Carroll undaunted by familiar Eagles

Mark Sanchez hands off to LeSean McCoy in the Eagles' 33-10 win in Dallas on Thanksgiving (Getty)Pete Carroll will see some familiar faces next Sunday when the Seahawks go to Philadelphia for the latest test in their second-half gauntlet, and he obviously has a bit of a jump on the preparation for Chip Kelly and Mark Sanchez.

“This will be a really interesting preparation,” he told 710 ESPN on Friday. “We’ve watched them a lot.”

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Moeaki already has made offense better

Tony Moeaki runs downfield on a 63-yard gain against the 49ers ( Moeaki has made a heck of an impact in just three games with the Seahawks.

The tight end scored a touchdown in his first game — against his old team, Kansas City. He led the Hawks with four catches in the win against Arizona, making two first downs. And then he pulled off Seattle’s longest play of the year — a 63-yard gain that maybe should have been a 64-yard touchdown — against San Francisco.

It has been a heck of a start for a guy general manager John Schneider picked up four weeks ago to replace Zach Miller, who is out for the season with an ankle injury.

Russell Wilson already loves Moeaki and looks for him in key spots, like the broken play that resulted in the 63-yard pass play.

“Moeaki, man, that’s a tremendous football player,” Wilson said Thursday after the Seahawks’ 19-3 win over the 49ers. “He knows what to do, he runs tremendous routes, he has a great feel for the game, get in and out of his routes at the right time, he has unbelievable hands. His adjustment to us is pretty spectacular to see in terms of how quickly he has made a difference. We are excited to have him on our team and to see all the plays he makes.”

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Hawks are back at the top — like it or not

Pete Carroll talks with line judge Jeff Seeman and referee Tony Corrente before Seattle's game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Getty)
Not a good sign: This was Pete Carroll talking with line judge Jeff Seeman and referee Tony Corrente BEFORE Seattle was called for a season-high 14 penalties against the 49ers (Getty)

You know the Seahawks are back to normal when they are No. 1 again — not just in defense but in penalties.

It’s fairly obvious the two go hand in hand on Pete Carroll’s club.

When the defense is playing like it has the past two weeks, the Hawks can pretty easily overcome high penalty totals. Just ask all of the Hawks who were on the team in 2013, when the Hawks walked off with their first Super Bowl title despite leading the league in flags.

After drawing a season-worst 14 penalties for 105 yards Thursday in a 19-3 domination of the San Francisco 49ers, the Hawks once again lead the NFL in penalties. They had been as low as fourth over the last few weeks, but they have assumed their accustomed place.

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Hawks suddenly look like strong contender

As Bobby Wagner pursues, Colin Kaepernick winds up to throw a ball that ends up intercepted by Richard Sherman (Getty)A week ago, the Seahawks were coming off a tough loss in Kansas City, sitting at a precarious 6-4, with a muddled team identity and facing the toughest finishing slate in the NFL. Needless to say, there were plenty of doubters.

It’s funny what five days can do to change a team’s image.

Thanks to an attitude adjustment on defense and the league’s top-ranked running attack, the Seahawks are suddenly looking pretty good for the playoffs.

A second straight 19-3 domination of a contending NFC West foe proved the Hawks are back to their 2013 form and ready to make a charge into the postseason.

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Hawks should finally win in San Francisco

Russell Wilson dashes for an apparent TD vs. Arizona, although the score was nullified by a holding penalty ( this finally the year the
Seahawks win at San Francisco?

They haven’t done it since 2008, going 0-4 in Pete
Carroll’s trips to his hometown. But a lot of things seem to be going their way for their first game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

1 — This has been a home-dominated series between Carroll’s Hawks and Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers, but the Hawks have gotten closer and closer to winning in the Bay Area. They lost by 19 in 2010 and 16 in 2011, and with Russell Wilson they have lost by seven and two. Extrapolate that improvement out and the Hawks seem set for a three-point win this time.

2 — The Seahawks are 11-1 in prime time under Carroll — a major reason they were shorted on night games this season despite winning the Super Bowl. Granted, the loss was in San Francisco on a Thursday night in 2012, but the Hawks have won seven straight night games, averaging 31 points.

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Despite great game, Wilson shares blame

Calais Campbell gets one of his three sacks of Russell Wilson ( Wilson clearly had one of his best performances of the season Sunday against Arizona, playing a very efficient game in the face of adversity.

According to ESPN, only 13 passers in NFL history had better ratings than Wilson’s 121.6 when being sacked seven times or more. Wilson was pretty calm in the face of the blitzing Arizona defense, hitting 11 of 13 passes for 153 yards in pressure situations.

But he still missed several opportunities and shared plenty of blame for the seven sacks.

Field Gulls put together screen shots and GIFs of each Seattle play that ended in a sack. After seeing those and rewatching the game, the fact is Wilson probably could have avoided at least four of the sacks if he had made quicker decisions and trusted his receivers a bit more.

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Can Wilson keep carrying offense? Will he have to?

Russell Wilson dashes for an apparent TD vs. Arizona, although the score was nullified by a holding penalty ( week, Russell Wilson took full responsibility for the struggles of the Seahawks’ offense and basically declared that it was time for him to take over.

“I think that I have to find a way to be clutch and always be clutch,” he said. “It’s something that I look forward to. It’s calling for that time right now, so I’m looking forward to that.”

On Sunday, he was as clutch as it gets, playing probably his best game of the season — considering the opponent, the team’s situation and the personal slump Wilson was trying to bust out of.

The question is: Can he continue to do it?

Continue reading Can Wilson keep carrying offense? Will he have to?