“We’re still climbing. The best is yet to come.” — Shaquill Griffin
The Seahawks are 4-1, despite still not playing their best game — and that’s how we know they’re Super Bowl contenders.
Their lucky 30-29 win over the Rams had a lot of good in it: Russell Wilson’s near perfection, Tyler Lockett’s toe-tapping magic, Chris Carson’s winning efforts and more. But the Hawks still were unable to lock up the win on their own merits — the Rams had to lose it on a missed field goal.
Of course, the Rams would have been lucky to win themselves since Jason Myers missed a first-half field goal that meant the Rams did not need to overcome a four-point deficit at the end.
The Hawks lost two close shootouts to the Rams last season, and now they have won one against the Super Bowl runners-up — proving these teams remain evenly matched. That Sunday night game in Week 14 will be huge.
By that time, though, the Seahawks should have found their defensive groove and be a complete contender.
Continue reading Fortunately 4-1, Seahawks are ‘still growing’
How big is Seattle’s game against the Rams? Probably the difference between a home playoff game and a road trip — and certainly a major factor in the race for home field in the NFC playoffs.
This is the second straight year the Seahawks have hosted the Rams in Seattle in Week 5 after playing at Arizona in Week 4. Last year, the 33-31 home loss to the Rams was the difference between 10 wins and 11. If the Hawks had flipped that game and beaten the 49ers in Week 15 (rather than lose in OT), they would have been at 12 wins and won the division thanks to a better conference record than the Rams. That would have made them the NFC’s third seed, hosting the Eagles in the wild-card round instead of going to Dallas.
And while we are doing what-ifs: If the Hawks had beaten the Saints in Week 3 this year, rather than handing the win to New Orleans, they would be going for 5-0 and early control of the NFC this week. Instead, they are just trying to stay in the mix in both the division and conference while flipping the script on a Rams team that has beaten them three straight times and won the division the past two years.
Continue reading Home playoff game on the line vs. Rams
The Seahawks’ secondary got schooled by the Rams on Sunday, and we have to hope they learned a few lessons — because they still face a handful of the league’s top offenses down the road.
Granted, only Kansas City looks as powerful as the Rams, but the Hawks need to learn from the lax coverage techniques, loose zones and missed tackles that enabled the Rams to roll up 468 yards and gain 30 first downs in a 33-31 shootout win.
Continue reading Youthful secondary can learn a lot from failure vs. Rams
As feared, Seattle’s defense couldn’t stop the Rams. And now, barring some catastrophic injuries to the Rams (5-0), the Seahawks (2-3) are chasing a wild-card spot the rest of the season.
There are reasons to be confident they will catch one: (1) They finally put together a pretty complete game on offense, (2) their young secondary will get better and (3) they will get back a couple of key injured players soon.
“I hope you can tell how our team has grown. The last three weeks has been really an extraordinary step forward for us,” Pete Carroll said. “There’s a long season ahead of us — and how we come out of this game and go on to the next one, it will be crucial, just as it will the next week. But there’s no doubting who we are as a team and how we’re trying to build this thing.”
Continue reading Hawks fell way behind in division but still took a step toward playoffs
As good as the Seahawks’ defense has been over the first month, it is about to face its biggest test of the season — and that means Seattle’s offense is going to have to be a lot better than it has been if it is going to win a shootout.
Seattle ranks seventh in overall defense, fifth against the pass and sixth in takeaways — rankings built against some of the league’s poorer offenses. Now, without Earl Thomas, they go up against a Rams unit that ranks first overall and second in passing and scoring.
It’s the ideal time for Russell Wilson and company to find themselves.
Under Brian Schottenheimer, the offense still is having trouble figuring out what it wants to be when it grows up.
Continue reading Hawks need a complete game from offense
Here are Bob Condotta’s things to watch in the Rams-Seahawks game.
Matchups and key stats for Rams-Seahawks, via FieldGulls’ Alistair Corp.
Frank Clark is going to play despite fighting food poisoning all week. Dion Jordan and Chris Carson also will return.
The Hawks are confident in Tedric Thompson replacing Earl Thomas, although the Hawks have struggled without Thomas.
Pete Carroll and the Seahawks were surprised to learn Mychal Kendricks was suspended for more than just two or three games, which is the punishment they expected when they signed him after Week 1.
Kendricks, who is facing up to three years in prison for insider trading, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Tuesday. As we wrote, that probably means he is finished for the year — and until he returns from prison.
Carroll was clearly annoyed by the NFL’s decision.
Continue reading Hawks expected short suspension for Kendricks