On this date: Seahawks lose, but win division title anyway

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Jan. 2:

1983: Dave Krieg passes to Roger Carr for a 19-yard touchdown with 47 seconds to play, as the Seahawks conclude the strike-shortened 1982 season with a 13-11 victory over the Broncos at Mile High Stadium. Krieg’s game-winning TD pass caps a 10-play, 87-yard drive. Kenny Easley leads the defensive effort with seven solo tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery, while linebackers Shelton Robinson and Bruce Scholtz combine for 27 tackles.

1994: The Seahawks close their 1993 season by rallying from a 24-3 deficit but fall to the Chiefs 34-24 at Arrowhead Stadium. John L. Williams rushes for 102 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown. Rick Mirer becomes the first rookie QB to start all his team’s games since 1973 and sets then-rookie records for attempts (486), completions (274) and passing yards (2,833).

2000: The Seahawks wrap up the AFC West title, despite losing 19-9 in their 1999 regular-season finale to the Jets in the Meadowlands, because the Raiders also beat the Chiefs. The Seahawks finish 9-7 after starting 8-2, but it’s still their best record since 1990. Also, Cortez Kennedy is voted to his then-club record eighth Pro Bowl.

2002: Walter Jones and John Randle are named to the Pro Bowl.

2004: The Seahawks clinch the NFC West title for the first time in their 2004 regular-season finale as they stop a two-point PAT attempt on the final play of a 28-26 victory over the Falcons in Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck passes for two touchdowns and runs for a third, which gives the Seahawks a 28-20 lead with 4½ minutes to play. Matt Schaub throws a TD pass on the final play, but Warrick Dunn’s run for the tying PAT is stopped.

2011: The Seahawks capture the 2010 NFC West title with a 16-6 victory over the Rams in the regular-season finale in Seattle on Sunday night. Charlie Whitehurst starts for an injured Matt Hasselbeck and passes to Mike Williams for the Seahawks’ only touchdown, as Olindo Mare kicks three field goals. Raheem Brock leads the defensive effort with 2.5 sacks.


On this date

A look at the memorable – and not-so-memorable – moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Jan. 2:

1983: Dave Krieg passes to Roger Carr for a 19-yard touchdown with 47 seconds to play, as the Seahawks wrap up the strike-shortened 1982 season with a 13-11 victory over the Broncos at Mile High Stadium. Krieg’s game-winning TD pass caps a 10-play, 87-yard drive. Kenny Easley leads the defensive effort with seven solo tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery, while linebackers Shelton Robinson and Bruce Scholtz combine for 27 tackles.

1994: The Seahawks close their 1993 season by rallying from a 24-3 deficit but fall to the Chiefs 34-24 at Arrowhead Stadium. John L. Williams rushes for 102 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown. Rick Mirer becomes the first rookie QB to start all his team’s games since 1973 and sets then-rookie records for attempts (486), completions (274) and passing yards (2,833).

2000: The Seahawks wrap up the AFC West title, despite losing 19-9 in their 1999 regular-season finale to the Jets in the Meadowlands, because the Raiders also beat the Chiefs. The Seahawks finish 9-7 after starting 8-2, but it’s still their best record since 1990. Also, Cortez Kennedy is voted to his then-club record eighth Pro Bowl.

2002: Walter Jones and John Randle are named to the Pro Bowl.

2005: The Seahawks clinch the NFC West title for the first time in their 2004 regular-season finale as they stop a two-point PAT attempt on the final play of a 28-26 victory over the Falcons in Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck passes for two touchdowns and runs for a third, which gives the Seahawks a 28-20 lead with 4½ minutes to play. Matt Schaub throws a TD pass on the final play, but Warrick Dunn’s run for the tying PAT is stopped by Chad Brown and Rocky Bernard.

2011: The Seahawks capture the 2010 NFC West title with a 16-6 victory over the Rams in the regular-season finale in Seattle on Sunday night. Charlie Whitehurst starts for an injured Matt Hasselbeck and passes to Mike Williams for the Seahawks’ only touchdown, as Olindo Mare kicks three field goals. Raheem Brock leads the defensive effort with 2½ sacks.


Photoblog: Windy City Winning

The surging Seahawks landed in the Windy City to face the Chicago Bears at Solider Field for the third time in two seasons. Seemingly no longer affected by 10:00 am Pacific time kickoffs, the Seahawks scuffled through the first half before waking up to score 31 unanswered points on their way to a 38-14 victory.

Overnight snow in Chicago forced the Seahawks to audible their walk-thru plans, and instead of heading to a nearby outdoor field, the team walked through the hotel to the adjacent McCormick Convention Center.

Offense, defense and special teams all went through the motions during indoor walk-thru, held in a ballroom of the convention center adjacent to the team's hotel.

