Seahawks Looking Good! Can you say Super Bowl?

The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX troph...

Since the writing of this blog the New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football 42-14. 

This Seattle Seahawk season ticket holder was pretty darned impressed with what he saw in Sunday’s 58-0 record blow-out of the Arizona Cardinals. It’s got me thinking of…dare I say it…the Super Bowl.

Call me crazy if you will but my dreams could be realized if a few small things fall our way. And we could be making plans for a trip to…NEW JERSEY? Ya…New Jersey. The fact that the game is being played in a northern climate again is one other reason why I feel optimistic. Seattle’s only other trip to nirvana occurred in 2006 when the Seahawks lost to Pittsburg in Detroit, MI.

(Oops! It has been correctly pointed out to me that the Super Bowl in New Jersey won’t take place until after next season in 2014. This season’s 2013 Super Bowl will be in New Orleans.)

Picture taken by me of Qwest Field at night fr...

CenturyLink Field where Seattle is undefeated.

Here is the situation: Seattle is 8-5 with three games left. Sunday they travel to Toronto to play the Buffalo Bills. On Christmas Eve eve, December 23rd, the Hawks host division leading San Francisco at CenturyLink Field. And then they close out the season at the “Clink” against the improving St. Louis Rams.

Before anyone gets too excited let me remind you that Seattle has played and lost to both the 49ers and the Rams this season, and at this point in the season they haven’t clinched anything. Having said that I like our chances.

Tonight’s Monday night game, Houston at New England, in Foxboro could be important. If Houston wins New England would not want to lose two straight when they host the 49ers next Sunday night. So come-on Texans! If the Pat’s win tonight they might start shifting into coast-mode before the playoffs when they play San Francisco. (New England won 42-14)  If San Fran loses their game in New England, while Seattle beats Buffalo the game in Seattle would decide the division lead with only one game to play.

Seattle will beat Buffalo for several reasons. First, they exorcised that “can’t win on the road” ghost in beating the Bears in Chicago last week. Second, the game is not in Buffalo so the Bills will not have that much of a decided home field advantage. Lastly, besides the crowd the other huge advantage Buffalo has over all its opponents in December is the weather. But the Seahawk game will be inside what they used to call Skydome.

I think the Hawks can break the 49ers win streak of them and take the division lead. What a nice Christmas present THAT will be. A division crown would come down to beating the Rams on December 30th at CenturyLink; a proposition I favor. But it won’t be easy. The Rams play an up-and-down Minnesota club next week and a declining Tampa Bay after that. They could come to Seattle 8-6-1 needing a win for the playoffs. Still, you can’t bet against Seattle at the Clink, no matter who they’re playing; as evidenced by their victories this year over possibly the 2 best teams in the league, Green Bay and New England.

Seattle would then host at least one playoff game and probably earn a bye the first weekend. This scenario counts on G.B. to lose at least once more. which I think they’ll do. Seattle and the Packers would be tied with an 11-5 record and thanks to Russell Wilson, Golden Tate, and a Replacement Referee Seattle would host their first playoff game after taking a week off.

Seattle would be favored over whoever they played and I would expect them to win, putting them into the NFC Championship game.

NFC Championship Game logo, 2005–2010

Under my scheme that game would only be in Atlanta or Seattle. If it’s Atlanta, well, the Falcons would be deservedly favored. If it’s in Seattle against the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers or the last playoff entrant (Who cares. They won’t win), then I like my teams chances of going to East Rutherford.

I’ve never been happier being so wrong. I’m referring to Pete Carroll’s pick of Russell Wilson as the teams starting quarterback this year. I was the first in the Matt Flynn camp, dating back to last January. And as good as Wilson has played, who’s to say Flynn couldn’t have done the same thing? Having said that, clearly Wilson is a special player and can lead this team to the Super Bowl provided a few not-so-unlikely things fall our way. Go Seahawks! Go Texans! Go Patriots (next week)!

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seahawks owe no apologies to anyone.

The Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers last night in a football game that ended on a controversial touchdown call that is destined to be remembered for a long time after this season. It’s impact not yet fully known; but I predict it will become controversial again at the end of this season. With both Seattle and Green Bay likely playoff contenders one loss or one win could provide the difference between making the playoffs or not, winning a division or not, hosting a home field playoff game or not. We have just begun to feel the ramifications of the Fail Mary Pass that had Seattle’s Golden Tate awarded a touchdown on the games final play that so many believe should never have been awarded and should have instead resulted in an interception and Green Bay victory on Monday Night Football.

Let me start by acknowledging there is no doubt, NO DOUBT, that were I a Packer fan I would be as outraged as anyone and like so many argue for the final play’s call to be overturned an a victory awarded to my team. But I’m not a Packer fan. I’m a Seahawk fan who was at the game enjoying my team from my season ticket location, up until the end of the game when I left.

I did see the final 2 minutes of the game, including the play in question. But like so many at CenturyLink Field I got up to leave after Seattle failed to score with just under two minutes to play inside the Green Bay 10 yard line and gave possession up on downs. As I was making my way through the stadium, just before ducking into a tunnel out of sight of the field, I glanced back over my shoulder and saw the Packer fumble inside the 5 yard line on first down after taking possession. Green Bay recovered the fumble. But with my brother, who I attended the game with, we watched the green-and-gold fail to get even one first down necessary for running out the clock and the game for the Seahawks, and then punt from their own end zone.  Giving the ball back to Seattle with plenty of time for them to win.

Seattle won that game. And nothing will convince me that they didn’t. First off, I am in no way convinced that the controversial play was THAT controversial. It was ruled a simultaneous catch; which by rule is awarded the offensive player. Tate had at least one hand on the ball from the moment both players received it while jumping in the air. And he had both hands on the ball when he/they fell to the ground. The argument that he didn’t catch it would have clout with me the moment you show me a rule that says a catch is not a catch unless you pull the ball fully into your chest. He didn’t. But he doesn’t have to. The fact that all the complainers have the benefit of slow motion instant replay also dramatically changes the perspective of what you’re seeing. The referee on the scene, facing the play, not the one behind the play who initially started to signal an interception, only had live full speed action in front of him at field level for just a moment to make his judgement. And as the NFL stated in its press release today, the morning after the game, a regular (not replacement) instant replay official did review the play and ruled not enough evidence existed to overturn the ruling.  And unlike what the pundits claimed the NFL cleared up that a simultaneous catch is by rule reviewable if it occurs in the end zone, as this one did.

I am really surprised to hear and read the volume, and bitterness at the outrage over this play. Surely the fact that replacement officials made the call is 90% responsible for the extreme nature of the sentiment.

But let’s get this straight. Seattle should apologize to no one at any time for taking this victory. If Green Bay felt they should have won they should have scored more than just 12 points.

Rookie Bruce Irvin had two sacks of Rodgers

Not a lot of teams win scoring only twelve points. It’s only the second time since the 2010 season the Pack has failed to score 20-or-more points.

Green Bay should have run out the clock. They had the ball, with a first down, with under two minutes to play and couldn’t do it. The Seahawk defense is proving quite the force so far this year. They really are looking awesome. They had nine sacks last night; eight in the first half when the Packers failed to score. Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young Tweeted that he’d never seen such a mauling put on another team the way the Hawks defensive front four mauled the Packer offensive line.

And let us not forget at about the 8:50 mark of the fourth quarter on a third-down Aaron Rodgers was stopped on a scramble at the Seahawk 2 yard line and ruled short of the first down. Green Bay was trailing 7-6 at the time. They were going to kick a field goal. But Packer coach Mike McCarthy successfully challenge the ruling of the placement of the ball and had it moved forward far enough to give Green Bay a first down and then a touchdown. The replay that I saw seemed to indicate that Rogers’ knee was down prior to him stretching for the necessary 1st down yardage. With just a Green Bay field goal Seattle would never have had to attempt that Fail Mary pass at the end. At the 27 yard line they were plenty close for a chip shot field goal to win the game.

And lets not forget that after Green Bay’s only touchdown they failed on a two point conversion attempt. Had they succeeded Seattle’s last second touchdown would only have tied the game. Yes, Green Bay had plenty of chances to win, both earned and questionable, and they failed to do it.

