A Big Weekend For The Seattle Seahawks

Well, here we go.  Seahawks beat the Cardinals, and Panthers beat the Falcons, and the Seahawks are in the playoffs as a 6-seed.  It’s the only way.  Well, it’s the only way I’m going to talk about today, because I don’t give a fuck about ties.

There are actually three games that directly matter as to whether the Seahawks get into the post-season or not.  The third being the Saints and Bucs.  Fortunately, all three of these games start at 1:25pm Pacific Time.  I guess the only way it would be better is if the Panthers/Falcons game was in the early slot, because then there wouldn’t be the chance for Carolina to rest their stars in the 4th quarter, should the Saints rack up a huge lead over Tampa.  That’s probably my #1 biggest fear heading into Sunday.

My #2 biggest fear?  The Seahawks actually finding a way to lose to the Cards.  Wouldn’t that just be so perfectly Seattle?  Have everything else go our way, but in the end we shit our OWN bed?

For the record, I don’t think that’ll happen, but you never know with these teams.  To be perfectly honest, I almost NEVER think the Cardinals will beat the Seahawks; and then there I am, sitting there watching the game, quietly mystified that the Seahawks are trailing as we head into the 4th quarter, until before I know it the upset has taken hold and I stomp around like a giant baby for the rest of the night.

I’ll say this:  no Carson Palmer really helps.  He’s not good as it is, but he has a knack for finding a way to beat the Seahawks more than I like.  A lot has been made about how the Cards have come into Seattle and made us their bitch pretty regularly since 2012, but I don’t remember that ever happening when Palmer was out with injury.  Because it’s never happened.  The last time a non-Palmer quarterback for the Cardinals beat the Seahawks on ANY field was in Week 1 in 2012, in Russell Wilson’s very first game.  So, you know, that’s cool.

I’ll also say that I don’t fear their defense NEARLY as much without Calais Campbell locking down the middle.  That didn’t stop the Cards from sacking Russell Wilson 5 times earlier this year (though, that was the game Duane Brown injured his ankle, so I’m sure that played a large part in it).

The problem, as I see it, is that they won’t NEED Calais Campbell to shut down this Seahawks offense.  We’ve never been able to run the ball this year, but the last two weeks, we haven’t been able to throw it either.  We’ve done nothing well on offense.  You could say the Rams smashed us because they’re just better in all three phases of the game; but how does that explain how badly we struggled against the Cowboys last week?  They couldn’t stop a … thing that never moves anyway!!!

With a healthy linebacking corps, it’s hard to see the Cards running the ball very well.  All they really have to do is come in here with a conservative game plan, protect the football, and the game should keep itself close.  Make a few big conversions here and there, and it’s a recipe for another Seahawks disaster.

The wild card in this whole thing is Bruce Arians.  First, WILL he be willing to come in here with a conservative game plan?  Or, will he want to gunsling it all around the field like he always does, regardless of how inept his quarterback is?  And, second, is this actually going to be his last game in Arizona (or his last game period)?  You’d think he’d want to go out on top, but he strikes me as the type of coach who’d want to go out on his own terms, meaning coaching the game the way he’s always coached it.  If that’s the case, I like the Seahawks’ chances a lot more.

The weather doesn’t look like it’ll be a factor, which oddly enough helps the Seahawks, since Russell Wilson seemingly always shits the bed in the driving rain.  So, this game is really ripe for the taking!

Regardless of what the other teams do, in a way it’d still be cool for the Seahawks to win this one.  That’ll be 6 straight seasons with at least 10 wins, which is pretty remarkable when you think about it.  It would be a bummer to get to 10 wins and NOT make the playoffs, when we’re looking at possibly two AFC wild card teams that will have 9 wins (or one that might have 8), but if that’s the case, then so be it.  Never should’ve lost to the fucking Redskins in the first fucking place.

It’s nice when I can end these on a positive note, but I gotta be me.  And I can’t help but see the worst in damn near every situation.  That fucking game would haunt me for a long time, if the Seahawks didn’t already have too many injuries to make a serious playoff run anyway.  Why am I rooting for us to make the playoffs again?

The Thanksgiving (No More BYEs) Seattle Sports Hell Power Rankings

Everyone has officially played 10 games.  I think we all know where everyone stands, so let’s get to this.

