The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl proving yet again that regular season records mean little in predicting the playoffs. By translating a 10-6 record in to a 4-0 playoff run, the Ravens have made history by becoming the first team in history to win a Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers.
When NFC West football coaches, players, and fans look back on this season, the biggest lesson might be, “Make sure to show up to play in the first half of playoff games.” While both the Seahawks and 49ers looked as talented as any team in football this year, their habit of digging themselves in to a hole and relying on perfect execution late in games backfired. Instead of the NFC West holding a Lombardi Trophy, the 49ers finish the season more closely resembling the team that couldn’t beat the Rams than the team that was predicted by many to win it all.
In my last article I predicted that the Ravens would pass to set up the run. As it would turn out, the Ravens rushing attack was never a factor at all. Luckily for them, they scored their three offensive touchdowns on pass plays. They ended the game with only 93 rushing yards, and averaged a measly 2.7 yards per carry. On a normal day, that would not be enough to move the chains.
However, especially for Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, this was not a normal day. His three first half touchdowns were enough to bury the 49ers in a deep hole. They were also enough to set a new NFL record with 11 touchdown passes in a single post season without an interception.
Flacco’s first pass was thrown to the middle of the end zone to Anquan Boldin who found a pocket between two defenders. The next touchdown was a 1-yard pass to Dennis Pitta who calmly spiked the ball. The body language of the Ravens squad exuded confidence. The third touchdown made people stop and look. It was a 56-yard completion to Jacoby Jones, who caught the ball in the air, fell down, and got up in time to elude San Francisco defenders on his way to the end zone.
With the possession of the ball to start the second half, the Ravens were in good position with a 21-6 lead at halftime. By the time Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, things were looking great.
It looked like a good old fashioned Super Bowl blowout, until, of all things, the power went out in the Super Dome. While the power outage delayed the game for 34 minutes, it is impossible to judge what effect it had on the two teams. Some say that the 49ers benefited by being allowed to regroup and kill Baltimore’s momentum.
It could be just as easily presumed that Baltimore benefited from the blackout, by being allowed to regain some energy that allowed them to withstand the onslaught that was soon to come. In the end, the real beneficiary of the power out was probably the bar owners across the world who kept their patrons drinking for an extra half hour. At the end of the unexpected intermission, the game really started to get competitive, and turned in to what many called an instant classic.
Colin Kaepernick, who was flustered and ineffective early, suddenly was able to connect with Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. Both receivers topped one hundred yards, and Crabtree hauled in a touchdown. The other two 49er touchdowns were run in by Frank Gore who ran for a game best 110 yards, and Kaepernick who celebrated his touchdown run with a highly predictable kiss of his tattoo.
While the touchdown brought the 49ers to within a field goal of the Ravens, perhaps Kaepernick’s celebration was a bit premature if not entirely unnecessary. The Ravens would go on to build their lead to 5 on a Justin Tucker field goal giving the 49ers time to take the lead.
However, Baltimore’s defense held tight on a four-down goal line stand that included one controversial non-call in the end zone on a ball thrown to Michael Crabtree. While Jimmy Smith clearly had a handful of jersey, Crabtree was also engaged in contact. Being that it’s a Super Bowl, I’m a big believer in letting the players play, and saving the flags for obvious penalties, like the illegal formation that stalled a promising opening drive by San Francisco.
After turning the ball over on downs, San Francisco’s defense was able to hold the Ravens to a three and out. The Ravens, who had faked a field goal earlier in the game, pulled another unorthodox special teams move. With twelve seconds left, the punter, Sam Koch, scrambled around in the end zone for eight seconds before running out of bounds giving the 49ers a safety and two points.
The score tightened to 3 points, but with four seconds left on the clock, a field goal was not a possibility. Instead of punting from the end zone with 12 seconds left, the Ravens were able to kick off with four seconds left. There were no repeats of the music city miracle as Baltimore’s kickoff team found the ball quickly, and made the winning tackle as time expired.
It was a fitting end to an exciting season of NFL football. The Ravens have some questions surrounding an aging defense, and a free agent quarterback, but have been consistently competitive over the years. The 49ers also look like they’re built to compete for years to come.
The Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, and Denver Broncos all exited the playoffs with unfulfilled expectations. Expect them to be in the thick of the hunt next season. But, until then, The Baltimore Ravens deserve to hold their well-earned title of NFL Champions.
Tags: Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens, Colin Kaepernick, Dennis Pitta, Denver Broncos, featured, football, Frank Gore, Green Bay Packers, Jacoby Jones, Jimmy Smith, Joe Flacco, Justin Tucker, Michael Crabtree, NFC West, nfl, playoffs, Popular, power out, Sam Koch, San Francisco 49ers, Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks, St. Lois Rams, Super Bowl, super bowl mvp, Super Bowl XLVII, Super Dome, Vernon Davis
Zach Miller had what was probably his most important game as a Seahawk Sunday. After a withering offensive display by RGIII and his offense resulted in two touchdown drives, Seattle’s defense looked like it was running at half-speed and the offense looked like they had left their Mojo of the last five games on the tarmac in Seattle. There was absolutely no sign of the high octane offense we had seen in recent weeks, and the vaunted Seattle defense was putting up little resistance to the Washington running attack.
Down 14 – 0 midway through the first quarter Seattle needed to get something going ASAP or risk having the game get out of control by the end of the first quarter. Enter Tight End Zach Miller who gave the Seahawks just what the doctor ordered to get them out of their funk late in the first quarter. On a third and long from his own 18 Russell Wilson hit Miller short of the marker, but Miller twisted and fought his way to a critical first down, Seattle’s first of the game. That was the first sign of life from the Seahawks offense. That drive ended in a field goal but put Seattle on the scoreboard and broke the Redskins momentum.
The next drive had some excitement from a Wilson to Lynch fumbled handoff which Lynch miraculously scooped up and carried to another key first down. That drive resulted in a Michael Robinson TD reception, and the Hawks had 10 on the board. After an Earl Thomas interception of a floated RG III pass the Seahawks added 3 more before the half. Hawks fans breathed a sigh of relief with the team being just one point down at the half.
The second half started with a lot of Beast mode and Wilson runs — getting the team down to the one yard line before Lynch fumbled the ball away. The Hawks held the Skins to a 3 and out and got the ball back with good field position, but had to punt the ball away after a near miss to Baldwin in the end zone. Even though the Hawks were moving the ball they were not able to add any points in the third quarter, reminiscent of some of the Hawks early season games. Still it didn’t seem like the Seahawks were in too much trouble, but they needed a play to break the near deadlock. Now in the 4th quarter the Hawks were on their own 46 at 3rd and long when Wilson again hit Zach Miller sneaking out of protection for a huge gain down to the Skins 32. Three plays later Lynch took the ball into the end zone from the 27 yard line with an assist block from Wilson at the goal line. And on the 2 point conversion Wilson again hit Zach Miller as he crossed the goal line on a quick slant. Miller would lead all receivers with 4 catches for the game.
With a touchdown lead the Hawks were ahead but not out of the woods yet. They needed a game sealing score with time running down. When the Redskins and RG III got the ball back Bruce Irvin nailed RG III for a sack. On the next play the right knee of RG III grotesquely gave way as he chased a bad snap and the Hawks recovered on the 5 yard line. After three unsuccessful shots to the end zone, a Hauschka field goal made it a 2 score game and pretty much put the game out of reach for the Redskins.
There were a lot of great plays made by a lot of Seahawks in this game. Rice and Tate made some incredible sideline hugging receptions of pinpoint Russell Wilson throws. Marshawn Lynch made some huge runs and had that crazy scoop of the fumbled hand off. But the key plays that got the Seahawks out of the doldrums and on their way to this win came from Mr. Zach Miller. So here’s a big “Well Done!” for Zach Miller, Seattle’s unsung hero and the spark that got the Seahawk machine going. Go Hawks!
The playoff seedings became a lot clearer this past Sunday. They aren’t set yet, but it’s close. The Seahawks have officially clinched their spot in the playoffs. Exactly who they play and where remains to be seen. But i’ll get to that in the minute. First, lets look at all the possible seedings.
Teams are listed in order of probability for getting the playoff position.
