Are Seahawks Good Enough? Yes!

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

It’s been five years since my beloved Seattle Seahawks reached the pinnacle game in American sports. But because of being in the Super Bowl 3 times in the span of nine years devoted fans like myself have come to expect them to compete for this ultimate title. In fact since the Seahawks had their chance at an NFL Championship taken from them by the officials February 5, 2006 in their match-up in Detroit with the Pittsburgh Steelers only the hated Patriots of New England have appeared in that game, the first Sunday in February more than Seattle. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been to six. Pittsburgh, like Seattle, played in the game 3 times.

The 2017 season was the only time since 2011 that Seattle failed to make the playoffs thanks to Blair Walsh who single-handedly kept them from having an 11-5 or possibly 12-4 season, earning a first round bye, and hosting a playoff game.

Carroll is a Hall of Fame coach.

Then came the 2018 season when some really outlandish national prognosticators predicted Seattle would be a losing team. Sports Illustrated even predicted Seattle would fall to 4-12. Having made the playoffs with a 10-6 record Pete Carroll again showed what a Hall of Fame Coach is capable of accomplishing. After losing Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Luke Willson and others who helped the team to two Super Bowl appearances and one Championship Carroll has nearly fully remade the team.

If there is any justice in the world, Schneider wins the NFL Executive of the Year Award.

Knowing this history and seeing how General Manager John Schneider has worked miracles in assembling the team this year and last, why would anyone think these Seahawks weren’t Super Bowl contenders again? Simply put, they are.

Let’s look at the roster:

Offense

Quarterback- Russell Wilson is at least among the top five QB’s in the NFL, and when he’s at his best there is none better. And while we hope he never plays Geno Smith gives Seattle the most capable backup Wilson has had in his career. NFL Ranking- 1-5

Running Back: In Chris Carson the Hawks have a third year back who has already rushed for over 1100 yards, last year. They also have last year’s first-round draft pick Rashaad Penny who the coaches have praised this off-season for his fitness and practice performance, and who showed tremendous potential in his limited role last year. He even had a 100-yard game in his only start. Then there’s the third string back who might actually be the best of the group. C.J. Prosise may have been injury prone in his first 3 years in the league since being a 3rd round pick out of Notre Dame. But again this preseason he showed himself to be a very exciting runner, and performed so well he was kept on the team when nearly everyone thought the team would cut him lose. Lastly, the Seahawks finally have a capable fullback again. Nick Bellore will be expected to slam his 250 pounds into opposing linebackers ahead of Carson, Penny or Prosise in a manner not seen since the days of Mack Strong. NFL Grade- 1-2

Wide Receiver- This is possibly the weakest position on the team and yet it includes the only receiver in the NFL to have a PERFECT passer rating with his QB last year. Tyler Lockett is the real deal. Now with Doug Baldwins injury retirement he’ll get a chance to prove it. The Seahawks invested heavily in this position through the NFL Draft, picking three who all made the team. DK Metcalf has huge potential. But the leading receiver in the preseason was 7th round pick John Ursua. But, as we all know, you really can’t count on rookies in the National Football League. Fortunately the Hawks plan on running the ball more than any other team, again, justs like last year. And they have a stated position of desiring to throw the ball to their backs more this year. So having a collectively weak receiver position may not hurt them much. NFL Ranking- 27-32

Tight End- Will Dissley, Nick Vannett and later on in the year Ed Dickson. All are very capable run blockers, which is what the Seahawks need. And if Dissley can duplicate his performance in the first four games of last year when he looked like a Rookie of the Year candidate then this position will be fine. But don’t count on it. NFL Rank- 18-23

Offensive Line- The only question about the capabilities of this year’s offensive line is, can they stay healthy? Particularly starting guards Mike Iupati and DJ Fluker who both have a history of injury, and Seattle’s depth in this area is weak. However, while losing J.R. Sweazey to free agency, replacing him with Iupati, this line was good enough to lead a second-year running back and 7th round draft pick to an 1100-yard rushing season AND lead the league in rushing as a team. So, how bad could they be? NFL Rank- 5-10

Defense

Defensive Line- Jadaveon Clowney, Jarren Reed, Poona Ford, Ziggy Ansah. By the time Reed returns in week 7 following his 6 game NFL suspension for being abusively physical (no offense intended in my wording) with a woman 3 years ago, Clowney will have had time enough to become familiar and comfortable with the defense. And when those two things happen this could be one of the best D-Lines in the league. I really am excited for Ford. I really think he’s going to be special. NFL Rank- 1-3 (…by the end of the year)

