Super Bowl XLVIII Rematch: Broncos vs. Seahawks

Sitting atop ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings the Denver Broncos come to Century Link field with hopes that the nightmares resulting from their 43-8 super bowl loss will discontinue with a victory. Equipped with the second to worst passing defense in the league (statistically) the broncos will have no answer for Hawks wide receivers Percy Harvin, Jermaine Kearse, and Doug Baldwin. And if evidence from the past provides any sign of the future, RB Marshawn Lynch shouldn’t have any complications either.

With the strong belief that the offense will dominate, the only concern lies within the Seahawks passing defense. Last weekend’s match up against the Chargers was a humbling experience for the hawks as opposing TE Antonio Gates caught seven passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns. Opposing tight end success last week causes much reason for concern this week as the Hawks face one of the best pass catching tight ends in the league. Having already caught 11 passes for 143 yards and four touchdowns in only two games, Broncos tight end Julius Thomas is the most explosive tight end of the 2014 season so far. The key to the Hawks success lies within the Seahawks ability to cover J. Thomas.

Opposite from the Hawks, the Broncos offense relies on their passing game to create a running game. If the Hawks can stop Peyton Manning’s passing attack they should be able to stop Montee Ball and the other Broncos running backs. Whatever the result, the game should be a battle filled with plenty of emotions.

Keys to the game: Stopping TE Julius Thomas

Player(s) to watch: WR Percy Harvin

Prediction: Hawks 24 – Broncos 17

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Seahawks at Chargers recap

The final score wasn’t very indicative of how the game played out in the Seahawks 31-20 loss against the Chargers. Considering the Seahawks got a free pass on Percy’s 51 yard TD run, and the time of possession was 17:45 to 42:15 in favor of the Chargers. To sum up the entire game, The Seahawks defense couldn’t get the Chargers offense off of the field. Opposing QB Phillip Rivers led an aerial assault on the Hawks that they couldn’t defend. Rivers had a 75.7 completion percentage while throwing for 284 yards and 3 TD’s. All three of Rivers touchdowns were caught by the wily veteran TE Antonio Gates. Along with the three TDs, Gates caught seven passes for 96 yards.

The biggest glaring defensive issue for the Hawks that led to their defeat was their inability to cover Gates. Both outside linebackers K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith got beat countless times and SS Kam Chancellor was unusually late on arrival in coverage. Otherwise, the Hawks did a decent job of applying pressure to the QB and stopping the run. Unfortunately, Rivers did an even better job of avoiding the pressure, stepping up in the pocket and delivering his throws.

With a little over 17 minutes of possession, the Seahawks managed to score 20 points on offense. Their offensive performance wasn’t flashy but they did all that they could considering the short amount of time that they had. WR Percy Harvin had success on his first rushing attempt, but following that was limited to just one carry for negative six yards and one reception for seven yards. However, his performance wasn’t tied to a lack of effort, but rather a lack of opportunity. In fact, the most touches besides Wilson belonged to Lynch who had a total of six carries due to back spasms. One significant area of weakness displayed in this game was the O-lines failure to protect Wilson from pressure. Showing success in our first game against the Packers, the offensive line took a step back with their performance against the Chargers.

Criticized for their week 1 18-17 loss against the also underappreciated Arizona Cardinals, the Chargers prove a tough opponent and obviously deserve more respect from the football world. Looking forward, the Hawks have a couple of issues that need to be resolved (most significantly how they play away from Century Link) if they hope to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.

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Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers preview

Coming off a dominant 36-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers, the Seahawks are set to face off against the Chargers tomorrow in San Diego.

Having lost two of our cornerbacks (Jeremy Lane and Tharold Simon) the Chargers QB Phillip Rivers will likely attempt to pick on whoever fills in at the nickel cornerback position, that being either Marcus Burley, newly acquired Josh Thomas, or safety De Shawn Shead.

With the Chargers offense rushing for a total of only 52 yards last week (31st in the league), their ability to pass against our backup corners appears to be their only threat offensively.

