Carroll: With Browner out, Thurmond steps in

Walter Thurmond

Walter Thurmond

Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s 2:00 p.m. practice and preparation for their Week 14 home matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.

With the four-game suspension announced for cornerback Brandon Browner for violating the League’s policy on performance enhancing substances, Carroll addressed the club’s situation at cornerback, starting with a reiteration of roster moves that the team announced earlier in the day.

In Browner’s place, Carroll said third-year cornerback Walter Thurmond will get the first chance to start. Thurmond was active for the first time this season in the Seahawks’ Week 13 road win over the Chicago Bears, working as the club’s nickel corner in place of the injured Marcus Trufant, who was inactive while rehabbing a hamstring injury.

On Trufant, Carroll said he will continue to rest his hamstring and they will find out more on his status at the end of the week. So with Thurmond sliding over to one of the starting cornerback spots and Trufant’s status uncertain for Week 14, Carroll said rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane will get the first crack as the club’s nickel corner. Lane has impressed this season, successfully downing punts and securing good field position in the “gunner” role on special teams.

Carroll said that second-year cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Ron Parker, who was recently signed to the active roster from the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad, and rookie cornerback DeShawn Shead, who was recently promoted from the club’s practice squad to the active roster, will be in competition for work as the team’s fourth cornerback.

Carroll discussed the move of offensive guard James Carpenter to the reserve/non-football illness list, emphasizing that the former first round draft pick will be fine in the long haul, but with lingering injuries to his knee and having suffered a concussion this year they decided to end his season. Carroll said that no surgery would be required on Carpenter’s knee.

Carroll said wide receiver Sidney Rice passed concussion evaluations and has been cleared to practice today, but will be limited.

“We’re counting on him playing,” Carroll said of Rice.

Linebacker Leroy Hill will also be limited today with an ankle injury. Carroll mentioned that second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith, who played well in place of Hill last Sunday in Chicago, has a chance to challenge Hill for the starting job.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” Carroll said of the competition between Hill and Smith.

Carroll said that defensive end Red Bryant will not practice today, insisting that he needs another day of rest for a plantar fasciitis (foot) injury.

Our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s player availability and practice session. And in case you missed it, stay tuned to Seahawks.com for Carroll’s full video press conference.


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Monday in Hawkville: Focusing on finishing strong

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 3:

Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson

FOCUS ON

The fourth quarter. Not of Sunday’s game against the Bears, which went pretty well for the Seahawks in their 23-17 overtime victory at Soldier Field. But the season, which the Seahawks are hoping will go at least as well.

After winning two of their three games in November and starting December with that upset victory, the Seahawks will play three of their final four games at CenturyLink Field, where they are 5-0. Adding intrigue to the already interesting situation is that all three games will be against the other teams from the NFC West who beat the Seahawks on the road earlier this season.

“This is a big deal, this is a really big deal, because it’s the finish,” coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly day-after Q&A session. “The finish is officially on now when you go into these last four weeks.”

The Seahawks enter this last quarter at 7-5, which matches as many wins as they had in each of Carroll’s first two seasons. They trail the 49ers (8-3-1) by 1½ games in the NFC West and hold the No. 2 wild-card spot in the conference playoff picture.

“We’re positioned to do something,” Carroll said. “Now we’ll see if we can get it done.”

First up, Sunday at CenturyLink Field, is a Cardinals team that beat the Seahawks 20-16 in their season opener in Arizona. The Cardinals started 4-0, but have lost eight in a row.

The Seahawks then travel to Toronto to play the Bills (5-7) on Dec. 16 before returning home to host the 49ers on Dec. 23 and the Rams (5-6-1) on Dec. 30.

“This is really what we’ve been preparing for all along, is to finish strong and to see if we can turn in a real great month of execution,” Carroll said. “So we’ll see how far we’ve come. The whole story is going to be told from this point.”

INJURY UPDATES

Left guard James Carpenter has “a little something there” in his surgically repaired left knee, as Carroll put it. Carpenter started but couldn’t finish Sunday’s game and his status for this week is in question. The team’s first-round draft choice last year has had X-rays and a MRI, but the knee continues to bother him.

“He actually felt something different in the game,” Carroll said of Carpenter’s knee, which he had tweaked in previous games. “He felt a little sharp pain during the game that didn’t go away.”

Carpenter missed the final seven games last season after tearing the ACL in his knee during practice.

John Moffitt, last year’s third-round draft choice, stepped in when Carpenter went out.

Also in question is veteran nickel back Marcus Trufant, who missed Sunday’s game after pulling a hamstring in practice last Thursday. Carroll said it will be a challenge to get Trufant back for this week’s game.

“I don’t know where he’ll be by the end of the week, but I know he’s still in rehab now,” Carroll said. “I don’t know what will happen with this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s hard for him to get on the practice field this week.”

