When you think of the top running backs in the NFL, who do you think of?
If putting together a list of the Top 5 backs in the league, would you dare leave Marshawn Lynch or Adrian Peterson off the list?
Probably not, and for good reason. The two are among the best, not just in the NFC, but in the NFL. And on Sunday, the two will have the opportunity to play on the same field, when the Seahawks host the Minnesota Vikings.
Statistically, the two are nearly inseparable.
Lynch has the second-most rushing yards in the league with 871 while Peterson is in fourth with 786.
Peterson leads the league with nine touchdowns while Lynch is in third with seven.
Peterson averages 87.3 yards per game (3rd), Lynch averages 87.1 (4th). Lynch averages 4.6 yards per rush while Peterson averages 4.5 yards per rush.
And, the two are tied for fourth in the league with five rushes of 20+ yards this season.
Physically, the two are near replicas of the other.
Lynch is listed at 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, while Peterson is 6-foot-1, 217 pounds.
Both players are in their seventh year after being drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
Peterson went first, the 7th pick in the Draft to the Vikings, who took him out of Oklahoma. Lynch was drafted five picks later when the Buffalo Bills picked him out of California.
And both players will meet on Sunday. The Seahawks are favorites in the game but the Vikings have the opportunity to put up a fight with Peterson in the backfield.
It will be interesting to see which of the two has a better game, but every minute will be worth watching. What happens when two of the best running backs in the game square off?
We will find out on Sunday.
The Seahawks game against the Buccaneers this past weekend might be the hardest game this season to grade. The Seahawks looked almost awful at times and then in the second half they looked like the dynamic hardnosed football team they are suppose to be. This team continues to make you scratch your head and wonder what team you are going to see play each week; whether the ball is being taken away from Marshawn Lynch inside the 5 yard line or the defense is being sliced and diced by another rookie Running Back. The Seattle Seahawks still sit atop the NFC after 9 weeks of the 2013 NFL season and that is something to be proud of. Although this team must start coming out of the gate stronger once their injured players start coming back or these miraculous victorious will be a thing of the past when power house teams like the 49ers or the Saints come to town (if you forget about the Saints at the Jets game this week).Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.
Russell Wilson again brought his team back and was able to put points on the board late in the game when the Seahawks needed them most. Wilson and the Seahawks came out of the gate marching down the field until an errant throw ended up in a diving Buccaneer’s hands, Wilson also had threw a pass that was picked off in the end zone that nearly could have ended the game late. Wilson threw for 217 yards on 19 of 26 attempts, 2 Touchdowns passing, and 2 interceptions, this was Wilson’s first multiple interception game of the season and his first interceptions in 4 games. Wilson also rushed the ball 6 times for 36 yards and 1 Touchdown. Wilson as usual came up big when it was most important which was late in the 1st half to get some momentum back and then of course late in the game as the Seahawks had to score 3 times in the 4th quarter and Overtime to get the Win.
Running Backs: A
Marshawn Lynch had his biggest game of the year as he motored the Seahawks down the field on multiple drives plowing through would be tacklers play after play. The play calling has to start coming into question inside the 5 yard line as the ball was again taken out of the hands of the NFL’s premier power back. Marshawn carried the ball 21 times for 125 yards with an impressive 6 yards per carry. Lynch had over 43 yards on the first drive of the game and then only had another 20 yards up until the final drives of the game where he produced another 62 yards. Granted the Seahawks were down big and had to throw the ball but Marshawn was consistently moving the ball at will against the Tampa Bay defense.
Wide Receivers: B-
The Seahawks Receivers had a solid game as they came up big in this game breaking tackles and gaining the extra yards needed after the catch. Doug Baldwin led all Receivers with 6 catches for 75 yards and 1 Touchdown, although he had two drops in arrow on 1 drive. Golden Tate’s presence was felt in multiple aspects but he did haul in 3 passes for 29 yards, one being a huge 19 yard pass play on the sideline. Zach Miller also came up big nearly every time he caught the ball as he was responsible for 3 catches for 49 yards and all led to Seahawks 1st downs.
Offensive Line: B+
The Offensive line finally seemed to start putting things together for the first time since the line was decimated by injury. After the first couple of drives Wilson was finally about to get a little breathing room and was not running for his life as he had been the last month. The line was able to clear massive holes and held on to the edges for Marshawn Lynch. The line did not give up a sack this week, Wilson was under a lot of duress in the 1st quarter, but the hatches buckled down and Tampa Bay was unable to drop Wilson. Michael Bowie went down in the 2nd quarter although he did come back in the 2nd half to help keep Wilson upright. Max Unger also left the game in the 4th quarter with a concussion.
Defensive Line: C+
The Seahawks Defensive Line was able to flush Mike Glennon out of the pocket throughout the game although he was able to scramble away at times and throw on the run which resulted in two 2nd quarter Touchdowns. The Defensive line did sack Glennon 3 times totaling 25 yards lost. Michael Bennett pulled Glennon down for a sack but it wasn’t the pass rush that was so obvious in this game, but the amount of yards that was allowed by the Seahawks Defensive line on the ground as Mike James totaled 158 yards on the ground. The Buccaneers ran the ball for a total of 205 yards against the daunting Seahawks Defense. Seattle’s normally steady run stuffer Red Bryant was unable to fill the holes in this game thus opening running lanes throughout the game.
Bobby Wagner was again one of the stars of the game for the Seahawks defense as he seemed to regularly be around the ball. Wagner had 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks on a blitz play where he was untouched and blindsided Mike Glennon for a monster sack. KJ Wright also had a 11 tackles in this game but he always seemed to be a step behind whether he was taking bad angles or he was out of position, most of his tackles came at least 7 yards down the field as he tried to get back into the play. Bruce Irvin was unable to come up with the huge plays that he came up with last week against the Rams. Irvin only had 4 tackles and was really a non factor in this game as he continues on his first season playing with more responsibility than just pass rushing.
