Instant reaction: Seahawks win epic, begin new era?

An all time classic — and just in the nick of time.

The Seahawks gave up a franchise record 456 passing yards to Ben Roethlisberger. The defense played poorly and had issues — but this was a masterclass by Big Ben and Todd Haley.

Not enough credit is given to Haley for the way he’s transformed Pittsburgh’s offense. They protected the quarterback, Roethlisberger was getting the ball out very quickly and they exploited the speed and dynamism of their top three receivers.

We’ll spend a week contemplating Seattle’s defensive issues and they must improve — particularly against high octane passing attacks. The tackling was poor again. Earl Thomas doesn’t look right. The four man pass rush isn’t getting home. They’re getting beat too often in the soft spot behind the linebackers and deep safety. They did have four interceptions today though and Richard Sherman did a masterful job covering Antonio Brown (51-yards).

But that’s for another day (and lets not ignore what was an excellent Pittsburgh offensive game plan, executed superbly).

Tonight we reflect on a truly exceptional performance by Russell Wilson and the passing offense. Wilson quietly threw for 345 yards and five touchdowns. Doug Baldwin had three touchdowns including a superb low grab on a crucial third down — before sprinting 80-yards for Seattle’s most explosive play of the season.

Jermaine Kearse added two scores. Kevin Smith and Tyler Lockett also contributed. The only negative? A horrible torn patella tendon injury to Jimmy Graham was the only disappointment. It’s the same injury currently dogging Victor Cruz’s career.

Credit too for the much maligned and often criticised Darrell Bevell. His play design today — he controls the passing game — was exceptional. They found a way to create mismatches for the receivers and get guys open.

The offense had to go toe-to-toe with an elite Ben Roethlisberger performance to save their season. And they did it. 39-30. The game of the NFL season so far.

Perhaps this was also a nod to the future? Jason La Canfora reported today that the Seahawks are likely to part ways with Marshawn Lynch at the end of the season. Russell Wilson, big contract and all, is probably going to be relied on many more times in the future. Today, for the first time this season, he showed he’s up to the task.

On a day when Thomas Rawls struggled for running room — Wilson had to step up. And if the defense is never be restored to its 2013 or 2014 level — he’ll need to fight like this again.

Are we witnessing the slow transition from a Beast Mode identity to the Russell Wilson-led era? Maybe it’s too early to say. If it does happen, today was very encouraging.

The Seahawks are now 6-5 and occupy the #6 seed and final Wild Card spot after Atlanta’s loss earlier. It sets up a vital road trip to Minnesota next week. It’ll be a very different challenge against Adrian Peterson and a complimentary, conservative passing game. Teddy Bridgewater has eight touchdowns and seven interceptions for the season. Wilson has eight touchdowns in his last two games.


  1. Zach

    I think there’s every reason to believe that the transition is already underway, sucks to lose Graham right at this point though.

  2. Trevor

    Props to Bevell today for calling a great game. It is amazing how much better coaches look when players execute!

    Ugly defensive game and the secondary is a mess as I have said all season but lets just enjoy this great win! I said before the game Pitt and their pass attack was a terrible match up and if we won I thought it would propel us to playoffs. I stand by that. Huge win for the Hawks!!!!

    • Bryan C

      To me, a large part of secondary issues was the return of Lane and some rust having not played in quite a while. That being said, Lane still looked better than Cary Williams has the last few weeks. Onward and upward!

      • Trevor

        Yeah Lane was rusty for sure and looked a little hesitant but I think that is to be expected with those injuries and no pre season to get broken in.

        • Volume12

          Depth in the secondary is thin. I think they add 2 rookies or 1 and a vet.

    • bigDhawk

      Honestly, the play calling didn’t improve until Bevell finally abandon all the horizontal passing rubbish that was getting blown up by the speed of the Steelers’ front 7 and started throwing downfield into a softer secondary. Also honestly,after Jimmy went out the downfield passing game got better without the need to shoehorn Jimmy the ball.

      • Rob Staton

        “Honestly, the play calling didn’t improve until Bevell finally abandon all the horizontal passing rubbish that was getting blown up by the speed of the Steelers’ front 7 and started throwing downfield into a softer secondary.”

        It’s a shame that even when the passing game puts up five touchdowns and nearly 350 yards, there has to be a negative about Bevell.

        It’s time people realise the perfect called offensive game doesn’t happen. The Seahawks won today because of their passing attack. Bevell deserves credit, not grief.

      • Scraps

        Jimmy had a very good game, full stop. Seattle’s passing game was better because Jimmy was there.

        I’m sure that you are honest. Most people are (in their mind, anyway), even without pointing out two times in two sentences just how honest they are. Unfortunately, honesty doesn’t mean jack if you are not observant, comprehending, perceptive.

  3. Trevor

    For as bad as our pass defense was today Sherm had an amazing game. Not just the Ints but he was shut down all day long.

    Shead was a little out of his element today and Lane showed lots of rust. Not sure how to fix this secondary but we don’t play another high octane offense till we play Arizona on the final weekend. If they can sort things out before then I still think this team is a contender in the NFC.

    • Volume12

      Really? Pittsburgh is one of the most explosive offensrs in the league, with4-5 WRs that could be 1’s and 2’s for eiter teams. Is the defense struggling? Absolutely, but they showed they can go ‘toe to toe’ and win a shootout.

    • bigDhawk

      Sherm shut down Brown admirably and forced the Stealers to beat us with the likes of Wheaton, which they darn near did.

      • Volume12

        Exactly my point. They got weapons. Any time you can go to your 3rd or 4th receiver for 200 yards receiving, that’s some crazy deep personnel.

        • Trevor

          I agree Vol but when you give up 500 yds there is no way to call it anything but a poor defensive effort.

          • Volume12

            I’m not saying our defense played well at all. I’m talking about the fact Pittsburgh’s WRs are deep and good. They’ll give anyone troubles.

            Kudos to Pittsburgh for having enough offensive fire power that they can kill ya with guys 3,4,5 spots down the depth chart.

            • David M2

              Pittsburgh would have had about 100 less yards if there wasn’t an offsides on Bennet on 3rd and 2 in the first half and there was also a hit to the head of the QB in the second half. Both led to scoring drives I believe…

              • RugbyLock

                The first penalty was just him being stupid but the second was just unfortunate and not a stupid play on his part.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I thought Shead had a great game and broke up numerous passes. Even when the receiver caught the ball he was usually draped all over him. He looks like a starting corner. Lane played good for first game back. Rothlesburger had way to much time in the pocket, and was pretty accurate with most throws.

      • matt

        Agree on Shead. He was right in Bryants hip pocket pretty much the entire game. Looks like Cary Williams career as a Seahawk is done.

        • HI Hawk

          Shead played exactly as Maxwell would have. Well coached, similar size, Shead has been impressive on the outside this year. Simon may have chosen the wrong year to go on IR, because it would be him in there right now. I’d expect Shead is to hold onto that job long term with Sherman continuing to shadow #1s. Hopefully Richard (Kris), Pete, and company are continuing to make him earn it now that Lane’s back and could be even better outside than he has been inside.

  4. Steele

    The defensive problems cannot be overlooked. This team still has not put together a game in which both offense and defense played well. They will not get away with this kind of defense if they entertain any thoughts of a deep playoff run. And let’s not forget that this Steelers team is hardly a great balanced team, either. Their defense has been mediocre, and today it was again.

    This game was like watching a sloppy and bloody “fight of the night” boxing or MMA match. Entertaining for many, ugly for those who demand high quality.

    • Rob Staton

      “Entertaining for many, ugly for those who demand high quality.”

      And to anyone who thought that game was ugly — my message would be… have a night off and cheer up you miserable buggers.

      • WALL UP


      • Trenchtown

        He’s right to an extent. The Seahawks were a slightly more efficient offense and they still needed a +3 (they didn’t need the last one) to win the game. I love to see the turnovers, but it was a frustrating game to watch in many aspects.

        • bigDhawk

          I hear you. To me this feels more like a career performance type of game by Wilson rather than something that is repeatable against other good teams going forward. But we’ll see.

          • Ukhawk

            Id rather rather have to polish the defense than resuscitate the offence

            • Daniel

              good point Ukhawk

        • Rob Staton

          Slightly more efficient?

          It was an explosive game between two highly productive offenses. Like two boxers throwing bombs. And Seattle had the knockout punch.

      • Grant G

        Honestly, Shead played as well as I could have hoped. Good coverage to stay with their speed WRs, just didn’t always have his head around. With on 4 healthy/active CBs Lane had to play a ton, even more with Burley out late. Certainly not an ideal performance, but when Pitt throws it 55+times they are going to put up some yards.

