Instant reaction: Seahawks beat Niners again, move to 10-4

In the first half Seattle weren’t running the ball and the defense had a few issues getting off the field. It felt like each of Seattle’s previous four defeats.

In the second half Seattle ran the ball, dominated on defense and recorded a shut-out. It felt like each of Seattle’s previous three wins.

The whole season summed up in a single game. A slow start followed by a rampaging finish.

The 49ers have a right to feel aggrieved at a bad call on linebacker Nick Moody. His third down hit on Russell Wilson was completely fair. It put an extra four points on the board for Seattle and ended the scoring at 17-7. Did it decide the game? Of course not.

San Francisco could gripe if they’d actually managed to do anything in the second half. They struggled to defend the run, coughed up key plays on two crucial drives and their offense regressed back to the stalling mess we saw on Thanksgiving. Colin Kaepernick was sacked six times — it could’ve been more.

And with the season on the line Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh decided to burn the clock with a series of short runs and completions. There was no urgency at all in San Francisco’s penultimate drive after the controversial touchdown. 14 plays for 55-yards and a whole lot of clock — all to concede possession on a fourth down run by the full back. It’s the kind of tepid offensive display that’ll provoke Trent Baalke’s daughter to return to Twitter.

In the first half the Niners threatened to cause the kind of unlikely fightback that Jim Harbaugh has been synonymous with since he left Stanford. It would’ve been easy to write them off last year after lousy to defeats to Seattle and Indianapolis. They always fought back. After two bad defeats to the Seahawks and Raiders — they showed a ton of character early on.

It might’ve been a different game without a cluster of key injuries. Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde were lost — as was Chris Borland. They already started the game without several key starters.

But Seattle’s defense is playing at such a high level right now — and as they got to grips with Kaepernick and the wrinkles in the run game, they took control.

It wasn’t a pretty game by any means. Yet how often have Pete Carroll’s Seahawks been aesthetically pleasing? It was never going to be a cake-walk. Not between these teams. Even in Seattle’s big wins against the Niners there’s been no coasting.

A win’s a win. Seattle has ten of them now.

Green Bay’s loss to Buffalo earlier means the Seahawks have to beat Ryan Lindley and Shaun Hill led teams to secure another #1 seed in the NFC and crucial homefield advantage. They’d also need the Cowboys to lose one more game. Dallas takes on Philadelphia tonight before meeting the Colts and Redskins.

Perhaps more importantly — they knocked out their closest rival today. Despite several comfortable wins against San Francisco — the 49ers remain Seattle’s most dangerous opponent. As a feared division rival, as a similarly built physical group with a great defense and elusive quarterback — they’re the team most likely to come to Century Link and pull it off. They nearly did it last season. San Francisco are out of the playoffs now at 7-7. That feels significant.

In other notes:

— Paul Richardson continues to grow into a legitimate threat for the Seahawks. He prospered at Colorado with initial speed to eat up a cushion, explosive breaks and smooth route running. We saw that today. He made a huge third down conversion prior to Lynch’s touchdown — adjusting to a late pass by Wilson. He later recorded his first career score — a redzone touchdown — on a fluid route over the middle collecting a Wilson strike. He is showing a ton of promise.

— Jordan Hill was a terrific player at Penn State. Every week he provided the kind of interior presence Seattle desperately needed prior to the 2013 season. It’s taken a while, but Penn State-Jordan Hill is now playing for the Seahawks. He had two sacks today and constantly unsettled Kaepernick. This is a huge boost for the Seahawks. He’s become one of Seattle’s most important players on defense. Kevin Williams deserves a mention too — he also recorded a sack.

— Justin Britt continues to struggle. He’s had a rough last few weeks, but overall he’s been a total downgrade on Breno Giacomini. It’s difficult to be overly harsh given he’s a rookie — but we really need to see some improvement over the next few weeks. He had two big penalties today — a hold and a clip. Of more pressing concern is the way he struggled to handle Ahmad Brooks — who at times had a free run to the quarterback. It was a surprise when the Seahawks took Britt in the second round. You have to wonder how they’ll assess his performance in the off-season. Can he grow and blossom into a solid right tackle? Does he have to kick inside to guard?

— The Seahawks were 8/14 on third downs, a big plus given the struggles here earlier in the season.


  1. HOUSE

    Good 2nd half… DEF showed up and finished strong. Jordan Hill looked very impressive today.

    • Nathan

      Hill and Mebane on the D line next year. Will be good to watch.

      • Nathan

        BTW, was this one of those days where we saw the ‘draft and develop’ philosophy pay off?

  2. Ross

    Good win, but expected. The defensive line really stepped up in the second half. Wags is everywhere, definitely the best middle linebacker in the league right now. Jordan Hill is doing a really good job at the moment too.

    My only other big takeaway is that the offence started on the their own 40 after a great stop by the defence on 4th down, but ended up punting on 4th and 39. That’s ridiculous.

    • David M2

      I’m sure we’ll be hearing about Justin Britt in Rob’s write up. Really need to draft OL next year, it’s a priority.

      • Cameron

        Right now I’m kind of thinking draft a tackle and move Britt inside, possibly let Carp walk.