Linebacker Leroy Hill also missed the Bears’ game because of a sprained ankle, but Carroll said Hill has a chance to play this week.

Wide receiver Sidney Rice is going through concussion tests after taking a blow to the helmet on this game-winning TD catch against the Bears. Carroll stopped short of saying Rice has a concussion, but the club is being cautious after he missed the last seven games last season after getting multiple concussions.

Golden Tate, Sidney Rice

STAT DU JOUR

What has four arms, four hands, 78 receptions and 14 touchdown catches? That’s too easy. It’s Rice and Golden Tate, the Seahawks’ starting wide receivers. While Rice is the team’s leading receiver, their numbers over the past four games are very similar. Here’s a look at their season totals, as well as those from the past four games:

Season

Player                   No.  Yards   Avg.  TD

Sidney Rice          43    623     14.5     7

Golden Tate        35     486     13.9     7

Past four games

Player                   No.   Yards   Avg.   TD

Sidney Rice          15      256     17.1     4

Golden Tate        15      231     15.4      4

This hasn’t happened by accident, as Carroll explained.

“What we did was we really focused in on those two guys,” he said. “We decided to push those guys to the front and see if we couldn’t accelerate the process of the chemistry and just the continuity and the sense and the style. Those guys are uniquely different.

“That was probably one of the best decisions that we’ve made. I think things have really turned out since then. They’ve done a tremendous job. They’ve had great plays, big plays and all kinds of stuff that’s been consistent. You can see the numbers. They’re about paralleling in all areas. They were ready and they’ve come through in a big way.”

UP NEXT

Carroll gave the players Monday off and they’ll have their usual “off” day on Tuesday, before returning on Wednesday to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.

Moffitt will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Drove his team 94 yards in nine plays for a second-quarter touchdown. Drove his team 97 yards in 12 plays for the go-ahead touchdown near the end of regulation. Drove his team 80 yards in 12 plays for the winning touchdown in overtime. On the road, at Soldier Field, against the Bears. When’s the last time an Urlacher team allowed drives as long as 94, 97 and 80 yards for touchdowns in a game? To a rookie quarterback?” – Peter King in selecting Russell Wilson as one of his offensive players of the week in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com


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Game at a glance: Seahawks 23, Bears 17 OT

Russell Wilson

CHICAGO – A recap of the Seahawks’ 23-17 overtime victory against the Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Russell Wilson. How to describe what the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback did against the Bears’ No. 3-ranked defense. Coach Pete Carroll used the work “exquisite,” and that definitely works.

Wilson completed 23 of 37 passes for 293 yards and also ran for 71 yards. But it wasn’t so much what he did as when he did it. Wilson directed a 12-play, 97-yard touchdown drive that was capped by his 14-yard TD pass to Golden Tate with 24 seconds left in regulation. He then led a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in overtime that ended with his 13-yard TD pass to Sidney Rice.

Wow, and double-wow. The passing yards were a season-best for Wilson, as were the rushing yards, and the 97-yard drive was the Seahawks’ longest of the year.

As good as Wilson had been in the past three games, he just seems to be getting better – and making his biggest plays at the most opportune times.

“Russell definitely doesn’t play like a rookie,” Rice said. “A lot of the wins that we’ve got are because of Russell. He’s able to get out of the pocket, scramble to make things happen. We’re glad to have him on the team.”

Added Tate, “Russell does everything perfect. I almost think he’s a perfect person, I really do.”

Wilson wasn’t exactly perfect on this day, but what he did on those last two touchdown drives was exactly what his team needed.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: The game-winning TD pass from Wilson to Rice, of course. It was a pass play the Seahawks setup with their effective use of the read-option running plays, as Rice duped cornerback Charles Tillman into thinking he was a blocker on the play.

“I came off the ball and made Tillman stop his feet, like I was going to block him,” Rice said. “As soon as he looked inside, I just beat him across the field, threw my hand up in front of me, Russ saw me, touchdown.”

But not without a little pain, and drama. Just as Rice was crossing the goal line, he took a shot to the head from safety Major Wright and lost the ball. The play was reviewed before the Seahawks had their game-winner.

Defense: The Bears were leading 7-0 and had driven from their 12-yard line to the Seahawks’ 15 early in the second quarter. On fourth-and-1, running back Michael Bush leaped over the middle of the line. But instead of getting the needed yard, he ran into middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and was stopped for no gain.

Special teams: Jon Ryan and Jeremy Lane were at it again. On the series following Wagner’s big fourth-down stop, the Seahawks were stopped. But Ryan lofted a 44-yard punt that Lane caught at the Bears’ 5-yard line.

INJURY REPORT

Left guard James Carpenter reinjured the surgically repaired knee that forced him to miss the final seven games of his rookie season in the first half and did not return. He was replaced by John Moffitt, who helped the Seahawks rush for 176 yards.

