Instant reaction: Seahawks beat Giants, can’t live without Lynch

I had one troubling takeaway from this game. There is no doubt at all that Marshawn Lynch is Seattle’s best player on offense. It’s not close. And we could be approaching an off-season where Seattle is going to have to replace him — possibly with multiple additions — as a priority.

It’s a frustrating thought given today’s four-touchdown performance in a 38-17 victory over the New York Giants. A thought summed up by Sidney Rice on Twitter (see above).

Replacing Lynch, a heavily touted move that suddenly appears annoyingly inevitable, will be the greatest threat to Seattle’s longevity as a contender. You’re losing a great player and you’re also losing a piece of your identity. It might force an early pick on a running back. It’ll probably lead to a drop in talent at the position. It could mean having to add multiple pieces — new running back, receiver, tight end — to compensate for the talent shortfall after losing one single player.

This is a debate we’ll need to have in greater detail down the line. But this kind of major surgery is deeply unattractive. And yet unless several high profile and storied reports are wrong — it’s going to happen.

The frightening thing is it could take attention (and picks/finances) away from Seattle’s biggest needs as we watch this season unfold. The pass rush remains an issue. The first half saw very little pressure before a second half improvement. It needs to be better.

O’Brien Schofield has struggled to carry his pre-season form into the regular season. Both Cliff Avril and Schofield are free agents. As stop-start as this pass rush has been at times, it’ll be even worse without both players. You’re not just needing to upgrade the group, you’re potentially needing to replace free agents. Seattle has already failed to replace Chris Clemons adequately and to a lesser extent Red Bryant. They’ve not had much success drafting cheap defensive linemen.

Brandon Mebane has played his heart out the last few weeks and provided some much needed interior rush. He left the game today with a hamstring problem. He badly needs help inside to move quarterbacks off their spot (this will also help the edge rushers). If he misses any time it’ll be a huge blow.

It’d be nice to go into the draft and free agency really focusing on the D-line as a priority. Sure — they’d probably like to add a big receiver or tight end somewhere too. But losing Lynch could force the focus to the offense, which seems avoidable.

We don’t know how bad the relationship is between Lynch and the front office/Pete Carroll. I don’t think it’s unfair to suggest they need to find a way to work together for longer. Even if that means paying him more money. He’s earned it. He deserves it. He’s the MVP on the offense. They’re willing to take chances — let’s call this the latest gamble. Move on from the speculation and negativity and keep your best player. It feels silly to even have to write that.

A word too on the offensive line today. It was sensational. The run blocking was terrific across the board. The pass protection was more than good enough. This was a stellar performance from start to finish. This is how Seattle should approach games. This is how Seattle will be successful. They have an offensive line that works for the style they want to play. They drafted run blockers to run the ball. Today they totaled 350 yards on 45 runs, including 140 from ‘Beast Mode’.

Russell Wilson had a mixed day. His tendency to overthrow popped up again. The first interception was a poorly executed route by rookie Paul Richardson. The second — a lofted floater — was begging to be picked off. It was also thrown at 5-10, 189lbs Doug Baldwin. Did I mention the need for a big target?

He ran well — and New York struggled all day to contain him. That’s really poor coaching by the Giants. If you want to beat the Seahawks you need to contain Wilson. They had no idea what to do and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell spent the game with his mouth open in utter surprise. Wilson also made enough good plays as a passer to get through a tough afternoon.

The Seahawks had some luck that had previously been missing on two crucial late fumbles (one by Wilson, one by Lynch). The defense shut out Manning and the Giants in the second half. Byron Maxwell made a welcome (and productive) return. Tony Moeaki was inactive but probably debuts against his former side (Kansas City) next week following Luke Willson’s ankle injury today.

Close victories for Arizona and San Francisco keep things competitive in the NFC West. Seattle has won the last three but they need to keep winning. The 49ers travel to the fading Giants next week. Arizona hosts inconsistent, but winning, Detroit. The Cardinals will finish the year without quarterback Carson Palmer — reports say he’s torn an ACL. Drew Stanton is the backup and has already featured this season — scoring two touchdowns in a victory over the Niners.


  1. Geoff U

    Why wouldn’t Seattle pay him 8.5 mil next year and finish out his contract? People keep saying they won’t, but it seems like a no brainier to me that they would. The only thing I see getting in the way is Lynch wanting more years (which I wouldn’t be opposed to), more money (might be worth it), or retiring.

    • Rob Staton

      Certainly seems like a no brainer tonight. Paying him more money also seems like a no brainer.

      • redzone086

        Absolutely you pay the man whatever and build the depth again!!!! Beast Mode is one of a kind and you don’t move on from that effort and production ever.

        • Amar

          Extending him wouldn’t be the worst thing. It would potentially ease the cap hit in 2015. And Rob, frankly those reports out there by national media are not surprising. Didn’t we all talk about this offseason how this could be Lynch’s final year? They all go by one little “lynch irate at harvin trade and refused to get on team bus” and run with it. Lynch has ALWAYS been like this – he’s been a bit of an eccentric guy. We lose a couple of games and all these stories come out. Winning cures everything – remember the middle finger he gave to the sideline (to coaches) in the RZ in Arizona?

          Well, things change. If he keeps playing like this, we are darn well going to keep him.

          And other thing – let’s just focus on this season and enjoy this season before worrying about next year.

  2. Cameron

    We absolutely must keep Lynch, but I’m not certain we need to extend him. He’ll be under contract next year for a healthy 8.5 million and entering the later part of his career. An extension would be a mistake. Lynch will be plenty motivated, seeing as how he’ll be playing for his contract, either with us or some other team.