        • rugby lock

          Sign Iupati and let Carp walk

          • Rob Staton

            Expensive and unnecessary IMO.

            • Jacob

              When are they going to realize that Alvin Bailey needs to start? Am I the only one who thinks he’s better than Carp and Britt? I know he’s versatile (as we’ve seen him play LT & LG) but he seems to play really consistent. Hopefully the coaches realize that. On a side note, this was the first game I’ve seen in a while that Sweezy struggled at times. He missed on multiple blocks and had a penalty. I think he’s done a great job all season but yesterday can be chalked up to as “one of those games.”

              • JeffC

                I thought the offense improved when he got in at LT. I’m with you.

      • Dawgma

        Don’t know if that will even help as long as we continue to allow Cable to greenlight torreadors as long as they’re promising run blockers…

        • Radman

          Iupati has been about the equivalent of Carp and Sweeze for a while now. All Run block, no Pass block at all. The main difference is he’d cost a lot more.

  3. JeffC

    Thrilled with the win. Knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk like the local talk shows were thinking. Great adjustments at halftime. On a sidenote, whoever called the pass play on 3rd and 30 with 4 minutes to go should NEVER EVER do that again or I’ll need a new tv screen after my fist goes through it. Just STUPID.

    I know Justin Britt has a lot of supporters on this blog. I’m sorry. You are wrong. He sucks and he doesn’t look like he has the athletic ability to have much of a high ceiling. He’s a second round pick in name only. He was overdrafted, and frankly, 7th round pick Michael Bowie not only was a better player but has a higher upside. Britt will be a backup in a few years. Book it.


    • CC


      Thankfully, for once and finally, they let PRich get his TD without holding or some stupid play!

      So happy about this win!!

      Control your destiny Seahawks! SEA-PEAT!

    • Arias

      I swear if there is one factor that can potentially prevent this team from going places this year it is Justin Britt. He just about single handedly destroyed the offensive rhythm and the chance to score in the first half when after a nice long drive where Wilson was hitting his receivers he cancels out a 22 yard pass to Richardson to the niner 8 yard line with a holding penalty. We end up having to punt. And how many times was his name called for playing the turnstile role today? I really hope this coaching staff won’t be too stubborn to consider replacing him with Bailey, assuming Okung is not out, for the rest of this run instead of entrusting him during this stretch because he’s an accident waiting to happen. Yes he’s a mid round rookie, which is exactly why he should not be starting this late in the season during a stretch run for a title repeat because he’s going to lack stamina from hitting the rookie wall. It’s already showing up in his play big time. But for some reason I’m not holding my breath over cable making a move like that even though it’d be better for this team.

      • JeffC

        Our defense has really saved our asses this season, but at some point, in a tight game, we’re going to need that dude to win his matchup. It is absurd to watch on nearly every pass play RW has to duck or move because of pressure on his right. Or the untimely penalties. It’s like the “bad” Breno never left, but at least even the bad Breno could pass block.

        Britt just looks completely overmatched for the game at this level.

    • rugby lock

      Is it just me or is Cable vastly overrated as a coach?

      • CC

        It is not just you!

        Maybe he’s a good coach, but as a talent evaluator – that is where he is lacking!

        • JeffC

          Totally agree with this.

      • Sean

        Cable is great at coaching up subpar linemen to produce a decently functional line. But he’s terrible at drafting anything other than subpar linemen. If we had average pass protection we’d be unstoppable.

      • Rob Staton

        Best running game in the NFL. Just what the Seahawks want.

        • Phil

          Amen! He’s coaching the OL for the team that has the best running attack in the league.

    • mrpeapants

      totally agree! britt couldn’t block me! its so hard to believe that he is the best option or the only option! sign some vet sitting on his couch right now and I bet hed be better!!!!!!this line is just sickening! and its not that they just cant pass block, its the penalties. 4 or 5 tonight?! the hawks need to address this. draft picks FA whatever, they are taking points off the board. drives me nuts.

      good win but fix the line!!! go hawks

      • Radman

        I can only assume they’re investing in Britt’s future and figure they can win with him in the meantime. They are playing the upside. It better be a big one. That, and they look at the FA pile and see a lot of garbage.

        • JeffC

          I think it’s that they see a lot of garbage.

    • Ukhawk

      They’ve had some great production of rushing offense when line is healthy and Britt is in there. Note a remo took ages to develop and sucked initially too

    • bigDhawk

      I’ll play devil’s advocate on Britt. I made a point to watch him (I’ll have to rewatch) and I thought he actually held his own. There were times the left side of the line collapsed and flushed Russell right into the defender he was otherwise effectively blocking and other times Russell stepped back in the pocket allowing Britt’s defender to come off the block when Russell should have stepped forward, putting Britt directly between him and the defender (something Brady is a master at). While Russell’s elusiveness gets him out of a lot of pressure, I think that very same ability causes much of that pressure to begin with by not maximizing blocking angles when the OL is not getting beat outright…which I saw happen to Sweezy badly at least once today, by the way.

  4. redzone086

    They are who we thought they were!

  5. Cameron

    Great game, just as I expected. Tisk tisk to the fans who thought the 49rs might just roll over for this one.

    • JeffC

      It sure wasn’t me. I was worried as hell pre game.