Lesson one for rookies: Don't mess with the head coach. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin learned the hard way after the team's walk-thru on Saturday. Having never seen snow before, Baldwin grabbed a snowball and looked for a target while Pete Carroll stood by, chatting. Unbeknownst to Baldwin, the crafty coach had a snowball behind his back and smashed it on his player's head before dashing into the safety of the hotel lobby, leaving Baldwin to laugh off a head full of cold wet snow.

On game day, strong safety Kam Chancellor makes his way down the narrow tunnel leading from the visitors locker room to the turf at Soldier Field.

Seattle's defensive backs huddled and got pumped up before taking the field for pregame warmups.

David Hawthorne, Golden Tate and Max Unger wait for the signal to lead the team onto the field during pregame introductions.

Earl Thomas celebrates after recovering a fumble by Chicago's Johnny Knox in the first half.

Chicago receiver Johnny Knox gives teammates and fans a "thumbs up" as he is taken off the field on a cart after being hit hard after fumbling in the first half. Knox had surgery on his back and is expected to make a good recovery.

Tight end Cameron Morrah stretches for the end zone but comes up just short after a 21-yard reception to set up Seattle's first touchdown.

Running back Marshawn Lynch wasn't given much room to run by the Bears stout run defense, but gained enough yardage to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark for the season.

Roy Lewis continued his strong contribution in the Seahawks nickel and dime packages, knocking a ball away from Chicago's Dane Sanzenbacher.

Earl Thomas comes out of the end zone after intercepting a pass that was tipped by teammate Kam Chancellor in the second quarter.

Marshawn Lynch reaches over the goal line for his second touchdown of the afternoon, giving him 11 touchdowns for the season.

Red Bryant high-steps untouched into the end zone leaving a trail of Bears in his wake on a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown. Bryant's play resulted in Seattle's second touchdown in the first two minutes of the second half.

Bryant starts his touchdown dance as teammate K.J. Wright leaps for joy. Wright tipped the pass that resulted in Bryant's interception.

Chris Clemons jumps on Bryant's back in celebration, but even that can't topple the 323-pound defensive end.

Raheem Brock chases down Chicago quarterback Caleb Hanie as the defense kept applying pressure on their way to a second half shutout.

Chris Clemons' smile is visible through his shaded facemask as he takes down Hanie for a nine-yard sack in the fourth quarter.

Justin Forsett took a swing pass from Tarvaris Jackson down to the three-yard line in the fourth quarter.

Michael Robinson celebrates with tight ends Anthony McCoy and Zach Miller after scoring a two-yard pass from Jackson, giving the Seahawks a 31-14 lead.

Flanked by teammates David Hawthorne (57), Kam Chancellor (31) and Chris Clemons (91), cornerback Brandon Browner heads for the end zone following his team high sixth interception of the season extending the Seahawks lead to 38-14.

Seahawks defenders Leroy Hill, left, and Clinton McDonald, right, sandwich Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown in the final minutes.

Cornerbacks Brandon Browner, left, and Richard Sherman celebrate after Sherman joined the interception club with the team's fourth pick of the game.

A jubilant Pete Carroll congratulates Sherman after the interception.

Red Bryant is all smiles in the Seahawks locker room as he is singled out during the postgame meeting for his interception and touchdown.

Everything was beautiful for the Seahawks in Chicago, including the sunset as they departed the Windy City for flight home to Seattle.


Friday in Hawkville

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 16:

FOCUS ON

Michael Robinson. How good a lead blocker has the Seahawks’ fullback been this season? The best in the league, as selected by USA Football.

Coach Pete Carroll announced at the team meeting this morning that Robinson had been named to the third annual All-Fundamentals Team – which honors 26 players who exhibit exemplary football techniques for youth football players to emulate.

“It was a surprise for Mike and the players to hear about his award,” Carroll said after practice, the team’s final full workout before Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago. “Mike is well-deserving. He’s a great football player and a great effort guy, a great team guy. He does everything right.

“So for them to recognize him is fitting, and the team rallied behind him and was exciting for him.”

In its release on the team, the organization said Robinson “is like another lineman in the backfield with his ability to run block,” and specified his “exceptional vision and pad level.”

The recognition is nice, but Robinson has other priorities.

“It’s cool, but it’s my job,” he said. “I just like to play football. It doesn’t mean anything if we’re not winning, so I’m just glad we won the last few games. Things like are nice as long as we can keep it going.”

As part of his selection, Robinson receives a $1,500 equipment grant from the organization to donate to a youth or high school football program and also a custom-made Riddell helmet trophy.

Also named to the team:

Offense – Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (throwing mechanics); Texans running back Arian Foster (following blocks/ball security); wide receivers Eric Decker of the Broncos and Donald Driver of the Packers (catching with hands); Steelers tight end Heath Miller (run blocking/catching); and a running-blocking line of Jets center Nick Mangold (also combo block), Giants guard David Diehl and Saints guard Carl Nicks (also drive block) and Panthers tackle Jordan Gross (also combo blocking) and Browns tackle Joe Thomas (pass blocking footwork).