    We don’t need to release Lynch to extend Russ, Bobby, et al. We will have more than enough to accomplish that with money to spare and throw at a FA or two. What we should do is keep Lynch and target Kevin White in the 1st round and the best edge guy RD 2. We should re-sign Avril (would 3/18 do it?), KJ (4/20) and Russ (I’m not even going to guess).

    We could do all of that and still possibly target a Cameron Jordan in FA, if he isn’t franchised.

    • redzone086

      How is Kevin White going to be available to the Hawks?

    • Rob Staton

      Given Wilson, Wagner and others will be getting paid — unless we want another hold out and more complaining, I’m not sure simply keeping Lynch will work out. He wants to be paid and deserves to be paid.

  3. chris

    the front office needs to find a way to patch things up with lynch. russell is showing why he is worth maybe 16-18 million a year instead of the 22-24 john clayton is reporting he will likely get. if we don’t have lynch next year hawk fans better get used to losing, because this offense cant function without him.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Clayton is guessing a bit there. After all, he said a conditional 2nd-4th for Harvin. It ended up being much less.

      • Mylegacy

        Rob – Chris is raising the REAL question that will define the Hawks “Cap” room going forward.

        Wilson – is he a 16+ guy or a 22+ guy? I say 16+.

        At this time could he be a 22+ guy if the offensive scheme needed a gunslinger 22+ guy? I say no.

        Will he ever be able to be a 22+ gunslinger? Perhaps.

        Is he actually regressing (even since last year) in his “feel” for the long ball? Yes.

        Is a PERFECT QB in a running first offense worth 22+ (when there is really no other offense like ours) IF he hasn’t proved he’s also a “perfect” QB in a gunslinging offense? No.

        Rob, I agree that “Clayton is guessing a bit there.” as am I. However, I think Wilson’s final salary package is going to go a long way towards deciding if we can keep Lynch. Not to mention Maxwell, Wagner, Avril, Wright, etc., etc. this is a discussion that will be more and more important as the season ends and we await just how much the Cap will strangle us over the 5+ years of Wilson’s new contract.

        • AlaskaHawk

          I would prefer he was paid 16 million with incentives for running yardage, passing yardage, QB rating, and post season wins.

        • JeffC

          Then “he’s just a game manager” types who were saying that last year who pissed off the whole PNW were, in the end…correct?

          • Arias

            that’s not really a fair question because a game manager is someone who can’t make all the throws and the offense has to be designed to mitigate shortcomings. Russell wilson last year was not a game manager, but this year his deep ball accuracy is definitely taking a hit. in fact lately he hasn’t been able to make any throws with any consistency. Whether it be deep or simple slants and bubble screens. this year it may not even be fair to call him a game manager. It might be more accurate to just call him a running quarterback.

            • JeffC

              I’m not calling him a game manager. I’m saying that if mylegacy is correct in his assessment, he’s just described a “game manager.” Then…do you pay that individual 20 million a year if he’s just that?

          • AlaskaHawk

            I would agree with Arias that we have a running quarterback that is an accurate passer when healthy. I don’t even know what a game manager is. I just know what they aren’t, a gunslinger like Manning and Brady.

  4. Austin

    I agree we need to keep lynch but Michael still looks special to me. A lynch/Michael combo would be the best in football next year and it wouldn’t be close.

    • CC

      RB Coach Sherman Smith was on the air talking about CMike being unsound as a RB – he can’t change the ball from his right side to his left. That is a tough thing to learn at this point. He may have flashes, but he isn’t the answer.

      • Brinque

        You could see the C-Mike carrying “problem” quite clear in the game.. running to the left side an having the ball in the right hand put it closer to the defenders, which could be cause for fumbles down the road.

        This is not to say he can’t be a productive runner, as he seems to have elite speed, in the few that he got against the Giants. Furthermore I think DeMarco Murray has the same fundamental problem, and he is doing all right at the moment, although he has a tendency to fumble..

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        CMike wasn’t particularly fumble prone in college, and when he did, it was usually for the same reason most RBs fumble – failing to hold the ball close to his body, not because he couldn’t shift his carry from side to side.

        Not sure what Smith was going for with his comments, but it was pretty asinine regardless. You don’t make it to the NFL if you’re fundamentally unsound at your position. And if he truly is unsound, what does that say about Seattle’s scouting and draft day decision making, considering they used their highest pick in 2013 on him?

        It’s an irrelevant argument because however good a runner CMike MIGHT turn out to be, he won’t/can’t replace Lynch.

        • dean

          I would have to hear Sherms comments but at face value it sounds a little ridiculous.

          I would argue that no one can fully replace Lynch but that doesn’t mean someone can’t be just as effective using a different style. I’m not saying Michael will be as good as Lynch because we just don’t know. I think its safe to say his talent level is there though.

        • Arias

          Sherman Smith was saying that he was fundamentally unsound in his ball security practices. That’s not to say that he couldn’t make it in the NFL but he will be prone to getting the ball stripped from him. and we all know what Pete thinks about ball security. Hard to imagine any running back prone to turning it over starting on any team he coaches.

          They probably thought that you would spend more time focused on resolving this flaw in his game andrew disappointed that it hasn’t happened. A general reluctance to change was his red flag in college and has continued to some degree in the pros. The coaches thought they could better motivate him like they’ve done successfully with many other players. Apparently they were wrong. But I don’t see why you think what Sherman Smith said was asinine.

  5. JeffC

    They say the disparity in talent between NFL teams is very small. If that is true, then that is one awesome running performance by seattle’s offense today – coaching staff, offensive line, rb’s, and RW. When was the last time anyone has seen dominance at the line of scrimmage like that?

    I have heard that Russell Wilson is injured quite a bit and it’s enough to seriously effect his throws. Some injuries the coaches know about, some he is hiding. I say that because I’ve been a heavy critic of him for the past month for his inconsistency. Take that for what it’s worth.

