Kam Chancellor and the Seahawks proved to be too much to handle for the Panthers as the Hawks secured a solid 31-17 victory in their NFC Divisional matchup last Sunday.
Marked by the athletic spectacle that were his attempted field goal blocks, 90 yard pick six, and 11 tackles, Chancellor’s performance was simply dominating.
Complementing Bam-Bam’s efforts was the play of Hawks’ WR Jermaine Kearse. Slightly overshadowed by the Hawks’ defensive accomplishments, Kearse was extremely effective in catching three passes on only three targets for 129 yards and a touchdown.
With the assistance of Chancellor and Kearse, the Hawks were able to force mistakes and turn them into points. More often than not those mistakes were made by Panthers’ QB Cam Newton. Newton finished the day with an overall quarter back rating of just 21.9.
In order to defeat the upcoming Packers, the Hawks need to display the exact same defensive effort that was witnessed against the Panthers.
Sat, Jan. 8 2011- The Seattle Seahawks (7-9) defeated the defending champion New Orleans Saints (11-5) by a score of 41-36. The Hawks’ victory marked the first ever playoff win by a team with a losing record.
Drawing a lot of comparisons to the Hawks’ 2010 NFC wildcard matchup, the Carolina Panthers seek to record the third ever win by a losing team in the playoffs this Saturday at CenturyLink.
In their last five games, the Carolina Panthers have remained victorious and outscored their opponents 138-59 in doing so. However, the Panthers’ weakness of schedule may discount the spectacle of their recent achievements, considering the fact that they have only one victory against teams above .500.
Out with a broken foot, the Panthers will play without DT Star Lotulelei. Poised to matchup with Lotulelei’s replacement, Hawks’ C Max Unger is healthy and ready to play after suffering a high ankle sprain in week 11.
These are how the last three matchups against the Panthers have played out, each of them having resulted in a Seahawks victory: 13-9 (2014), 12-7 (2013), 16-12 (2012).
After traveling to Carolina for the past three years the Panthers are finally making the trek to Seattle. Equipped with home field advantage the end result should resemble a score that is less indicative of evenness.
In their most recent contest the Hawks were able to contain Panthers’ QB Cam Newton through the air and on the ground. Newton was held to 171 yards passing, while throwing zero touchdowns an interception and averaging only two yards per carry.
Generating offensive points has and will be the only concern for the Hawks. If the Hawks can dominate while on offense the road to victory will be a downhill joy ride.
Seeking a repeat as super bowl champions, the Hawks began their 2014 regular season plagued with injury and also struggling to retain chemistry within their locker room. But despite their rocky 3-3 start, the Hawks were able to find their stride in week 7, only a game after ridding themselves of the distraction that was WR Percy Harvin. They would go on to record nine victories in their last ten games. With the defense healthy and the ability to return to their essential “ground and pound” mentality, the Hawks managed to claim the number one seed atop the NFC.
Essential to their success was RB Marshawn Lynch. Following his participation in a training camp holdout at the beginning of the season, the influence of RB Marshawn Lynch within the Hawks offense was widely questioned. But after witnessing another season of subpar OL blocking it became blatantly evident that Lynch was a crucial part of the Hawks offensive success. Lynch’s ability to shed tackles is irreplaceable and his 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground marked his 4th straight season with a rushing performance that surpassed 1000 yards and 10 TDs. These efforts earned Lynch his title as Sportymort’s 2014 regular season Offensive MVP. In regards to value on the other side of the ball, the Hawks MLB Bobby Wagner was just as influential in helping the Seahawks to return to excellence. Despite missing almost a third of the entire season, Wagner ranked second on the team in tackles with 104, making him my Defensive MVP. Wagner’s efforts were complimented by a breakout season from OLB Bruce Irvin. Accounting for both of the teams pick six’s, a forced fumble, and 6.5 sacks, Irvin was the defensive sparkplug that generated positive momentum for the Hawks on more than one occasion. Irvin’s quality season has since earned him the title as Sportymorty’s Breakout Player of the Year.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
After a dominant season in which the Hawks produced the number 1 rushing offense and overall defense, it is clear that their strengths remain the same: capitalizing on the Beast that is Marshawn and allowing the fewest yards in the NFL. Unfortunately, their weaknesses were just as evident; penalties and blocking. Awarded the title as 2014’s most penalized NFL team, it often seemed as if the Hawks committed a penalty on every third play. Accounting for a vast majority of those penalties while struggling to protect their QB at times, the offensive line needs to play with more consistency.