      Is it just me or in a big game right before halftimes does Pete smoke a doobie or something and call something really weird? 9 seconds to go, no timeouts, and you don’t kick a field goal? 47 yards isn’t out of Hauschka’s range. And then the play. I don’t care about the int. If Baldwin catches it he gets tackled short and we get no points anyway.

      • DakotaHawk

        I was confused too with the play calling there

        • rugby lock

          Pete’s hormones striking again… 🙂

  6. Jon

    How about that Jordan Hill? Are we going to keep saying the Seahawks are bad at drafting D-line. Hill is our highest drafted Interior player in the late 3rd and it seems to have worked out ok. Sure Irvin was an edge rusher coming out but he has done very well in every role he has been given. One more thing. Can we stop saying Paul Richardson is a failure? sure he took longer than some WR this year to blossom, but being next to a terrible teammate in Harvin did not help.

    • CC

      Once again, there are young guys stepping up! Love to see that Hill is doing what they wanted him to do. Michael Bennett is working with him – Sherm working with Simon – I love how these guys are looking out for each other!

      • rowdy

        I thought is was awesome that the whole offense came to prich to congratulate him on his td. They all seemed really pump that he got his first on. It really looked like wilson started trusting him last week and it showed today. Was one norwood inactive?

    • JeffC

      It has nothing to do with Paul Richardson being a “failure”. Most bloggers here probably like him a lot, including myself. It’s about having the opportunity to draft a red zone threat who can create mismatches on cb’s and instead taking a player you already have several of. And this, in a draft year where numerous red zone threats were available, and now in the upcoming draft that type of player doesn’t look like a strong position.

      • bigDhawk

        What “red zone threat” did we really have a chance to draft in 2014 that is actually doing just that this season? Kelvin Benjamin? That would have been an expensive trade up that would have likely cost us Marsh, KPL and Norwood. Martavis Bryant? I like the player and wish we would have taken him but he is more of a deep threat for Pittsburgh and not so much a vertical red zone threat. We had no realistic shot at Evans or ODB. So who did we miss in 2014 that is currently blowing up the red zone? I’ll tell you who we should perhaps look at in 2015, though. Watch the two towering seniors receivers coming out of run-happy Georgia Tech this year, DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller. Both can likely be had mid to late rounds and could be potential steals, from a program that produced Megatron and DT.

        • 300ZXNA

          Jordan Matthews could have been had without the trade back.

          • Rob Staton

            Matthews hasn’t looked too smart in the last two games.

            • 300ZXNA

              Sure, I was just thinking of what our realistic targets were at that time. Also, Matthews height might have really filled a niche here.

              I just wish that Sidney Rice hadn’t had to retire at 27 due to his knee injury. A real underrated loss IMO. He was so good at getting that endzone or sideline catch last second with his catch radius and ability to elevate over DB’s…

        • CC

          I like Waller a lot!

        • JeffC

          I’ll take Bryant over Prich right now. And I like Prich a lot.

          They’ll just have to find the red zone weapon elsewhere, because what’s done is done. But please don’t take the desire for a red zone pick in the 2014 draft as hatred of Prich, which Jon seems to imply.

    • Beanhawk

      Also, in the first half Russell Wilson didn’t have the ability to step into his deep throw to Paul Richardson, but it certainly appeared that PR had him beat by a step or two.

  7. Cysco

    Typical Niners/Hawks game. Close, Hard Fought.

    D-Line was epic. Jordan Hill was a monster. Once Seattle go the lead, I had no doubt they were going to win.

    Offense did what they needed to do. That was a 49’rs defense that was fired up to ruin Seattle’s day. P-Rich had a great game. Did the offensive line struggle? Sure. There isn’t an O-line on the planet that wouldn’t have struggled against that rush today. Did Britt struggle? Sure. Dude’s a 2nd round rookie. I, and apparently the team, are willing to live with the poor play. They won’t draft a replacement no matter how much you wish they would. All I know is when the game was wrapping up and the Hawks needed to pick up a 3rd and short to ice the game, they ran behind Britt. Let’s see how he does next year before we write him off.

    Offensive line is not the biggest priority.

    • Radman

      It doesn’t matter if a player is a first overall pick, a 5 time pro bowl veteran, or an UDFA. What matters is performance on the field. I’m tired of reading “yeah, well, he’s a second round rookie”. Doesn’t matter.

      Britt had one of the worst games I’ve ever seen an O lineman play. They draft relative to the roster. It’s hard to imagine not seeing someone in the draft who could improve on what we have seen of late. Britt is horrible right now, second round rookie or otherwise.

      • JeffC

        If you go by the old NFL 14 game schedule, he’s already a one year vet. The rookie excuse is old. He flat out sucks in an important position and needs to be a rotational backup type like Paul McQuistan.

        I also don’t think they draft an olineman early, but they will certainly draft prospect tackles with all those extra picks to compete with Britt next year. Count on it.

        • Cysco

          So your answer is to draft another rookie to replace the struggling rookie? No thanks. If the plan were to Put Bailey in there to fill in or pull someone in off free agency, then ok that’s something to discuss. Drafting another 2nd+ round rookie isn’t going to solve anything.

