Cyber surfing: Sunday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 20:

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times examines the unique personality that is Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks’ leading rusher who is enjoying a run of personal success with the first back-to-back 100-yard rushing efforts of the career and rushing TDs in each of his past five games to tie for the fourth-longest stretch in franchise history: “The hit had to hurt. That was apparent to anyone who saw Marshawn Lynch go down last Sunday. ‘He got stuck by a linebacker pretty good,’ Seahawks tight end Zach Miller said. ‘And the first thing he does is he stands up and starts screaming in excitement.’ Welcome to the Marshawn Lynch Experience, where the volume’s always cranked up to 11, the script is being written on the fly, and the only thing certain is that whatever Lynch does will be as unexpected as it is entertaining. He is a free spirit and a fierce runner who has scored a touchdown in his last five starts entering Sunday’s game in St. Louis, and he comes with an alter ego. Meet Beast Mode, which isn’t a nickname so much as a state of mind for Lynch’s relentlessly aggressive style when running the ball or cracking a joke.”

O’Neil also has his keys to today’s game between the Seahawks and Rams, including this one involving Rams running back Steven Jackson: “Remember when Steven Jackson carried the ball only 11 times in Seattle’s Week 17 victory over St. Louis last year? Yeah, that won’t happen again Sunday. Not with Sam Bradford slowed by an injured ankle and the Rams rediscovering the fact that they do have one of the better backs in the league. Jackson has carried the ball 25 or more times in each of St. Louis’ last three games, and he has rushed for more than 125 yards in each of them. Seattle needs to be prepared for a heaping helping of Jackson.”

Dave Boling at the News Tribune looks at how the Seahawks will be trying to win back-to-back games under coach Pete Carroll just once in a season and a half: “It’s not just Carroll’s crew that has been deficient in sustaining success. The Seahawks have not won more than two games in a row since the 2007 season. Perhaps it’s a natural part of rebuilding a program, but the Seahawks need to learn how to sustain success. It’s not just a matter of pulling off the occasional big win but validating it by whipping somebody in their own weight class, so to speak, the next week.”

Also at the News Tribune, Eric Williams looks at the Rams’ disappointing start, and how they’re handling it. Says QB Sam Bradford: “I feel like we have gotten better, but it just didn’t pay off and it’s frustrating when it doesn’t happen like that. Our slow start has definitely been something that we’ve had to overcome, but I feel like we have gotten better. In the past three weeks, we’ve played better football and as the year winds down, hopefully we’ll just continue to get better.”

Remember when the Seahawks and Rams met in last season’s finale to determine the NFC West title? John Boyle at the Everett Herald does: “Both teams hope a victory today over a division rival can spark a second-half turnaround. However, unlike last season, neither team will be in a playoff battle in the season’s final weeks, not with San Francisco (8-1) running away with the division. Just beyond the season’s midway point, the NFC West is almost completely upside down from the way a lot of people were expecting it to be. This game, a rematch of last year’s Week 17 winner-take-all finale, is another reminder of what an odd year it’s been in the division.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com wonders if the Seahawks will be able to exploit the Rams’ injury-depleted secondary: “As much as the Seahawks have leaned on the ground game recently, the Rams’ injury situation at cornerback could, in theory, coax them into a more pass-happy approach. The Seahawks could also try running the ball from personnel groups featuring three-plus wideouts. That is one of the more interesting strategic possibilities in the NFC West this week.”

Christian Caple at PI.com has “Five Things to Watch” in today’s game, including the new-look right side of the Seahawks line because of the losses of James Carpenter and John Moffitt to season-ending knee injuries in the same week: “The injuries come at a particularly unfortunate time for a Seahawks offensive line that appeared to be turning the corner, a big part of the reason Lynch was able to rush for more than 100 yards in each of the last two games. So in steps Paul McQuistan at guard and Breno Giacomini at tackle. Both have seen playing time this season, with McQuistan filling in for Robert Gallery when he was out with a groin injury while Giacomini split time with Carpenter early on. The expectation doesn’t change even though the right side of Seattle’s line will be in surgery this week. ‘The good news is the training is kicking in, the system and all that,’ Cable said. ‘So it’s a negative thing in terms of having two young guys who were really starting to come into it and losing them, but at the same time those other guys are ready to go. We should move forward and continue to get better.’”

NFL.com has the word on Rams tackle Rodger Saffold being placed on IR on Saturday after tearing his pectoral lifting weights on Friday: “Mark LeVoir is expected to start for Saffold at left tackle on Sunday. The team announced that rookie offensive tackle Kevin Hughes was promoted from the practice squad to take Saffold’s place on the active roster.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we lean on Tom Cable to explain how the Seahawks can produce more six-point plays in the red zone, and here’s what the team’s assistant head coach/offense line coach had to say: “I just think we have to be a little more detailed down there. We’re getting some opportunities in the last few weeks down there, so we’ve got to capitalize on them. To me, that means a little sharper throw, a little sharper protection, a little sharper cut in the run game – whatever it is, just a little more detail. It’s a shorter field and everything happens so much quicker. I’m not sure we’ve caught up to that part of it yet, but we will soon.”

We also look at today’s game in our weekly “Matchup box” and Tony Ventrella’s shot-on-location video preview.

For a look at the rest of the league, there’s John Czarnecki’s Week 11 preview at FoxSports.com, including his observation on the Seahawks-Rams game: “A year after leading Seattle in receptions with 65, Mike Williams has virtually disappeared this season. He is eighth on the team with just 12 catches for 130 yards and a TD. Williams has missed two games this season with a concussion and a hamstring issue, but he’s not getting open and Jackson has quit looking his way.”


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