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.

Seahawks Links: Lynch, Miller, Maxwell and Julius Thomas

  • In the off chance that you missed it, Beast Mode is coming back.
  • While Marshawn Lynch will be back with the Seahawks, one player who won’t is tight end Zach Miller, who was cut.
  • In addition to Miller, the Hawks will lose Byron Maxwell. The Legion of Boom member is off to Philadelphia via free agency.
  • It seems Seattle may have found Miller’s replacement, as the Seahawks will reportedly make a “late push” to sign for former Broncos tight end and free agent Julius Thomas.
  • In other NFC West news, the Hawks’ arch-rival 49ers will be considerably different next season. With the Khaki pants connoisseur Jim Harbaugh gone, it seems the Niners will also lose three key players. Frank Gore is joining Maxwell in Philly while longtime defensive standouts Patrick Willis and Justin Smith will retire. The NFC West just goat a little bit easier to win.

Seattle Seahawks: Why They’re Poised to Get Back to the Super Bowl

Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, whatever you want to call it… that one was tough. To come so close to repeating and get that close to scoring. This one will stay with Seattle, team and fans alike, for a long time.

Still, the Seahawks will be back strong for next season, and you can bet that coaches and players alike will be looking to make up for the Super Bowl loss with a ring next year. Here’s why they’re poised to get back to the Super Bowl-

1. Returning Talent

For the most part, the band will be back together next season. The Seahawks will see a small number of their core hit free agency, most notably Byron Maxwell and Jermaine Kearse (more on that later). Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, should he return, will be rejoined on offense by promising receiver Paul Richardson (once he returns from injury), the emerging Riccardo Lockette, Super Bowl breakout Chris Matthews and the vastly underrated Doug Baldwin. Kearse could return, while Luke Willson and Tony Moeaki provide a solid outlet for passes at the tight end position. Like Richardson, Zach Miller will also be coming back from injury.

Defensively, Seattle will welcome back a host of players from injured reserve. Brandon Mebane, one of the game’s best defensive tackles, will be healthy. Promising youngsters Jordan Hill, Jesse Williams, Cassius Marsh and Kevin Pierre-Louis will return as well.

Other than the returning injured players, the majority of the starting defense is under contract with Maxwell, Malcolm Smith and Kevin Williams the only prominent free agents.

2. Few Free Agent Priorities

One of the main reasons the Hawks won their first Super Bowl was due to the additions of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, players they were able to poach from other teams in free agency. Last offseason, the team was limited in free agency and had to spend most of their offseason cash on retaining the likes of Bennett and Avril.

While Seattle will spend this offseason thanks to potential extensions for Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Bobby Wagner, the team won’t have as many key players hit free agency as last season when the team lost Golden Tate, Breno Giacomini, Paul McQuistan, Brandon Browner, Clinton McDonald and Walter Thurmond. The team also had to cut defensive lineman Red Bryant and Chris Clemons.

Things will be much different this time around. Notable Seahawks hitting free agency include Byron Maxwell, Jermaine Kearse, James Carpenter, Malcolm Smith and Kevin Williams.

Besides handing out potential extensions, the ‘Hawks should focus on bringing back Maxwell. Since last season he’s seamlessly stepped in the Legion of Boom’s starting contingent. The cornerback will be one of the most sought-after free agents should he hit the open market. The question becomes whether the Seahawks brass trusts Tharold Simon to take over for Maxwell, similar to the recent transition of Maxwell for Browner.

While Carpenter may be brought back, the team can withstand the potential losses of Smith and Williams. The respective emergences of Kevin Pierre-Louis as well as Jordan Hill (5.5 sacks in the last six regular season game) should more than make up for the respective Super Bowl MVP and former Viking if Smith and Williams aren’t retained.

3. Continued Youth Development

Seattle can afford to let Smith and Williams go thanks to the development and potential of the aforementioned duo of Pierre-Louis and Hill. These two are just two of the latest players undervalued in the draft that Seattle has developed into quality contributors or starters, joining the likes of Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Wilson, Wagner, J.R. Sweezy, Kearse, Baldwin, Willson, K.J. Wright, Smith, Lockette, Jeremy Lane, Simon and Robert Turbin among others.

Quite frankly, Seattle is the best at finding and developing talent—few NFL teams come close.

The continued development of players like Chris Matthews, Sweezy, Simon, Hill, Pierre-Louis and Cassius Marsh will only improve the Seahawks’ depth and quality heading into next season.

In Conclusion

The Seahawks loss in the Super Bowl was incredibly tough, it may go down as one of the most gut-wrenching and painful losses in the history of the NFL, let alone American sports. Still, if there was ever a group to rebound from it, come back strong and make good, it would be the current group of Seahawks.

