Monthly Archives: September 2013

Week 4: Seattle Seahawks vs. Houston Texans

Off to a 3-0 start, the Seattle Seahawks will travel to Houston to take on the Texans this Sunday. The game will mark the second of four consecutive matchups with the AFC South division. The Texans, Colts, and Titans still remain on the Hawks schedule. Although the Seahawks were able to have a dominant performance against the Jags, they will find the Houston Texans a much more challenging and strong opponent. The Texans are arguably the best team in the AFC South, so this Sunday’s game is guaranteed to be a tougher battle for the Hawks. In order to have success against the Texans, the Hawks will have to continue their ability to pass efficiently and run effectively.

The Houston Texans passing defense is second in the league in passing yards allowed, right behind the Seahawks. Overall, the Texans defense is balanced and has decent success stopping the run, they rank 9th in rushing yards allowed. Also, the Texans offense is top 10 in both passing and rushing yards categories. The Texans’ main weakness, lies in their special teams, which has allowed 12 more points than anyone else in the league. Look for punt returner Golden Tate to rack up significant yardage and possibly find the end zone on Sunday.

Facing a balanced Texans team, the Hawks will attempt to carry over their success from their last two home games. Duplicating such success should be harder than usual against the Texans. Along with T Russell Okung’s injury, two other starting offensive linemen are likely out for the Hawks. Both T Breno Giacomini and C Max Unger are listed as doubtful this week.  The absence of three starting offensive lineman is a concern, but it could be a potential non-issue, as they face a very banged up Texans team. The Texans’ starting corners and WR Andre Johnson are all listed as questionable on Sunday. If the Hawks can overcome injury and manage the Texans defense, they should be able to win.

In order to have success, the Seahawks O-Line has to be able to stop the Texans D-Line, specifically J.J. Watt. If they can contain J.J. Watt, the Hawks will likely pull out another win on the road. Sunday’s game is the first of a long period of away games and it’s important that the Hawks win so they can prove that they can have success away from home against tough teams.

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Week 3: Seahawks vs. Jaguars Post-game Recap

The Seattle Seahawks rolled past Jacksonville this week, winning by a final score of 45-17. The Hawks had no problem moving the ball against the Jaguars, passing the ball for 5 TDs and gaining a total of 479 total yards on offense. On defense, the Hawks starters managed to allow only one TD. Their equal successes on both sides of the ball led to the expected blowout that ensued.  The game was so one-sided that midway through the third quarter, Pete Carroll decided to spare Gus Bradley and the Jags, by putting in the backups.

Unfortunately the Hawks weren’t able to shut out the Jags, but their inability to do so was not a direct result of their play. The Hawks were on their own seven yard line midway through the third quarter, when LB Paul Posluszny of the Jaguars, intercepted the ball and ran it back to the Seahawks two yard line. That interception led to a Jags TD that made the score 7-31. The defense collectively contributed to their marginal victory in a big way. Although they were unable to pitch a shutout, the defense’s efforts still ended in a dominating win.

Besides their defensive performance, the Hawks had an equally successful offensive performance. QB Russell Wilson completed 14 of his 21 passes for 4 TDs and 202 passing yards. On the ground, RB Marshawn Lynch had decent success, but his playing time was limited. Lynch had 69 rushing yards on 17 carries, while third string RB Christine Michael had 37 rushing yards on 9 carries. Neither running back scored, as the Jags managed to stop the Hawks from scoring a single rushing TD.

Overall, the Hawks controlled the game through the air and on defense. The Hawks’ offense was led by Wilson’s ability to throw the football, and their defense’s efficiency was marked by their 3 sacks and 2 INTs. The Seahawks defense allowed more points against the jags than in week 1 and 2 combined, but the outcome was not a result of the defense’s failures. The Seahawks rested their starters early, and their first team only allowed a TD following a turnover on the 2 yard line. Despite allowing 17 points, The Seahawks commanded the entire game and still remain atop ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings. The Hawks’ focus now lies in their matchup against the Texans on Sunday.

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Week 3: Seattle Seahawks vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

According to ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings, the Seattle Seahawks are ranked first and the Jacksonville Jaguars are last. This Sunday, Jacksonville will travel to Seattle, to play the Hawks at home, in front of 67,000 fans that already know the Jaguars’ predetermined fate. Vegas predicts that the Seahawks will beat the Jaguars by an average betting line of 20 points, marking the biggest point spread in Seahawks history, and ranking in the top ten for largest point spread in the NFL’s last forty years.

