Happy New Year. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Jan. 1:
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at what’s at stake in today’s season finale between the Seahawks and Cardinals: “The outcome of this game won’t override the miserable start both teams had this season, and a loss won’t nullify the progress each showed the past two months. Sunday’s result is really a matter of punctuation — the winner gets to affix an exclamation point to the end of its season. And while being the hottest NFC team not to make the playoffs hardly counts as consolation, it beats the alternative ending. ‘Everybody would like to finish on a positive note,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune stays with that there-is-something-to-play-for-today theme: “With 19 players scheduled to become free agents, Seattle coach Pete Carroll will get one final look at his team before mulling over some tough offseason decisions, including whether to sign Lynch to a long-term deal and how to move forward at quarterback – although Carroll already has committed to Tarvaris Jackson starting at quarterback next season.”
Also at the News Tribune, Dave Boling looks at the changing face of the Seahawks: “As the Seattle Seahawks rallied in the season’s second half, it has been popular to suggest that this team has a new identity. If it indeed wears a new face, it carries a combative snarl, a few bruises and some blood – probably not its own. More important than the fact that tough teams are fun to watch is the reality that tough guys don’t take games off. They don’t quit work early. They can’t afford to. These days they call the behavior ‘swag,’ apparently because they’re too tough to waste another syllable to say ‘swagger.’ ”
John Boyle the Everett Herald checks in with Richard Sherman, the Seahawks’ always-dancing and always-talkative rookie cornerback: “Richard Sherman has spent the past few weeks telling anyone who will listen that fellow cornerback Brandon Browner deserves a trip to the Pro Bowl. And Browner, Seattle’s surprise signing out of the Canadian Football League, is indeed deserving of his teammate’s support. But when all is said and done, there’s a good chance that, years from now, Sherman will be the one with a few Pro Bowls on his resume.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com wonders, Can the Cardinals keep Marshawn Lynch out of Beast Mode in today’s game? Says Sando: “Lynch carried 19 times for 73 yards during a 13-10 victory over the Cardinals in Week 3. That 3.8-yard average benefited from a 23-yard run during a drive that otherwise went nowhere. The Cardinals prevented Lynch from controlling the game. Lynch has become much more productive in recent weeks. He leads the NFL in rushing since Week 9. The Cardinals prevented him from scoring in Week 3, but Lynch has scored at least once in every subsequent game he has played. The 11-game streak is a Seahawks franchise record. The Cardinals’ defense, like Lynch, has improved as the season has progressed.”
Sando also looks at yards-after-contact for the 13 1,000-yard rushers in the league, including Lynch.
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at while today’s game isn’t everything it could have been there’s still plenty for both teams to play for: “ ‘It’s not hard to get up for this game at all, because I think we’re a finishing team,” strong safety Kam Chancellor said. ‘That’s what we preach around here – at every position and in every (meeting) room. We want to finish, and finish at the highest level possible. So we’re going into this game as a team that wants to finish, and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish.’ ”
There’s also Tony Ventrella’s video preview.