“Something happened in his knee,” Carroll said. “So we protected him.”

The Seahawks also played without veteran linebacker Leroy Hill and veteran nickel back Marcus Trufant. Both were among the players named inactive, Hill because of the ankle he sprained in last week’s game against the Dolphins and Trufant because a hamstring began bothering him at the end of Thursday’s practice.

Malcolm Smith started for Hill and had two tackles. Walter Thurmond stepped in for Trufant, in his first action of the season after being activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list last month.

WORTH NOTING

With 87 rushing yards, Marshawn Lynch had more yards against the Bears on Sunday than in his games at Soldier Field the past two seasons combined (85). He also scored his fourth touchdown in those three games, all Seahawk victories.

Rice (six for 99) and Tate (five for 96) just missed giving the Seahawks their first game with two 100-yard receivers since Rice (seven for 102) and Ben Obomanu (four for 107) did it against the Bengals last October.

Despite facing the Bears’ No. 3-ranked defense, the Seahawks compiled a season-high 459 yards. They also had 176 rushing yards, their fourth-highest total of the season; and 25 first downs, their second-highest total. Their three TD drives covered 94, 97 and 80 yards.

Wagner had a game-high 11 tackles, including the Seahawks’ only sack.

For the second consecutive game, Ryan’s average and net average on five punts were the same (39.6 yards). He also had three inside the 20-yard line.

With their seventh victory in their 12th game, the Seahawks have matched their win total from each of Carroll’s first two seasons.

The Bears’ Brandon Marshall had 10 catches for 165 yards, making him the fourth receiver to surpass 100 receiving yards against the Seahawks this season.

YOU DON’T SAY

“The last drive in regulation, the 97-yarder in 12 plays, was just exquisite execution by the quarterback.” – coach Pete Carroll


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Friday in Hawkville: Trufant doubtful with hamstring issue

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 30:

FOCUS ON

Marcus Trufant

Marcus Trufant’s sore hamstring. Add the Seahawks’ nickel back to the list of injury concerns as the team makes its final preparations for Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago.

“At the end of practice yesterday, Marcus felt (something in) his hamstring,” coach Pete Carroll said after today’s practice. “He’s got an issue there that we’re going to have to deal with. We put him down as doubtful. We’re real surprised that popped up. It’s going to be hard for him to get back from that.”

With Trufant out, Walter Thurmond worked as the nickel back and likely will play in his first game of the season against the Bears.

Defensive end Red Bryant (foot) and linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) sat out practice for the third consecutive day and Carroll said their status won’t be determined until Sunday.

“Red did not do much today,” Carroll said. “We’re going to take him all the way up to game time. He’s dying to play.”

On Hill, Carroll said, “Leroy ran and changed direction, did all that kind of stuff; had a legitimate workout today. We’ll check him out tomorrow and, again, take it all the way up to game day and see how that goes.”

GONE WITH THE WIND

The players practiced outside, in windy conditions and cool weather – exactly what they’re expecting on Sunday.

“We got a great day today,” Carroll said. “I would hope that this is pretty close to what we’re going to get. It was probably in the 50s and a good windy day here. We made good use of it.”

COMPARISON SHOPPING

During last week’s game against the Dolphins, the Fox TV crew compared Russell Wilson to Fran Tarkenton, the make-plays-on-the-move, nine-time Pro Bowl QB during two stints with the Vikings (1961-66, 1972-78) and one with the Giants (1967-71).

Before being asked about the comparison, the Seahawks rookie QB was asked if he even knew who Tarkenton was.

“Of course I do,” Wilson said. “I’ve watched old clips of Fran Tarkenton play, so that’s definitely a compliment. But at the same time, I’m just trying to be Russell Wilson and just play the game the way that I think it should be played by getting the ball out and just continue to strive for greatness.

“That’s the way I always look at it, and to be compared to Fran Tarkenton is definitely a compliment for sure.”

INJURY REPORT

The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:

Doubtful

CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)

Questionable

DE Red Bryant (foot)

LB Leroy Hill (ankle)

WR Sidney Rice (calf)

Probable

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)

Malcolm Smith and Jason Jones continued to replace Hill and Bryant with the No. 1 defense. Rice, the team’s leading receiver, sat out the end of practice after feeling a twinge in his calf.