  • Philadelphia (9-1)
  • New England (8-2)
  • New Orleans (8-2)
  • Minnesota (8-2)
  • Pittsburgh (8-2)
  • L.A. Rams (7-3)
  • Carolina (7-3)
  • Jacksonville (7-3)

I know a lot of people want to put New England right back to the top of the heap, but they’re playing well in a terrible conference.  I still legitimately think Philly is better than them right now, on both sides of the ball.  They might not lose another game the rest of the year!  I like New Orleans over the Vikings and Steelers, because I think they’ve got the full package of offense and defense, and they have a real identity.  The Steelers play down to the level of their opponents too often, and the Vikings are a quarterback controversy just waiting to happen.  Give me the Saints and that world-destroying running game.  Also, I can’t keep the Panthers or Jags out of the Top 8 anymore.  Yeah, the Jags are running The Bort out there, but that defense is legit.

  • Atlanta (6-4)
  • Detroit (6-4)
  • Seattle (6-4)
  • Kansas City (6-4)
  • Washington (4-6)
  • Tennessee (6-4)
  • Dallas (5-5)
  • L.A. Chargers (4-6)

For what it’s worth, I don’t like any of those 6-4 teams, and honestly I think both of the teams that are 4-6 could make more of a run down the stretch.  Watch out for the Chargers; I see them leapfrogging the Cowboys tomorrow afternoon.  Also, I wonder about Detroit and Atlanta; are they ready to make a run?  Or will they step right back down to Earth this week?

  • Baltimore (5-5)
  • Tampa Bay (4-6)
  • N.Y. Jets (4-6)
  • Oakland (4-6)
  • Cincinnati (4-6)
  • Buffalo (5-5)
  • Miami (4-6)
  • Houston (4-6)

I was going to put the Bills about three spots higher, but that franchise is a joke.  I honestly wonder about all of these AFC teams; I feel like they should all be better, but they keep stumbling when you least expect it.  This is going to be a HUGE week for the Bucs; they have to win in Atlanta or their season is effectively over.

  • Denver (3-7)
  • Arizona (4-6)
  • Green Bay (5-5)
  • Indianapolis (3-7)
  • Chicago (3-7)
  • N.Y. Giants (2-8)
  • San Francisco (1-9)
  • Cleveland (0-10)

Oh how the mighty Broncos have fallen.  Also, boy did the Giants pick a stupid game to win; gonna lose a Top 2 draft pick over some bullshit?  This week, we see the start of the Jimmy Garoppolo Era in San Francisco against the Seahawks.  Between the 49ers (whose coaching staff I really like, and whose 2017 draft class looked pretty impressive) and the Rams (whose coaching staff I like even more, and whose team looks like it’s going to be a contender for years to come), it looks like it could be really tough sledding in the NFC West.  Thank God for the lowly Arizona Cardinals.  Who’s going to be the next aging veteran QB they bring in to run Bruce Arians’ system?  My money is on either Alex Smith or Eli Manning, though they’ll be fools if they don’t make a run at Tyrod Taylor this offseason.

Seattle Sports Hell 2014 NFL Power Rankings – Week 6

Last week, we got into it with the defense a little bit.  Certainly, those issues are still around.  This is the second time the Seahawks have given up 30 points in a game this year; the Seahawks gave up 30 or more only once all of last year (including playoffs).  The Cowboys used the Chargers’ model of beating the Seahawks:  converting lots of third downs, running a lot of plays, churning lots of clock, and scoring touchdowns in the red zone instead of field goals.  The L.O.B. stinks right now, the defensive line is a shell of their 2013 selves, and injuries abound.  This is not a good unit and it’s looking like the prophecy was correct:  give these players big-money contracts and watch them dog it on the field.

Oh, I’m sorry, am I wrong?  Is that unfair?  Then, prove it, cuntbags!  Get out there and dominate like you’re supposed to!

Anyway, I’m through with the defense for now.  This week, we’re talking offense.

I go through ebbs and flows when it comes to listening to sports radio.  Sometimes, I have the radio on daily, sitting in my living room after work, catching up on the goings on.  Sometimes, I’ll go weeks without.  Let’s face it, sports radio can be a little irritating sometimes.