And lastly, Seattle is long, long, LONG overdue for some luck to come their way like this. The Emerald City has long been the town in which sports dreams go to die. If you go back to 1998 the New York Jets were awarded a last-minute touchdown, beating the Seahawks, when Vinnie Testaverde was ruled to have crossed the goal line on a quarterback sneak. It’s 14 years later. He STILL has not crossed that goal line. The loss was part of what ended in an 8-8 season. Seattle failing to make the playoffs by one game. THAT game. It also resulted in Coach Dennis Erickson losing his job.

In the biggest single sporting event in Seattle history our Seahawks got screwed by officials. Super Bowl 2005 is one in which countless officials penalties handed a victory to the Pittsburg Steelers, a victory they didn’t win.

Karma is a bitch when it finally turns on you, and such an angel when it turns for you. Could it be that after long-last, and years of disappointment last night’s Tate Touchdown signals a turn in karma for Seattle’s long-suffering fans and teams? Time will tell.

In the mean time Seattle has been everybody else’s lap dog for so long we refuse to apologize for a questionable officials call that went our way at the end of a Monday Night Football game in September. We’ll just say thank you. “Next!”

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seahawks need to Sign Some Free Agents

Seattle Seahawks logo

At 1pm today the NFL opens its free agency season. When they do some rumors have it that the Seattle Seahawks will be very involved in early activity. It’s a good thing. With San Francisco having won 13-games and missing the Super Bowl by a fumbled punt; the St. Louis Rams having landed a plethora of draft picks by trading the number-two overall, and rumor that Arizona is Peyton Manning‘s first choice

{| class="messagebox" style="ma...

; the Seahawks suddenly look like the fourth best team in the four team NFC West. To be clear, they are already the third best team having lost the regular season finale to the Cardinals and closing the 2011 season with a 7-9 record for the second straight year. Without a good draft next month along with the signing of some key free agents Seattle is doomed to mediocrity at best. And I wonder if Pete Carroll can survive a third straight losing season.

The Seahawks have one glaring need in order to assure their rapid improvement. A blind man without a stick or a dog could see it. They need a good quarterback. They haven’t had one in at least three years. Matt Hassellback’s injury filled last two years don’t count as Seattle having a good quarterback. And Tarvaris Jackson just plain sucks and cannot be an option going forward. To be fair to Jackson he played to his statistics, posting a 79-passer rating compared to a 77 career passer rating. His problem, in my opinion is that he is the worst 2-minute drill quarterback I have ever seen. Not just at the end of the game, but at the end of the first half time and again this past season he showed himself completely incapable of managing a team or completing passes when it was most urgent to do so.

Wide spread speculation has Seattle making a play for Green Bay backup Matt Flynn. Quick…answer this question: Who holds the Green Bay Packers record for most touchdowns and most passing yards in a game?:

A. Brett Favre

English: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett F...

B. Aaron RogersAaron Rogers

C. Bart Starr

D. None of the above.

 

 

 

Remarkably the answer is “D”. Matt Flynn has started two regular season NFL games in his career. Given that he backs up last season’s league MVP that can’t be too much of a surprise. But in one of those two games last season against the playoff bound Detroit Lions Flynn led his team to a win while throwing 6 touchdowns, and nearly 500 yards…in Green Bay…in January. His resume is more substantial than just one game. Flynn was a 7th round draft pick out of Louisiana State in 2008. He led the Bayou Bengals to a National Championship in his one season as a starter. This guy is a winner. Sign him Seahawks.

If the Hawks don’t sign Flynn Arizona’s possible signing of Peyton Manning would free-up Kevin Kolb for the 2nd straight season. He would be an improvement over Jackson. Possibly a big improvement.

Seattle also has a need to improve its pass rush which was amazingly weak for such a strong defense. Imagine how much better our strong young secondary will look when quarterbacks have 1-2 fewer seconds to hold the ball and wait for receivers to come open. We placed two defensive backs on the NFC Pro Bowl team while having only 33 sacks on the year compared to 50 allowed to the opponents.