Linebacker- With Bobby Wagner widely regarded as the best, or at worst, second best linebacker in the NFL a healthy KJ Wright, and an un-jailed Mychal Kendricks plus a very impressive rookie in Cody Barton this could be the best linebacking unit in the league. NFL Rank- 1-2

Defensive Backs- Safety Bradley McDougald is the only player here the team can positively consider good and dependable. However, I do expect second year corner Tre Flowers to improve on his very impressive rookie season. Third year corner Shaquille Griffin needs to perform better and more consistently. I think he can. But will he? The other safety position seems to be going to Lano Hill. But by the end of the year unless Hill performs up to his high draft position status from 3 years ago he could be replaced by one of two rookies; second round pick Marquise Blair or 4th rounder Ugo Amadi. Both Blair and Amadi have shown fleeting glimpses of promise. And don’t be surprised if the important Nickel corner position doesn’t go to Parry Nickerson. Why else would Schneider trade one of his beloved 2020 draft picks to acquire him on cut-down day last Saturday? Fortunately with the d-line and linebackers expected to put good pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season the secondary may not need to cover receivers for extended stretches of time. NFL Rank- 20-25

Special Teams

Punter- Michael Dickson is the best punter in the NFL. NFL Rank- 1

Kicker- Newly signed Jason Myers was the AFC Conference Pro Bowl kicker last year when he was with the Jets and set a record for the number of 50+ yard field goals made. NFL Rank- 1-3

With six position groups (including punter and kicker) among the very best in the league, and a coach with a history of great success, and a quarterback who knows nothing but winning this Seattle Seahawks team will be no worse than 9-7. At best I think they can go 12-4 and challenge for home field advantage, which is the only way Seattle has ever made the Super Bowl. I’m counting as losses road games against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Los Angeles and a home loss to New Orleans. The loss to the Saints coming only because its the 3rd game of the season and Reed will still be suspended and Clowney will not yet be completely comfortable with his new team (remember he didn’t go through training camp or ANY off-season program with Houston).

Will Seattle go to the playoffs, win and go to the Super Bowl? I definitely think they can. Home field advantage is key. It will be an exciting season.

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I LOVE April!

IMG_8755I have said for years that April and October are my two favorite months of the year. They just bring so much of what I love.

Sure I love Christmas and the whole Christmas season.

Snowy Renton Street

Snowy Renton Street

The parties and the love shared between people is like no other time. The busyness doesn’t bother me. It energizes me. But December doesn’t make my top list because of the weather. In the Puget Sound, where I live, temperatures in the 30s and 40s and a near constant drizzle or grey cloudy days are the norm. No. I want sun shine. Even if its cold, I want sun shine. So, sorry December you don’t make it.

July and August are very high on my list. It’s frequently sunny. I often enjoy BBQ parties with friends. Sunset at Birch Bay, WA And the baseball season is entering its second half, with pennant races looming. The good weather makes outdoor activities that I love more frequently possible. I love fishing. I love camping. I love driving in my convertible with the top down. It’s all good. But in terms of sports…baseball is the only thing going. I love baseball. But there is no college sports. NFL football is only in training camp and exhibition games that no longer interest me like they did when I was a kid. And basketball is fortunately only limited to the women’s game, which I only tacitly pay attention to. Sorry, all you Storm fans. I’m just not there. And sorry Sounders and MLS fans. I don’t hate Soccer like some who complain of its boring low scoring matches. But they have so many, boring low scoring matches. And I still don’t understand what games count, what trophies count, and how you can play in a tournament in the middle of a season that is completely unrelated to the league in which you play. So, July and August are close, very close. But they fall just a tiny bit short.

Green Bay Packers v Seattle SeahawksOctober is great because the weather at the start of the month is still pretty decent. We have FOOTBALL! Both college and NFL football are well underway, promising fun and excitement every weekend. And Major League baseball is conducting its playoffs and World Series with nearly daily intrigue. I can still go fishing. And, while I don’t do it much anymore…I can go hunting and enjoy a weekend with my dog. October also is the start of the NBA season. Since the Oklahoma Raiders stole my beloved Sonics from Seattle, the start of the NBA season means considerably less to me. In fact, it means almost nothing. I am still a bitter Sonics fan. But…I do love October.

And then…there is April. April is the first month since October or even September some years, when you can expect daily temperatures near 60-degrees. ! YEA! Warmth! I’m a fair weather fisherman, so April see’s me out on my canoe on local lakes.