Defense – Chiefs end Tamba Hali (pass rush); the defeating-a-block foursome of Bears end Julius Peppers, Ravens tackle Haloti Ngata (also arm over rush), 49ers tackle Justin Smith (also bull rush) and 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (also tackling); Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (tackling); 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (gaining ground downhill/tackling); Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes (pass coverage); Packers cornerback Charles Woodson (playing the ball); Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins (breaking up the pass); and Chargers safety Eric Weddle (footwork in coverage).

Special teams – Bears return man Devin Hester (kick catching/returning); Vikings snapper Cullen Loeffler (long snapping mechanics); Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee (kicking mechanics); Raiders punter Shane Lechler (punting mechanics).

And who selected this team? Jim Mora, the former Seahawks coach and now coach at UCLA; Charles Davis, analyst for NFL Network and Fox Sports; Herm Edwards, former Bengals coach and ESPN analyst; Merrill Hodge, former NFL running back and ESPN analyst; and Carl Peterson, former executive with the Chiefs.

LYNCH A WINNER, TOO

Marshawn Lynch has been voted the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week after rushing for 115 yards and a touchdown in Monday night’s victory over the Rams.

This is first such award for a Seahawks player this season.

INJURY REPORT

For the first in a long time, all players participated in today’s 85-minute practice. Left guard Robert Gallery and defensive end Raheem Brock were back after missing two days, while cornerback Richard Sherman and offensive lineman Jarriel King returned after sitting out Thursday. Carroll expects all to be ready for the Bears, with the possible exception of King.

Here’s the official end-of-the-week status report:

Questionable

OL Jarriel King (hamstring)

Probable

DE Raheem Brock (calf)

OG Robert Gallery (hip)

CB Richard Sherman (knee)

CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)

LB Leroy Hill (neck)

QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)

WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)

LB David Hawthorne (knee)

For the Bears:

Out

QB Jay Cutler (right thumb)

RB Matt Forte (knee)

WR Sam Hurd (not injury related)

Questionable

DT Henry Melton (shin)

Devin Hester (ankle)

Probable

CB Charles Tillman (knee)

OG Edwin Williams (calf)

S Major Wright (shoulder)

Cutler and Forte were not expected to play, and Hester also did not practice today.

STAT DU JOUR

With four interceptions in the past three games, cornerback Brandon Browner has a team-leading five in his first season with the Seahawks. His total ties him for the third most in the past 13 seasons. Here’s a look at the interception leaders in each of those seasons:

Year    Player, interceptions

2011   Brandon Browner, 5

2010   Earl Thomas, 5

2009   David Hawthorne and Deon Grant, 3

2008   Josh Wilson, 4

2007   Marcus Trufant, 7

2006   Ken Hamlin, 3

2005   Michael Boulware, 4

2004   Ken Lucas, 6

2003   Reggie Tongue, 4

2002   Reggie Tongue, 5

2001   Willie Williams, 4

2000   Jay Bellamy and Willie Williams, 4

1999   Shawn Springs and Willie Williams, 5

UP NEXT

The team flew to Chicago after today’s practice and will hold a walk-through there on Saturday. They will return Sunday night to a short week, as they host the 49ers on Christmas Eve at CenturyLink Field. Tickets are available for the Saturday home finale and can be purchased here.

YOU DON’T SAY

“We think he’s a great player that can control a football game, so we have to respect the heck out of him. That means it’s in the plans in all areas – run and pass, and third down and early down stuff. He’s just a real problem. You’ll see how we do. We don’t know. But we have a lot of regard for what he can do and how he can control a football game. So we have to do something about him constantly.” – Carroll on Bears defensive Julius Peppers


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Saturday in Hawkville

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 10:

FOCUS ON

David Hawthorne. It looks like the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 13 will play in Week 14.

After sitting out practice all week, Hawthorne, the Seahawks’ middle linebacker and leading tackler, participated in all phases of today’s 85-minute practice that was held in the indoor practice facility.

“We think he’s going to be all right. He looked OK today,” coach Pete Carroll said. “It was a good effort to rest him, to get him strong for the game.”

Hawthorne has been playing with a sprained knee and it was sorer after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, when Hawthorne’s status was a pregame decision but he still tied for the team lead with six tackles and returned a fourth-quarter interception 77 yards for a touchdown to ice the victory.

“He’s coming,” Carroll said. “He’ll be all right, I think.”

The players usually have a walk-through on Saturday, but today’s session was a lighter version of a typical Friday practice because the Seahawks play Monday night against the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field.

The extra time between this week’s game and the Thursday nighter against the Eagles 10 days ago helped Hawthorne with his recovery.

“I’m all right. I get better every day,” he said. “(Getting the time off) helped out a lot. With my situation, time is key. And the more time I can get off and just let my body heal is always a positive.”

During the week, the knee has been a factor in Hawthorne’s performance on the practice field. On game days, not so much.