The Seahawks secondary had a solid game only giving up 168 yards passing, and being forced to make a ton of tackles on Buccaneers running backs down the field. The Buccaneers did throw for 3 touchdowns although that stat might seem inflated as one on the touchdowns was a jump pass thrown by Mike James as the goal line and the other two touchdown passes were long broken passes as Mike Glennon found his receiver long after they broke off of their routes and he was scrambling for his life. Earl Thomas had a solid game as he led all Seahawks defenders with 12 tackles. Thomas had what should have been considered the play of the game as he made a toe tapping interception on the sideline that was negated by a ridiculous pass interference call against him. Thomas did have a huge missed tackle when he went for the big hit vice wrapping up and Mike James bounced off of him and continued his run. Richard Sherman continued his solid play as he was every bit of the shut down corner that he has claimed to be.
Special Teams: B+
The Seahawks special teams had a quiet game until late in the game when Golden Tate and Steven Hauschka both came up big when the Seahawks needed them most. Hauschka continued his solid play with no missed field goals on the season (if you don’t count the blocked field goal earlier in the season) as he hit two 2nd half field goals one of which was the game winner in overtime. Golden Tate had a huge 71 yard punt return as he jumped, juked, and bounced around the field setting up one of the Seahawks late touchdowns. Jermaine Kearse had a costly fumble in the 2nd quarter as he coughed the ball up on a would be big kick-off return that was recovered by the Buccaneers kicker.
This was a great comeback for the Seahawks as they came back from 21 points down in the 2nd quarter which was the biggest comeback in team history. Seattle needs to start coming out of the gate stronger and stop relying on big late game heroics. The Seahawks dominated this game from the 3 minute mark of the 2nd quarter on although chances are that if they weren’t playing the 0-7 Buccaneers the results could have been much worse. The play calling in the red zone has to start being questioned as there can only be so many play action passes inside the 5 yard line that go for scores, Marshawn Lynch needs to get his touches deep in the red zone.
Marshawn Lynch has been assigned a trial date of Dec. 27 for the DUI he was charged with in July 2012, according to his attorney, Ivan Golde.
Lynch was arrested in Alameda County, Calif., in the early morning of July 14, 2012 for allegedly driving under the influence, according to ESPN.com’s Eric D. Williams.
Lynch, 27, was arrested in the early morning by the California Highway Patrol when a police officer allegedly observed him driving north on Interstate 880 in Oakland, weaving in and out of lanes in a white Ford van and nearly colliding with two cars.
After failing a preliminary sobriety test, Lynch was taken into custody and transported to the Alameda County Sheriff Department’s North County Jail in Oakland. Lynch submitted to a breathalyzer test, which came back positive with his blood alcohol content over the state’s legal limit of 0.08, according to police.
On Friday, a judge in Alameda County denied the motion to dismiss the case. Golde, Lynch’s attorney, has said that he will seek a continuance to push the trial date to next year, after the Seahawks season ends, according to the National Football Post.
NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk reported that Golde believes the officer that arrested Lynch changed his story when asked how long he watched Lynch drive under the influence. According to Golde, the officer originally said he witnessed Lynch drive for one-fifth of a mile, then changed his story to say he watched him for a full mile.
“The officer drastically changed his story on that critical piece of information,” Golde said. “The impression the DA’s office seems to be making is that they are singling him out to show that high-profile players can’t get away with these things. After all of what Marshawn does for this community, for the police to lie and change their story to prosecute him is inexcusable.”
Lynch will be allowed to play this season, regardless of what comes of the case. A suspension is unlikely, even if he is found guilty, since “the standard penalty for a first-offense DUI is a two-game fine”, according to NBC Sports.
Lynch, one of the leading rushers in the NFL this season, missed two days of practice this week but is expected to play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch will be featured on ESPN’s weekly “E:60″ program on Tuesday night at 4 p.m. PDT.
The news-magazine program analyzes the stories behind various sports and the athletes who play them.
Lynch’s “E:60″ will focus on his life — from his difficult childhood in Oakland, Calif., to mistakes he made early in his NFL career, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
While his life was never an easy one, he has risen to stardom in the NFL as a vital piece on one of the best football teams in the NFL.
This season, he has rushed for 538 yards and six touchdowns, a big reason why the Seahawks have the second-most rushing yards per game in the league.
In his eight-year career, Lynch has compiled over 6,700 yards and 52 touchdowns.
But his success in the NFL did not come without a complicated past, which Lynch will discuss in the “E:60″.
In a preview of the episode, Lynch spoke a little of his difficult upbringing.
When asked if he had anything to say to critics who call him a “thug”, Lynch responded:
“I would like to see them…being racially profiled growing up and sometimes not even having nothing to eat.”
You can watch more of the preview here.
Marshawn Lynch rushed for two touchdowns and had 155 all-purpose yards to lead the Seahawks to a 20-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
The Seahawks have now won eleven consecutive games at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle struggled early but finished strong in a hard-fought victory.
Rob Bironas gave the Titans an early 3-0 lead after kicking a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter.
The Seahawks didn’t get on the board until the second quarter when Lynch rushed for a one-yard score that capped a 74-yard drive.
Seattle had an opportunity to extend the lead with seconds left in the half, but a bobbled snap led to a 77-yard fumble returned for a touchdown that gave Tennessee a 10-7 lead at the half.
In the third, Steven Hauschka tied the game with a 31-yard field goal. In the fourth, Hauschka gave the Seahawks a 13-10 lead with his second field goal of the game.
Seattle went up by ten when Lynch rushed for his second touchdown of the day with 7:37 left in the quarter, but Bironas narrowed the lead to 20-13 with a little over two minutes left in the half.
