10 reasons why the Seahawks can return to the Super Bowl

Happy New Year.

I mentioned this in the podcast yesterday but wanted to put it down in words. For me, the thing that was most bothersome about Super Bowl XLIX wasn’t so much the agonising manner of the defeat. It was the way it jeopardised the legacy of this era of Seahawks football.

Win back-to-back Super Bowls and this is the team of the decade. Forever to be remembered as one of the greats. Pete Carroll would be one Super Bowl title behind Bill Belichick’s incredible haul. It wouldn’t matter if they didn’t win it this season. They’d be the Seahawks people always remember.

Now there’s a genuine danger that the Carroll-led Seahawks will be remembered for little more than that ending to that game. That would be unfair. Watching the creation of this team has been like watching a good movie (not Indiana Jones 4). What kind of an ending is the abject misery of that intercepted pass?

The only way anyone is going to get over that play is to win another Championship. To gain redemption. The desperation to get there is probably more intense for this fan base than even winning the first title. Nobody wants their team to be that team.

There is still a chance the Seahawks make the Super Bowl this season. It’s probably a smaller chance than the Cardinals or Panthers — but they have a legitimate shot.

Here’s ten reasons to feel like this season could still be a story of redemption:

1. Here are the players who were part of Seattle’s Super Bowl roster last season that are currently no longer with the team:

B.J. Daniels, Robert Turbin, Tony Moeaki, Chris Matthews, Kevin Norwood, Bryan Walters, Keavon Milton, James Carpenter, Max Unger, David King, O’Brien Schofield, Kevin Williams, Tony McDaniel, Landon Cohen, Malcolm Smith, Byron Maxwell and Jeron Johnson.

Here are the players that were not available last year or have since been added:

Brandon Mebane, Fred Jackson, Tyler Lockett, Frank Clark, Jordan Hill, Cassius Marsh, Ahtyba Rubin, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Kelcie McCray.

A few key players have departed (Maxwell, Unger, McDaniel) but nobody of major significance. The emergence of Lockett, the return of Mebane and the addition of Rubin offset the losses. Basically, this is virtually the same roster that many claimed to be the most complete team in the NFL a year ago.

2. According to Football Outsiders, the Seahawks have a 76.4% chance to be the #6 seed. That would mean going to Green Bay or Minnesota in the Wild Card round. Seattle recently destroyed Minnesota on the road while the Packers, according to the MMQB’s Peter King, are “positively messed up”. If the Seahawks can get on a roll in the wildcard — that could be the launchpad for a post season run. Maybe avoiding Washington is a good thing — they’ve won three in a row. Kirk Cousins has thrown eight touchdowns and zero picks in his last two outings. The Seahawks have struggled against good tight ends — Jordan Reed has 25 catches, 333 yards and five touchdowns in the last three weeks.

3. Marshawn Lynch is close to returning. If there is to be some kind of fairytale end — Lynch possibly provides it. This could be his final season in the NFL. At the very least it looks like his final year in Seattle. Although he seems to have a unique relationship with the front office — there’s no question he inspires his team mates. Helping Lynch finish in style could be the thing that unites this squad and gives them that extra edge in the post season. The NFL has a weird way of providing these kinds of endings. Jerome Bettis, Ray Lewis. Santa Clara is only 40 miles from Oakland, in case you’re wondering.

4. The Seahawks lost to the Rams in a squalid performance last weekend. Do you have to be the hot team to win in the post season? Absolutely not. In 2012 the Ravens lost four of their last five games before winning a Championship. In 2011 the Giants lost five out of six between weeks 10-15 before winning a Championship — including a 23-10 loss at home to the 5-11 Washington Redskins. Whatever happened last week against St. Louis or even this week against Arizona doesn’t matter. What matters is the best players coming good at the vital moment — the post season. In particular that means the quarterback. In 2011 and 2012, Eli Manning and Joe Flacco found their best form. Russell Wilson has been playing his best football for several weeks already.

5. Speaking of Wilson — he might be the most under-appreciated player in the league. There are only two players in NFL history with a +100 career passer rating — Aaron Rodgers (104.4) and Russell Wilson (101.4). Rodgers has been described as, at least up until this season, possibly the most talented quarterback ever to play the game. His inability to win another title (plus Tom Brady’s growing collection) stalled some of that talk. Wilson is on target to emulate Rodgers’ career without the benefit of a long developing process behind Brett Favre. Over the last few weeks Wilson has excelled in all of the key areas — red zone percentage, third down conversion, explosive plays. The Seahawks have a genuine title winner at quarterback who can drive this team forward.

