Friday, December 30, 2011

A Loss Sunday is really a Win

Now that the playoffs are no longer a possibility, it is time to improve draft positioning. A loss, coupled with a few 6-8 teams winning could put the Seahawks drafting in the #9 spot next spring. A win Sunday could have them picking as late as #20 (when strength of schedule gets sorted out).

Those are some serious Depends®.
I know PC and the players want to finish the season strong--and there is something to finishing .500, but at what price? Last year the playoff run was worth it, but very costly. The team dropped 17 positions in the first round (from #8 to #25 by beating St. Louis and NO).

This season is already viewed as a success--with either 7 or 8 wins. The Hawks exceeded everyone's expectations. Most "experts" projected Seattle with a top 3 pick before the season started. So, this year a week 17 loss would help the team more than hurt them.

As Ronald Reagan once said, "Just win lose one for the Gipper!"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Roster Churn is Paying Dividends

For those naysayers who said that PC and JS were turning over the roster too quickly, it is fair to say that they were dead wrong. The cupboard was essentially bare when they took over, and in less than two years they have orchestrated a massive turn around in the talent level and overall depth of the team. Let's look at some key players and how they were acquired:

  • Drafted in 2010--Earl Thomas, Russell Okung, Golden Tate, Kam Chancellor
  • Drafted in 2011--KJ Wright, Malcolm Smith, Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, James Carpenter, John Moffit 
  • Undrafted FA in 2011--Doug Baldwin, Josh Portis
  • Trades--Chris Clemons, Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington, Clint McDonald
  • Free Agents--Alan Branch, Zach Miller, Sidney Rice, Robert Gallery, Anthony Hargrove,  Tarvaris Jackson
  • Players cut from other teams--Atari Bigby, Michael Robinson, Raheem Brock
  • Players left for dead--Brandon Browner, Mike Williams
I only count 12 players left from the Tim Ruskell era: Marcus Trufant, John Carlson, Leroy Hill, John Ryan, Ben Obomanu, Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, Roy Lewis, Justin Forsett, Max Unger, Deon Butler and Cameron Morrah.

After next summer's training camp, this number will be in the single digits with Trufant, Forsett, Morrah and Carlson potentially not returning.

Looking at the SF Matchup

I was a bit surprised when comparing the teams statistically, that they are more equal than you would think--especially based on their win/loss records.

Both teams are built on the same formula, a sound defense, a running offense and not turning the ball over.

  • The Niners have the #25 ranked offense (9 rushing, 29 passing).
  • The Hawks have the #28 offense (22 rushing, 23 passing).

  • The Niners have the #5 ranked defense (1 rushing, 21 passing).
  • The Hawks have the #8 defense (11 rushing, 13 passing).

The big difference is turnover margin: SF: +25, SEA +8

Hopefully the 12th Man can make a difference on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's on Your Christmas List?

I was going to write up what the Seahawks need to happen this weekend, but Mike Sando beat me to it, so here is the link:

Hawks Dream Scenario

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Good Test for the Offense

I watched all of the Denver / Chicago game last weekend and I sure hope the Seahawks offense is more functional Sunday than Denver's. Has recent success come at the hands of bad teams, or have the Hawks made serious progress?

Without Cutler and Forte, the Bears offense is limited at best. Hopefully that will be the case again Sunday. That said, they are relying on defense, so we will see if the Hawks can muster sustained offense (especially with the patchwork line).

I am worried about McQuistan lining up against Peppers. I am also worried about blitz pick ups. Tarvaris will have to make smart decisions under pressure. The running game will be essential to keep the pressure off him.

I hope that the defense can bottle up the run and force Caleb to beat them. So far, he has not shown that he is capable.

Will the team sleepwalk through the first half like they have been known to do when they have 10 am starts? Let's not repeat the debacle at Cleveland.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Doug Baldwin wins NFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Thanks to his blocked punt that set up a touchdown, his 37 yard kickoff return and downed a punt at the six-yard line, our own Dougie Fresh is NFC special teams player of the week.

Not only is the undrafted rookie leading the team in receptions and receiving yards, he can play special teams too. What a steal.

I read that 20 teams reached out to him when he was not drafted. would love to know the back story about how he became a Seahawk.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Who to Root for this Weekend

For Seattle's playoff chances to improve here is what needs to happen:

1. Carolina over Atlanta
2. Minnesota over Detroit
3. Denver over Chicago
4. Dallas over NY Giants
5. Seattle over St. Louis

Conversely, if you are more concerned with draft positioning than winning (Seattle would be picking #14 if the season ended today), then you want to cheer for every 3, 4 and 5 win team.

9-7 Will Do It

If the Hawks win their remaining four games, they will most likely make the playoffs as a wildcard. In a way, you could argue that they control their own destiny. Here's why:

If tied with more than one team at 9-7, the first tiebreaker is conference record. The Hawks would be 8-4 versus the NFC and that will get them in.

If tied with the Bears or Giants, the Seahawks have the edge based on head to head records.

If tied with the Falcons for the final spot, the Falcons get in as they beat the Hawks.

A dose of reality: Seattle hasn't one more than two games in a row since 2007. To go 9-7, they would have to win five in a row (and 7 of 8) Not likely.
But who knows?