

You’re waiting for Kirk Cousins and Minnesota to take advantage. They had to, surely? They’d been kept alive for so long.

A 48-yard completion to Stefon Diggs. This is the moment. Here come the Vikings.

Nope. Stopped on fourth down in the red zone.

But Seattle give them the ball back with great field position. Is this the moment Seattle would surrender their lead?

Again, nope. The defense stands tall. Bobby Wagner blocks a field goal with an illegal, uncalled leap over the LOS.

The Seahawks are desperate on offense at this stage. The run has stalled. The passing game is non-existent. What can they do?

Well of course. A 40-yard scramble by the quarterback — sprinting away from a lunging Linval Joseph the nose tackle. How else would the Seahawks break open the game on a night when Wilson threw for a career-low number of passing yards?

It all finishes with a Jacob Martin forced fumble and a Justin Coleman scoop-and-score. After all the nervous energy, the anxiety, the wondering whether the Seahawks were going to let this one slip. They get the handsome scoreline after all.

The Pete Carroll Seahawks. After all these years, still finding different ways to do it.

Following a weekend where the rest of the NFC was a mix of bad, worse and downright ugly — they’ll take the win. The rebuilding, re-setting Seahawks are on the brink of the playoffs. They need one more NFC win. They’ll want three wins to take into the wildcard weekend.

Amid all the chaos there were some big positives here:

— The Vikings do a good job defending the run. Seattle ran for 216 yards. They also did it without D.J. Fluker. They truly are the #1 rushing team in the league. They showed that today.

— Minnesota took away Seattle’s explosive passing plays. The Seahawks executed poorly too — Wilson and the receivers can share the blame there. But again — they still found a way to win in that environment.

— Seattle’s defense was fantastic. After some recent struggles, the entire group stepped up to a new level. The DB’s played the ball and limited the big plays, the D-line created pressure and Bobby Wagner was his usual all-pro self. They deserved a shut-out and will be disappointed they didn’t get it. Still, this was an excellent display.

— They’re finding ways to win. The late drama against Green Bay and Carolina, now this. They’re battled tested. And only three teams have a better record than the Seahawks in the NFC (even after a disappointing 0-2 start).

It’s the type of night that would’ve been bitterly disappointing had they thrown it away and lost. Instead? It’s another fun moment in an increasingly enjoyable 2018 season that is going far better than most people imagined.

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134 Responses to “Instant reaction: The Seahawks play weird football games”

  1. millhouse-serbia says:

    Shaguill is back! Tre is best tackling CB in league. Two 200+ rushing yards games and both with Simmons as a starter.

    No sleep, no problem! Go Hawks!

  2. BobbyK says:

    I was so hoping Coleman would just drop to a knee and seal the deal. Being from Minnesota, I would have much preferred a 14-0 shutout compared to a 21-7 win. But if that’s the worst of it… what a great night!!! Cheers!!!

  3. Brian G says:

    Can someone clarify why the Wagner jump should have been a penalty? Rulebook: https://operations.nfl.com/the-rules/2018-nfl-rulebook/

    The following is legal:

    Running forward and leaping across the line of scrimmage in an obvious attempt to block a field goal or Kick, or apparent kick, unless the leaping player was in a stationary position on the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. A player, who is behind the line of scrimmage before or at the snap, may run forward and leap, provided he does not cross the line of scrimmage or land on players.

    The following two are penalties:

    – Jumping or standing on a teammate or opponent to block or attempt to block an opponent’s kick or apparent kick.
    – Placing a hand or hands on a teammate or opponent to gain additional height to block or attempt to block an opponent’s kick or apparent kick, or in an attempt to jump through a gap to block an opponent’s kick or apparent kick

    Wagner was on the LoS, yeah? So the only way this would be a penalty was if he “propelled” himself off a teammate.

    • Rob Staton says:

      A lot of people are discussing the merits of Wagner’s ‘leverage’ on social media.

      My take? He leaps but only clears the LOS by using the team mates to follow through with the act. I think if it had been called either way — you can make an argument for it. So I don’t think anyone is right or wrong really. But if I were a ref in that situation, I’d have probably thrown the flag to be honest.

      • LouieLouie says:

        I agree with you Rob, tough call. It was at a critical point in the game as well. This time awful officiating went the Hawk’s way. The bottom line is; it’s a W. I’d rather see “bad” no calls as opposed to the chicken-poop pass interference calls that go way too far in determining the outcome of a game.

    • RRSquid says:

      People are saying that him putting his hands on his teammate is leverage. But the rule clearly states the player must gain a height advantage.

  4. matt says:

    Yes to the weird. But give them credit, just like every game they have played in the Pete Carrol era, they never quit. I don’t think that gets recognized enough, they never quit. A testament to Pete. The reason it was not a flag on Wagner’s block is because the rule distinctly states ” to gain additional height”. The key word is ‘additional” Wagner was coming down when he put his hands on other players, thus not a foul. Great game.

    • 80SLargent says:

      The foul called on Wagner on 3rd down early in the game, complete garbage. Then, they missed a blatant one later in the drive (make up call?).
      The personal foul called on Ifedi (Simmons?) shouldn’t have been called.
      What you said about the Wagner block is spot on. We can’t overlook they initially threw the flag because they saw Wagner “touch” his adjacent teammates going over the line. However, they then picked up the flag because they determined Wagner didn’t “gain leverage”. If one actually watched the play, they would see they got that call right, they just didn’t explain it in picking up the flag.
      The PI on Rhodes was pretty ticky tacky, but I’ve seen less than that called against Seattle on numerous occasions.
      We shouldn’t let the “ESPN-like” narrative about the blocked FG dissuade us from seeing the game for what it was. When a team can pass for 60 net yards and still win by two TDs, you know you did some really good running and your defense balled out in a must win game.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      Yup he used his hands on the way down. Pete said coaches during the week noticed a weakness in the Vikings kicking unit so they practiced the play with Bobby during the week.