          Do I wish we had drafted Joel Bitonio? absolutely, but we didn’t. If the answer is to replace Britt, we’re not going to find someone better via the draft.

          • JeffC

            My answer is to bring in more rookies or even veterans to compete, because he isn’t cutting it and the excuse of him being a rookie so he deserves all this latitude is tiresome. So by your post you are insinuating just giving the job to him from now until forever and NOT bring in any competition? That is totally void of logic. I say bring them in and also bring in some veteran competition. Britt can compete with them and if he STILL wins, then so be it, but he has to win by quality of play, not by default.

            Breno won his job as a veteran brought in for depth and he was a backup to Carpenter initially. I’m not for putting our future 20 million dollar investment’s life into the hands of Britt for the foreseeable future. We’ve been lucky thus far that Wilson hasn’t been lost for the season. Yes, he creates his own pressure with his scrambling, but Britt’s play is inexcusable and if you don’t see that, I don’t know what to tell you.

            • Cysco

              “just giving the job to him from now until forever” being a bit dramatic aren’t we? Pretty sure that’s not what I said.

              I’m confident that the team will let him play out this season. Get the offseason to improve, then have to prove himself going into next season. There will obviously be competition in camp, because there’s competition at every position, but it’ll be Britt’s position to lose.

              • JeffC

                The team HAS to let him play out the season. We all know that. That’s why on every pass play we cringe and all our eyes immediately turn to the right side to see who Wilson has to scramble away from. But you said:

                “They won’t draft a replacement no matter how much you wish they would.”

                I think with all the extra picks, you are very wrong.

                • Radman

                  To pretend any of us know or think we know what position they’ll draft is foolish. So, I’m not sure why you’re so confident in ruling out O line as an option, but you shouldn’t, just based on history.

                  Secondly, the FO has said a number of times, they draft and scout for their own roster. They’ve got issues on the Oline- Britt is struggling, I don’t think anyone would say he’s taken the position and locked it down from competition. Carp is a free agent. Unger and Okung have injury issues.

                  If the draft breaks right and a top talent on the O Line falls, or they have high marks for someone they like, I think it’s completely reasonable to think they’d draft said O lineman.

                  Ruling it out now is pretty silly.

                  • Radman

                    and ruling out even the possibility of finding someone better than Britt in the draft is even sillier. I don’t see the sense in stating that Britt is better than any available O lineman in the 2015 draft.

                  • JeffC

                    Totally agree.

          • Ben2

            Why can’t we find someone better in the draft? It happens all the time – players emerge. Ask Sherman, Chancellor, or Baldwin.

            • Cysco

              I never said that Britt is better than any available o lineman in the 2015 draft. Of course he’s not. Problem is

              #1 – any sure fire better player will be long gone. Seattle isn’t going to move up to draft a RT. Just not happening and there’s no chance they’re spending another high pick on a RT project.

              #2 – This team has invested a lot of early draft capitol in offensive line. I just can’t see them going RT with their first or second round pick when there are more pressing needs

              #3 – You may be willing to give up on Britt so soon, but it appears the team is not. This team is all about player development. Let the coaches do their work with Britt before you write him off after his rookie year.

              We’re spoiled as Seahawks fans. We have amazing players at tons of positions. But, they can’t all come in and be great. Britt is struggling, no doubt, but the coaches saw enough in him to draft him. They’ve seen enough of him to leave him in a starting role despite the fact they could probably get better performance from someone like bailey or even someone from the free agent pool or practice squad pool.

              All evidence points towards the seahawks having a level of confidence in Britt. If they didn’t he wouldn’t be starting.

    • David M2

      Have to disagree with you there Cysco.

      Remember the OL we had in ’05?

      OL is your defense on offense. What if we’d picked Bitonio this year? You have to wonder. If this team can hold this defense together, and build an OL like we had in ’05 through the draft, imagine how unstoppable this team would be.

      RB will be a priority if Lynch retires, but right now I’d be looking for OL and a big target for RW in the first and second rounds.

      • Colin

        The ’05 line argument is irrelevant. They had plenty of really good offensive lines under Holmgren and it largely amounted to zilch because the rest of those teams weren’t very good. It’s time to quit praising the ’05 line like they accomplished some unbelievable feat- they didn’t, and the nasty reality is they got pushed around in the Super Bowl.

        • Arias

          You can’t be serious. I don’t remember Jones and Hutch getting pushed around in the SB. I do remember the defense giving up an inexcusable long touchdown to a rb from behind the line of scrimmage. I remember the TON of bad calls. But the offensive line being pushed around is something I have no recollection of.

          One thing that was apparent this game, when Wilson had time in the pocket he was an excellent pocket passer. Problem is that he doesn’t get to enjoy that luxury more often than not.

          • Cysco

            Wilson isn’t a pocket passer. His team specifically wants him to scramble. It’s tough to block and create a pocket when you don’t know where your QB is going to be/go.

            That said, there were too many times where Britt didn’t block at all today. That needs to change.

            • Arias

              But he did make plays from the pocket today. I agree that they want him to scramble of a pay breaks down because he’s such a dynamic improviser. But part of that is because the line sucks. If they have him more time he’d happily make throws from the pocket, it’s not like he’s bad at it.