        • bjammin

          I agree. Good points Grant G. I was actually pleased with Shead, Lane (and of course Sherm) in the secondary. That’s a tough assignment especially with Big Ben throwing it like that to those speed demons. Shead is such good value as such a versatile piece. He was probably outside of his comfort zone starting against so much speed but he still played aggressively.

          Tons of yards given up, some rough tackling, but I think the secondary will improve with Lane back after he shakes off more rust and gets his legs back. Shead reminded me of the quality we got from Maxwell, though not quite as good. Not perfect, but good enough and will make plays on the ball.

          I’ll take that going forward this season. I’ll bet they get better.

          • David M2

            Ahtyba Rubin is an unsung hero on the defense. He’s been balling out. Hope we can resign him for next year. Shead looked good today.

      • bjammin

        Ha, well said.

      • Jarhead

        Hahaha I was thinking the same thing Rob. It was like hearing some say complain about clouds being to fluffy or sunshine being too yellow. Enjoy the win! it was an amazing game!

      • Tien

        My quick thoughts about this game. Defense still giving up way too many big plays and for whatever reason, Earl is not wrapping up on tackles and consequently is missing quite a few tackles. Rawls ran the ball really well when he had holes to run through. Sherman had an awesome game and with him containing Brown, the Hawks made the Steelers beat them with their other weapons. Russell did put up a lot of points but he again missed some easy throws that could have extended drives. We may be transitioning the identity of our team but we still need more consistency and improvement from Russell to get there. Having said that, I was very fortunate to get tickets to the game from a good friend of mine and I gotta tell ya, it was one of the most exciting and entertaining games that I’ve seen in a long time!!

    • Dan

      That’s crazy talk. We just played the best passing offense in the league, and shut down the top WR in the league. This isn’t a dominant defense but is still very good. That game was high quality offense in both directions and as much as I enjoy a defensive battle, that was a joy to watch.

    • Michael (CLT)

      Good lord. Why even watch football. This is sport, played by fail able humans. 2013 was o once in a generation defense. Enjoy the process.

      New England used to win with defense, now they win with offense. Southern cal under Pete transformed like this as well.

  5. nichansen01

    What a crazy roller coaster ride of a game, I would say this is Wilson’s best overall game in his career. I think we can beat Minnesota but Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet will have to step up in the wake of Graham’s unfortunate injury.

    Rawls looked really good at the beginning and slowed down, but he did have a touchdown. Kevin Smith had a limited role but I liked what I saw, almost snagged that 2 point conversion.

    Crazy game… Russ has 5 Tds! Crazy. Big Ben threw for over 400 yards in Seattle? Wow this was the most unusual and epic Seahawks game I have ever seen.

    Rubin’s pick was awesome, I thought Sherman played well, yet Lane looked like he needs more practice conditioning from his injury.

    Deshawn Shead is a safety, not a corner. Part of big ben’s success.

    • Trevor

      Agree on Shead. Cary Williams has to step up and earn that $6 mil if this defense is going to get better.

      • bigDhawk

        CWil was inactive for this game. Didn’t even dress. If Shead can play to at least this level the rest of the year CWil likely does not see the field again and gets cut in the offseason.

    • Rob Staton

      I thought Shead played well in a tricky contest. A real baptism of fire.

      • Hawkfan086

        Nice to see what they look like sans Williams…

      • Trevor

        It was a tough team to play 1st time out for sure. That passing attack with Ben and Haley calling the shots and those weapons is pretty amazing. To win a shoot out against them says alot about this team going forward.

        • HI Hawk

          Shead played every deep ball very well. Even the one catch by Bryant was damn near impossible. Shead’s hands were on EVERY deep ball, Bryant had to make a highlight catch. He looked like Maxwell to me.

      • bigDhawk

        The Stealers receivers were still getting behind our secondary consistently as if CWil were still playing, but those couple of pass preak-ups by Shead were not plays that CWil makes. Reminded me a little of Maxi. Kam still looks lost frequently, which I find baffling this late in the season and I’d like to know why, exactly.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          i thought Kam showed for the most part. ET3 looked worse to my eye. Bad form, bad angles, bad reads. Still quick as lighting but something’s not right with him.

      • bjammin


    • Ed

      Shead was awesome. The few plays they made on him, he was right there and they made great catches. I quite enjoy Shead opposite Sherman, and let Lane play slot. Get a safety in the draft. Cut Williams

      • Volume12

        If Shead can improve just getting his head around, a little work on the ball skills, he could be big for us. It was never a craxy idea IMO that Shead could lock down the no. 2 spot.

        As Rob said, that’s about as tough an assigment your true 1st time out as they can get. Saw a lot of good things from Shead tonight. Thought he played good too.

      • bigDhawk

        Lane definitely had some rust, but that is to be expected.

  6. Trevor

    One other note on Bevel who has been getting killed on here. I hate to say it but it is clear he is a much better play caller when he is not trying to keep Beast Mode happy and when players (Russ) execute.

    The other guy taking a lot of heat Russ has certainly stepped up since getting called out as well.

    • Phil

      Trevor – agree completely with you, but while we are handing out compliments to previously criticized parts of the team, how about a shout out for the OL? I think they did a good job of giving time to RW to find some comfort in the pocket and throw downfield. RW looked confident and decisive most of the time.

      • RugbyLock

        Agreed. The Oline has been improved as of late.

  7. nichansen01

    Jimmy Graham is out for the season and Earl Thomas was sick today :(.

    • Trevor

      Sucks! You could tell Earl was not right.

      • nichansen01

        Haha he meant Thomas Rawls Earl was just off…

      • bigDhawk

        He has not looked right all season. His shoulder is still gimpy, I suspect. He can’t extend his arms fully to wrap up and he’s just going for shoulder tackles.

        • Volume12

          That’s always been a knock or ET’s weakness, is going for the big hit instead of wrappin’ up.

  8. Hawkfan086

    I am disappointed that Big Ben is getting so much credit. His oline dominated and his recievers made play after play but Ben threw 55 times and only managed 1 TD vs 2 ints? Thats piss poor QB play. Where Russel took care of the ball and only managed 5 td vs 0 ints. No Ben forced his team into this loss. Great start to the rest of the season and Go Hawks!

    • Rob Staton

      That’s box score scouting though, looking at the TD/INT ratio. He also threw for a franchise record yardage total against the Seahawks, made the usual Big Ben elusive plays in the pocket. Thew beautifully downfield. Anyone who thinks that performance was “piss poor” needs to reassess their opinion immediately.

      • Hawkfan086

        That game was as much almost won as it was lost by Ben. Stats aside as you requested then he still has the great oline with eons to read the field and missed many throws he had a 56% completion oops stat. The game was one by seattle so theres your player of the game…All I’m saying.

        • AlaskaHawk

          Baldwin was the player of the game.

          • matt

            Big Ben looked damn good out there, to say he lost them the game is absolutely ridiculous. He completed 65.4% of his passes btw.

        • Rob Staton

          “he still has the great oline”

          This isn’t a great O-line. Ben consistently released the ball within 1-2 seconds of the snap. When he didn’t, he dodged pressure and threw downfield. It was a masterful performance by a top echelon QB.

      • Jarhead

        Agreed. Only Rothlesberger can do what was done today. You think Bridgewater is going to be avoiding the rush or throwing lasers like that? We got him at his own game. Min will play right into the strength of this defense and we should be glad that we were able to contain this passing O like we did. THAT was a win on D.

        • Hawkfan086

          Avoid what rush he had all day

  9. mrpeapants

    great win man what a game!! the defense sucked but did get some big stops and TOs. RW had his best game of the year. Rawls continues to run hard. sad about JG. but a great win in a must win game against a quality opponent. am so happy go hawks!!

  10. Volume12

    What a game! Man do our boys play some entertaining football!

    RW is ballin’ out. Dude is throwin’ dimes!

    Rawls got tough hard yards today. Moved the ball and made 2nd downs manageable. Pair him with one more guy and this run game becomes impossible to stop.

    The defense. What is going on? Lacking a no. 2 CB is hurtin’ us. Since Oakland, Jacksonville, and Atlanta run the same D, it seems time for Seattle to add a new wrinkle. Something tjat makes unique and different. Whee they can say ‘yah we run the same D as so and so, but we do this or we have this.’ Something to ponder.

    Feel awful for Jimmy Graham who was huge for us today. Looked like he eas finally getting comfortable.

    Sherm dominated Antonio Brown all game and played fantastic.

    The Hawks gave me a Bday present one day early, and todasy was a great win. Big time and a must.

    Seattle shuts down AP next week, things will get ugly for Bridgewater fast.

    • Trevor

      Agree on all points Vol! Was a fun game to watch tonight and something different than we have become accustomed to. Loved Sherms passion tonight. He still seems pissed about that Arizona game. Love it!