    • icb12 says:

      I disagree.

      “Placing a hand or hands on a teammate or opponent to gain additional height to block or attempt to block an opponent’s kick or apparent kick, or in an attempt to jump through a gap to block an opponent’s kick or apparent kick”

      OR being the operative. Bobby definitely placed his hands on people in an attempt to jump through a gap. He got away with it. Got away with a facemask too.

      Some favorable calls tonight. I’ll take them and the win and enjoy it!

      • Jeff M. says:

        It’s actually grammatically ambiguous whether “to gain additional height” modifies the clause after the last “or” or not.

        Two valid readings:

        1. (Placing a hand) (to gain height) (to block) or (placing a hand) (to jump gap)

        2. (Placing a hand) (to gain height) (to block) or (placing a hand) (to gain height) (to jump gap)

        If you read it as 1 he probably violated the letter of the rule, if you read it as 2 he probably didn’t, and the text of the rule doesn’t provide a way to determine which is correct.

        This is why writing rules/laws/regulations is hard and why lawyers make lots of money arguing these things…

      • Objective says:

        “Placing a hand or hands on a teammate or opponent to gain additional height to block or attempt to block an opponent’s kick or apparent kick, or in an attempt to jump through a gap to block an opponent’s kick or apparent kick”

        Okay. Seems tricky, but it’s simple.

        There is parallel structure in the writing so you have to interpret each clause similarly.

        ..gain additional height to block…
        ..jump through a gap to block…

        Those to statements are parallel. Pereira is right, the additional height only applies to ONE clause, otherwise it would be redundant.

        If it is okay to stabilize yourself with your teammate as long as you don’t gain additional height TO block the kick, then it is similarly okay to do so as long as you don’t jump the gap TO block the kick.

        So basically, touch your teammates all you want, just don’t

        A. gain additional height (to block)
        B. jump through the gap (to block)

        IMPORTANT.

        The usage of “to” here does not simply mean prior to the kick. If it meant that it would say so. It implies a direct intent to block the kick that is intrinsically associated with the action described in the clauses.

        In other words:

        A. You can gain additional height, as long as you didn’t do so in AS you block the kick, or in an attempt to block the kick.

        B. You can also jump through a gap, as long as you didn’t do so in AS you block the kick, or in an attempt to block the kick.

        They clearly specify that attempts to block also count. If you try, but fail, you still broke the rules. This is evidence that the INTENT of the player is what the rules speaks to.

        Just imagine that a player jumps over the line with no intent of blocking the kick. Perhaps only to intimidate the kicker. Regardless of gap or additional height, this would clearly be legal. He didn’t do anything TO block a kick. So clearly intent is implicated.

        Wagner did not intend to block the kick with his initial leap. He was simply making an athletic football move to put himself in a more advantageous position to play defense. What if it was a fake field goal? Perfectly legal.

        Wagner’s actual attempt to block the kick was SEPARATE and DISTINCT from him jumping the gap (he did not gain additional height). If Wagner blocked the kick with his first leap, he would have broke the rules.

        He did not, if you watch the film.

        Refs made the right decision, imo

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not convinced he didn’t gain some additional ‘height’. Not much — but I don’t think he clears the LOS without placing his hands on his team mates. But it could be argued either way. A difficult one to call.

      • Comfect says:

        I’d suggest he gained additional stability mid-jump (so he could land on his feet) but not additional height. And since a) they threw the flag, discussed it, and picked it up and b) the ref from behind had an extremely clear view of the attempt–one of the replay camera angles shows that he’s basically staring right at Wagner–I think that’s what the refs decided too.

      • Brashmouse says:

        The overruling referee stated that he did not gain leverage and so it was not a foul. It was clear that the interpretation on the field was aligned to the second understanding of the rule as written.

        • whit21 says:

          I think in most situations when you brace yourself like that, you’re not getting any extra ‘height’.. you’re ensuring that your feet wont drop and get caught on whatever you’re trying to jump over.

  5. Doug says:

    Love this team!

    The education of Messers Fowers and Griffen continues, and they are well on their way. Diggs and Theilen represented a good test for the secondary and until that last garbage time drive, the DBs as a group and Flowers/Griffen looked very good indeed.

    The DL had a monster game also, which has me wondering where the draft priority may in fact be? The addition of Kendricks was very noticeable and I have to think if KJ is not re-signed due to injury and Kendricks’ future is clouded by a possible jail term, that finding a new WILL would be the priority.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      Yup I agree this Seahawk team is the real deal!

    • Rob Staton says:

      One swallow does not a summer make.

      The D-line needs help. Imagine if that level of performance could be consistently repeated? That’s a reality if they bolster the DL.

      • Bill Bobaggins says:

        I hate to “imagine if,” but imagine if Malik McDowell were in the mix.

        Can’t wait to see them beef this line up in the draft.

      • FresnoHawk says:

        I think Deon Jordan finally played an entire game like I imagined over the summer I think we can figure out how to sustain it through the playoffs over the next 3 games. It’s nail biting wondering what the playoff roster will look like.

