CHAWK LINES -- Steelers at Seahawks

Here’s a video breakdown showing Russell Wilson’s great passing day vs. Pittsburgh.

The Seahawks placed Jimmy Graham on IR and promoted A.J. Francis from the practice squad. Bob Condotta also runs down a bunch of other injuries.

Pete Carroll expects Graham back in time for the 2016 season.

Once again, the Seahawks are without their major offensive trade acquisition. It worked out fine in 2013 and 2014.

After an admirable performance vs. Pittsburgh, DeShawn Shead will remain the starting cornerback opposite Richard Sherman.

The defensive line could be a little light against Minnesota.

Paul Richardson should make it back after missing two games. He was injured in his season debut while catching a 40-yard pass vs. Arizona.

The turnover margin and score finally matched up for a Seattle win.

Like 2012, Wilson is heating up

Wilson and Baldwin vs SteelersSeattle’s record-setting win over Pittsburgh is the latest evidence that this season is shaping up a lot like 2012.

That year, Russell Wilson’s first, the offense did little to help through the first half of the season — relying on the defense to carry the way for the rookie quarterback. The unit held five of the first six opponents under 14 points, and Wilson did just enough to help keep the Hawks floating around .500.

But then things swung the other way around this time of the season, as the defense faltered and Wilson took over the offense and led the charge into the second round of the playoffs.

On Sunday, the defense gave up 538 yards to Pittsburgh and Wilson put together his most prolific passing day (345 yards and five touchdowns), and it looks like that 2012 pattern is repeating itself.

Continue reading Like 2012, Wilson is heating up

CHAWK LINES -- Steelers at Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch did not have a sports hernia and could be back in three weeks, Jay Glazer reported.

With Lynch out, Thomas Rawls is in the spotlight.

Today is Russell Wilson’s 27th birthday.

The Seahawks activated Jeremy Lane and again released Bryce Brown.

Find all kinds of previews of Steelers-Seahawks.

Cliff Avril says Ben Roethlisberger will be a challenge to bring down.

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The O-line the Hawks could have had

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As Bruce Irvin misses another game and David DeCastro comes to town with the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, it’s a great opportunity to show you how the Seahawks could have put together a very good offensive line by now — if they really wanted to.

It all starts with DeCastro, a Bellevue native who has played some very good guard for the Steelers ever since they drafted him in the first round in 2012.

He should have been Seattle’s choice — as we said then.

Continue reading The O-line the Hawks could have had

Here’s why Big Ben has never played in Seattle

Big Ben SteelersA lot is being made of the fact that Seattle is the only place Ben Roethlisberger has not played in his 12-year career, but the fact is he and the Steelers were supposed to come in 2011. And then the NFL changed the scheduling rules.

Starting in 2010, teams from the East no longer had to make two trips to the West in a season. The Steelers were slated to go to San Francisco and Seattle in 2011, but the NFL swapped Seattle out for Arizona, and the Seahawks ended up going to Pittsburgh.

The Seahawks have played in Pittsburgh twice since the infamous Super Bowl XL, getting shut out both times — Mike Holmgren’s Super Bowl remnants lost 21-0 in Mike Tomlin’s first year leading the Steelers in 2007, and Pete Carroll’s rebuilding club lost 24-0 in 2011.

This meeting comes on the 10-year anniversary of the Super Bowl XL season, and the Steelers had a reunion of that team a few weeks ago. Four players — Roethlisberger, tight end Heath Miller, linebacker James Harrison and long snapper Greg Warren — remain on the Steelers from that Super Bowl team.

Roethlisberger joked to Seattle media, “That’s how you know you’re old — when they’re doing reunions and you’re still playing.”

Continue reading Here’s why Big Ben has never played in Seattle

Rawls-Lynch looks like Alexander-Watters

Alexander vs RaidersWhen the Seahawks surprisingly chose Christine Michael in the second round of the 2013 draft, it seemed a clear heir-apparent setup for replacing Marshawn Lynch.

As we wrote back then, Michael looked as though he could be the next Shaun Alexander — the highly drafted running back waiting to bump the veteran star from the roster.

But, two years later, Michael was sent packing and Lynch remained the main man — until now.

And now Thomas Rawls looks like the Alexander to Lynch’s Ricky Watters.

Continue reading Rawls-Lynch looks like Alexander-Watters

Offense needs to prove that was no fluke

Prove it.

That’s what we have to say to the Seahawks’ offense.

Yeah, the unit turned in its best performance of the season Sunday in Seattle’s 29-13 win over the 49ers. But it was the 49ers, who are a shadow of the hard-hitting, hard-to-beat unit the Seahawks had faced the past three years (these Niners rank 28th on defense).

So, the Seahawks are going to have to prove it against the Steelers’ 23-ranked defense this week and then — better yet — the Vikings’ ninth-ranked unit next week.

Continue reading Offense needs to prove that was no fluke

No matter how season ends, Hawks have to make changes next year

Chancellor, Carroll and SchneiderNo matter how the season ends for the Seahawks, they have some key changes to make next year.

They certainly don’t need to blow up the team completely – even if they miss the playoffs. But they will need to make a few small detonations — even if they make the postseason and even if they somehow manage to win the Super Bowl (which seems like California dreamin’ at this point).

Whether Pete Carroll intends to stay beyond 2016 or not, John Schneider needs to fix the problems that have been holding this team back from greatness and help avoid becoming, as he has called it, “one of those teams that skates in and skates out” of contention.

Bottom line: The Seahawks cannot go through another year with such a disjointed offense holding back a potentially great defense. And they have to make some changes to the defense as well – beyond Bruce Irvin leaving in free agency (they will get a taste this week of how Frank Clark and Kevin Pierre-Louis might replace him).

Continue reading No matter how season ends, Hawks have to make changes next year

CHAWK LINES -- 49ers at Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch wants to play vs. the 49ers but appears to be a game-time decision.

Paul Richardson is out with a hamstring injury, which is too bad considering he showed what he brings with a 40-yard catch vs. Arizona.

Earl Thomas criticized Seattle’s commitment and will to win, saying, “We need to give it up for each other.”

With Bruce Irvin out a couple of weeks with a sprained knee, Frank Clark is expected to get more playing time.

Clark talked to 710 ESPN about his days as a gang member when he was a kid in Los Angeles.

Russell Wilson insists his big contract and high-profile relationship with Ciara have not distracted him.

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Sorry, Pete, your team will not win the West

Wilson safety vs. CardsPete Carroll thinks the Seahawks can still win the NFC West. What else would you expect from Positive Pete?

Yeah, the Cardinals have a few tough games left — Cincinnati, at St. Louis, Minnesota, Green Bay and Seattle – but they would have to lose at least three of those and the Seahawks would have to win out to win the division.

How can Carroll possibly think the Seahawks are going to win out when they have tough games themselves against Pittsburgh, Minnesota, St. Louis and Arizona the rest of the way?

Carroll said, “To call it now is the biggest mistake you could ever make.” Well, we’re calling the division now. We’ll see who made the mistake in seven weeks.

Continue reading Sorry, Pete, your team will not win the West