But, it’s always good to tap into the public discourse once in a while, to see what’s bothering the masses.  Sometimes, what’s bothering the masses this week is what they were falling all over themselves praising last week.  For instance, take Russell Wilson.

Last week, against the Redskins on Monday Night, Russell Wilson was the best player on the football field.  He practically single-handedly won us that game with his legs and his arms and his leg-arms (or, rather, his ability to throw while running away from immediate pressure).  He was great.  He proved once again that he’s a Top 5 quarterback in this league.

Then, six days later, against the Cowboys, Russell Wilson turned in one of the very-worst performances of his young career.  Now, all of a sudden, what makes him great – scrambling around, eluding pressure, keeping plays alive – are reasons to take him down a peg.  “He doesn’t step up into the pocket enough.”  That’s the biggest criticism I’m hearing this week on sports radio.  Instead of twirling all around, running backwards out of the pocket, he should step up into a throwing lane and make a play.

The thing is, what hardly gets acknowledged in this scenario is that quarterbacks who step up in the pocket to throw the football tend to take body-crushing hits.  Yeah, it’s macho to be that guy who “hangs in the pocket”, unleashing a perfect pass just as someone is burrowing his shoulder into your chest, but that shit adds up!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  live to fight another day.  I’d rather have Wilson scrambling all around, this way and that, vs. stepping up and getting destroyed.  That’s how ribs are broken.  That’s how hands are mashed against opposing helmets.  That’s how concussions start to ruin your life.

I hope Wilson NEVER listens to these sports radio yahoos who’ve never played a day of quarterback in their lives.  He can just keep doing what he’s doing.  For the most part, I have a lot of problems with how the offense is performing, but none of those problems involve #3.

My main problem involves the offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell.

After winning the Super Bowl last year, I tried making a pact with myself to leave the man alone.  I’ve been criticizing him pretty much from Day 1, when we were forced to go with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback thanks to the NFL lockout.  Slowly but surely, I’ve grown to appreciate his style, as I think it meshes well with what we’re trying to do:  ground & pound.

Here’s the thing, though.  For the last couple years, Darrell Bevell has been among the top head coaching candidates in the NFL.  He’s seen Gus Bradley get his shot.  He’s heard about Dan Quinn’s impending promotion.  With winning comes great notoriety; losing teams will look towards the winning ones to find out what they’re doing that works.  More often than not, winning clubs lose their coordinators as the losers of the world hope to catch that lightning in a bottle twice.  Maybe a little Pete Carroll magic has rubbed off on so-and-so.  It’s IMPOSSIBLE to think that this thought process hasn’t wormed its way into Bevell’s brain.  What I’m arguing here is that it’s not only something that’s on his mind, but it’s something that’s affecting his job performance.

Obviously, there’s nothing that can be done and nothing that will be done at this point in the season.  Our BYE week has come and gone.  Besides that, it would be a batshit crazy overreaction to fire Darrell Bevell.  But, one has to wonder:  is he doing more harm than good?

You know what Darrell Bevell is?  He’s a U.S. Senator running for President.  He’s on his way out!  It’s only a matter of time.  In his mind, he’s checked out.  His duties as Senator no longer interest him; all he can think about now is what he’s going to do when he’s in the Oval Office.  And so, instead of doing his job, he’s spending the next year actively campaigning around the country for something better.

What do I mean by this?  It’s plainly simple.  Darrell Bevell’s job is to call the plays that work best in this team’s system.  This is a team that runs the ball.  When it’s not running the ball, it’s throwing off of play-action.  And, at least 4-5 times a game, it’s having Russell Wilson throw deep for the home run.  That is what works for this team.  That is what has worked for the last two years.  Everyone else in the league knows what we’re doing and we do it anyway.

The thing is, Darrell Bevell isn’t DOING his job.  He’s gone out and created this whole other offense based around Percy Harvin (who I’ll get to in a bit).  Fly sweeps and lateral passing and screen plays and handoffs up the middle.  Yes, Percy Harvin is a great weapon to have.  Yes, he’s among the most dangerous weapons in all of football with his speed and elusiveness.  But, you can’t forget that this team has OTHER weapons that are just as good and effective in their own ways.