    As far as Lynch, my opinion is you go to him and say, “What would it take to keep you happy and playing here, and maybe tack on an extra year to your contract?”

    • Arias

      So you have inside info on Wilson’s injuries that even his coaches don’t know about? If so, how is it that you came about the info ahead of coaches? And if not, what it sounds like is idle speculation on the root causes of his poor play. The excuse that a previous injury being a root cause provides his apologists with a physical ailment to explain away poor play. I dont’ seek to do that.

      I t

      • JeffC

        I said take it for what it’s worth. I say that because of all the readers of the blog, I’ve probably been the biggest critic of Wilson of anyone who posts on this site (and I read everyone on this blog because I like Rob’s site so much). My comments were made to an individual who I know at a current job, who used to work at the VMAC in a player/training capacity. I can’t prove that so I say take it for what it’s worth. I have no axe to grind, I’m just sharing a different perspective from an individual who felt my comments about Wilson were ignorant and out of line.

        The comments went like this: “Russell is pretty banged up, and if you think you feel he is playing badly, you don’t know how he feels about his own game right now. You don’t know how hard he works at helping his team win every week. You know the stories of how hard he works, but they don’t even come close to it. He is nursing injuries the coaches know about, and he also has aches and pains that he doesn’t let on, even to his coaches, but that’s the kind of guy he is. They are effecting his ability to throw.”

        For the record, NO ONE is talking about Wilson nursing any hidden injuries on the airwaves. Not once have I heard this. So as far as I know, there are no apologists using this stance.

        I will continue to criticize his play until his performance dictates otherwise. When we play Arizona, KC, and SF, those defenses are strong enough to control our run game. They will force Wilson to beat them. He can’t be the qb that he currently is for us to catch Arizona for the division. I also don’t think his performance is good enough to win on the road in the playoffs. He must improve for this team to have another shot at the sb.

        • JeffC

          Also, I think the debate earlier in the year on who would you rather have going forward, Luck or Wilson, has been mostly answered. Clearly, Luck has the higher upside, and is a better qb right now. And I do think that RW’s height does provide limitations that we don’t like to admit as fans.

          I say this as an RW fan, but I’m trying to be realistic, and am wondering how this team goes forward if it pays him 22 million a year.

          • Arias

            I’m fully with you there and I couldn’t agree more jeff. Andrew Luck is taking the next step in his evolution of his game this year no doubt about it. He’s not leaving near as many plays on the field as he has in the past even though he is still prone to the occasional bad inaccurate game. Russell Wilson has so far regressed over the last month and leaves a maddening number of plays on the field as far as I can see when I go back and look at game tape from the all 22.

            • JeffC

              Total agreement there.

  6. Dumbquestions

    Another subpar game by RW. The passing game is dismal, and has been for some time. The losses of Tate, Rice and Harvin loom larger and larger – as do the reasons to question draft-day decision-making. The need for size in the receiving corps is so glaring, and it was known well *before* the draft, *before* Harvin’s departure became a certainty. So who do we choose? Another pocket rocket? Where’s the sense?

    • bigDhawk

      One explanation I’ve seen for the Preach pick was PCJS were anticapating Percy’s departure as far back as before the draft and were trying to draft a reasonable replacement.

      • JeffC

        I guess what worries me about that, if true, is that they felt that they needed to replace Harvin with a player of the same caliber. Had we seen enough of Harvin where they felt that his skillset needed to be replaced? The red zone problem is like that giant festering sore that you carry around and think about everywhere you go.

  7. Steve

    Although it would be nice to have a big, deep threat, …..the fact is ground n pound football wins championships.

    Lynch is the backbone of this team and proved it again today. Sort out whatever issues there are and pay the man – he’s earned it. The line finally looked in synch and RW, despite some inconsistency throwing the ball, found a way to win (again).

    At the end of the day, despite the ridiculous amount of injuries, we’re 6-3, could be 8-1 and control our playoff destiny.

    Get healthy, stick to ground n pound and see where that gets us.


    • neil

      I am afraid we wine up as the wild card and have to play Green Bay in January as we have had to do so many times in the past. After the way we thumped them in the opener it would not be a good outcome.

      • cha

        FYI the Niners did just that last year. Beat the Packers in the opener and then went to GB in the frigid cold in the playoffs and beat them.

        So why not us?

  8. Cysco

    I have a hard time telling if Wilson is struggling or if his receivers are just that bad/inexperienced.

    The first INT didn’t look like a bad throw to me. but it was easily within Richardson’s catch radius.

    The overthrow of Kearse, on replay, showed him slow up the route only to have to step on the gas when he saw the ball was in the air. Did wilson expect him to run at full speed through the route? The 2nd INT was essentially a punt. Not a good pass, but a large receiver would at have a fighting chance at it.

    Throw in a wet ball and it’s no wonder wilson looks out of sync. One thing is for sure, the team needs more reliable and bigger WRs.

    • cha

      The 2nd INT was a clear mistake by RW. A bigger WR would’ve been able to go up and get it, but baldwin had his man beat to the corner, if RW leads him at the very least it’s an incompletion.

    • Amar

      RW had a couple of bad throws…overall he was not that bad. How can you be that bad when you are at 10+ Yards Per Attempt?

      You are right that a more experienced receiver and a receiver with a thicker frame would have fought hard for the ball on the first INT. The second INT was to a 5’9″ Baldwin. A bad throw but at some point the pass offense has to take that chance when you don’t have tall receivers.

      No tate, no rice, and no harvin now. Is it a coincidence that RW’s passer rating hasn’t been great the last 3 games? Say what you will about Harvin, but his mere presence was enough to put a scare on the defense and open up space for other WRs.