In non-betting terms, the game is expected to be an absolute blowout. With DE Chris Clemons and CB Brandon Browner healthy at last, the Hawks will add even more strength to an already stellar defense.  Playing without three defensive starters last week, the Hawks were able to dominate one of the best teams in the league. Now that the Hawks are healthy, expect them to defensively shutout the Jaguars.

Former Seahawks Defensive Coordinator, and current Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, will face his old team on Sunday. Bradley played a large part in creating the tough Seattle defense that exists today, and a majority of his principles still exist in the Hawks current defense. Offensively, the Hawks are hoping to use their knowledge of Bradley’s defense schematics to gain an edge. Under Gus Bradley, the Jacksonville Jaguars rank 16th in points allowed, and 9th in yards allowed per game. Surprisingly good at defending the pass, the Jags defense is second to the Seahawks in passing yards allowed. However, the Jags are third worst in rushing yards allowed.

Significantly outmatched, the Jags will struggle in stopping the run. Against one of the worst rushing defenses in the entire league, expect Lynch to have a huge game on the ground. Although the Hawks should be able to rush with ease, they will face a somewhat decent pass defense. Hopefully, Lynch’s run-threat creates room for Hawks QB Russell Wilson to throw the football. Although their ability to pass this Sunday will likely not affect the outcome of the game, it would still be fun to watch a balanced Hawks offense rack up points against the Jags.

Fortunately, LT Russell Okung’s absence will not be a deciding factor in this week’s game, but expect issues to arise in later matchups against tougher opponents.

The odds favor the Seahawks on Sunday, but regardless of their margin of victory it is sure to be a great game.

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Week 2: Seahawks vs 49ers Post-game Recap

Russell Wilson awoke Monday morning with both eyebrows in tact. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z1tAJebktg

Although Kaepernick didn’t actually shave off one of his eyebrows, he did lose to the Seattle Seahawks. The Niners endured a beating from the Hawks, losing 29-3.  The Hawks’ large margin of victory, on a national stage, astounded the football world. Finally, the Seattle Seahawks are receiving credit, where credit is due. Doubted and critiqued, the Hawks have proven they don’t deserve doubt or criticism. Calling out the cynics was Seahawks CB Richard Sherman. Sherman remarked in his post game interview, “There are a lot of pundits and ignorant idiots who thought, ‘Oh, the Seahawks are gonna lose this game.’ Well, please, please don’t doubt us again. Every time you doubt us, you look stupid.” Even Skip Bayless, Sherman’s biggest skeptic, said (in a positive context), “Richard Sherman had a hellacious game” and went on to apologize for ever doubting the Seahawks.

In their last two matchups, the Seattle Seahawks have outscored the San Francisco 49ers 71-16. Both meetings ended in a Seahawks victory, but last Sunday’s win proved to the nation that the Seattle Seahawks are the best team in the NFL. The Hawks had a remarkable game, allowing only 3 points, and causing 5 turnovers, and a safety on defense. Offensively, RB Marshawn Lynch and the Hawks ripped apart the 49ers defense, rushing for 172 yards.  The end result, was a terrific game for the Hawks on both sides of the ball.

With their defense keeping them in the game, after a terrible, yet unfortunate start (resulting in a blocked punt, and an interception), Russell Wilson and the Hawks proved their resiliency. Having still not yet completed a pass on their first three offensive drives, Wilson was hoping to ignite a dormant passing attack. Following his first completion in their fourth offensive drive, Wilson completed 8 out of 12 of his passes, and threw for 142 yards and a TD. His turnaround performance led the Seahawks to a 5-0 lead at halftime.  After haltime, the Hawks were at a torrid pace, collecting a fumble, forcing 2 interception’s, kicking a field goal, and scoring 3 TDs. Marshawn Lynch accounted for all three of those TDs, catching a pass from Wilson and running the ball in twice. Lynch also racked up 98 yards on the ground on 28 carries.

The Hawks defense held 49ers RB Frank Gore to a mere 16 yards rushing last sunday, while forcing Kaepernick to throw three interceptions and have the worst game of his young career, posting a 14.0 total QBR. They were so spectacular in stopping the Niners through the air, that they didn’t even allow a pass play over 12 yards the entire game, and they held star WR Anquan Boldin, to one  7 yard reception. Their outstanding defensive play can be attributed to their lack of weaknesses. They are so balanced, it’s hard for the opposing team to distinguish a point of attack. Sunday night, it showed, as the well-rounded, and balanced play of the Seahawks, stunned the 49ers. The defensive line flourished with the new addition of DE Cliff Avril, his presence was a huge difference maker. MLB Bobby Wagner also had a solid performance. Wagner led the team in tackles with 7, and controlled Gore from start to finish. Not giving an inch of space to the 49ers recievers, the secondary was as reliable as always.