Marshawn Lynch is one of the most dynamic running backs in the game.  What the FUCK is he doing only getting 10 carries in a game, EVER?  I don’t care if Dallas hogged the football through most of the first half of that game.  I don’t care if it leads to repeat 3 & Outs, you better kick off the game by handing the rock to Beastmode!  On first AND second down if you have to!

Now, I know that’s not sexy.  Handing the ball to Lynch isn’t going to get you noticed as a coordinator; but it WORKS.

And that’s just it.  To get noticed as a coordinator, you’ve got to be running a well-oiled machine of an offense.  You’ve got to have that scoreboard spinning!  You’ve got to average around 30 points per game with lots of big plays from your skill positions.  In this case:  Russell Wilson & Percy Harvin.  So, he’s forcing Wilson to force the ball to Harvin as much as possible.

When it’s working, Bevell looks like a genius.  Why did Gus Bradley get the Jacksonville job?  Because he turned around a defense that was among the very worst to one of the very best.  That’s what gets defensive coordinators jobs as head coaches.  How do offensive coordinators get jobs as head coaches?  Well, it starts at quarterback.

If Bevell can make Wilson a legit Top 5 quarterback in this league – and not the perceived Game Manager everyone thinks he is – then he will have done the impossible and he’ll have his choice of teams to head coach next year.  Russell Wilson isn’t going to shed that Game Manager label by handing the ball off to Lynch all day long; he’s got to throw the ball!  With Harvin as the team’s best weapon in the passing game, of course Bevell is going to organize the offense around his abilities!

So, that’s what we’re going to get.  The only problem is:  we’re going to get that type of offense to the detriment of the TEAM.  That’s a problem for Seahawks fans, but guess who it helps.  Guess who actually benefits if the Seahawks manage to lose a few too many games this year!  That’s right:  Darrell Bevell.  Because coordinators who make the Super Bowl don’t get hired as head coaches.  Because it takes too long, and other teams want to get a jump-start on their next seasons.  THAT’S why I think Darrell Bevell is doing more harm than good.  I’m not going to sit here and tell you that he’s actively trying to cost us ballgames.  But, I am saying that defeats aren’t going to linger with him the way they’re lingering with fans.  I’m also saying that he’s being pig-headed with this new offensive scheme and is going to stick with it – without making the necessary adjustments – for better and for worse.

Here’s what I’ll say about Harvin:  he works best as a complementary player.  A change-of-pace.  Because:

  1. You don’t want to give him the lion’s share of the touches because he might get injured.
  2. Teams know what to expect out of him after multiple viewings.

The injury thing is obvious.  He’s a small guy.  He takes vicious hits because he runs so fast and because defenders are so much bigger than he is.  But, it’s the second part that Bevell doesn’t seem to understand.

In the Super Bowl, Harvin was electric.  Why?  Because nobody had seen him play all that often in a Seahawks uniform.  They didn’t have a really good idea how we’d use him.  So, those fly sweeps went for big gains.  And, in the early going of this year, it was more of the same.  Those quick-hitters to Harvin went for big money because the Packers and Chargers didn’t know what was coming.

Now?  Teams know what we’re doing.  This isn’t college football.  You know why John Ross is so great as a Husky?  Because he’s a man among boys.  He’s an NFL player surrounded by glorified high schoolers.  All you have to do is give Ross the football and he’s going to make magic happen (evidenced by that 86-yard touchdown against Cal, which would’ve been stopped for a modest gain AT BEST in the NFL).

Harvin is a great weapon because of his usefulness as a decoy.  When we send him in motion towards the quarterback pre-snap, the defense has to be on alert:  will the Seahawks hand it off to him?  Will Wilson turn and throw it to him as he runs away from him, in sort of a swing pass?  They have to account for him, which opens up the handoff up the gut to Lynch.  That takes one guy from The Box and removes him from the play, making life easier for Beastmode and the blockers in front of him.

And yes, it’s good to get his hands on the football once in a while, in space, like a glorified handoff.  But, you’ve also got to run him out in patterns sometimes!  He’s a slot receiver; how about you fucking USE him like a slot receiver?  Run some slants with him.  Run some double-moves and get him going down field!  I know the deep passing thing isn’t his game, necessarily, but the threat has to be there!  They can’t always expect Harvin to be hovering around the line of scrimmage.

