Tag Archives: Russell Wilson

Still learning, Hawks continue super start

Logo -- At Cleveland“We’re trying to go somewhere. It takes everything we’ve got.” — Russell Wilson

Despite making their share of errors in a game full of mistakes by both teams and the refs, the still-developing  Seahawks showed their resilience yet again as they continued their super start.

The Seahawks took the ball away four times — five if you count a blocked punt — as they won a mistake-filled game in Cleveland, 32-28, to improve to 5-1 for the third time in franchise history.

The last time they were 5-1, they won the Super Bowl. The Hawks also improved to 3-0 on the road, their best such start since 1980.

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Countdown to 49ers starts in Cleveland

Logo -- At ClevelandThe Seahawks were supposed to be watching the Browns on Monday night — their homework for this week — but it was pretty hard to miss the team that dominated Baker Mayfield and company.

“That night was San Francisco’s night,” Pete Carroll said of the 49ers’ 31-3 win. “It didn’t matter what happened, really. The ball kept coming their way and they kept making the plays. They looked great.”

The Hawks play at Cleveland this week, but in a month they will be facing the 49ers in what figures to be a major Monday night showdown — impacting both the division and conference races.

In Cleveland, the Seahawks (4-1) are looking to go 5-1 for the third time in franchise history (2003, 2013). After that, they host still-feisty Earl Thomas and Baltimore, visit Dan Quinn’s struggling Falcons (1-4) and then host Bruce Arians’ high-scoring Bucs. That’s a recipe for an 8-1 record, 7-2 at worst.

Meanwhile, if the 49ers (4-0) can beat the Rams (3-2) in L.A. this week, they could easily be 8-0 when they host the Seahawks in Week 10. They play Washington (0-5), Carolina (3-2) and Arizona (1-3-1) in between.

The Seahawks have the toughest remaining schedule in the league, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings (which are a better approximation of team strength than simple winning percentage). That tough slate is due largely to playing the No. 1 49ers, No. 4 Philadelphia, No. 6 Baltimore and No. 7 Minnesota.

The Seahawks should be up to the challenge. They rank ninth in DVOA themselves — thanks to nearly perfect Russell Wilson and the No. 3 offense — and will get better on defense as Ziggy Ansah, Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed come together in the second half.

As Clowney said of the pass rush, “We’re winning games and we’re not playing our best right now, which is always a good thing. It’s a long, long season.

“Once we start clicking on all cylinders, I think we’re going to make a big push at the right time. That’s all we’re waiting on. Everything’s about timing. We’ve just got to keep working together, keep getting better and winning games.”

A quick look at the very winnable next four:

Cleveland: Mayfield has thrown eight interceptions and has been sacked 16 times, and Odell Beckham Jr. is starting to get antsy. The defense has a great pass rush but has been gashed by the 49ers and Ravens for 448 rushing yards the past two weeks.

Baltimore: Thomas has had a rough first few games, and he’ll certainly bring his personal vendetta against Carroll to this one. But that defense has allowed three 300-yard passers and seven rushing touchdowns. After a hot start (six TD passes in the opener at Miami), Lamar Jackson has thrown five interceptions and been sacked nine times the past two games.

Atlanta: Quinn is on the hot seat as his team has given up 30.4 points per game (which would be worst in the NFL if not for Miami’s ridiculous 40.8). The Falcons have given up 12 TD passes, also second-most in the NFL, and have allowed 139 rushing yards per game in their four losses.

Tampa Bay: Jameis Winston & Co. are the No. 5 scoring squad in the league (29.4) and are 2-1 on the road, including a whopping 55-40 upset of the Rams in L.A. Arians’ team is competitive, and the coach loves Seattle. This figures to be the toughest of the four.

Fortunately 4-1, Seahawks are ‘still growing’

Logo -- Los Angeles“We’re still climbing. The best is yet to come.” — Shaquill Griffin

The Seahawks are 4-1, despite still not playing their best game — and that’s how we know they’re Super Bowl contenders.

Their lucky 30-29 win over the Rams had a lot of good in it: Russell Wilson’s near perfection, Tyler Lockett’s toe-tapping magic, Chris Carson’s winning efforts and more. But the Hawks still were unable to lock up the win on their own merits — the Rams had to lose it on a missed field goal.

Of course, the Rams would have been lucky to win themselves since Jason Myers missed a first-half field goal that meant the Rams did not need to overcome a four-point deficit at the end.

The Hawks lost two close shootouts to the Rams last season, and now they have won one against the Super Bowl runners-up — proving these teams remain evenly matched. That Sunday night game in Week 14 will be huge.

By that time, though, the Seahawks should have found their defensive groove and be a complete contender.

Continue reading Fortunately 4-1, Seahawks are ‘still growing’

Home playoff game on the line vs. Rams

Logo -- Los AngelesHow big is Seattle’s game against the Rams? Probably the difference between a home playoff game and a road trip — and certainly a major factor in the race for home field in the NFC playoffs.