      Happy B-Day by the way.

      • Volume12

        Thanks my man. I ‘preciate it.

        Good point. Seeing a high scoring contest and RW carrying us, converting huge 3rd down was fun to watch and completely different. I’m a ‘all defense, all the time, run the ball heavily’ type of fan, and I flat-out loved watching RW go into his bag of magic tricks and shred that defense.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Happy birthday V12!

        • mrpeapants

          happy b day 12

        • DC

          How many laps around the Sun V12?

          Happy Bday.

          • Rob Staton

            Congrats V12, happy birthday!

            • RugbyLock

              Happy Bday V12!

        • David M2

          Happy B-Day V-12. I always like it when the Seahawks give me a birthday present too. Mine if Feb 3

          • David M2


            • Volume12

              Wow! Thank yoy guys. Honestly. This is a little overwhelming to be honest.

              Even though none of us, I’m assuming, have met face to face, ya’ll are my boys man. Sure we argue, fight, bicker, etc, but really we all want the same thing, and that’s for our Hawks to win ball games, draft well, and become this dynasty we’re so close to you can taste it.

              Could not of asked for a better one. Hawks win and I get to spend time, not only on tje best Hawks site around, but best damn site in general.

              Again, from my heart of hearts, bless ya’ll.

              • AlaskaHawk

                A little late but Happy Birthday to you.

  11. Ehurd1021

    Its a Pattellar tendon for Jimmy Graham… he is done for the year but I have no idea if the injury is just as bad as a ACL or not. Anyone know? Wondering because I want to know if the time table for recovery is.

    • WALL UP

      Complete recovery takes about 6 months. Many patients have reported that they required 12 months before they reached all their goals.

      • WALL UP

        • Hawkfan086

          Dislocated vs torn tendon.

          • Wall UP

            It’s been described as a tear. The article shows the location and prognosis of full recovery.

    • Hawkfan086

      Tendons are the same thing as acl or any of them except faster to heal from than even achilles.

    • J

      No player has ever come back successfuly from a patellar injury. Wouldn’t be surprised if Graham never comes back.

      • Jimmy Chitwood

        Actually, that is not true. Here is a medical study that concludes that 19 of 24 football players have returned to play in the NFL. I would question whether they return with the same level of effectiveness and perhaps have a higher risk of re-injury.

  12. C-Dog

    The Offense won this game. How weirdly awesome is it to say that?

    The defense did just enough to slow the Steelers offense enough in the end, but if we lost, it would have been about them not doing enough. Granted, the Steelers offense is a pretty impressive well oiled machine. I still see a D line that relies too much on the edge rush, and not enough bodies inside to push the pocket. I think they are one inside pass rusher away from playing at a higher level again. DB’s and LB’s have to hang longer in coverage. LB’s aren’t always in great position. On the bright side, the LOB made the plays it needed to in the end. Shead looked good going against a great WR. Maybe the communication issues on the back end are working themselves out with a little more.

    Pete Prisco had a great right up on about the defense issues. I hate to agree with him on any level, but I agree with him whole heartedly this time around on this one.

    • Volume12

      Pete Prisco has hated Seattle for years. He’s always doom and gloom.

      Look, Big Ben played brilliantly today. What kept them in this was his ability to hit those deep strikes. Without those chunk plays from their offense, he woulda been dinking and dunkng all day.

      But, the secondary does look off. Rust, injuries, lack of depth/talent really for the 1st time in years, missing DQ overall?

      • C-Dog

        Yeah, it pains me to agree with Prisco, but he pointed out pretty much everything I’ve seen and been concerned with all season long. Frankly, yeah, I kind of think they might be missing DQ, but as I see it, it was the way DQ had always gotten the DL to play. I just don’t see the movement, and disruption they used to do up front. I think Richard blitzes out of necessity, and it’s kind of a thing you live and die with. At times, they will flash, but when they don’t get home, look out.

        This match up against Big Ben was kind of terrorizing me all week. I thought all along he’s a QB you gotta get pressure inside against. Then I saw that something written about that the Steeler center is supposeldy their weak link in Pass Pro, I felt a bit better, but as the game was going on, I was really cursing the TV.

        The really great news out of this I’m taking away from this is that I felt, in order to win, Seattle would have to win a shoot out, and God Bless him, Russell Wilson was lights out on the absolute right day he had to be. F#@*ing fantastic. With that line, without Marshawn, and at the end, without Jimmy Graham.

        Go Hawks!

        • Phil

          C-Dog – re: ” …. Richard blitzes out of necessity …” I’ve noticed that the Seahawks start games seeing how much pressure they can get from their front 4 and if that pressure is not enough, then they go to blitzing. I can’t criticize this — I just wish they would go to an aggressive, blitzing style of defense sooner.

          • C-Dog

            Yeah, I think it is what it is. I think, ideally when you run a 4-3, you don’t want to rely on blitzing, and what used to make this defense great was that most times, DQ could just send 4 to the QB and they could pressure, and the back end and LBs covered. I think part of the issue is the lack of athleticism inside. They don’t twist, move, and stunt like they used to do. Mebane was on a pace to play is best season last year until he blew out his hammy, but this year, I don’t see him bullying as much. Being 31 and coming back from that kind of injury, I don’t know if we can expect much more. The problem with blitzing sooner is that you are leaving players open.

  13. Forrest

    Great offensive showing. New era indeed. The defense wasn’t bad, but almost 500 yards is not acceptable…The secondary seems to be the biggest issue. Graham getting injured sucks, but (if he’s out for the year) he’ll have the off-season to rest and and rehab.

    Grades: Offense A++, Defense B-, ST get a C+ because of Jones.

    For the first time this season I can safely say that the O-Line isn’t the biggest liability on the team; the downside to that is that the biggest liability is the secondary. I think it can improve (it doesn’t look terrible), but it remains the most inconsistent part of the team. Everything seems to be clicking except for the secondary…

    Next up: Vikings. That’ll be a “must win” game, and hopefully the defense can shut down the run. The Ravens are done, they might be competitive for a half, but they aren’t winning that game. Browns…yeah Hawks win. Rams lose unless Gurley goes ham and runs for 300 yards. Then to end it off, Cardinals…probably a loss for the Hawks, but hopefully a win.

    With a good draft and key FA moves this team can be in contention for a long time…Go Hawks!!

    • Forrest

      Just saw Graham is out for the year…

    • bjammin

      Is it all on the secondary? How many times today and this year have the lbs not dropped deep enough and gotten beat just under the cbs. The secondary shares a big, maybe lion’s share of the blame no doubt, but the lbs seem to be squeezing up too often. I don’t know for sure, but Wagner’s near interception may have been made if he had been slightly deeper. Seems like that has been a common occurrence this season in general. Combine that with the lack of pressure beyond Bennett, Avril and Irvin, and the d-line depth has added no sacks. Rubin and Mebane have collapsed the pocket okay (and AR got an int today!) but Hill, Marsh, Clark and the rest haven’t generated enough pressure so the o-lines get to double team Avril or Bennet without consequence.

      • Forrest

        Agreed, but they both are still seem more consistent than the secondary at this point. The LBs definitely have their missed tackles and out of position plays, but I haven’t seen their play cost a game this year. The DL may not be getting as much pressure as we want, but they often come up key in games when they need to. The secondary with Williams was not working properly, Sherman still looks great but not unbeatable, ET looks good but not great (too many missed tackles…probably still has shoulder issues), Chancellor is off assignment a lot, and Lane/Burley/Shead are only serviceable. The secondary will play lights out all game, and then collapse in the 4th because of communication issues. I still trust the LBs and DL to do their job completely…I really can’t say that about the secondary anymore. Still a great unit, but the ET injury and Chancellor holdout are probably playing a bigger role than we think…

        I think it’s just an off year, but they need a solid #2 for Sherman, draft quality backups at SS/FS/CB to train to be the next guy up, and figure out the Chancellor situation this off-season.

    • Jimmy Chitwood

      Big Ben, has a big arm and loves to throw deep to a bunch of burners. We only gave up one TD over the top. The strategy was to keep everything in front of the secondary. That is why there were a lot of receiving yards. We were conceding the short pass to prevent the long pass. I am okay with the yards because they do not count in the Win Loss Column.

      • Forrest

        I’m more concerned about the 30 points honestly. This was a shootout, Wilson just proved he can win a shootout with the best of them, but the defense let it become a shootout…I’m not saying the defense is bad or broken by any means, but they are definitely off…

        All I’m saying is that if the offense didn’t put up all the points they did then the game would have been lost. The defense was allowing drives to continue and put up points…

  14. Ed

    Okung is not worth the money. Either is Sweezy. Avril and Bennett still bringing it. Good to see Sherman getting back to it. Some bad calls and bad plays by Wilson, but O looked good.