For the Bears:

Out

WR/KR Devin Hester (concussion)

OG Chris Spencer (knee)

Doubtful

WR Alshon Jeffery (knee)

Probable

LB Lance Briggs (ankle)

RB Matt Forte (ankle)

TE Kellen Davis (ankle)

CB Charles Tillman (ankle)

DT Stephan Paea (shoulder)

OG Edwin Williams (shoulder)

STAT DU JOUR

Field position is crucial in every game, but Sunday it will start with the opening kickoff – and every kickoff that follows. That’s because the Seahawks and Bears are among the best in the league is averaging starting position receiving kickoffs, and also covering them. Here’s a look at where they rank in both categories:

Receiving team

Team                                Avg. start

Bears                                    25.9

Vikings                                 25.1

Ravens                                 24.9

Seahawks                            24.8

Dolphins                              24.2

Kicking team

Team                              Avg. start

Bears                                    19.8

Browns                                 19.8

Saints                                    20.1

Ravens                                  20.2

Seahawks                             20.4

Chargers                               20.4

UP NEXT

The team flew to Chicago after a midday practice on “No Repeat Friday,” and the weekly Saturday walkthrough will be held at a local high school.

Following Sunday’s game, the last quarter of the Seahawks’ season includes three home games against the other teams in the NFC West – the Cardinals (Dec. 9), 49ers (Dec. 23) and Rams (Dec. 30).

YOU DON’T SAY

“We’re fired up for this matchup. It’s hugely important, as these road games continue to be for us. We’re going to see if we can turn this thing and get something done on the road before we come on back home. So this is a big deal.” – Carroll


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Friday cyber surfing: Wilson proving to be a steady weapon; Hester out for Bears

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 30.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look at what has accounted for the club’s struggles in defending the run, “The first sign of trouble defending the run came on a Thursday night game in San Francisco in Week 7. Frank Gore rushed for 92 yards in the second half of Seattle’s loss, but that was chalked up to San Francisco’s scheme. The 49ers ran a trap play that Seattle didn’t adjust to. When Adrian Peterson gained 182 rushing yards against Seattle two weeks later, it was a testament to Peterson’s MVP-caliber season. But when Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas each averaged more than 6 yards per carry Sunday, it’s a sign of a fairly serious problem. ‘Last week wasn’t any new concepts,’ Bradley said. ‘It was just lack of trust. Some guys trying to do too much. We lost our gaps a couple of times, and then you saw some of our veteran guys try to do too much to compensate for them. Our defense is built on trust.” Now some of that trust needs to be rebuilt. ‘We’ve just got to find a way to get the job done,’ safety Earl Thomas said. ‘That’s all I can say really about that. We’ve got to win when our number is called. It’s really the little details. We just haven’t been able to get the job done.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his practice report from Thursday, noting Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant and linebacker Leroy Hill sat out for the second consecutive day. Williams also has the Bears’ injury report, who have ruled out return specialist Devin Hester for Sunday’s game with a concussion, along with former Seahawk offensive lineman Chris Spencer, who suffered a torn meniscus in the Bears matchup with the Minnesota Vikings a week ago.

Williams also recaps a media session with quarterback Russell Wilson, who celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday, “Wilson understands he’ll face a tough challenge on the road against an experienced, physical Chicago defense at Soldier Field. Wilson played at Soldier Field last season while at Wisconsin against Northern Illinois, so he’s familiar with the stadium. ‘I have so much respect for guys like (Brian) Urlacher, (Lance) Briggs, (Julius) Peppers and (Charles) Tillman – all of those guys that I’ve watched over the years,’ Wilson said. “So it’s going to be pretty awesome for me to play against them. But it’s no different. I won’t be star struck, that’s for sure. I think that you have to play smart. You have to know that they’re very, very intelligent in terms of knowing how to play the game, in terms of their coverages and everything. They do a great job of being in the right spots at the right times. So you have to trust what you see, and just play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.’ ”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald labels Wilson as the Seahawks most consistent weapon of late, “Wilson…has been very good since talk of his job security eight weeks ago. He has been exceptional the past three games, becoming the first rookie in NFL history to register a passer rating of 125 or better in three straight games. Since Seattle’s Week 5 win in Carolina, Wilson has 13 touchdown passes and just four interceptions, good for a passer rating of 105.3. Only Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and fellow rookie Robert Griffin III have had better ratings in that span. That’s pretty heady company, particularly for somebody who a lot of Seahawks fans wanted to see sitting on the bench not too long ago.”

Michael Rushton of The Sports Network previews Sunday’s matchup with the Chicago Bears, “Though the Seahawks have won their last two regular-season trips to Chicago, they have twice been bested at Solider Field in the divisional playoffs, including a meeting in the 2010 playoffs. That seems to indicate that Seattle struggles when Chicago’s fans are bringing the noise. A victory this weekend by Seattle would show it is a playoff-caliber team and would keep the club in the hunt for the division title, but that is easier said than done given recent road issues. ‘You don’t know how this is going to go, but we do know we need to take care of business. We don’t have many chances left, we have five games to get it done, and we can’t just lock in that we’re going to win all our home games either. It ain’t going to be that easy. But right now, it’s Chicago,’ said Carroll. The Bears are one of only two teams this season that give up fewer points per game than the Seahawks and home cooking should work in their favor this Sunday. Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bears 20, Seahawks 13”