That score would go final.
Eleven-point favorites coming into the game, Seattle outplayed the Titans in almost every statistical category.
The Seahawks had nearly 200 more total yards (404-223), almost 100 more passing yards (253-157), and had eleven more first downs (24-13).
The Seahawks defense dominated the Titans, producing two interceptions and not allowing an offensive touchdown. Up front, Seattle allowed just 66 rushing yards.
Russell Wilson finished the day 23 of 31 for 257 yards and ran the ball 10 times for 61 yards. He did not have any touchdowns, but improved to 11-0 in his career at CenturyLink Field.
Marshawn Lynch has entered the conversation as an MVP contender, according to Dan Graziano’s MVP Watch on ESPN.com.
Lynch, who is third in the league with 410 rushing yards, averages 4.3 yards per rush and has three rushing touchdowns so far this season.
He is ranked No. 8 by Graziano, who had Russell Wilson in his Top 10 last week. In regards to the two, Graziano had this to say:
…The Watch loves Russell Wilson and thinks he’s a winner of the highest order. And if the Seahawks finish with the NFC’s best record, Wilson is almost certain to be their MVP. But Wilson is in timeout this week because his numbers aren’t MVP numbers and the Seahawks lost, and Lynch is the kind of guy who should get mentioned on a list like this because he’s a dirty-work monster who can make his cuts off either leg and can’t be killed with conventional weapons.
The No. 1 player on Graziano’s list is Broncos QB Peyton Manning, who is having a career year. Manning has completed over 75 percent of his passes for 1,884 yards and 20 touchdowns after just five games.
The top NFC player on the list is Saints QB Drew Brees at No. 2. He has thrown for 1,722 yards and 12 touchdowns while leading the Saints to a perfect 5-0 start.
The highest-ranked running back on the list is Lynch.
Lynch is a big reason the Seahawks have run for 159 yards per game this season, second only to the Philadelphia Eagles.
In his seven-year career, he has rushed for over 6,500 yards and 49 TDs while averaging 4.2 yards per carry on the ground.
Statistically, his best year was last season with the Seahawks, when he rushed for 1,590 yards and 11 touchdowns on 315 carries.Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.
Marshawn Lynch scored three touchdowns, Seattle’s defense forced five turnovers, and in front of a CenturyLink Field record crowd of 68,338, the Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers, 29-3.
Prior to Sunday night, both teams were considered to be among the best in the NFC, but Seattle stood in a league of its own against its division rival in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football.
The first quarter was offensively sloppy for both teams, while both defenses looked outstanding. Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick both threw interceptions before lightening forced a 60-minute weather delay towards the end of the first quarter.
The Seahawks put the first points on the board early in the second quarter, thanks to San Francisco’s Bruce Miller being called for a holding penalty in his own end zone. The result was a safety and a 2-0 Seahawks lead.
Later in the quarter, Steven Hauschka nailed a 30-yard field goal that gave the Seahawks a 5-0 advantage, one that they would take to the half.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, that 5-0 halftime score was the first the NFL had seen since 1992.
In the third quarter, the Seahawks offense finally got going. On their first possession of the half, the offense marched 80 yards in ten plays, the final one a 14-yard touchdown run from Lynch.
On the 49ers next possession, the Seahawks defense put up an impressive red-zone stand. San Francisco had a 1st and 10 on Seattle’s 10 yard line, but they managed only a field goal after going three and out. It was the last scoring play of the third quarter and made Seattle’s lead 12-3 going to the fourth.
Then the Seahawks erupted. Two interceptions allowed the offense to score 17 points in the final quarter, courtesy of two touchdowns by Lynch (one a 7-yard reception reception and the other a 2-yard rush) and another field goal from Hauschka.
Lynch finished the night with 28 carries for 98 yards (135 total) and two rushing touchdowns. Wilson had a tough night, going 8 of 19 for 142 yards and both a touchdown and interception.
The Seattle defense held San Francisco’s offense to just 207 total yards and forced Kaepernick to throw three interceptions. San Francisco also lost two fumbles.
For just the third time since 1979, the 49ers finished a game with five turnovers and no touchdowns, according to ESPN.
Turnovers weren’t the only thing that hurt San Francisco — the 49ers had a few costly penalties that ended up hurting them big time by allowing Seattle’s offense to stay on the field. The Niners finished with 12 penalties that went against them for 121 yards.
The Seahawks offense had possession for 36:43, while San Francisco had possession for 23:17.
Seattle (2-0) will host the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) next Sunday at CenturyLink Field, where they have won nine straight games.
The Seahawks will not play the 49ers (1-1) again until Week 14 in San Francisco.
While this season may not make some people’s top ten lists, it makes mine with an exclamation point because it marked a new era of Seahawks football. That new era has been defined by coach Pete Carroll’s unapologetic attitude. He didn’t apologize for making the playoffs with a losing record just like he didn’t apologize after a controversial Monday Night Football win against Green Bay two years later.
Pete Carroll understands that the NFL is a game, and that there is a system in place. Most importantly, he understands how to compete within the system.
The season started out with promising play on defense, excellent play on special teams, and pitiful play on offense “led” by running back Julius Jones who was never able to repeat the fine performances he had as a Dallas Cowboy in the games they played in Seattle.
In fact, the Seahawks opened the season with a 31-6 crushing of the San Francisco 49ers. They went on to a modest 4-2 record before dropping seven of their last nine games. The Seahawks also completed an important mid-season trade for running back Marshawn Lynch whose addition was almost too late.
Fortunately for the Seahawks, the Cardinals were horrible without Kurt Warner, the 49ers failed to meet any and all expectations, and the Rams looked like an up and coming team, but after their first fifteen games they were 7-8. The Seahawks were 6-9.