Hopefully, their statement win against the 49ers will convert the doubters into believers, but for those that dare doubt the Hawks again, Richard Sherman warned you. Their offensive line manhandled one of the best defenses in the league, and their own defense held one of the most prolific offenses (besides their own) to a field goal. With their overall skill and Sherman’s mouth, they can no longer be ignored.  No longer located in South Alaska, the Seattle Seahawks are finally getting the attention they deserve.

This Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars are coming to play at Clink against the Hawks. Stay tuned for my week 3 forecast!

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Week 2: Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers

This Sunday night, 67,000 of the NFL’s loudest fans, will do all that they can, to lift their Seattle Seahawks past the San Francisco 49ers. The 12th man will provide a much needed advantage for the Hawks, as they compete for the chance to call themselves, the NFL’s best. With the entire country watching the nationally televised matchup, the Seahawks are hoping to reclaim their spot atop ESPN’s NFL Power Ranking’s.

    Following their Week 1 performance, the Hawks are looking to achieve similar defensive results and rebound from their abysmal 70 yards rushing. This week, the Hawks are faced with the challenge of containing 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick’s skill set is identical to Panthers QB Cam Newton’s, and the Hawks will attempt to duplicate last week’s defensive performance; holding Newton to only 38 yards rushing and 125 yards passing. In order to stop Kaepernick and the Niners, the defense has to continue their success against the pass and the read-option. The Hawks play terrific man to man defense, and in the past the line backing corp has done a great job against the read-option. Rushing the ball however, the Hawks need to improve. The Offensive line will do anything to avoid reliving their performance last week. This week, the O-line faces a much tougher defense and will attempt to ignite their running game despite their previous challenges.
    Although, Russell had success through the air last week, his passing performance this week, relies on the running game’s success. Beast Mode and company, have to get it done on the ground against the 49ers. RB Marshawn Lynch’s performance will indicate the overall success of the offense. His ability to run, provides a necessary offensive balance against the Niner’s defense. The entire offense is dependent on the O-line and Marshawn Lynch this week.
    Containing Kaepernick and stopping 49ers RB Frank Gore, are the two main focus’ for the Seahawks defense. With the reliability of the secondary, a majority of the attention is focused on their defensive line. Not completely healthy last week, the D-line played so-so. There was a vacancy of QB pressure, and they had significant trouble stopping the run. The Hawks have to play better at D-line and minimize Gore’s presence, in order to beat the Niners.
    Key Injuries:
    Although they were banged up last Sunday, the Hawks managed to pull out a win. This week however, they face some key losses in addition to some of their previously injured players; DT Brandon Mebane, DT Tony McDaniel, DE Cliff Avril, and WR Sidney Rice all remain probable for Sundays game. DE Chris Clemons remains questionable, and CB Brandon Browner remains doubtful. Browner was the only player listed that did not practice fully on Friday.
    Key Players:
    MLB Bobby Wagner – If the D-line isn’t effective, Wagner will be. Wagner will play a big role in stopping the run.
    WR Golden Tate – With Rice less than 100%, expect Tate to get a lot of deep targets from Russell Wilson.
    Stay tuned for the Hawks Week 2 Recap! Go Hawks

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Week 1: Seahawks vs. Panthers Post-game Recap

Sunday’s game against the Panthers left Hawks fans satisfied with a victory, but not elated with their team’s offensive output. Although the game ended with a Seahawks 12-7 victory, the Hawks showed that there is room for improvement on both sides of the ball. The Hawks couldn’t generate a consistent rushing attack and defensively they had trouble stopping the run. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch only gained 43 yards on the ground while Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams racked up 86 yards on the exact same number of carries. Despite their inability to stop the run, the defensive secondary had another spectacular game, allowing only one TD through the air.  S Earl Thomas contributed in a huge way to the Hawks secondary success, leading both teams in tackles and causing a fumble that clinched the game for the Hawks. The positive output from the secondary was matched by the Seahawks ability to pass the football. WR Doug Baldwin led the team in receptions and his performance was a big reason why Wilson and the Hawks had success through the air.

    However, the Seahawks running game was far from magnificent on Sunday. The O-line clearly deserves a majority of the blame, considering that the backs had virtually nowhere to run throughout the entire game. Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll expressed his discomfort with their rushing performance in the post-game press conference and acknowledged, “We didn’t run the ball as well, and in our program that’s a huge focus, so we were disappointed in that and we plan to go right back to business and get it done this week.” Pete also mentioned the offensive line’s inability to push and move the defense, saying that they tried various blocking schemes, but still weren’t able to create any holes. Overall, the team’s failure to generate anything on the ground, resulted in a team total of 70 yards rushing and 2.7 yards per rush.

