Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 9:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his weekly NFC West “Stock Watch,” and the Seahawks have two of the three “fallers” (Tarvaris Jackson and the linebackers), but also a “riser”: “Marshawn Lynch. Lynch rushed for 135 yards, his highest total since coming to Seattle, during an otherwise forgettable 23-13 defeat at Dallas. Establishing the ground game in the second half of the season probably stands as the Seahawks’ top priority. This was a good first step. Lynch ran hard and found wider running lanes. He has now scored a rushing touchdown in each of his past four games, a first for a Seahawks runner since Shaun Alexander in 2005.”
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times has the word on wide receiver Deon Butler being added to the 53-man roster: “The last pass Deon Butler caught was a touchdown. The next one he catches will be a minor miracle. Butler was moved to the active roster Tuesday, a simple transaction that is the next step in a remarkable recovery after Butler suffered a serious leg injury 11 months ago. Butler’s lower right leg was broken in two places last December in San Francisco. The injury, similar to the one suffered by running back Leon Washington, was serious enough that doctors questioned if Butler could resume his NFL career.”
Eric Williams of the News Tribune passes out midseason grades. While the Seahawks get a C overall, the secondary draws the highest grade, a B-plus: “With such a young group, the thought was Seattle might give up a bunch of big plays in the passing game. But so far young safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor have done a good job of being assignment-correct and keeping plays in front of them. And Pete Carroll’s experimentation with bigger corners has paid off, with CFL product Brandon Browner and Stanford rookie Richard Sherman both playing a very physical game at the line of scrimmage and attacking the ball in coverage. Seattle has given up just six touchdowns through the air, No. 6 in the league. Last year the Seahawks gave up 31 passing touchdowns.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald looks at the good and the bad from the first half of the season, including this “good” from the team’s best unit – the defense: “For the most part this unit has played very well. Even after getting gashed on the ground by the Cowboys, the Seahawks are holding opponents to just 3.4 yards per carry, which is tied for the second best total in the league. The young safety tandem of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor should have fans excited not just about their play now, but the potential for the future, and rookie cornerback Richard Sherman has looked very good since taking over following injuries to Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got one last – and behind-the-scenes – look at Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys in Ben Malcolmson’s “From the Sidelines” and Rod Mar’s photo blog. Says Malcolmson: “They’re getting better, but it’s not showing up so glaringly just yet. As much solid, long-term improvement as they’ve made this year, they’re not scoring the points or getting the wins that denote true growth and real success. Even though they’ve been in striking distance in the fourth quarter of five of their six losses, they’re still 2-6. But at some point, something’s going to click. Improved play will line up with clean play, and the victories will start rolling in.”
We also take a look at the Seahawks at midseason, along with handing out some honors – including Chris Clemons as the “best player” in the first eight games: “The team’s “Leo” end has five of the Seahawks’ 13 sacks and also leads in a very important unofficial category that speaks to his disruptiveness: Plays forced that lead to tackles by his teammates. As underrated as Clemons is as a pass-rusher – which is very – he’s even more underrated against the run. He weighs only 254 pounds, but uses his quickness and relentless to get the better of blockers who have him 70-80 pounds. As nose tackle Brandon Mebane puts it, “What else can you say about Clem? He’s the man.”
There’s also our daily look at events in “Tuesday in Hawkville,” including how a defense that is second in yards allowed per carry also can be ranked 13th against the run; our weekly look at the Seahawks’ opponent in “Up Next,” in this case the Ravens and All-World linebacker Ray Lewis; and a recap of Tuesday’s roster moves.
Albert Breer at NFL.com takes a yearbook-style look at the NFL’s first half, with yearbook photos of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers that make this worth checking out; while Jason Cole at YahooSports.com has his All-Midseason team, which includes the Ravens’ Lewis and six players the Seahawks already have faced.