As fate would have it, the two teams met in the final game of the regular season with the division championship and a berth in the playoffs on the line. If the Rams won they would be 8-8, if the Seahawks won they would be 7-9 and the first team to make the playoffs with a losing record in NFL history.
One of the more controversial off season decisions by the new Pete Carroll/John Schnieder regime had been to pay $8 million for perennial backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. With Matt Hasselbeck injured, Carrol started Clipboard Jesus (aka Whitehurst) in Week 17.
While Whitehurst did not revolutionize the quarterback position, he did win the playoff clinching game against the Rams by not messing up a conservative game plan. While the question of whether that win alone was worth $8 million is debatable, it sure was an impactful win.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Seahawks won an epic shootout against the Drew Breese led New Orleans Saints 41-36. It included one of Matt Hasselbeck’s finest performances, and one of the most memorable runs in Seahawks History: Marshawn Lynch’s Tecmobowlesque 67 yard run for the game clinching touchdown.
In the Divisional round, the Seahawks faced the Chicago Bears in Chicago. The game got off to an ugly start with twenty-one unanswered Bears points. Perhaps tight end John Carlson’s falling on the frozen sideline and exiting the game with an injury summed up that game best. Though the Seahawks fought to get back in the game late, the Bears took care of buisiness and the Seahawks’ unlikely playoff run was over with a 35-24 loss.
By The Numbers:
Regular Season Record: 7-9 (NFC West Champions)
Playoff record: 1-1
Points for: 310
Points against: 407
Turn overs forced: 22
Turn overs allowed: 31
Notable Opponents and Games:
Week 3: Antonio Gates TE San Diego Chargers vs. Leon Washington KR Seattle. Gates padded his already impressive resume with seven receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown that could have been the game winner had Leon Washington not returned the kickoff ninety-nine yards for a touchdown. Earlier in the game, Washington had a 101 yard kick off return for a touchdown. This was a game that proved just how important special teams play is.
Week 6: Devin Hester PR Chicago Bears. Chicago’s legendary return man scored the final touchdown of the game with an eighty-nine yard punt return. Fortunatley for the Seahawks, a key third-quarter sack of Jay Cutler for a safety by Jordan ”Big Play Babs” Babineaux put the Seahawks up by more than a two-point conversion. 23-20 Seahawks.
Week 11: Matt Hasselbeck vs. Drew Breese Part I. Both quarterbacks threw well in a shootout that was closer than the score suggested. Hasselbeck was 32/44, 366 yds., 1 TD, 0 INT. Breese was 29/43, 382 yds., 4 TD 2 INT. Saints 34-19
Week 10: Bruce Smith DE Washington. In Bruce Smith’s final season, he recorded one of his last sacks against the Seahawks. However, the Seahawks won the game 27-20.
Week 15: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucks crushed the Seahawks 38-15 to improve their record to 9-6. The Buccaneers missed the playoffs that year with a 10-win season. Nobody in Seattle cared.
Offensive Standout: Marshawn Lynch RB came to Seattle in a mid-season trade, and hit the ground running. From the start was clear that the Seahawks had finally ended their drought of star running backs. After being spoiled with the likes of Curt Warner, John L. Williams, Chris Warren, Rickey Watters, and Sean Alexander, it was a miserable wait that was rewarded with a truly exciting player.
Defensive Standout: Red Bryant DE. Though he spent most of the season on the DL, Red Bryant’s presence on the defensive line in the early weeks showed glimpses of things to come. Pete Carroll moved Bryant from DT to DE. The move was questioned by many, but proved a success.
Telling Stat of the Season: Marshawn Lynch led all Seahawks with only six touchdowns.
Notable Draft Picks: Russell Okung LT, Earl Thomas DB, Golden Tate WR, and Kam Chancellor DB all have been standouts at times with the Seahawks.
Super Bowl Champion: Greenbay Packers 31 Pittsburgh Steelers 25
The Seahawks have finally made their first pick in the 2013 draft. It just took until the final pick of the second round to get here. With that pick, Seattle took Christine (pronounced Chris-TIN) Michael, a running back from Texas A&M. Chances are you’re wondering who the hell that is. Allow me to enlighten you.
According to NFL.com, Michael’s strengths include a “low center of gravity” but with a “thickness throughout his frame to take and give out punishment.” He has more speed than one would think when he is able to break open as well. Overall, Michael is a bruiser that will be a nice compliment to Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. Both Lynch and Turbin are hard to bring down, and Lynch will occasionally level a tackler, but Michael has the ability to straight damage some defenders. Michael is also a good blocker that is able to lead the ball into the second level.
According to CBS Sports, Michael started 2012 rated by some as the “top senior running back in the country.” Attitude issues, however, took him out of the starting role, and the spotlight, which is probably a big reason he was relatively unknown and is yet another “what the what” pick by Pete Carroll and John Schneider.
Michael has had injury issues and missed the ends of both his sophomore and junior year. He broke his right leg in 2010 and the following season he tore his ACL. However, in 13 games he ran for 1,530 yards and 12 touchdowns. If he can check his attitude issues at the door and stay healthy, Michael should have an opportunity to contribute greatly in Seattle.
If Seattle starts utilizing a running back by committee approach it could be a very different dynamic on offense and make them harder to prepare for and defend. Diversity is a killer.
Another thing that I just thought of is whether or not Seattle might consider lining up Michael at full back and getting all three backs (Lynch, Turbin, and Michael) on the field at the same time. This could also give Seattle more flexibility when it comes to dealing with Michael Robinson’s contract.
This pick could also have fantasy implications as it might limit carries by Lynch.
No matter what, I think we should all get #inpcjswetrust trending because I expect a lot more unexpected picks out of Seattle for the rest of the draft.