    • Arias

      I disagree and think the first interception was clearly a bad pass by wilson. The DB was able to step in front of richardson to intercept ball. There was no way richardson could have reversed directions and moved at the opposite direction of his momentum to have caught the ball. that interception was on Wilson under throwing the past instead of throwing the past to a place where the receiver caught it. He should have led with the pass.

  9. kevin mullen

    If there was ever a year where Lynch has the Seahawks by the balls, this is that year. His amazing day only solidify his argument of not only remaing with the team next year, but years beyond that. Not saying we sign him to that ridiculous Alexander contract in 2006, but somewhere in the middle the two have to meet to make this work. Hell, even Barry Freakin Sanders said the one RB he’d start any team with would be Money Lynch. And that’s coming from a HOF’er. It’s time to recognize talent when it’s there, Lynch is as much as Seattle as Seattle is to Lynch. Pay the man.

    • bigDhawk

      If the smaller framed Gore can still be productive into his 30s, surely Lynch can as well. Sign me up for another two years easily.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I was thinking about Gore too. It is hard to believe that Lynch won’t wear down, but he looks really good this year. As long as he can maintain his physical health then he could play a lot longer.

        • Rob Staton

          I wouldn’t plan for him to play for much more than 2015 and 2016 tops. But I’d make sure he’s in Seattle and not somewhere else — even if that means simply paying him more money. He’s earned it.

        • AlaskaHawk

          Could you imagine having both Gurley and Lynch? Now that would be a running duo!

          • Rob Staton

            If they get a chance to make that a reality they should do it. They’d be setting up a running game for the ages.

        • JeffC

          I could see them letting go of Lynch and SF signing him since that is near his hometown. How would that go as a public relations disaster for seattle’s front office? That could be unforgiveable, especially since they control him in the last year of his deal.

          • Arias

            you think they’d wreck there salary cap to sign lynch to a contract larger then gores and at the expense of playing time for their promising and cheap second round draft pick currently waiting in the wings? I honestly don’t see it.

  10. chris

    i think at the end of the season pete and john will find a way to work out their differences with lynch. possibly giving him another guaranteed season of pay in 2017. that will buy some time for cmike to work out his kinks and figure out how to mentally play in the nfl.

    • JeffC

      CMike had that great run and then immediately started showboating with that finger in the air. Someone needs to calm him down.

  11. Ed

    I don’t think we need to give Lynch anything he wants. Pay him a little more, yes. But CMike can play. Bevell has to go. It was like watching a high school game plan. No crossing routes. No motion to confuse. No quick slants. It was good to see a few deep balls. Why no Norwood.

    • Colin

      We rush for 350 yards and you still want to fire Bevell. I guess some people just refuse to be happy.

    • Jarhead

      What evidence does ANYONE have that Michael can be an everydown back in the NFL? His one big run where he netted most of his yards were in garbage when the Giants had essentially given up AND he couldn’t finish despite being at the brim of the goal line. And the other pop was sheme driven where no one was even near him and all day long the Giants had no perimeter contain so that is unsurprising. I have no idea why all of you are so eager to annoint Michael as the guy, or even leverage againsy Lynch, because my eyes tell me he is an out and out JAG. Straight up. Even Forsett is having a decent season and does any Seahawk fan classify him as a feature back? All thus speculation that Micheal ‘is going to break NEXT year’ is ridiculous. You all realize that he has had almost 2 whole seasons to prove he deserves to be on the field and still has almost no playing time right? Time for a reality check. Lynch is the man, and all the hoping that Michael is so great and what not is going to make him more than what he actually is. JAG with some SPARQ talent.

  12. KyleT

    We can keep lynch,sign Wilson(20 APY)and still have 25 to play with next year. We should be paying Avril for another 3 years because there is no fixing our edge rush needs in FA this offseason. After that we should be locking up Wagner, letting KJ walk and trying to get fix our other issues going into the draft. I think there will be a few tall WR and pass rushers targets in the top50 of this draft.

    Why pay or cut lynch next year? Just let it play out another year and see where we land

  13. Jake

    The thing about Lynch is that running backs have a history of falling off dramatically once they turn 30. So even if you don’t plan on cutting Lynch you have to plan to replace him if he loses a step or two. Not that it’s guaranteed that he will, but it’s irresponsible not to plan for it.

    I think people tend to overlook the aging issue with regard to Clemons and Bryant, too. No amount of money could keep 2013 Bryant and 2013 Clemons on the roster. They’re starting on the downside of their careers and so far Carroll/Schneider have made it pretty clear that they only pay out big contracts for people who are in their prime.

    There’s no guarantee that you’re going to find a good replacement, but paying for past performance is a ticket to mediocrity.

    • bigDhawk

      This is conventional wisdom and is applicable for all things conventional. However Lynch is unconventional to the point that these kinds of concerns need not apply. I think Frank Gore is the best comp for projecting the rest of Marshawn’s career and we could easily see another two or three years of this production level from him, barring catastrophic injury and assuming his continued will to play.

  14. Coug1990

    The problem I have with saying that Lynch is the best player after this game is giving to much weight to any one performance. Russell was hands down the best after his 300/100 yard performance game. Heck, in this game what Seahawk runner didn’t look good?

    All I am saying is don’t get too carried away.

    • Rob Staton

      He is the best player though, isn’t he?

      • Coug1990

        I think ML is playing the best right now. But, I still think that RW is the best player. RW is the most irreplaceable player as well.