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park

And in terms of spectator sports for the sports nuts like me? It’s a plethora of enjoyment, a cacophony of choices, a riches of experiences. It all starts with the NCAA men’s Final Four basketball championship. And in years like this when a local team, Gonzaga, is playing deep into the March Madness tournament it’s even better. Baseball’s opening day dawns in the first week with every year promising championship dreams…even when those dreams are irreconcilably impossible. I seldom watch golf or play it. But The Master’s this week and every year is not so much golf as it is an event and tradition and history. It’s often high drama. And for others, as I’ve already mentioned this doesn’t really apply to me…much…their is the soccer season underway with the Sounders here in Seattle and there is the start of the marathon NBA playoffs, the only major sport that takes two months to finish the season after having finished the season. Seahawks logo Lastly, us NFL and Seahawks lovers are given the gift of the NFL Draft in April, with the promise of new stars coming to your team to help take you to the promised land by filling the wholes you perceive your team has.

And I haven’t even mentioned the blooming of flowers and their scents and colors, and the return of leaves to the trees and birds and little animals scurrying about after a winter in hibernation. Life begins again in April. I LOVE IT!

10 year anniversary Logo

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Seahawks Will Win the Super Bowl

On September 6, 2013 I wrote the blog Seahawks will win the Super Bowl if…
As you can see…I have removed the “if”. 

The Author in 2013 age 49

At the start of the NFL season I predicted in my blog that Seattle would finish 12-4 or 13-3. Nailed that one.

I also said if they get home field advantage in the playoffs they would go to the Super Bowl. Well, with Sunday’s win of the St Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field the Hawks have indeed secured home field advantage through the playoffs. Win two games on their home turf and nirvana is upon us.

Seattle goes into the playoffs with five other NFC teams who are all fully capable of going to the Super Bowl and beating whoever the AFC representative is. And the AFC representative will undoubtedly be Denver unless Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots pull a minor upset. The Broncos are a good team, and their quarterback Peyton Manning is THE best. But they’re vulnerable to a tough defensive team like Seattle, San Francisco, or Carolina.

Seattle’s road to the New Jersey Super Bowl could be made easier if they are lucky enough to avoid playing San Francisco or Carolina. Playing both of them, which is a possibility, will be particularly tough. The Seahawks January 11th Division round game will be the lowest seeded survivor of the Wild Card weekend games; either San Francisco, New Orleans, or Green Bay. The Saints and the Packers don’t concern me. Neither has the defense necessary to stop a Seattle offense that moves the ball and scores pretty well when not facing a big strong front seven like the 49ers, Panthers, Buccaneers, and Rams.

The NFC wildcard games feature the 49ers in Green Bay versus the Packers, and the Saints traveling to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.  I’m fairly confident S.F. will beat G.B. which would send Jim Harbaugh and his Bay area miscreants to Seattle IF the Eagles take advantage of their home field advantage and beat the road-weak Saints. New Orleans and the Saints are simply not the same team on the road as they are in the Superdome. AdvoCare National Spokesperson Drew Brees will have to turn around this trend if they’re going to “win” a trip to the hell hole that is CenturyLink Field.

I expect Seattle to be playing their greatest rival in their first playoff game. Too bad how the NFL playoffs are set up. Because if this happens the two best teams in the league will meet in a Division round game and not even a Conference Championship. Seahawks logo

The Seahawks can feel confident in playing the 49ers in Seattle since they have thoroughly throttled S.F. in the Clink the past two years, and Seattle’s two losses in the Bay area have both been close. My concern is that a team as solid as the Niners are bound to figure it out at some point, right? I hope not.

The news yesterday that wide receiver Percy Harvin will practice this week is GREAT news for the 12th Man. Harvin is so talented that his presence on the field can tilt the whole field for the Seahawks. Six weeks ago Harvin played his only game of the season against Minnesota. But it was so obvious that the Vikings adjusted their defense for Harvin when he was in on those 16 offensive plays; Harvin becomes a weapon even if only as a decoy. But if fully healthy he’ll be more than that. Harvin in the game makes a Seahawk win that much more assured.

Carolina beating Philadelphia is near certain. My prediction anyway. A successful prediction would send Carolina all the way across country to Seattle. Playing in Seattle is tough enough. Doing so in January when you’re a warm weather team, and doing so when you have to flying across country is no easy task. The Seahawks have beaten the Panthers narrowly in Carolina each of the past two seasons. Doing so at the Clink will be easier. Seattle will be going to the Super Bowl for the second time in their history.

New England beat Denver in the Mile High City November 24th. So they can do it again. But I don’t think they will. The Patriots had Rob Gronkowski at that time. The All Pro tight end is now gone for the season and won’t be there as Tom Brady’s favorite target. The Patriots can win. But I think the Broncos will.