Free agency does seem to offer a possible solution for Seattle that the draft is not likely to. Seattle picks 12th in the 1st round of the draft, and historically all the impact pass rushers (and quarterbacks) are long gone by the 12th pick; like former number one draft pick Mario Williams. The Houston Texans All-Pro Defensive End is now a free agent. He could be a big solution for a team not needing too many answers on the defensive side of the ball. You CAN get excited too. ESPN football guru John Clayton says the Seahawks signing Williams is a better than 50% possibility. That’s huge!

If the Seahawks can address their two biggest needs in free agency than their draft next month can go a long way toward filling the need for strong backup performers and building a team that can compete in the increasingly strong NFC West. Call me crazy, but I’m optimistic.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

The Seahawks new QB!

Seattle Seahawks helmet

Seattle needs a quarterback

Lets start this blog with the most obvious statement I have ever typed…the Seahawks need a new quarterback if they are going to ever be a Super Bowl contender. Tarvaris Jackson served as this year’s stop-gap between an aging and increasingly fragile Matt Hasselback and the young untested quarterback the Seahawks will pick in this upcoming NFL Draft. At least that’s what we’ve been led to believe.

The fact that Jackson was a stop-gap is hardly a question. General Manager John Schneider signed Jackson for a fraction of what Hasselback was asking. And the length of the deal is only two years. So what’s the risk?…they asked themselves. They have a 4 year veteran with a moderate career QB rating of 79.1 and they aren’t committing a lot of dough in the process.

What I think is more in debate is where that next quarterback of the future is going to come from. Given that Seattle is so good that they won’t pick any higher than 11th in the coming allocation of college talent all the best quarterbacks that you could possibly bank on may be off the board. Yes, I know Tom Brady was a 7th round draft pick. But I’m talking about someone you can plan to be good nearly from the start. Everyone knows Brady is the exception to the norm.

The 15-1 Green Bay Packers didn’t play this year’s MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers in their last game against the 10-6 playoff bound Detroit Lions. You may have missed this because Green Bay scored 48 points against the Lion’s formidable defense. And Green Bay’s quarterback threw for six touchdowns and 480 yards; both Packer records. And …to repeat…it wasn’t Aaron Rodgers.

English: Green Bay Packers back-up quarterback...

Packer's back up QB Matt Flynn

Talk of Matt Flynn as a quality quarterback existed long before his record day against the Detroit Lions. Someone is going to make this 26-year old a very rich man.  And it’s not as if Flynn has no history of success behind him.

LSU QB Matt Flynn drops back to pass against T...

Flynn won a National Title at LSU

His relative anonymity comes from four years in the NFL as Rodgers backup and only one year as a starter at Louisiana State University where he backed up eventual Number 1 NFL Draft pick JaMarcus Russell. So…what did he do in his one year as a starter at LSU? He led the Bayou Bengals to a National Title, beating Ohio State in the BCS National Title game.

Here is the best news about acquiring Flynn to be next year’s quarterback…he is an unrestricted free agent. So Seattle wouldn’t need to trade anything for him and they wouldn’t need to spend a relatively high draft pick. The only thing that could stand in the way of this free exercise of football capitalism is if the Green Bay Packers tag Flynn with the franchise tag. Doing so would require them to promise a contract to their backup quarterback of $14-million dollars, making trading him very difficult.

Picture of Seahawks Practice Scrimage at Easte...

Mike Holmgren

Plus I like the history. Hasselback was a Green Bay backup to Brett Favre when Mike Holmgren plucked him out of obscurity and turned him into a Pro Bowl quarterback who led Seattle to our only Super Bowl appearance. And they’re both named Matt. And acquiring someone else’s backup as your starter is at least as successful as drafting a quarterback in the first round. Houston’s Matt Schaab, former Husky Mark Brunnel, the aforementioned Favre, Kansas City’s Matt Castel, and Arizona’s Kevin Kolb have all been successful as starters after having apprenticed as an NFL backup to a Pro Bowler. Flynn could be the next guy; the next Matt to be a star quarterback in the NFL.

So scuttle plans to scour over all those useless college statistics for quarterbacks you aren’t going to get anyway. Schneider and Pete Carroll need to fork over the bucks necessary to bring the latest Green Bay Matt to the Puget Sound.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.