        • AlaskaHawk

          RW reminds me of a young Michael Vick, but without the associated problems. An elite running QB with flucuating passing ability. He will never be a Peyton Manning, but perhaps that it is due to team scheme. This week Manning threw 11 incompletions in the first quarter, then passed his way into a win. I don’t think Seattle will ever have the confidence to let RW do that. It makes it hard for him to get in rhythmn and the receivers don’t have as much incentive to run routes when they probably won’t get the ball.

          • JeffC

            So would you pay him 20-25 million a year if you never intend to make him the focal part of the offense?

            • AlaskaHawk

              I would pay him 16 million with incentives.

              • Rob Staton

                I doubt he’d sign for that. There are worse QBs in the NFL earning more than that.

                • JeffC

                  And would the players union allow it? They do have some influence here.

          • Arias

            I don’t get your comment saying that seattle would never have the confidence to let him try and pass for a win after 11 incompletions in the first quarter. if there are behind how would they even really have a choice? What are they going to do put tJack in?

      • dean

        I think Russell is just as good as Lynch but its hard to show it when you have literally no outside threat from the WR position.

        • Rob Staton

          Wilson needs more help for sure. They need to add a big, talented receiver or tight end this off-season.

  15. Radman

    Lynch is a great player at perhaps the most replaceable position in offense. Our offensive line supposedly plays a system that makes an average running back good. Good running backs are found throughout the draft. Is Lynch great and the Offensive Line great? If the O line is great, then they should be able to find an RB we can win with. Good Runningbacks are often found throughout the draft.

    That said, I don’t see why it will be hard to extend Lynch if that’s the route they decide to go. I’m not terribly convinced all the rumors about a falling out are true, or if they are true, that it’s permanent. I suspect he was bent out of shape over some of the pay increases and Harvin coming in (and I always felt Lynch was a better player than Percy- who I think is over rated and a player whose acquisition I opposed on these boards).

    Side note here on Percy- Christine Micheal looks like he could be a close approximation for a lot of the plays we had designed for Percy. I can see cycling him into games on designed plays similar to what we had for Percy, in addition to his back up RB role, thereby seasoning him for full time duties if need be, next year while adding missing explosiveness to the offense this year. The sweep and flip play were great- and suit C-mikes skill set.

    Short answer- not worried about it. First, not the end of the offense if Lynch leaves, because the system (at least we’re told) can produce runners, and runners are easier to find. Secondly, if they don’t want him to leave, they can keep him.

  16. CC

    Moeaki wasn’t activated this week – and Willson goes down and we’re down to 1 TE. I sure hope Zach can come back soon – we need him.

    The passing attack is anemic – average play by WRs and QB. Say what you will about whether Marshawn needs to be paid, but without Marshawn, we have no chance to get back to the playoffs.

  17. AlaskaHawk

    Enjoyed the new found running attack. Lynch looks the best shape I’ve ever seen him in. I just don’t see the team as being great without him.

    Also note that Bailey was playing left guard and Gilliam was tight end. Blocking was much better with them. And no Carpenter making an early start.

    It will be interesting to see if we stick with the run when we face a better team.

  18. Vin

    It’s 730am in London. Wife and I stayed up past midnight as it just so happened that Sky Sports had the game on, something we didn’t anticipate on. Rob, we’re in staying in Shepards Bush…..any suggestions while we’re here until Wednesday?

    While I’m glad the Hawks won and got the run game going, I wonder what it means going forward? Do they go back to the being a power run game that they’re known for, or is it a case of one game where our strength was augmented by an opponents weakness? We next play KC, on the road, against a team that’s playing great against the pass, statistically. A heavy helping of beast mode should be in order, but what happens if the Chiefs get going and that game plan goes away, like the SD game? I’m not fond of how Wilson is playing lately. I’m probably in the minority, but I thought both INTs were his fault and preventable. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that the rain caused some of the errant throws, but they mentioned he practiced all week with a wet ball. Is the success and reliance of Lynch possibly stunting the growth of Wilson? I believe most QBs rely on being in rhythm, and Wilsons not been in one all season…..or the offense for that matter. The Hawks embark on the latter half of the season with probably the toughest schedule of all. I sure hope they are just beginning to hit their stride. Go Hawks!

    • Rob Staton

      Just do as much as you can Vin — there’s so much to do in London. Be picky with the restaurants there are some really good ones. Enjoy.

  19. Ghost Mutt

    I really don’t understand the way that we’re using Christine Michael. The guy had four carries for over 70 yards, yet we’re still handing the ball to Turbo (who had what could have been a costly fumble) in a dead game in the 4th.

    Turbin’s a serviceable back, but he’s far from the future. After spending a 2nd rounder on C-Mike, why not give him those reps and give yourself a clearer idea of how badly Lynch needs to be retained? Every time Christine runs he looks capable of breaking tackles or juking a safety, and he’s got breakaway speed too. If you think he’s still raw as far as technique then fine, but with a 3 score lead in the 4th let’s feed him and give him a chance to acclimate to NFL speed.

    • Cysco

      word on Michael is that he’s not reliable. He supposedly isn’t a good blocker, is careless with the ball when he runs and doesn’t grasp some of the basics of the offense.

      I have no idea if all that’s true or not, but the fact that he doesn’t have a larger role on the team despite his obvious physical talents should tell us a lot. It’s beyond frustrating to see him dominate in his limited carries. It’s such a tease.

    • Colin

      Are we suffering as a result of him not getting carries? Stop whining…

    • Phil

      Couldn’t agree more. If the front office plans to move on from Lynch, they have to see what CM offers in an actual game situation. I think that at the start of the season, PC/JS and Bevell thought that the offense was going to evolve from a run-first offense to more of a balanced run/pass offense and that less reliance would be placed on Lynch. If that had worked, then Lynch was expendable. But, with Harvin’s exit and the dearth of WR talent on the team, I think that there is now uncertainty re: what the Seahawk offense of the future will be and what role, if any, Lynch will play in it.