Now that the playoffs are underway, it’s time for the Hawks to make their 12 wins count as they face off against the Carolina Panthers in the NFC divisional round this Saturday at Clink.
Losing for only the second time in their last 20 home games, the Seattle Seahawks failed miserably in their attempt to overcome defeat against the Dallas Cowboys. Unable to stop the Cowboys’ running game, the Hawks allowed 162 yards rushing; accounting for 115 of those yards, RB Demarco Murray had another solid game and continues to lead the league in rushing. Without the solidification of a rushing defense, the door was opened for the Cowboys’ passing game, and with no clear answer to the opposition’s aerial threat, the Hawks had no way of stopping them. On the offensive side of the ball it wasn’t any better for the Hawks as they managed to produce only nine first downs and 206 yards on offense.
The inability to move the ball started when the Hawks coaching staff relentlessly attempted to get Harvin in space on first and second downs. Touching the ball six times yesterday and netting -1 yard, Harvin’s performance was abysmal, calling into question the predictability of runs around the edge and bubble screens involving Harvin. Regardless of Harvin’s lack of offensive output, the Hawks were collectively pathetic on offense. Russell Wilson had very little time to make anything happen and as a result completed only 50% of his passes for 126 yards no touchdowns and an interception.
Blocking a punt, recovering a muffed punt, and returning a kick for 46 yards, the lone bright spot for the Hawks was their performance on special teams. Down 0-3 the Cowboys were forced to punt after failing to convert on 3rd and three. In on special teams to block the gunner on the play, Doug Baldwin shifted over at the last second to attempt a punt block. His attempt was successful and Mike Morgan returned the blocked punt 25 yards for a touchdown. At that point in the game, it looked as if Doug Baldwin had given the Hawks the momentum they needed to carry out a marginal victory against the Cowboys, instead the Cowboys went on to score 17 unanswered points, leading 17-10 at halftime.
After such a valiant effort, it was no wonder Doug went off in the locker room after the game criticizing his own team for their lack of production. A reporter asked Doug if the significant difference in time of possession played a factor in the outcome of the game, Doug responded by saying, “We had plenty of time to make plays. We’ve got too much talent not to be moving the f—— ball.” Relatively blunt, Baldwin spoke the truth, and it was nice to see some recognition of their self-inflicted loss.
However, despite a majority of the game being “self-inflicted” there did seem to be a lack of penal equality when it came to pass defending. Following Sherman’s pass interference penalty (in which he merely placed a hand on WR Dez Bryant’s back) the officials failed to flag a crucial deep left pass from Wilson to Willson in which Cowboy’s defender Kyle Wilber failed to turn around whilst putting his hand on Luke Willson’s facemask. The negligence involved with the officiating wasn’t the primary reason for the loss though, and the only way the Hawks can bounce back is if they can get healthy in the secondary and return to their basic offensive strengths.
After Wilson started the game by rushing for 45 yards on a touchdown drive that lasted only 2 min. and 16 sec. it looked as if the Hawks were going to win with ease. Unfortunately that was not the case, and although John Ryan is a fantastic punter you never want to see him punt the ball 6 times in a game and you never want to see 13 penalties for a total of 90 yards. Although those lackluster traditions (punting and penalties) were common in the dark ages (post-Holmgren/pre-Carroll era), they are something I don’t want the eyes of bandwagon-ers to see, because witnessing those traditions will make them feel like they’ve been fans for more than a minute. Despite witnessing the tragedy of three Percy Harvin touchdowns negated by penalties, they will never be able to sympathize with the horror of having your leading rusher of 2009 score only two touchdowns in a season.
