A week after the Seahawks put together their defining win of the season, at Carolina, they added an exclamation point with a 43-16 win vs. former Seahawk Richard Sherman and the undermanned 49ers.
Russell Wilson threw a season-best four TD passes, each one marked by the receivers’ celebration skits (including an homage to Sherman’s famous Tip); Bobby Wagner played easily his best game of the season, setting a team record with his 98-yard pick-six; and the Seahawks moved two games over .500 for the first time this season — happy to show Sherman they are not a “middle of the road” team as they beat the 49ers for the ninth straight time.
The Seahawks officially moved into playoff position, where they can remain if they beat Minnesota next week and win the final three. (Even dropping one game probably wouldn’t hurt them that much.) If the season ended today, the Hawks would be the No. 6 seed.
Continue reading Seahawks blow out Sherman’s 49ers, move into playoff position
Richard Sherman’s return to Seattle is one of the bigger reunion games the Seahawks — or any of the city’s teams — has ever had. Here’s a look at everything being said about it:
Doug Baldwin still hates the way Sherman’s Seattle career ended. Might have to recycle this quote next year if/when Baldwin leaves.
Bobby Wagner had some great good-natured digs at Sherman. Pete Carroll called him a “challenge” to coach but also expressed great respect for Sherman. Shaquill Griffin admires Sherman for mentoring him last year: “That wasn’t in his job description. He didn’t have to do that.”
Sherman basically stuck to the same criticisms of Seattle he made when he was cut. And he also made clear what he thinks of Russell Wilson as a QB (ICYMI: They’re not buds).
While everyone else marvels over the fact that the Seahawks are over .500 this deep into the season, we’re more concerned about how Seattle’s historically bad run defense might prevent the team from advancing in the playoffs.
We have always projected the Hawks to be above .500 at this point (they actually have underachieved by a game in our eyes), and it speaks well of their developing offense that they have been able to stay in games against high-powered offenses such as the L.A. teams, Green Bay and Carolina — rallying to beat the latter two.
But Seattle’s defensive line has proven to be more of a liability than we thought it would be. No one expected the pass rush to be very good outside Frank Clark — and that largely has proven true (Clark has 10 sacks, Jarran Reed a mildly surprising 5.5 and the rest of the team 12.5). But the run defense has been a major disappointment.
Continue reading Hawks’ run defense is historically bad
Russell Wilson had not rallied his team to a comeback victory all season. And the way he played for most of Thursday night, it didn’t look like he was going to pull it off vs. the Packers either.
But he did. And maybe that is all the hope he and the Seahawks need to find some consistency and make a run to the playoffs.
Continue reading Will clutch rally end Wilson’s inconsistency?
The rally for the playoffs starts now for Seattle, and how apropos that the Seahawks are facing the Green Bay Packers as it begins.
These teams have been intertwined like few others over the past 20 years — both on the field and off. This will be their seventh meeting in seven years, and — like many of these games over the past two decades — there will be some reunions: Jimmy Graham will return to Seattle and Brett Hundley will watch his old Packers teammates from the sideline.
On top of that, this game will be the head-to-head measuring stick for whether Russell Wilson deserves to be paid more than NFL salary leader Aaron Rodgers.
And, bigger than those personnel ties, this game basically will eliminate one team from the playoffs.
Continue reading Lots on the line as Hawks host Packers
That’s two games Russell Wilson has thrown away for Seattle this season.
Just like Week 2 in Chicago, he threw a pick-six against the Chargers that basically put the exclamation point on an inexplicably poor performance by Seattle’s offense in a 25-17 loss.
Everyone expected Philip Rivers and the high-powered Chargers to put up yards and points on the Seahawks’ young defense, and they did for a while. But this loss really has to be pinned on Wilson and company, who — good rushing numbers aside — looked a lot like the Week 1-2 offense that failed to win in Denver or Chicago.
Continue reading Wilson, Hawks throw away another
The last time the Seahawks faced Philip Rivers, four years ago, they lost the day’s battle but won the season’s war (or came a yard short anyway).
Coming off a stunning 36-16 blowout of the Packers in the 2014 opener, the Seahawks went down to San Diego and melted in the heat against Rivers and the Gates of Hell. They stumbled to a 3-3 start that year, but they survived an early gantlet of great quarterbacks and rallied to reach the Super Bowl for the second straight year.
Now, here they are again — trying to pull away from 3-3 and make a deep playoff run, with a string of excellent QBs and offenses looming. It’s the perfect test for this team to prove it is a real contender.
Continue reading Time for Hawks to prove they are contenders
As feared, Seattle’s defense couldn’t stop the Rams. And now, barring some catastrophic injuries to the Rams (5-0), the Seahawks (2-3) are chasing a wild-card spot the rest of the season.
There are reasons to be confident they will catch one: (1) They finally put together a pretty complete game on offense, (2) their young secondary will get better and (3) they will get back a couple of key injured players soon.
“I hope you can tell how our team has grown. The last three weeks has been really an extraordinary step forward for us,” Pete Carroll said. “There’s a long season ahead of us — and how we come out of this game and go on to the next one, it will be crucial, just as it will the next week. But there’s no doubting who we are as a team and how we’re trying to build this thing.”
Continue reading Hawks fell way behind in division but still took a step toward playoffs
As good as the Seahawks’ defense has been over the first month, it is about to face its biggest test of the season — and that means Seattle’s offense is going to have to be a lot better than it has been if it is going to win a shootout.
Seattle ranks seventh in overall defense, fifth against the pass and sixth in takeaways — rankings built against some of the league’s poorer offenses. Now, without Earl Thomas, they go up against a Rams unit that ranks first overall and second in passing and scoring.
It’s the ideal time for Russell Wilson and company to find themselves.
Under Brian Schottenheimer, the offense still is having trouble figuring out what it wants to be when it grows up.
Continue reading Hawks need a complete game from offense
Here are Bob Condotta’s things to watch in the Rams-Seahawks game.
Matchups and key stats for Rams-Seahawks, via FieldGulls’ Alistair Corp.
Frank Clark is going to play despite fighting food poisoning all week. Dion Jordan and Chris Carson also will return.
The Hawks are confident in Tedric Thompson replacing Earl Thomas, although the Hawks have struggled without Thomas.