      We see this uncertainty right here on Rob’s blog. One week we are ready to replace the entire OL — the next week the team runs for 350 yds. and we are all praising the work of the OL. Anyway, the uncertainty sure makes for some interesting Monday Morning Quaterbacking.

      • AlaskaHawk

        The offensive line was minus Carpenter and plus Bailey and Gilliam. They did perform much better with the switch.

  20. Sheryl

    This is speculative but RW started out running a lot, then there was a game where he got hit a lot- the commentators talked about it. He took a big hit on his right shoulder again they commented on it. Since he has neither ran so much nor thrown as well. He may be hurt.

    • Rob Staton

      Possibly, but he did run for 100 yards yesterday and looked healthy enough doing it.

      • Sheryl

        Shoulder – which wouldn’t impede running but might limit practice and deep ball accuracy.

  21. MIchael

    I don’t think it’s best to think in such a binary way. If Lynch can be kept around, great, but it isn’t the only priority.

    Rushing capability may decline without Lynch, but Michael and Turbin seem capable enough to still give us a great run game if the OL can block. Improving the passing game is also just as important as preserving rushing performance. In my opinion, adding receiving talent is the low hanging fruit for this team. Give Wilson a top-10 receiver and this offense is a lot better. It’s probably enough to compensate for the dropoff from Lynch to CMike and Turbo.

  22. M

    Seattle found its rhythm and identity in the 2nd half and it centers around Lynch.

    It’s still early but to not think about how to keep Lynch around is unthinkable. What we’re seeing is what a truly great back he is–the initial power and acceleration through the hole, the lateral agility and explosion and, of course, getting yards that aren’t even there.

    As far as RW, he’s shown us he can be elite. However, with him under pressure on almost 45% of his throws and the lack of a true #1, it’s tough to maintain any kind of consistency. Moreover, his accuracy since the Carolina game has been lacking–that throw to Baldwin is not only under thrown but thrown to the wrong side. If he leads him with an even average throw, that’s a big completion.

    How the Seahawks counter as opposing teams scheme for Lynch will be interesting.

  23. Soggyblogger

    This article seems one year early. We still have a year to negotiate an extension. I fear he might decide to retire, but other than that, most fears are not severe. He’s different, but smart, and I think if he thinks deeply about it….and I am sure he does…..he understands that Pete has allowed him to be himself. How many other coaches would treat him the way Pete does?

    Pete probably almost never speaks to him. Who does? He speaks in phrases. “Don’t trip” and “I’m all about the action, boss” are perfect examples. The guy is a loner who enjoys life when not being a beast. I wonder if that’s why he had to discover “beast mode”. There are similarities to Pete Rose in the way he gives everything from whistle to whistle, and yet he makes very few mistakes so he is clearly thinking out there.

    Yes, if we have to decide this minute to extend or not, extend, but we don’t have to decide now. Show him the love now, and when the season is over, show him the money. Simple as that. We will have the money. Certainly if he represents such a glaring loss as this article proclaims, we will negotiate an extension. According to this article it would take multiple players to replace him.

    This article suggests we might need to use a first round pick for a replacement. But CMike was taken in the second round and many said he was a first round talent. His senior year problems with his coach dropped him to the second round. Smith WAS very hard on CMike, and maybe that was the latest attempt to motivate him to work harder to remove those “fundamental problems” from his game.

    If so, he has risen to the challenge. So far. I am not ready to write CMike off as a bust, that’s for sure. I am still hoping we have the best possible replacement for Lynch on the team now. Not that I want to end the Lynch era sooner than later. No one will ever be another Lynch. Lynch may end his career among the Jim Brown’s, and Walter Peyton’s. So might CMike or even the Turbinator.

    Good food for thought, but the sky is not falling yet.

    • Rob Staton

      The problem is — he held out this year because he was unhappy with his contract. This appears to be at the heart of the issues and the disconnect with Carroll. If he’s become divisive in the locker room because he feels he deserves more (and it’s impacting the team), sitting around for another year seems unlikely and potentially very damaging off the field. Lynch has a lot of influence in that locker room. It possibly comes down to this — replace him and move on, or pay the man and accept how vital he is.

  24. Michael Terry

    I think you, and most Seahawks fans, are vastly underestimating how much Wilson opens up the run game.

    This game happened because Wilson kept on read options and bootlegs.

    The last time a team averaged more than Seattle on the ground, I believe, was Atlanta with Vick. Chris Johnson rushed for 2000 yards when Vince Young played with him.

    Lynch and Wilson complement each other and TOGETHER are carrying this offense.

    • Michael Terry

      Marginal value is what separates the best from the rest. Marginal value is the hardest value and the value that creates champions. The marginal value on this team is the incredible rushing yardage and insane rushing efficiency we’re getting out of the QB position. No team can match it and it’s a unique talent brought by Wilson. Offensive line play doesn’t make a running QB. Wilson is the best combination of decision maker and athleticism the game has ever seen out of a QB. He’s got the build and durability of a running back but takes far fewer hits running the ball than a running back does.

      Dallas’s offensive line is loads better than Seattle’s, but Dallas is only 2nd in the NFL in rush offense. Without Lynch’s yards after contact and Wilson’s production, this team is dead in the water.

      • Arias

        Now if he can figure out how to make completions again with consistency when throwing the ball he can be a complete quarterback again. If he can’t regain his passing acumen then all he’s become is Tim Tebow with a ring, which is nothing more than a freak show curiosity but one that is particularly horrific if saddled with a 100 million dollar contract.

  25. Ian

    Runningbacks are a dime a dozen in today’s NFL. There’s a reason that RBs are no longer highly sought after in the early rounds of drafts. You can’t blame them when players like Justin Forsett, Denard Robinson, and Jerick McKinnon are proving to be more than capable starters for their respective squads.

