Tag Archives: Seattle Seahawks

Still Feeling The Effect

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On February 1, 2015, the Seattle Seahawks took the field at the University of Phoenix Stadium for Super Bowl 49 in what was set to be their crowning moment. The Seahawks were attempting to be the first National Football League team since the New England Patriots in 2004 to win consecutive Super Bowl Championships as it would have been just the seventh time in the Super Bowl era that the champ from the previous year would be able to repeat. The Seahawks won the Super Bowl in the previous season by being a brash and cocky team that could intimidate opponents with their sheer athleticism that was topped off with bravado. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had constructed his team in the same mode that he had previously done during his time collegiately with the USC Trojans as he employed athletes and depth at nearly every position which made Seattle the envy of the NFL.

The Seahawks entered the Super Bowl needing to get past the Patriots and their quarterback Tom Brady who was already a three-time Super Bowl Champion. Because of this the oddsmakers in Las Vegas had the contest as a pick ’em, and they were very accurate in their assessment as the game was a toss up throughout.

The strength of both teams was on display early as Brady was able to lead the Patriots down the field into scoring position. But in the red zone Brady was picked off by Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane. Brady would recover and lead the Pats on a pair of touchdown drives. However each time that New England scored, the Seahawks were able to answer and thus the contest was tied at 14 heading to halftime.

The Seahawks would then take control of the game in the third quarter which saw Brady picked off by Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Seahawks would take a 24-14 lead into the fourth quarter and their second consecutive Super Bowl Title seemed to be right around the bend.

But somebody forgot to mention that to Brady who took over in the fourth quarter as he picked apart the best secondary in the National Football League. Brady was as accurate as could be with crisp passes, while the Seahawks pass rush could not get to him. And with just over two minutes left in the game, Brady found wide receiver Julien Edelman for the go-ahead score to give New England the 28-24 lead.

However Seattle was not ready to mail it in, and led by quarterback Russell Wilson, they charged down the field. On the drive Wilson connected with wide receiver Jermaine Kearse on a deflected pass that netted 33 yards and it got Seattle to the New England five-yard line with 65 seconds remaining. But this is where the Seahawks began to outsmart themselves.

From there the Seahawks would give the football to running back Marshawn Lynch who gained four yards on the next play and got down to the Patriots one-yard line.The Seahawks were expected to keep feeding Lynch the football as his nickname is “Beast Mode”. However the Seahawks would allow the clock to tick in order to deprive the Patriots an opportunity to get the football again. But on the next play Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called a pass play that was intended for wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. It was quick slant that was expected to be a simple pitch and catch until Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped the route sealed the win for the Patriots with an interception.

Carroll and Bevell faced intense scrutiny from the media and public alike for the play call as instead of giving the football to Lynch who was one of the better goal line running backs in the National Football League, they decided to pass.

The Seahawks left the field that night as a dejected team and rightfully so as the game was there for the taking. But instead of the Seahawks losing the game because they weren’t good enough to defeat the Patriots, they had to deal with the notion that their demise came as the result of one of, if not the worst play calls in Super Bowl history. And that public scrutiny only paled in comparison to the issues that the Seahawks have had to deal with ever since.

Whereas the Seahawks are an outspoken team when things are going well, the same can be said when things aren’t going according to plan for them. The following off-season saw Wilson seeking more money and he got it when he and the Seahawks came to an agreement on a four-year deal for $87.6 million with him. But the way that the cookie crumbles in the National Football League is that if the franchise quarterback wants to be handsomely compensated, then he must also expect to see the talent around him decimate.

Russell Wilson

With the Seahawks paying Wilson, the talent around him on offense regressed as players began to be released, while others were allowed to walk in free agency. During that off-season Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor was seeking more money which saw him sit out the first two games of the 2015 National Football League season. The Seahawks would then subsequently lose those two games. And after Seattle began the season with a record of 0-2, it put them in a hole as they would rebound to make the playoffs, but they couldn’t win the NFC West and get a much needed first-round bye. Subsequently the Seahawks would fall to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. The loss to the Panthers would be more than just a simple defeat as Lynch who wasn’t the same running back in 2015, decided to retire from the NFL at the age of 29.