Tags: Advanced Analysis, Christine Michael, featured, football, Individual Prospects, John Schneider, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Robinson, News, nfl, NFL Draft, Pete Carroll, Popular, Robert Turbin, Roster Moves, Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks have stolen the stage during the off season after signing; Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, and trading for wide receiver Percy Harvin. Seattle added these three players to an all ready lethal squad that includes Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Zach Miller, and of course Russell Wilson. Seattle finished the 2012-2013 season in a gut wrenching loss to the Atlanta Falcons, losing a slim lead in the last 30-seconds to a Matt Bryant field goal. A lot of hype is headed Seattle’s way after adding the trio, and some are calling them the team to beat for the 2013-2014 NFL Season.
The addition of Percy Harvin has made Seattle even better on offense. Harvin will give Seattle a much needed deep threat at the wide receiver position that they lacked during Pete Carroll’s three first years in Seattle. Harvin also gives Seattle another element to us for the zone-read option. Harvin often lined up as Running back during his time at Florida with Tim Tebow, Minnesota also used Harvin at Running back on third down situations. The addition of Harvin also takes pressure off of Sidney Rice, and Golden Tate and will give Russell Wilson another weapon who will haul in a lot of receptions, and be able to gain yards after the catch, much like Golden Tate was able to last year.
On the defensive side of the ball Seattle has added defensive end Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett who can play tackle and defensive end much like Jason Jones was able to do last year for Seattle. These two combined for 18.5 sacks last year, add that to Seattle’s total of 36 last year that is a total of 54.5 sacks. I find it hard to believe Seattle will be able to rack up that many total sacks, especially with Chris Clemons who led the Seahawks in sacks last year with 11.5 is recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in the playoffs, and may not be ready for the 2013 NFL season. However it is not hard to believe with the growth of rookie Defensive End’s Bruce Irvin, and Greg Scruggs that those two can’t add to their total sack total. Irvin led all rookies with eight-sacks, and fellow rookie defensive end Greg Scruggs totaled just two-sacks in a very limited role, I expect both players to up their sack totals next year. I see no reason Seattle can’t get at least 42 –sacks which would put them in the top half of the league.
The latter part of the 2012-2013 NFL season Seattle arguably played better than any other team in the league, they dominated on offense, and defense and showed little weakness, a slow start in the playoff game to the Falcons led to the ending of the season for Seattle, despite outscoring the Falcons 28 to 10 in the second half.ed to be one of the most complete teams in the NFL, with two deep threats at wide receiver, one of the best running backs in the league and the team is young, they bring back every starter on offense, and nine of eleven starters on defense. It is logical to think this team is only going to be better, some fans are calling this team the “Dream Team”. Is it true? Is this team the best team in the league, and the team everybody in the league does not want to play? Is this team the most talented team in the entire league? My quick answer to all three of these questions would be simply, yes. I am however scared of a team that originally dubbed themselves the “Dream Team” (something no Seattle player has done, which I am very thankful for.)
The team I am speaking of is the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles like the Seahawks brought in big named players to a team that went 10-6 the year before, and had one of the most lethal Quarterbacks in the NFL in Michael Vick. They seem a seasoned coach in Andy Reid.
The eagles decided to add to an all ready potent roster, and brought in All-Pro corner back Nnamdi Asomogha, former pro bowler defensive end Jason Babin and seasoned veteran defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. These three starters along with former first round picks Ronnie Brown, and Vince young mixed with an all ready talented roster formed what was supposed to be the “Dream Team” as Vince Young famously called them during the 2011 off season. So with all these added additions what happened? A 11-5 NFL football team, ended up going 8-8. Poor coaching and management of the team is the simple answer, if you want a specific name it is on Andy Reid, he made the mistake of hiring Juan Castillo who coached the Offensive Line to become his Defensive Coordinator. I failed to see the logic in this, at the time and still do.
Reid also tried to buy himself a championship team, something in football you can’t do. He added a lot of high priced guys who did not fit with his or his staffs coaching. Injuries to Michael Vick also led to the demise of the Eagle’s football season but that should also be blamed on Reid for failing to give his franchise Quarterback Michael Vick a stable offensive line to protect him. I highly doubt this fate will be Seattle’s. They return the entire coaching staff besides defensive coordinator Gus Bradley who went on to become the Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Seattle replaced him with former Florida Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn who also worked under Gus Bradley through 2009-2010 in Seattle as the Defensive Line Coach. As long as Seattle stays with the current defensive system they have ran under Carroll I see no reason why the defense should suffer with the arrivals of Avril, and Bennett, and Dan Quinn.
The 2007 New England Patriots also took the route of free agency to improve an all ready talented team who went 12-4 the year before. The result turned into a 16-0 regular season finish, and a loss in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.
The Patriots first move of the 2007 off season was trading for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Wes Welker giving up a 2nd and 7th round draft pick, to acquire the veteran pass catcher. The Patriots then looked to further boost a wide receiving group that lacked explosiveness and signed free agent wide receiver Donte Stallworth. New England then went a step further to acquire one more wide receiver to help out Tom Brady and traded for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss. The end result was a 16-0 season and both Brady and Moss shattered the touchdown record for their respected positions on the football field. Moss was the biggest risk as many felt he played lazy and uninspired football during his stint with Oakland. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was able to keep the talented wide receiver happy. All three wide receivers contributed greatly to the season. Moss finished the season with 98 receptions, 1493 yards, and 23 touchdowns. Welker had 112 receptions, 1175 yards, and 8 touchdowns, and Donte Stallworth finished his season with 46 receptions, 697 yards, and three touchdowns. The result of spending in free agency can work if you have a good coach, stability at the quarterback position and the franchise. Patriots clearly had that, Eagles well they are still looking.
