Mild-mannered Wilson turns into Superman when needed most

Russell Wilson catches a pass from Jermaine Kearse in the first half against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 21 (AP)
Russell Wilson catches a pass from Jermaine Kearse in the first half against the Broncos (AP)

Russell Wilson is kind of like Superman — mild-mannered pocket quarterback on your typical offensive series, but man of steel nerves and determination when the game is on the line.

Wilson became the latter Sunday, leading the Seahawks 80 yards for the winning touchdown in their 26-20 overtime victory over the Denver Broncos.

Wilson is such a team player that he often subverts his physical skills in favor of getting the ball to his teammates. But make no mistake: He can carry a team when he needs to.

And he needed to Sunday.

After Peyton Manning somehow led the Broncos 80 yards (with no timeouts) to the tying touchdown and two-point conversion in the final minute, Wilson coolly returned the favor in overtime.

Continue reading Mild-mannered Wilson turns into Superman when needed most

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Carroll: Jon Ryan ‘had probably the best day of his career’

Before Russell Wilson led the Seahawks on an 80-yard drive to beat Denver 26-20 in overtime, the Seahawks’ hero of the game Sunday probably was punter Jon Ryan, who turned field position in Seattle’s favor all day.

Ryan has had a lot of great days punting in his six-plus years with the Seahawks, but coach Pete Carroll said this was “probably the best day of his career.”

Continue reading Carroll: Jon Ryan ‘had probably the best day of his career’

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The folks running Earl Thomas’ site give perspective to his impassioned press conference the other day in which he said he regained his “championship spirit” after the loss in San Diego.

Contrary to previous reports that had the Chargers’ receivers saying they “exposed” Richard Sherman, several Chargers expressed admiration for his ability.

Bruce Irvin apologized “to the 12th Man” for his “boneheaded play” that helped lose the game and also cost him some cash.

On to the Broncos …

Peyton Manning, 38, is in his third year in Denver, and he sounds like he will be back at least for a fourth.

Andy Benoit of MMQB predicts some of the strategies the Seahawks and Broncos will use against each other.

Denver tight end Julius Thomas is the next big challenge for Kam Chancellor and K.J. Wright.

And more …

According to this analysis, Russell Wilson is the league’s third-best two-minute quarterback.

The Seahawks aren’t the only team using a WR/RB hybrid (Percy Harvin). Danny Kelly of Field Gulls looks at the NFL trend.

Clay Travis of FOX Sports talks about the politicization of sports (the NFL) in the wake of Roger Goodell’s very politicky apologies-and-promises speech. Along the way, Travis points out that Goodell is just the scapegoat for issues that social media (and one video) have suddenly turned into bigger deals than they were 5-10 years ago.

While the media frets and frowns about a few bad NFL apples and makes it seem as if the entire league is populated by felons, Russell Wilson goes about his daily good deeds.

The things the defense had to fix this week

Kam Chancellor dives to try to tackle San Diego receiver Keenan Allen on Sept. 14 (AP)

The Seahawks’ defenders have been serious, focused, “locked in” as they prepare for their anticipated Super Bowl rematch with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

The defense melted down against Philip Rivers in the San Diego heat last Sunday, putting forth probably its worst performance since the playoff loss in Atlanta to end the 2012 season.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Chargers pulled out some tricks that the Falcons used against the Seahawks in that game, and safety Earl Thomas said that is one of the lessons the Hawks learned from their first loss of 2014.

He said the Broncos surely will take note of that chink in the armor of a defense that was the league’s best last season and dominated the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

“Obviously, they’re going to go back and see what we had trouble with in past games and even from previous years,” Thomas said. “Last week, San Diego hit us with some concepts from that Atlanta game we lost. So we’ve got to start thinking like that: How do teams want to attack us?”

Continue reading The things the defense had to fix this week

Other than Irvin’s brain cramp, Seahawks are pretty healthy

Marshawn Lynch, Kam Chancellor and Zach Miller all practiced Friday and are expected to play Sunday against the Denver Broncos, coach Pete Carroll said.

Bruce Irvin, however, will be a game-time decision. Apparently he injured his hip in practice Wednesday. (That’s on top of the brain cramp he suffered against the Chargers — i.e., late hit on Philip Rivers that helped them score a touchdown. Irvin was fined $8,200 by the NFL for the shove and is appealing.)

Lynch’s back issues flared up again last Sunday and he sat out practice Wednesday, as he often does anyway. It would have been a surprise if he couldn’t play Sunday.

Continue reading Other than Irvin’s brain cramp, Seahawks are pretty healthy

‘It’s a completely different defense’

DeMarcus Ware sacks Andrew Luck in Week 1 (AP)
DeMarcus Ware sacks Andrew Luck in Week 1 (AP)

While the Denver Broncos’ offense has undergone a few personnel changes here and there, the defense is almost an entirely different unit from the one the Seahawks saw in the Super Bowl.

The secondary is completely changed, with physical cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward coming in and cornerback Chris Harris and safety Rahim Moore returning from injuries. Defensive end Derek Wolfe and linebacker Von Miller also are healthy, and DeMarcus Ware signed on to replace Shaun Phillips opposite Miller.

“It’s a totally different team defensively for us,” Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Wednesday. “They’ve added really great players. They get Von Miller back, DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib — the list goes on. They have really solid players. It’s a completely different defense with the players that they have now, so there’s really no comparison.”

Continue reading ‘It’s a completely different defense’

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Larry Stone of The Seattle Times relates Richard Sherman’s thoughts of the Chargers and Broncos games.

Did the Chargers reveal a way to pick on Sherman?

Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett (that’s two T’s, guys) have been playing great — even if the rest of the defense has not.

Avril and Bennett talk about how the Seahawks like to play their base defense, with minimal blitzing, per Jayson Jenks of the Times.

Bob Condotta of the Times reminds everyone of Robert Turbin’s tragic family history, which Turbin says “plays into my motivation.”

John Fox is 1-4 vs. the Seahawks, but the Broncos are 34-18 — and more stats.

Steve Rudman of Sports Press NW looks at previous Super Bowl rematches and also offers up stats on Seattle’s worst time-of-possession games under Pete Carroll.

Condotta asks whether the off-field legal problems of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson have “diminished your desire to watch NFL games.” Not sure why they would unless you are a Vikings fan who is bummed that your team is now much worse, but 25 percent of people (probably new fans) apparently think those guys reflect an entire league.

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