This is the second straight year the Seahawks have hosted the Rams in Seattle in Week 5 after playing at Arizona in Week 4. Last year, the 33-31 home loss to the Rams was the difference between 10 wins and 11. If the Hawks had flipped that game and beaten the 49ers in Week 15 (rather than lose in OT), they would have been at 12 wins and won the division thanks to a better conference record than the Rams. That would have made them the NFC’s third seed, hosting the Eagles in the wild-card round instead of going to Dallas.

And while we are doing what-ifs: If the Hawks had beaten the Saints in Week 3 this year, rather than handing the win to New Orleans, they would be going for 5-0 and early control of the NFC this week. Instead, they are just trying to stay in the mix in both the division and conference while flipping the script on a Rams team that has beaten them three straight times and won the division the past two years.

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‘We didn’t do that right either’: Carroll & Co. beat themselves

Logo -- New OrleansIf you had not known Drew Brees was sidelined by injury and then someone told you the Saints beat the Seahawks 33-27 on Sunday, you probably would have shrugged and said, “Not a surprise. The Saints (who should have been in the Super Bowl last season) are really good.”

In fact, way back when the schedule came out, we expected this to be a loss and for Seattle to be 2-1, just like they are.

The thing that made it disappointing is that Brees was not playing and the Hawks beat themselves in a dozen ways to make that loss a reality. If they’re still going to win our predicted 11 or 12 games, they have to clean up their game, from the top down.

Continue reading ‘We didn’t do that right either’: Carroll & Co. beat themselves

Hawks finally figure out offense, get big win in Pittsburgh

Logo -- At PittsburghIt took about seven quarters into the season, but Brian Schottenheimer and the Seahawks might finally have figured out exactly how this offense should run.

In Pittsburgh, they picked up right where they left off in that ugly opener against Cincinnati: The line gave up three sacks in the first quarter and was called for three early penalties (plus Jaron Brown’s), Chris Carson fumbled for the second straight game and the Hawks burned all of their timeouts (two on offense) by early in the second quarter, ruining their chances on a two-minute drive at the end of the half.

But Schottenheimer put the offense in Russell Wilson’s hands in the third quarter, and the QB rallied the Hawks to a 28-26 win over the Steelers and their first 2-0 start since the 2013 championship season. It also gave Pete Carroll his 100th win on his 68th birthday — which got him the game ball and a water bath in the locker room afterward.

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How (in)complete are the Hawks right now?

Logo -- At PittsburghJust how far from their best are the Seahawks?

Judging by the Week 2 league injury report, the Seahawks appear to be one of the more banged-up teams. They have six guys on the official game report (only the Chargers and Redskins have more), and they had 16 guys listed with injuries on the practice report Friday.

Almost every offensive lineman has some kind of ailment, and the Hawks are going to swap out two injured defensive starters this week, too.

Their most stable positions have been quarterback, running back (if you can believe it) and linebacker. Otherwise, they are in a state of flux everywhere else.

We previously said they are better almost everywhere, but right now we estimate they are only about two-thirds of what they eventually will be. And it might take a couple of months to find that final third — barring any major injuries.

Continue reading How (in)complete are the Hawks right now?

Can Hawks end rocky road streak?

Logo -- At PittsburghAs good as Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have been at home in September (15-0 after the ugly win over Cincinnati last week), they have been inversely successful on the road.

They are 3-13 on the road in the first month, 1-11 in the first two weeks and 1-8 in the first road game each season under Carroll.

If the Seahawks are going to end a five-year losing streak in road openers and win for the first time since their championship season, they are going to need to do well early in the 10 a.m. PT start in Pittsburgh.

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Hawks will keep running, but will Wilson & Schotty be better?

Logo -- CincinnatiAs the Seahawks open the season, one of the major points to watch will be the evolution of Russell Wilson and a fully Baldwin-less offense in Year 2 under Brian Schottenheimer.

The Seahawks put a lot of resources (financial and draft) into their passing game in the offseason, which led some to suggest (or hope) they are now building entirely around Wilson and are going to throw the ball all over the yard.

Clearly, people who think Carroll is going to sway from his run-focused approach are dreaming — and not really paying attention. Remember, Carroll is all about that circle of toughness — imposing his will on both sides of the ball.

As Carroll recently told 710 ESPN: “We want to play off the running game. … We want to run the heck out of the football. We love that part of the game, but we love everything that comes off that.

“We hopefully are going to show you a wide-open attack that makes you have to defend the run and makes you have to defend Russell sitting back there bombing footballs. We want to get the ball down the field and attack the heck out of it. That’s a big deal to us.

Continue reading Hawks will keep running, but will Wilson & Schotty be better?

Why Wagner and not Thomas & Clark?

Training camp logo2The season is still over a month away, but the Seahawks already have tallied a bunch of W’s — Wilson, Wright and now Wagner.

With his $54 million deal, Bobby Wagner joined Russell Wilson ($140 million) and K.J. Wright ($15.5 million) as rare “keepers” for a Seattle club that has undergone some major changes over the past two offseasons.

The Seahawks were wise to hand third deals to all three W’s, but some wonder why they got paid and Earl Thomas and Frank Clark didn’t. Why pay a middle linebacker $18 million a year but refuse to pay your star safety and pass rusher, leaving you with no other established standouts on defense?

Continue reading Why Wagner and not Thomas & Clark?