CHAWK LINES -- Packers at Seahawks

Kam Chancellor is the man of the hour and the talk of the town and the NFL as the Seahawks get ready to beat the Packers to head back to the Super Bowl. So let’s start with a bunch of stuff on him:

Pete Carroll talked about Lawyer Milloy’s influence on Chancellor in 2010.

Milloy then talked about Chancellor (and more) on 1090 The Fan.

Bobby Wagner told Chancellor “a pick-six would be great” just before the safety did it, per this NFL.com video feature.

And, for good measure, Gregg Bell wrote a nice comprehensive piece about just how important Chancellor is to the Seahawks.

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Packers-Seahawks got interesting 15 years ago

NFC title gameNewer Seahawks fans — and there are plenty of them — might think the Packers-Seahawks series consists of two games: the Hawks’ infamous Fail Mary victory on a Monday night in 2012 and Seattle’s 20-point win in the opening game of this NFL season.

But this series was full of great matchups back when Mike Holmgren and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck were leading the Hawks against their old team — led by Brett Favre — and this will be the 11th meeting, the third in the playoffs, since 1999.

Continue reading Packers-Seahawks got interesting 15 years ago

Max protection: Unger makes a difference

Max Unger sets up in pass protection vs. Carolina as Russell Wilson receives the center's snap (Seahawks.com)
Max Unger sets up in pass protection vs. Carolina as Russell Wilson receives the center’s snap (Seahawks.com)

Max matters.

Just ask Russell
Wilson and Pete
Carroll. Oh, and the stats.

In Seattle’s 31-17 playoff win over Carolina, center Max Unger returned from a six-game absence and helped the Seahawks’ offense surpass 30 points for just the fifth time this season while leading a line that protected Wilson as well as it had since the first month of the season.

And Unger survived a scare when he got his just-healed ankle rolled up on late in the game.

“I’m excited to have Max Unger back in there,” Wilson said after the game. “… Max Unger played a phenomenal game tonight. ”

Carroll wasn’t quite as effusive, but he was pleased to have the former All-Pro center back and knows he will only get better.

“He was real solid — pass protection was really good,” Carroll said, referencing the fact that Wilson was hit just twice — one of the cleanest games the Hawks have had up front all season.

“Our consistency, just like we had hoped, was there, along with the communication,” the coach said. “So it was a good start back for him. He hadn’t played in a long time, so you have to kick the rust off a little bit.”

Continue reading Max protection: Unger makes a difference

A look at Wilson’s best playoff performance yet

Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin celebrate a 16-yard TD hookup vs. Carolina (Seahawks.com)Russell Wilson has almost always played well in the playoffs — six games and counting — and his performance Saturday against Carolina was his best yet.

The third-year quarterback buried the ghosts of his poor home games earlier in the season with a nearly perfect outing that also was probably his best game of the 2014 season.

He threw a postseason-career-high three touchdown passes and tallied a 149.2 rating, completing 68.2 percent, while tying Matt Hasselbeck for most playoff wins in Seattle history (five).

Wilson's postseason

Wilson now has nine TD passes and just one interception in six postseason games, and his passer rating has been over 100 in four of them. In fact, his postseason passer rating of 109.6 is the best in NFL history (hat tip to Hawk Blogger for first reporting that stat).

So why was Wilson so good vs. the Panthers? (1) His offensive line kept him clean, (2) he was perfect on third downs, (3) he got the ball out quickly when he could and (4) he trusted his receivers to come down with long passes.

Continue reading A look at Wilson’s best playoff performance yet

With Richardson out, it’s Norwood’s turn

Paul Richardson and Kevin NorwoodWide receiver Paul Richardson’s torn ACL is bad news, especially because the rookie had emerged as a key contributor, but the Seahawks have the depth to withstand it.

Richardson’s loss is Kevin Norwood’s gain as the other rookie, who was inactive Saturday against Carolina, figures to play vs. Green Bay next Sunday and in the Super Bowl.

Continue reading With Richardson out, it’s Norwood’s turn

Like Easley, Chancellor is heart of defense

Kam Chancellor and Tony McDaniel celebrate a stop vs. Carolina on Saturday (Seahawks.com)It was only appropriate that Kam Chancellor had perhaps the best game of his career on the day Kenny Easley raised the 12th Man flag.

Just as Easley was once Seattle’s best player, Chancellor — who, like Easley, is from Virginia and once dated Easley’s daughter — has been this team’s MVP the past two years.

Yeah, that’s a loaded statement on a team that includes so many star players — fellow Legion of Boomers Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, quarterback Russell Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch.

Everyone likes to say Lynch is the heartbeat of the team — embodying the tough, relentless style Pete Carroll wants his guys to play with.

But the defense is the backbone — the reason Wilson has won more games than any quarterback in his first three seasons — and Chancellor has been the heart and soul of that unit for the past two dominant years.

Continue reading Like Easley, Chancellor is heart of defense

CHAWK LINES -- Panthers at Seahawks

Quinn itDan Quinn reportedly is the favorite to be hired as the Jets’ coach. And Tom Cable is in the top three.

Tough guy Russell Wilson is poised to tie Matt Hasselbeck for most postseason wins in Seahawks history.

Field Gulls points out how much better Wilson and the passing game are when they are in rhythm.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com looks at how the Seahawks and Panthers have changed since the first meeting in Week 8.

Week 8 was a turning point for the Seattle defense, Brady Henderson of MyNorthwest observes.

Michael Bennett compares the Panthers to an attractive cousin, “so you can’t go on a date with her even though you’d like to.”

Colin Cole, who played for Seattle in 2009 and 2010, will step in for injured Carolina defensive tackle Star Lotulelei.

Bob Condotta chronicles Bruce Irvin’s development.

Farnsworth features this game’s great linebacker corps.

The Seattle defense by the numbers, per John Boyle of the Everett Herald.

This trumps the “Lynch found Lynch’s wallet” story:  An agent from Earl Thomas’ agency found Derrick Coleman’s Super Bowl ring in a rental car.

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