    Atlanta and TB lost. Hawks in the driver seat for wildcard. Maybe ok to lose 1 game, but the LOB needs to lock it up

    • RugbyLock

      Who you going to replace Okung with? We won’t draft high enough to replace him. Agree on Sweezy though. I think that Unger covered up a LOT of Sweezy’s weaknesses.

  15. Ehurd1021


    Its starting to become a very real issue and its a issue that will continue to plague this team for the rest of the year. We don’t have anyone on this roster that can do what Clinton McDonald did for us in 2013, what we missed in last years playoff run, and IMO what has been the reason why the defense has continued to struggle since the NFC championship game/Super Bowl and what has continued to be a very real issue this season. QB’s are just sitting in the pocket as are outside pass rushers go right by them. Us not being able to generate a interior pass rush has gotten to the point were we aren’t even pulling Mebane on 3rd downs anymore.

    I also thought Shead played good. At first I kept looking at him struggling to get on top of WR’s but I had to ask myself who he is trying to stay on top against which was Bryant. Even when he was trailing he had very good hands and was able to fight the ball away to stop completions.

    • Volume12

      They do need another DT just like CB, and yet, those are 2 positions I can’t see them targeting before the 3rd and 4th-5th rounds. It’s just wht they do.

      I’d like to see them re-sign ‘Bane, sign another cheap vet, and then go get a unique, freaky/versatile DT/DE in the mid-late rounds. A David Irving type.

    • bigDhawk

      That Bryant sweep play TD where Marsh whiffed on the tackle made me laugh, since we drafted Marsh 10 spots ahead of Bryant in 2014.

    • bjammin

      Hill did last year before he was hurt (for the playoffs) and his absence showed. Hoping it clicks for him this year still, that could be the missing ingredient. That and Clark overcoming Rookie wall.

    • Jimmy Chitwood

      You are not going to get there when Ben gets the ball out in under 3 seconds. The DT’s job is to stop the run first and then prevent the QB from stepping up. They did that. You have to have the coverage sacks in the secondary for the DT’s to get to the QB. That did not happen today because the secondary was trying to keep everything in front of them. That allowed Ben to complete a lot of 10 yard passes but little over the top. The strategy worked! We gave up only one passing TD over the top. Meanwhile, our offense had 5 passing TD’s.

      • C-Dog

        That’s very true with the DT’s presently on this roster, but the Odd/Under front 4-3 that Carroll’s defenses are principled in require a DT (or two) that can bust the B gap, disrupt the pocket, pressure and sack. I think they’ve been keen on trying to find these guys in the draft, but haven’t been in position to land the top ones coming out, and they’ve done very with Mike B sliding inside to fill that roll, but you still want other bodies that can do that. He’s really the only player on the team with that ability. Rubin technically plays the 3 tech on early, but is probably a 1 tech on many other teams. When this defense was at it’s best in 2013, it was when Mike B rotated in most frequently as the pass rushing 3 tech, with Clinton McDonald as the pass rushing rolling ball of steak knives Nose who terrorized centers, and was also capable of playing 3 tech. Hill was showing some of that McDonald ability last year filling the void, but most of his sacks came from the DE’s flushing the QB into him, garbage style. It would be great to get another DT who can sack and flush the QB into the ends more. As great as Cliff Avril is, if they lost Mike B to injured, this defense would be toast.

        Seattle had great success in the mid 1990’s when they had stellar DT combo that pushed the pocket in Kennedy and Adams, and their Ends where more JAGs. Those ends got a ton of sacks because if the other team’s QB stepped into the pocket, they likely would be destroyed. Presently, it’s the investment is on the edge rush, and the JAGs play inside. IMO, they really haven’t found the replacement of McDonald. Last year, I thought it was going to be Hill. This year, it’s been a disappointment. What really makes things kind of annoying is that they drafted a pretty good player in 4th round in Jaye Howard the year before they drafted Hill, but gave up on him, even though he was having a strong preseason. He’s been playing pretty well for the Chiefs. If Seattle doesn’t draft DT high this year, perhaps he’s a player they look to bring back in free agency. I don’t really care how they get this guy, Rob Stanton believes there is not one worth drafting in the first round, maybe there is someone with some blemishes but athletic potential to be had later (Geno Atkins was a 4th rounder I believe), maybe it’s in free agency, but they need one.

        Even Holmgren’s ho hum D had a good one in Rocky Bernard.

        • Volume12

          I don’t see a DT worth drafting in the 1st either, except for Robert Nkemdiche, but we ain’t gettin’ him. Not Bullard, A’Shawn, Kenny Clark, Billings, none of those dudes are unique enough for Seattle.

          A’shawn and Billings both might be SPARQ freaks, but nothing about their style of play says ‘Seahawk DT.’

          • C-Dog

            Not that he would be there, but do you think there’s a chance though that someone like Billings who likely would be a SPARQ freak, could be something the PC/PS look at and think “we don’t have a player with that athletic upside on our roster,” is he somehow sitting at their pick in R2, they wouldn’t consider? I know with him, Rod Rang is pretty steadfast in saying while his stats don’t show it because of the defense Baylor plays, many consider him the most disruptive inside player in football.

            Also, I am not sure we know what a Seahawk DT is because there has been such a variety. Right now we can look at Mebane/Rubin and say they like squatty run stuffers. With Kevin Williams, Tony McDaniel, Alan Branch, we can say, not they like long powerful 3 techs. With McDonald and Hill, we can say, no, they really like shifty low centered DT’s that can rush.

            Like I said, if it’s not this year in the draft, so be it, but that is absolutely what they need. A bonafide disrupter. If cutting loose Marshawn, and Cary Williams means adding that player in free agency great. If there is someone in rounds 3 to 5 that has the kind of athletic upside, they should grab him. But if it’s true that there is no one special enough to draft in R1 or R3, then the hope is not great in later round either, yes?

            Gotta get one.

            • Rob Staton

              How many ‘bonafide’ interior disruptors can you name in the NFL?

              There are probably about six. Atkins, Suh, McCoy, Donald, Dareus, Richardson (when his head’s right). Wilkerson maybe but more of a natural 5-tech.

              And none in this draft that make me want to pull the trigger. Not one.

            • Volume12

              Yes, they do need that guy in the middle. No doubt about it. Like you said though, probably not this draft though.

              There’s probably not going to anyone outstanding or special in the mid to late rounds, but they could still find a guy that helps out and produces.

              PC said today on Brock & Salk that he would like for his DTs to have about 4-5 sacks collectively.

              Your right about them not necessarily having a prototype for the DT spot, other than Tony McD, Alan Branch types or the squatty guys like ‘Bane and Hill. But, what every DT they’ve had all have in common is toughness, good motors, can make plays up and down the LOS, and do all the little things at a high level. The ‘dirty work.’

              IMO, they’re missing Tony McDaniel. 2 guys I like for that role so far. Illinois’ DT Jihad Ward and Florida St DT Giorgio Newberry.

              • CHawk Talker Eric

                DTs who will be FAs in 2016:

                Brandon Mebane
                Ahtyba Rubin
                Jesse Williams

                Henry Melton
                Nick Fairley
                Terrance Knighton
                Tony McDaniel
                Jaye Howard
                Sealver Siliga
                David Irving

                • C-Dog

                  I would throw in Mike Daniels from GB who would most likely be a 3 tech in a 4-3 under. Ditto for Mohammed Wilkerson, and possibly even Derek Wolfe as played DT in college.

              • C-Dog

                Yup, I caught that on Brock and Saulk, as well. I think Coach Carroll was being pretty polite when Brock asked the question about the lack of inside rush. I could probably throw in a couple other names of current NFLer’s who would be bonafide in this Seattle 4-3 under scheme, Rob. Fletcher Cox, Mike Daniels, Cory Liguet, Kawann Short, to name a few.

                I get that you don’t see a player in this draft that you feel does not help out the team at this particular position of need, but I would still call it a position of need. If they agree with you and don’t see this player, I think we can safely assume they will be interested in one or more in either free agency, or trade.

    • RealRhino2

      Agree. It’s the same every week. Ends rush wide, QB steps up, easy money. It’s why I started asking a month ago whether any interior DL would be worthy of a top 20 pick as opposed to going OT, as everybody expects/suspects will happen. I keep hearing it’s “not what the Seahawks do,” but maybe they need to change what they do a little if the talent is there. Honestly, I’m fine waiting until R3 for OL if we can get a difference-maker for the interior DL.

    • Rob Staton

      Hard to generate an interior rush when the QB is throwing the ball 1-2 seconds after the snap. Even harder when he’s one of the most elusive QB’s in the pocket.

