Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 11.
Running back Marshawn Lynch has been nominated for NFL FedEx Ground Player of the Week after his 128-yard, three-touchdown performance in the team’s 58-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. He is up against the Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 119 yards and a score in a 26-13 win over the Oakland Raiders, and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-14 win over the Chicago Bears. You can vote for Lynch here.
The NFL announced the Seahawks’ Week 16 home contest against the San Francisco 49ers has been flexed into the primetime slot – Sunday, December 23 at 5:20 p.m. PT on NBC.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes about head coach Pete Carroll’s reaction on the move to primetime, “Next up for Seattle is the Buffalo Bills in Toronto this Sunday. Then, Seattle returns home to play the NFC West-leading 49ers in a game that was moved to 5:20 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally by NBC. ‘Whatever, it’s moved back a little bit,’ Carroll said. ‘Two weeks from now.’ Come on, coach. How about a little something about the potential excitement of being moved into a featured time slot to face a 49ers team that has become quite a rival? ‘Nah, there’s nothing to talk about,’ Carroll said. ‘What does that mean? We’ll just stay in the hotel a little bit longer, and then go play.’ “
O’Neil also takes some time to revisit his keys to Sunday’s matchup with the Cardinals, “2. Don’t let Larry Fitzgerald catch fire. Scouting report: He was targeted 11 times in the season-opener against the Seahawks, but caught only four passes for 63 yards. Result: Fitzgerald was targeted 11 times by Arizona — most of any Cardinal — but caught one pass for a total of 2 yards. He has caught six passes total over the past four games, and at this point the Cardinals could be accused of wasting a natural resource as they have one of the game’s best receivers playing for an offense with the league’s worst quarterback situation.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps the Seahawks’ Week 16 move to the national spotlight, “The upcoming rematch between Seattle and San Francisco will be the Seahawks’ third nationally televised game this season. The Seahawks defeated Green Bay, 14-12, in Week 3 on Monday Night Football, and lost at San Francisco in Week 7, 13-6, in a Thursday night game on the NFL Network. The Seahawks-49ers rematch has some appeal for a national audience because it could help decide the division title, with San Francisco (9-3-1) traveling to New England on Sunday, while the Seahawks (8-5), trailing by 11/2 games, play Buffalo in Toronto. If the 49ers lose to the Patriots and Seattle sweeps its final three games, the Seahawks would win the NFC West title for the second time in three seasons.”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune highlights the impact Lynch has had since coming to Seattle in a trade with the Bills in 2010, “Although it was a sidebar topic played below the headlines of the thrashing of the Cardinals on Sunday – by the largest margin in team history (58-0) – Lynch upped his rushing total for the season to 1,266 yards with a 4.9-yard average. He’s second in the league in rushing, trailing only the astonishing Adrian Peterson, who has 1,600 yards and 10 TDs after returning from a severe knee injury late last season. At his current rate, Lynch could crack 1,600 yards this season, a figure that would trail only Shaun Alexander’s totals in 2005 (1,880) and 2004 (1,696) as the best in franchise history. ‘The thing that comes to mind is his consistency, he’s been very consistent with his output and his effort and his style,’ Carroll said Monday. ‘Everything’s been there every single game. He’s been healthy; we’ve managed him well during the week and he’s come out strong and fast and looked sharp every single time he’s shown up.’ “
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com details cornerback Richard Sherman’s first career touchdown that came off an interception that was very similar to a pick Sherman had last year against the same club, “It came in the fourth quarter of Seattle’s Week 17 loss in Arizona. Sherman jumped in front of a Cardinals receiver to pick off Skelton’s pass at Arizona’s 45-yard line. He raced 33 yards up the left sideline before he was caught at the 12 by speedy running back LaRod Stephens-Howling. That play came to mind – both mine and Sherman’s – when he picked off an underthrown Skelton pass at Arizona’s 19-yard line on Sunday – again near the left sideline – and returned it for a touchdown. ‘Yeah, I definitely had a flashback,’ he said. ‘My teammates still get one me for that. They’re like, ‘You still haven’t scored. You keep getting picks and you can’t score. Man, when you gonna score one?’ So I was like, ‘Oh man, I can’t get caught on this one.” “
The staff at SportsPressNW.com has a look at the play of Seattle’s young cornerbacks who stepped in for the suspended Brandon Browner and injured Marcus Trufant in last Sunday’s win, “… the Seahawks deployed into the void third-year vet Walter Thurmond, second-year vet Byron Maxwell and rookie Jeremy Lane. They helped pitch a shutout, although the 58-0 outcome was as much about team-wide negligence by the Cardinals. ‘I was as fired up about that as anything,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday. ‘I was really pleased with play of those guys. Walter played really well. He was consistent, aggressive and he played with good confidence. He had a lot of different stuff to do, moving around playing inside and outside. Jeremy and Byron l did really well. They both looked disciplined, they played confident technique-wise. They both looked just about the same and, for their first outing, they really handled it well. There were very few plays that they didn’t get graded on the positive side. They both played well enough that I couldn’t tell the difference in play — if one came out ahead of the other — so that’s a really good sign for us.’ “
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Monday, “Carroll said the team came out of the game pretty healthy with only S Chris Maragos suffering a minor hamstring strain. Maragos was out of uniform for the late stages of the game and said he would be all right. LB Leroy Hill was active for yesterday’s game against the Cardinals despite an ankle injury, but LB Malcolm Smith started and played the entire game in his place. Carroll said after the game Hill could have played if needed but they wanted to give him another week if they could. Carroll spoke highly of the way Smith played for a second straight week. ‘This is the best that I’ve seen Malcolm over the years,’ said Carroll, who coached Smith at USC as well. ‘This is the most confident that he has been and he’s playing aggressively and chasing the ball really well. He’s kind of got a nose for the football. Things happen when he’s around it, and that has kind of always been the case so it’s good to have him out there.’ “
Mike Sando of ESPN.com passes along how the voters voted in the site’s latest NFL Power Rankings, where the Seahawks come in at No. 10.
Sando has his latest “NFC West Stock Watch” as he notes the rise of tight end Anthony McCoy, who in Week 14 became the Seahawks’ first 100-yard receiver this season, “Anthony McCoy, Seahawks TE. The final score in Seattle got most of the attention. There was plenty of credit to go around in Seattle. McCoy’s first 100-yard receiving game could be a good sign for the Seahawks. McCoy made an important catch to help beat Chicago on the road last week. His 67-yard reception against the Cardinals set up Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown run for a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter. Arizona hadn’t scored more than 17 points in seven of its previous eight games.”
Sando has a look at several reasons why the Seahawks have improved:
- The GM: General manager John Schneider led the way as Seattle defied convention by using a third-round choice for quarterback Russell Wilson.
- The coach: Carroll had the guts to start Wilson over Matt Flynn when the decision appeared risky.
- The QB: Wilson himself has made the biggest difference on the field. He has 15 touchdowns with three interceptions over his past eight games.
Sando also shares his thoughts on the Seahawks-49ers game moving to primetime in Week 16.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has his latest Power Rankings, and the Seahawks come in at No. 10 on his list – up two spots from a week ago, “They are surging. Are they the team nobody wants if they get to the playoffs?”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella review the Seahawks’ win over the Cardianls in this short video.
Farnsworth has his “Monday Metatarsal Musings” where he looks back at what worked and what needs work after the Week 14 matchup with the Cardinals, and he also recaps the activities surrounding “Monday in Hawkville.”
Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” as he recaps coach Carroll’s Monday press conference.
And we have Carroll’s full video press conference from yesterday available here.