  6. Benjamin Daviis says:

    This team is goin’ to the Superb Owl!!!!!! I’m calling it fight now!!!

    • FresnoHawk says:

      I think we are too if our defense continues to play like that or continues to improve. It you look at it from a personal perspective our DL is elevating to the next level in front of our eyes and its spreading to the secondary. With Dicksons ability to block, catch and play blocking FB, Fants ability to play TE & catch, Carson’s ability to run over linebackers added to offensive weapons that we already have it looks the Seahawks are the best short yardage offense in the league, hope everyone stays healthy. MOJO is huge!

  7. Pran says:

    Kudos to defense. It’s their win.

    It could have been a blow out had Russ and Moore played better. Passing is pedestrian besides Lockett. Moore 5 targets 0 catches..dude be better!

    • Nathan W. says:

      A Kearse-esque target/catch ratio

    • 80SLargent says:

      Yeah, George Fant was their 3rd leading receiver tonight, let that one sink in.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      Moore doesn’t bother me because he’s growing right before our eyes, he’ll get there. It’s kinda like watching our RB’s working it out in front of us.

    • Rob4Q says:

      No problem with Moore’s effort on most of those targets – Russ just missed on them. The deep shot that was overthrown was a TD if Russ just slings it instead of the big rainbow that was short. And then he led Moore out of bounds on the one where he couldn’t get the second foot in bounds.

      I’m pretty sure this all happened because of the broadcast team saying over and over in pre-game how Russ throws the best deep ball in the league!!!

  8. DC says:

    That was just straight fun. Good football game. That was a great show by the D.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s fun now that we know they won. It would’ve been bitterly disappointing with a hint of agony had they thrown it away (and nearly did).

      • DC says:

        I actually had fun the whole way through. More to do with my choice to throw away expectations this season and enjoy the growth of the team. It’s been a long run of Super Bowl or bust for me. This feels refreshing.

  9. GerryG says:

    I mentioned a week or so back that as concerning as the D has has been, they have had some very nice stretches this season, so I felt they had potential to have some good/great games. The lack of overall talent and depth, and youth will make them inconsistent, and success difficult to repeat, but it’s nice know they can get it done.

    Kendrick’s returning must have been a big factor (I missed middle two quarters). That’s encouraging. Secondary playing the ball again was awesome. Quill getting his head around.

    Vikes should be a better team with all that talent. But if you can’t block or pass pro you make an average DL look all pro. Seattle fans can relate to that.

  10. FresnoHawk says:

    Defense is getting better with 3 games to go they have enough time to become a dominate league best defense. I think it’s reasonable to believe Seahawks won’t make those offensive errors in the playoffs. Loved it when Fant caught the pass and TE Dickson playing FB looked real good to me.

    • David says:

      They should put Fant in at fullback kinda like in 2015 when Baylor consistently used a 400-lb TE at H-back with much success for most the year.

  11. Seahawcrates says:

    Sure is nice to have a run game to lean on a night the passing game loses its ability to connect.

  12. Luis Hernandez says:

    Very accurate in your explanation, Rob. But IMHO this game leaves Seahawks in a swamp of questions about our receiving corp depth. It seems as if behind Baldwin and Lockett was no involvement in the plays or specific routes designed for Moore, Brown, Turner. Next year, we probably will try to select a WR in fifth or sixth round, but unless Darboh comes stronger from IR, maybe we have an uncovered hole there that good defenses will expose.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Moore had an off-night not helped by the fact Russell Wilson also struggled.

      So I’d caution reading too much into this one performance. If Baldwin misses next week and the same thing happens, it’ll be a talking point though.

    • Matt G says:

      I agree. Adding talent to the D is priority 1 and 2 in the offseason, but the Seahawks need another weapon in the WR corp. if either Baldwin or Lockett is out, there isn’t much else there.

      • Rob4q says:

        Rob, what do you think of Baylor WR Denzel Wims? Really looks like he could be that big bodied receiver that Pete always seems to look for and I’m guessing he will be available in the middle rounds…

        https://thedraftnetwork.com/2018/08/04/profiling-baylor-bears-wide-receiver-denzel-mims-background-strength-and-weaknesses-for-the-2019-nfl-draft/

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’ve not seen any Baylor. I’ll try and check him out. Not read that piece but will caution that the last Draft Network piece I read totally overrated the receivers eligible in 2019.

          • Rob4q says:

            Yeah, their stuff seems a little hit or miss and some is outdated. I just think there is some great value for the WR position in the mid to late rounds. Wims looks pretty good and then someone like DaMarkus Lodge out of Ole Miss is interesting as well…would be great late flyer guys to see if they develop in the NFL.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think any site that has multiple voices (as in 4-5) can get a bit muddled. I prefer individuals. They offer consistent analysis. And if it’s two or more —- debate is better than all posting on the same site. You never get a feel for what an outlet is really trying to say.

              Worse than that though, they’ve invented cute little titles for themselves. “CEO OF THE DRAFT NETWORK” … “COO OF THE DRAFT NETWORK”…. “CHIEF NATIONAL SCOUT OF THE DRAFT NETWORK” … “SENIOR DRAFT ANALYST FOR THE DRAFT NETWORK”

              You write a blog like the rest of us, you’re not running Amazon.

