A recap of the activities from Day One of NFC divisional playoff game week:
The waiting game. It had to be agonizing for coach Pete Carroll to sit around all day on Sunday to find out whether the Packers or Eagles would win the NFC’s other wild-card game – an outcome that would determine where the Seahawks would play in this weekend’s divisional round.
Right? Not exactly.
“Oh God, it was treacherous,” Carroll said today – tongue firmly planted in cheek – during his usual day-after press conference that this week was two days after, because the Seahawks had defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints on Saturday at Qwest Field.
After the laughter subsided, Carroll added, “I played with my grandson all day. I was under pillows and blankets and climbing over chairs all day long.”
That would be Dillon, the son of Carroll’s oldest son, Brennan – and the Carroll’s only grandchild.
“It was a great day yesterday,” he said. “Just sitting and waiting and watching for it. He didn’t care much about the outcome, but I was pretty tuned in. But it was not a hard day. No, it was wait-and-see.”
Back to matters of football, the Packers’ victory sends the Seahawks to Chicago to meet the Bears on Sunday. The Packers, meanwhile, are off to Atlanta for a Saturday night game against the Falcons. As the top seed in the NFC, the Falcons got the lower-seeded team (the No. 6 Packers), while the second-seeded Bears got the highest-seeded remaining team (the No. 4 Seahawks).
Hype man. Say what? That’s how tight end John Carlson referred to the final role he filled on Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard touchdown run that iced Saturday’s wild-card victory over the Saints.
“I was kind of the hype man in the end zone – hyping Marshawn up a little bit,” Carlson said. “I got all the way down there – I didn’t help on the way – but I got down there and I was in the end zone.”
Carlson didn’t need to make another block. He threw his at the line of scrimmage and left the rest up to Lynch – who, as it turned out, didn’t need a lot of help.
“I made my block and I heard the crowd go nuts,” he said. “So I assumed he got through the hole and broke a tackle. I didn’t realize how tremendous the run was until I watched the replay and saw it on film.”
So, does it take special skills to be the hype man?
“No, no. Any of the guys on the team can be hype men,” Carlson explained. “You’ve just got to get around the guy who scores a touchdown and help hype him up.”
Carlson also was the target of those other hype man as he scored the Seahawks’ first two touchdowns on passes from Matt Hasselbeck.
Lance Briggs. The Bears’ weak-side linebacker did not play against the Seahawks in their Week 6 game at Chicago, and his presence this week will make a difference.
“He’s huge,” Hasselbeck said. “He’s arguably one of the best defensive players in the game. I think he’s a great player.
“Going into that game, we fully expected him to play. He didn’t play, and that was a big deal. So for us to sit back and say, ‘Oh hey, we beat them at their place. We can do it again,’ that would be a dangerous way to feel. Because Lance Briggs did not play in that game. He is a big, big-time difference-maker and a great football player.”
Briggs sat out the Week 6 game with an ankle injury.
“As hard as this game was going to be the fact that he’s back up, that takes it to a whole other level,” Hasselbeck said.
A TRULY MOVING EXPERIENCE
The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network registered a tremor near Qwest Field on Saturday while Lynch was making and completing his stadium-rocking run.
“We looked at the stations nearby and one station in particular just clearly showed the crowd roaring,” PNSN director John Vidale told the Seattle Times.
Still don’t believe it? Check out this Seismograph reading, compliments of the Times’ Danny O’Neil.
The NFL Network will rebroadcast the Seahawks-Saints game at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu (head) and flanker Ben Obomanu (shoulder) left Saturday’s game with injuries. Obomanu returned; Tatupu did not. But Carroll said he is planning on each practicing at some point this week and playing against the Bears.
“Lofa responded very well today. I was very encouraged by his turnaround from yesterday to today,” Carroll said. “Ben Obomanu was on the field with a dislocated shoulder and by the next series was back in there and catching passes. So that was a phenomenal recovery.
“We think both those guys will practice before the end of the week.”
STAT DU JOUR
With Saturday’s victory, Hasselbeck surpassed Dave Krieg for the most wins by a Seahawk QB – including playoffs.
Hasselbeck is 74-67, while Krieg was 73-53 from 1980-91.
“It’s just another whatever,” Hasselbeck said. “I’m sure that will get broken by somebody at some point.
“What’s important is that we’re in position to do something that’s really fun, really exciting. It’s not something we even talked about before. But the opportunity is here.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s just the playoffs. Every coach everywhere says, ‘Just get into the tournament; anything can happen.’ I don’t know if everyone believes it. But that’s what they say, and it came true. There are some great teams, some great players that are out right now. It’s just neat.” – Hasselbeck, when asked about the Seahawks being the only division winner to emerge from the wild-card weekend