“When I’m out there, I’m not even thinking about it,” he said. “I just go. It’s a situation where it’s not going to get any better until there’s complete rest. So I’m resigned to it and I’m willing to do that for boys. So if I can go, I’m going to go.”

IN ’N OUT

In addition to Hawthorne, defensive end Raheem Brock also practiced today after sitting out to rest a sore calf. So it also looks like he’ll be able to play against the Rams.

 The official end-of-the-week status report:

Questionable

DE Raheem Brock (calf)

MLB David Hawthorne (knee)

CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)

CB Byron Maxwell (illness)

Probable

QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)

Maxwell also participated fully today, while Cox was again limited. Cox will be a game-day decision, Carroll said. On Maxwell, he offered, “Maxwell’s got a chance to play in this game, finally.” Maxwell did not play last week because he had pneumonia.

For the Rams:

Out

QB A.J. Feeley (thumb)

KR Quinn Porter (abdomen)

Questionable

QB Sam Bradford (ankle)

DE Chris Long (ankle)

DT Fred Robbins (back)

FB Brit Miller (knee)

Probable

OT Mark LeVoir (chest)

DE Eugene Sims (ankle)

TE Lance Kendricks (not injury related)

Bradford practiced on a limited basis today, but it was an improvement after he sat out Thursday and Friday because of his high ankle sprain. Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is hopeful that Bradford will be able to play Monday night, but the final decision will be made after Bradford goes through pregame warm-ups. Long, who has 12 sacks, also was limited today after being sidelined this week.

STAT DU JOUR

Marshawn Lynch has scored a touchdown in his past eight games and can tie Shaun Alexander’s club-record streak of nine from 2005 with another score against the Rams. With Lynch, it’s “his” past eight games because he sat out the Week 7 loss to the Browns in Cleveland because of back spasms. But the run of scores counts nonetheless. Here’s how his streak stacks up against the one by Alexander during his league MVP season when scored a then-NFL record 28 TDs.

Marshawn Lynch

Opponent          TD

Falcons               11-yard run

Giants                 1-yard run

Bengals               2-yard run

Cowboys             4-yard run

Ravens                 1-yard run

Rams                    3-yard run

Redskins              20-yard pass

Eagles                  15-yard run, 40-yard run

Shaun Alexander

Opponent            TD

Cardinals             88-yard run, 14-yard run

Rams                    6-yard run, 4-yard run, 17-yard run

49ers                    8-yard run, 1-yard run

Giants                  4-yard run

Eagles                   2-yard run, 1-yard run

49ers                    3-yard run

Titans                   1-yard run

Colts                     2-yard run, 6-yard pass, 1-yard run

Packers                1-yard run

UP NEXT

Sunday, without a game for the second week in a row. Instead, the players will have their normal Saturday walk-through on Sunday morning.

YOU DON’T SAY

“To not count what happened before in terms of what to expect. I think it’s really important to take each game. We know them somewhat because of a couple weeks ago, but they know us. To think that it’s going to be the same and things are going to feel the same, we don’t want to do that. We want to treat this as a brand new opportunity and challenge, and approach it in that way and hopefully preparation will get us what we want.” – Carroll when asked the key to approaching Monday night’s game after the Seahawks’ 24-7 victory over the Rams in St. Louis three weeks ago


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Cyber surfing: Tuesday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 29:

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his “Silver Linings” from the Seahawks’ loss to the Redskins on Sunday, including this one: “Seattle’s offensive line generally played well, helping to limit the Redskins’ Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan to a half-sack between them.”

Sando also wonders if the Seahawks should take a look at No. 3 QB Josh Portis before the end of the season, something several on our game-day online chat also have asked about. Says Sando: “This season was about discovery at the quarterback position and building other positions before drafting a QB in 2012. The Seahawks have seen enough from backup Charlie Whitehurst, who likely will not be back next season. Tarvaris Jackson proved he’s tough and capable enough to serve as a bridge to the team’s next starter. Portis’ talents have intrigued the coaching staff. When else will the team have a chance to give Portis a look in real games?”

Speaking of Jackson, Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says Jackson’s sore shoulder could put the Seahawks in a bind with the short week to prepare for Thursday night’s game against the Eagles: “His passing yardage has declined in each of the past four games, and his health will be a central issue when the Seahawks play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday. That’s the day Jackson has just begun throwing in practice the past couple of weeks. Forget all the questions concerning Seattle’s quarterback of the future, because there’s a question of how long Jackson can stay in the pocket in the present.”