Go watch tape of Green Bay.  Go look at how they use Randall Cobb.  Make THAT part of Harvin’s game.  Let’s keep the defense on their toes.

The fact of the matter is, yeah, Bevell is getting stagnant with his scheme vis-a-vis Harvin.  And a little stubbornness going along with that stagnation.  But, that doesn’t absolve Harvin himself.  He’s making A LOT of money.  And I know his mere presence on the field as a decoy will help this offense in the long run.  But, he’s not getting all those millions of dollars to give us 22 receptions for a measly 133 yards and 0 receiving touchdowns across five football games.  He’s also not getting all those millions of dollars to give us 11 rushing attempts for 92 yards and a single rushing TD.  He needs to be doing more.  EVERYONE needs to be doing more, but Percy Harvin can never again have a fucking game where he gets the ball 6 times and has negative net yardage.  We didn’t pay him all this money to be a speedy kick return man.  Ted Ginn Jr. is out there if you want that.  Much cheaper, too.

Finally, I’ll just say this:  if you’re injured, stop playing.  Sit out.  Because you’re only making your injury worse, and you’re not functioning properly when you’re on the field.  You’re not helping!  You’re actively hurting us with your penalties and with you being constantly out of position.  I’m looking at you, Okung, and I’m looking at anyone else who’s playing injured in secret.  STOP IT!  Get well, then come back.  Don’t be Mr. Macho Man, because you’ll get no credit from me for playing through pain.  You’ll only get my scorn for making the team worse.  I know you think that You at 75% is better than someone else at 100%, but I promise you you’re wrong.  Take a seat.


  1. San Diego Chargers (5-1) – Could’ve used a better defensive performance in Oakland for fantasy purposes, but I suppose I can’t really hold it against them.  It’s always tough going on the road in your own division.  I still really like their body of work right now and think they match up really well with the Broncos.
  2. Denver Broncos (4-1) – Not for nothing, but they get dinged a little bit (and therefore stuck in the #2 spot) because they lost to the Seahawks, who REALLY aren’t as good as I thought they were.
  3. Seattle Seahawks (3-2) – I’m not willing to dump the Seahawks much farther than this spot right now, though – because I think a lot of teams are iffy at this point – but a few more injuries and unexpected defeats will surely plummet them quick.
  4. San Francisco 49ers (4-2) – And they’re only going to get better as the season goes on, with their injured guys returning and their later BYE week.
  5. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) – I can’t believe how fast people jumped off their bandwagon this week.  SO MANY pundits took the Giants.  Just when you start to believe the Eagles’ offense is in a slump, they bust out.  Let that be a lesson.
  6. Dallas Cowboys (5-1) – As advertised:  one of the best offensive lines in all of football.  Limit Romo’s opportunities and you’ll limit his mistakes.  Simple Fucking Equation.
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1) – The defense is starting to mess me up in the head a little bit.
  8. Detroit Lions (4-2) – Frankly, the offense is starting to mess me up in the head a little bit.
  9. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) – Just Colts being Colts.
  10. Green Bay Packers (4-2) – Nice little underrated win, going down to Miami to steal one.
  11. Baltimore Ravens (4-2) – If only Flacco could play that well every week, he’d be a cinch for the Hall of Fame.
  12. New England Patriots (4-2) – Death, taxes, and the Patriots beating the Bills.
  13. Arizona Cardinals (4-1) – I’m beginning to think the NFC West – aside from the Rams – has the best collection of coaching staffs in all of football.  I don’t know what sort of voodoo Bruce Arians practices; I just know I don’t want to get on his bad side.
  14. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) – I dunno, they had a BYE week.  Hard to look good on your BYE week, when better teams around you are kicking ass and taking names.
  15. New Orleans Saints (2-3) – They’re out of my Top 10.  Smell you later, Saints.  Smell you later forever!
  16. Chicago Bears (3-3) – Yeah, good luck going up against the Lions and Packers; you’ve got no shot at the division.
  17. Carolina Panthers (3-2-1) – What was once considered – by me – as possibly being the best division in football, the NFC South is now one of the worst?  Lump them in with their AFC counterparts and the South in general is just a fucked up pile of shit.  HEY, WAIT A MINUTE!
  18. Cleveland Browns (3-2) – Haha, Steelers.
  19. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) – Ha. Ha.
  20. New York Giants (3-3) – Poor Eli.
  21. Houston Texans (3-3) – Poor J.J.
  22. Atlanta Falcons (2-4) – I place them below the Texans because their offensive line is horrendous.  And if they ever went up against J.J. Watt, Matt Ryan would cease to be.
  23. Miami Dolphins (2-3) – Making me look bad, Dolphins!  You don’t want to see me when I’m angry.
  24. Buffalo Bills (3-3) – This is a frisky little team, but all the used-up, washed-out white quarterbacks in the world won’t help them make the playoffs.
  25. Washington Redskins (1-5) – I just learned this week that they have only one win and not two.  Because I pay attention to detail and have a solid awareness of what’s going on in the world.
  26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5) – What the hell is up with this defense?  This is borderline offensive(!).
  27. New York Jets (1-5) – They’re going to have a mighty housecleaning if they don’t get improved quarterback play pretty soon.
  28. Minnesota Vikings (2-4) – This offense is a mess.  I think Norv has used up all his magic beans.
  29. St. Louis Rams (1-4) – Pretty tall order for a rookie quarterback to go up against the 49ers on Monday Night.
  30. Tennessee Titans (2-4) – You move up no spots because all you did was beat the fucking Jags.
  31. Oakland Raiders (0-5) – You move up one spot in the rankings because you’re not the Jags.
  32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) – Fuck you, Jags!  You’re supposed to be BETTER than this right now!  How many years in a row are you going to lead the league in being the 32nd-ranked team in the NFL?  Moreover, who ever told you that you could work with men?