1 Seed: Atlanta Falcons
2 Seed: Green Bay, San Francisco, Seattle
If Green Bay wins, they get the 2 seed the first round bye. If they lose, the 49ers are next in line, and get the 2 seed as long as they beat Arizona. Seattle can still take the #2 seed, but that only happens if the Seahawks top the Rams, and both the 49ers and Green Bay lose.
3 Seed: San Francisco, Green Bay, Seattle
The 3 seed belongs to the 49ers right now. A Packer loss combined with a 49er win would drop the Packer down into this spot. If the Packers win to take the 2 seed, but the 49ers lose, the Seahawks will take the #3 seed if they top the Rams.
4 Seed: Washington, Dallas
Teams could be listed in any order. They play week 17. Winner gets this spot, pretty simple.
5 Seed: Seattle, San Francisco
This spot is currently Seattle’s. Even if the Seahawks lose they’ll wont drop. If the Seahawks win, and the 49ers lose, those 2 teams will swap positions and the 49ers would end up here.
6 Seed: Minnesota, Chicago, Washington, Giants
The Vikings are in the drivers seat here. Win and they they’re in. If they lose to the Packers, the Bears are next in line. If both teams lose, Washington would take the spot if they lose to Dallas. The only way the Giants get in is if the wins and Dallas, Minnesota and Chicago all lose. If everyone loses, Minnesota gets in here.
So it looks most likely that the Seahawks will start the playoffs on the road against the NFC East winner.
If the Seahawks somehow steal the division away fromt he 49ers, then they’ll get a home playoff game. The most likely scenario is there would be a re-match with the Bears at the CLink.
Now that the playoff picture is starting to take shape I started to think back on the season the Seahawks have had, and how the team had at least 4 games slip through their fingers. How different things could be right now had it not been for 4 losses that could have been wins. Let’s accept that the first game at the 49ers was one the Seahawks were expected to lose. In the other 4 losses the Seahawks were actually favored. If not for just 4 plays the Seahawks would likely be sitting on a league leading 13 and 1 record! This begs the question; Which 4 plays would have changed the Seahawks record from 9 and 5 to 13 and 1?
Here is my best shot at determining those 4 plays that, had they gone the other way, would have changed the Seahawks season.
- Week 1 vs the Cardinals – Most people would pick one of the 2 missed passes at the end of this game that could have given the Seahawks a touchdown and the win. But I’m going to pick a another play earlier in the game. Seattle had just scored 13 consecutive points and led Arizona 16-13 . Arizona’s offense under QB John Skelton was having an awful second half and the Seahawks were in complete control and had all the momentum. Then Skelton was hit during an attempted pass and left the game with an injured right ankle. Kevin Kolb, who had lost the starting job to Skelton in the preseason, came in and drove the Cardinals on a scoring, and game winning drive. The Hawks later fell short on several pass attempts in the red zone after a long drive. Had Skelton not been hurt, the Seahawks would likely have continued to stifle him and would have been able to play ball control the rest of the game and gotten the win.
- Week 4 vs the Rams – An uninspired effort by the offense left the Seahawks defense with the majority of the load in this game. The Rams Danny Amendola was able to get open for key completions all game long. Even so the Seahawks were only down by 6 and driving with 2 minutes left. The game was lost on a throw when Wilson’s intended receiver Anthony McCoy tripped on his route and Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher grabbed an easy interception, and that handed the win to St. Louis.
- Week 8 vs the Lions – This is another one that, despite a late 4th quarter winning drive by the Lions, was actually lost not on the last drive of the game, but late in the second quarter. It was on a Lions drive that was stalled at third-and-11 just past midfield. Stafford made probably his best throw of the year to Titus Young who streaked for a 46-yard touchdown. Had the Seahawks held on that 3rd and 11, they likely could have held the Lions out of the end zone until half time and that 4th quarter drive by the Lions would have been irrelevant.