O’Neil also has “Three Things we Learned” from Sunday’s loss, including this one: “Three yards in a cloud of dust has its risks. The Seahawks have established a formula for winning, which includes a heaping helping of Marshawn Lynch and a gob of defense thick enough to choke out the opponent. Lynch surpassed 100 yards rushing for the third time in four games, but when the Seahawks gave up two touchdowns on third-down plays in the span of 3 minutes, 33 seconds in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were in a position where they had to throw and they simply couldn’t. Having an offense that is as repetitive and as run-based as Seattle’s has been leaves a team very vulnerable should it fall behind. To repeat: If Seattle is put in a position where it has to throw, it’s in trouble.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald also looks at Jackson’s situation: “At this point, no one can question Tarvaris Jackson toughness, his desire, or his dedication to the team. What Sunday’s loss to Washington showed we can question, however, is if the Seattle Seahawks quarterback should still be playing. That’s not to say Jackson is the primary reason why the Seahawks lost. His receivers let him down by repeatedly dropping passes, the defense gave up some unforgivable big plays, and penalties on both sides of the ball again played a big role. But what was evident watching Jackson play Sunday is the Seahawks quarterback is playing hurt, and that the pectoral injury is affecting his play.”

Also at the Herald, Scott Johnson continues his “The Game of My Life” series with a look at Keith Simpson: “Atop the desk of Keith Simpson’s office at his Houston-area home, a photograph greets him each morning. The black-and-white, unframed photo is a keepsake of a time when young football players were in the prime of their lives, when they felt indestructible. In the picture, four men celebrate arm in arm after their Seattle Seahawks recorded a dominating win and made history in the process. Two of the men, Pro Bowl safety Kenny Easley and defensive backs coach Ralph Hawkins, are beaming with pride. The others, cornerbacks Keith Simpson and Dave Brown, are too tired to even grin. Easley and Simpson hold a football under their arms, signifying the touchdowns they scored that afternoon. Brown, he has a pair of footballs, having made it to the end zone twice. And Hawkins grins like a proud father: These are my guys. Four men, having the time of their lives.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at the Seahawks’ penalty problem, and how it’s not a new problem for coach Pete Carroll: “According to statistics compiled by the Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen, during his time at USC (2004-09), Carroll-led teams were the fourth-most penalized team in the Pacific-10 Conference, averaging seven penalties per game for 61.44 yards. The Trojans led the Pac-10 in penalties in 2007 and 2008, with an average of eight a game. USC finished a combined 23-3 those two seasons largely because the Trojans had more talent than the rest of the Pac-10.”

Here at Seahawks.com, in our “Monday metatarsal musings” we take another look at Red Bryant’s block party on Sunday and exactly what’s going on: “It’s the scheme, of course, as special teams coach Brian Schneider and assistant Jeff Ulbrich have devised ways to allow Bryant to come free for those blocks. It’s also team work, as Raheem Brock, Anthony Hargrove and David Hawthorne have to do their assignments properly to allow Bryant to do his thing. ‘For that entire group, it’s become extremely important to them,’ Ulbrich said on Monday. ‘You look around the league and a lot of defenses take that snap off. But these guys have really approached it like it’s the most important defensive play.’ It’s also Bryant, too. A 6-foot-4, 330-pounder with long arms, he has the ability and agility to wedge his body through the slightest of gaps and a drive that borders on the demented. ‘Obviously Red is very talented,’ Ulbrich said. ‘He has great get-off and then he has great length. That makes a big difference.’ ”

We’ve also got a look at this condensed week in “Monday in Hawkville,” and a look back at Sunday’s game in Tony Ventrella’s video review.


Countdown to kickoff

ST. LOUIS – Greetings from the Edward Jones Dome, where the 3-6 Seahawks are preparing for today’s game against the 2-7 Rams – with kickoff and televised coverage (Fox, channel 13 in Seattle) set for 3:05 p.m. here, or 1:05 PT.

The last time these teams got together it was all about the P-word: Playoffs.

The Seahawks and Rams met in Seattle in last season’s finale to determine which team would win the NFC West and advance to the postseason. We all remember how that turned out, with a strong defensive effort and just enough from the Charlie Whitehurst-quarterbacked offense leading the Seahawks to a 16-6 victory – and setting up the stunning upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Saints the following week in one wild wild-card playoff game.

Today, it’s P-times-three: Pectoral, passing game and pass rush.

First, the pectorals. Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson has been playing with pain since straining that muscle in his right shoulder during the third quarter of the Week 5 upset victory over the Giants. Rams left tackle Rodger Safford won’t be playing today, or for the rest of the season, after tearing one of his while lifting weights on Friday. He was placed on injured reserve Saturday.

That leads us to the passing-game and pass-rush portions of today’s equation.

As for the passing, the Seahawks should be able to exploit the Rams’ injury-decimated secondary. The Rams’ five best cornerbacks are on IR, and Justin King is iffy with an ankle injury. If King can’t play – he’s listed as questionable – Josh Gordy and Rod Hood will be the starters, with Marquis Johnson as the nickel back.

The Seahawks will have leading receivers Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin, who got concussions in last week’s upset of the Ravens. But the real concern with just how much the Seahawks will be able to throw on the Rams is Jackson’s right shoulder. He’s settled into a routine of throwing twice a week – Thursday during practice and then on Sunday.