  13. charlietheunicorn says:

    Who do the Seahawks match up “the best” with in the playoffs, 1st round? Cowboys.
    (Cowboys rooting friend of mine is afraid of facing Seattle right now)
    I would not want any piece of the Bears. That defense could knock off the Rams and Seahawks could knock off the Saints….. styles make the fight, as Rob would say. Then the path to the SB would be through Soldier Field…… and a throw back low scoring game.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      As long as RW is mobile we should beat Chicago I think our entire team is better than Chicago.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think you can make a case for Dallas (inconsistent, dome team, already beaten them) or Chicago (weaker QB, already played them close on the road despite a bad performance).

      I don’t really have a preference to be honest. I just want another shot at the Rams at some point.

    • Logan Lynch says:

      The best part about this is that SEA doesn’t care who they play. I honestly think this team looks forward to going on the road in the playoffs and playing “their” way. It might be ugly, but they aren’t out for style points. This team is developing an attitude and I love it.

  14. AlaskaHawk says:

    Nice win tonight. What a nail biter. Nice running game, great defense. The offense scored when they absolutely had to.

  15. A, Chris says:

    I was surprised they threw the flag on Wagner’s jump. I really didn’t see the cause. As stated elsewhere: no running start, no additional height, didn’t touch an O-lineman, and he didn’t block the kick on his jump. Not sure how it was an “illegal, uncalled leap”. Respectfully.

    Either way, another nail biter and an entertaining way to spend a Monday night. Appreciate your thoughts, Rob. Always a pleasure.

    • icb12 says:

      A player can’t place their hands on ANYONE in an attempt to jump the line.
      Basically Bobby needs to stand at the line of scrimmage and broad jump the line without touching anyone with hands or feet for it to be legal.

      • MarkinSeattle says:

        That isn’t what the rule says, you can touch, you can’t use it for leverage to gain additional height.

        • Brashmouse says:

          Referee stated did not gain leverage so it is not a foul. There was no mention of additional height in the explanation therefore it would imply that at least for this crew it was cannot place hands on a teammate in an attempt to gain leverage……

      • j says:

        Only if it is an attempt to gain extra height.

    • sdcoug says:

      He put both hands on his lineman during his leap, which constitutes leverage

    • Rob Staton says:

      One of the best modern day refs in the league thinks it was illegal which is why I called it as such and linked to his tweet. Personally I thought he did place his hands on an OL and did gain an advantage. But it can be argued either way.

      • Pran says:

        Wagner explained it after the game.. he placed his hands to make sure not to fall while clearing LOS and make it an obvious call. He did start the jump clean and made it look casual while placing hands on OL

      • 80SLargent says:

        Pereira is no longer an official, but a rules “analyst” for Fox Sports. He’s going to say whatever get them higher ratings. Controversy increases ratings.

        • Rob Staton says:

          That’s not Mike Pereira’s style at all.

          And do you really think a tweet by Mike Pereira has any impact what so ever on Fox’s NFL ratings?!?

          It’s OK to disagree with his view on the call. But let’s not get into a trend of trying to come up with conspiracies just because he isn’t kissing Seattle’s ass.

  16. Bob Johnston says:

    Nobody agreed with me 4 weeks ago but is anyone else absolutely giddy over this team now?

  17. Josh says:

    I went to the game, it was bitchin. They hawks brought in Akeem king as well as Delano hill to give the Vikings a 7 db look on known passing downs. I really think they outsmarted defelipo. Pete was glowing after the game. I think this was a good win for the coaches.

    • 80SLargent says:

      Indeed they did, Pete Carroll was asked about it in his post game presser and confirmed they employed the “Bandit” package (what they called it back in 2010).

      • FresnoHawk says:

        Bandit Package thanks for the FYI. Akeem King looked real good blitzing Bandit package is playing ball.

  18. All I see is 12s says:

    So so so many things going through my head right now. But right now all I can say is this. Rob, I know the mock draft 3000 podcast isn’t really going right now. But we desperately need you and Kenny to do one more for us to revisit the Vikings debate from a couple months ago. That’s all. Go Hawks !!!!!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s very unlikely.

      • All I see is 12s says:

        I’m sorry to hear that. It would’ve been fun to hear you guys revisit that. Oh well, I do hope we get a Google hang out soon. Thanks for everything you do.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I will try and do another hangout soon. There might be other podcast invitations soon too, we’ll see what emerges.

        • GerryG says:

          Hearing Kenny beat a dead horse doesnt sound fun to me…

          That said, revisiting that argument, it is pretty simple (imo of course): 1) Minn has way more overall talent, especially on D. 2) Seattle has a way stronger identity 3) Coaching and team/player buy-in matters.

  19. EranUngar says:

    Teams learn and adapt in the NFL very quickly. In the last few weeks we have seen some of those modern “unstoppable” offenses (Rams, Saints, Chiefs) stopped by The cowboys, bears and ravens. Only last week NE had a lot of success stopping the Vikings offense by using double team on their top receivers. Yesterday the Seahawks took it another step by playing 7 DBs on 3rd downs.

    But, how do you stop a team that runs all over one of the best defenses in the NFL (MIN) one week and shred another(CAR) by passing 2 weeks earlier???

    A team that keeps finding ways to win games by whatever means necessary is a team nobody wants to face.

    I was on record here with my optimistic view of this team since week 4 but I did not see then at 8-5 practically securing a playoff spot after 13 games.

    And yes, this team is so much fun to watch. I hope Sherman and Bennett enjoyed this game as much as I did. “Lost their way” my ass.

  20. Georgia Hawk says:

    My absolute favorite part of this game is how the Hawks took all the analytics and Anti-run crowd, said “hold my beer,” and showed the true value of a good run game.