Remember, the last time Seattle was dealt a heartbreaking (albeit less painful) playoff loss it was Atlanta a few years ago. The Hawks responded with a ring the next year.

They’ll be back.

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

Seahawks Cardinals: 5 Stats to Know from Sunday’s Win

77.3

77.3—Russell Wilson’s completion percentage during the game. It was the QB’s most efficient game of the season, and possibly his best as well.

Three

Three—the number of sacks complied by the Seattle. The Seahawks finally got there pass rush going, and it showed. Cliff Avril finished with two while defensive tackle Jordan Hill added another.

Four

Four—number of catches for tight end Tony Moeaki. The former Chief racked up 34 yards on those four catches. With Zach Miller out for the season, Moeaki could play a large part in the offense going forward.

Eight

Eight—number of receivers to catch a pass from Wilson. Wilson likes to spread the ball around, and during the win over Arizona hit Moeaki, Riccardo Lockette, Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Kevin Norwood and Luke Willson for completions.

73

73—number of rushing yards by Wilson. The Super Bowl winning QB continues his ground assault on opposing defenses. He has rushed for at least 70 yards in five games this season, including his last three.
Next up for the Seahawks is Thanksgiving night showdown with the 49ers.

 

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.

The Peyton Manning-To-Seattle Proposition

I’m probably not the first to write about this, nor will I be the last, because to put it plainly, Peyton Manning is a free agent. PEYTON FREAKING MANNING IS A FREE AGENT.

As noted, everyone is writing about this. From teams who need a quarterback like the New York Jets or Arizona Cardinals, or teams who don’t and would like to see him as a backup so their team doesn’t have to play against him (cough New England cough).

Maybe this is a pipe dream at best, and Peyton Manning might be considering only AFC teams or whatever the case may be. But the underlying theme here is that he would be a good fit in Seattle.

For that matter any of the NFC West teams with Manning probably jump to division favorites. (With the exception of maybe St. Louis, sorry Rams fans.) That being said, it would seem like the NFC West would make sense in the fact that Peyton could probably win right away, where as in a place like Miami, there could be issues with facing Tom Brady as well as the Jets defense a combined four times a year.

But Seattle looks like the best fit, at least from my position. The Seahawks have some promising bullet points for Manning to consider:

  • One, the Seahawks have a running game that Peyton didn’t have recently in Indianapolis. (Not that Peyton Manning needs a running game to lean on. He’s Peyton FREAKING Manning.)
  • Two, the Seahawks defense is a piece (read pass rusher) away from being a top-10 and/or elite defense.
  • Three, and this may surprise people, but the weapons are there in Seattle. The receiving core is an underrated one. Sydney Rice thrived with Brett Favre and even Tavaris Jackson before he was hit with injuries. Think of the potential with Peyton throwing to him. Doug Baldwin was quietly one of the better rookie receivers in the league last season. Zach Miller will look to be more of a pass catching threat after spending bulks of playing time helping the pass protection area. Mike Williams also thrived with a good QB (read Matt Hasselbeck) and could regain that form if Peyton comes to Seattle. John Carlson will be back from injury if the team chooses to re-sign him (they should look into it.) Leon Washington is a game changer, plain and simple.
  • Four, the offensive line. The Seahawks have a really good young offensive line. The whole line, with the exception of Robert Gallery, has less than four years of experience in the league. While that may be a downside to some, it’s a plus here. The Hawks line is going to be good for a long time. The other key to the QB’s protection here is that the O-Line is surprisingly deep. Breno Giocamini, Paul McQuistain and Lemuel Jeanpierre provided and still provide Pete Carroll with invaluable depth up front.
  • Lastly, win now. The Seahawks, despite the 7­-9 mark, are going to compete. The aforementioned defense is there. So is the running game. So are the receivers. Look, San Francisco isn’t going to go 13-3 again. (If they do, jokes on me.)  Things are going to be more level this year. Even more so than last year. Now obviously Peyton Manning makes just about every team a winner, but to have a team that’s on the cusp of being a very good team, and add one of the best QBs ever. It makes for a very nice dilemma to have.

By process of elimination to get to Seattle, here are places where Peyton isn’t a good fit:

  • Miami- Lack of established running game could make for iffy situation. Then again he succeeded in Indy.
  • New York Jets- Media circus and uncertainty with team might be disastrous. Also lack of weapons and locker room questions.
  • Washington- Redskins don’t have much in the offensive weapons department outside of Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney and Chris Cooley. Also an equally tough division to play in.
  • Arizona- Larry Fitzgerald and a closed arena. There are the only draws in Zona. Good luck selling it outside of that.

So there you have it, Seattle and Peyton Manning, makes a lot of sense.