              • Cysco

                That’s not the point. The entire offense is designed to scramble. The coach has flat out said that he wants the seahawks to be the best scrambling team in the league. Sure they’ll call plays where it’s a straight drop back and pass, but more often than not the play is specifically designed to get Wilson into open air and make the pass from outside the pocket.

                Believe me, I get as frustrated as you when I see wilson take so many hits from blown offensive line assignments. But, the truth is his sack numbers aren’t ridiculous and are a little above average.

                Fact is, pretty much ever team’s fan base says their offensive line sucks.

                • Arias

                  I’m not sure about “more often than not” when only a third of the pass plays are designed rollouts. The other scrambles happen when the play breaks down so are not by design. That means that ideally the majority of the pass plays happen with him staying in the pocket and completing the pass as far as the team is concerned. That’s not happening only because of poor protection or the times he bails the pocket to early. O’Neil has reported that the team would like him to stay in the pocket more, and he had down more patience at doing so the last few games. So I don’t believe you’re right about that.

      • Cysco

        Bitonio would have been awesome, but then we probably wouldn’t have P-Rich, who was critical to today’s win.

        Of course we’d all love the o-line to be better, but the fact is it’s actually pretty good. Britt is struggling. No denying that but the team is still putting up really great running stats and that’s the team’s identity.

        2005 was 10 years ago. The league has changed. The best athletes in the sport are playing defense. The defenses this team faces are amongst the best in the league. You can’t expect them to play a clean game. Heck, look at Dallas, who most agree is the best line in the league, has still struggled as of late.

        If the front office wasn’t happy with a member of the o-line, they’d replace them. They clearly are ok with how things are going and Britt’s development. If they weren’t they’d replace him.

        • Radman

          “They clearly are ok with how things are going and Britt’s development. If they weren’t they’d replace him.”
          This is very odd logic. It assumes there’s a better option readily available without even a notion of cost.

          • Cysco

            So you’re saying that if Britt got injured, they would play without a RT? Clearly there are options on the team or available throughout the league to fill in at RT. My point is that the team believes that Britt is a better option than any other potential option available to them. That shows a level of confidence.

            • mrpeapants

              i wish they would call some of them

              • Radman

                It shows they don’t think they have a better option. That’s all.

                • JeffC

                  Yeah, the point you made was missed up above. If cost was no option, Giacomini still suits up at RT.

  8. Colin

    Team needs to seriously consider playing Bailey at RT if Okung is okay. This is getting ridiculous. Britt just isn’t ready for this.

  9. Mike Kelly

    I was critical of the ability of the Seahawks to draft and groom defensive linemen but Hill is really making me eat my words. He is becoming a nightmare for other teams. When you have to worry about him along with Bennett and Avril as well it just creates too many problems for most teams to handle. Also I am glad to see Richardson start to shine a little. The timing is perfect for these players to step up and be heard. The Seahawks have to be a very scary team for the rest of the NFC now

    • Radman

      I’ve seen some theories about interior D line taking time to season and become stronger/learn hand techniques. Take those as you wish, but Hill has definitely turned into a force of late.

      • JeffC

        Sam Adams was a great example of this. We let him go after his rookie contract due to the slow development (and were heartsick we didn’t get Bryant Young), but he became a star on the Ravens.

        • Coug1990

          The sad part was that Adams wanted to be here, as he made Seattle his offseason home.

          • JeffC

            Perhaps Jordan Hill is the next DT that fits the mold. I remember a few years ago Rob went on one of his “find the next Geno Atkins in the mid rounds” modes and started posting film of potential candidates, with Hill being one of them. One can dream.

  10. Alex

    At this point, I feel like our draft approach is “Best Player Available”.

    O-Line? We could slot in a tackle or guard if they can win a spot? D-Line? Spots all over there too, since we like to rotate? Linebacker? Can’t pay Wagner, Wright, AND Irvin long term. D-back? Maxwell is going to get paid, and even if not there’s room in the slot. Receiver? We need a #1. Tight end? Miller is expensive and depth is needed. Running back? Lynch is probably gone.

    Up and down the roster, there’s just enough talent, but also room to draft new blood. Not sure if any one need stands above the others, and only the QB spot is sacred right now.

    • Radman

      The FO is very straight forward in their draft strategy. JS has said it literally dozens of times to the media- they draft relative to the talent on their roster. They draft where they can improve their roster the most.

      • Alex

        I guess my feeling is there are many position groups that are OK without help, but could also use depth and improvement, rather than a glaring weakness or two.

        • Radman

          I agree. I feel much the same as I did last year, they could go in almost any direction with the first few picks. But if they’re scouting their own roster relative to the draft, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where O line goes first. Just depends on how FA goes, how the draft takes shape and of course (most importantly) how they view their own players compared to the draftees.

  11. Jake

    Launching yourself at a QB and making first contact with the forehead/hairline area of the helmet (as Moody did) is a by the book foul. Doesn’t matter where you hit, you can’t use the top part of the helmet as a weapon. Blount got a quote from Hochuli explaining it.

    Britt… ouch. He needs to stop getting flat beat to the outside. At least slow guys down a little on their way to the QB. The holding was so unnecessary too. Wilson had already stepped up to avoid the rusher, then Britt tackled him.