Bill Swartz of 710Sports.com has his report from Thursday’s practice, recapping a conversation with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, “The Chicago Bears use running back Matt Forte on toss sweeps and screen plays very effectively, according to Bradley. They also have a larger back, Michael Bush, for the power plays. Seattle’s secondary will have its work cut out covering the Bears’ primary receiver, Brandon Marshall. Bradley said the fact Seattle has faced Calvin Johnson of the Lions and Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald should help them against Marshall. The Bears’ patched-up offensive line is not asked to pass protect very long. Bradley says they run more quick plays which makes it difficult for the defense to get pressure on Jay Cutler, who can also extend plays with unusual side-arm and underhand shovel throws.”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press visits the Seahawks’ road woes, “The road problems aren’t new. Seattle’s struggles outside the Northwest are a long-standing issue that is a mix of having to travel more than any other team in the NFL and often playing what feels like a morning start when going to the Eastern or Central time zones. And those issues become more glaring because of how good the Seahawks are at home. Since Seattle opened its new stadium before the start of the 2002 season, the Seahawks are 56-29 at home, including an 8-0 mark in 2005 on their way to the Super Bowl and a 7-1 home record in 2007. On the flip side, Seattle is just 31-55 on the road during the same time span and 12-34 since 2007. In the Eastern time zone alone, Seattle is 7-20 over the last 10 years. ‘We just have to learn how to get over that hump, know that we’re a good team and finish games no matter whether home or on the road. We have to figure out how to win those games and until then we’ll just be middle of the pack,’ [Leroy] Hill said.”

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com has an interesting read on “underdog” quarterbacks winning the locker room, and ultimately, the starting job, “In March, the Seattle Seahawks signed former Green Bay Packers backup Matt Flynn to a three-year, $19.5 million contract and penciled him in as the quarterback of the near future. They selected Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson in the third round a month later, with the idea that Wilson would learn Seattle’s offense over time. But a funny thing happened on the way to the regular season. Flynn didn’t play badly in minicamps and practices, but it was clear from Day 1 that Wilson had attributes Flynn didn’t possess. The rookie outstripped the veteran in mobility, velocity, accuracy, and the most important thing a quarterback must possess — the faith of his teammates. From the summer on, Seahawks players were telling me about Wilson’s intangibles. ‘When Russell’s in there, we just feel like something good’s going to happen,’ one player said.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a look at the Seahawks’ offensive production against NFC North opponents.

Sando also breaks down the progression of Wilson this season, whose QBR (82.4) trails only Tom Brady (85.1) since Week 5.

Doug Kretz of ESPN.com previews several key elements to watch for in Sunday’s game against the Bears. You must have an ESPN Insider subscription in order to view the entire article, but here is an interesting snippet: “Key positional battle — Seahawks’ O-line vs. Bears’ D-line: In a lot of ways, these two lines are similar in their approach to the game. Both are extremely physical and like to set the pace for their respective units. Seattle loves to dominate up front with a powerful line that opens up holes for Lynch. Chicago relies on a powerful interior and athletic ends to limit run lanes and collapse the pocket. Case for the underdog: The Seahawks need a big game from Lynch and their running game if they hope to come out ahead on the road. They have not been a great team away from the friendly confines of their home stadium and a strong ground game is the best recipe to correct the issue. Few teams can strike as quickly as Chicago with its Cutler-to-Brandon Marshall connection, and Seattle needs to do everything possible to keep these guys off the field.”

NFL Films previews Sunday’s matchup with the Bears in this short video.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps “Thursday in Hawkville” with a focus on offensive lineman Frank Omiyale, the former Chicago Bear who signed with Seattle this past offseason, “The veteran offensive lineman played the past three seasons with the Bears, starting 31 games at left guard, left tackle and right tackle. With the injury problems the Bears are having on their line, there’s a pretty good chance he’d be starting this week against the Seahawks. Except that Omiyale signed with the Seahawks in free agency in March. ‘It’s not a big deal, but I’m excited to see some of the guys,’ he said today of returning to Soldier Field as a member of the visiting team. ‘Other than that, we’re trying to win a game. So that’s what this week is all about.’ ”

Farnsworth also highlights quarterback Russell Wilson as he prepares to face the Bears, and rehashes the rookie’s numbers over the past three games, “Wilson’s three-game totals are worth a second look: 70 percent completions (49 of 70) for 585 yards, with seven touchdown passes and no interceptions for a 128.6 rating. This November to remember got Wilson nominated for NFC Rookie of the Month. Even though the honor went to Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III, it doesn’t diminish what Wilson accomplished. ‘The surprise, I guess, is it’s so hard for a rookie to demonstrate that kind of consistency,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We’ve seen him grow. We’ve seen him emerge. Now we’re able to watch him show a consistency of performance where each game looks like an extension of the next one. That’s really powerful. I think that’s the surprise – he’s done something that nobody’s ever done before in those three (games). We wouldn’t have anticipated that.”

Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” emphasizing ball security this week against a Bears defense that has forced the most turnovers (33) in the NFL.

We have Wilson’s full video press conference from Thursday available here, and coach Bradley’s full video press conference available here.

Finally, our team photographer Rod Mar has a look at the week of practice in photos here.


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Thursday in Hawkville: Omiyale happy that he decided to sign with Seahawks

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 29:

FOCUS ON

Frank Omiyale

Frank Omiyale. The veteran offensive lineman played the past three seasons with the Bears, starting 31 games at left guard, left tackle and right tackle. With the injury problems the Bears are having on their line, there’s a pretty good chance he’d be starting this week against the Seahawks.

Except that Omiyale signed with the Seahawks in free agency in March.

“It’s not a big deal, but I’m excited to see some of the guys,” he said today of returning to Soldier Field as a member of the visiting team. “Other than that, we’re trying to win a game. So that’s what this week is all about.”

The Bears already have won eight games and lead the NFC North. But the line that will start against the Seahawks on Sunday vaguely resembles the unit that helped the Bears win seven of their first eight games.

Gabe Carimi, who had been benched for his play at right tackle, will start at right guard because Lance Louis was lost for the remainder of the season with a knee injury in last week’s game against the Vikings. Former Seahawks first-round draft choice Chris Spencer started at left guard against the Vikings for Chilo Rachal, but today Spencer was ruled out for Sunday because of a knee injury he got against the Vikings. So the line which lines up against the Seahawks could include – from left tackle to right – J’Marcus Webb, Edwin Williams, Roberto Garza, Carimi and Jonathan Scott.

“I ain’t got nothing to do with that,” Omiyale said with a laugh.

In the Seahawks’ 6-5 start, Omiyale has started one game at left tackle and played briefly at left and right tackle in two other games. But most of his action has come on special teams, and he had a key block on Leon Washington’s 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that gave the Seahawks a fourth-quarter lead in last week’s loss to the Dolphins.

“It’s been good for me to come here,” he said. “I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here. It’s a great bunch of guys; hard workers. Great coaches. So, yeah, it’s been a good situation.”

OPPONENT WATCH

Jeremy Bates

Jeremy Bates. In 2010, he was the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator. This season, he is the Bears’ quarterbacks coach. In 2011, he was at his home in Colorado, watching and waiting.

“I just took a step back and watched the game from a fan’s point of view a little bit,” Bates told the Chicago Tribune this week. “There is so much knowledge to be gained. I don’t want to do that again. It was a frustrating year. But things happen and you just have to find the positives.”

That’s also what the Bears consider adding Bates to their staff was.

“He’s had a great impact,” coach Lovie Smith said of Bates, who had worked with QB Jay Cutler when both were with the Broncos. “Jay Cutler has played good football for us and, of course, Jeremy is tutoring him. He’s been a good addition.”

Brandon Marshall, the Bears’ leading receiver in his first season with the team, also was with Bates and Cutler in Denver.

“Jeremy is probably one of the most talented football heads on the offensive side of the ball in the NFL and I’m just so thrilled to be back with him,” Marshall said. “Not only is it good as a receiver to play with a quarterback that understands how you approach the game, but when you have a coach that also sees the game the same way as you and also understands how to coach you, how to challenge you, how to get you going when you’re not, it makes you that much better.

“He’s one of those coaches that is a friend. Not only a coach, but a friend at the end of the day that I would definitely say is the reason I am successful.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

LB Leroy Hill (ankle)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)

Bryant and Hill were sidelined for the second consecutive day, so Jason Jones and Malcolm Smith replaced them with the No. 1 defense. But Lynch and Scruggs took part in all phases of practice after being limited on Wednesday.

For the Bears:

Out

WR/KR Devin Hester (concussion)

OG Chris Spencer (knee)

Did not practice

WR Alshon Jeffery (knee)

LB Brian Urlacher (coach decision; not injury related)

Limited participation

LB Lance Briggs (ankle)

RB Matt Forte (ankle)

TE Kellen Davis (ankle)

CB Charles Tillman (ankle)

Full participation

DT Stephan Paea (shoulder)

OG Edwin Williams (shoulder)

Hester and Spencer were ruled out for Sunday’s game today, each with injuries they got in against the Vikings last week.

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks just missed putting together a November to really remember with Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins. A victory would have pushed their November record to 3-0, and marked only the fourth time in franchise history that they went unbeaten in the 11th month. Here’s a look at those previous Novembers to remember, and the close misses:

Year       Nov. record

1982           2-0

1984           4-0

2005           4-0

1978           3-1

1979           3-1

1995           3-1

2011           3-1

1997           2-1

2012           2-1

UP NEXT

“Turnover Thursday” gives way to “No Repeat Friday” as the players will hold their final full practice before the team flies to Chicago for Sunday’s game.