So will the Seahawk’s season end in dismay like the Eagle’s, or will it end in record breaking success like the patriots. I feel somewhere in between, I do not believe Russell Wilson will throw for 50 touchdowns, and that Harvin will haul in 21 touchdown receptions, or haul in 112 receptions the team is too balanced for that to happen, nor do I believe they will go 16-0 at the moment. I do believe however they can achieve something the 2007 New England Patriots were not able to achieve and that is a Super Bowl. I do believe this Seattle team is the Dream Team and team to beat for the 2013 NFL season.
Tags: Advanced Analysis, Andy Reid, Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, Dream Team, featured, football, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bennett, Michael Vick, News, nfl, Percy Harvin, Philadelphia Eagles, Popular, Previews, Randy Moss, Russell Wilson, Seahawks, Seattle, Seattle Seahawks, Tom Brady
Here is the LINK to NFL.com that carries a better explanation of the rule that has everybody up in arms right now. Watch and listen to the video on that page it explains from the committee where they are going with it, and it’s great if you ask me.
Listen, as a fan I understand the complaint on this rule. But I don’t think the rule is being understood all that well. It’s not that a running back cannot attack a defender, even with his helmet leading into the defender. For example the Marshawn run featured above would not be a penalty… ever!
The rule (should) come into effect only in those rare instances when there is a 1-on-1, non-imminent collision in the open field (outside of the tackle box) and the running back launches himself to the chin/face of the defender. He doesn’t have to leave the ground, but when the back intentionally uses the CROWN OF HIS HELMET to dislodge the defender. It also protects (to some extent) defenders that are easing up, trying to avoid a late hit on the sidelines.
Basically that rare hit that everyone would cringe at and say “GOD that was dangerous, I hope either player is ok” (again OUTSIDE of the tackle box) is what the League is trying to eliminate. The problem with lowering your head is that it completely exposes your vertebrae and paralysis becomes a major possibility with momentum, especially if you get pulled to the ground and your neck is still bent downward. Trying to eliminate that to an extent is something I’m all for! But even in the instance of little Jacquizz Rodgers truck-sticking Earl Thomas in the NFC Divisional game, it wouldn’t be a penalty, because it happened inside the tackle box.
I don’t believe I’ve seen a Marshawn hit yet that should be called a penalty under the new rule. He uses his helmet but rarely in a 1-on-1 situation in the open field. He’d rather hit you with his entire upper body, run you over and keep trucking down the field. That should be entirely legal in all instances, according to the clarification by the league officials, as stated in that video. It’s also been stated that in a situation where the running back is trying to get across the goal line or the first down marker or taking on multiple defenders, unless it’s INTENTIONAL it should not be called. It’s supposed to save a “defenseless” defender from receiving an UNNECESSARY facial that could result in injury. If it’s a necessary maneuver it’s supposed to be deemed “incidental”.
A play that you could point to as a penalty under this new rule would be back in the Chicago/Seattle game, when Michael Robinson (FB) caught a ball in the flats and ducked his head, knocking out the defender on the sideline.
How that will play out in the eyes of the referee is to be determined, but the rule is not a bad rule, it’s a good rule and should also save a running back who would otherwise lower his head and result in instant concussion. Will it be applied well? Maybe not immediately, but hopefully sooner than later.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson competed eight of ten passes for 98 yards, and threw for three touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch scored a touchdown and led all rushers with a modest 21-yards. Leon Washington added a 92-yard kickoff return to set up a score. Earl Thomas also contributed with an interception. Max Unger and Russell Okung provided solid protection. In the end, the NFC put up a record number of points in the 62-35 victory.
In fact, the NFC dominated in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams. They scored six passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and two field goals.
In the face of criticism, the players seemed to play with an appropriate mix of caution and competition. The game also included some fun all-star moments. Russell Wilson connected with Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown pass. Earlier in the game, JJ Watt lined up as a receiver but failed to catch either of his two targets.
While the stakes were still lower than some fantasy football games, it was fun to watch. The broadcast included scenic shots from Hawaii and several on-field interviews. It was also a chance to see some of this year’s players get a bit of recognition for their hard work.
The ProBowl game is over, and the Seahawks in the game showed why our team is going to be a force next season. Against the league’s best players, the Seahawks in the game shined.
Russell Wilson is the most notable. He threw 3 TD passes with 0 picks leading the NFC to the win. His 147.1 rating was the highest of any of the 6 QBs who played in the game.
Most people believe he should have been named the games MVP, but that award went to Minnesota TE Kyle Rudolph. I wasn’t surprised though; leagues never seem to give rookies the MVP award for any all-star game no matter how well they play.
Marshawn Lynch added a TD and led all rushers. Leon Washington had 167 kick return yards including a 92 yarder that set up a score. Left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger both dominated. Even safety Earl Thomas shined in this game. He had an interception and a key pass breakup to go along with his 2 tackles.
Unlike recent ProBowl games, the defensive effort in this game was decent. You might not think that from the 97 total points scored, but it’s true. The AFC averaged just 1.4 yards rushing, and the NFC averaged just 2.9. There were also 6 sacks in this game, 3 by each team. Considering that blitzing and stunting is forbidden, and the games best offensive linemen are in the game, that’s an impressive sack total.
Notably absent from this game was Richard Sherman. The league’s best CB and first team All-Pro was not on the ProBowl roster for reasons that simply make no sense.
Six Seattle Seahawks are headed to the Pro Bowl this year. The big question that everyone is asking is, “Does anybody care?” Last year’s players were accused of not competing, not playing hard enough, and basically playing a boring game. It resulted in a 59 to 41 AFC victory. Earlier this season, when asked about his Prow Bowl snub, Seattle’s own Richard Sherman seemed indifferent. He stated only that he wanted to be listed on the all-pro team.