Super Bowl XLVIII will be the first out-door cold weather Super Bowl in its history. It might snow. It will almost certainly be cold; freezing cold. I can’t imagine a more welcoming situation for Marshawn Lynch and the Hawks grunts on the defensive line. Manning is defensive about the claim that he doesn’t play well in cold weather. Too bad. He doesn’t. No quarterback does…at least most of the time. A ground and pound defensive, cold game favors the team with the number one defense in the league and the game’s most violent runner.

February 3rd will be a non-work day in the Northwest for most everyone. Because Seahawk fans will still be celebrating their 28-24 win over Denver.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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Banish these in 2013! Words and Phrases that Don’t Apply

The following words and phrases should no longer be uttered, printed or even thought about. If they ever applied they no longer do. Being that we’re starting a new year now is as good a time as any to rid ourselves of the bullshit. These words and phrases constitute just that.

“The rich need to pay their fair-share”                                                                                              I wanted to vomit every time I heard President Obama or Senator Patty Murray or any other divisive Democrat utter such words. Never in all the time these BS words were being uttered did I ever hear them answer the follow-up question which naturally is, “If the highest 53% of income earner pay 100% of all federal income tax how are they NOT paying their fair share?”. English: President George W. Bush and Presiden...

Well Congress finally passed into law a “permanent” change in Federal income tax rates raising to 39% the rate paid by those earning over $400,000 per year. So the President essentially got what he wanted. He stuck it to the rich. Now, lets not hear any more of the claims they aren’t paying their fair-share. They’re paying more than Republicans wanted them to, and exactly what Democrats say they should.

“Obama is a Muslim and a Communist.”                                                                                           I didn’t vote for Barack Obama in either 2008 or 2012 and I think there is abundant evidence that he’s a lousy President and will continue to be so in the coming four years.

But claims by his haters that he’s 1. Muslim or 2. Communist are ridiculous and do absolutely nothing to better this country or this government. Worst of all they poorly taint all Conservatives and Republicans as hateful and racist further driving away moderate votes. There is a reason Republicans have lost 5 of the past 6 Presidential election popular votes. What I would ask those who make such claims is, where is your evidence? And, what difference would it make if you were correct? The fact is Obama is Christian because he says so. His father was Muslim. But so what? Jesus was a Jew. But all his followers aren’t. And Obama is not a Marxist/Communist. He may be a Socialist, which is different. But at best he’s the most Liberal President since Roosevelt.

“Obama was born in Kenya”                                                                                                         Again, like above, those who continue to make these silly claims are idiots and hurting the Conservative cause by looking like idiots and through association making us look so. Like above I would ask, “Even if you’re right, what difference would it make?” Obama is President, twice elected. And he’ll be our President for the next four years. Besides even if you’re right it makes no difference. Obama’s mother was an American citizen. So Obama could have been born on Mars and he’d still be an American citizen.

“The Mariners are Rebuilding”                                                                                                           I never want to hear this phrase again because…1. No they’re not. And….2. You have to have been “Built” in order to be “RE-built”. The Mariners haven’t been built, a contender, for more than 10 years. That’s half a generation. They’ve been to the playoffs only four times in their history and join the Washington Nationals as the only remaining teams in Major League Baseball to have never been to the World Series.

Seattle Mariners

Watching them whiff on Josh Hamilton one year, Prince Fielder the next, and every big name free agent who comes on the market every winter is no longer hard to stomach. It’s not hard to stomach, because it’s too easy to ignore. The Mariner’s President is Chuck Armstrong. He’s been at the helm continuously since 1992 and for 2 more years before than in 1987-89. And Howard Lincoln has been the team’s Chief Executive Officer since  Hiroshi Yamauchi bought the team in 1992.

“The Seahawks are Rebuilding”

QB Russell Wilson in the Pocket

QB Russell Wilson in the Pocket

The Seahawks are no longer rebuilding. They are rebuilt. They have a good coach. A franchise quarterback and young-enough Pro Bowl running back, and basically one of the youngest rosters in the NFL. And yet, they led the league in fewest points allowed, they’re 11-5 and they are unquestionably this year’s winner of the title “The team no-one wants to face in the playoffs” award. No more excuses. We expect this team to win and we will be disappointed if they lose. They can beat anyone at home or on the road.You may say…”Next year…not this year”. But that’s the typical Seattle way. And I’m rejecting that way. Sure winning three road playoff games might be hard. But can they beat Washington? Yes. Can they beat San Francisco? They just did 42-13. Their third playoff game (if they get that far) would be in either Green Bay or Atlanta. Both would be tough. But we already beat the Packers.