- Week 12 vs the Dolphins – The Seahawks had the lead and the Dolphins were driving with 8 minutes remaining in the game. On first and goal from Seattle’s 7-yard line QB Ryan Tannehill was flushed out of the pocket to his right and forced a throw to Anthony Fasano in tight coverage. Hawks LB Bobby Wagner intercepted the ball in the end zone for what would have been a touchback and Hawks ball at the 20. Unfortunately, during the throw, Seahawks Safety Earl Thomas had launched himself airborne in an attempt to knock down the pass. His forward momentum carried him into Tannehills path and Thomas’ arm inadvertently brushed the quarterback’s helmet, drawing a personal foul. Interception negated. Dolphins get the easy score and win 21-24.
So there you have it…Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda. 4 Plays that would have made the Seahawks the No.1 seed in the playoffs had they not happened, giving them home field advantage and a bye in the first week…just like their Super Bowl year. Even winning just one of these games would have made this weeks game vs the 49ers a battle for the NFC West lead. I’m sure every Seahawks player knows this and will remember it next season, which should be one to remember. But with a little luck, a top 3 defense, and the newly found offensive power of the last 3 games, hopefully fans won’t have to wait until next season for a look at another Seahawks Super Bowl. But how much easier it could have been.
I deemed a question appropriate for this headline, as that’s what we are left with, questions. Can the Hawks win out? Will the right teams lose? What about the O-line injuries? Which NFC teams will we beat in a tiebreaker? These are all relative questions pertaining to the Hawks playoff chances. According to @seahawk_talk on twitter, the Hawks have a 6.5% chance to play in the postseason. Any 12th man will take that and run with it as we seem to be eternal optimists, torturing ourselves with every possible scenario for the Hawks to make it. This optimism is likely rooted from the utter and total lack of respect this team gets from a national standpoint. There’s nothing the 12th man wants worse than to tell the national media to suck it, and have the Hawks back it up on the field by defying these long odds.
That being said, lets take a look at priority number 1, winning out. I believe this defense is already playing good enough to compete in the playoffs, so I will focus on offense.
We all know scoring more points than the opponent is the object of every game. With the running game steadily gaining ground, and the offense becoming increasingly efficient, how has this affected actual points scored per drive?
According to football outsiders, the Hawks currently stand 28th in the league averaging 1.31 pts/drive. However, over the last 4 games the hawks have had 51 offensive drives resulting in 94 points, averaging 1.84 pts/drive. While that doesn’t seem like a huge difference, if sustained through the season it would be good for 17th, an 11 spot jump in the league rankings, averaging 23.5 pts/game, which would be good for 12th. Compare that to the 15.25 pts/game, ranking 28th, the first 8 games, and it’s a solid improvement. … [visit site to read more]
- “Jim Zorn was the NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year for the 1976 season, the Seahawks’ … [visit site to read more]
Although the Seahawks exceeded expectations by making the playoffs and pulling off one of the greatest upsets in playoff history, it’s hard to find and MVP candidate. This biggest problem is that nobody really stands out. Sure, a few guys had a big game or two this season, but consistency was one thing the Hawks never really had. I got it narrowed down to 3 players on offense: Mike Williams, Marshawn Lynch, and Matt Hasselbeck.
Unfortunately for Mike Williams, Michael Vick decided to have the best year of his career despite having the worst 3 years of his life just prior. On one hand, good for Vick. He’s probably traveled farther between failure and success than any athlete in recent history. On the other hand, so has Mike Williams. Williams did the unheard of by shaking off his “Bust” status this season. Although Williams only had 751 yards and 2 td, he seemed to gain momentum as the season endured. Williams played through injury and said all the right things. He has earned the status as a legitimate wide receiver in the NFL, and has left fans with high expectations believing that last season was just the beginning. This award could very well be Williams’ next season and many more to come, but this season is just way too early.
Marshawn Lynch had one of the greatest runs in NFL history against New Orleans. He eluded well over half of the entire defense to score on a run designed to kill time. The problem with Lynch is that his play on the field looks nothing like his statistics. Seattle finished 2nd to last in rushing last season. The offensive line struggled early losing their coach in the preseason and Max Unger early in the regular season. Despite the poor blocking, Marshawn Lynch made some incredible moves this season and demonstrated a power and tenacity when breaking tackles that had long been forgotten in Seattle. The only bad thing was that all this happened behind the line of scrimmage. Lynch routinely turned 4 yard losses into no gains. Tom Cable and the return of Max Unger should help the line considerably next season. Marshawn Lynch is the player that I am most excited to see next year. His attitude and effort could not be better right now, but he will need a better line to get this award next season.