    Hawks are a FAR superior team when they dedicate to the run, even if it is into an 8+ man box. Now they are finally using some misdirection in the run game, outside tosses, etc. its fun to finally see it all click. If RW3 had an even halfway competent game last night it would’ve been far out of reach by start of the 4th.

    • Scraps says:

      14 points of offense and one touchdown late doesn’t seem to me anything to crow about, let alone declare done on run/“anti-run” conversation. Looks like there are lots of things this game for the analytics crowd. And it wasn’t just Russ having a bad game; nobody was getting open.

      • Rob Staton says:

        The analytics crowd will spin it to say the run game didn’t set up explosive pass plays.

        In reality, Seattle just didn’t execute in the passing game and Minnesota’s defense played well.

        • Ashish says:

          Look at bright side, we will not get a difficult match from defense till playoff i.e. after 3 games. This will keep our offence modest and work hard to fine tune the third down / Red zone plays. I’m happy how things went last night, this will be good learning curve for our offence.Vikings were top 3 team on 3rd down and red zone and they played like that. Adversity is good in regular season.

      • lil'stink says:

        David Moore was wide open on the play where Wilson under threw him. It even looked like Moore was the first read, and that Wilson easily set his feet. He just held onto the ball too long and put too much air under it (which seems to be happening more and more lately). It might be more difficult for Wilson to get into a groove when we throw it less. But there’s no excuse for missing that throw. And in a close game it’s the sort of play that can break the game open.

        Also – no Doug Baldwin factored into the game plan.

        The analytics guys (in general) can take a hike over this. Sure, there are some valid points being made. But it’s clear that Wilson and this offense are better when our run game is on track. When it’s all on his shoulders we’re more likely to struggle. Plain and simple.

        How often do we win when Wilson has to chuck the ball 40 times? Not often. If the plan was to pass 30+ times last night I have no doubt we would have lost. Credit to Minnesota’s defense.

      • Georgia Hawk says:

        I don’t think it ends the conversation by any means. It absolutely highlights the need for a complete offense, both run and pass. They dominated the run game, utterly failed in the pass and came out with 14 points to show for it. if Russ connects on maybe 5 more passes, this game would’ve been out of reach by start of the 4th imo. To me that says a run first, pass to compliment style offense is completely viable in today’s NFL. Thats all I’m saying.

    • Michael Terry says:

      Seattle is a far superior team when the run is working. That is not the same as what you said.

      Seattle was dedicated to the run the last two years, also. The idea that they rededicated this year is a myth.

      They tried to run the last two years, they were just really bad at it. Their situation-adjusted run rate was the same as previous years.

      Last year, Seattle had one of the worst RB rushing attacks of any team since 2000, by efficiency. They wanted to run. They couldn’t. Wilson bailed them out over and over and Blair Walsh kicked it away.

      • Georgia Hawk says:

        You’re right my man, its not the same as what I said….for good reason.

        I didn’t realize I needed to clarify I was specifically talking about THIS version of the Hawks. The 2018 Hawks. You’re absolutely right that last year was historically bad. Last year was an entirely different team. New guards at both spots, RBs that are worth a penny (yes I know Carson was there…he was injured), new OC, one less “run game coordinator” in the fold, and a new OL coach. Wholesale changes to the run game.

        Couple games stick out this year that they tried to throw the ball all over the place. Against Denver Carson averaged over 7 yds a carry. Pretty hard to beat, yet they all but abandoned him.. Chicago: 6 carries @ 4yds a pop. workable.

        My point is that in the context of THIS season, the Hawks are a far superior offensive team when they stick with a run-centric offense. Sure you can caveat that with “when it is working” if you want, but is that not true of any offensive scheme?

  21. Largent80 says:

    Wow, The defense totally shored up those chunk plays between the 20’s save for one pass.

    Kendricks really made a difference at the 2nd level. Shaq had a really good game. Our D-line was stellar as was the O-line.

    In the trenches was where the game needed to be won and it was.

    Awesome win.

  22. Georgia Hawk says:

    I can’t help but wonder at the difference in the feelings between this year and last.

    At this point in the season last year the Hawks had the same record and were coming off a tough loss to the Jags. I was at that game and can tell you the feeling in the place was that the Hawks nearly stole one from the Jags that they had no business being in in the first place. Blake Bortles threw at will and had a career game! Sherm and Kam were injured and all but gone already, Offense was a mess, and it just didn’t seem like there was much hope for the next few years being competitive.

    Same record this year, an infusion of young talent, 180’d the run game and offense as a whole (seriously, Hawks can pass block now!!!) and the feeling is completely different, even at the same record. I feel like this year is just the warm up to another couple years worth of runs. The young players are gaining experience, they will have cap room to move around a bit, and holes will be filled one way or another.

    I know you all know that all already. I just can’t help but marvel at such opposite sentiments from the two years, even with identical records.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He won’t win it, but everything you wrote there is why Pete Carroll should be in the coach of the year discussion.

      Instead a guy gifted Khalil Mack or Aaron Donald and a top five pick at QB will win it.

      • Georgia Hawk says:

        Agreed. Too often it goes to the coach with the best record or coach with the biggest turn around, with little regard to other factors.

        I’m just glad he did the hard thing and turned over the assistants ALONG WITH the roster. Accepting the reset year mentality was vital. Overachieving on expectations is just the frosting.

    • Logan Lynch says:

      I remember being hopeful, but at the same time I said that the last 3 games of the 2017 season would show who SEA really was. Either they would pull together, or fall apart. Unfortunately, the 2nd one happened.

