A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 11:
Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane. The backup cornerbacks certainly have looked the part since joining the Seahawks in the draft the past two years.
Maxwell, a sixth-round pick in 2011, has the size (6 feet 1, 207 pounds), length and athletic ability that coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley covet in a corner. So does the 6-foot, 190-pound Lane, who was a sixth-round pick this year.
But how would they play the part? We finally got a look at both in Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, as Lane took over as the nickel back and he and Maxwell then manned the corners for the conclusion of the 58-0 romp. Each made a tackle, while Maxwell also broke up a pass.
“I was really pleased with the play of those guys,” Carroll said. “I think I was as fired up about that as anything, as far as the challenge of new guys jumping in and all of that.”
And that definitely is saying a lot because there was so much to be fired up about on Sunday.
“Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell did really well,” Carroll said. “They both looked disciplined. They played confident. Technique-wise, they played the way we had hoped they would play. 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.”
And that will remain a plus this week, when the Seahawks travel to Toronto to play the Bills. Walter Thurmond, who stepped in at nickel back for Marcus Trufant two weeks ago, is now at right corner because Brandon Browner is serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
“Walter Thurmond played really well,” Carroll said of his efforts against the Cardinals.
That’s what put Lane on the field as the nickel back for Thurmond. Whether Trufant is able to return this week remains to be seen. But the coaches have seen enough from Lane, and Maxwell, and Thurmond, that they’re comfortable turning things over to the young corners.
“I think that’s a really good statement about what (defensive backs coach) Kris Richard and (passing game coordinator) Rocky Seto are doing with these guys,” Carroll said. “It really is good stuff.”
STATS ’N STUFF
The Seahawks rank No. 3 in total defense, allowing an average of 301.7 yards per game. They’re No. 4 in passing defense (196.3), No. 4 in rushing offense (152.3) and No. 10 in rushing defense (105.4). The offense ranks No. 21 overall (341.2) and the passing offense is No. 29 (188.9).
After Sunday’s eight-turnover avalanche against the Cardinals, the Seahawks are plus-8 in turnover differential, which ties for eighth in the league. Only seven teams have fewer giveaways than the Seahawks (17; nine interceptions, eight fumbles).
Marshawn Lynch remains second in the NFL in rushing (a career-high 1,266 yards) to the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson (1,600). Only four players in the league have more than Lynch’s nine rushing touchdowns – the Texans’ Arian Foster (14), Bucs’ Doug Martin (10), Patriots’ Stevan Ridley (10) and Peterson (10). Lynch also is sixth in total yards (1,415) and tied for ninth in first downs (64).
Rookie QB Russell Wilson is seventh in the league in passer rating (94.9), and the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III is the only rookie with a higher rating (a league-leading 104.2). Wilson also is sixth in fourth-quarter passer rating (97.9), which tops all rookies.
Leon Washington is second in the NFL in kickoff return average (31.2), while Jon Ryan is seventh in net punting average (41.7) and tied for sixth for punts inside the 20 (27).
Richard Sherman is tied for third in interceptions (six).
STAT DU JOUR
Lynch’s efforts against the Cardinals were impressive: three rushing touchdowns, tying his career high; a franchise-record 11.6-yard rushing average; his seventh 100-yard rushing effort of the season (124); and surpassing his single-season career best in rushing yards (1,266), with three games to play.
What put it even more over the top was that Lynch accomplished all this on 11 carries. Here’s a look at what he did to get his 128 yards, and when he did it:
Situation Yards Result
First-and-10 2 Seahawks punted on first possession
Second-and-12 1 Seahawks converted on third-and-11
Second-and-6 10 First down in first TD drive
First-ansd-10 2 Seahawks converted on second-and-8
First-and-10 15 Seahawks lost the yards on penalty
First-and-10 20 Touchdown run No. 1
First-and-goal 4 Touchdown run No. 2
First-and-10 15 Seahawks eventually punted
Second-and-5 18 First down at Seahawks’ 37
First-and-10 8 Came on next play after 18-yarder
Third-and-4 33 Touchdown No. 3
“I think the thing that comes to mind is consistency,” Carroll said Monday when asked about the season Lynch is having. “He’s been very consistent with his output and his effort and his style. Everything has been there every single game.”
The players return from having two “off” days to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Bills.
YOU DON’T SAY
“The final score in Seattle got most of the attention. There was plenty of credit to go around in Seattle. (Anthony) 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.” – Mike Sando including the Seahawks’ tight end among his weekly “Risers” on his NFC West blog at ESPN.com