This week, Jackson addressed the possible ramifications of continuing to play.

“We’ve talked about it and they’ve told me it’s a possibility that it could get worse and I might have to get it repaired,” he said. “But right now we just take it one day at a time and just try to do as much as we can.”

As for the pass rush, with Saffold out, Mark LeVoir, who was signed Oct. 26, starts at left tackle because preferred backup Adam Goldberg is starting on the right side for an injured Jason Smith. The Rams’ line will include only two opening-day starters – guards Jacob Bell and Harvey Dahl – because center Jason Brown has been benched in favor of Tony Wragge.

The Seahawks have their own injury-induced – and well-documented – situation on the O-line, with Paul McQuistan and Breno Giacomini stepping in at right guard and right tackle to replace John Moffitt and James Carpenter, who suffered season-ending knee injuries in the past seven days.

But back to the pass rush, the Seahawks have 14 sacks, more than only two teams in the league. Today, they need to take advantage of the Rams’ patch job at the tackle spots to pressure Rams QB Sam Bradford, who’s playing on a sprained ankle.

“We want to get the pressure, we want to get the sacks, but if we can’t affect the quarterback into making bad decisions …” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said during the week.

We all know where that leads. So rather than blitz and leave themselves vulnerable to Bradford going to the open receiver in the vacated area, the Seahawks must be able to generate some pressure and sacks with a four-man rush. “Leo” end Chris Clemons has five sacks, and had two here last season. But no one else has more than one, including Raheem Brock, the end opposite Clemons in the nickel line.

Of course to get the Rams into passing situations, the defense will need to slow down Steven Jackson. The battering Ram of a back, and the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, has rushed for 100-plus yards in three consecutive games. But he has never done it against the Seahawks, and today he’ll be running into a defense that is allowing 3.6 yards per carry, third-best in the league.

Two other P-words also could be factors as the Seahawks try to win back-to-back games for the second time in two seasons under coach Pete Carroll: Post-snap patter and physicality.

As Bradford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this week, “Any time we get together with Seattle, it’s pretty chippy. I remember the two games last year; there was a lot of talk, a lot of extra (stuff) after the play. It’s definitely going to be a physical game.”

One where the Seahawks need to find a way to turn all these P-factors into a W.


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Wednesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 12:

FOCUS ON

Brandon Browner. The team’s extra-large cornerback wasn’t aware his 94-yard interception return for a touchdown to ice Sunday’s upset of the Giants had broken the franchise record until someone told him on Tuesday morning.

That was good enough, but discovering when that record had been set left Browner shaking his head. It was 1979, when linebacker Sammy Green returned an interception 91 yards for a score in an Oct. 7 game against the 49ers.

“I wasn’t even born then,” Browner finally said with a smile. “That’s great. That’s big.”

Browner, in fact, wasn’t born until 1984.

But in only his fifth game with the Seahawks, the player who spent the past four seasons in the CFL ran his way into the record book. And quickly. Just how fast is the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Browner?

“I’ve got game speed,” Browner said. “I’m not a 40 (yard dash) guy. I won’t show any 4.3s (second) or anything of that. But I can get out of there.”

Told that his speed on that return was surprising, Browner smiled again and offered, “A lot of people felt that way. A lot of people were like, ‘Geez, you’re fast.’ Hey, I’m a fast football player. I play the game fast.”

Browner also played the game very physical, and had an even greater impact on the Seahawks’ 36-25 victory on Sunday than that one long return.

“Brandon is really a factor,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He bothered those guys. They were pushing and shoving and jawing at him and all that, because he wouldn’t let them go. He wouldn’t get off them. That’s a factor you don’t see that often in corners. It’s just because he’s so much bigger than guys.”

And, obviously, he’s also capable of making big plays.

IN ’N OUT

Wide receiver Mike Williams and defensive end Raheem Brock returned to practice after sitting out on Tuesday.

But nine players remained sidelined for the team’s final practice in their bye week: quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, running back Marshawn Lynch, tight end Zach Miller, center Max Unger, left guard Robert Gallery, offensive lineman Lemuel Jeanpierre, linebacker Leroy Hill, cornerback Marcus Trufant and rush-end Jameson Konz.

Jackson was simulating a throwing motion during practice, a good sign after he strained the pectoral in his right shoulder against the Giants. Unger was off the crutches he was using Tuesday, but still had his right foot in a protective boot.

