Thoughts on the playoffs, more Hopkins/Sutton tape

January 5th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Sunday is a great opportunity for the Seahawks to prove they're as good as advertised

Thoughts on Seattle @ Washington

All week the Seahawks have been praised, promoted and respected. It’s now time to prove the hype is justified.

I’ve never seen so many members of the media fall over themselves to declare the Seahawks as Super Bowl contenders. They’re a great ‘on paper’ team. Statistically they rank well in all three facets of the game. They have key positions filled with talented players. There’s the quarterback, running back, shutdown corner, left tackle, passer rusher with double digit sacks. There’s a lot of balance on the roster. And they play a style of football that traditionally does well in the playoffs.

None of this means much. Because the people who watch the Seahawks every week know the deal. This is a young team still growing into its trousers. There are issues that flare up every now and again. Third down defense, pass rush on early downs, pass protection against certain schemes, run defense. There are also a ton of positives too, but this isn’t a flawless team. And they’ll have to play a great game to beat the Washington Redskins.

For me it’s all about establishing an early lead and chipping away. I don’t think it’ll be a high scoring game. It could play out a little like the Bears game. But getting a lead and keeping the Redskins at arms length will be crucial. Alfred Morris and the Shanahan ZBS can beat the Seahawks. They’ll be able to run to the left side and have some success there.

Seattle has to try and minimise the threat and make the Redskins chase. If Washington gets in front, they’ll run it and let Robert Griffin III manage the situation. He isn’t turning the ball over and he won’t make mistakes if he’s protecting a lead. He might make mistakes if he has to force things. The run is less of a factor if the Redskins have to chase the game. Starting fast is always important, but it may be more so tomorrow.

I think Jim Haslett will blitz a lot, just like he did against Dallas. Russell Wilson is more mobile than Tony Romo, but Romo has always had a knack of extending plays. Not against Washington last week. H looked like Ryan Mallett in the pocket last weekend, struggling to find time and exploit a shaky Redskins secondary. The St. Louis Rams gave Haslett a blue print on how to rush against the Seahawks, so there could be some issues in the first half again.

Seattle needs the offensive line to step up again. They’d played very well in recent weeks until that half against the Rams. It might be best to play max-protect early and rely on the receivers, knowing that Rice, Tate or Baldwin are likely to match up well against DeAngelo Hall and co. Washington’s pass rush isn’t quite as emphatic as St. Louis’ and it’s a different scheme. The Seahawks handled San Francisco’s 3-4 handily. Getting the read-option going will help and Washington didn’t do a great job against Cam Newton and the Panthers in week nine.

I think it’s the greatest review of Seattle’s quarterback situation and how it’s changed that I don’t have any concerns about Russell Wilson going into this game. I feel pretty confident he’ll do his job well. And if the Seahawks lose, it won’t be on the quarterback. Imagine that. Just a few months ago this team had no hope at quarterback. Now they have one of the best young signal callers in the league. For a third round pick.

For a couple of weeks people have talked about Seattle being the team nobody wanted to face in the playoffs. Now it’s time to back that up. Even though I’d say it’s a coin-toss type of game, it’ll also be very disappointing if a season of such promise ended with a first round playoff defeat. If there’s one thing worse than nobody talking about you, it’s being called a fraud. The Seahawks are getting praise. Time to prove it’s worthy.

DeAndre Hopkins tape vs five teams

Thanks to JMPasq for putting this together. We’ve talked a lot about DeAndre Hopkins on the blog this week and even mocked him to Seattle in round one. Here’s a compilation of his performances against Florida State, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Boston College and NC State.

Will Sutton vs Navy

This was a pretty odd performance. For most of the game he did very little, often getting pushed around at the line of scrimmage and failing to have an impact. Then right at the end, he exploded into action. Sutton was only credited with 2.5 sacks according to ESPN, but it looks more like four to me. Either way he ends the year with 13 sacks which is very impressive for an interior pass rusher.