    • jdk

      I saw nothing unsportsmanlike about the hit by Moody. It, at one time, would have been considered a good, clean football play. Unfortunately, there have been too many players who have realized that the helmet is a weapon and have used it as such. Therefore the league needed to implement a rule regulating the use of the crown of the helmet, which apparently includes anything above the face mask. The outcry about this call, fueled by Aikman and Buck, is completely misplaced. The hit was a clear violation of the rule itself, even if it was not a transgression against the spirit of the rule. Pereira may have felt that he could not contradict the announcers because their reaction was so over the top that to tell them they were wrong would be to show up the Fox’s lead broadcast team, but he should have known better and should have had the integrity to defend the call.

      • JeffC

        I don’t like the rule in itself. Mike Pierra can analyze it frame by frame and then call it bad, but at game speed the official doesn’t have that ability. It puts too much pressure on the official and is prone to mistake. Aikman should have pointed that out before pooping his shorts over it.

  12. Jarhead

    Don’t know if anyone has already said it- but we own the tie breaker with Dallas. Head to head match ups only count in deciding division titles or in the circumstance that they have an equal conference record. But we own the Conference tie breaker- so as long as we win out, we have the #1 seed. We have been #5 to Dallas’ #6 even until this very week. We win out and we are cruising to a home playoff game throughout

    • Mike K

      Head to head is still the first tiebreaker, if Seattle is ties with just Dallas for either top seeding or a wildcard berth, Dallas would win the tiebreaker.

      But, if Seattle, Dallas, and a 3rd team are tied, unless one team swept the other two, head to head is not used and it comes down to conference record as the tiebreaker, where Seattle currently has an advantage over everyone in the NFC except Arizona.

      So in short, if Detroit and Green Bay both win next week, or one of them wins their last 2 games, Seattle will be #1 sees if they win out no matter what Dallas does.

      • neil

        If Dallas wins out and they should ( indy already clinched division, Washington sucks}, they finish at 12/4 and win the east . If the Hawks win the west at 12/4 , the cowboys own head to head tie break. Why does it not matter what the cowboys do if greenbay wins out at 11/5 ?

        • jdk

          Green Bay would be 12-4 if they win out.

      • Arias

        Green Bay plays Detroit in the finale. So they would both have to win next week for one of them to tie for the conference lead assuming Dallas wins their final two for hawks to get HFA.

      • Jarhead

        We were already #5 and Dallas #6 because head to head is not the first tiebreaker. If that were the case, Dallas would currently be seeded ahead of us. Head to head only matters in division rankings unless all other things are equal. So don’t know where you all are getting this info. Conference record is primary tie breaker

        • JeffC

          I thought if two teams were alone with the same record, the head to head is the primary tie breaker. If three or more teams have the same record, then conference record becomes the primary tie breaker. Maybe someone can clarify.

          • rugby lock

            You are correct Sir!

    • John_s

      If Seattle and Dallas are the only tie then Dallas owns the tiebreaker. If it’s Seattle Dallas and another team (Det or GB) with the same record then Dallas win over us is irrelevant.

    • Jarhead

      I mean seriously, how are we currently seeded ahead of Dallas if they own the head to head tie breaker? Especially when Seattle and Dallas were seeded ahead of Detroit last week when we all had the same record. Detroit has a better in conference record than Dallas as do we. That is because head to head doesn’t matter when is not about division seeding

      • Alex

        I don’t think you understand how seeding works.

        H2H matters in division AND when there are TWO teams tied in the playoff standing. When there are 3 or more teams tied, conference record matters. Right now, it doean’t apply because the 10-4 lions and cowboys are division leaders so that just leaves the packers and seahawks. In the current situation, since just TWO teams need to ranked, H2H does matter, which is why the seahawks are the 5 seed and the packers are the 6 seed.

        Last week is an example of a 3 way tie for the 5-7 spot. The seahawks, lions, and cowboys were all 9-4. Because more than two teams are tied, H2H was thrown out. Conference record was the first priorty which the seahawks and lions (7-2) were both ahead of the cowboys (6-4) so the cowboys dropped to 7 despits the H2H win against Seattle. Seahawks ranked over Detroit based on common games (min.4).

        In the event that the cowboys and seahawks are the only two teams at 12-4, the cowboys would be seeded higher. In the event that 3 teams finish 12-4 (if the packers and lions both win their week 16 game), then H2H would get thrown out.

        • Mike K

          Because more than 2 teams were tied AND the three teams had not all played each other.

          For example, if there were a 3-way tie involving PHI, GB, and SEA, head to head would be used because those three teams have all played each other. SEA would win by being 2-0 vs the other two.

          But if the tie is between DAL, DET, and SEA, head to head is skipped because only Dallas and Seattle played each other.

  13. Jarhead

    So Rob I have a question about an assessment I have made of RW3. Have you noticed that lately out of the Gun, he receives the snap and just stands pat. Feet on the ground making his read. He either reads and fires, or only moves when the pocket is collapsing. I don’t remember him doing that up until recently- but do you feel this could be RW working on pocket discipline and avoiding running himself into the rush by being too active too soon? I mean it seems to be effective but it looks so odd for RW

    • JeffC

      I think it was Danny Oneill who said this week that the team has wanted him to throw from the pocket more. Heard it on one of the local espn radio shows.

