Seahawks Acquire Jimmy Graham

The latest per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports-

The Seahawks haven’t announced anything yet, but knowing how good Glazer is, you can probably expect something official soon.

I guess they didn’t want to waste time in finding Zach Miller’s replacement.

Graham lead the NFL in touchdown catches in 2013 with 16 and had 10 last season. Since 2011, he has 46 touchdown receptions and 4396 yards. His presence, along with Marshawn Lynch, will give the Seahawks two of the best red zone players in the league. Not to mention Russell Wilson, who isn’t too shabby of a player either.

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

NBA Trade Deadline Winners and Losers: Winner- Philadelphia 76ers

The NBA trade deadline has always played second fiddle to Major League Baseball’s trade deadline. While it will always trump the NFL’s generally underwhelming trade deadline, it lived up to the annual precedence set by baseball with a bevy of moves that shocked not only based on volume in terms of but also because of the prominent players being moved like Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic.

(That’s three “trade deadline mentions! If this article gets six, everyone gets a free haircut at Supercuts and beef jerky from 7-Eleven!).

Winner

Philadelphia

On the surface, Philly’s deadline deals are bizarre. They took on JaVale McGee’s $12 million salary for next season while essentially dealing cornerstone Michael Carter-Williams and promising rotation player K.J. McDaniels for Isaiah Canaan, a first-round pick and a second-round pick.

However, upon closer examination, the deals aren’t that crazy. The Sixers had the salary-cap space to absorb McGee, and essentially got him free along with a protected first-round pick in this year’s draft. If the former Denver center can regain any of the form he’s shown when full-strength, then some team might take a flier on him, leading to further assets. The fact that his contract expires after next year makes him even more appealing in a trade, possibly at some point next season. Plus, they get a first-round pick out of the deal. It’s likely a pick somewhere in the early twenties, but still… they received all this for the rights to draft-and-stash pick Cenk Akyol, a 27-year-old who’s held the “draft and stash” distinction for 11 years.

While McGee’s acquisition seemed somewhat logical, the loss of Carter-Williams and McDaniels can seem little puzzling. After all, Carter-Williams was still on his rookie deal and averaged 16 points, 6.7 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game in a season and a half in Philadelphia. McDaniels was a former second-round pick averaging 9.2 points off the bench.

So why is this a win for the Sixers if they dealt a promising young point guard and a potential long-term rotation player?

Even with Carter-Williams, the Sixers were going to stink for a while before they got better. The reality is that if he stayed in Philly he’d probably be pretty expensive salary wise by the time the team was contending again. Trading him for a first-round pick (originally the Lakers’ pick, which is top-five protected this year) allows the team draft a potential impact player, similar to what Carter-Williams would have been, only they get to paying him after his rookie contract later rather than sooner—when the Sixers will likely be contenders.

There’s also the question of how good the young point guard real is. Sure, his per-game numbers look good on paper, but how much of that had to do with how bad Philadelphia is? The tanking Sixers’ lack of comparative talent has turned Evan Turner and Tony Wroten into 17 points-per-game scorers. Both are good players, but 17 points a night? Probably not on a better team where they’d play fewer minutes. Case in point, Turner averaged only seven points a contest after being dealt to Indiana halfway through last season. That’s not to say Carter-Williams is going to be limited to seven points per outing with Milwaukee, but the extra minutes and shots garnered by Carter-Williams in Philly make it hard to truly gage his talent.

The last part of Philadelphia’s deadline dealings was shipping McDaniels to Houston for Isaiah Canaan and a second-round pick.

Again, why deal McDaniels?

Firstly because he only signed a one-year deal as his rookie contract, turning down a multi-year offer to gamble on himself in order to garner a larger contract in free agency. So far, the gamble has paid off. McDaniels averaged 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds a game, not bad production for a second-round pick in his rookie season. He’ll likely garner a multi-million dollar, multi-year deal in the offseason, something Sixers’ GM Sam Hinkie apparently wasn’t willing to pay.

The same logic used with Carter-Williams can likely be used here. McDaniels was likely going to be somewhat costly (not as much as Carter-Williams, but still much more than what he’s making now) by the time the Sixers are in a position to contend. By dealing him now, they are able to take a flier on Canaan as Carter-Williams’ replacement while also recouping a second-round pick. That pick will come from either Minnesota or Denver, two of the worst teams in the league. Because of that, the Sixers could be looking at an early-second round draft choice. Due to the pick’s proximity to the first-round in terms of talent level, and lack of comparative financial commitment, they can be very appealing to teams.