      You’re right about how this year feels so much different. Instead of holding on for dear life to the Seahawks we once knew, we’re being introduced every week to a new, exciting group. The young pups are starting to show their bite under the tutelage of the “old dogs” like Bobby and Frank. I don’t know how far they can take it, but I love the attitude of this team.

  23. H says:

    I said during the game last night that i was enjoying the hell out that game, even whilst it was frustrating at times. Rob seemed a bit surprised by that 😛 Yes the Seahawks could/should have built a commanding lead in the 1st half, and they did certainly miss some oppurtunities from missed throws and penalties. A lot of credit should go to the Vikes D, who are an elite unit no doubt about it. Holton Hill, a SDB fav from last year, for example was the targetted match up seattle looked to exploit in an otherwise loaded unit and he rose to the occasion (another credit to the evaluation of the blog).

    And then of course, Bobby and the Boys went to work. A vintage Pete Carrol defensive day. Shaquil having his best game of the year, Jacob martin coming up in the clutch, Dion jordan flashing, McD returning to his early season form. Not to mention Clark and Reed who continue their career seasons.

    That was two elite units going at it. At a time when people were starting to question whether you can even be elite on that side of the ball. And in the end Seattle’s group reigned supreme. Who wouldnt enjoy that?

  24. UKAlex6674 says:

    Run game + D = winning December football.

    A tried and trusted formula.

    GO HAWKS!

  25. Hawk Eye says:

    a few observations

    1. Russell missed DB. Moore is still a 3rd wr, did not have a good game. For people like chawktalk who thing they will dump Baldwin next year, I cannot see it. This is his first year with injuries and his game can translate for at least 3 or 4 more years. And they do not need the cap space, they need Russ’ safety blanket. They need DB for playoffs
    2. BWags. Wow, just wow! Penalty or no penalty on the blocked FG, just outstanding game and leadership. Again, Chawktalk wants to trade him this offseason. I think he gets extended. Best linebacker in football, can play 3 or 4 more years at a elite level. Future Hall of Famer.
    3. The young db’s played well, Griffin had a great game after a few so-so performances. And what a 5th round draft pick in Flowers. Did not see any bad plays by TT or Hill, so I will take that as a good thing.
    4. Pete is a defensive genius. Everyone knows he never changes his defense, so, he changed it up yesterday. Minny has more talent on D, but who played better?
    5. Kirk is mediocre. Got his garbage time yards and TD, gets stats, but is a .500 qb. Matt Stafford twin. Not worth his money. Minny is hamstrung with him.
    6. Russ did not play well, but made a big play with his 40 yd dash. He can play bad and still win at the end. He should bounce back. Hope he does not repeat this in the playoffs, will go up against a tough D in either Chi or Dall.
    7. Fluker may not get his extension from Seattle. Was there a difference without him tonight? I think they offer him and Sweezy a contract, but only keep one. Simmons played well, and he even got the refs to give his bad penalty to Ifedi.
    8. Running is important. You can win when you pass for under 100 yards. Hopefully not a pattern though.
    9. Hope KJ can come back by the end of the year and make the playoffs healthy. He would make a huge difference. I think Seattle offers him a 1 yr contract with a lot of playing time incentives, if his knee is fixed. But I think there is a good chance he is done.
    10. Martin showed some burst on his strip sack.
    11. Front 7 for the first 3 picks, maybe a WR in bottom 2. Ok with TE situation, O line, rb. I suspect they draft a db late, and look in the bargain bin in free agency.

    • GerryG says:

      Fluker has durability concerns, which could keep his contract reasonable.

      The guy backing him up has already played as much in the NFL as he did in college, because he was hurt so often. The OL is a much talked about key to this season (rightfully so) but let’s not gloss over the depth being such a huge piece of that. Hunt filled in for a game at C and played very well, Simmons twice now has filled in for Fluker and performed.

      My point being, keep as many of these guys as we can.

  26. Logan Lynch says:

    I’ve seen this discussed lightly, but I think it deserves a bit more attention. How important could that Jordan Simmons claim end up being? Fluker has been great, but he’s injury prone. I’d be leery throwing too much money at him and would honestly rather try to lock up Sweezy first. The rushing offense barely skipping a beat, and in fact having 200+ each time, with Simmons in there is very encouraging. He’s young, inexperienced, and will be an ERFA in 2019. Simmons could be the long term answer at RG.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Huge addition and clearly he has massive potential. What a signing.

    • H says:

      Seattle’s two best rushing performances in terms of yards are the two games Simmons has started. Fantastic pick up, even sweeter to know that Cable kicked him to the curb.

      He does have a pretty extensive injury history himself however, he basically never saw the field in college which is why he went undrafted (cause he’s clearly got the talent).

      • Logan Lynch says:

        Very good point, and I’d be careful putting it 100% on Simmons without a backup plan. He’s a young, seemingly talented, and hopefully cheaper option to Fluker if that’s the way SEA decides to go. Paying Russ will force them to make smart cap decisions and this could save a few million dollars.

        Also, good for Jacob Martin. He’s done way more than I think any of us could have expected coming off the edge in his first year. He’s winning solely on speed now, but if he can develop some counters he could turn into a really useful edge rusher in sub packages.

    • Tecmo Bowl says:

      +1. The offense doesn’t miss a beat with Simmons replacing Fluker. Great signing!