    I am most certainly not attempting to equate the aforementioned to our one and only Marshawn… but seeing as Lynch will be 30 by the time he becomes a FA and given his running style, I’d be surprised if he isn’t one of those RBs who suddenly falls off a cliff in terms of production.

    A lot of credit for Lynch’s performance yesterday goes to the O-line and New York’s inept defense. I would not hesitate in saying that if we had Michael and Turbo carrying the load yesterday, that we would’ve lost maybe 20 yards or so at worst. That’s a hit we’ll have to strongly consider taking given the financial inflexibility we’d have to carry in resigning Marshawn.

    • Rob Staton

      Nine of the top 15 runners in the NFL right now were drafted in the first three rounds. The current leading NFL receiver was a 6th rounder. The guy who’s probably the leading candidate to win the MVP right now was also a 6th round QB. The top DE’s for sacks in the NFL are currently Justin Houston (3rd rounder), Elvis Dumervil (4th rounder), Everson Griffen (4th rounder) and Cameron Wake (undrafted).

      You can pretty much find a star player at any position to use it in an argument to suggest there’s no need to invest a high pick at the position. For me — Seattle’s offense is talent weak at the skill positions. Lynch helps keep things together because he’s such an effective player. Without him you might need to add multiple new weapons to compensate for the talent drop off — not just a new running back. That’s what makes this a critical issue.

      He turns 29 in April. I don’t think they should give him a multi-year deal. I think they should pay him more money in 2015 and perhaps include an option for 2016 also on a high salary. Reward him for his brilliance. Eliminate the need to have to spend big (FA or draft) at running back or on multiple skill position players.

      • Ian

        Depending on how the rest of this year plays out, I’d be all for keeping Marshawn next season.

        The real question is if there is any plausible alternative to a multi-year deal. I have a hard time seeing why Lynch would accept what is essentially a 1-year contract, then cede control of his future for another season to his employer. Assuming Marshawn has another MoneyLynch season in 2015, there’d be a number of things at play. First, he’ll be 30 by the 2016 offseason – so it’ll be his last opportunity to garner a lucrative contract. And second, hypothetically he’d have five consecutive 1000 rushing yard seasons by then – it’s a guarantee that there will be a team willing to pay more and for longer than us because of his consistency (which really is a paradox because so many years of consistency at age 30 morphs into more of a red flag than green).

        My original comment was working on the assumption that we’d have to give Lynch a multi-year deal at age 30. If your 2-year option suggestion works out, then perfect – we’ll have presumably another year (2015) of top-tier production at RB and perhaps one more on top of that. By then, we should know exactly what Christine Michael brings to the table (and if we realize he’s insufficient, we’ll have more than enough time to draft/sign a Plan B). Unfortunately, that timeline just sounds too good to be true to my ears. I hope I’m wrong.

        • Rob Staton

          I think Lynch was serious about contemplating retirement after winning the Super Bowl. I don’t think he intends to play on and on. I think most of all he just wants respect and what is due. He knows, as we all know, that he’s been absolutely integral to this team and the offensive MVP. He’s also seen people like Percy Harvin receive bigger contracts and he knows Russell Wilson will also receive a bigger contract. And I think he feels like he’s owed more.

          I also think Carroll/Schneider feel like he only signed an extension a couple of years ago — a deal he agreed to. Asking for more now kind of flies in the face of that.

          But it’s in the interests of both parties to sit down and give him more money in 2015 with a club option to also pay him handsomely in 2016. If they decide against that — they can cut him and let him pursue the opportunity to sign elsewhere. Essentially it’s a pay rise and heavily weighted in favor of Lynch. But if that’s what is needed. He is too good.

          And if they like a running back early in the draft (Gurley, Gordon) as Ian Rapoport kept hinting — draft him too if you must. The more weapons the better. Plan ahead. Just make sure Lynch is on that field in 2015 and not playing for Oakland or the Niners.

  26. CC

    I really enjoy this site and all the thoughtful comments.

    We have a fun last half of the season left – one way or another, each week we’ll know more and more about this team. Chiefs, AZ, SF, Philly – this is quite a task.

    • JeffC

      What I find interesting and depressing is that no one knows “what’s wrong” with the 2014 seahawks:

      – Injuries?
      – RW’s play?
      – the poison of Percy Harvin?
      – Darrel Bevel’s playcalling?
      – the offensive line?
      – Lack of early round drafting success catching up to them?
      – Ignoring certain needs like a viable red zone target?
      – FA defections?
      – Tough Schedule?
      – Lack of pass rush?
      – paid players no longer motivated?
      – All of the above?

      We’ve all heard/read all of the above as theories to why they are not like last year, and we seem to be waiting for them to emerge and become like last year. But it may never happen, and perhaps the unthinkable has happened – we’ve peaked.

      I actually thought our best team was in that 6 game win streak in RW’s rookie season. Totally dominant in all phases.

      Quite a challenge ahead for our team. At least we still have too many young stars to enable us to contend for the next few seasons at the very least.

      • Phil

        The Seahawks are 6 and 3 at this point in the season and “fans” are talking about “what’s wrong” with the Seahawks ….. How about taking a step back from the ledge and assessing your perspective?

        Sure, there are areas that need improving. But, that will always be the case with the NFL’s salary cap and the turnover it creates. I have faith that the front office and the coaching staff are constantly assessing the team and are ready to make the moves that will improve the team. In the meantime, we all get to second guess the moves they make.

        Chill out!

        • JeffC

          Do you ever listen to ESPN 710? Have you read any of these blogs and see the plethora of posts? What is the content?

