Tag Archives: Russell Wilson

Super Bowl XLIX Reaction: Seahawks hand it over

butlers-super-bowl-winning-interception-imgur

It’s been almost 48 hours since the Seattle Seahawks lost, and confusion persists as 12s everywhere attempt to process the worst call in super bowl history.

Set up by a miraculous heads-up play from wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a subsequent 4-yard run from Marshawn Lynch, the Hawks faced second-and-goal with 26 seconds remaining in the game. The Hawks needed all but one yard in order to repeat as Super Bowl Champions, and an attempt to get Lynch in the end zone would have most likely secured that fate. Instead, that second-down play will be infamously remembered as the worst call in super bowl history. Calling a pass play despite having arguably the best running back in the entire league, quarterback Russell Wilson targeted Ricardo Lockette on a slant pattern. With little hesitation, Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped the route and intercepted the football, resulting in a 28-24 Patriots victory.

The Seahawks’ loss would be easier to stomach if the reason for it made more sense. Unable to digest the irrationality of the call, the sporting world remains perplexed. There are some who object to “second-guessing” and “Monday morning quarterbacking”, but the majority of the Seahawks fan base is smart enough to realize that this circumstance involved immediate questioning as soon as a passing play was discernable.

courtesy of ESPN.com

courtesy of ESPN.com

In his efforts to defend the call, Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll made it seem as if the play was a throwaway; that they would have attempted a run just after—had it resulted in an incompletion. However, history (the NFC Championship Game) indicates that an incompletion was the best possible outcome of that play. A slant pattern over the middle in the most condensed part of the field was dangerous, and if a pass was the desired action then the Hawks should have thrown a fade to the only receiver that had made plays on that day.

Super Bowl Football

Seahawks wide receiver and former Foot Locker sales associate Chris Matthews is the lone bright spot of Super Bowl 49. Catching four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, Matthews’ performance was essential in providing Russell Wilson with a much needed target on a day in which the Hawks wide receiving corps was virtually shut down. The Patriots secondary was extremely effective at holding the Hawks receivers to a minimum. Unfortunately, the Hawks couldn’t duplicate such play from their own secondary, and injury took its toll in the form of Jeremy Lane.

After breaking his wrist following his first career interception, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was replaced by fourth-stringer Tharold Simon. Thoroughly beat on almost every play, Simon struggled to defend Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (among others). Witnessing Simon’s inability to cover the Patriots’ receivers, quarterback Tom Brady exploited the dime corner on his way to becoming Super Bowl MVP.

Surprisingly, Wilson had both a higher QBR and quarterback rating then Brady, but all that remains relevant is Wilson’s single interception. No feeling of confidence has ever regressed into utter disbelief so quickly. Hawks fans everywhere will forever ask themselves “Why?” without ever gaining rationale behind the most incomprehensible loss in Hawks history. Both having taken credit for the play call, the mystery of whether Carroll or offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was responsible may go unanswered forever. Hopefully, in due time, one of them will apologize rather than defend their decision.

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A Wave of Fines Following the NFC Championship

Matthews illegal hit on WilsonIn the wake of the NFC Championship game, the NFL front offices have been focused on two things; investigating under-inflated footballs, and divvying out a slurry of fines.

A $22,050 fine was issued to Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews for his illegal blind side block to the head and neck area of Hawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson.

courtesy of kgmi.com

courtesy of kgmi.com

Seahawks G JR Sweezy was fined $8,268 for his hit on Matthews   that ensued after the play pictured to the right.

courtesy of AP/Images

courtesy of AP/Images

 

 

 

Marshawn Lynch was fined $20,000 for an “obsecene gesture” that he

made following his 24-yard touchdown run.

 

 

 

Upon congratulating his teammate, Seahawks WR and onsided kick recover-ee Chris Matthews was fined $11,025 for placing a hand on his crotch.

courtesy of FOX Sports

courtesy of FOX Sports

After the NFL issued a fine to teammate Chris Matthews, Lynch took to twitter in expression of his displeasure.