    • Rob Staton

      I think this is an excellent observation.

  14. CC

    We play 2 more really good defenses this year and if we want to win, we either have to protect Britt with a TE or by the blocking scheme. He’s a turnstile and going forward we’re going to be playing good pass rushers.

    Pete/Cable – you best figure this out!

  15. rowdy

    Anyone notice wilson blow up borland on that pick return? That was awesome!

  16. neil

    Disregartd my last post, I thought Green bay was at 9/5

  17. HOUSE

    Okung’s injury woes continue to worry me, but getting to see Bailey on the field has been positive. I am confident in Bailey playing LG if Carpenter isn’t re-signed. Jeanpierre has looked good and we need to make sure he sticks around.

    Britt had a horrible game, but something was said during the game and I wanted to point it out “Britt and Sweezy are the ONLY 2 OL that have played in all 13 games”. Does Britt need to improve? Yes… For a rookie taken in the 2nd rd in a ZBS, with a QB that moves as much as Russ, he’s got some pressure on him. I recall 3-4 plays where Sweezy screwed up today and literally served Russ to the SF defense. Not sure if Sweezy was trying yo compensate for Britt or was just beaten, but its better to get it addressed now.

    I think Britt is talented and can easily adjust/improve… I’m sure he’ll get a butt-chewing and extra time in the filmroom

    • Radman

      Sweezy has been durable. It’s probably a strength of his game, and on this O line, that’s a good thing. I’m not sure if I’ve every seen a guy blatantly whiff more often. He’s athletic as all get out, and nasty like they like ’em. But goodness, man. The number of times he smashes air is just bizarre for someone so quick on his feet and athletic. It’s like he closes his eyes and lunges forward.

  18. Phil

    Interesting to read the posts. From some of them, you’d think we were 4-10 instead of 10-4. Sure there are things that the Seahawks have to work on, but this team has faced a ton of adversity this year and now they are close to winning the division and having home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

    Let’s take a day to celebrate, then get back to getting ready for the stretch run.

    I’ll be traveling to the Arizona game and then the Seattle for the Rams game. Can’t imagine a better Xmas present for me and my wife!

    • JeffC

      That’s only because 3/4 of the people here are tired of watching the Ben Ossai clone, Justin Britt. Other than that, there’s been no complaints about the defense, the run game, special teams, the qb…

      • CC


        Happy about the win, but there are areas that need improvement – Justin Britt being one of them.

      • Phil

        JeffC — so 4 weeks you were posting about “what’s wrong with the Seahawks” and now you say that your criticism is limited to Justin Britt and even then, only his play on passing downs. Have I got it right? I applaud your quest for perfection, but short of going 16-0 and winning the Super Bowl, I get the feeling that you will always be unsatisfied. Enjoy the journey ….. I get to read everyday about the Redskins and their futility. Lots of folks are unhappy with them and for good reason.

        • JeffC

          I just going game to game. Early in the season, two things worried me: the injuries and the lack of killer instinct this team carried last year. Last year the defense was destroying people. I even complained about Earl early in the season. Earl himself has said he needed to recapture the hunger. also, offensively, this team looked disjointed and out of identity. It’s pretty clear that Harvin was the majority of that problem and this team has gotten back to what it does best on offense, which is grind Lynch through opponents. The defense has gotten its attitude back and is destroying people. The difference between then and now is stark. I still stand by the complaints thru mid season because this team is playing differently and frankly, if the seahawks of game 14 played the seahawks of game 3, the game 14 team will win handily.

          If you read my first post in this thread I said I was thrilled with the win, and I am. After the philly game I posted “no complaints.” Same with the Arizona game. No complaints. Britt is my only major complaint in a month aside from the early round draft strategy. And frankly, his play has been inexcusable. Would have been great to have Zach Miller there helping him, but he isn’t and waving a cape in front of defenders has gotten frustrating. If he showed improvement in pass pro, I wouldn’t say anything, but he hasn’t, and I’m convinced the FO will make his job a competition next season. I’m still going to say my piece because this is a draft blog and a place where we can read Rob’s analysis on where the team needs to improve and we can post our own opinions.

          That doesn’t mean we aren’t happy when the team wins.

          • Phil

            Good points Jeff. Just remember that Britt is still on a steep learning curve and what you see now is in the formative stages of what he may become. It’s a long journey to becoming a talent in the NFL and it helps if we can show some patience. Discarding the time that has been invested in Britt, particularly at this point in the season, would be premature and ill-advised IMHO.

            • JeffC

              Point taken, Phil. We do have to live with him, and fortunately it’s not RW’s blind side so the team will just have to scheme around the issue going forward. I’m just guessing but it wouldn’t surprise me is after they waived Bowie I think they planned to practice squad him and use him later after he got into better shape. But after he was claimed by the Browns that threw out a viable plan to provide relief to Britt. Of course, now he’s IR’d.