Without the services of Lynch, the Seahawks would make it back to the playoffs this past season for the fifth consecutive year. However in the NFC Divisional Playoffs they were unceremoniously shown the door by the Atlanta Falcons by the score of 36-20 as the magic simply wasn’t there.

Since then Lynch expressed interest in returning to the National Football after a year away. Lynch didn’t have any desire to play for the Seahawks anymore, but since he was still under contract with them, his next employer had to find a way to work out a deal with Seattle. Lynch would be traded to the Oakland Raiders who worked out a deal with the Seahawks that would send a sixth-round pick to Seattle in 2018, while Oakland would receive a fifth-round pick.

Richard Sherman

This off-season saw the Seahawks put cornerback Richard Sherman on the trading block. Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowl selection while he is also one of the top cornerbacks currently in the National Football League. But Sherman is never afraid to speak his mind and there are reports that he is still upset with Carroll and Wilson over the Super Bowl. Wilson has denied those reports, but where there is smoke, there is fire.

Pete Carroll

Greed cost the Seahawks a chance to repeat as Super Bowl Champions as Carroll forgot what made him successful in the first place. When the Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl 48, it was a total team effort as they cruised to a 43-8 win. On the first play of the game Seattle scored on a safety after the Broncos botched a snap that went out of the end zone. The Seahawks got a kickoff return from Percy Harvin, while linebacker Malcolm Smith returned an interception for a touchdown. Wilson will go down as the winning quarterback for that game,but he was simply a cog in the wheel.

Wilson’s career regular season record is 56-23-1, while he is 8-4 in the playoffs. But the Seahawks are a team in the truest form of the word.

During the Seahawks championship run, they ran the football effectively with Lynch, while they got timely and accurate passing from Wilson. And when Carroll turned things over to his defense, it was a matter of picking your poison with the likes of Sherman, Chancellor, free safety Earl Thomas, defensive end Michael Bennett, and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Seahawks put Wilson in the unique position of not needing to win the game as it more about him not losing it. And going back to Super Bowl 49, it was the latter that happened.

Marshawn Lynch

So now as Lynch is with the Raiders, the other key players that remain with the Seahawks following that eventful night in 2015 only can sit back and ask what could have been? Championship windows close very quickly in the National Football League as you must strike while the iron is hot. Since then Thomas and Sherman have had to deal with injuries while they are also getting older. And as teams are always attempting to upgrade to enhance their chances of winning, other teams have caught up to the Seahawks, while in some cases they have passed them altogether.

A few years ago the Seahawks were as close to invincible as a team could be in the National Football League. Opposing teams feared going to CenturyLink Field as their chances of winning were slim at best. But now that isn’t the case as the Seahawks have lost four games at home over the last two seasons as compared to just two in the previous two campaigns. And whereas the Seahawks still have a team which is capable of making the postseason, they aren’t good enough to once again hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl Champions.

This smells of Carroll’s time at USC where after blowing a 12-point lead against the Texas Longhorns in the 2006 Rose Bowl for the national championship, his teams there continued to be good, but never good enough to win another national title. But whereas Carroll’s guys would graduate after four years at USC, he still has to look the likes of Sherman in the face after blowing a chance to be mentioned amongst the greatest teams in National Football League history.

Time has already proven that the Seahawks will never be the same that they once were as this team of alpha males can only sit back and merely ask what could have been if Lynch had gotten the football on the one-yard line on that fateful night in February.

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2017 NFC West Draft Grades

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Seattle Seahawks

First-Round Pick: (N/A)

Best Pick: Round Two-Malik McDowell-Defensive Tackle-Michigan State

Grade: B

Pete Carroll, John Schneider

In six of the seven years that general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have been running the show for the Seattle Seahawks, they’ve made the playoffs which can traced back to their strategy at the National Football League Draft. The Seahawks have focused on having depth which has also spawned competition at multiple positions on the team which has kept Seattle on top of their game.

