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Monday cyber surfing: Reaction to Sunday’s 24-14 Wild Card win over the Redskins

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, January 7.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his game recap from yesterday, “[Russel] Wilson and [Marshawn] Lynch. The combination produced the Seahawks’ winning touchdown with 7:08 left. Wilson and Lynch. It was the combination punch that allowed Seattle to overcome its largest deficit of the season to win the franchise’s first road playoff game in 29 years. Seattle 24, Washington 14. ‘A great finish,’ Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. And it’s just the beginning. Seattle continues its playoff run in Atlanta next Sunday in the NFC’s divisional playoffs.”

O’Neil also has his “Two-Minute Drill“, naming running back Marshawn Lynch and tight end Zach Miller his players of the game, “Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 132 yards and atoned for a third-quarter fumble at the Washington 2 by scoring the winning touchdown on a 27-yard run with 7:08 left. Seahawks tight end Zach Miller caught four passes for 48 yards. Two of his receptions resulted in third-down conversions when Seattle needed 10 or more yards.”

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times has his thoughts on the Wild Card win, “How dramatic was this comeback? After Griffin threw his second touchdown pass of the first quarter, to tight end Logan Paulsen, Washington led 14-0 and had amassed 129 yards of offense. The Seahawks had minus-2. It felt like they had fallen behind during the national anthem. The fast-paced Washington offense had hit them swiftly and relentlessly, scoring touchdowns on its first two possessions and taking a commanding lead before the Seahawks could catch their breath enough to say, ‘Uh oh.’ But from that point on, the Seahawks outgained Washington 382-74. There goes the notion that the Seahawks aren’t built to come from behind. ‘That’s dumb stuff now,’ linebacker K.J. Wright said. ‘We’ve got a good quarterback now. We’ve got good receivers. We can sling it down the field if we have to. We can still run when we’re behind, too. That stuff is over with.’ “

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks took advantage of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was not at full strength, “Griffin was 6 for 9 for 68 yards in the first quarter. He was 4 for 10 for 16 yards the rest of the game. Washington had nine first downs in the first quarter and six the final three. ‘Throughout the whole game you could tell how hurt he was,’ Sherman said. ‘But he has a lot of heart, and that’s my guy and I’ll talk him up until the sun comes home. You’ve got to respect the guy. His knee’s a lot worse than it seems, but he’s still out there battling for his guys. That kind of heart is something you respect — out of this world.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his gamer from yesterday, “The victory marked Seattle’s first playoff road win in nearly 30 years. The Seahawks last win away from home took place on Dec. 31, 1983, a 27-20 victory at Miami in the AFC divisional playoffs. The Seahawks had lost eight straight before Sunday’s win over the Redskins. Seattle now travels to Atlanta (13-3) for an NFC divisional playoff contest on Sunday. ‘You can’t win this game in the first quarter,’ Seattle fullback Michael Robinson said. ‘And we understand that. You’ve just got to keep fighting and plugging away. It’s all about what that score says at the end of the fourth quarter.’ “

Williams also writes that after a rough first quarter, the Seahawks defense held the NFL’s second-leading rusher Alfred Morris in check, “Morris had 49 yards on eight carries in the first quarter, but he only totaled 31 more yards the rest of the game. The Seahawks held Washington to 104 total rushing yards. ‘They just were running a little bit of a different scheme than we expected,’ Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. ‘They were going more outside. In previous games they had played more zone read stuff up the middle. And that’s great coaching by (Washington head coach Mike) Shanahan and those guys.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune highlights Lynch’s big day, “Lynch rushed for 132 yards (6.6 average), but two plays in particular made the difference in the game. The first came in the middle of the second quarter, when Seattle trailed 14-3. The read-option play, in which Wilson either keeps the ball or hands it to Lynch, has been at the heart of the team’s late surge. But on this play, the ball bounced loose between them and squirted in the direction of several Redskins players at about the Seattle 40-yard line. Down by 11, and on the verge of giving up a turnover in their own territory, the Seahawks’ postseason was in peril. But Lynch reacted instantly, and rather than dive on it, as is the accepted practice, he speared it with one hand and ran 20 yards into Washington territory. Five plays later, Wilson passed to fullback Michael Robinson for a touchdown that brought the Seahawks back into the game. ‘That had to be an extraordinary play,’ Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. ‘Dead run, scoop it up and keep on going. That was a huge play for us … it happened so fast you could hardly believe what he did.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald details the play of tight end Zach Miller, “Facing third-and-12, Wilson couldn’t find a target open down field, so he dumped a short pass off to Miller. In fact, the pass was nearly too short, but Miller managed scoop it up just before it hit the ground. That impressive catch wasn’t going to get the job done by itself, however, because Miller was still six yards short of the first-down marker, so Miller turned and ran knowing how important this first down was. First he spun out of an attempted tackle by cornerback Josh Wilson, then powered through cornerback DeAngelo Hall to get exactly the 12 yards Seattle needed. The play was one part talent and two parts sheer will, and it was symbolic of resilience the Seahawks showed in coming back from a two-touchdown deficit in a hostile environment. Pete Carroll loves to preach that it isn’t how you start, but how you finish, and in finishing that play, Miller set the tone for a big finish that at the time seemed highly unlikely. ‘It shows how far we’ve come from when we were struggling on the road early in the season,’ Miller said via cell phone 90 minutes after the Seahawks had finished off their first road playoff victory since 1983. ‘In a playoff game, with a rookie quarterback, to be able to answer a 14-point deficit the way we did, it’s just a testament to our team and the resolve we have and how much confidence we have in each other.’ “

