Seahawks can clinch playoff spot vs. Arizona

At 10-4, the Seahawks control their playoff destiny and can lock up a playoff spot with a win over Arizona in prime time Sunday.

They also are now the favorites for the No. 1 seed in the NFC after Green Bay lost. If the Hawks beat Arizona and St. Louis to finish 12-4, they would win any three-way tie.

The only way they would not get the No. 1 seed by winning out is if Green Bay loses to Tampa Bay this week and Detroit loses to Chicago; in that case, the Hawks would need Dallas to lose once as well to avoid a head-to-head tiebreaker (which Seattle would lose).

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CHAWK LINES -- 49ers at Seahawks

A detailed look at the recent play of the Seattle defense, particularly the Legion of Boom, by Doug Farrar.

Another breakdown of Seattle’s simple but successful defensive schemes.

A look at Bobby Wagner’s contribution to Seattle’s defensive dominance of the last few weeks. focuses on defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Jordan Hill.

Tharold Simon is drawing lots of praise despite a ton of penalties.

Not sure why anyone puts much stock in Pro Football Focus grades — they are just as subjective as your opinion or mine. The Seattle Times uses them to point out how Russell Wilson can be viewed as great and terrible in the same game.

Many think this will be the last game between Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers and Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, with Harbaugh expected to be coaching elsewhere in 2015. Jerry Brewer gives his take.

Three key matchups for this Niners-Hawks game, courtesy of Rob Rang.

No one is picking the 49ers.

Mystery solved: Scot McCloughan apparently was forced to leave both the 49ers and the Seahawks because of a drinking problem.

Defensive leaders explain resurgence

Bobby Wagner signals Seattle ball after a takeaway against the Eagles ( Seahawks’ late surge was born of roster health, leadership and camaraderie — things that were missing at midseason — and the Hawks have emphasized for the past three weeks that they are playing for each other more than ever now. And, because of that, they are able to play smarter and faster.

With every win, they reinforce the reborn mantra that they will continue to win if they trust each other.

After the 24-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Kam Chancellor was asked if the defense had sent a message. He said yeah, “but the message wasn’t to anyone outside of this team. The message is to each other.”

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How much will Bobby Wagner cost?

Bobby Wagner and Richard Sherman after the Super Bowl (Getty)“Him coming back has really changed our defense.”
— Michael Bennett, on Bobby Wagner

Bobby Wagner has been a major reason the Seattle defense has put the clamps on Arizona, San Francisco and — most impressively — Philadelphia over the last three weeks — and teammates are singing his praises.

“He’s the heart of the defense,” cornerback Richard Sherman said. “He cleans up a lot of mistakes made by guys, and other guys clean up mistakes like Earl (Thomas) and Kam (Chancellor). We’ve got a lot guys who are erasers out there, and he has such an instinctual game. He believes what he sees, he plays what he sees. On top of the immense talent and speed that he has, that makes for a fantastic football player that I hope everybody recognizes.”

Wagner’s agent obviously hopes general manager John Schneider recognizes it and will be ready to pay Wagner in the next two years.

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Hawks got it together and can keep it together after this season, too

KJ and CliffOver the last three weeks, the
Seahawks’ defense has gone on a tear
unlike anything it has done under Pete Carroll and the Hawks have
re-established themselves as the Super Bowl repeat threat we all expected them to be.

Assuming the rejuvenated Seahawks maintain their dominant play and take it to the same conclusion as last year, the big question will become: How do they keep this going to create that dynasty we all projected?

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More about that awesome defense

CHAWK LINES -- DefenseThe Seattle defense is the toast of the NFL again — now that Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell are healthy and the unit is playing perhaps the best it ever has.

Pete Carroll said it has been “significant” to get back Wagner, who missed five games with a toe injury, and Chancellor, who sat out two games with a groin issue and got to rest his bad ankles.

I think the camaraderie of all those guys being back in there and feeling right has been resounding,” Carroll said Monday. “You can really feel it.”

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Hawks are for real now — and won’t lose again

Bobby Wagner signals Seattle ball after a takeaway against the Eagles (

It’s official: The Seahawks are back. And it will be a surprise if they lose again this season.

They are peaking at the perfect time and look fully capable of beating any team that is forced to oppose them (because no one would willingly play them at this point).

A pair of convincing 19-3 wins over their contending division foes were impressive, but there were still doubts about whether the Hawks truly were back to Super Bowl form. After all, the Cardinals and 49ers both were struggling on offense, so was it really an accomplishment for the Seattle defense to hold them to six total points and 368 yards the past two weeks?

It was fair to wonder how a defense that had been gashed by Kansas City’s running game three weeks ago would handle Philadelphia’s high-powered offense.

Were the returns of Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell — along with one “come to Jesus” meeting — enough to bring the defense back to its 2013 form?

After a stunningly dominant 24-14 win in Philadelphia, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

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