“I feel embarrassed to work for a particular organization that fined a teammate of mine for shaking my hand after a touchdown”- @MoneyLynch

Failing to talk to the media again following Sunday’s game, Lynch will face yet another fine in the coming days.

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NFC Championship Recap

After enduring a miraculous roller coaster ride of emotions, the Seahawks are on their way to Super Bowl XLIX.

Mightily struggling to generate any offensive points in the first three quarters, the Hawks managed to piece together an amazing late-game performance to defeat the Packers 28-22 in overtime. That overtime period ended with a 35 yard connection between quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.

Kearse’s game ending catch couldn’t be more exemplary of redemption. Having missed all five of his previous targets, four of which fell into the hands of Packers defensive backs, Russell Wilson threw Kearse’s way once again. Recognizing the bump and run coverage with no help over the top, Wilson gave Kearse a hot route which he executed to perfection. Slipping his man to the inside and running a fly pattern to beat Packers’ cornerback Tramon Williams to the endzone, Kearse proceeded to catch a dime of a throw from Wilson. Overcome with emotion following his efforts, the traditionally soft-spoken Kearse burst into tears.

The victory was comparable to the summary of their entire season in a way; battling to stay afloat at the beginning but reclaiming dominance in the end.

Totaling 46 yards of total offense while turning the ball over on four out of their seven possessions, the Hawks were completely dependent on their defense in the first half. Remaining strong despite the uneven time of possession in which the Packers exceeded the Hawks by seven minutes and twelve seconds at halftime, the Hawks defense had strung together two goal line stands and two interceptions to hold the Packers to just 16 points. For anyone that had witnessed the self-destructive play of the offense in the first half, the 16 point deficit seemed unfitting.

With no points on the board and just under five minutes to go in the third quarter, the Hawks attempted a fake field goal. Former tight end and current lineman Garry Gilliam caught a 19 yard pass thrown by punter Jon Ryan. The play gave hope to a potential super bowl berth, but on the first play of their second drive of the fourth quarter, Wilson threw his fourth interception. It appeared as if the possibility to reclaim their NFC Championship title was fading, but one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history was in the works.

After forcing a crucial Packers’ 3 and out, the Hawks received the ball with just 3:52 left in the final quarter. Four plays into the drive running back Marshawn Lynch caught a pass from Wilson and scampered 35 yards for a touchdown. But after further review the officials marked Lynch out at the nine yard line. The Hawks then managed to score on third down with one yard to go, on a quarterback option play in which Wilson kept the ball and rushed in for a touchdown.

Down by a score of 14-19 with only two minutes and nine seconds remaining, the Hawks attempted an onside kick. The onside kick ricocheted of Packers tight end Brandon Bostick and into the hands of Hawks wide receiver Chris Matthews. One play after the two minute warning, Lynch ran 24 yards for a touchdown, giving the Hawks a one point lead.

Ahead by only one point following the touchdown, the Hawks needed to attempt a two point conversion in order to go up by a field goal. On their two point conversion attempt, the pocket collapsed and Wilson struggled to find an open receiver before scrambling backward in his efforts to avoid being sacked. But, at the last second, Russell heaved a pass out of desperation and tight end Luke Willson was able to secure the ball for what would prove to be a necessary two points.

Orchestrating two sequential touchdown drives that took a miniscule two minutes and 28 seconds, Wilson lead the Hawks to overtime, where they would pull of an incredible victory to secure back to back super bowl appearances.

Exuding an incredible sense of resiliency in order to comeback, the Hawks victory was simply outstanding. As a result they have now earned consecutive NFC Championship titles and remain a force to be reckoned with as they now face the New England Patriots in Glendale on Feb 1.

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Cowboys vs. Seahawks Recap

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.

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MNF Recap: Seahawks at Redskins

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.

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Broncos at Seahawks Recap

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.

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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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