Is he stout enough against the run to be an early down lineman? That’s the big question. Without doubt he has a spark as a pass rusher. But if he’s getting blown up more often than he’s penetrating into the backfield, he’ll be a liability. As a mid-round option though he’s incredibly intriguing. I wish he had a similar kind of mean streak to Sheldon Richardson. I wish he was a little bigger. He’s still one to monitor.

19 Responses to “Thoughts on the playoffs, more Hopkins/Sutton tape”

  1. stuart says:

    Less than 24 hours to go!!! From what I have watched and heard, yes the national media is saying some nice things about Seattle but it’s not overwhelming or anything even close to that. But King flip flop Michael Irvin on suddenly likes the Seahawks to get to the Superbowl. You may remember his comments a few weeks back before the Bills game, Michael Irvin said the “Seahawks would not win another game this season,” we still had three games to play and it was coming off the WHOOPIN we put on Arizona.

    Last night on the NFl network they were talking for 60 minutes about the Wildcard games on Sunday. During the portion devoted to Seattle they talked with Russell Wilson…we love RW and of course he is a treasure to our team but NOT ONE SINGLE THING ABOUT OUR DEFENSE, NOT A SINGLE WORD! They did however talk about the Redskin’s tough D.

    Rob you are so right! It’s SHOWTIME! GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. stuart says:

    Side note about Alec Ogletree; since Ogletree is a former Safety it seems possible even likely if he was on our team that PC could keep him in on passing downs (every down player). If this is true then picking him becomes even more valuable to our team. Thinking about Trufant tomorrow on nickel packages does not inspire confidence.

    Side note about Hopkins; sure is a nice player no doubting that. Maybe it’s nitpicking as I am no expert like most of you on here but it seems to me that he is not the same player when the pressure is tighter in coverage, when there is quick contact after the ball arrives, the ball inevitably squirts loose. Maybe I am just being too critical of this player that I really like, 1st round WR is under the microscope now…

  3. Colin says:

    On a sidenote, I think we should all take a moment, bow our heads, and thank the Cincinnati Bengals for not allowing the Seahawks an opportunity to draft Andy Dalton.
    It takes a special kind of team and QB to make the playoffs two years in a row with a (current) record of 2-12 against teams with winning records since the start of the ’11 season.
    Another pitiful showing by Dalton today. Somewhere, Pete and John are laughing at those who scolded them for passing over Andy Dalton. Rob and Kip both made the arguments of a limited ceiling for Andy Dalton, and it has shown no truer than today.

    Outstanding work gentlemen.

    • Michael says:

      wow that 2-12 stat is amazing. I wonder what that number looks like for the Bears over the last couple years.

  4. stuart says:

    Passing on Dalton was still being called a huge mistake by our fans during the early part of this season. During that draft of course I wanted our very own Jake Locker from Ferndale WA but once he was gone then Colin Kapernick was next up for me, Dalton was ok by me too.

    Even if CK turns into a star in SF I would rather have Russell Wilson any day of the week. As for Dalton…we can all thank our lucky stars:).

    I love Russell Wilson and everything he stands for. Picking Russell Wilson in the 3rd round will forever change our Seahawks history. During an interview on the NFL network last night with Steve Marriuci (sp) he was asked about the comment made by Luck and RG III and how they discussed each other and how they will forever be linked togethet etc…then Russell was asked about that…Russell said he would be honored to even be mentioned with the likes of those two players…BUT…at the same time he wants to stand out between them. I LOVE THIS KID!!!

  5. A. Simmons says:

    I was never disappointed we didn’t take Dalton. He seemed like a Matt Hasselbeck type of QB. I didn’t want another Hass era. I didn’t know much about Colin K, but I don’t like running QBs. Colin K is a QB who isn’t as good unless he’s running a lot. That eventually bites you in the behind and always will.

    Russell Wilson reminds me of Steve Young, Joe Montana, or Fran Tarkenton. He’s a passer that can run. He’s deadly in the red zone. He can lead game winning drives. He always keeps his cool. He never does anything to hurt his team on or off the field if he can help it.

    I would really hate for it all to end tomorrow. I can’t get the 29 years and no playoff road win bugaboo off my mind. I’ll truly know it is a new era of Seahawks football under Carroll if this team can step on someone in the playoff on the road.