Matt Hasselbeck led the Seahawks to victory in one of the greatest games in franchise history. He also threw just as many interceptions as he did touchdowns during the regular season. Hasselbeck did not start well, but he did finish strong. In his first 4 games he threw for a total of 840 yds, 4td, and 6int. He was obviously struggling with a new offense and the lack of a running game only put more pressure on Matt. Oh, and did I mention that this was his 3rd head coach in as many years. Hasselbeck may not be the most accurate passer in the league, nor does he have the big arm, but he has moxie. He beat the life out of New Orleans in front of the same crowd that chanted, “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie….,” and he never made us feel bad about it. Hasselbeck then went into Chicago and did everything in his power to will his team to victory, but fell just short. Dropped balls were an issue in that game, yet Matt still managed to rack up 258 yards, 3 td, and 0 int. On any other playoff team, Hasselbeck might have followed up the game of his life by having another one just like it. I know he had a rough start and nearly lost his job to the likes of a guy referred to as, “clipboard Jesus,” but he finished strong when it counted most amassing 7 td and just 1 int in 2 playoff games. Matt Hasselbeck is this year’s MVP.
Honorable Mention: Leon Washington took back 3 kicks for touchdowns; his longest being 101 yards. Without Leon Washington, Seattle loses to the Chargers, and without that win, miss the playoffs and the greatest upset in franchise history. Washington provided some big plays early in the season. I hope Seattle uses Washington for more than just returns next season. His combination of speed and hands is lethal enough to have at least a few plays designed around it.
Here’s to Pete’s inaugural season as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He exceeded expectations and left fans wanting more. Let’s just hope this momentum can carry effectively into next year.
It’s not often that I really loathe a player. Usually I am ok with someone leaving, or I couldn’t care less. I remember wishing Dilfer well when he left. He seemed to leave with a tip of the hat and a hearty handshake. TJ Houshmandzadeh, on the other hand, was a tool, and I could not of been happier to see him released. He was all talk all the time. He blamed everyone but himself for the Seahawks shortcomings. Just an all around jerk. I stated some time ago that if you have that personality on a winning team, you are considered cocky, and fans love it, however, if you harbor the same attitude on a losing team, fans usually hate it, and it makes you look selfish, petty, and spoiled. This is the best way I can describe Houshmandzadeh.
Well today everything came around full circle. TJ dropped the most catchable ball in the universe. This could have been a clutch catch in the waining minutes of the biggest game of his life. This could have proven to the entire country that TJ is who he says he is.
I shouldn’t gloat at another’s failure, but it’s him, and his mouth is nearly as big as his ego. I cannot think of another Hawk that I truly despised as much as him. Hutchinson is up there, but I think, for me, TJ takes the cake. So here’s to your career TJ. It looks to be as washed up as a kid’s car on prom night. That wasn’t even a hard catch, and you dropped it. Maybe you should try making plays before you run your mouth so much. Another option would be retirement.
I recently had the chance to talk on the phone with Jeff Dickerson. Jeff has been traveling with the Bears and covering them for ABC-7. Jeff also appears on Chicago’s Game Day Live and hosts a nightly show on ESPN 1000 from 7:30pm to 11:00pm. To see more about Jeff and his work, check out espnchicago.com And a quick thanks to Don Povia for setting me up with Jeff.
Due to a last minute technical difficulty, I was not able to get a recording of this interview, but I was able to take notes. Unfortunately my typing is not as fast as I thought it was, so I had to paraphrase the answers a little bit.
Do the Hawks deserve to be here?
I got the feeling that Jeff absolutely thought that the Hawks deserved to be in the playoffs. “If you win your division that’s how it goes.” He understood why some fans might be “upset”, and went on to suggest that maybe reseeding teams might be one solution. One thing Jeff was absolutely clear about was that the Bears players were not overlooking the Seahawks.
The Seahawks are not the most popular team in the press. Who does the rest of the country of this team?