Check back for more winners and losers of the trade deadline, including thoughts on what Phoenix and Milwaukee did, plus the lack of action on the Lakers part.

All stats courtesy of http://www.basketball-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

Seattle Seahawks: Early Super Bowl Storylines to Watch vs Patriots

Pete Carroll vs Previous Employers

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was the Patriots’ head coach from 1997 to 1999. His predecessor was/is current Pats’ head coach Bill Belichick.

Gronk Containment

It is probably safe to say teams have a tough time containing New England tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronk has 82 catches for 1124 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. It’s also safe to say that he’s a matchup nightmare at 6’6 and 265 lbs.

Most teams don’t have the personnel to match up, but the Seahawks do. Kam Chancellor and KJ Wright will be tasked with shutting down one of the best tight ends in the league. Seattle held Denver’s Julius Thomas to four catches on 27 yards during last year’s Super Bowl, so they aren’t exactly inexperienced when it comes to shutting down elite tight ends.

Russell Wilson vs Tom Brady

Russell Wilson has beaten Tom Brady before. In fact, Wilson has made a habit out of beating elite QBs. Not only has he beaten Brady, but he has also gone 2-0 vs both Eli and Peyton Manning as well as Drew Brees. He’s now 3-0 vs Aaron Rodgers. If you had to pick a quarterback to help your team take down a Hall-of-Fame worthy QB, you’re taking Russell Wilson.

Power Running

Marshawn Lynch is far and away the best example of a power running back in today’s NFL. If you were to look up “power running back” in the dictionary, you’re going to get a picture of Beast Mode. Although not to Lynch’s standard, New England has power backs as well in LaGarrette Blount and Jonas Gray. It’s safe to say that power running will dominate the Super Bowl.

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

Kingdome Crossover/Flashback – Seattle Seahawks: Stats from the Opening Win Over Green Bay

Here are some of the stats of note from the last Seahawks/Packers meeting. Obviously some things have changed (cough…Percy Harvin…cough).

  • 34, 2.8.

These were Eddie Lacy’s rushing numbers on Thursday. He totaled 34 yards on 12 carries with 2.8 yards per carry. By comparison Marshawn Lynch had 110 yards on 20 carries and 5.5 yards a carry. Yeah… Beastmode still has it.

  • 100 yards from scrimmage racked up by Percy Harvin

Whenever Percy Harvin was on the field, Seattle seemed to go to him. They got the playmaker the ball in a variety of ways and it was a success. The former Viking didn’t score a touchdown, but you can bet he’ll get a boatload of scores if Pete Carroll continues to get him the ball this much.

  • Two

The numbers of times Russell Wilson has beat Aaron Rodgers.

  • Zero

The number of times Aaron Rodgers has beat Russell Wilson.

  • Zero

Also the number of times Aaron Rodgers threw towards the receiver Richard Sherman was covering on defense. Say what you will about Sherman and whether he’s the best corner in the game, but if he can force a team to sacrifice nearly a half of the field to avoid him, it only speaks to his talent and skill.

  • Two

Number of consecutive games (counting the Super Bowl) that the Seahawks have forced a safety.

  • 143

The difference in the team’s total yards. Seattle gained 398 yards while the Packers only managed 255.

  • 207 to 80.

Seattle’s rushing yards compared to Green Bay’s. A lot of this had to do with Eddie Lacy leaving the game with a concussion, but a lot of it had to do with Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks’ defense being so respectively dominant.

  • One

Sacks recorded against the Seahawks. If you can call it one. Russell Wilson lost zero yards on the play. And while he didn’t gain any either, it looked like more of a scramble and a duck out of bounds than an actual sack. This is a huge positive for a Seahawks offensive line going against Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers.

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

You can find more of Kingdome of Seattle Sports here. You can also follow the site on Twitter here. For kicks and whistles, you can follow me on Twitter here. Lastly, you can see the original article in all its glory here.

Seattle Seahawks: 5 Important Stats from Panthers vs Cardinals

For the second straight season, the Seattle Seahawks enjoyed a bye to kick off the playoffs. The Hawks were able to sit in the comfort of their own homes and watch the competition slug it out.

Due to seeding, Seattle will host the Carolina Panthers with the winner advancing to the NFC Championship Game. Confidentially in 2014, the Seahawks also played an NFC South opponent (the New Orleans Saints) at home in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Here are five stats to keep in mind when the Panthers make their way to CenturyLink Field this weekend.

