Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 17 – one day after the Seahawks’ 50-17 road win against the Buffalo Bills.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps Sunday’s rout, “The Seahawks are 9-5, guaranteed their first winning season since 2007 and in control of their own playoff fate. They have a quarterback in Wilson who is playing his way into consideration as the league’s top rookie and an offense that can be called potent without evoking laughter. And in the second half — after the Bills scored 10 points in the final 1:10 of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 14 points — Seattle demonstrated a killer instinct by forcing three turnovers in 10 minutes, starting with K.J. Wright’s interception. ‘We’re showing growth,’ defensive end Red Bryant said. ‘We could have easily let up when it was 31-17, but we came out and finished. And all of those experiences, the tough losses, the two 7-9 seasons until now, it builds character. We’re definitely not a young team anymore.’ “
O’Neil highlights the play of quarterback Russell Wilson, who passed for 205 yards and a touchdown and added 92 yards and three scores on the ground yesterday, “Wilson averaged 20.6 yards rushing over the first 11 games of this season. He has averaged 58.3 in the past three, and he has already rushed for more yards in a season than any Seahawk quarterback before him. He has gained 402 yards on the ground with two games still to play, passing Rick Mirer, whose 343 yards rushing in 1993 had been the most by a Seahawks player at that position. The read-option has become a staple of Seattle’s offense, and just one more way the Seahawks have expanded what they do while keeping their quarterback as the centerpiece. ‘Our offense is really explosive right now,’ Wilson said. ‘We do many, multiple, different things to attack the defense in terms of throwing the ball, in terms of running, a couple of trick plays here and there. It’s hard to stop.’ And Buffalo didn’t come close to doing that Sunday.”
O’Neil names Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch his players of the game in his “Two Minute Drill“, “Russell Wilson became the first NFL player to have three rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown in the same half. He ran for a season-high 92 yards on nine carries. Running back Marshawn Lynch gained 113 yards on 10 carries, scoring on a 13-yard run in the third quarter. He has 28 rushing touchdowns since being traded to Seattle. Buffalo has rushed for 27 touchdowns as a team since he left.”
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times reflects upon the recent play of the Seahawks, “This is nearly a once-in-a-lifetime display. This is not the feat of a team destined to sneak into the playoffs and then stumble. There is something about the Seahawks — something incredible, something wondrous — that 108 points in two games is magnifying. A reporter asked defensive end Chris Clemons, who had 2 ½ sacks Sunday, if the Seahawks are peaking. ‘When you say peaking, where is the peak?’ Clemons replied. I look up and can’t see it. Maybe I need new glasses. Or maybe we all should visit an observatory and look through a telescope. Where is the peak? It feels like the peak is wherever the Seahawks want it to be.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his game story from yesterday, “In his first game against his former team, running back Marshawn Lynch topped 100 yards for the eighth time this season, finishing with 113 yards on 10 carries, including a 13-yard touchdown run. The Seahawks finished with 466 yards of total offense – the third consecutive week Seattle’s offense has put up over 400 yards of offense. ‘What’s important is that you continue to execute really well regardless of the circumstances and who you’re playing,’ Carroll said. ‘Our guys played football like we’re capable of playing.’ “
Williams also details the play of the Seahawks defense, focusing on defensive end Chris Clemons, who with 2.5 sacks yesterday became the first franchise player since Michael Sinclair (1996-98) to notch double-digit sack totals in three consecutive seasons, “Clemons was the defensive end nobody wanted when the Seahawks traded for him in March 2010 with Philadelphia, sending Darryl Tapp to the Eagles. The Seahawks also received a 2010 fourth-round pick in the trade, selecting defensive end E.J. Wilson, who’s no longer with the team. Clemons developed into one of the Seattle’s anchor players on defense. The Seahawks signed him to a three-year, $21 million deal in the offseason. ‘I give all the credit to these guys,’ Clemons said, pointing to fellow defensive linemen Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant. ‘I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for them. They’re always communicating with me. Since I first came in, they welcomed me to the team.’ ‘We expect that from him,’ Bryant said. ‘He came out in the second half, and he absolutely took over the game, and gave the team the spark we needed to make sure we finished strong. I’m happy for him.’ “
Mike Salk of 710Sports.com says the Seahawks have arrived as a complete football team, “…the 2012 Seahawks arrived because they now know exactly who they are and how they want to win. They aren’t just the gritty, defensive-minded football team that began the year in Arizona hoping to limit possessions and make one extra play in the end. They aren’t just the run-first offense that scored as many as 27 points just once in the first half of the year. They’re not a dink and dunk offense. They aren’t a bend-but-not break defense. Nor are they simply a read-option team or a play-action team. They are now a complete football team. In the last two weeks, their offense has scored 87 points. Cool. But their defense has added 14 itself. And special teams came up with seven more. They’ve put up 405 yards in the air, 554 more on the ground. And they’ve allowed just 487 total yards while forcing 11 turnovers. Again, all marks of a complete football team.”
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com has his “Quick hits” following yesterday’s Seahawks win, “The lead: The Seahawks took care of business in a big way against an inferior Bills team, scoring at least 50 points for the second straight game. Russell Wilson ran for three touchdowns and threw for another as Seattle’s offense moved the ball at will. This win, as convincing as it was, combined with the overtime victory in Chicago two weeks ago should ease some fears about the Seahawks’ ability to win away from CenturyLink Field. Seattle is 9-5 with two home games remaining, including one next week against San Francisco.”
Henderson also notes that Wilson is closing in on the rookie touchdown record, “Wilson now has 21 touchdown passes, five shy of the record Peyton Manning set during his rookie season in 1998. Wilson is tied for third along with Carolina’s Cam Newton, who had 21 last season. Charlie Conerly of the Giants is second with 22 in 1948, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Andrew Luck, the Colts’ rookie quarterback, has 20.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has his reaction following the Seahawks 50-17 win over the Bills, “The NFL does reward high-functioning football, and that describes well the Seahawks and their fast-rising playoff position, which is now the first wild card spot, fifth overall in the NFC. Heading into two home games against division rivals, here’s another list. Efficient quarterback play – check. Clock-controlling rushing game – check. Turnover-inducing defense – check. Field-position edge from special teams – check. Roster depth to protect against injuries – check. Winning on the road – check. ‘We put together a really cool football game across the board,’ said coach Pete Carroll. ‘There was a concern about how we would handle (coming off a blowout win), but we played really well.’ “
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his “Wrap up” after the Seahawks 50-17 victory over Buffalo, “What it means: The Seahawks improved to 9-5, ensuring their first winning season since 2007. They strengthened their hold on a wild-card playoff berth, at least. This victory sets up a potentially pivotal Week 16 game against the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers. A 49ers defeat at New England in the Sunday night game would put first place on the line at CenturyLink Field next week. The Seahawks have won five of their past six games thanks largely to outstanding play from rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.”
Sando also shares a chart looking at where rookie quarterbacks Wilson, Andrew Luck, and Robert Girffin III stand through Week 15.
For a look around the League, Peter King of SI.com has his “Monday Morning Quarterback” column, which is always worth a read.
Tony Ventrella has his game recap, catching post-game reaction from coach Carroll, Wilson, Clemons, and Thomas.
And finally, our team photographer Rod Mar shares 52 frames from yesterday’s 50-17 win here.