      • RugbyLock

        AND a big bugger who won’t go down without a solid hit!

      • C-Dog

        But this has been an issue season long. They don’t get the inside rush they like they used to.

        • Rob Staton

          The personnel aren’t having a great year that’s correct. But let’s be right here, it’s not like they had a prolific interior rush last season and the defense played lights out.

          • C-Dog

            Agreed, but it was an area of need last year was well, when they got better active play out of Hill, they also had more depth with the crusty vets. Again, I think the investment has been on the interior rushers, when teams have had their ways with this team defensively the last couple years, tall QB’s have been able to step up into their throws and exploit the zones. In 2013 it was much tougher to do that against this team. One more inside rush presence I think would help that.

            • C-Dog

              Check that. The investment on the exterior rush, I meant.

    • vrtkolman

      I’m in complete agreement. It’s a real problem and has been all year. Hill was supposed to be that guy, but he has been a non factor. Is Richard using him differently this year? I can’t count the number of times Avril and Irvin blew past the tackle and Big Ben just calmly stepped up the middle because the DT’s have no push whatsoever.

  16. lil'stink

    With such a serious injury, and no guaranteed money the next 2 years, I hate to wonder if Jimmy’s time in Seattle is over.

    • bigDhawk

      He is definitely an awkward fit at best in our offense. I would not be shocked if we move on, but I’ll bet he gets one more year.

  17. Jarhead

    I know this may be a minority and controversial take but I am kind of excited to see what this Hawks offense can do without the pressure to feed Lynch or Graham. Sure those guys are All-Pros and phenomenal players- but they also come with the caveat that there will be pressure to get, perhaps even ‘force’, them the ball to get them touches. There is a certain bit of freedom in just doing whatever works and not worrying about second guessing or wondering if Player X is being under-utilized. I hope that Graham has a successful surgery and recovery for next season, also with Lynch although I think it may be that he has played his last game for us. But this could be the changing of the guard with a bunch of not well known guys and just getting the best out of whoever has the hot hand that day. This was a game we needed to win- in a manner in which we needed to win it. I think things are looking pretty good now

    • bigDhawk

      Completely agree.

    • Rob Staton

      “I know this may be a minority and controversial take but I am kind of excited to see what this Hawks offense can do without the pressure to feed Lynch or Graham.”

      I feel this way too. Good points.

    • Phil

      Agree completely.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Well it’s not like we have a choice. But I’m not buying that narrative as it relates to Graham. This guy is (was) already integrated into the offense. He had 2 huge 3rd down receptions – both for 18 yard gains. And his presence in the red zone opened up some other WRs.

  18. Jarhead

    Also- we REALLY should do whatever we can to get the #5 seed. A game against whatever garbage team wins the NFC East, then to Carolina where I would take our team 99 times out of 100. The road back to the Owl looks a lot better if that is the road on which we are driving. It looks almost ‘probable’…

  19. Jimmy Chitwood

    Man, you guys are hard on the defense. Great QB’s cannot be shut down. Rogers and Brady have had good days against our secondary, too. What is important is we made enough plays to win. We sacked their QB twice and had 4 INT’s. We also held then to 58 yards rushing. That is a great day! Those numbers are all below Pittsburgh’s averages. But give Pittsburgh credit. They have a great QB and WR’s. Still we outplayed them. Their defense and secondary is far worse than ours.

    • RugbyLock

      A bit of perspective is that this game set a franchise record for the most passing yards given up I believe…

      • AlaskaHawk

        Totally agree with you Jimmy.
        Shead made a number of awesome defensive plays. Sherman a couple interceptions. Rubin even made an interception. I want more out of the defensive line, but really that is more a reflection on their awesome offensive line then our defense. This was a great game for the defense against a worthy QB and offense.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          Their OL isn’t that awesome. But their QB is. Same with NEP.

          It’s easier for a great QB can make a so-so OL look better than for a great OL can make a so-so QB look good.

  20. rowdy

    I was at the game right by the tunnel where Jimmy was hurt and knew he was done instantly by the look on his face. Even before he reached for his knee. I’m viewing this as a Harvin thing with the fit just not being there. Don’t get me wrong, I wish we had him but we dont. Don’t know anything about the injury but I’m sure will know exactly what it is in a couple days. Hopefully he’s back,to start the year next year.

    • RugbyLock

      The main difference is that you could see Jimmy starting to get more and more integrated into the team. I was really looking forward to how he would be playing with Russ next year…

  21. Dumbquestions

    Insane game. Great white-knuckle win. I was shouting at the defense throughout, and shouting at the offense on those 3q three-and outs. Then we screamed ourselves hoarse on the clinching Baldwin TD.

    I assumed it would be a shootout. Pittsburgh’s offense is elite. It was weird to watch and then see the stat line – Big Ben torches the D, but only one TD throw and the two picks. Same goes for RW – what I saw was some sputtering, but the numbers show a beautiful game.

    It’s been conventional wisdom for a month that the season is lost; and the road ahead makes it hard to disagree. This year has been stressful; but think how close it’s been to a different record. A handful of plays separate this team from 8-3 or 9-2 and crowing as opposed to 6-5 and clawing. They have been in every game.

    For my money, 10-6 means the playoffs, where anything is possible. Ergo, they can afford one more loss. A 9-7 record is a bit scary.

    Minnesota, as others have said, is a winnable game that plays to the lingering strength of the defense. Ditto for Ravens and Browns. Then the Rams, a potential payback game, and the Cardinals. Winning out is possible, if remote, but I like the odds.

    • Jimmy Chitwood

      Green Bay is probably going to go 10-6 but I do not see any other team in the NFC that will give Seattle a challenge for that last playoff spot. Atlanta is toast with their schedule and recent performances. IMP, 9-7 will get them in this year.

    • Phil

      What we are seeing is a transition from a defense-first, run-first team to a QB-centric team and based on this game, things are looking up. Marshawn and Graham on the sidelines will make the play of RW even more crucial and I’m looking forward to how he and Bevell step up.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        I think SEA remains a run-centric offense. They adapted yesterday because PIT has an outstanding run defense.

        But you are correct that the days of the defense carrying the team and the offense doing just enough to win are over. The reverse will likely be true – the offense carrying the team and the defense doing just enough to win.

        • Volume12

          I still think they’ll be a defensive team. With the personnel they have and PC at the helm, I can’t see that changing. However, I do think ‘ll be a little more balanced and the defense won’t be relied upon as much.

  22. neil

    t was a win the Hawks needed desperatly, and they got it. I am really happy for that. I know this is abiut the hawk game but I want to say I am also happy about Hasselbeck[ at 39} showing all his detractors in Seattle, that he is still, and always has been, a real good nfl qb !!

    • DC

      His detractors in Seattle?

      Until Russ came on scene Hass took us further than anyone ever had.

  23. sdcoug

    Hat tip to Rawls. There were a lot of game balls to go around and his numbers didn’t jump off the page, but boy he had some nifty runs and tough yards. He kept our O moving at some critical points and forced the Steelers to adjust. That adjustment in part helped open the passing game in the second half.

  24. CC

    This team loves to give me potential heart attacks each week, but this was a fun game.

    I think we can all agree that this isn’t the same defense as a few years ago. The FA and coaching losses have taken their toll. They are not elite, but they still can be a very good defense at times – but a passing game with lots of speed and several good receivers makes it tough for Seattle. We cannot expect that the D will hold teams under 20 points consistently.

    So, now it is up to the offense to take heat off the D. I’m ready to see what our $21m QB can do – so let’s put the ball in his hands – much like we did in 2012 starting with the Chicago game and let it roll. Russell said he was sick with the flu today – well, maybe that made him focus more and the results were good.

    Next up Minn!

  25. nichansen01

    Yes, Jimmy Graham is out for the seAson, it sucks. That doesn’t really mean were sunk. Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet are both exciting pass catching tight ends. If Jimmy goes to injured reserve, who do we call up to fill his spot. Harold Spears? Or do we sign a free agent? We usually carry three tight ends. For those of you loosing hope over Graham’s absence:

    • Jimmy Chitwood

      I think they add a WR and utilize Will Tukuafu and Garry Gilliam as a blocking TE when they need help up front.

      • nichansen01

        They used Alvin Bailey as a blocking tight end against the Bears and that worked fairly well. I would be interesting in seeing Bailey in this role more, but there must be something they don’t like about it.

    • lil'stink

      Brandon Cottom hype train coming.

  26. nichansen01

    How to beat Minnesota:

    Mainly shut down Adrain Peterson… Good thing is that most of our tackles, ends and linebackers (except hill) and injured.

