The Seahawks/Redskins game left me with a number of observations, mostly positive. However, there are a few scenarios that simply left me baffled with the Redskins ball club. Let’s start with those…
I’m really puzzled at who is actually in charge in DC because it certainly doesn’t appear to be Shanahan. In his post-game interview, RG3 made 2 telling statements regarding who is really in charge on the Redskin team.
- “I’m the quarterback of this team,” Griffin said. “My job is to be out there if I can play. … I don’t feel like me being out there hurt the team in any way. I’m the best option for this team, and that’s why I’m the starter.”
- He was then asked what would his reaction have been had Shanahan pulled him against his will for Kirk Cousins. His answer? “I probably would have been right back out there on the field,” he said. “You respect authority and I respect Coach Shanahan, but at the same time you have to step up and be a man sometimes, and there was no way I was coming out of that game.”
Either Robert Griffin the Third believed all the hype and praise heaped on him throughout the regular season made him the expert or Shanahan never utilized his authority at any time since drafting him. You don’t get this far into the post season race with this being the first indicator that the coach doesn’t have his hand on the wheel. Imagine Russell Wilson making a statement like this… yeah, I can’t either. One of the hallmark components of a champion is humility, something RG3 seems to lack and something RW3 has in abundance.
Secondly, who’s asleep at the switch with the field condition? I watched the Mike Robinson cell phone video of the field during the Seahawk walk through and found it appalling, not only the dirt, but the divots and holes in the field. And this isn’t an observation about the Seahawks, but about the field in general. Why would you ask your own players to play on that nonsense? Why would you spend all that money on RG3 and then give him that crap surface to play on? And he wasn’t the only Redskin player that had leg issues… A quick check of the Redskins 1/4/13 injury report, showed 11 of 15 players had foot, ankle or knee injuries. Coincidence?
Perhaps because of this field? This picture was seen on the internet post game showing the comparison between the Redskins and Ravens field just a few miles apart. (Redskins on the right, Ravens on the left) I submit that if owner, Dan Snyder, was concerned enough to travel to Florida with his star QB to get the scoop on his knee, perhaps he should have been concerned enough not to send him out to play in an eroded cow pasture to begin with!
Enough about the Redskins. Now Seahawks!!
So proud of our team for winning yet another road game! So proud of our Hawks for coming back from 14-0 and shutting down the Redskins for the next 3 quarters! There are too many players to mention and I think that’s a great sign that the Hawks are not one dimensional or overly reliant on one player! Lots of weapons, lots of energy!
I think the single most important component to this game is one that we’ve seen all year. I asked Pete Carroll about it midseason and you can read his answers here. I’m referring to the ability of the Seahawks to make adjustments. It hasn’t been that long ago that we had a Hawks team that seemed to script the entire game and either couldn’t implement adjustments or made them too late in the game to win. The fact that this team can make them throughout the game, not just at halftime, is a testament to the coaching staff and bodes well for their plans to continue through the playoffs.
Just a quick note to acknowledge the contributions of Chris Clemons and Steven Hauschka this season. Both were injured in the cow pasture at Fed Ex field and moved to the Injured Reserve list. Additional thanks to Jon Ryan for stepping up to do kick offs. Our special teams squad has been amazing this year!
Off to Atlanta!
I think it goes without saying that this is a ridiculously important game. I also think that it’s ridiculous that every time the phrase “it goes without saying” is used the person then goes on to say what supposedly goes without saying. That, however, is a separate issue. Tonight the Seahawks travel to San Francisco for a Thursday night game that could define this season. A win tonight would put the Seahawks at 5-2 with all remaining divisional games at the Clink where they are undefeated and undoubtedly a better team. That’s what they call the driver’s seat. A loss would put them back in the pack at 4-3 with quite a bit of clawing to do if they hope to win the division. This will be the Seahawks’ most challenging test so far:an elite team to compete with in a hostile environment. They will need their A game and a couple of breaks here and there to escape Candlestick with a win. Today we look at some of the matchups the Seahawks need to win to make that happen.