  27. GoHawksDani says:

    Wow, Russ was awful…I wonder He might read that I think he deserves a big contract and just let it go 😀 (kidding of course).
    Every QB has some bad nights. He should buy some steak to the D#, ‘coz they saved his ass.
    I’d like this team to get another Lockett/Baldwin. Russ can thread the needle, but he’s not a shoot first ask questions later QB. He wants his guys to be open. That can be achieved with good schemes and nifty, quick, great route runner guys. I know Pete loves the big targets, but Russ can’t work with those 50/50 jump ball guys. He might be successful (check Graham), but he won’t feel natural doing so. I need him to learn to take the check-down more and just throw the ball away more when needed. That INT was probably the most awful thing you can see this season. I don’t mind Russ making some mistakes, and not producing always 65%+ completion, 2+ TDs, 100+ QBR. But he shouldn’t make such a silly mistake.
    On the positive side:
    Carson is an animal. He is awesome. Such as this running game with multiple backs
    Penny is crazy. Not sure how many times he’ll be able to turn the whole field before defences will take advantage of his tendencies…but good vision, fast guy. I like him
    FANT! That was a fun play 🙂
    OL played well, Vikes DL is no joke.
    Simmons played well in absence of Fluker. Not sure about depth. If Fluker is injury-prone, we might have a starter in Simmons, but who comes after him? Pocic obviously not a solution (as he did not become a starter when Fluker went down). I’d like them to take a mauler…with a later round pick or UDFA or FA. But we need someone even if it’s just a good depth guy. We need a solid interior line.
    BWagz is crazy good.
    DL played well. Vikes OL is not the best, but still, Cousins was always under pressure and they handled Cooks. I wouldn’t mind more sacks, but they played well. As I wrote already, I think our depth is good, we just need some “stars”
    McDougald played well, and T2 wasn’t burned.
    Coleman is good! Not because of the pick6, but he had a tough assignment and he didn’t fail
    Flowers and Shaq are OK. They’re solid CBs, but I think they might have an OK ceiling only. Not sure if they can be pro bowl+ calibre players. Shaq still not attacking the ball enough and he got burned a couple of times recently. Didn’t make huge mistakes here, but neither awesome plays.
    Flowers might be better tbh. He’s got some instincts and great length. He’s a good tackler and pretty good in run support. He just needs more experience and could use a bit more speed and fluidity in his movement.
    I’d still like a baller OLB and a guy who can either collapse the pocket from the inside or someone to pair with Clark to rush the passer and hold the other edge. But my third wish probably would be a good WR. Nothing fancy, don’t need sub 4.4 time or 6-2+ height or crazy stats. Just someone with great football IQ and movement

  28. neil says:

    What a strange and ugly game. Glad the Hawks won but they were lucky also. The Viking receivers dropped a boatload of passes. The defense clearly won the game and I am wondering if the lack of passing attempts is throwing Wilson’s timing and touch off. He under threw a couple of receivers that were open, although covered well, and missed seeing Lockett breaking wide open on a scramble drill. For all the time the offense spent in the red zone, 14 points is not real confidence inspiring moving forward into the playoffs. Still a win is a win! I’ll take it.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I agree with your thoughts that the lack of passing was throwing Wilson off. He was having a bad game, and with the few passes he got, he never really got going the way a great QB can if you just let them throw 40 times a game. Not saying he should throw that much = simply that he never got out of his funk.

  29. Ishmael says:

    I wonder if part of what makes so many Seahawks games so weird and ugly is their ability to drag other teams down into the gutter with them. If they can keep the game close in the first half and put together some gnarly run-heavy long drives, that almost forces the other team to try and do the same thing. Say the Seahawks put together a five-minute drive or whatever, then the other team come out and try to throw three times – nothing off the clock, and then their defence has to go out for another slog.

    It actually might end up being more advantageous the more open the league gets, and the later in the year we go. I’m sure heaps of players love the relatively bruise-free happy clappy PAC 12 stuff, but that just means they’re going to dread coming up against Seattle – either home or away.

    Still lots to work on, but it’s a fun team to watch which is all you can really ask for IMO.

  30. YankinTa says:

    Now, for those that gave up on the season before the season began. Yes, I’m talking to those that thought we have a chance to be good and maybe make the playoff but not likely….

    Well, all I will say is that we have No.1 QB in the NFL, if he is given top 15 O-line and D-line, he is likely to take us to the Super Bowl every year. So don’t be surprised if we end up playing in the Super Bowl this year. That was my hope in the pre-season and it’s coming true.

    • H says:

      Speaking as someone who has been one of Russ’ biggest defenders throughout this season, I have no idea how you could say we have the number 1 QB in the NFL right now after that performance…

      He’s still very good and this can be characterised as a off day, but that’s going way overboard.

      • YankinTa says:

        Well, because you’re only looking one game and I’m looking at the whole picture. 🙂

        But’s let’s focus on that one game. He faced top 5 defense, his WRs could not get open or drag a foot in the end zone,, he still helped his RBs by being a THREAT to run. Unlike any other QBs, Vikings had to dedicate a defender to RW at all times or they’d pay the price. If you don’t think that’s highly valuable, ask Marshawn Lynch how he’s doing in Oakland or how he did in Buffalo or in Seattle (Pre-RW era)….

    • neil says:

      That would surprise me! But first things first. I do know I would much prefer the Hawks play the Bears not the Cowboys on the playoffs. It is very hard to beat a team twice in a season, especially when the second game is in their house and in the playoffs. You can never discount the revenge factor when handicapping football games.