6. Going on the road could be a good thing for the Seahawks. They only won five games at Century Link in 2015. Unless Pittsburgh sneaks into the playoffs, none of those wins came against a team that will make the post season. It feels like Seattle is getting everyone’s best shot at the CLINK. It’s an opportunity to make a statement — a chance to prove you belong. Whether it’s Cam Newton showing he can win the big game, the Cardinals trying to prove they are the best in the NFC West or the Rams looking to end a bad season on a high — the Seahawks haven’t been able to match that will and intensity at home when the pressure is on to get the job done. It might suit this squad to go on the road and be the under dog. They certainly thrived in that role when they pummelled the Vikings in week 13.

7. There is something to be said for knowing what it takes to win. The Seahawks are a Championship roster filled with players that have won on the big stage. The Panthers and Cardinals can prove over the next few weeks they can achieve that level too. And yet they still need to prove it. Carson Palmer hasn’t won a playoff game. Cam Newton’s only playoff victory came against the Ryan Lindley-led Cardinals a year ago. It might not be a significant advantage — but there is an advantage to Seattle and Green Bay in that they know ultimately what it takes to go deep into the post-season.

8. The Seahawks have history against all of the teams in the NFC playoffs. They’ve won in Carolina in each of the previous three seasons. They destroyed the Cardinals last year with Ryan Lindley at quarterback — but also beat Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer convincingly in their own backyard in 2013. The Seahawks recently won comfortably in Minnesota and had a big win in Washington against Kirk Cousins last year. And while they lost to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in week 2 at Lambeau — they also beat Green Bay twice last season. They’ve beaten these teams before — there’s no reason why they can’t do it again.

9. Albert Breer made an interesting point on the Brock and Salk show yesterday. When discussing what makes a legitimate Championship contender, he made reference to Arizona’s multiple ways they can beat you. They run the ball well. Carson Palmer could (and maybe should) be the league MVP. The defense plays tough, solid football and can make the plays to win a game. How is this any different to the Seahawks? Russell Wilson is having a fantastic year. They’re expected to have Beast Mode back on the field — possibly for the last few games of his career. The defense hasn’t always played up to a 2013 or 2014 level — but it’s still ranked #4 overall by DVOA, #2 in pass defense, #3 against the run and #3 in points-per-game. The Seahawks remain balanced and like Arizona — can beat you in multiple ways.

10. This is the chance. You can’t find redemption for the last Super Bowl in week 5. You can’t find it in week 15. The Seahawks can only re-write the script in the playoffs. If they want people to stop talking about last season — they need to make it happen in January and February. Not October. They’ve already conquered the burden of having to live with that experience by even making the post season. Some clubs would’ve buckled under the weight of disappointment, anger and frustration. Even getting to the playoffs is an achievement. Now they’ve made it — this is the time to make amends. Super Bowl XLIX hung over this franchise for nearly a full year as a negative. For the next few weeks they can finally use it as a motivating factor. A positive. Go and put things right.


  1. Ben2

    Go Hawks! Your article got me totally pumped up for playoff football! Redemption!

  2. cha

    7b. This team has beat back adversity at every turn. The SB loss, Kam’s holdout, the OL mess & the defensive letdowns early in the season, getting consistently more penalties called than opponents, Lynch getting hurt, losing to NFC powerhouses at home. They’ve continued to battle.

  3. Ground_Hawks

    I speak only for myself, but the players on this Seahawks team have something inspiring going on. How they have managed to place themselves back into contention for another Super Bowl ring is incredible. No team is perfect, but how Seattle has once again battled to position themselves for a shot at the Lombardi, without their premier running back, makes me proud to be a Seahawks fan. They have overcome the worst loss that I have ever seen in sports by sticking to what they know and making the right choices, so that they can show everyone, including themselves, they belong. This team does belong in the conversations with the other top contenders in the league, and by earning a seed in the playoffs they have proved that they do. This Seahawks team has come a long way, and they are still improving. I think that is part of what is so enticing about watching, and rooting for, this team. GO HAWKS!

