Category Archives: Playoffs: At Atlanta

Are the Seahawks still ‘in the middle of it’?

logo-playoffsAre the Seahawks “in the middle of it” or coming to the end of it? That is the big question after three straight disappointing playoff seasons.

Pete Carroll, of course, says the Super Bowl window is still open. Just as he said after the XLIX debacle in 2015 and after the near blowout in Carolina last year, he reiterated Saturday night that the Hawks “are right in the middle of it.” But are they?

All of this team’s best players are signed for another year, but Carroll’s club has been on a steady slide ever since the ridiculous decision to throw the ball from the 1 vs. the Patriots. In 2015, Kam Chancellor’s holdout fractured the defense and the offensive line had trouble against good fronts — a big reason they were nearly blown out by Carolina in the divisional playoffs. In 2016, injuries and attitude problems messed up the defense and the offensive line was even worse than it had been in 2015– the main reason they were blown out by Atlanta.

This team is not the aging crew Mike Holmgren had left after his Seahawks’ five-year playoff run in the mid-2000s; but, as constituted, Carroll’s club is not a strong contender anymore.

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The Richard Sherman-Julio Jones matchup is the one everyone will be keeping an eye on. (We hope Kris Richard learned a lesson from last time.)

Gene Steratore, who tries not to get in the way, will ref the game. He was the ref for the excellent Seahawks-Patriots game earlier this season.

Jones will be curious to find out how Steratore’s crew plans to call the game.

C.J. Prosise is unlikely to return or this game.

Will the Seahawks use Jimmy Graham in the red zone more in this game?

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Seahawks need to keep running it in Atlanta

logo-playoffsEveryone’s going gaga over the resurgent rushing performance of Thomas Rawls and the offensive line in Seattle’s 26-6 win over Detroit. But the proof will be in Atlanta.

As expected, the Seahawks are headed there for a rematch with Dan Quinn’s Falcons and a chance to redeem their 2012 playoff loss. To do it, they will have to run the ball as well as they did against the Lions — when the linemen seemingly channeled former All-Pro Steve Hutchinson after he raised the 12 flag.

Yeah, the Hawks beat Atlanta 26-24 in Week 6 without a running game (Christine Michael led an attack that garnered just 76 yards). But they wouldn’t have won without Earl Thomas, who had a stellar game despite the defense’s breakdowns in the third quarter.

Thomas won’t be around to help combat Matt Ryan’s prolific offense this time, which is where the running game comes in: Seattle needs to play keepaway.

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