    The Vikings defense is strong, but Russel appears to be streaking. Here’s to hoping that the Hawks will ride the Wilson – Baldwin connection into the playoffs.

    The offensive line looked bad today in run blocking for most of the game, and pretty bad in pass blocking to. Wilson will just have to step up and make throws like he did today.

    Minnesota reminds me of playing the Eagles last year… We take out McCoy and the Eagles offense looks pathetic. How much better is bridgewater than Sanchez? Neither are very good.

    I predict a score of 24-16

    After the Vikings, we play three bad teams, two at home. We should be able to go 3-0 fairly easy there.

    Then the finale of the regular season will be Hawks vs cardinals, a perfect revenge game to enter the playoffs 11-5

    • Jimmy Chitwood

      Load the box to stop AP. Dare Bridgewater to throw. He has only 8 TD’s against 6 INT’s. Not good numbers. It should be the opposite of this weeks strategy of playing back to prevent the deep ball.

      • bigDhawk

        Seems like something the rest of the league would have tried, to little avail so far. Stopping AP this year is easier said than done, but he have the LBs to do it.

  27. Wall UP

    Rob, to address your opening question or theme for this discussion, might I entertain that “New Era” as just being a more complete offense? I still contend that theirs is a run first offense. That philosophy has proven to be a success. Carolina has deployed the same winning approach and is undefeated.

    They still need a Mashawn or a combination of his attributes to keep a Def honest and Russell upright the entire game. Rawls and Marshawn and an improved passing attack would create a more balanced or complete offense that would be hard to stop.

    We’ve witnessed two extremes of complete offense. A +200yd leading runner and a+360yd passing QB, both leading a team to success. You’re not going to see that every game. But, having the potential for both to occur at any given game makes this a more complete offense.

    They are beginning to display what I’d hope, only with a healthy Lynch and Graham. Can they do it without them? They can get by without Jimmy, but not Marshawn. Contrary to popular belief a healthy Beast at full strength returns 2016 to continue the growth of a more complete offense.

    • bigDhawk

      Beastmode no longer has what it takes to play effectively behind the OL we are fielding this year. If we continue to go cheap on the OL then Rawls will be a much better fit going forward.

      • Dumbquestions

        Oh, you downer – you’re completely ignoring the triumphant return to the playoffs after hernia surgery, and the accompanying romantic narrative: Last Roar of the Beast. Give it to me.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      JasonLaCanfora: Whether he ends up on IR or not, 2015 likely the end of Marshawn Lynch in Seattle:

      • Ed

        LaCanfora (like most shclubs trying to be first) usually gets it wrong. But I would say the Hawks should say farewell regardless and save the money.

        Okung/Sweezy/Lynch/Williams/Mebane/Kearse can save $25 million and if they feel the Graham fit didn’t work, easy way to let him find his own team next year and cut his $10 million as well

        • Rob Staton

          Jason La Canfora is consistently accurate and first when it comes to Seahawks news. A brilliant resource and a must follow.

          • Ed

            He was reporting Lynch was gone last year and Wilson wouldn’t resign. It’s about whose first, not whose accurate. Do they have resources, sure, but they speculate as much as they report.

            • Rob Staton

              He wasn’t the one reporting that on Lynch and he suggested Wilson could wait until next off season to do a deal. He made that report very early in the year and it was one day away from being dead on. I have no vested interest here but La Canfora is the most connected national journalist when it comes to the Hawks and it isn’t really that close.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        He might be the last guy on the planet to say this…. since “as fans” we kind of expect it to happen now, due to the injury plagued 2015 season.

  28. nichansen01

    Gronkowski is injured… Possibly a grim week for tight end stars.

    • nichansen01

      The look in Brady’s eyes…

  29. nichansen01

    Brock Osweiler is not a good NFL quarterback…

    • bigDhawk

      He doesn’t look bad.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn

        I thought he looked pretty good, considering the conditions on the field.
        If Manning had been playing, they prob would not have won the game.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      He’s 2-0 as a starter. And he just defeated the #1 team in the AFC.

      • Ed

        Really because the D is great and the running game is finally working

  30. nichansen01

    I think that the best way to describe steelers va patriots is ‘a game that reminds us why we love footbal’… Candidate for one of the best games of the season.

    • nichansen01

      Vs Seahawks I meant to say…

  31. nolyon

    Never done it before but got on Behind the Steel Curtain to see what Steelers fans were saying. Some interesting thoughts:

    1. Rob youre right, the OC is just an easy target. People there are calling for Haley’s head the same day their opponents are praising him.

    2. Are we wearing Seahawks fan goggles because tons of Steelers fans are saying refs were awful. Chancellor’s pick, Wheatons no catch, then they said refs were afraid to call anything on Sherm?

    3. Similar conversations as we have. Team keeps blowing games late, can’t seem to get right. Encouraging to know other teams are just as bad as we are. Blake is their Cary Williams.

    4. People still refuse to admit that Russ is a great QB. Baffling.

    • nichansen01

      Yes there were some no calls on us, but the calls on the steelers made sense to me. The chancellor call was largely insignificant to the game, since Big Ben was out at that point.

    • CharlieTheUnicorn

      There were a couple of questionable calls. But I also saw plenty of holding not called on OL for Steelers… so, evens out I guess.

    • Rob Staton

      1. I think every teams’ fans complain about their offensive coordinator. Maybe the Pats are the exception. Because of Brady.

      2. The Steelers fans need to get a grip if they think either of those calls were incorrect.

  32. CharlieTheUnicorn

    I think we should praise the Center for his work. He played pretty well overall. RW only had a few sacks and some other pressures, but the blitz pick-ups appeared to be much better (building upon improvement from past weeks). Arrow is pointed up.

    OC: I still think the offense got away from rushing the ball a little too quick, but overall some pretty good play calling and some nice packages of plays. The constant 3rd and longs will kill Seattle if this continues however.

    DC: The TV broadcast mentioned Seattle went away from their base defense in second half for some plays and mixed it up more than previously. It appeared that that confused the Steelers on multiple plays and enabled Seattle to slow down the potent Steeler offense.

    Last but not least, I thought the secondary played decently, considering the slot CB went out early with an injury and you already had Shead starting and Lane playing the 3rd or 4th WR in the game. Talk about thin.

    • RugbyLock

      Guess they can activate Williams this week! 🙂

  33. DC

    Great, timely win!!! That one really got me fired up to the point I was yelling at the announcers to shut up as they didn’t seem to comprehend many of the plays that went to review. This is the win we needed to really get the ball rolling.

    Pittsburgh looks like the Greatest Show on Turf II minus Marshall Faulk. Hats off to that Offense for a fun and crazy shootout.

    Watching our defense, Pittsburgh’s O line looks very solid so I understand it was hard to get to and bring down Big Ben (I was pounding the table to draft OG DeCastro in 2012). It really looks like the entire back seven except for Sherman is a tick slower than they have been in recent years. The underneath routes in particular that would have been met and stopped immediately in the past are now gaining an extra 2-3 yards per play. Partly due to poor tackling and partly due to closing speed.

    Anyway, I’m a happy camper. Go Hawks and heal up JG!

  34. Mike B.

    Bevell called a good game. I’m not a critic of Bevell’s corpus of work, just of certain foolish plays and an occasional lackluster game-plan. No, the coordinator whom we can safely direct some criticism toward is Kris Richard–I know that there’s a learning curve here, but he’s not making enough adjustments on defense, and we’re not getting the bang for our buck with a very talented core, Earl and Kam’s issues aside. Shead did a fine job, and Jeremy Lane, despite looking rusty, was solid. Lane did scare me a bit on his INT return–flashbacks and all.

    On a draft note, it’s clear that we’re going to have to prioritize a TE now, maybe in the middle rounds (I don’t see them drafting a TE earlier than 3rd or 4th, so probably no Hunter Henry). Also, they’ll need to start a LOB refresh. Wonder how Tye Smith is coming along. At least the OL has shown steady improvement.

  35. Wall UP

    Another interesting note is that Cables’ group is continuing to improve in Ppro & run. I hope he doesn’t work himself into a HC job. Good for him if he does. He knows what he’s doing, though some may doubt the end result.

    • Volume12

      Don’t be shocked if he’s Seattle’s HC when PC is done.

      • WALL UP

        That’s my hope too! Home grown talent stays put, would be great.

        • AlaskaHawk

          Then they better figure out how to field an offense that is effective at the beginning of the season – not at the mid to end of season. Seahawks can’t afford to lose games at the beginning of the season because of poor coaching and bad play.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      OL did their job well enough, but I wouldn’t call it a “good” game for them. Rather it was a masterful performance by Russell Wilson. Coming into this game, RW’s average time to throw was 3.08 seconds. Somehow he shaved nearly a second off that vs PIT, resulting in a season-low 2.32 seconds.