          It isn’t roses and skipping through grass meadows and whistling that all is wonderful and right in the world.

          • AlaskaHawk

            The offense looked pretty bad most of last year too. They started improving in the playoffs. This year it has been back to square one. We all know that most of our problems are because of injuries. This is especially felt in the offensive line. It is no wonder we haven’t looked that good this year. Couple that with the Harvin fiasco. Defensively we have had too many injuries at middle linebacker (the most important position by # of tackles) and in secondary.

            Last is the supposed superior drafting ability of Schneider and PC. He puts his pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us. Drafting has been puzzling at times, lucky or brilliant at times, and unlucky with talented but injured players.

            But here is the positive: after all the crap we went thru we are second in our division. Palmer is injured for Arizona. We can still win our division or get a wild card.

            • JeffC

              Looks like Mebane is now out for the year. They’ll probably have to move Kevin Williams into the 1 tech and McDaniel will have to start again.

            • glor

              I disagree that “we all know most of our problems are because of injuries” — I think the problems are one simply of personnel. You loose 25% of your starters you are going to have issues. The things that the FO could have done to retain or replenish those starters were all bartered away with the Percy Harvin Trade we made, and nothing was recouped with the subsequent dealing of him.

              Overall, pretty poor miss management of the situation, and we are seeing the cause and effect of it this year, and probably next year also.

        • Ross

          Nothing more annoying that people who question fandom when others are wondering what’s wrong with the team. Being a fan does not mean that we should all forget about the problems and mistakes and expect an easy trot to super bowl glory.

          There are issues with this team, in my opinion. RW the passer hasn’t looked like himself in a while. His accuracy has suffered. No one here knows if that is the result of injuries, poor WR play, or poor QB play or a combination of factors. But it is an issue nonetheless.

          The pass rush has been inconsistent. And now Mebane is down? That really sucks and I’m worried about it.

          The sky isn’t falling. This team will still make the playoffs, IMO, but this fan knows there are issues that need to be resolved before a super bowl is even in the question.

          • glor

            RW is obviously distracted with other things.. between all his endorsements and extracurricular activities, to the divorce from his wife.. it is pretty plain that it is affecting him.

          • JeffC

            I agree. Football is an emotional game. The highs and the lows mimick the human condition. I will continue to bitch as I see fit. And I still love the team, but I will call it as I see it. If this blog were just a bunch of people logging in and rah rah rah’ing, it would be one fricken boring place.

            And frankly, I respect everyone’s opinion here enough to where I read every post. But I won’t stop because people whine about my bitching. That’s what happens in blogs. That’s life. If Rob asks me to leave I will leave. But I don’t complain about posters. I may not agree with every statement, but I don’t attack other posters.

            • Rob Staton

              All views are welcome here.

      • Alaska Norm

        Get off the ledge. 6-3 just coming off a dominating win in really bad throwing conditions. Not bad….. Room for improvement? Yes. Injuries? Yes. But good lord, we’re in the hunt for the playoffs and the teams getting healthy, minus Mebane, which really sucks. No one wants to play this team in the playoffs. Enjoy the ride.

        • Glor

          a dominating win, at home, against a totally lost team who looked to have not even practiced stopping the read option is one thing. It is quite another to play the Cards twice and the 9rs twice, and the Rams twice.

          Also, you might have seen that the Giants (even the commentators mentioned this) – are TERRIBLE at pass coverage across the middle.. and even they couldn’t figure out why the Hawks were not exploiting it.. well I think we tried, and our pass offense is so terrible right now, that we were unable to exploit it..

          Thank god for the read option.

  27. Kyle

    Rob and all you other seahawk minds,

    What would you guys give up in terms of draft capital to get Gurely assuming we have to move up to grab him? What about Gordon? Who would you rather have in draft cost comparison between the two? Would you make that move first or go for a taller wide reciever, d-line help? And with Suh’s play, would you consider trying to get him to come to Seattle or is that just out of cap possibility?

    Go Hawks!

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure I’d give up anything significant. Seattle has a lot of holes. I’d rather keep Lynch and fill those holes. But I’m a big Gurley fan.

      • Kyle

        I hope we keep Lynch for at least two more years, but Gurley is one of those guys that doesn’t come around much. I’ve been a big proponent of keeping Lynch as happy as he can be so we get two to three years more out of him. If we got two more years I’d be thrilled. I hope RB’s drop again and even Gurley feels that pain so we can grab him with minimal draft capital used. But we do have an insane amount of picks, so I wouldn’t mind giving up some to get a talent like that to learn from Lynch over the next couple years hopefully.

        • Ralphy

          I would not trade up to get a RB with as many holes as we have. We should also keep in mind how often good RBs fall in the draft. Very few teams are willing to take a RB early in drafts and I would not be surprised to see Gurley fall from where many are predicting he will be drafted.

      • Alaska Norm

        I agree. If we can keep lynch and use our draft capital on a couple big receivers and more d linemen we will really be looking pretty good. I can’t see us making a big splash in free agency but PC always seems to find a diamond in the rough…. Clemmons, Lynch, BB. Hopefully the can pick up a quality tight end so they can focus on a big receiver in the first round. I’m still bummed we did not pick up Benjamin, he’s had some dropped ball trouble but he’s also been a beast. Lots of upside. He was my guy last year .

  28. Michael (CLT)

    I’m all in.


  29. Cysco

    Ouch. Losing Mebane for the rest of the season. That’s a gut shot.

    Time for the young guys to step up.

  30. John_s


    Have you seen Duron Carter in the CFL. Looks like he’s had a couple of good seasons up there. 6’5″ 205lb. I wonder if he’s another Chris Matthews or better

  31. Hay stacker509

    Zach miller just went on IR

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