    • Volume12

      Ya make a great point. This team is still improving or has room for improvement, we got 4 draft picks in the top 100, with money to re-sign some of our own, and even add 2-3 FA’s.

  4. Trevor

    Great article Rob! An awesome way to usher out 2015 and bring in 2016. You have me dreaming about Feb.7th in Santa Clara.

  5. Volume12

    Great read Rob. Thouroughly enjoyed it. From reason 1-10.

    Ya said even making the playoffs is an accomplishment. Could not agree more. Ecspecially this year. Injuries have ravaged us, and yet here we are. If we close out the Carolina and Cincy games this year, 2 games that were wins, like we’ve been known to do, we’re sitting at 11-4.

    This year we’ve been without or are without our #1 LT, #1 and #2 TE, #1 and #2 RB, #4 and #5 WRs, #3 DT, #1 SS, basicall down a #2 CB, and IMO our #1 FS and #1 CB aren’t exactly 100%.

    That’s staring adversity in the face and overcoming it. Next man up!

  6. Volume12

    What a game we got going on between Oklahoma and Clemson boys!

    DL Charles Tapper literally took over that last defensive series single-handedly.

  7. bobbyk

    Absolutely agree with this 100%… “The only way anyone is going to get over that play is to win another Championship. To gain redemption. The desperation to get there is probably more intense for this fan base than even winning the first title.”

    I didn’t think it was possible to want another championship more than I wanted the first one, but I do.

  8. Bilbo88

    Well written as always Rob. The NFL also stacked the deck against the Seahawks this year with byes and TNF mini-byes plus the usual penalty discrepancies. Even with all that, this team is in the playoffs and knows how to make noise. Excited to see what they do with the opportunity!

  9. C-Dog


  10. DC

    I hope nothing in my sporting life comes close to the hangover and furious anger I felt from Super Bowl XL. That lasted until our first Championship which I consider a major healing event.

    XLIX sucked but was not nearly as devastating to me personally, simply because we finally had one in the bag and it was very fresh. Now though? I fully agree that we need another Championship and to go to 3 straight and win 2 would put this era into the great NFL history book. (It will be for me regardless)

    Let’s not forget that Russell mentioned throwing that divine interception to show the world how he would respond. Believe what you will, but responding with a historical run of QB play and another Super Bowl victory would be the Cats pajamas.

  11. Donald

    The main reason for the 3 home losses to the Rams, Cardinals, and Panthers was because of the unfair schedule that was intentionally designed to eliminate Seattle’s Home field advantage.

    Seattle played against 5 teams coming off a bye week and a Thursday night game, the MOST of any team in the NFL.

    ALL of the games against these opponents who had an extra week off were HOME Games.

    ALL of these opponents were NFC WEST RIVALS, Arizona, ST Louis, San Francisco.

    The other 2 opponents were playoff teams: Pittsburgh, Carolina.

    This was not by coincidence. It really is unfair that the NFL deliberately manipulates the schedule to put Seattle at a disadvantage, especially at home. It is as if they didn’t want Seattle in the Super Bowl again, so they designed the schedule to make it as difficult as possible.

    This is similar to Seattle getting an extra week to rest and prepare against 4 opponents. Seattle’s record would have been a lot better. Instead, Seattle was at a sever disadvantage in those 4 games.

    • Jarhead

      THIS^^^^^^^^ As resident blog conspiracy theorist, this scratches me RIGHT where I itch. When was the last time you saw a Conference Champion (and damn near repeat Superb Owl Champ) open the season on the road- THAT is unheard of. And two weeks in a row to boot. And to the toughest division rival, and then to the team who “should have been the REAL NFC champ if they hadn’t been screwed because the league loves Russell Wilson and the refs bah gawd!”. Then to have to play all the teams coming off byes, have all but I think one primetime game on the road, and then close the season ON THE ROAD to another fierce Division rival. This was so coincidental it is intentional. If anyone looks at ALL the coincidences that had the stars align perfectly, they would be kind of deluded to tell themselves it was all just random. Plus the way the league flexed the Panthers into an afternoon game so that the Cards would not know how the seeding would shape up, even though Arians has made it crystal clear from jump street that he was not going to rest his starters. I still think this is payback from the Shield for the way we mangled and embarrassed the Denver Peyton Mannings on the biggest and most grand stage the NFL has- making the NFL and ESPN look like utter buffoons for the hype wagon they had created for that team. We ABOUT did it to Tom Brady but then I guess Edelman and Cliff Avril don’t have to follow the concussion protocol- I thought that was pretty suspect. This all adds up to a little too much like right for me. I am glad that I am not the only tin foil hat wearing crack pot who sees right through the Shields cloak and dagger scheme