  31. AlaskaHawk says:

    Well after sleeping on it, I have to say that I loved the defensive performance and the running game. But that was one of the most conservative offensive performances I have ever seen. They ran the ball so many times, usually into the teeth of the defense, that the passing game was off. If a quarterback isn’t playing well, they can throw themselves into a good performance. Traditionally that occurs in the second half. But Wilson had so few touches that he just had a hard time all night.

    So that’s the danger of running too much. If your QB isn’t on with the passes it just magnifies the issue.

    Defensively I loved it, I thought the whole defense performed well. Garbage time was a little irking, I thought they would stay tough. Fortunately it was the first time that the Vikings used the hurry up offense, as it was very effective.

    • cha says:

      “They ran the ball so many times, usually into the teeth of the defense, that the passing game was off. ”

      Bleh. I don’t grant your premise. Let’s give the Viking pass defense some credit.

      It’s not like a low attempt game invariably leads to bad passing. RW only had 17 throws last week and was fine.

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        The difference is that Wilson was off this game. And he didn’t have enough throws to get on target. Of course maybe he never would have been on target and the extra plays would have been wasted.

        Maybe next game he will be on. It isn’t likely that he will have that bad a game very often.

  32. DC says:

    Matt Hasselbeck raised the 12th man flag yesterday. In honor of this occasion Russell Wilson did his best impression of Matt’s signature move, the “Whirley Bird”! Quite convincingly.

  33. Ishmael says:

    Never like to see a man lose his job, but it looks like the Hawks have just put one out of his. Vikings have let their OC John DeFilippo go.

  34. Sea Mode says:

    Dang, this is a nice run!

    Alexander Mattison | Haz-Matt | Junior Highlights 2018 |
    https://youtu.be/XjsiKiFkdWo?t=96

    Another one at 2:45 mark as well. Not bad for 5-11, 210.

    He might just be playing in a smaller conference and all, but still 1400 yds (+200 receiving) and 17 TDs on the year is impressive.

  35. John_s says:

    Frank Clark was asked about Sherms comments that the Seahawks are a middle of the road team.

    He said

    “He’s not in this locker room no more, so his opinion really doesn’t matter. They’ve got some problems over there in San Fran that he needs to be worried about,” Clark told reporters.

    “… This is my team now. This is my defense. Richard Sherman, his era is over here,” Clark continued. “If he’s got anything to say about our defense, he can say it on the field, at the end of the day.

    “We’re 1-0 against Richard Sherman right now. We are 1-0 against the San Francisco 49ers this year. Our plan is to be 2-0. So we are going into that stadium next week with our pure aggression. We are going to stop that run, and we are going to have fun on third downs.”

    All I have to say is….talk that ish Youngblood! I love it!

  36. Trevor says:

    What an incredible coaching job by the Hawks staff this year (Pete, Solari and yes Shotty)

    They have gotten this team to buy in after cutting out the cancer and most importantly they are developing young talent once again.

    -Jordan Simmons was pickup off the scrap heap and looks like a building block on the OL
    -Jacob Martin is flashing legit pass rush potential
    -ifedi looked like a monster bust and is now a legit starting RT
    -All 3 Rbs look amazing and a top 5 position group in the league
    -Tre Flowers a 5th round converted Safety is a starting caliber CB
    -David Moore a small school 7th rounder has flashed big play potential
    -Reed -Was thought to be a run stuffing DT and is now a 3 down pocket collapser.
    -Dickson might me the best punter in the league
    -Dissly looked legit prior to the injury
    -Fant – A backup LT is being utilized so effectively and I bet he scores a TD in the playoffs.

    Still think we are a couple of pieces from a SB squad but wow the whole mood surrounding this team has taken a 180 and I hope Peter get his first coach of the year.

  37. Volume12 says:

    Didn’t get to watch the game last night, just got through with it and other than the passing game struggling against a borderline great D, that was my kind of game.

    Who gives a sh*$ how they won? When very little separates the good from the bad in the NFL your gonna have to win ugly at times. It’s that time of year.

    Run to win, but throw to score. Keep adding weapons around RW.

    Defense was incredible.

    Carson and Penny continue to be a dynamic duo these last 6-7 weeks.

    I am thoroughly impressed by this team week in and week out. Didn’t even think they’d get to 7 wins, but here we are. This team, Dallas, Chicago are gonna travel well come Janruary.

  38. Volume12 says:

    ‘Since 1982, only 6 first round rookies in the NFL have recorded at least 90 tackles and 4 sacks.’

    Reggie White
    Patrick Willis
    Brian Urlacher
    Duane Bickett
    Brian Cushing
    Roquan Smith

    Roquan still has 3 games left to play.

  39. Phil says:

    Anyone know if Noah Fant (TE Iowa, named to one of the All America teams yesterday) is related to Seahawks TE George Fant?

  40. Sea Mode says:

    Ansah to IR. Injury history a worry for those who wanted to possibly look at him in FA?

    http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25511233/detroit-lions-place-franchise-tagged-de-ezekiel-ansah-ir

  41. Sea Mode says:

    Wow, wow, wow! Riley Ridley.

    Kudos to those who have name dropped him a while back. I think he’s the real deal. 6-2, 200. Great hands, body control, route running, speed. He’s got it all. Passer rating when targeted: 151.0 (#2 in CFB). For sure hands: 31 receptions w/o a drop in 2018 (#5 in CFB).

    Put me on the hype train! He should come out this year; IMO would sit near/at the top of a weak class.

    Riley Ridley Georgia Highlights (doesn’t include this season, unfortunately)
    https://youtu.be/de0jfVQUCDA