“This economy is in recession”                                                                                                        No it’s not and hasn’t been for a couple of years. Will it be in the near future? I think that’s definitely possible. But they are not in recession now. Continuing to act like we are in recession I believe is part of what keeps us in recession. Why go back to work when Congress just extended the two-year unemployment comp plan for another year. It’s embarrassing. Were unemployment benefits cut off in 3-6 months as they normally are I assure you our unemployment rate would be lower, more people would be working, tax revenues would be higher and we could talk about taxes and the deficit in serious ways instead of as a necessary evil while “the economy recovers”.

Kim Kardashian

OK…ya…she’s beautiful. But beautiful women are a dime a dozen. She has never done anything in her life to justify her news exposure and it makes me ill. And while we’re banishing her lets banish all the faux celebrities out there who have no talent and no earthly reason in the world for being on the checkout stand magazine cover.

“Fiscal Cliff”

The news media was at its most annoying best (worst) with the continuing reference to the tax hikes and budget cuts Congress imposed on itself two years ago as the conclusion to the “sequester” negotiations. We were not ever going to go off our fiscal cliff. It was a faux news story…like Paris Hilton.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seahawks Should Make the Playoffs

English: Picture of the 12th Man Flag at Centu...

 

We’re half way through the 2012 NFL season and my pre-season prediction for my Seattle Seahawks to finish 9-7 is looking pretty safe in spite of their middling 4-4 record and two game losing streak. In fact I’m willing to bump my prediction to 10-6 and possibly 11-5.

 

When I wrote The Seahawks WILL Win before the season’s first game I was still pretty pissed that Coach Pete Carroll had decided to start rookie Russell Wilson ahead of free agent acquisition Matt Flynn.  I’m still not sure Flynn wouldn’t have done better (who is?); but at this point Wilson has shown improvement and is a huge leap ahead compared to Tavaris Jackson one year ago. If he continues to improve he could be something pretty special by the end of the year; and Seattle’s offense could be considerably more formidable than it is now. If Seattle hopes to make any noise in the playoffs the offense better improve. And the defense, which has been mostly good, has an annoying habit of not getting of the field soon enough. They have one of the worst 3rd down conversion percentages in the league. But hey, Seattle’s defense has faced Dallas, Green Bay, Detroit, New England and arrives at the halfway point fifth in the league in yards allowed and sixth in points allowed. And they’ve done it with five road games out of eight.

 

All in all their record is pretty much what I expected. They had losses I thought would be wins- Arizona, St. Louis; and wins I thought would be losses- Green Bay, New England.

 

Going forward the Hawks have five home games and a history under Carroll of playing best in the second half of the season.

 

I count four of the five home games as locks 4-3 Minnesota, 3-5 New York Jets, 4-4 Arizona, and 3-5 St Louis. Toss-up games would be the December 23rd home game with 6-2 San Francisco and road games at 4-3 Miami and 3-4 Buffalo. The only automatic loss I put on the Seahawks record is their December 2 game on the road against a 6-1 Chicago team that extremely potent in the last two years whenever Jake Cutler plays. And right now he’s playing.

 

So by my reckoning the worst Hawk fans can expect is a one game improvement over the past two years to 8-8, which won’t get them to the playoffs.

 

The best the team can expect is 11-5 which would almost definitely get them to the playoffs. I think its more likely to expect them to drop one of those toss-up games and finish 10-6.  Currently six NFC teams have winning records and I suspect Minnesota is a paper lion and will be proven so this Sunday at CenturyLink Field. Aside from the current division leaders in the NFC East, South and West we need not worry about the rest. Seattle will be battling for a wild card spot at the end of the season with Detroit, who just narrowly beat them; and with Green Bay who Seattle narrowly beat thanks to a controversial touchdown call on the last play of the game. How ironic. I see two losses left on the Packers schedule so in all likelihood they’ll have the first wildcard. The Lions have a touch remaining schedule that will probably not see them finish any better than 9-7.

 

Seattle’s running game is so good, even if Marshawn Lynch were to be injured Robert Turbin and Leon Washingtonhave shown themselves to be adequate.

 

English: Red Bryant, a player on the Seattle S...

Red Bryant, Seahawk Defensive End

 

The defense at times has been amazing. And since they seem intent on correcting a really bad trend in allowing a nearly 40% 3rd down conversion rate for their opponents, and the fact that their remaining opponent don’t come close in terms of offensive fire power as their early season opponents; we can expect something pretty special by the end of the season.

 

The Seahawks have been in every game they’ve played. They literally could be undefeated. They could also be 2-6. I intend to enjoy what comes, and enjoy the playoffs. After all…no matter what…its not 2008.

 

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

 

 

 

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