Matchup #1: Marshawn Lynch vs. Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman
Despite not putting up gaudy touchdown totals Marshawn Lynch is having himself a career year. He is averaging 91.5 yards a game, as opposed to 80.3 last year. More impressively he is averaging 4.3 yards a carry, another career high, despite the fact every defense he faces is loaded up to stop him. Running between the tackles is where Lynch excels but he faces a stiff challenge in the Pro Bowl duo of Willis and Bowman. These ILB’s have absolutely terrorized opposing running games making offenses one dimension and creating opportunities for the 49ers pass rush and secondary. Last week Ahmad Bradshaw put up 116 yards against the 49ers, a virtually unheard of number against this defensive front led by Willis and Bowman. Lynch will be hoping this is the start of a trend rather than a one-time fluke but I doubt he will be so lucky.
Matchup #2: Sidney Rice vs. Carlos Rogers
Last week Rice showed us what we’ve been paying for. During his time with the Seahawks it has been hard to isolate Rice’s struggles from the struggles of the quarterbacks throwing to him and as such hard to evaluate his performance. Now it appears he might just be starting to click with Russell Wilson and the numbers we’ve been expecting might begin to follow. It also helps that he seems healthy for once. Today he faces Carlos Rogers, a cornerback on the wrong side of 30 having a career renaissance. Rogers was a first round pick but largely nothing special during his tenure with Washington but something about the move to the 49ers energized Rogers as he set a career high in interceptions last year at 6 (his previous season high was 2 and he had 8 total in 6 years with the Redskins). Rogers is a bigger corner at 6-0 199 (not like Seahawks corner big, but bigger) and could make things difficult for Rice today. I do think Rice is beginning to hit his stride though so look for a couple big catches and maybe a pass interference drawn (Fun Fact: Sidney Rice has drawn the most pass interference yardage in the league this year with 74 yards).
Matchup #3: Jon Ryan vs. Ted Ginn Jr.
Like a fine wine from Saskatchewan, Jon Ryan gets better with age. The Regina native is booting it 50.7 yards a kick so far this year coming off a year where he put up a career high 46.6 yards an attempt. Having a star punter may not win you many headlines but it sure is useful. Ryan is a field position weapon and in a battle between two elite defenses field position can be everything. You may recall, even though you would really rather not, that the Seahawks have had some problems with Ted Ginn Jr. in the past. Despite being comically over-drafted, Ginn is exactly the electrifying return talent that he was expected to be, although not a complete game changer of Hester’s caliber. Pinning Ginn to the side lines will be important in containing him and I wouldn’t complain if Ryan wanted to simply punt it out of bounds and let Alex Smith try and beat the Seahawks defense. It will be interesting to see what strategy the Seahawks use and what kind of job Ryan and his coverage team does at containing one of the most explosive men in the league.
If you are a connoisseur of punting this might be the game for you. Two defenses like this are bound to keep it close and interesting to the end. This is the sort of game that is extremely difficult to win, especially on the road, but at this point I’m just about done thinking there is anyone the Seahawks don’t have a chance against. With any luck the 49ers loss to the Giants is a sign of a complete and utter collapse to follow. Don’t count on it. Count on a good game.
The only person even close to deserving being named offensive MVP is the only person besides Jon Ryan who merited Pro Bowl consideration. That person is Leon Washington.
Riley is like a brother to me, but I thought he was way off base with his choice of Matt Hasselbeck. The offense this past season was the worst it may have ever been with Hasselbeck under center. He must bear a good portion of the responsibility for that.
Hasselbeck did have some very good games, notably the regular season wins at Chicago and Arizona and both games against New Orleans. However, when I think of Hasselbeck’s play last season, the first thing that comes to mind is the third quarter meltdown against Atlanta. Then there was the horrendous showing at San Francisco, as well as at Denver and St. Louis. I cannot ignore the decline in quality and consistency of performance.