Seahawks Make Cardinals Their Bitch

For starters, I’ll tell you this much:  I don’t know why ANY home team would ever choose to take the ball first if they won the coin toss.  Seems to me, you’d want to get your defense on the field, get the crowd into it, and put the fear of God into your opponents.  Likewise, if you’re a team like Arizona, there is absolutely no excuse, I don’t care if Bruce Arians is an offensively-minded head coach.  That Cardinals team has a freakish D-Line.  That Cardinals team also has a fucking TERRIBLE offense!  You gotta play to your strengths when you’re going up against a clearly superior team!  And your strengths last night were being at home and flaunting that defense.

Now, that having been said, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered.  Those first two drives by the Seahawks were as easy as it gets.  We haven’t seen that kind of early-game efficiency by this team since the LAST time we played the Cardinals.  And for a while there, it looked like we were going to see a repeat of the 58-0 drubbing; but of course it’s never that easy on the road.

Once we set out on that 14-point lead, my concerns over this game sort of washed away.  Having Seattle’s defense in fantasy still kept me interested in the specific goings on, but as Arizona pulled closer, I could only find myself getting more and more irritated.

The first Russell Wilson fumble was squarely on him.  He held onto the ball WAY too long.  Then again, at that point in the game, it seemed like we had a semi-good thing going for us on the ground; why didn’t we just run the ball?  It was close enough to the end of the first half that we could have stood to run some of the clock, but what are you gonna do?  Our opponent has gotten a cheap, pre-halftime touchdown the last two weeks now.

The other two Russell Wilson fumbles (one recovered by us, one not) were not his fault at ALL.  Our offensive tackles were getting whipped like this was a re-creation of Roots!  For my money, Paul McQuistan can’t return to his rightful position of left guard fast enough (or on the bench entirely, depending on the health of Pancakes Carpenter).  Michael Bowie, I will admit, has shown some improvement since he was inserted into the lineup, but he took a huge step back last night as our resident red-headed stepchild.  I’m not as convinced as some that he’s destined to be Breno Giacomini’s permanent replacement.

There were too many free runs at Russell Wilson.  That’s my point.  Either by design (leaving a defender unblocked in hopes to make a big run & catch out on the flat) or because someone was beat.  No quarterback can take the kind of pounding Wilson has been taking in recent weeks and expect that he’s going to play a full 19 games.  I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but it seems like Wilson has been hit A LOT more than he was last year.  This is a nasty trend that needs to curb itself real quick.