              If this team wins another super bowl without a red zone threat, all the injuries, the struggles…it will say a lot about PC, JS, the players, coaches, the vision, and whole organization.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I’m happy with the win. But I have to say that the offensive line as a whole had one of their worst first halfs of the season. Okung and Carpenter both had penalties, but generally played okay (not great). Unfortunately Okung was injured again by the end of the game. The right side was really bad. Sweezy had a few passing plays where he didn’t block an interior rusher or blocked him once and let him run directly up the gut into RW. Britt continues to have a lot of issues with the outside pass rush. I do think Britt got ripped off by the holding call when he basically threw a guy down, he had to do something to stop the rusher and he wasn’t lying on top of him.

        Nice to see Richardson catch a few passes! Regarding the roughing the QB call. It was a bad call but not a game changer.

        Great defensive effort once we stopped the run game.

        Well onto the next game with Arizona. We have to win throughout!

    • Rob Staton

      Sounds like a great trip Phil. Enjoy!

      • Phil

        Thanks — we wonder if any of the folks we sat next to for 10 years will still be season ticket holders.

  19. Ed

    Two more wins and it’s homefield baby!!!

    1. It was good that Wilson finally started throwing to (trusting) Richardson. Now get Norwood in there.
    2. Bevell is still terrible and I hope he gets head coach offers. I think Lynch at 3 carries in first half.
    3. Keep Maxwell and the entire LOB together
    4. Try and keep Wright/Avril/Williams at the right price
    4. Okung and Unger are always hurt, trade them and save the money. Maybe a 2 and 3 or 3 and 4.
    5. Say goodbye to Mebane/Carpenter/Miller
    6. Draft DL/OL/TE and maybe WR

    Go Hawks

    • Rob Staton

      Okung and Unger won’t be traded. They’ve both been hurt but they’ll be incredibly difficult to replace. Competent left tackles are very hard to find. Okung’s $7m cap hit for 2015 is, quite frankly, a bargain.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I don’t think we need to trade any of our offensive line. I would just like to see quality backups who may become starters for all of them. Bailey has helped a lot this year. We need more talent like him.

    • 300ZXNA

      I have to disagree about Bevell. I likely would have agreed with you early in the year when we were stuck on this gimmicky jet sweeps, gizmo plays, and slow developing WR screens. However, once Harvin was taken away, Bevell has done a good job to turn us into a clock-chewing, dominant rushing team. I also think that Bevell knows full well he 1) doesn’t have any big targets in the pass game for us in red zone, etc and that 2) deeper passes can’t develop properly when you QB is running around like his hair is on fire due to the O-line.

      So I really have to think that Bevell has done a good job with what he has now that he’s gotten over the grand dream he had for a Harvin centered offense (which I can’t really fault him for attempting).

  20. Steve Nelsen

    Another thing I noticed yesterday was Byron Maxwell’s great play at nickel. I hope we get him back next year. If we pay something like New York paid Walter Thurmond, that would be a steal.

    • 300ZXNA

      With PC/JS’s ability to find late round DB gems, it seems like it would be a bit odd to have all 4 starting positions in contract. Seems that would limit the effectiveness of mining late rounders on the cheap. Or are there now enough dime/nickel packages that the FO would look at the secondary as really having 5 starting spots, and they would only be filling 4 of them…

      • Volume 12

        What do you mean only filling 4 of them? Burley was a steal and Lane is a great back-up or fill in type player. You can never have enough depth at CB, iron sharpens iron, and that is our greatest strength and good teams build upon their strengths.

        Great win! As Rob said, ‘has a PC team ever been aesthetically pleasing?’ No one ever said the NFL was a sexy sport and ugly win’s are what this team is all about. Well, some would say ugly, I would say “Seahawks’ style of ball. Suffocating D, run the ball down their throat, and take shots down the field with RW creating plays. This might have been the type of game Seattle needed to stay sharp and on their toes. I’ll just say this: physical over finesse is the name of the game, just like we saw in the SB.

        Great to P-Rich and Jordan Hill stepping up. I’m a big fan of P-Rich and think he’ll help RW on his timing, animation, and throws from the pocket. Hoping he’s our version of DJax. As for Jordan Hill, I always thought he’d be a good depth or rotational piece, but damn it’s pretty cool to see him being an instrumental part of this D, playing at such a high level and potentially being a starter

      • Steve Nelsen

        A lot of teams outside the NFC West run so many multiple receiver sets that a nickel CB is considered a starter.

        I think the depth of our cornerbacks will really become apparent in the playoffs against a team like Green Bay or maybe Denver. Sherman, Simon, Maxwell, Lane and Burley (with Earl and Kam at safety) has to be one of the deepest group of DBs ever.

        Shead is a restricted free agent and Jeron Johnson is unrestricted but we have Pinkins and Bailey in the system.

      • 300ZXNA

        “What do you mean only filling 4 of them? Burley was a steal and Lane is a great back-up or fill in type player. You can never have enough depth at CB, iron sharpens iron, and that is our greatest strength and good teams build upon their strengths.”

        I was referring to filling 4 of the 5 spots with players who are on their second contract, which is what we would have if we resign Maxwell to keep him with Earl, Sherm, and Kam. Not trying to imply we didn’t have anyone of value beyond the top 4…

  21. Volume 12

    Damn spell check! Was supposed to be *anticipation, not animation

  22. smitty 1547

    Was Norwood active or receive any reps this week?

    • Steve Nelsen

      Norwood was inactive.

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