      More than that, he was calm and composed, made good pre-snap reads, regularly checked down through his progressions, and perhaps best of all, he didn’t bail on the route runners and stayed in the pocket even when it was collapsing around him. Oh and his throws were beautiful.

      PIT’s defense is built to stop the run, and although they can pressure the QB, their backfield isn’t a strength. Kudos to Bevell for running just enough to keep them honest, but repeatedly attacking their weak link through the air.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Russell Wilson, last two games vs. blitzes: 20-for-26, 352 yards, 6 TD, 0 INT, 13.5 YPA

        • GameHawks

          Thanks for the stats! I’m glad that Russ is adapting to his surroundings, because it was becoming really worrisome to see him stand in the pocket while the walls were crashing in around him. Throwing the ball that hair of a second faster is the difference between a sack and Angry Doug running down the sideline for a game clinching TD reception. That was awesome. Next week, Minnesota! Go HAWKS!

      • Jimmy Chitwood

        The OL only gave up two sacks to a very good front 7. Two sacks a game is the NFL average. Those sacks both came in the first half. Give the players and Cable credit. They made the adjustments in their blocking and everyone was on the same page. I would say that Cable has done a masterful job with a group of under appreciated talent just as he told us he would. OL is not the hot mess it looked like 6 weeks ago. They may take a guy early, but I don’t think we are desperate. Rather, I expect the first three rounds to yield impact players (BPA). TE, CB. OC, DT and RB would seem to be higher needs than OT unless Okung leaves.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          I did say they played “well enough” but go back and re-watch the game. Zero sacks in the 2nd half not because the OL was great, but because RW got the ball out quickly and calmly.

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            This should make you happy. Why?

            One team with a great OL but crappy QB – DAL
            One team with crappy OL but great QB – NEP

    • Wall UP

      The OL is getting the job done. Under Cables’ tutelage, this group is coming together. In a few more weeks they will continue to improve. As I mentioned, Cable is on a mission to show that these are “His Best Group of Guys”.

      There would be no need for outside FA help with their continued development. Spending 8-9mil for a would be 31yr old Center could instead be used to re-up both Bane & Rubin @ that cost. The only help for the OL would come from the draft, at OT & Center. That would complete his project of building an OL via the draft, a group of guys that just get the job done.

  36. CHawk Talker Eric

    Some more eye popping stats (and further proof that Sherman is an elite CB):

    Big Ben was 3-10 for 24 yds and an INT when throwing to Brown vs. Sherman. 33-45 for 432, TD, INT on other throws.

    Also, Shead had 4 passes defensed vs PIT.

    Cary Williams has 4 on the season.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      The Seahawks have gained 436+ yards in 3 of their last 14 games. Patrick Lewis was the center for all 3.

      • Volume12

        Those are some damn impressive numbers, no matter how ya slice it.

        And while the O-line has played better of late, I’m with ya man in regards to RW still not having much time in the pocket. Gilliam is not the answer at RT. RW wasn’t ‘seeing ghosts’ and got the ball out quickly as you said. He took some nasty hits though. That’s gotta improve.

        • Volume12

          Gilliam did play good yesterday however. Is he improving or is he gonna be too inconsistent?

          • CHawk Talker Eric

            He’s pretty inconsistent, but he has improved at least incrementally over the course of the season. Still don’t think he’s the answer at RT, but he’s worth keeping on the roster next year.

            • Volume12

              He’s definetly worth keeping as a swing tackle.

              Patrick Lewis might be nailing down the C position. I still think they need some competition and or depth thete, but I like him.

              • CHawk Talker Eric

                If he continues to play well, that should eliminate the pressure to find one in FA. Then they can look to add competition through the draft.

        • AlaskaHawk

          The contrast between Seahawks offensive line and Pittsburgs offensive line was striking. Rothlesburger had over 5 seconds to throw on numerous occasions. Seahawks are doing okay with what they got, but this offensive line will never be mistaken for a great offensive line.

          • Rob Staton

            This isn’t entirely accurate Alaska.

            Roethlisberger wasn’t sitting in the pocket with loads of time to chuck it around. The game plan was designed to get the ball out quickly — 1-3 second post snap — to stymy the pass rush. It worked perfectly. This wasn’t brilliant protection so much as a brilliant scheme. Wilson will never be able to do this because he isn’t as big as Big Ben.

            Pittsburgh’s O-line is ranked #21 in the league for pass protection according to DVOA. It’s not a great line. It was the scheme. Seattle is limited in that regard. They are what they are, even if they had an elite O-line.

  37. CHawk Talker Eric

    Best offensive stat for me: SEA 4 of 4 in the red zone. NO FGs!

  38. mrpeapants

    little off topic but does anyone know when p rich will be back?

    • Volume12

      IDK, but their gonna need either him or Luke Willson to step up now that Jimmy Graham is out. Not that our WR core hasn’t been huge this year and elevated their level of play, because they have.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Doug Baldwin really has elevated his game. Tyler Lockett is having a better a rookie year at WR than almost anyone expected. And I’m looking forward to Kevin Smith integrating into the rotation.

  39. MJ

    Late to the party. Some thoughts….

    1) Feel awful for Jimmy Graham. It’s en vogue to say he “struggled” this year, but he was actually pretty damn good and he was exponentially improving over the last few weeks. Also seems like a great guy/teammate. He will be missed.

    2) Russell Wilson…feels like a career turning point. It’s been mentioned before, but I think he’s the type of guy who is better without Superstars. Without Lynch/Graham, I think we see the offense reach new levels (crazy to think/say). Superhuman effort. Games like the last 2 show he has the potential to be the best QB in the NFL not named Brady.

    3) Thomas Rawls…spectacular. Why? Pass blocking…kid stuck his nose in there and looked very reliable. Take away the muffed handoff and he had a fine afternoon, doing the little things really well.

    4) The Defense is in trouble. Not sure what’s up but for my money, Richard has to figure it out. Yes, it’s easy to blame coordinators, but in this case, not much has changed outside of CB#2. Speaking of which, Shead looked great. Fought hard. Would love to roll with him going forward. Wouldn’t surprise me to see him exponentially improve.

    Agree with everything you said Rob…looks like a new era in Seattle. We still have foundational pieces on both sides to get back to dominance (at some point).

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      For me, the best part of Shead’s performance was that, despite being beat repeatedly by Bryant, he was able to recover and put himself in a position to make a play. Even on the 2nd half 41 yard bomb to Bryant (the same play PIT tried to run earlier when Shead made the PBU) he was still in a position to contest the catch. Props to Bryant for a nice grab.

      Few teams in the NFL have a WR corps like PIT. Brown is the most productive WR in the NFL. Bryant has become as one of the better tall WRs, and certainly one of the fastest. And Wheaton is finally starting to emerge as a dependable slot WR in his 3rd season. Burley’s injury and Lane’s first game this season contributed to Wheaton’s big day.

      Yesterday, the weak link in SEA’s secondary was ET3. Hopefully that was due to his illness.

  40. Steele

    Given the seriousness of Graham’s injury—few players have come back from it well—is the entire experiment in jeopardy? Will the Hawks have to address TE as a draft and free agency priority? Should they do it all over again, and go after a good traditional TE who can block as well as catch passes, who would be a better fit?

    I have to also wonder if Russell and Bevell will now feel “relieved of duty” simply because they don’t have to try doing anything new anymore. No Jimmy reduces the passing attack back to 2014, back to what they know: Baldwin and Kearse the security blankets, Willson/Helfet. Throw in Lockett. That’s it. Look at all of the WRs who have been let go, including Matthews. It will be interesting. Wasn’t it a concern this past offseason the fact that the existing WRs weren’t getting open enough? That new tall targets would greatly enhance the attack?

    • Jimmy Chitwood

      Personally, I think that Tyler Locket’s deep speed helps the receiving corp more than Jimmy’s size. Graham is a possession WR that takes targets away from Baldwin. I see Kearse and Baldin getting more targets with Graham out. I see PRich on the active roster next week. PRich will stretch the field along with Tyler Locket. RW throws an accurate, deep ball. In fact, the defense must now protect deep against all of our WR’s more than before. Unlike when Graham is on the field, the defense cannot assign a SS or OLB to cover any of these guys.

      As for the draft, I am on record as advocating for a traditional TE rather than Graham even before he was hurt. I feel his lack of blocking hurts more than his receiving helps. He has not been the red zone force everyone hoped for. If he is going to be just a possession WR, I would rather throw to Baldwin and add a blocker that can challenge the seams once in a while. Hunter Henry and Jake Butt will be at the top of the traditional TE class. Both should go in round 2 or 3.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        UTEP TE David Morgan II would be a Day 3 steal. Probably won’t last that long but he’d be my target.

