What a great time to be a Seahawks fan. We have the best team in the league, and we are one victory away from a Superbowl berth. I can’t even begin to describe the amount of joy I would feel should they they win it all. Seattle sports fans certainly deserve it after all the hell we’ve suffered through. We have reason to be very optimistic…we have the best team and are relatively healthy. I know its tough to be optimistic as a Seattle sports fan, but it must end some day!
Alas, a new week begins and a new opportunity for greatness arises. The Seahawks are coming fresh off a 23-15 victory over the New Orleans Saints, and are now looking at facing the San Francisco 49ers in a battle of what is surely two of the best teams in the NFC.
In the AFC, we watched a game between the Broncos and Chargers that was so boring, I actually resorted to watching Downton Abbey reruns. To be honest though, I really like that show.
So before we start on the 49ers game, here’s a few of my thoughts on the Saints game:
-What crappy weather, even for Seattle standards. I played in weather like that once with some buddies. The simplest task like throwing 10 yards and catching a football suddenly became like catching fish with your bare hands. I have a huge amount of respect to those guys that have to play in those kind of elements.
-I lost some respect for the Saints on Saturday. First, Jimmy Graham apparently approached Bruce Irvin on the Seahawks side of the field, and “asked for his ball back”. Irvin said no and punted it to the Saints side of the field. Graham responded by knocking off Irvin’s hat and begun a trash talking war. On a sidenote-I have like Bruce Irvin a little more now.
However, the thing that really pissed me off was how the Saints defenders specifically targeted Percy Harvin on his first game back. You would think after the Saints “bountygate” that they would be above the head-hunting, bush league tactics. However, in the Seahawks first drive of the game, Rafael Bush (ironic name) went helmet to helmet on a defenseless Percy Harvin running down the sideline. You could try to argue that Bush was simply trying to make a “football play” but you’d be wrong. You can tell Bush meant to do that by the look after the hit (he wasn’t surprised by the flag) and the way he celebrated on the sidelines afterwards.
Well Karma worked quickly there, and the Seahawks had the last laugh.
-Players of the game: Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas, Michael Bennett, Doug Baldwin and of course…Beastmode. The best news for Seahawks fans is the way Beastmode ran the ball. Marshawn was not only finishing his runs with power like he usually does, but he was making some sick, LeSean McCoy type of cuts that only the elite running backs can do in this game. We have a great one in Seattle folks.
-The Saints made a pretty good game out of it, but there was never really any doubt who was going to win the game. The Seahawks offense continued to struggle…which is a big concern, however they looked much better with Percy Harvin in the lineup. Just the mere threat of him made for some big plays in the Seahawks passing and rushing game.
-I’m not too concerned with the late panic moments. The Saints are a proud team, and you know they wouldn’t go down without swinging. I’m just happy with the win, and ready to move on.
Now as for the 49ers…
I had my doubts about the Niners all season long…but recently they’ve made me eat some crow. I didn’t think their defense was as good as last year (still don’t think so, but gap isn’t as wide as I thought), and I thought Kaepernick regressed a lot since last year. Well, Crabtree came back and they are looking like a good offensive team once again…which is a scary thought.
Having said all that-I still really believe the Seahawks are the better team, and by a pretty good margin. However, the better team doesn’t necessarily always win, so there will be some things the Seahawks will need to do to make sure they can buy their tickets to New York next week. Here are some quick thoughts on those things:
1. Russell Wilson needs to play reckless. I’ll expand on this more as the week goes on…but quite simply, Russell seems to be playing very conservative of late. I don’t know if that’s by design, or if he’s starting to be more cautious about his health, but now is not the time to save yourself for another day. He needs to leave it all out on the field…even if that means diving for that first down. Ask Dan Marino if a chance at the Superbowl comes along very often.
2. Seahawks D front 7 needs to stop the run. The Saints, for the most part, gashed the Seahawks. They had 108 rushing yards, and kept the Seahawks defense off-balance. The Seahawks cannot afford to give up chunk yards to Frank Gore and the Niners rushing attack. The Niners have a lot of outside weapons, so the front line men have to do their job.
3. Get in Kaepernick’s face….which shouldn’t be too hard considering how long his nose is. CK7 is a somewhat decent QB when he gets time to throw the ball. He is Tony Romo though when people are in his face. The Panthers could not get any pressure on him, and he shredded them. Luckily, the Seahawks secondary is much better than the Panthers, so it will be a much better game regardless, but if they make him look like a basket case like they did the first game, we will be in our second ever Superbowl.
4. Percy Harvin. I don’t mean to overstate it, but Percy Harvin is exactly what the Seahawks need right now. Just Percy’s mere presence on the field made the Saints defense weak, and it will be the same case against the Niners. They have no one on their team that can match up with him one on one. Hell, I don’t know if Usain Bolt can keep up with him one on one.
The latest news is that Percy suffered a concussion, and will have to go through concussion protocol to be able to play against the 49ers. It involves a long series of tests, but the most important thing to keep an eye on is whether or not he will practice this week. If he does not practice, he won’t play.
I think the thing that makes Seahawks fans a little nervous is the fact that the 49ers seem to be hot, and the Seahawks seem to be getting cold. Let me remind you thought that in the history of the NFL, how teams play leading up to the regular season typically are no indications of how they’ll do in the playoffs. One example is the Ravens just last year. They were terrible, and snuck into the playoffs. They just started beating teams, and rode that to a Superbowl win. There’s no reason to think the Seahawks are in trouble for this game.
Also I might remind you of how good the Seahawks are at home in the playoffs. Read my previous post on that topic here
Still not feeling better? Okay read this great Hawkblogger fact sheet on the Seahawks/Niners matchup: Hawkblogger They are who we thought they were.
Much more to come in the week…stay tuned!
Categories: NFL and Seahawks