YOU DON’T SAY

“If you just look at the turnover ratio and how important it is each game, you can see why we put so much of an emphasis on it. That’s just who we are. That’s the core. That’s our DNA. In the sense that you’re talking about defensive football, I just feel like it’s not a good defensive game unless we can take the ball away. We do practice it. We preach it. And guys are seeing the results of what it can do.” – Bears coach Lovie Smith on his team being plus-13 in turnover differential because they have a league-high 33 takeaways


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Wednesday in Hawkville: Sore-footed Bryant says he’ll ‘find a way to be out there’

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov 28:

FOCUS ON

Red Bryant

Red Bryant. As his teammates prepared for their next step by practicing in the rain today, the team’s run-stuffing defensive end watched with a boot on his sore right foot.

Bryant has plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot that has forced him to sit out a day of practice for the past month.

“His foot is really bothering him,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s had it for a long time, but it’s kind of flared up here in the last couple of weeks. It’s affected him some – enough that we’ve got to slow him down in practice.”

With Bryant watching, Jason Jones worked in his place with the No. 1 line.

Asked if he expected Bryant to play in Sunday’s game against the NFC North-leading Bears in Chicago, Carroll said, “I don’t know that yet. We’ve got to wait and see.”

The Seahawks need him because the Bears rank 10th in the league is rushing offense, averaging 121.9 yards a game. And the running game, led by Matt Forte, sets up the Bears’ play-action passing game. Also, in the Seahawks’ 38-14 victory in Chicago last season Bryant returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown and helped limit the Bears to 221 offensive yards.

“You know me,” Bryant said. “I’m going to find a way to be out there.”

OKUNG MAN OF THE YEAR

Russell Okung

Left tackle Russell Okung has been voted the Seahawks’ Man of the Year.

The honor goes annually to the player who represents stellar performance both on the field and in the community, and the list of past winners includes Jim Zorn, Dave Brown, Steve Largent, Jacob Green, Eugene Robinson (four times), Jon Kitna (twice), Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Marcus Trufant. Each player has a photo hanging in one of the hallways at VMAC.

“Truly an honor to be among these men and voted on as the 2012 Seahawks Man of the Year,” Okung said via Twitter. “Thank you to all that voted.”

A RARE HONOR FOR WASHINGTON

Players from losing teams usually don’t get selected for one of the weekly NFL honors, but Leon Washington is the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday.

Washington’s scoring return was the eighth of his career, which tied the NFL record.

How did Washington find out about the honor? “I just found that out. My wife tweeted me that,” he said.

“You want to win the game, but that just shows how much hard work we put into this thing. Early in the season, it wasn’t looking pretty. But the guys just stuck with it and after that bye week we self-scouted what we need to do. So we got back to what we do and it worked out big for us.”

Washington also won the weekly honor after he returned two kickoffs for scores in a 2010 game against the Chargers. The only other return specialist in franchise history to be honored twice was Charlie Rogers (1999 and 2001).

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

LB Leroy Hill (ankle)

Limited in practice

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)

Hill sat out to rest the ankle he sprained in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins, but Carroll expects him to be able to play against the Bears. Malcolm Smith subbed for Hill with the No. 1 defense.

James Carpenter and John Moffitt each got reps at left guard with the No. 1 offensive line, and Carroll said he has yet to decide which player will start against the Bears.

For the Bears:

Did not practice

LB Lance Briggs (ankle)

TE Kellen Davis (ankle)

WR Devin Hester (concussion)

WR Alshon Jeffery (knee)

OG Chris Spencer (knee)

CB Charles Tillman (ankle)

Limited in practice

RB Matt Forte (ankle)

Full participation

DT Stephan Paea (shoulder)

OG Edwin Williams (shoulder)

STAT DU JOUR

In the past five games, a Seahawks defense that had been allowing an average of 70 rushing has yielded 775, or an average of 155. Of those 775 rushing yards, 607 have come against the 49ers (175), Vikings (243) and Dolphins (189). And 265 of those yards have come on nine runs – including a 74-yarder by the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson – for an average of 29.4 yards.

“The running game (defense) has not been as effective consistently,” Carroll said. “We’ve found our way into making fit errors on runs that there’s been a lot of big runs. The runs, one after another, we’re OK. But we’ve allowed explosive plays. … That’s enough to give them the yards that make it look like a big day.”