Jeff was quick to point out that the Bears aren’t exactly, “media darlings.” He stated that , “the Bears have got their own problems,” and that, ”Dilfer is ripping the Bears on a nightly basis.” The first Seahawks player he mentioned was Earl Thomas, “a guy the Bears have talked about a lot.” He also mentioned Mike Williams. “because he was a but,” but also because, “he had a great game against the Bears,” earlier in the season.” In that game Williams had 10 catches for 123 yards. Jeff was also quick to point out the experience and impact of Lofa Tatupu as well as some of the 2nd year and rookie players Seattle has quired through the draft.
Is Mike Martz a better OC or Head coach? Have the years made him better than he was in St Louis?
Initially Jeff stated, “I might have to say no. But he did adapt a little bit.” Jeff was reluctant to give Martz too much credit. “They are running the football better, and Martz’s play calling has shifted a bit. He’s done an ok job.” Jeff went on to state that he didn’t think Martz would be getting another Head coaching job anytime soon, however, he did state that, Mike Tice has, “done a great job with the guys up front.” Jeff’s biggest fear concerning Mike Martz was that he may, “go back to his old tricks on Sunday.” In the end, I don’t think Jeff really disliked or liked Mike Martz as he consistently used the word, “ok,” to describe him.
How much of an impact does the crowd have on this game?
“I know how loud it gets (at Qwest Field.) Soldier field is not on that level.” He thought that Chicago fans were ”passionate,” but that Seahawks fans were, crazy over the top. To tell you the truth, I knd of prefer crazy over the top.” There’s a tip of the hat for you 12th Man
Describe the evolution of Jay Cutler? Is it Cutler or Martz evolving the most this year?
“It all starts with the run.” Jeff was adimant on this point throughout the entire interview. ”It makes them less predictable.” Jeff thought that the Bears, “have done themselves a lot of favors on 3rddown,” since they have balanced their offense. Chicago was 0-12 on 3rd down the last time these two teams met. “Cutler has played great at times this year, but getting back to a balance style offense has meant the world to this team.” Jeff really thought that this game would come down to how many times Chicago rushed the ball stating that, “if Matt Forte doesn’t get at least 20 touches, it will be a crime.”
Which game best defined the Bears team this year?
”I think the Jets was most impressive.” Chicago snuck away that week with a 38-34 victory over the Jets, however, he didn’t think that game was the one that really defined the team. “The defining win was the Eagles.” In this game the, “offense moved the ball at will outside of one bad sequence in the end of the first half.” That game the Bears put up 31 points to the Eagles 26. “That’s when everybody believed it was more than luck.”
“If the Bears don’t win this game, the city might fall into Lake Michigan. 31-17 Bears.”
Thanks again to Jeff for taking the time to talk with the 12th Man Rising, and even though he picked the Bears, I appreciated the respect he gave this Seahawks team. The more I talked with him, the more I realized how similar these two teams are concerning the lack of support from the media. At the end of week 7, I don’t think anyone really expected either team to be here, yet here they are. I wonder if Drew Brees and Peyton Manning will be watching this game together?
These were my questions for Jonathan.
1. How much does it really matter that the Seahawks beat Chicago? Does it have any impact or influence on the upcoming matchup?
Chicago HQ: Hell yes. The game against the Seahawks was the beginning of Mike Martz changing. He kept wanting this team to be “The Greatest Show on Turf” but instead the only thing on turf was Jay Cutler. The line was playing for crap and the Chicago Bears stopped running the damn ball. Now, the Chicago Bears are a running team that sprinkles in passes when the situation calls for it. The offensive line is playing better. Plus, the defense is going to better than what you saw. Lance Briggs is healthy and the defensive line has gone through some personnel changes. Trust me, the Chicago Bears considered the Seattle loss as unforgivable. The opportunity to feel better about it comes possibly comes Sunday.
2. Being a 12th Man, I have to ask: How much of an impact does the crowd at Soldier Field have on the outcome of the game?
Chicago HQ: They do this BS in Chicago called “The 4th Phase”. We’re supposed to be wild and crazy. Honestly, and I know you’re not going to like what I’m going to say, I don’t buy into this crowd business. Look, great teams win because their great. The Seahawks beat the Saints because the Saints became one dimensional and forgot how to tackle (I picked you guys by the way…I thought the Saints were way to caught up in how bad Seattle was, and they weren’t prepared for that game at all). The way you get the crowd out of any game is running the damn football. I’m expecting the Seahawks to do that Sunday.