Speaking of horrifying rushing performances, the ‘Skins RB Alfred Morris was held to 29 yards rushing and no touchdowns on Monday night, a stark contrast from Wilson’s 122 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Russell’s rushing performance was complimented with 201 yards and two touchdowns passing. B Wags had equally impressive statistics on defense recording 8 tackles, 3 for a loss, one for a sack, and two pass deflections. But despite Wagner’s performance, there remain some key concerns on defense, specifically how well the secondary manages and contains speedy receivers like DeSean Jackson. DeSean had 157 yards receiving including a 60 yard touchdown in which the Hawks zone coverage failed. The Hawks now rank 22nd in passing yards allowed which is an unacceptable statistic if they’re to maintain their status as best defense in the league. Right now, solidifying the secondary is completely dependent upon Jeremy Lane’s recovery time.
Let’s hope the Seahawks clean up their act, otherwise they just might want to trade for Pierre Garcon. Garcon’s dirty antics weren’t enough to pull a dread from Sherman’s head, but hopefully his actions were enough to light Sherman’s fire. Sherman is long overdue and picking off Romo isn’t hard to do so let’s hope the ball finds its way into Richard’s hands on Sunday as the Hawks face Jerry Jones’ Cowboys at Century Link.
Despite their most recent 45-14 loss to the NY Giants, the Washington Redskins can throw the football, which provides a challenge for a team that has struggled in the pass defense category so far.
Ranking 4th in passing yards, QB Kirk Cousins and the ‘skins should provide a test for a Seahawks secondary that has already faced Rodgers, Manning and Rivers on the year.
Equipped with a defense that has allowed the 5th fewest rushing yards, the Seahawks should be able to stop opposing RB Alfred Morris on the ground.
The challenge lies in covering Cousins’ targets and applying pressure.
Always reliable offensively, the key to the game lies in the hands of the Hawks secondary.
Following their exhilarating 26-20 overtime victory against the Broncos, the Seahawks were able to reclaim their spot atop ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings. Traditionally a “second half” team, the Seahawks scored 17 points in the first half of regulation and just a single field goal in the second half. Despite the fact that the offense mustered only three points in the second half, the defense was to blame for the collapse.
Holding the Broncos to only ten points prior to their game tying touchdown drive, the Seahawks defensive performance was reminiscent of the Super Bowl. The Seahawks absolutely dominated the Broncos running game holding them to only 36 yards rushing. However, Manning and the Broncos aerial assault proved a challenge for the Hawks late in the game. With only 59 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter Broncos QB Peyton Manning conducted an 80 yard drive to force the game into overtime. Before converting their two point conversion, Broncos TE Jacob Tamme caught a 26 yard touchdown pass on the final play of that 80 yard drive which resulted in extra minutes. The culprit on the play was Hawks OLB K.J. Wright. Struggling the previous week against Chargers TE Antonio Gates, Wright just couldn’t stay on Tamme. Wright’s inability to cover opposing tight ends in consecutive weeks almost cost the Seahawks another victory but thankfully the always calm and collected Russell Wilson led a methodical OT touchdown drive to win the game.
Capping of their OT performance was RB Marshawn Lynch, who scored the team’s game winning touchdown on a six yard run. Marshawn Lynch contributed in both the passing and rushing attack, obtaining 88 yards and a touchdown rushing, and 40 yards and a touchdown receiving. Also contributing to the Seahawks passing game was WR Doug Baldwin. Equipped with impeccable playmaking abilities (especially on the sideline), Dougy Doug led the team in receiving yards with 56. Catching a 39 yard touchdown pass and leading the team in receiving TDs on the year, WR Ricardo Lockette continues to impress.
Although WR Jermain Kearse had the highest QBR, it’s safe to say that Wilson was the Hawks best passer on the day. Wilson had 258 yards passing and two touchdowns against the Broncos, his only interception resulting from a tipped pass. Despite throwing his first INT of the year Wilson and the Hawks were successful in their super bowl rematch. Thankfully the game was a lot more exciting than the previous matchup and the Hawks head into their bye week with a record of 2-1.