Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

The defending Super Bowl champions. The Seahawks still were reveling today in their 36-18 victory over the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday. To a point.

The point being that at the end of this week is a matchup against the Saints in New Orleans. It’s a tough team to play, in a tough venue to play in – the Superdome.

“That’s a really good team now,” coach Pete Carroll said. “These guys are loaded.”

The strength of the Saints starts with Drew Brees, who Carroll called “the best quarterback you can imagine.” Brees is completing a league-best 69.8 percent of his passes (261 of 374) and has thrown 18 touchdown passes – only the Chargers’ Philip Rivers and Giants’ Eli Manning have more (19). But Brees also has thrown 12 interceptions, second-highest in the league behind Manning (13).

The Saints have allowed 151 points, fourth fewest in the league behind the Packers (143), Bears (146) and Jets (150).

 

But the Saints also have lost as many games this season (three) as they lost all of last season on their way to winning the Super Bowl. They trail the Falcons (7-2) by a game in the NFC South and are tied for the second-best record in the conference.

“We’re just going to have to be at our best, and play the way we’re capable of playing,” Carroll said. “That’s all I’m hoping for. If we do that, then we’ll have a chance to win the football game.

“But they’re going to make it hard. They’re an excellent group with a lot of guys that make things happen.”

 

INJURY UPDATES

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is expected to play Sunday, Carroll said, despite cracking a bone in his left wrist during the first half against the Cardinals.

The same can’t be said for defensive tackle Colin Cole (ankle) or wide receiver Golden Tate (ankle). They have missed the past two games.

“It’s on the outside for those guys to make it,” Carroll said. “Colin Cole is less likely than Golden. … We’re just going to have to wait and see.”

Rookie tackle Russell Okung has missed the past three games with a sprained left ankle, but he has been cleared to practice on Wednesday. Okung practiced last Wednesday, but then sat out on Thursday and Friday.

“He’s close, because he can run, but he has to favor his ankle still,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how far he can take it. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. He’s dying to get back. He shouldn’t miss reps this week in practice. But we need to see how he can perform and we need to make a good decision on that. We won’t know that until the end of the week.”   

STAT DU JOUR

Olindo Mare has kicked 10 field goals against the Cardinals this season, which ties for the second-highest total against one team in the same season in NFL history.

Billy Cundiff kicked 11 for the Cowboys against the Giants in 2003, while Jeff Wilkins and Jan Stenerud also had 10 – Wilkins for the 49ers against the Falcons in 1996 and Stenerud for the Chiefs against the Bills in 1969.

STATS ‘N STUFF

Leon Washington continues to lead the league in kickoff return average (31.0). He’s also averaging 23.8 yards on punt returns, but doesn’t have enough returns (five) to qualify as the league leader.

Cornerback Marcus Trufant leads the team with 50 tackles, while Matt McCoy has a team-high 11 coverage tackles on special teams.

Mike Williams has 19 third-down receptions, which ties for second most in the league.

UP NEXT

The players got a “Victory Monday” because of Sunday’s impressive effort against the Cardinals. They will have their regular “off” day on Tuesday, when the coaches will compile the game plan for the Saints.

The timing was good for middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who turned 28 today.

Cornerback Kelly Jennings will sign autographs at the Qwest Field Pro Shop from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday.

YOU DON’T SAY

“They’re coming off a bye and will be revved up and raring to go. We better be the same.” – Carroll, on the Saints


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