        There’s not a lot of tape on him, but PFF grades him the top blocking TE in CFB:

        Tight end
        David Morgan, UTSA, +27.0

        One of the few throwback tight ends in the country, Morgan’s +19.7 run blocking grade leads the way, while his 5.3 receiving grade ranks seventh. UTSA will line Morgan up as a traditional tight end, where he handles defensive ends and linebackers in the run game, but they’ll also line up out wide and run screens behind his powerful blocks on defensive backs. That versatility is going to make it difficult to unseat Morgan over the next few weeks.

        • Jimmy Chitwood

          Thank you, CHawk. I will check him out. Hopefully, more video emerges.

  41. Rad man

    To my mind, the message should be clear- give RW time and he dominates. No need to worry about finding an “elite” weapon. He IS the weapon. From here on out, enough with trying to find a “toy”. Give him a run game, and protection and RW can lead this team anywhere. Surrounding him with athletic mid round talent to throw to should be enough. In other words, draft/Free agent focus should be on D and O line. Russ will take care of the rest.

  42. sdcoug

    Fade route on the two-point attempt. Why do we keep calling that play? Man we are bad at that.

    • Rob Staton

      It was very, very close to being completed. Smith got one foot in but couldn’t drag the other. Was closer that the run by Rawls on the other 2pt-er.

    • Ed

      I don’t mind the call, but wrong side. You don’t throw a fade to the short side of the field. Hawks seem to that a bit as well as run outside to the short side. You basically add another defender (out of bounds) for the defense. Throw the fade or run outside where you have more room to make a play.

      • sdcoug

        Agreed. Close or not, I have yet to see us complete one the last several years. Guess that shouldn’t mean we don’t try occasionally but I would find it hard to believe we don’t have better plays lined up close

  43. Volume12

    Might just be me, but Seattle seems to be missing an athletic defensive chess-piece to create havoc off the edges and over the middle of the field. It shoulda been Bruce, but he seems to be more of a DE and has said he prefets that role. A guy that will make their brand of defense different than Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Oakland.

    Yes, Seattle has much more talent and does have unique personnel on the defensive side of the ball, much moreso than those other 3 do, but adding that Anthony Barr, Deone Bucannon, would not only be an exciting addition, but would allow them to get creative when making in-game adjustments or matchups.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      Enter Eric Striker

    • Jimmy Chitwood

      or Myles Jack.

      • CHawk Talker Eric


        However, Jack will likely be a R1 pick (pending his medical).

        Striker might last until SEA’s R2 pick.

  44. CHawk Talker Eric

    I wasn’t able to watch much CFB this weekend, and I missed the Iron Bowl. Can anyone provide a synopsis of how Shon Coleman did vs Bama? Many thanks.

    • Jimmy Chitwood

      Derrick Henry and the Alabama team made everyone on the Auburn side of the ball look pretty ordinary. Shon Coleman did not stick out against the Crimson Tide.

      • Rob Staton

        “Shon Coleman did not stick out against the Crimson Tide.”

        I beg to differ.

        He was a vital reason why they had so much success running the ball. He wasn’t beaten once all day and stone-walled a tough D-line for some key plays. Auburn are a total washout this year and kept it close against (IMO) the #1 team in the country because of that offensive line and running scheme. Coleman deserves further praise for me.

        • C-Dog

          I thought Coleman looked good against the Tide, moved well in Pass Pro, and was active on the run. Auburn didn’t have good QB play when he was protected. Like this kid a lot. My only concern is where his healthy is at with leukemia. That’s scary business.

        • Jimmy Chitwood

          “He was a vital reason why they had so much success running the ball.”

          Auburn ran the ball 37 times for 91 yards, an average of 2.5 YPA. That is not very successful. Their QB was sacked twice but ran 6 times for a minus 18 yards. He completed only 10 of 23 passes and was under pressure all day. His QBR was a miserable 28.6. I cannot say the sacks were on Shon Coleman as the defense seemed to be coming from every where. It was a bad day for Auburn. When a contest is this one sided it is hard to give anyone too much praise.

          • Rob Staton

            Did you watch the game or are you basing this on stats?

            Auburn managed things superbly. Not concerned with the numbers. This should’ve been a blow out and it wasn’t because of Auburn’s offense and physicality up front. If you think this was a bad day for Auburn, you either didn’t watch the game or you haven’t seen much of them this season.

            • Jimmy Chitwood

              I did watch the game. Derrick Henry was sensational. He ran over and through Auburn all day. The stats don’t lie. Were it not for a miraculous 77 yard reception by Auburn WR Jason Smith, the score and stats would be much worse.

              • Rob Staton

                So the reason it was in the balance right until the end was because of one play by Auburn.


                I think you’re trying too hard.

        • CHawk Talker Eric

          “He wasn’t beaten once all day and stone-walled a tough D-line for some key plays”

          Thanks that’s pretty much what I wanted to know. Looking forward to seeing some film of it.

          As much as I want to believe (and I do), I just can’t imagine he will slide far enough for SEA to nab him.

          • nichansen01

            I’m feel that his cancer history is going to make teams wary, in an excellent class of tackles (Tunsil, Conklin, Decker, Stanley, Ifedi, Dahl, Spriggs, Clark) I can see his expected rise only going to the late first to mid-second, ideal range for Seattle.

        • Michael (CLT)

          My only concern with Colman was his inability to get involved when Alabama stunted. That said, I don’t know the protections. But it was concerning.

  45. Forrest

    On the matter of Lynch and Graham: I think Lynch may retire after this season, and even if he does not I don’t think they will keep him around much longer (maybe the 2016 season if healthy), but I’m confident in saying the days of 3 downs of BeastMode are over. The 2017 draft gives them a lot of options at RB. Graham is a little different, I think that if he comes back healthy for 2016 and has a slightly better season than this year (4-6 TDs, 900-1000 yards), he’ll stick around for awhile. The big difference between this and the Harvin experiment is Graham has actually been productive. The last few games he was filling the role of being the big 3rd down target, and looked great doing it. If he’s not healthy next year, or they have similar issues, then I could see him getting traded. This draft they should pick up a blocking TE if possible to take the Helfet spot…

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      “The big difference between this and the Harvin experiment is Graham has actually been productive.”

      That and his attitude. Jimmy not only wants to be a Seahawk, he wants to be a great Seahawk. Harvin not so much.

  46. Zorn is King

    Interesting premise… The New Russell Wilson Seahawks… A transformation the team tried to begin on the last play of last year’s Super Bowl?

    I’d always thought that decision to pass with Lynch in was a premature signal of the brain trusts’ hope to re-make the dynasty in Wilson’s image…

    • DC

      I would say that the “Russell Wilson Seahawks” began the day he was drafted, it is not new by any means. Let’s remember who we were before he showed up. We were the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets, the Houston Texans, etc. A team with a strong defense, good running game & mediocre QB. Russell Wilson = the Seahawks Championship window.

      What’s new is the Thomas Rawls Era or post Beast Mode Era if you will. What a timely find by the FO. Over time the offense is going to need to carry this team more often like we saw yesterday. Maybe the era of “balance” has begun?

      As Rob alluded to, our defense has been so good for so long that it’s easy to take for granted what an incredibly deep and extremely talented squad we’ve had. Any drop off feels like the sky is falling. I don’t know that I will ever see another Seahawk defense like that Super Bowl Championship squad. The stars aligned for that unit. Grateful for that victory.

      Also, I was on the fence before but now I’m in favor of keeping Kearse at a lowish price. Stability and a QB/WR relationship has value. Loving Tyler Lockett.

  47. Robert

    Kevcin Smith made a great play on the ball on that failed 2 point PAT. He was pushed out of bounds before he could get both feet in, but that kid is a playmaker!

  48. DC

    I got to watch about the last 3rd of the Notre Dame vs Stanford game. Very back and forth like our game yesterday. It took me a little time to switch from casual observer to Seahawks scout so I’m still kicking myself a little. What I was really interested in was the ND offensive line. I didn’t zero in on C Nick Martin or LT Ronnie Stanley until the very end but my impression overall was that their O line was great. They had 299 yds rushing and 2 punts for the entire game.

  49. DC

    Chris Johnson’s season is over for the Cardinals. He was the NFL’s 4th leading RB.

    Fwiw, Rawls is now the 9th leading rusher.

  50. Volume12

    Would Seattle target L’ville OLD/DE De’Vonte Fields? Dude finished the extremely strong. 8 QB sacks overall, and 4 in 3 games, and finished with 19 TFL, 9 of which came in that 3 game stretch.

    I ask becausr he did struggle last year at a lower division and then of course the whole Frank Clark off the field incident.

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