3. The Bears finished the season winning 7 of their last 9 games. They seemed to really gain momentum towards the end of the season. How much does the loss in week 17 and a bye in the first round take away from that momentum? Or does the extra rest benefit them?
Chicago HQ: I have to give Lovie Smith a lot of praise for going with his starters against the Packers. Instead of being stubborn, he learned from his past mistakes that resting players doesn’t work. Look at what happened last week in your game. The Saints came in and looked sloppy because the previous week was used as a resting period. The Bears are healthy. They just got healthier and the coaches got were able to change some things. The Green Bay loss was used as a testing ground. I went up to that game and I’ll tell you that in the first half, the Bears were the better team. The second half the Bears changed some things around and they really got away from what worked. Had the game mattered, I think they would have continued doing the things that were working. This team was better after the regular season bye, so I’m thinking that they should adjust accordingly this time around.
4. Which player will have the biggest impact on the outcome of the upcoming game?
Chicago HQ: The obvious answer is Devin Hester. The right answer is Matt Forte. Lofa Tatupu’s status is still unknown. If he’s out, Forte may have an even bigger game. I’ll also throw Earl Bennett in there as well.
5. Which Chicago television icon is Chicago most proud of: Oprah or Bozo?
Chicago HQ: Bozo. I’m 36. My mother had to write in for tickets before I was born so I could go to a show when I was like 6. It was a thrill meeting him. Oprah annoys the s@#t out of me. And you can print that…
Chicago HQ: Well, now the big question…all this other stuff was talk. I’m liking not loving the Chicago Bears. I’ll say Bears 17 Seahawks 10
Gotta go with the Seahawks: 24-17
It was hard telling through binnoculars, but on the replay it looked bad. I would be the first to admit that objectiveity sometimes becomes irrelevant during the heat of the moment, and this game was a super nova. Just wondering what everybody else thought about that play.
And just for the record, I have heard many fans complain about his key drop in the 4th qrt. This was a clutch catch that could have costed the Hawks the game. I would like to point out the fact that Obomanu seperated his shoulder, had it put back in place, and finished the game.
It was a big drop. I will grant you that, however, you can’t fault the moxxy of the guy. In the end, and after the win, I say we give him that one. He has outperformed expectations all season long and I highly doubt that it will ever happen again in such a crucial moment.
Obo-Wan-Kenobi remains a jedi in my book.
People are still talking about it.
It has been called by many fans and media sources alike, “The greatest run I have ever seen.”
It was bound to happen at some point for Marshwn Lynch. All year long he has been running like a Beast, however, has had little to show for it but pride. You see him fight harder than any other runningback in Seahawks history for every yard. He plays with no fear of injury, and you never get the feeling that he is just padding the stats. He gives 100% on every play in every game.
As great as Shaun Alexander was for the Seahawks, he never ran like that. Ever.
Before the biggest upset in the history of the NFL playoffs happened, Marshawn was introduced alongside his college teammate, Justin Forsett. After emerging from the tunnel, each running back stood with his back to the other, one with his arms crossed and the other pointing up to the sky. Neither trying to take from the other. A rare case of character and friendship in a business driven league. These two friends realize that their styles compliment one another in turn making them each a better player. The Beast and the Priest as they have been called.
You have to love this tandem despite the poor rushing production all season long. Marshwn is averaging 3.5 ypc. This doesn’t seem like much, however, it should be noted that Lynch has been routinely hit in the backfield and been forced to create a little something out of nothing. Say what you want about his 3.5ypc, but in my opinion, it’s the toughest 3.5 yard average in the NFL.
The match-up in Chicago is almost the opposite of the Saints the previous week. New Orleans was ranked 4th against the pass and 16th against the rush. Chicago, on the other hand, is ranked 2nd against the run and 20th against the pass. One would not expect Lynch to have the same game against Chicago, however, momentum can do crazy things to opposing defenses, and Lynch has more momentum than any other player in the NFL right now.