Defensively the Chargers are equipped with a couple key players that the Hawks need to keep in check if they want to control the football game: LILB Manti Te’o, ROLB Jeremiah Attaochu, CB Brandon Flowers, and FS Eric Weddle.

Playing in his first game just last week, Attaochu was phenomenal recording 4 tackles, a forced fumble and sacking the quarterback.

With veteran safety Eric Weddle in the middle of the secondary, it should be difficult for the Hawks to get any big yardage plays on offense.

Despite the chargers defensive standouts, the Hawks should be able to find ways to beat them on offense.

Keys to the game: playing well at nickelback and controlling opposing LB Jeremiah Attaochu

Player to watch for: WR Doug Baldwin

Prediction: Hawks 31-21 Chargers

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Packers at Seahawks Recap

The Hawks looked stellar in their 36-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers, trouncing their opponents in every facet of the game. The offensive line led the charge as they helped RB Marshawn Lynch rack up 110 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing. Rookie RT Justin Britt was a key part of the offensive line’s success against the Pack and if this game is any indicator of what the rest of the season may look like for him, I believe that the Hawks made an incredible second round pick. The Hawks were able to open up ginormous holes thanks to the play of the OL, but the Hawks pass blocking shouldn’t be overlooked. Throughout the course of this game TE Zach Miller was challenged with the task of pass blocking OLB Clay Matthews. Miller’s ability to contain Matthews was huge part of the Hawks victory. Miller helped shutdown one of the biggest sack getters in the game, and his efforts helped the other members of the offensive line focus on stopping OLB Julius Peppers. Only allowing a single sack and successfully containing Peppers and Matthews for a majority of the game, the Hawks did a fantastic job in giving Russell Wilson more time.

Although his stats weren’t flashy, he was almost perfect in his decision making and his 110.9 QB rating is a good indicator of that. Divvying the ball to several targets on the night, Wilson threw for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns with a 67.9 completion percentage. The most electrifying of those targets was most definitely WR/KR Percy Harvin. Being the playmaker that he is, Percy had 160 all-purpose yards against Green Bay, 49 of those yards coming from seven passes caught, 41 yards from four carries, and 60 yards from three kick returns. Although he did not reach the end zone, Percy’s ability to provide big plays is what put the Hawks in the position to score.

Without a single ball thrown in his direction, CB Richard Sherman wasn’t able to record a single defensive stat against the Pack. However, his counterpart CB Byron Maxwell was tested by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in his ability to cover WR Jordy Nelson. Despite allowing Jordy 83 yards receiving, Maxwell was able to keep him from scoring a single touchdown and also recorded an interception. Maxwell’s performance was a good sign of his capability to step into his starting role at right corner. Thanks to a 14 tackle performance from MLB Bobby Wagner, the Hawks were able to limit RB Eddie Lacy to only 34 yards on 12 carries. Stopping Lacy was a big part of shutting down the Packers offense, and as Wagner put it “made them (Packers) one-dimensional”. Overall, the Hawks defeated the Packers with an all-around team effort that was nothing short of amazing to watch.

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Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks TNF opener

With the Packers coming to Century Link Field to face the Seahawks tonight, flashbacks of the Monday night game two years ago continue to replay in the minds football fans everywhere. Although the game should be a rematch filled with emotions created by the past, is should also be a good indicator of what the 2014 season will look like for both teams. Looking to repeat as Super Bowl Champions, the Seahawks face an opposing offense that is solid in both rushing and passing the football.

With Aaron Rodgers leading the Packers offense, the Hawks secondary can’t give Rodgers’ targets any room to work with. CB Byron Maxwell will need to be a big part of the effort to stop Arod’s targets as he assumes his role as the starting right corner back upon Browner’s departure. Starting at running back for Green Bay is ‘bama alum Eddie Lacy. Having shown success in his rookie season, Lacy is a powerful back that will challenge the Hawks in preventing yards after first contact. If the Hawks are to shutdown Green Bay’s high powered offense they must tackle soundly and limit Rodger’s throwing room.