Mike Williams had a good season, but too many drops eliminates him in my eyes. Marshawn Lynch ran with extraordinary effort and determination, but the abysmal run blocking by the offensive line was too much to overcome. Some of Lynch’s best runs barely made it back to the original line of scrimmage.
Only Washington was a consistent threat during every game. That doesn’t mean he was mistake-free. He had a costly fumble against the New York Giants on a kickoff return. However, he made a number of stellar returns throughout the season. His numbers would have been even more impressive had he returned punts during the first six games of the season. Golden Tate began the season as the main punt returner and started well before making some errors in judgment which led to his being replaced by Washington.
Washington won the game against San Diego almost entirely by himself. The quality of his returns often gave the offense excellent field position, which makes the ineptitude of that unit even more frustrating. In the playoff win against New Orleans, Saints Coach Sean Payton’s refusal to kick the ball deep to Washington gave Seattle great field position that helped overcome an early deficit.
The Seahawks’ return game has been excellent for the past few seasons. Nate Burleson and Josh Wilson were both outstanding, but Washington elevated the return game to a whole new level. If not for Chicago’s Devin Hester, Washington would have earned a Pro Bowl selection.
It’s amazing that Seattle made the playoffs last season with my offensive and defensive MVPs being the kick returner and the punter. Kudos to Leon Washington and Jon Ryan, but I hope neither ever comes close to earning those honors ever again. For Washington, I mean solely as a return specialist, not as a running back.
Late in last Sunday’s game, Jon Ryan took a vicious hit from Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett during a punt return. Fortunately Ryan, who has been one of Seattle’s best and most consistent players, should be okay moving forward (yes, he is a punter).
There has been a lot of coverage this week on big hits around the National Football League, so I should point out that Bennett’s hit was legal and did not appear to be malicious. If the league decides to start suspending players who deliver illegal blows, Bennett’s would not warrant punishment.
“We think Jon’s going to be all right,” Carroll told the media yesterday. “The docs thought he was going to be able to make it for the week. He’s pretty banged up.”
Even though he might be hurt, it is just good news that his injury is nothing serious. If you missed the big hit, check out the video below (after jump).
12. Justin Forsett, worried he’s going to lose his starting job, sends Marshawn Lynch a big bag of some of the finest northwest weed and plants a gun in Lynch’s car.
11. Matt Hasselbeck invites Charlie Whitehurst over for dinner and then coats the front steps in oil, in hopes the heir apparent slips and injures himself.
10. Chester Pitts spends the bye week in the trainer’s room after he strains his back unpacking his suitcase for the umpteenth time.
9. Julius Jones updates his resume and finally signs up for LinkedIn.
8. John Schneider takes a break from constantly revamping the roster to finally update his fantasy football team.
7. Pete Carroll ignores the criticism over his trick plays and draws up 24 more for their upcoming game against the Bears. Get ready for the Statue of Liberty, double reverse, halfback pass.
6. The Seahawks coaching staff runs through a handful of offensive line lineups in a dozen games of Madden NFL 11to figure out who they’re going to start against Chicago.
5. Now that he’s back with the Seahawks, Craig Terrill gets his band back together and plays the Muckelshoot Casino.
4. John Schneider consoles the GM for the Arizona Cardinals over the phone. There’s clearly a request to trade any of Seattle’s quarterbacks, but Schneider can’t make out which one because of all the sobbing and blubbering.
3. Pete Carroll looks over 49ers Coach Mike Singletary’s application to become the Seahawk’s linebacker coach for next season.
2. Punter Jon Ryan works with a speed coach in hopes of being called on again for a boneheaded fake field goal.
1. Former Seahawks Coach Jim Mora practices making regrettable comments in the mirror prior to appearing on an upcoming radio broadcast.
Tags: 12th Man, bye, Charlie Whitehurst, Chester Pitts, Chicago Bears, Craig Terrill, football, Humor, Jim Mora, John Schneider, Jon Ryan, Julius Jones, Justin Forsett, Marshawn Lynch, Matt Hasselbeck, nfl, Pete Carroll, Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks, Top 12