At this year’s draft the Seahawks traded out of the first round after making deals with both the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks would not make a selection until the third pick of the second round as they tabbed Michigan State Spartans defensive tackle Malik McDowell.

Malik McDowell

Although that nothing stood out about McDowell’s game during his time in college, he had the potential of being a first-round pick. But when McDowell fell to the second round, it gave him an opportunity to go to one of the best possible situations for him in the National Football League. McDowell joins a solid defensive line and he doesn’t have to be the guy as he can simply fall in line as he plays alongside the likes of defensive end Michael Bennett.

Throughout the draft the Seahawks continued to add depth and athleticism which included them selecting North Carolina Tar Heels defensive tackle Nazair Jones in the third round and Cincinnati Bearcats safety Mike Tyson in the sixth round.

Carroll has been one of the best as far as developing his players and within the next two years we should see players from this draft class have a positive impact for the Seahawks.

Arizona Cardinals

First-Round Pick: Haason Reddick-Outside Linebacker-Temple

Best Pick: Round Two-Budda Baker-Safety-Washington

Grade: B-

2016 saw the Arizona Cardinals take a huge step back in the standings and head coach Bruce Arians doesn’t intend on making their 7-8-1 campaign from last season become a habit which meant him seeking to improve his team at the 2017 National Football League Draft.

Haason Reddick

In the first round the Cardinals selected Temple Owls outside linebacker Haason Reddick. Last year Reddick led Temple in sacks with 10.5 and now he joins a team in Arizona that tallied 48 sacks last season as Arians knows that the way for his team to get back to the postseason is by putting a ton of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

The second round saw the Cards get a steal when they added to their already deep secondary when they selected Washington Huskies safety Budda Baker. Baker was an All-American last year at Washington which included him leading the team in tackles with 71. Baker has tremendous range and he isn’t afraid to mixing it up in the run game, while he could form one of the best safety combos in the National Football League with Tyrann Mathieu.

But for as good as Reddick and Baker can potentially be for Arizona’s defense, the team didn’t properly address their issues in the passing game. Last the Cardinals second leading receiver was running back David Johnson with 879 yards. And with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald set to turn 34 in August, it’s time for the Cardinals to find his heir apparent. Arizona did select Grambling State Tigers wide receiver Chad Williams in the third, but I don’t see him coming to have an immediate impact for the Cards.

However even with the Cardinals failing to properly address their issues on offense, they should be a tough team to score against during the upcoming season.

Los Angeles Rams

First-Round Pick: (N/A)

Best Pick: Round Four-Josh Reynolds-Wide Receiver-Texas A&M

Grade: C+

Without a first-round pick in the 2017 National Football League Draft, the Los Angeles Rams had to wait until the second round before they could get active. But even when the Rams began the process of filling out draft cards, it didn’t matter as their draft class for 2017 overall has the makings of being below average. The Rams need more play makers on offense which saw them use three of their first four picks on that side of the football, but will they be able to contribute?

The second round saw the Rams select South Alabama Jaguars tight end Gerald Everett. Last year at South Alabama, Everett had 49 receptions for 727 yards and 4 touchdowns and the Rams will now need him to quickly develop into a security blanket for quarterback Jared Goff.

Josh Reynolds

The fourth round saw the Rams selected Texas A&M Aggies wide receiver Josh Reynolds. Reynolds had 61 receptions last year at Texas A&M, while he led the team in receiving yards (1,039), and receiving touchdowns (12). At 6’3″, Reynolds does give Los Angeles size at the wide receiver position. And like Everett, it will be interesting to see how quickly that he’ll be able to get on the same page with Goff.

It the Rams are patient and take their time to properly develop both Everett and Reynolds, they could each turn into solid players within the next two years.

San Francisco 49ers

First-Round Pick: Solomon Thomas-Defensive End-Stanford, Reuben Foster-Inside Linebacker-Alabama

Best Pick: Solomon Thomas

Grade: B+

The San Francisco 49ers may have only been victorious in two contests last season, but that didn’t prevent them from being big winners at the 2017 National Football League Draft. John Lynch is only in his first year as the general manager of the 49ers, but he approached the draft in the fashion of someone who has been around the block before.