  1. 123—rushing yards by Panthers running back and Washington native Jonathan Stewart. Arizona struggled against the run heading into the game. Marshawn Lynch and Frank Gore ran for 113 and 144 yards respectively against the Cardinals, but Stewart has been on somewhat of a tear as of late. The Hawks will have to be careful with Stewart.
  2. 198—passing yards by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. If you take out a 39 yard screen pass to Fozzy Whittaker, the total drops to 159. Of the six QBs the Hawks have faced in the last six games, they’ve held five to under 200 yards passing. The only two to eclipse that mark, Shaun Hill and Ryan Lindley, didn’t have great games. Hill had 243 yards but also threw two picks. Lindley compiled 216 yards and had only one interception, but completed a mere 18 of his 44 passes. Neither Hill nor Lindley threw a touchdown. In fact, the past six QBs the Hawks face threw a cumulative two touchdowns, both from Eagles signal-caller Mark Sanchez. The caveat is that Sanchez threw for only 96 yards. One of his touchdowns came on a drive that started at the Seahawks’ 14 yard line. The other drive started four yards away from midfield at the Philly 46.
  3. 39—most receiving yards by a Carolina receiver. Those 39 yards came on the Whittaker screen, which was the running back’s only catch. No other Panther had five catches, with Kelvin Benjamin coming the closest with four. Benjamin was the only Carolina pass catcher with more than 33 yards when the two teams met earlier in the season. He finished with 94 receiving yards, 51 of which came on one play.
  4. 35—rushing yards by QB Cam Newton. The Carolina signal caller ran for 35 after putting up yardage totals of 51, 63, 83 and 49 in recent weeks. He only had 24 yards on 12 carries against the Hawks earlier in the season, his second worst game in terms of average yards per carry.
  5. Nine—number of different receivers who caught passes against the Cardinals. The Hawks will have to watch out for Newton spreading the ball around in general, but these aren’t Tom Brady’s Patriots. Of the nine, only four caught more than one pass. Of the five with one catch, three (Brenton Bersin, Mike Tolbert and Stewart) combined for a cumulative four yards. Whittaker’s 39 receiving yards came off a screen pass (stop me if you’ve heard that before) and was predominantly thanks to the running back rather than Newton.

The Seahawks take on the Panthers on Saturday, the winner will advance to the NFC Championship Game.

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

Kingdome Crossover- Chronicle of Couch Volume Two: One Couch, One Game

This isn’t going to be as plentiful as the last time I did this. Before that it was a Tigers-Rays regular season game in Tampa, a Euro 2012 semi-final where my Italians knocked off the mighty Germans 2-1 thanks to a brace from Mario Balotelli and that year’s NBA draft. This time I’m taking it a little easier. Seahawks/Titans is the only order of business.

1:05

Titans receiving the kickoff to start the game. Here comes Ryan Fitzpatrick. If these teams played last year in Seattle, it would have been interesting seeing as former UW Prodigy Jake Locker and old friend Matt Hasselbeck were the Titans options under center. Now Hasselbeck is making fun of Andrew Luck’s cellphone in Indianapolis and Jake Locker is out injured. Ergo Ryan Fitzpatrick.

1:12

Russell Wilson starts the game off with a completion to Luke Willson after Tennessee punts away. Max Unger is back in the fold, Michael Bowie starting at right tackle.

1:13

For Tennessee to have any success, the general consensus is to put pressure on Russell Wilson. Good luck in the loud noise. Honestly, good luck. It’s so loud in there you can’t think about what you want for lunch, let alone play an NFL game.

1:17

High snaps continue for the Titans as they have second and 14 inside the 10. Chris Johnson is lined up on the “H” in Seahawks in the endzone pre-snap.

1:23

Titans score first on a field goal after showing a somewhat dejected-looking Jake Locker on the sidelines. Here’s hoping they don’t continually show the Ferndale native on the sidelines unable to play in his home state. A sad drinking game for any who partake in it.

1:28

Seahawks utilizing the read-option more and more as Russell Wilson gets a first down on a run. Also concerning that the Titans moved the ball somewhat easily on their first drive. They took it from inside the 10 to a short field-goal. All this is concerning considering that the Seahawks have generally shut down Chris Johnson. It’s been all Ryan Fitzpatrick. Seahawks have to improve; teams of their quality and ambitions can’t let Ryan Fitzpatrick carve them up at home. It’s a recipe for disaster.

1:33

The Titans have nearly double the yards the Seahawks do so far, not good. As I say this, Earl Thomas picks off Fitzpatrick on a high throw. Looks like he thought 6’1 Nate Washington was as tall as Kareem Abdul-Jabar.