    Surprisingly, the Seahawks inadequate rushing performance was identical to their inefficiency in stopping the run. Without starting defensive lineman Cliff Avril, Chris Clemons, and Bruce Irvin, the Hawks Defensive Line was banged up, and the remaining front four had no answer to containing the rush. Running back DeAngelo Williams and the Panthers, had the exact same number of rushing attempts as the Hawks, but racked up almost twice the amount of rushing yards.  With the Seahawks allowing 134 yards on the ground, the Panthers averaged 5.7 yards per rush. Thankfully, the Seahawks secondary picked up the slack.

    The Legion of Boom was without CB Brandon Browner this Sunday, but because of their depth at the corner back position, they were still successful in shutting down the Panthers pass attack. The Seahawks held Cam Newton to only 125 yards passing and a single TD. They played terrific in man to man coverage and it seemed as if Earl Thomas was everywhere. E. Thomas recorded 10 combined tackles and caused a fumble that sealed their victorious fate. Excelling at finding space in the Panther’s zone coverage, WR Doug Baldwin had a big game as well, catching 7 passes for a total of 91 yards. Baldwin was a huge part of Russell Wilson’s success through the air against Carolina. Wilson completed 25 of his 33 passes for 320 yards and a TD. Wilson’s only TD pass to Kearse was a great example of the Hawks’ ability to expose the opposition. Following an unsuccessful pass completion to WR Stephen Williams, Wilson and the Seahawks recognized that the Panther’s CB Josh Thomas was getting beat when he faced Seahawks receivers in man to man coverage. On the play after the incompletion, Kearse breezed by Thomas and ran a go up the right side-line. Wilson went right back to Josh Thomas’ side of the field and threw a perfect ball to Kearse in the end zone.

    Last Sunday the Hawks were able to capatilize on their own strengths and their opponent’s weaknesses. If the Hawks are to continue last year’s success they need to be successful across the board and minimize their own weaknesses. They also have to play better against defenses that like to blitz. The O-line has to do a better job of handling pressure from the blitz and making the pocket a comfortable place for Russell Wilson to throw the ball. On the defensive side, the Hawks played very well in the secondary and played decent as a whole. They were missing three key guys up front and need their D-line healthy in order to compete with more dominant teams. Although they did get the win this week, there is still a lot to learn. This Sunday night they will have to play to their full potential and attempt to learn from Week 1, as they face their NFC West division rival, San Francisco 49ers.
Stay tuned this week for the Hawks upcoming Week 2 forecast!

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Week 1: Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers

As the Seahawks await their first matchup against the Carolina Panthers, the haunting memories of their post-season battle with the Panthers’ division foe still lingers in the minds of many. On January 13, 2013 the Seattle Seahawks were defeated by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs. The game was remembered by a non-existent Seahawks Offense in the first half and flashbacks of “Icing” Falcons kicker Matt Bryant with seconds left in the 4th quarter. This Sunday, the Hawks will attempt to forget about their post-season loss and move forward with the start of a new season.

Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, and Cliff Avril are expected to start week 1 despite injury concerns throughout the pre-season. The offensive presence of Rice and Miller are much needed against a young and improving Panthers’ defense and Avril’s presence will be significant in providing the pass rush on Panthers QB Cam Newton. Although the Panthers are recovering from a sub-par season last year, their defense deserves respect. Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly led the league in combined tackles last year and had a fantastic pre-season recording 10 combined tackles, 2 pass deflections, 1 interception, and a forced fumble. Joining Kuechly on the Panthers defense is rookie DT Star Lotulelei. Lotulelei is a powerful defensive lineman with lots of potential but the Seahawks inside O-line should be able to keep him in check for the most part. Expect the Seahawks offense to adjust to these playmakers and put up points. Yards on the ground may be hard to gain for RB Marshawn Lynch against the Panthers this week but QB Russell Wilson will find a way to avoid pressure and pass with ease.

The same defensive success the Seahawks experienced last year, should carry over. The Hawks have no problem shutting down opposing running backs and look for the same outcome this Sunday. It will be interesting to see how speedy and undersized Panthers WR Steve Smith stacks up against the physicality of the Legion of Boom, and how Cam Newton responds to the result of this matchup. Will Newton look to running the ball and targeting WR Brandon Lafell more frequently if Steve Smith is shutdown? All of our questions will be answered on Sunday, and regardless of their answers it should be a fun game to watch.

Here’s to a fresh start and a new and exciting season, GO HAWKS!

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