In fact, criticism of the NFL’s all star game has grown so strong that there has been speculation that Roger Goodell may cancel future Pro Bowls if this year’s game is a flop. If he did, it would be a shame for the NFL’s youngest fans, the kids, who really believe that watching their heroes in an all star game is an exciting event.
My strongest memory of the Prow Bowl was in 1995. That year, Seahawks’ running back Chris Warren broke the Prow Bowl record for yards in a game at 127. Soon after that, his own AFC teammate, Marshall Faulk (then of the Indianapolis Colts) broke Warrens record by gaining 180 yards. Yes, the same record went down twice in one game by players from the same team.
I was young that year, and knew more about NCAA football than I did about NFL football. Maybe that was why I was so excited to see a Seattle player take a record in a bowl game. Then, when Marshall Faulk topped Warren’s record, I felt like I would feel years later when Shaun Alexander lost his share of the single season TD title to LaDainian Tomlinson the next season.
On Sunday, Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, and Leon Washington all have chances to put their names in the record books. All though, for Russell Wilson to get in the record books, he would have to put up impressive individual numbers. Peyton Manning owns most quarterback career marks. Perhaps playing behind his linemen Max Unger and Russell Okung will work to Wilson’s advantage.
It is true that some fans may be turned away from the Pro Bowl by the lack of hard hits, the no-blitz-allowed rule, mandatory 4-3 defense, Maddenesque scoring, and overall lack of competitiveness. There is still potential for some good performances by the best players that the NFL had to offer this season; at least the players not playing in the Super Bowl. In a way, the next two weeks are like a curtain call. The supporting cast coming out to take their bow first, and the biggest stars coming out to play one more game for the title.
In addition to the game itself, the event has always been a nice event for the city of Honolulu, and the State of Hawaii. If Seattle fans feel isolated having their team playing in the northwest, imagine how Hawaian fans feel being so far removed from the rest of the country as to not have a team.
Not only is the Pro Bowl a good chance to involve Hawaii in the world of professional football, this year, the league is reaching out across the pacific. The NFL is using the Pro Bowl weekend to help promote American football in Japan. To help strengthen the bond between American Football and Japanese American Football, the Pro Bowl squads will feature practices at Pearl Harbor, and coaching exchanges with Japanese coaches.
Believe it or not, football is actually played in Japanese high schools, colleges, and they have a semi-pro league that features a mix of Japanese and international players. Their championship is now called the X-bowl, and dates back to 1987. For the big picture of the growth of American football, building this international connection can only be seen as a positive.
While the Ichiro of football still may be a few generations away, this weekends prow bowl is dominated by American players. At the end of the day, the bloated statistics, and fanfare in Hawaii may not be as exciting as the Harbaugh brothers playing chess in between rounds of million dollar commercials. However, it is still football, and I’m going to watch it. Let’s hope that the players put on a good show, and that our Seattle Seahawks players give us something to cheer for.
Tags: afc, Chris Warren, Earl Thomas, featured, football, Leon Washington, Marhall Faulk, Marshawn Lynch, Max Unger, NFC, nfl, Peyton Manning, Popular, Pro Bowl, Richard Sherman, Roger Goodell, Russell Okung, Russell Wilson, Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks, Shaun Alexander
As the season comes to an end, it comes time to reflect on not only what happened in 2012 but Seattle’s outlook for the future. I suppose I could save you and I some time and say that the outlook is “bright” and/or “good” but I tend to be a more thorough person than that. When looking into the crystal ball at a team’s future you have to evaluate their “core”. If the core is too old or too flawed then the team is likely to struggle down the road, unless it can find new core players, probably in the draft, to build around.
When we talk about the core and core players it’s hard to know exactly what it is we are talking about. Usually a core player is someone worth building around; someone you know is going to stick around for a while. As is always the case, the contract is almost as important as the talent level. It’s hard to think of someone as part of the core of your team if they have an expiring contract, unless the plan is to franchise tag them every year like the Seahawks did with Walter Jones for a time. To summarize, the two major criteria for a core player are talent and a contract.
That being said it has always been a bit of a feel thing for me. Similar to how some players feel like Hall of Famers and some don’t even when their objective differences might be slight. That ambiguity is why I’ve developed a mental exercise to determine who the core of this team is. I simply ask myself, “would I consider buying that X player’s jersey?” and if the answer is yes they are probably a core piece. This is particularly pertinent to my life at the moment as my most up-to-date Seahawks jerseys are a Ken Hamlin jersey and a Shaun Alexander jersey. I understand that everyone has their own thoughts on jerseys and some people just buy their favorite player’s jersey but considering the expense, and my desire for the jersey to remain current for as long as possible, I’ve always considered it a big commitment/something worth putting a lot of thought into. In the case of Ken Hamlin I gambled and lost (largely due to very unfortunate circumstances) in 2005, thinking he was a core Seahawk coming out of his 2nd year on the way up. I don’t want to get burned again.
As a result this article can either be seen as identifying/evaluating the Seahawks’ core or a column on jersey buying advice. Whatever floats your boat….. We’ll start on offense.
Firstly, I’d put a disclaimer that I haven’t included o-lineman here, mainly because very few people seem to buy those jerseys. That being said Okung and Unger are both absolutely jersey worthy core players but if I had to choose I’d go with Unger because of his less scary injury history.
Russell Wilson: Wilson was the 4th ranked passer in the NFL as a rookie. He also was ranked 4th in the all-important yards per attempt statistic. He tied the rookie record for TD passes, without setting any records for interceptions like a certain Peyton Manning did. Wilson was also a fantastic runner which opened up some deadly read-option looks for this offense. His game isn’t perfect and he may suffer through some struggles down the road and a little bit of regression to the mean but I can’t conceive of a single reason not to not only consider him part of Seattle’s core but its most important part and to be very happy about this fact. Gushing over. Verdict: I would be proud to don his jersey.Wilson is the present and future.