STAT DU JOUR

Doug Baldwin leads the Seahawks in receptions (20) and receiving yards (330), but the undrafted free agent also is the only rookie in the league who’s among the Top 10 in third-down receptions. Here’s a look at that group:

Player, team                             Rec.   Yards   Avg.  TD

Early Doucet, Cardinals            13     214     16.5     1

Darren Sproles, Saints              13     129       9.9     1

Mike Thomas, Jaguars              11     160     14.5     0

Jermichael Finley, Packers       10     183     18.3     1

Preston Parker, Buccaneers     10    169     16.9      1

Nate Washington, Titans          10    152     15.2      0

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks            9    132     14.7      0

Jimmy Graham, Saints                 9    130     14.4      1

Matt Forte, Bears                         9      90      10.0      0

Jahvid Best, Lions                         9      86         9.6     1

UP NEXT

The players are off for the rest of their bye week. They will return Monday, when there is an afternoon practice scheduled.

Wide receiver Deon Butler, tight end Cameron Morrah and cornerback Roy Lewis, who are on the physically unable to perform list, will be able to participate in that practice – their first since last season. The club has a three-week window to look at the trio before it must decide whether to add them to the 53-man roster or place them on the season-ending injured reserve list.

YOU DON’T SAY

“This last game, I screwed up a whole bunch of plays that people don’t actually really see because they don’t know the plays. It wasn’t one of my best games. It just gives me more motivation to go out there and be better next game.” – Baldwin on his eight-catch, 136-yard performance against the Giants that included catching what proved to be the game-winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter


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Seahawks at Giants

When: Sunday, 10 a.m. PDT, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

Records: Seahawks 1-3; Giants 3-1

TV: KCPQ/13, with Thom Brenneman, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver

Radio: 710 ESPN and 97.3 FM, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller

The rest of the West: 49ers (3-1) vs. Tampa Bay; Cardinals (1-3) at Minnesota; Rams (0-4), bye

Matchup microscope

Seahawks DEs Chris Clemons and Raheem Brock vs. Giants QB Eli Manning: This is actually the Seahawks’ entire defense vs. Manning, who is on a roll with a 105.6 passer rating and eight TD passes compared to two interceptions. In his past two games against the Seahawks, Manning has been even better – with a 130.5 rating while completing 40 of 57 passes for 557 yards with five TDs and no interceptions. The best way to disrupt the Giants’ 13th-ranked passing game is to disrupt Manning. That, of course, starts with Clemons and Brock being able to pressure the Giants’ QB off the edges. Neither had a sack last week, and that needs to change this week.

One to watch

Seahawks CB Brandon Browner vs. Giants WR Hakeem Nicks: In his first four NFL games, Browner has matched up against the 49ers’ Michael Crabtree, the Steelers’ Mike Wallace, the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald and the Falcons’ Julio Jones. As coach Pete Carroll put it last week, “Every week it’s monster players.” This week, it’s Nicks, who caught 10 passes for 162 yards in the Giants’ come-from-behind win at Arizona last week. Nicks leads the Giants with 24 receptions, and 14 of his catches have produced first downs. The Giants will move Nicks around, flanking or splitting him to either side and also lining him up in the slot. But when matched against Nick, Browner needs to win those matchups.

Fun to watch

The Seahawks run defense vs. Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw and maybe Brandon Jacobs: The 264-pound Jacobs has averaged 8.3 yards in his previous matchups against the Seahawks, including a 136-yard, two-TD performance the last time the teams met on this site – Oct. 5, 2008. But he’s listed as doubtful with a knee injury and this Seahawks’ run defense is not that Seahawks’ run defense. In fact, only three players remain from that unit that gave up 254 rushing yards to the Giants: DT Brandon Mebane, LB Leroy Hill and CB Marcus Trufant. This season, the Seahawks’ run defense ranks 14th in the league and has yet to yield a 100-yard rusher. Bradshaw is the Giants’ leading rusher. He’s not as big as Jacobs, but is just as tough to bring down.

One tough task

Seahawks LT Russell Okung vs. Giants DE Osi Umenyiora: Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson has not been sacked in the past six quarters, after being sacked 14 times in the first 2½ games. Umenyiora returned last week after sitting out the first three games with a knee injury, and he had two sacks and a forced fumble. The Seahawks’ passing game is visibly – and statistically – better when the line keeps Jackson “clean,” but Okung will have his hands full in trying to get that done on Sunday.

Worth noting

The Giants are 6-1 against the Seahawks in the Meadowlands, but this will be the first time the Seahawks have played at the new stadium that opened last season. … The Giants have outscored their opponents 36-14 in the fourth quarter, a plus-22 margin that ranks third in the league behind the Lions (plus-51) and Falcons (plus-22). … The Seahawks have been outscored 53-10 in the second quarter and 67-13 in the first half. … FS Earl Thomas leads the Seahawks with 26 tackles, while FS Antrel Rolle leads the Giants with 29. … Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul has 4½ sacks to rank fourth in the league; and the Giants have 12, which ties for the third-highest total in the league. … The Giants are plus-4 in turnover ratio, the Seahawks minus-4. … The Giants and Seahawks rank 1-3 in the NFC in scoring percentage in the red zone. The Giants are at .900 (10 possessions, eight TDs, one field goal); the Seahawks at .875 (eight possessions, five TDs, two field goals). … They also rank 1-2 in the conference in average gain allowed on first downs. The Seahawks are at 4.32 yards; the Giants 4.89.