Mike Salk of 710Sports.com makes it clear that the Seahawks beat the Redskins, and that the Redskins did not beat themselves, “Robert Griffin III didn’t lose the game by himself. Mike Shanahan isn’t a goat for allowing his quarterback to play hurt. The Seahawks weren’t just the beneficiaries of a stroke of good luck. One complete team beat another complete team. And for three quarters, it wasn’t even close.”

Like Boyle, Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com also points to Miller’s play as a key part of the Seahawks victory, “Miller finished the regular season as Seattle’s third-leading receiver. The numbers aren’t flashy – 396 yards and three touchdowns on 38 receptions – but then again, neither is Miller. For all the dirty work he does to help make the Seahawks’ offense move, Miller delivered Sunday with the ball in his hands. ‘Zach just continues to do cool stuff and play really well,’ Carroll said.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com recaps Wilson’s day, “The Seahawks had the Redskins right where they wanted them. That was not apparent to many, maybe even among the Seahawks. Except for one guy. ‘It is a little weird,’ said Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson. ‘To keep his composure in this wild environment, first playoff game for him and all . . . it’s just weird. But Russell Wilson always does it. I’ve seen veteran, older quarterbacks crumble and crack in the same situation. Not him.’ “

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com has his reaction following Sunday’s Seahawks win, “It’s not often that a team should be happy about a one-point deficit at halftime of a game, but the Seahawks went into the visitors’ locker room at Washington D.C.’s FedEx Field down 14-13, and undoubtedly happy to be in the game at all. The Redskins, led by the brutal rushing attack of Alfred Morris and two touchdown passes thrown by Robert Griffin III, were up 14-0 with 2:31 left in the first half. ‘It was a battle,’ Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said after the game. ‘Both teams fought really hard, and it was a tremendous game, We’re fortunate to come out with a win, and we’re excited about the opportunities.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his game story from yesterday, “By the time Lynch was finished putting 132 yards and the game-winning touchdown on the Redskins, the fifth-seeded Seahawks had won a road playoff game for the first time since 1983. They had overcome their largest deficit of the season, 14 points. They had set a franchise record for the largest deficit overcome in a postseason game. ‘As much momentum as they had, it is a marvelous statement,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We were getting our butt kicked, there was no doubt about that.’ “

Sando has his “Rapid Reaction” following Sunday’s game, “The Seahawks took advantage of matchup advantages at tight end. Zach Miller made a difficult catch early and his catch for a two-point conversion was key. Miller also had a 22-yard reception on his way to a four-catch, 48-yard game. Washington allowed 10 touchdown passes to tight ends during the regular season, third most in the NFL.”

Sando also has his first look at next Sunday’s divisional round matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, “Opposites. These teams from the Southeast and Northwest have more than geography to differentiate them. The Seahawks have the second-youngest roster in the NFL, counting players on various reserve lists. The Falcons have the fifth-oldest roster. The Seahawks have the NFL’s best strength of victory percentage (.534), meaning the teams they defeated had a higher winning percentage than the teams anyone else defeated. The Falcons played the NFL’s easiest schedule. The Seahawks had the NFL’s highest percentage of called running plays (49.8) this seeason. The Falcons had the seventh-lowest percentage of called runs (35.1).”

And finally, the staff over at NFL.com has their early preview of Sunday’s Seahawks-Falcons matchup in this short video.


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