1:35

Supposedly the Titans repeatedly watched tape of Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Quake against the Saints. That’s positive thinking. Also, it never gets old watching it. Go ahead, indulge yourself.

1:41

CBS graphic shows Ryan Fitzpatrick is tied for the fourth most giveaways by a quarterback since 2011 with an astounding 50. Fifty. Titans backed into a corner with turnover-happy Fitzpatrick in Seattle against a team that forces a lot of turnovers. Going to be a long day if the Titans’ QB can’t buck his recent trend of turnovers.

1:42

Another semi-dejected Locker sideline shot. That’s two.

1:44

Fitzpatrick throws another high pass on a completed slant rout on third down. You have to wonder if the noise is a factor with all the high snaps and throws. Meanwhile Chris Johnson runs into another wall running the ball.

1:46

Titans left tackle Michael Roos went to college at Eastern Washington. So that’s fun.

1:49

Golden Tate gets hit in the head on his way out of bounds during a tackle. Multiple penalties not called by the refs.

1:50

“We’re in Seattle. It’s not raining.” This the latest from the commentators.IT DOESN’T RAIN EVERY DAY!

1:52

Seahawks going to run into money problems at some point in time. They will have to give Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, etc. The Seahawks should have money to spend long term with Sidney Rice and Zach Miller’s respective contracts coming off the books. ‘Hawks have long-term replacements lined up with Anthony McCoy, Luke Willson, Jermaine Kerse and Doug Baldwin respectively.

1:57

Beast Mode slams it into the endzone for his fourth rushing score of the year. Incidentally, also on fourth and one on the goal line.

2:08

Steven Hauschka being tested for concussion-like symptoms on the sidelines. Or at least that’s what it looks like. Not a good thing to see, let alone from your kicker, important position that. Also carries more importance considering how superb Hauschka has been this year on kicks.

2:10

Jon Ryan warming as if to kick a late field goal. Have to wonder who emergency holder is. Was previously Ryan’s gig.

2:12

Ryan lines up for the late field goal, bad hold, botched play results in a turnover. Tennessee returns it for touchdown. The importance of special teams, and even holding, becomes clearer than ever.

Halftime

Potential 10-3 lead turns into 10-7 deficit. Sighs heavily. Also Houston lost again. They could have at least been helpful and beat St. Louis for us.

2:40

So far no semi-dejected Jake Locker sightings in the second half. On a non-related note, Seahawks have to get into a more consistent flow on offense. Too much stop and go. Tennessee is much better than advertised.

2:43

Everything goes wrong for Seattle. Sidney Rice sticks the ball forward for no apparent reason after a catch for a first down. Titans knock the unprotected ball out and recover the fumble. In the ensuing pile-up to get the ball, ‘Hawks called for a flag. Extra 15 yards added on after Tennessee recovers the fumble. Fun times indeed.

2:46

Seahawks lose the challenge on the play. Why on earth did Sidney Rice reach the ball out? I just can’t wrap my head around it.

2:47

Fitzpatrick continues to make throws that look antsy. Lots of high snaps and throws.

2:51

Derek Coleman fumbles on a catch out of the backfield, ball gets knocked strait out of bounds. Seahawks catch somewhat of a break. Second down.

2:56

Who would have thought that Russell Wilson and Ryan Fitzpatrick would be out-rushing Marshawn Lynch and Chris Johnson? Strange times.

3:06

Titans have the ball after a Hauschka field goal. Great to see the kicker back out on the field. And another Locker sighting. That’s three if you’re playing along at home. Chris Johnson continually getting stopped on nearly every run. Only 33 yards so far. At least it’s a step up from last week’s 17 yards.

3:09

Seahawks got somewhat lucky with their scheduling this year. They got the AFC South in terms of another division they had to play outside of their own. It would have been easier if Seattle got Indy and Houston, the division’s best teams at home and had to travel to the two lesser teams on the road. However, it’s better for the team going forward to face the adversity on the road. The Seahawks are always going to be favored at home. Might as well face adversity, and gain from it, on the road than win some cupcake games. This will likely help the team in the playoffs and moving forward. Also the telecast just showed a seagull flying across the field. Strange.

3:10

Chris Johnson looks shaken up after a long screen play. Titans look short after Darius Reynaud tried to slam it in there for a first down on third and short. Titans going for it.

3:15

Tight end Luke Willson makes a nice block on a long run from Robert Turbin. The rookie has shown well in the running and passing game so far. Boy can Pete Carroll and friends draft ‘em.

