Three-quarters of the way through the season, the Seahawks are finally starting to look like the Super Bowl contender we all expected.
Well, not exactly like we all expected.
Having lost three star defenders and their preferred starting running back, while dealing with a variety of other injuries and issues (penalties, offensive line shuffling, etc.), they have had a lot to overcome and have changed in unexpected ways. That explains why it took them 12 games to look like one of the NFC’s top teams.
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The Seahawks continue to call about left tackles and reportedly are willing to deal Jimmy Graham — although Pete Carroll emphatically refuted that report and John Schneider also shot it down.
The Texans are in turmoil, and the Seahawks had a few things to say about it. The Texans have a demonstration planned.
The Seahawks are thankful to have Paul Allen as their owner.
Justin Britt will be a game-time decision, but signs point to him playing.
Rookie QBs are 2-10 in Seattle, meaning Deshaun Watson will have a tough time.
Will Watson play into the Seattle pass rush’s hands?
Five things to watch in #HOUvsSEA, from John Clayton. And three keys, via Seahawks.com.
It made too much sense for them not to try: The Seahawks reportedly are shopping Jermaine Kearse.
The Seahawks don’t want to keep more than six receivers. Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson are the other veterans. Kasen Williams has played his way onto the team this preseason, and Amara Darboh, who has struggled with injuries, figures to stick because the Hawks won’t throw away a third-round pick this early. And Tanner McEvoy is a 6-foot-6 target who can throw passes and block kicks.
Continue reading Why the Hawks are shopping Kearse
The knock on the slight and slender Paul Richardson leading up to the 2014 draft was the big potential for injury in the NFL.
Turns out that was a well-founded concern, because Richardson just has not been able to stay healthy. He didn’t get much action until late in his rookie year, and then he tore his ACL in a playoff game against Carolina. That and a hamstring injury burned almost his entire 2015 season, and he didn’t do much last year until Tyler Lockett was injured late.
When he has played, he has shown a knack for making great plays. He did it again in the preseason opener Sunday — diving to catch a 25-yard pass from Russell Wilson. But he also suffered a sprained shoulder on the play and will be out at least a couple of weeks.
It was a rough blow for Richardson, who had a chance to bump Jermaine Kearse as the No. 3 receiver behind Doug Baldwin and Lockett. Now, Richardson seemingly will revert to fighting off other guys for the No. 4 spot.
Kasen Williams, who has had his own injury issues, took full advantage of Richardson’s early departure. Williams caught all four passes thrown his way, gaining 119 yards. Every one of them was a tough catch — contested or diving or twisting. If he can stay healthy, Williams should make a big run against a crowded receiver field.
Here’s what we saw at each position in the Seahawks’ 48-17 win over the Chargers:
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The Richard Sherman-Julio Jones matchup is the one everyone will be keeping an eye on. (We hope Kris Richard learned a lesson from last time.)
Gene Steratore, who tries not to get in the way, will ref the game. He was the ref for the excellent Seahawks-Patriots game earlier this season.
Jones will be curious to find out how Steratore’s crew plans to call the game.
C.J. Prosise is unlikely to return or this game.
Will the Seahawks use Jimmy Graham in the red zone more in this game?
Everyone’s going gaga over the resurgent rushing performance of Thomas Rawls and the offensive line in Seattle’s 26-6 win over Detroit. But the proof will be in Atlanta.
As expected, the Seahawks are headed there for a rematch with Dan Quinn’s Falcons and a chance to redeem their 2012 playoff loss. To do it, they will have to run the ball as well as they did against the Lions — when the linemen seemingly channeled former All-Pro Steve Hutchinson after he raised the 12 flag.
Yeah, the Hawks beat Atlanta 26-24 in Week 6 without a running game (Christine Michael led an attack that garnered just 76 yards). But they wouldn’t have won without Earl Thomas, who had a stellar game despite the defense’s breakdowns in the third quarter.
Thomas won’t be around to help combat Matt Ryan’s prolific offense this time, which is where the running game comes in: Seattle needs to play keepaway.
Continue reading Seahawks need to keep running it in Atlanta
A year ago at this time, the Seahawks were getting ready for a wild-card playoff game against an NFC North team they had helped build. They ended up escaping frigid Minnesota with a lucky win over the Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater, the quarterback Seattle enabled Minnesota to draft in 2014.
Now, here the Hawks are in the wild-card round again, about to face another NFC North team, and personnel ties loom large yet again.
As the Hawks prepare to host the Detroit Lions in the first playoff game between the teams, two of the big storylines involve Golden Tate and Cliff Avril going against their former teams. But the personnel links are deeper than that.
Since coming to Seattle in 2010, John Schneider has done more business with Detroit than with any other team. Of his 42 trades, seven have been with the Lions. And two of them helped create the Legion of Boom.
Continue reading Lions face the Legion they helped build