Although the Pack may be strong on offense, the same cannot be said for their defense. As long as their offensive line can withstand the likes of linebackers AJ Hawk, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, I have no doubt that Russell Wilson and company will put up plenty of points against a less than mediocre Packers defense. Last year the Packers defense was 25th in rushing yards allowed and 24th in passing yards allowed, and there shouldn’t be any reason to expect different results this year. The key to the Seahawks success is stopping Green Bay from reaching the end zone. All in all, the game should be a shootout between two very dynamic offenses.

What to watch for: The offensive line play of rookie RT Justin Britt and the always exciting WR/KR Percy Harvin

Prediction: Pack 17 to 31 Hawks

Cheers to a new NFL season and the chance to repeat as SB champs! Go hawks!

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8/31 Mariners vs Nationals

The Mariners have lost four out of their last five games and tonight they face the toughest team in the NL once more. Felix’s uncharacteristic performance on Friday night followed by Strasburg’s performance last night, has made for a difficult series. The M’s only hope is that their recently dormant hitting will come through and give Iwakuma a much needed victory.

Last night’s game pointed out some areas of concern for the M’s when they left seven men on base, failing to capitalize on some key situations. What was even more concerning though, was that Ackley and Cano were the main culprits at the plate, leaving a combined four men on base. Looking ahead, the expected contributors have to contribute as expected. If the M’s are to succeed they need to know that they can rely on the heart of their lineup (Ackley and Cano). Sitting in the sixth spot in their lineup last night, the M’s 1B Logan Morrison went 0-4 and is still attempting to break out of his 0-15 slump in his last four games. LoMo (along with the other Mariners) needs to collect some RBIs tonight if the M’s are to defeat the Washington Nationals.

Obvious enough, in order for the M’s to make a post-season push, they need to have a stellar September. The M’s face the A’s (in two series), Angels (in two series), and Blue Jays next month. It is safe to say that the road to October is going to be tough, but the M’s definitely have the roster to do it. With a great starting pitching rotation and a bullpen that is second to none, the M’s just need to focus on hitting more consistently.

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Seahawks 53 man roster cuts, Preseason Recap

Seahawk’s roster cuts:

Trimming the roster down to only 53 players is tough for any NFL team, especially a team loaded with talent. The super bowl champion Seahawks experienced their fair share of tough roster cuts when they had to waive 20 players. Quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor and B.J. Daniels were among the twenty waived players, it seems the Hawks just weren’t interested in keeping three quarterbacks on the roster. However, there shouldn’t be a shortage of quarterback targets, as they have kept seven wide receivers on the roster. Unfortunately, eastside native and Juanita HS alum Bryan Walters was not among the seven wide receivers that made the cut. The Hawks had to say goodbye to a few more notable players when they terminated the contracts of OT Eric Winston and CB Phillip Adams. FB Kiero Small, The Seahawks last pick of the 2014 draft, and FB Spencer Ware were both let go in the Hawks decision to keep only Derrick Coleman at fullback. The Hawks move forward without a few other super bowl champion players, G Caylin Hauptmann and DE Benson Mayowa.

Pre-season’s top performers:

With 437 yards passing and 78.6% completion, it would be unjust to leave QB Russell Wilson out of the discussion. Along with his three passing touchdowns, Russell managed to rush for three touchdowns and 61 yards on the ground. Finishing the pre-season with a passer rating of 133.8, it’s safe to say that Russell earned his title as sportymorty’s preseason MVP. Averaging 4.7 yards a carry, I can’t forget about RB Michael Turbin. Turbin rushed for 126 yards and a TD as well, giving reassurance of success to Hawks fans who may be concerned with the future at the running back position.

On the defensive side of things, MLB Brock Coyle and DE Cassius Marsh stood out as preseason top performers. Filling in for injured MLB Bobby Wagner for most of the preseason, Coyle led the team with 23 tackles. Coming onto the team as a rookie free agent, Coyle was more than a pleasant surprise for the Hawks this preseason. DE Cassius Marsh was equally as surprising and pleasant, as he recorded two sacks in just three games this preseason. Both players prove the significant depth of talent that exists on the roster.

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