Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 10.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times makes sense of the Seahawks’ quarterback position and position in the NFL rankings for passing yardage, “Seattle has formatted its game plan to compensate for the fact Wilson is a rookie. It has scaled back the passing attempts it would normally ask of its quarterback, it has dialed down the risk in hopes of reducing the number of mistakes. The fact that Seattle is second to last in the league in passing yards is not evidence of Wilson’s viability as a starting quarterback, but a reflection of Seattle’s approach. Carroll and Seattle’s coaching staff believes it can win games by relying on its defense, running game and special teams, and waiting for Wilson to develop and mature. And you know what? The Seahawks have done that. Through five games, Seattle not only has a winning record but has had a chance to win every game. While the evaluation of Wilson has focused on what another quarterback might do in the same position, it’s important to keep in mind how other rookies have handled similar situations, and it’s impossible to find one who’s won more games faster than Seattle’s starting quarterback.”
O’Neil also compares Wilson to other rookie quarterbacks, “…in judging Wilson, the proper context is not to evaluate him to what other teams are doing around the league, it’s to evaluate him in comparison to other rookies. And while other rookies are throwing for more yards, other rookies aren’t winning more, and that’s not just true this year, it’s true if you look at the 20 rookies who started the first five games of the season for their team at quarterback.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune previews the Seahawks’ Week 6 matchup with the New England Patriots and looks at the Patriots’ ability to take advantage of turnovers, “The Patriots are tied for first in turnover differential with Atlanta at plus-10. New England has forced 14 turnovers – six interceptions and eight fumbles – while turning the ball over only four times through five games. Even better, New England’s offense has done a good job of turning opponent miscues into points, scoring 38 points off takeaways. Unlike the Patriots, the Seahawks have not done a good job in the turnover battle, with a minus-1 turnover differential – tied for 17th in the league. The Seahawks have created seven turnovers on defense and have turned it over eight times on offense. ‘We’ve just got to get out of our own way,’ Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said after Sunday’s win over Carolina, in which his team turned the ball over three times in the third quarter. ‘If we can do that, then we’re going to be OK.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald has a statistical breakdown of the Patriots and Seahawks heading into Week 6, where New England’s No. 1-ranked offense will meet Seattle’s No. 1-ranked defense.
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a segment of “Bob and Groz” in which O’Neil joined the show. The trio discussed whether or not the Seahawks defense could sustain it’s level of play throughout the season, “The Seahawks are 3-2 despite scoring just over 17 points per game, fifth-fewest in the NFL. That has led to questions about how much longer Seattle can continue to rely on a defense that ranks second in yardage and first in scoring. Conventional wisdom says that if a team’s offense can’t sustain drives, its defense will wear down because it’s always on the field. Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times thinks that logic doesn’t apply to the Seahawks. ‘A lot of times when you see a team scoring as few points as Seattle is, their time of possession is way down. But because Seattle is running the ball effectively and that the real problem has been red-zone conversions more so than three-and-outs … it’s not quite the recipe for disaster than you’d expect given how few points Seattle is scoring,’ he told ‘Bob and Groz’ on Tuesday. ‘But … I don’t know if it’s realistic to expect a defense to go the whole year holding everyone under 20 points. At some point you are going to have to get better play from the offense.’ ” Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby share some additional thoughts on the subject in a short video contained within the link above.
Henderson also takes a closer look at how Wilson fared against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, “Season-high passing yardage. Wilson completed 19 of 25 passes for 221 yards, his highest total of the season. It could have been higher had it not been for a holding penalty that wiped out a 56-yard completion to Tate. Wilson reached that total with the same number of attempts he had averaged in four previous games. The difference this week was that some of those completions were on longer throws, including two to tight end Zach Miller up the seam.”
Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com breaks down wide receiver Golden Tate’s 13-yard touchdown catch-and-run in Sunday’s 16-12 win over the Panthers in his latest “Chalk Talk” video.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his “NFC West Stock Watch” and notes the rising stock of the Seahawks’ rookie defenders, “3. Seattle rookie defenders. Defensive end Bruce Irvin and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, the first two players Seattle drafted in 2012, played leading roles in the team’s 16-12 victory at Carolina. Irvin had two sacks, including one that forced a late turnover, allowing Seattle to run out the clock. Wagner’s speed allowed him to track down Cam Newton for a 4-yard loss. Wagner is proving to be a big upgrade at middle linebacker. He joined second-year player K.J. Wright as an every-down linebacker in this game, replacing veteran Leroy Hill in the nickel defense.”
Running back Marshawn Lynch has cracked Sando’s “MVP Watch“, coming in at the No. 9 spot out of 10, “The raw rushing stats are impressive enough for Lynch to make his MVP Watch list debut, particularly now that the Seahawks are back above .500. But the “how” is nearly as important as the “what” when it comes to appreciating the one constant in Seattle’s low-risk offense. Lynch leads the league in yards after contact with 229 even though he isn’t a breakaway runner. The three other backs with at least 199 yards after contact have four 20-yard-or-longer rushes apiece this season. Lynch has one. His ability to gain 11 yards through multiple defenders on a third-and-7 play helped Seattle run down the clock during its 16-12 victory over Carolina.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth highlights tight end Zach Miller’s increased role in the passing game in his “Tuesday in Hawkville“, “This season, Miller is catching up to the 66- and 60-catch efforts he had in Oakland before signing with the Seahawks in free agency last summer. He produced the Seahawks’ two longest plays in Sunday’s 16-12 victory over the Panthers in Carolina – a 30-yard reception from rookie QB Russell Wilson in the third quarter and a 23-yarder in the fourth-quarter drive to a Steven Hauschka field goal that put the Seahawks up 16-10. Miller’s three-catch, 59-yard day gives him 12 receptions for 150 yards entering Sunday’s game against the Patriots at CenturyLink Field – and both totals rank second on the team to wide receiver Sidney Rice (17 for 199). ‘Zach has been doing everything we have asked him,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘And when we’ve gotten the ball to him, he’s done really well.’ “
Farnsworth also previews Sunday’s Week 6 matchup with the Patriots, “Burning question: Where was Wes Welker in Weeks 1 and 2? The league’s leading receiver last season with 122 catches, the Patriots’ slot man supreme had eight catches combined in a season-opening win over the Titans and Week 2 loss to the Cardinals. Since then, it’s been more like the Welker of old, as he caught eight passes for 142 yards against the Ravens; nine passes for 129 yards against the Bills; and 13 passes for 104 yards in Sunday’s win over the Broncos.”
Yesterday, which was the players day off from football activities, Wilson, Wagner, Brandon Mebane and Greg Scruggs traveled to Joint Base Lewis McChord to visit a group of soldiers who are about to be deployed. Farnsworth has the story here.
Finally, the Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC, partnered with Regence to put on the third annual “Be Well Washington” event at CenturyLink Field, emphasizing the importance of family health and wellness. You can view a video recap of the event here.