  6. Rob Staton says:

    Personally I wanted a quarterback who wouldn’t need to rely on others to get by. I wanted a player who didn’t necessarily need to every week, but could win a game with his own sheer physical qualities. There are a ton of quarterbacks out there who are physically and mentally incapable on their own and need to be carried. They need to be bailed out.

    Wilson is exactly what was needed. A player intelligent enough and poised enough to go through reads, be composed and make good decisions. A player who has the arm strength to make, as they say, all the throws. A player who has the mobility to be elusive and make plays on the ground when needs be. And finally a player who is a leader and example for his team mates. A true face of the franchise. Who doesn’t show petulance in a big game.

    And perhaps the best thing is that nobody called this pre-draft. Well, expect maybe Kip. Let’s hope Russell Wilson is a playoff winner on Sunday.

    • Jmpasq says:

      The Bengals had enough talent to win the AFC this year with better QB play. when you have mediocre QB play like that the margin for error becomes so small.

      • Rob Staton says:

        The Bengals run the risk of being a perennial let down unless they upgrade at QB. They have a lot of talent but a QB who can’t be trusted, especially in the post season.

  7. Jlkresse7 says:

    The only ones that can stop the hawks right now is themselves, no stupid penalties. Seems like against St. Louis we had the the worst luck on big plays with penalties, that can’t happen tomorrow. Aside from that I hope our defense gets some revenge for last year when we played them. I had a thought that by some chance olgetree and Hopkins are available at our pick who would you take and would you trade up later to get the other one?

  8. Michael says:

    I really like Sutton. Even if he is gonna take a year or two to become an “every down” player, you could do a lot worse in the 3rd-4th round.

    My current ideal offseason:

    FA: Melton or Starks + Cheapest decent WR (maybe Jennings?)
    Round 1: one of B. Coleman/A. Ogletree/Z. Ertz/D. Hopkins
    Round 2: one of M. Wheaton/K. Greene/A. Brown/T. Austin
    Round 3: one of W. Sutton/G. Escobar/B. Rambo/E. Lacy

    With Russell’s incredibly fast development we are not gonna have the same slow start that we did this year. Extra time for this team to develop thanks to the playoffs should help, and whatever new pass catchers we bring in will have the benefit this year of RW getting all the 1st team reps to build the necessary chemistry in the pre-season.

    If the 3 primary needs that we all agree upon (3-tech, WR depth, WILL) are filled, and we have decent health, we should be looking at a division title next year.

  9. John says:

    I’m trying so hard to just focus on this game and not think of Atlanta after. I want us to get passed Washington more than anything. For Carroll and Wilson and for a young team that I think would appreciate a post season win more than most teams. It feels so weird having Seattle get praised the way they are that I can’t shake the feeling they may come out flat. I think Seattle is better than washington… something I likely won’t be able to say deeper into the playoffs (though I still think we are a great team).

    I would love to see this team show up tomorrow and win solidly… Go Hawks!

  10. YDB says:

    I really don’t think that DC could impliment any supposed “blueprint” that St. Louis exposed in blitzing Seattle. They don’t have the ability to match the talent that the rams have up front in Brockers, Quinn, & Long. Few teams do.

    The best information I think that the Skins can take away from the ‘Hawks v Rams game tape is to find the obvious mismatch on our Online: #64. Attacking his assignment should be expected early and often in pass pro. I know Sweezy is a great story and all, but he is our biggest liability of our 22 starters without question. He has improved greatly since week one, but he still has a long way to go.

    I fully expect him to make massive strides by the start of next year, but for this playoff run, Cable is gonna have to find a way to mask his deficiencies. Here is to hoping the ‘Hawks can jump out to a quick lead so we can see Sweezy mauling and cut blocking in the run game instead of being a revolving door in pass pro.

    Go Hawks.

  11. AlaskaHawk says:

    Watching Dalton get schooled today – I only hope we are doing the teaching Sunday. Go Hawks!

  12. Barry says:

    After watching that tape of Will Sutton I’d draft him, after Rnd 5.

    Luck is amazing. The colts need to get him a receiver who can raise their game along with his.