Marshawn Lynch- To put it succinctly Lynch is a definite yes. Even so, running backs break down like it’s nobody’s business and Lynch does take a pounding so it’s not as much of a slam dunk as you might think. The thing is his accomplishments with the Seahawks so far and his superstar Beast Quake moment are already so legendary that his jersey would be a credible one to own 20 years from now even if he had a career ending injury tomorrow. In terms of his real life value to the Seahawks, he is under contract from three more years and is still in his prime (26) so he’s very much a core piece. Verdict: Yup.
Sidney Rice- Now we are out of the obvious candidates things get a little bit tricky. Rice is 26, he’s under contract for 3 more years, he’s Seattle’s #1 receiver and he’s good so all signs point to a yes here. The problem is twofold. Firstly, Rice has been immensely injury prone and that could severely alter his career path making your Rice jersey look foolish in the years ahead. Secondly, wide receiver is a position group that the Seahawks are trying to improve, probably fairly aggressive and possibly with the addition of another big-ticket free agent acquisition like Dwayne Bowe. It’s not so much that Rice is likely to be displaced or dislodged as there is a risk his importance diminishes over time. The development of Golden Tate could also be a factor. Verdict: Rice is a great receiver, but I can’t bring myself to confidently identify him as a core player for the Seahawks or purchase his jersey. Which hurts because I really like Rice.
Honorable Mention: Golden Tate- Although Tate is two years younger than Rice and seemingly on the way up you are banking heavily on a fair amount of additional development by calling him a core player. Also he hasn’t signed a contract extension and has yet to reach the level of value to the team wherein said extension is an inevitability.
Richard Sherman- There is a strong argument to be made that Richard Sherman is the best player on the Seahawks and at 24 he’s clearly a core piece for the future. My only concern is that he is only under contract for two more years but he’s a player that I’d seriously consider extending this off-season even though the first team all-pro has so much leverage coming off a great year. I think a deal gets done; I’m not suuuure I’d buy the jersey until it does but that’s probably overly cautious on my part. Verdict: Love Sherman, he’s incredibly important to the club and his jersey is a must-own.
Earl Thomas- Everything that I just said about Sherman applies to Thomas. Thomas is actually younger at 23 even though he has played an additional year in the NFL. He is a two time Pro Bowler at 23 and despite being posterized by Jacquizz Rodgers last week is an essential core piece. Same contract situation as Sherman although his lofty draft status has him far better compensated at this moment, likely making an extension less of a priority. Verdict: Earl Thomas is a fantastic player and wearing his name on your back will only make you a better person by extension.
Bobby Wagner- He’s already a great anchor for this defense and there is no reason why he shouldn’t get better and better with experience. An underrated find by Pete Carroll and Co. Absolutely a core player and not a free agent until 2016. One of the best players on arguably the best defense in the league already. Verdict: Buy the damn jersey
Brandon Browner: Although controversial in his playing style Browner has been undeniably effective since making the leap from the CFL to the NFL. He does play second fiddle to Sherman to an extent but is a Pro Bowl corner in his own right coming out of only his second year. This all sounds promising but there are two issues. One is that Browner turns 29 this year playing a position at which it is difficult to age gracefully. The second is that his contract only takes him through 2013 (to be fair he’ll be an RFA after).Browner is going to command big money, money that the Seahawks may well be saving for Richard Sherman. I can’t say with a great deal of confidence that Browner will be in Seattle in 3 years and even if he is he will be 31 and likely not quite what he once was. Great player, not a core player. Verdict: I’d steer clear of a Browner jersey, though you could do a lot worse.
Kam Chancellor: My personal favorite Seahawk. This one hurts. Chancellor is only 24 and has a Pro Bowl berth to his name in 2011. The problem is he’s only signed through 2013 (followed by UFA unlike Browner), I’m inclined to think that he’ll get an extension but unfortunately that isn’t the only problem. At this point I’m not exactly sure how good Kam Chancellor is. Aside from a couple of highlight reel hits he wasn’t a big factor in 2012. Chancellor did very little in coverage this year with his INT’s falling from 4 in 2011 to 0 in 2012 and his PD’s dropping from 12 to 4. He wasn’t a liability he just wasn’t a game changer. Verdict: My heart says, “yes, yes, yes, yes, yes” and my head says, “no”. Regardless if I see someone in a Chancellor jersey my going in assumption is that we will be best friends.
Honorable Mentions: Basically every starter on defense was considered here but most had enough red flags to not be worth delving too far into. Here’s a quick summary.
Chris Clemons- too old, current nasty injury
Red Bryant- not a game changer this year, not convinced they won’t dump his hefty contract at some point
K.J Wright & Brandon Mebane- check all the boxes in theory but neither are quiteee good enough. As I said this is a bit of a feel thing.
Bruce Irvin- too large a range of outcomes for his career, still a complementary player
Overall there are a lot more options on defense than offense which really shouldn’t come at a surprise given the way this team is designed. At the end of the day we wind up with a “core” of Wilson, Lynch, Wagner, Sherman and Thomas, to which you can add Unger and Okung. None of these players are above the age of 26 and 5 of the 7 have made Pro Bowls. That sounds like a pretty impressive core not only for 2013 but for many many more years as well. Not only are these players in their prime but they are also still developing and getting better. I’m not sure if you guys know this but this Seahawks team is really good, and it’s going to be really good for a while. Having done all this I don’t know which jersey I would buy, but that’s sort of a first world problem. The fact there are too many great players on my favorite team is something I can live with.
Tags: Bobby Wagner, brandon browner, Earl Thomas, featured, football, Golden Tate, K.J. Wright, Kam Chancellor, Marshawn Lynch, Max Unger, nfl, Popular, Red Bryant, Russell Wilson, Seahawks, sidney rice