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Cyber surfing: Sunday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 2:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks – and their fans – will find out who they are in today’s game against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLinkField. Offers O’Neil: “If you think these Seahawks have a shot to rebound from their 0-2 start, this is precisely the kind of game they just might be able to win. If you think this season is going to be a four-month swirlie in the league toilet, you’re also pretty certain Atlanta is going to spend Sunday afternoon dragging the Seahawks around CenturyLink Field.”

He’s also got his keys to the game for both teams. No. 1 for the Seahawks: “Pressure the Passer. The Falcons allowed 23 sacks all of last season, third-fewest in the NFL. They’ve given up 13 in three games, third-most. Seattle had three sacks against Arizona, and defensive Chris Clemons is heating up, with two sacks in the last two games. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been rattled by the pressure so the Seahawks must heat up Atlanta’s pocket.”

Speaking of Clemons, John Boyle of the Everett Herald looks at the player who led the Seahawks in sacks last season and is doing it again this season. Says Boyle: “After playing at less than full strength because of an ankle injury in the first two weeks, Clemons was back and as disruptive as ever last weekend, coming up with one sack while creating another and making several other big plays that helped lead Seattle to its first victory this season. After not making a huge impact in the first two games, Clemons was the most disruptive player on the field last weekend, and it’s hardly a coincidence that it was also the best performance of the season for the defense.”

Eric Williams at the New Tribunes says to expect more blitzing from the Seahawks, who turned up the heat in last week’s win over the Cardinals. Says Williams: “Turn up the heat. Bring pressure. That’s what the Seattle Seahawks have in store this afternoon at CenturyLink Field when they are on defense against the potent attack of the Atlanta Falcons. After two games of pretty standard looks, Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley used more exotic blitz schemes in Seattle’s 13-10 win over Arizona, which caused some confusion for quarterback Kevin Kolb.”

Also at the News Tribune, Dave Boling says the Seahawks’ roster turnover moved into high gear after last season’s Week 15 loss to the Falcons. Offers Boling: “Only five regular-season games have intervened since their last visit, but the Atlanta Falcons who visit CenturyLink Field will not recognize the Seattle Seahawks they face today. For Seahawks fans, that’s probably a good thing. It was Dec. 19, 2010 when the Falcons came in and dumped the struggling Seahawks 34-18 in a game that convincingly proved the need for a vast remodeling of the roster. Ten Seattle starters (average age 30.4) from that day are gone, and their replacements (average age 25.2) contribute to the youth movement that gives the Seahawks the youngest starting 22 in the NFL.”

Christian Caple at PI.com has five things to watch in today’s game. No. 1 on his list follows a theme: “Think the Seahawks are concerned about their offensive line? They are. But the Falcons have just as much reason to be worried about protecting their quarterback on Sunday. Atlanta hasn’t done much to keep Matt Ryan upright so far this season, allowing 13 sacks in three games. That’s alarming for a team that surrendered only 23 sacks all of last year. Add to that the fact that Seattle’s defensive front has been the strength of its team this season – the Seahawks sacked Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb three times and knocked him down several more – and this could be an area the Seahawks could exploit on Sunday.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has a look at the snap counts for each of the Seahawks’ receivers. At the top of the list is tight end Zach Miller. But the surprise is that rookie free agent Doug Baldwin is at No. 5. Says Sando: “Baldwin, whose 55-yard scoring reception in the opener helped Seattle rally against San Francisco, is taking snaps at the expense of (Golden) Tate. He’s becoming the third receiver, basically. Sidney’s Rice’s debut accounts for the drop in Ben Obomanu’s playing time. Baldwin appears ideally suited for the slot. Tate, less so.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we also examine the Seahawks’ pass rush and how it could make for a long afternoon for Ryan: “The Seahawks should have three things working in their favor in that matchup: The noise generated by the 12th MAN at CenturyLink Field, and the advantage it gives rush-ends Chris Clemons and Raheem Brock when the Seahawks go to their nickel and dime packages in passing situations. ‘It’s definitely an advantage,’ Brock said. ‘The atmosphere at the stadium is just unbelievable. When the offense can’t communicate and the offensive line has to get off on my first step or Clemons’ first step, it’s a great advantage for us.’ ”

We also preview the game in words and video.

John Czarnecki at FoxSports.com previews today’s games around the league. His take on the Seahawks-Falcons matchup, with an eye to last year’s game: “The Falcons used three turnovers to score 17 unanswered points in the second half to win here last December, 34-18. ‘I was looking at the summary that I write up after the games, I looked back at our notes after we played them and we talked about what a dogfight that it was, especially inside,’ (offensive coordinator Mike) Mularkey said. ‘They were pretty stout up front. The score was not indicative of how much of a battle it was to move the ball on them.’ ”


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