      • Jarhead

        Gee whiz- Edelman and Avril don’t have to follow the SAME concussion protocol

      • Donald

        I agree Jarhead. There are nfl / TV execs who are making decisions with the sole purpose of getting their “popular” teams with more star players to advance further in the playoffs for ratings. Seattle’s schedule was made to be as difficult as possible, and is absolutely and blatantly unfair.

        Last year there were NO national games played at Century Link because the TV execs said the Hawks always blow out teams and they lose their ratings. So this year they decide to show some games on the condition the opponents have an extra week to prepare.

        The Hawks played 5 out of 8 home games against teams coming off a bye week. No other team had to deal with this. It is to the Hawks credit that they won as many games as they did.

        The unfair schedule could also be the result of an individual scheduler, who is also a 49’s fan, letting their personal bias affect his day job as a nfl scheduler. How high up the ladder did this directive come from?

        • Donald

          Also, Seattle is not the only team with a great home field advantage.

          They don’t do this to Green Bay at Lambough Field, or New England, or Denver. It is only against Seattle.

          The teams that had a 2 week advantage were not Cleveland or Detroit, but against the NFC rivals and two playoff caliber teams.

          So Unfair!

          • franks

            No they don’t, and I read something can’t remember where, where they basically acknowledged that they didn’t want the Seahawks winning so many home games, or maybe they didn’t want us winning them in primetime? The pretext was that these games weren’t competitive and that’s bad for business.

            I don’t remember them minding when the Broncos were blowing everyone out in the AFC, or the Pats going undefeated or the Panthers this year, they were unstoppable and the NFL was celebrating that. But for some reason it pisses these guys off when Seattle wins too many, are we too small-market, is Pete’s brand of football too boring? The ESPN guys hate on us every chance they get.

            It’s gotta be about money.

            • Donald

              It is always about money.

              Do they manipulate the schedule to decrease the home field advantage to Green Bay (Rogers), New England (Brady), Denver (Manning) ? No, they emphasize how great these teams are at home, and they want to see these QB’s playing deep into the playoffs.

              • SunPathPaul

                I agree. I wonder if it is not only because we suddenly became so dominant, or if the $league is such a hierarchy of money$ owners that maybe Seattle with the ‘northwest market’ and maybe a less ‘powerful in their eyes’ owner, makes them want to cripple and control the beast that is this Seattle Seahawk Team.

                They fear our dominance. Pete knows how too…
                This political crap within the GAME of football is what makes me so angry that I want to drop it… The best should win, period. When you are caught cheating, disciplined, but then get out of it, that makes for a corrupt and BS league.
                It’s bad enough America’s politics are so corrupt, does the league have to be too???

                • Volume12

                  Or is it our brand of football they hate? Guys with big time personalities, so called ‘thugs,’ playing overly physical, running the ball in the day and age when passing 50 times a game is considered good football, and winning with defense?

                  • Donald

                    I also have thought that it could be our brand that some older owners and execs hate. I don’t think it’s the football style, but the personalities.

                    The Seahawks with a CB that “went off” in a rage on national tv after the nfc champ game, and a RB that refuses to talk to the media (which pays the NFL millions of $) , a WR that simulated a bathroom gesture at the SB, are examples of disrespect to a league full of old money owners.

                    Owners like cleveland, who have existed long before Seattle had a team, who have struggled and paid their dues but never won a SB, and here comes this young trash talking team that has gone to two SB’s, and shows no respect for the game.

                    Yet, I would think the controversy and trash talking would be welcomed for the publicity it draws. Its football, not golf.

                • CHawk Talker Eric

                  Except that Paul Allen is the wealthiest owner by far, more than 3 times as wealthy as the next richest owner. In other words, Allen could give away 2/3 of his fortune and he’d still be the richest owner.

                  The reason SEA get questionable treatment is a combination of the League’s drive towards parity, and the relative smallness of the Seahawks national television market.

                  Not sure this would apply the same way towards other small market teams such as GBP, MIN, BUF because they have geographically broader fan bases owing to their longer existences. But if the Panthers win the SB you can bet they’ll get the same treatment next year.