On the flipside, our defense was OUTSTANDING last night.  Kam Chancellor had what I think is probably the most beastly play I’ve ever seen.  Earl Thomas had another one of his soaring, diving interceptions.  Brandon Browner could have absolutely made my night until he fell for no good God damn reason at the two yard line on his would-be pick-six.  Richard Sherman was more wide receiver than defensive back.  K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith were all over the field, blitzing, filling gaps to stop the run.  Tony McDaniel tossed that left guard down like a ragdoll and ate Carson Palmer for dinner a light snack.  And the rest of our line got enough consistent pressure that Palmer really had no time to do much of anything.

This was the type of D-Line performance everyone envisioned when we signed guys like Avril and Bennett.  A pass rush consisting of those two guys, with Clemons on the other side and Bruce Irvin coming from the strong-side linebacker spot.  It only works when we’re able to stop the run, and last night we really proved our worth.  Big Red, Mebane, and Clinton McDonald were a total madhouse!  Arizona got all of 30 yards on the ground, and it’s not like they abandoned it because they were so far behind.  18 attempts, for a whopping 1.7 yard average.  Their longest run was 6 yards!

Not that their passing was that much better.  The game was 34-16 before the defense went into Prevent Mode (should have been 34-9, but that first Wilson fumble set them up at the 3 yard line, for the easy punch-in).  Obviously, when Carson Palmer is facing a bunch of 3-man fronts, with the DBs playing off the line, he’s going to get his garbage-time points.  That’s his M.O.  Carson Palmer’s futility puts his team in a huge hole, then in the end he generates a couple of long drives to put up his numbers, and voila!  258 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs.  Against any other team, he probably would’ve had 358, 2 TDs, and 3 INTs, but essentially that’s the prototypical Carson Palmer Game now.

For my Players of the Game, I’m going to start with Marshawn Lynch, who had his usual bruising, feisty game.  91 yards against that front seven is nothing to sneeze at.

I thought Zach Miller really opened things up for us and was our Glue Guy on offense.  He caught a smattering of balls with defenders in Wilson’s face, he occupied the middle and allowed our receivers to run freer than they normally would.  He even got in there and played some fullback when Derrick Coleman went down!

Malcolm Smith deserves to be singled out.  He’s thrust into a starting role as our weakside linebacker with the injury to Bobby Wagner (K.J. moved to Wagner’s spot).  With Smith being as capable as he was, it allowed Wright to do his thing and you wouldn’t even know that we were missing our leading tackler from last season!  Smith really filled up the stat sheet too, leading the team with 9 tackles (2 for loss), a sack, a pass defended, a QB hit, and a number of QB hurries.  When you think of quality depth on this team, you don’t just have to think about our secondary.  We’ve got it everywhere in this defense.  Malcolm Smith is the embodiment of that.

The L.O.B. still gets credit for being amazing.  I can’t say it enough.  Chancellor was a man possessed out there.  Earl got his pick and was all over the field as usual.  Sherman locked down his man and nearly got a pick of his own.  And Browner really made up for his performance last week, even though he fell down on that return.

Finally, what can I say about Russell Wilson that hasn’t already been said?  We were 7 for 12 on third downs and a big reason for that was Wilson and his decision-making.  Yeah, there were a few fumbles, but for the most part you’re talking about the exact type of game we want out of him.  And if you blame him for losing the football when there’s a man behind him as soon as he’s finished with his drop, then you’re a tool who’s just looking for something to be argumentative about.  I’m looking at you, Softy.  STAY OUT OF MALIBU, SOFTY!

Much Ado About Matt Flynn

Even though we’re still in the doldrums of the local sports calendar, I’m planning on ramping down the Seahawks posts (until, of course, something important happens), because GET OVER IT ALREADY!  The season’s over!  Move on!

But, since today is Friday, and I ain’t got shit-else to do, I thought I’d come back on here and blather on about Matt Flynn for a few hundred words.

Alex Smith was just traded from our most-direct rival for a king’s ransom.  Yay.  Rumors abound, but it appears they’re getting a very-high 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, and another similar pick in next year’s draft.  So, don’t start counting those divisional winning chickens just yet, Seahawks fans!  The 49ers have a pretty damn good front office too.