The Niners entered the draft with the second overall pick, but with the Chicago Bears eager to swap places with San Francisco in order to draft North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky, Lynch used their desperation to his benefit. The Niners were able to secure extra picks this year as well as for 2018, while they were still able to get the players that they wanted.

With the third overall selection, the 49ers selected Stanford Cardinal defensive end Solomon Thomas. Thomas was one the best pass rushers available in the draft and he is going to be the first piece of the rebuilding process on defense in San Francisco.

Reuben Foster

Lynch would then trade back into the first round as he struck a deal with the Atlanta Falcons for the 31st overall pick. The Niners would select Alabama Crimson Tide middle linebacker Reuben Foster. The Niners already have NaVorro Bowman at middle linebacker, but as they are attempting to build a strong defense in the mode that they had earlier in this decade, Foster could play the role that former middle linebacker Patrick Willis played for them.

The 49ers continued to upgrade their defense as they drafted Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon in the third round, while their first offensive pick of the draft was on Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback C.J Beathard in the fourth round.

Beathard more than likely won’t become a franchise quarterback, but it is a credit to Lynch for not reaching for a signal caller as he understands that the 49ers had other pressing needs.

The 49ers still have some work ahead of them in order to become a contender, but players such as Thomas and Foster could be building blocks for them.

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2016 Week 17 NFL Picks

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Week 17’s showdown against the Green Bay Packers could be a defining moment for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

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2016 Week 16 NFL Picks

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The New England Patriots can see the finish line in regards to getting home-field advantage in the playoffs.

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2016 Week 7 NFL Picks

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Will the secondary of the Los Angeles Rams have an answer for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. this Sunday in London?

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2016 Week 3 NFL Picks

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Is Trevor Siemian ready for his first road test as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos?

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2016 Week 2 NFL Picks

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Will it be the good Andy Dalton or the bad Andy Dalton when the Cincinnati Bengals clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

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2016-2017 NFL Playoff Projections

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AFC

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

2. New England Patriots

3. Oakland Raiders

4. Indianapolis Colts

5. Cincinnati Bengals

6. Baltimore Ravens

AFC Wild Card Round

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts

As dysfunctional as the Cincinnati Bengals are, not even they can lose in the Wild Card round in six consecutive years; especially since they are much better than the Indianapolis Colts.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders

The fans in the Bay Area have waited a very long time to see an Oakland Raiders playoff game and they wont be disappointed.

AFC Divisional Playoffs

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bengals will finally be happy to get the playoff monkey off of their backs, but their big brothers from the AFC North in the Pittsburgh Steelers want to show them that they are still in charge.

Oakland Raiders vs. New England Patriots

The Raiders are happy to win a playoff game, and the battle tested New England Patriots will be too much for them.

AFC Championship Game

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been on a mission to put “Deflategate” behind him and get back to the Super Bowl.

NFC

1. Seattle Seahawks

2. Green Bay Packers

3. Carolina Panthers

4. Dallas Cowboys

5. Arizona Cardinals

6. Minnesota Vikings

NFC Wild Card Round

Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers

The road to a consecutive Super Bowl berth for the Carolina Panthers begins with a home victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Arizona Cardinals could be a team on a mission as they steamroll the Dallas Cowboys.

NFC Divisional Playoffs

Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers

In a battle of MVP quarterbacks in Cam Newton of the Panthers, and Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, the legs of running back Eddie Lacy will lead Green Bay to the NFC Championship Game.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Cards-Seahawks rivalry is quickly becoming one of the best in the NFL. And for the Cardinals, they are definitely one team that isn’t afraid to travel to Seattle and seek a victory.

NFC Championship Game

Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers

With the frozen mystique of football in Green Bay being a thing of the past, the Cardinals have what it takes to get a victory there and reach the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history.

Super Bowl Bowl 51-NRG Stadium-Houston, Texas

New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals

These two teams began the year against each other, and it’s only fitting that they’ll finish they year on the gridiron. But the Patriots will find a way to win their fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy.

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