                  • bobbyk

                    If they NFL were truly out to “get” the Seahawks, they wouldn’t have given them a bye in the middle of the season. They would have screwed them over with one early in the season. If you want a bye, in the middle of the season is a perfect time to get it.

    • Robert

      The 5 games at Clink vs opponents with extra time to prepare/heal up and the gauntlet of 10AM road games vs tough opponents to start the season were designed to break us. Add to that the other challenges of Kam holdout, young and cruddy Oline, failed Cary Williams experiment etc and we almost blew this season’s great opportunity for a Championship in the middle of our window. The players and coaches know the league worked hard to stack the deck against them. And that right there is our bulletin board material! I think the plan backfired because the evil attempt will multiply our team rage and resolve as we begin the tournament! Looking forward to the Beast crotch grab late in the 4th quarter in Santa Clara!!!

    • neil

      You forgot to mention the 4th toughest strength of schedule, and the only nfc west team to open on the road two consecutive weeks, against opponents that the league would be exceptionaly tough games for the Hawks to win. The Rams are always tough for us and the Packers had an axe to grind for the championship game last year.

  12. Tien

    Great column Rob. The Hawks are definitely legit contenders for the SB again this year and they can also lose to any team in the playoffs if they don’t play well. We aren’t as dominant as we’ve been in the past couple of years and thus the margin of error is less. It all comes down to the OL (as it’s been the entire season). If they play well/competently and can open holes for our RB, whomever it may be, and give Russell time to throw, it’ll be tough for any team to beat us. Go Hawks!!

  13. CharlieTheUnicorn

    Maybe I missed it, but Rob should have mentioned… when Seattle has a chip on their shoulder and they are underdogs.. watch out! This is when they do their best work and play some of the best football in the last few seasons.

    Get Lockett and Loaded, this is going to be a fun postseason in the NFL.

  14. Dave

    On Sunday, I want the Seahwks to go back into U of Phoenix Stadium and run the same fateful play at the goal line and score. I realize Lockette is out, but we have NoE. It would be a big middle finger to the rest of the league and to the media that criticized that play. Happy 2016! Go Hawks!

    • Robert

      Except that WAS a stupid play to call. Pete rightly called for a pass play, but Bevell screwed up and called for a zero read slant, which required Kearse to win a physical contest vs Browner to screen off Lockette’s defender…and then throw the ball into the crowded middle and hope the ball doesn’t get batted in the air. With Pats forced to field huge and slow goal line defense, the painfully obvious strategy is to line up Russ under center and fake the handoff to Beast. This would have cause 6-7 defenders to dive to the ground and crash the LOS, leaving only 4-5 defenders standing after Russ rolls right. Obviously, we would have lined up our WR’s to get Browner to the other side of the field. Now Russ has a good look at 2-3 targets…I would have had Chris Matthews in the back of the endzone for a high ball and Baldwin shallow for a low ball. Russ has a great look and either throws to a open WR, runs it in himself, or throws it out of the endzone to kill the clock. This painfully obvious play leverages the threat of the Beast run, which Pats must honor and leverages the elite talents of Russ to run it in or throw an accurate pass. Bevell’s play amazingly completely nullified the elite talents of both the Beast and Russ! I’m not a hater. It’s just clear to me that in the heat of the moment with the clock ticking, Bevell made a very big mistake.

      • Rob Staton

        Let’s not dredge up the past on that call. We can make all kinds of complaints about it — if Kearse executes his job, if Lockett doesn’t get blown off the ball, if they go with a run-pass option, if they just run. They were so close to the perfect call.

        • Robert

          I totally disagree. They were as far away as possible from a good call that factored in personnel, matchups and situational football.
          Bad strategy: Asking Kearse to execute a critical screening assignment vs the most physical CB ever…Brandon Browner;
          Calling for a throw over the middle of a crowded goal line to a #4 WR who has great speed, but marginal quickness, hands and route savvy;
          Handing the ball to the Beast when the Pats are in goal line D to stop that run which would cost us 2 plays if stopped and forced to use a timeout. Further, our Oline is a ZBS and rather subpar at power blocking for short yardage…not a strength there either.
          With little time remaining, the correct call was obviously to pass. But play action fake rollout massively leverages the situation with Pats forced to play run first and Russ’s ability to run or pass.