Everybody wants to know what this means for the Seahawks.  After all, we’re in a very similar situation with a backup quarterback making a lot more money than the younger starting quarterback (with the obvious difference being that Alex Smith has extensive starting experience, while Matt Flynn started two games).  Obviously, Alex Smith is worth more – even though we were writing him off no less than two years ago as a total and complete bust – because he was able to generate some semblance of a successful season in 2011 (and, like, half a successful season in 2012 before being benched).  So, don’t come around here expecting the Seahawks to fleece some team out of its 2nd round draft pick, because that just ain’t happening!

Nobody wanted Matt Flynn last offseason, so what makes you think they suddenly want him now?

He came here as a highly-touted backup, involved with a championship organization in Green Bay, yet he still couldn’t beat out a 3rd round rookie draft pick.  Now, you can say what you want about the circumstances surrounding that whole ordeal; personally I think the coaching staff was looking for every reason to give the job to Russell Wilson (as opposed to this highly-popular theory the Seahawks are spreading around, that Wilson simply went out there and “took” the job). 

It says a lot about what the league thinks about Matt Flynn – when you really sit down and think about it – when you consider how reasonable his contract was when he first signed it.  This was pre-draft, mind you.  There were a number of teams out there (like Miami, like Washington, like Indianapolis, like Cleveland, like Arizona) who could’ve used an upgrade at the quarterback position.  Yet, the Seahawks were able to sign him for a modest 3-year deal for around $20 mil, with only $10 million guaranteed.  Now, why is that?  Were teams scared off from the Kevin Kolb fiasco in Arizona?  Or, for that matter, the Charlie Whitehurst experiment in Seattle?  There’s no denying it:  it’s a HUGE risk to just turn over your franchise to an inexperienced backup, just as it is to turn it over to a rookie.  Either way you slice it, if he doesn’t have real game experience, then you absolutely can’t know what you have in a player.  Pre-season doesn’t count.  A spot start every other year doesn’t count.

So, this is pretty much the same exact player who was signed as a free agent last year.  Except now, he’s going to cost a team at least a draft pick, if not two.  He’s another year older, AND he has a potential arm issue (tendonitis, or some damn thing, which kept him out of that fateful pre-season game against Kansas City last year).  Oh boy, I can see the teams lining up for MILES to trade for this guy!

The question remains:  what could the Seahawks reasonably expect to get back from a guy like Flynn?  Well, considering the market, not bloody much.  Our biggest hope has to be that Gus Bradley absolutely fell in love with the guy and is willing to do whatever it takes to bring him to Jacksonville.  Failing that, you’re not dealing him to the Jets unless you want a Tebow in return (no thanks).  You’re not dealing him to the Raiders because they have too much capital invested in the quarterback position, in terms of both dollars and draft picks squandered.  You’re not dealing him to the Chiefs because they just traded for Smith.  You’re not dealing him to Arizona, because they’re not dumb enough to fall for that same trick twice (and because he’s not the type of quarterback Bruce Arians likes).  You’re not dealing him to Miami because they JUST drafted a guy, and they kinda like their guy.  You’re not dealing him to Cleveland for the same reason.  Ditto Tennessee.  You’re not dealing him to Buffalo because they just re-signed Tarvar and are inviting him to compete for the starting job.  You’re not dealing him to Philly because they re-worked Mike Vick’s contract.  It’s Jacksonville or bust!  What kind of market is that?  You’re not playing one team against the other, because there ISN’T any other (and there might not even be AH team).

If the best case scenario is Gus Bradley losing his mind, then the most realistic scenario is:  the Seahawks get a 6th or 7th round pick in return for a straight-up salary dump.

Which would be pointless.  You’re looking at a team well under the cap.  You’re looking at a team that won’t cut Flynn because they wouldn’t save enough money to counter the fact that they’d still need to sign a backup quarterback, because SURPRISE:  they HAVE no other backup quarterbacks!

What you’re going to get is another year with Matt Flynn as the backup, of which I am TOTALLY in favor.  Why go to these extreme lengths to trade Flynn for nothing, then sign another veteran to be a backup when you’ve already GOT the veteran backup, he knows the system, and he works well with Russell Wilson?  Not only that, but he’s still got that fire and hunger to be a starting quarterback, so he’s going to do nothing but push Russell Wilson to be even BETTER.  It’s win/win all around.

So can we PRETTY PLEASE, with sugar on top, stop fucking talking about a potential Matt Flynn trade?  It’s making me crazy.  Do the math:  it’s NOT FUCKING HAPPENING.