3:20

Hauschka kicks a field goal to put the team up 13-10. 11:23 left in the game. Seahawks will get a test here in terms of closing out a close game.

3:23

RICHARD SHERMAN YOU ARE RIDICULOUS. The league’s best cornerback gets another pick. No dejected Locker shots following the pick. Seahawks back to work on offense.

3:25

The Seahawks outgaining the Titans 188 to 33 in terms of total yards. A huge turnaround from first half when they only outgained the Titans 153 to 121. Another example of Pete Carroll’s ability to make adjustments at half time. Not a terrible thing to have in your back pocket.

3:30

Sidney Rice makes a ridiculous catch on the sidelines, keeping both feet in bounds while falling out of bounds. That and a Beast Mode touchdown the next play equals a 20-10 lead for Seattle.

3:35

After signing Sidney Rice and trading for Percy Harvin, the team has now taken the Vikings top two offensive weapons, at the time, not named Adrian Peterson. Watch out Minnesota, we’re coming for Cordarelle Paterson in 2015.

3:41

Earl Thomas absolutely losing it after applying a big hit on Damian Williams. Sprints 30 yards and then knocks over Kam Chancellor. Did I mention all this was on an incompletion?

3:44

Another dejected Locker shot. That’s four.

3:45

Five on the dejected Locker shots.

3:46

A field goal pulls Tennessee within a score. Tennessee now has a dilemma whether to kick off and play the timeout game or to onside it. They kick it long and Jermaine Kearse rips off a big return.

3:53

Seahawks have to keep getting first downs and run down the clock. As I say this, Lynch rips off a big game. Six is the count on the Locker shots.

3:55

Seattle lines up in victory formation, runs the clock out. Game over. Seahawks move to 5-1. Next up for Seattle is Thursday in Arizona. Yikes. Crowd chanting “hey, hey, hey goodbye.” Got to love it.

You can see the piece in it’s entirety at Kingdome here.

What We Learned from the Seahawks 50-17 Win Besides the Fact that Buffalo is Also Pitiful

It’s really not a joke. The Seahawks aren’t pulling the wool over the eyes of everyone who seems to miss their games (i.e. everyone who lives outside of the great state of Washington.) Yes, Buffalo is a bad team, and Arizona was/is too, but you can’t ignore 50-plus points in consecutive games.

  • The Record Book just won’t go away. Russell Wilson continues to take records and break them as if he was eating a sandwich for lunch. After strong play last week, Wilson now holds the record for most rushing touchdowns in a game for the Seahawks. Something he did in the first half with three rushing scores. No Seahawks QB has ever rushed for that many touchdowns in an entire game.
  • Read Option. The Seahawks continually used the “Read Option” to their advantage on Sunday. On the play, Wilson receives the snap with Marshawn Lynch to his right in the backfield. If it looks better for Wilson to run it himself, then he fakes the handoff to Lynch and goes behind Lynch with the ball. If the play looks like the team would get more out of it if Lynch ran it, then Wilson simply hands off the ball. The point of the play is that the QB makes the split-second decision on what would work best. Hence it being called the “Read Option.” The Seahawks used this play to continually rip off huge gains versus a porous Bills’ defense.
  • Passing Dan Marino. Last week I told you with one more touchdown Russell Wilson would pass Dan Marino in terms of number of passing touchdowns in a rookie season. With his TD pass to Zach Miller, Wilson moved his total to 21, passing Marino’s 20.
  • Win and You’re In. The Seahawks can clinch at least a wild card berth with a win on Sunday against San Francisco. The Seahawks would clinch the number two seed in the playoffs, and receive the first round bye that comes with it, if they beat the Niners and Rams to close out the year. And, if the 49ers lose both of their remaining games, and if Green Bay loses one of its last two games. Plus, they would get home field advantage at home in the divisional round (they’re 6-0 at the Clink this year.)
  •  50-50. The Seahawks are now one of three teams in NFL history to score at least 50 points in two straight games. This feat hasn’t been accomplished since the 50’s. This is fantastic for a team who was 28th in the league in total offense last year. Other quarterbacks who have yet to accomplish this or haven’t: Tom Brady (very surprising,) Peyton Manning (equally surprising,) Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Steve Young, Joe Montana, John Elway ( I think you see my point.)
  • Winning. The Seahawks now have tied their highest win total since 2006, the year before they went to the Super Bowl. That team was 9-7.

Super Bowl Worthy? I posed this question last week, and now it should be a given. The Seahawks are Super Bowl worthy. Finally.