          • Rob Staton

            I think this conversation belongs in 2015, Robert.

      • Phil

        Easy to criticize after the fact …..

        I concur with what you are saying, but let’s focus on what the Seahawks will do moving forward.

        • Robert

          I’m not trying to kick a dead horse. And I would love the taste of redemption. But I have zero angst towards any media or the rest of the league for calling that play stupid. It violated good football where you leverage the special skills of your best players to exploit matchup advantages over the opposition.With the Pats in goal line D, we had all the leverage and wasted it on a play that literally nullified Beast’s and Russ’ elite skillsets. My comment was a reply to the notion that the media unjustly ridiculed our folly. I probably could have ignored the comment, but I had to watch that stupid play 3 times tonight on various Year in Review New Years Specials.

          • AlaskaHawk

            Since the syperbowl loss was the lead into your blog, it is only fair to give the fans a last chance to vent. For my part I’ve grown to think of the quick slant as a trick play gone bad. It was a trick play because it was never a regular play and still isn’t to this day. That combined with the fact that it is a regular play for New England and they defend it on s regular basis. Belechik had even chewed Butler out in practice when he didn’t play it right. So trick

            • AlaskaHawk

              Play combined with great defense was Seahawks kryptonite.

            • Rob Staton

              I don’t want the conversation to develop into a long talk about what should’ve happened. I think we can all afford to look ahead now.

          • neil

            feel your pain Robert, it kills me watching that play over and over again. They went to the well once to often on that play. That is a play they used numerous times during the season in the red zone, Belechick knew it and had his team prepared.

  15. Volume12

    Happy New Year SDB!

    Hope everyone’s 2016 resolutions come to fruition!

  16. Phil

    My wife and I just returned from our annual Christmas trip from the East Coast back to our “home” in Seattle. We went to the Browns and Rams games. A couple of things stuck with us.

    The crowd doesn’t seem to be quite as involved as in the past years. (We had season tickets for more than 15 years, in both the Clink and in the dome.) Not only did the noise level seem diminished, but lots of folks were actually leaving the game before the final gun. We don’t ever remember seeing this in the past — no matter how far we were in the lead, or how far behind we were, or whether we had already clinched a playoff spot. Lots of fans seated around us seemed more interested in texting than in watching the game.

    Sure the league dealt the Seahawks a bad hand when they gave them the schedule they did, but I wonder if some of the fans have become a little more complacent and less invested in the team than they were in the past. Maybe what we need to do is to get the fans to pat a sign that says “I’m In” before they enter the Clink.

    I realize that my observations are based on a small sample size, so I’d be interested in how those of you who have attended home games feel about what I’ve written. (By the way, we have traveled to road games in Carolina, Washington DC, Arizona, and SF and the 12s at those road games could sure teach the fans how to support a team.)

    • KyleT

      This a thousands times. The biggest reason for our struggles at home in comparison to previous years of dominance is the fan base. It started in 2014 and has only gotten worse in 2015. The original 12th man has sold out and the buyers are a bunch of entitled band wagoners who are not all in on this team. We can blame the league and other factors, but the reality is the clink is not any better of a home field anymore then any other stadium.

      The most expensive ticket in the NFL is the clink and the original ticket holders are making hay with that. If you tried to get season tickets starting in 2013 you are on a waiting list. This dynamic changes in the playoffs. I was at the Carolina game last year and that is loudest game i’ve ever witnessed as the original ticket holders show up for playoff games.

      It’s not just the volume but the timing. When the clink is doing its thing it goes to ear splitting loud as soon as the QB kneels in the huddle, and it used to be that way in the regular season. Now it only gets kind of loud when the QB is at the line and then only on 3rd down. Really disappointing and completely removes the mystique and awesomeness from the clink experience. You used to feel like the energy in the stadium was something you could cut with a knife and the oppressiveness and hostility to the visiting team was palpable.

      This may never come back outside of the playoffs now that the team has a wider and weaker market

      • Phil

        Agree totally.

        Another thing that surprised us is the crowd making noise — the “sea” then pause “hawks” chant — when the Seahawks had the ball! What ????

        I don’t know the answer — but I wonder how the number of pre-snap “motion” calls against the opponent in 2015 compare with the numbers in recent years. I bet the number is less than half of what it used to be.

      • vrtkolman

        Really, you think the crowd noise is the reason why the team is struggling at home? Sorry but the crowd does not affect games. Also I don’t agree that the fan base isn’t as loud, I was at the Pittsburgh game and that was one of the loudest games I have ever been at (even with all the Pitt fans there).

        The struggles at home are simply the result of the team not being as good this year.

        • KyleT

          This comment made me laugh. The Pittsburgh game was one of the worst crowds, only to be rivaled by last years Dallas crowd. If you don’t think the crowd effects the game, you have no business commenting on what a good or bad crowd is at the Clink.

          Now, I will give you that you cannot entirely blame their home struggles on the home crowd. But it’s no surprise to me to see their home record go from 0 losses in 2012, 1 loss in 2013, 1 losses in 2014 and 3 in 2015 coinciding with a decline in intensity from the fan base at home games even while the 2015 team is arguably better then the 2012 team.

          Here are a few ways the crowd can effect games:

          1. Being loud enough at the line of scrimmage to require a silent count which makes the O-line reactions similar to the D-line since they no longer have the advantage of reacting ahead of the D-line. Fact: In almost every home game this year you can hear the opposing QB cadence on the TV broadcast. Contrast this with other games in 2012-2013 when opposing QB’s had to use a silent count. Hell, we were so loud in Super bowl 48, Manning had to use a silent count at times.

          2. Being loud enough so that adjustments at the line cannot be made. We all know how critical it is to make adjustments at the line whether it’s changing plays in response to the defensive alignment or to adjust protection calls. Again in 2015, QB’s are doing this with ease in our home games.

          3. Being so loud that the opposing QB has a difficult time even calling the play in the huddle and being heard. There are QB’s, who are now retired that have been interviewed and confirmed 12th man suspicions that some games have been so loud that even this is hard. 2005 nfc championship game as one reference.

          I’m sorry, but the game where you can hear on the TV broadcast, Steelers fans yell “Heath” after every catch doesn’t qualify as “loudest ever”.

        • Phil

          vrtkolman – When you say that the Pittsburgh game was one of the loudest games you have ever been at, I can’t disagree with you if that is what you feel. But, it does make me wonder how many games to have been to and in which seasons.

          Regarding your statement that “the crowd does not affect games”, I disagree. At a minimum, it is a distraction to the opponent — crowd noise makes some teams spend parts of their practices worrying about communications issues instead of spending that time on game planning and other skill-related issues. At the other end of the spectrum, crowd noise used to lead to false start penalties which would put opponents into down-and-distance situations where the opposing QBs were forced to hold the ball longer to wait for their receivers to run their routes. I can remember lots of situations where we got sacks following a false start penalty that put an opponent into a, say, 3rd and 10 situation instead of a 3rd and 5.

          If crowd noise doesn’t affect games, then why did the NFL institute the practice of putting radios in the helmets of QBs?

          • Volume12

            Teams coming off byes and Thursday night games is a huge factor in us losing 3 games.

            The NFL regime wants parity. They don’t want teams going to consecutive or even three straight SB’s.

  17. Volume12

    Seahawks again scouting ND and Ohio St.

    • Phil

      Are there any NFL teams not scouting ND and Ohio State?

  18. Volume12

    Rob, do you like ND’s other WR Chris Brown?

    And could Ohio St’s Darron Lee be a possible target?

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve not focussed too much on Brown — Lee could be a target but I think he goes early.

  19. Erik Amstutz

    The Hawks need to find that fire again. They have not seen played with that chip since their championship season. Last year they won because their players were just more talented than everyone else. If they can find that, they’ll make a run.

  20. Dumbquestions

    If I had to pick the biggest reason for shoulda-coulda losses, it’s defense, and an area of the field: the chunk of the secondary occupied all of last year by Maxwell, Lane and Chancellor.

    Apart from the Rams game last week, Seattle lost winnable games. The offense sputtered at times, but that’s always been the case with this team. The downgrade (inevitably) was defense. Winners exploited the same space in the secondary every damned time, typically with tight ends.

    Maxwell was not a star in Philly, but I’d still take him over his replacements. Lane was hurt all year. Chancellor was in and out for various reasons. I suspect the loss of Tharold Simon hurt more than anyone acknowledged. All that, plus Earl’s recovery. LoB has been wounded all year. There are reasons to think they’ll be a bit stronger in the playoffs, but we’ll see. I have hope.

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