With that said, here’s a look at those “explosive” runs against the Seahawks:

Team                      Runs

Dolphins                22, 21 (Reggie Bush); 20 (Daniel Thomas); 19 (Ryan Tannehill)

Vikings                   74, 28, 24 (Adrian Peterson)

49ers                      37, 20 (Frank Gore)

UP NEXT

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to practice for Sunday’s game against the Bears.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I think that we’re very determined, and very disappointed in that outcome last week because we had a chance on both sides of the ball to win that football game. We’re disappointed that that didn’t get done. It was such a big opportunity for us. But we’ve spent time already – Monday and today – to get ready for today’s practice. I felt at the walkthrough that everybody was in it and we’re gone. We’re into the next plan. I think that’s what has to happen. So I feel we’ve responded well.” – Carroll when asked about the mood of the team after Sunday’s loss


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Monday in Hawkville: Wilson’s ascent leads to rookie firsts

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 26:

FOCUS ON

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback has been on a “continued ascent,” as coach Pete Carroll said today during his day-after Q&A session with the media.

That’s one way to put it, because what Wilson has done in the past three games is historic stuff.

In Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Dolphins in Miami, Wilson became the first rookie in the 93-year history of the NFL to complete 16 consecutive passes – which also is one shy of the Seahawks’ franchise record that was set by Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon in 1998.

The historic feat that Wilson turned with his arm also led to another first-for-a-rookie achievement, which the league announced today. With his 125.9 passer rating against the Dolphins, he also has a three-game streak where his rating has been at least 125. Wilson had a 131.0 rating in the pre-bye week win over the Jets and was at 127.3 the week before against the Vikings – both victories in games played at CenturyLink Field.

Put those three games together and Wilson’s numbers inch closer to top-of-the-chart status, not for a rookie QB but any QB: 128.6 rating, 70 percent completions (49 of 70), 585 yards, seven touchdown passes, no interceptions.

The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers leads the league in passer rating (105.6), while the 49ers’ Alex Smith leads in completion percentage (.700).

As pleased as Carroll is with the progress of his first-year passer, he is not startled by Wilson’s development.

“Russell has really, really continued to improve,” Carroll said. “It’s not really a surprise when you look at how he goes about it, and who he is, and how talented a football player he is.

“I thought his talent really showed in (Sunday’s) game. I thought he was really adept at finding space to make his plays, and dumping the ball off really effectively, as well.”

Here’s a closer look at Wilson’s “sweet 16” against the Dolphins:

It started on the Seahawks’ first possession of the second quarter, after he threw incomplete to Golden Tate. Then it was Wilson to Sidney Rice for 26 yards on third-and-12; Wilson to Rice for 11 yards; and Wilson to tight end Zach Miller for 4 yards on third-and-3. That’s three in a row.

On their next possession in the quarter, it was Wilson to rookie running back Robert Turbin for 20 yards on third-and-3; Wilson to running back Marshawn Lynch for 7 yards on third-and-1; Wilson to Tate for 32 yards; and Wilson to tight end Anthony McCoy for 3 yards and a touchdown. That’s seven in a row.

On the Seahawks’ first possession in the third quarter, Wilson was 7 of 7 during the 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended with his 4-yard TD pass to fullback Michael Robinson: Wilson to Rice for 12 yards; Wilson to Miller for 4 yards; Wilson to rookie wide receiver Jermaine Kearse for 8 yards on third-and-3; Wilson to Doug Baldwin for 14 yards; Wilson to Turbin for 18 yards; Wilson to tight end Evan Moore for 6 yards on third-and-1; Wilson to Robinson for the score. That’s 14 in a row.

Wilson then hit his first two passes of the fourth quarter – a 14-yarder to Tate and an 8-yarder to Miller – for No. 15 and No. 16.

His 16 completions went to 10 different receivers, with Rice (three), Miller (three), Tate (two) and Turbin (two) catching more than one.

“I think he’s got more room to improve,” Carroll said. “And I think he is a prime example of why a guy improves, because of the way he applies himself. He does it to the absolute nth degree. We’re seeing it right before our eyes. Pretty cool.”

THE POINT OF NO RETURNS

Jon Ryan

Heath Farwell and his mates on the kickoff and punt coverage units went without a tackle against the Dolphins because the Seahawks did not allow a return. Six of Jon Ryan’s seven punts were inside the 20-yard line, as four were fair caught, two went out of bounds and the other was downed; while each of Steven Hauschka’s four kickoffs were touchbacks.

“That’s one of the first games I’ve been in where they had zero return yards, and we didn’t have any tackles,” special teams coordinator Brian Schneider said. “Our guys love to fight for tackles. That’s a big deal to them in the locker room, like who’s going to get them. And there just weren’t any, because Jon did such a great job punting and Steven was crushing the ball.”

As a result, the Dolphins had 11 possessions and the last 10 started at (four) or inside (six) the 20-yard line.

“We’ll take that anytime,” Schneider said.

INJURY REPORT

Linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) and left guard James Carpenter (knee) left Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, but each was able to return. Carroll said today that he’ll know more on Wednesday about their availability to practice.

STAT DU JOUR

Leon Washington returned his eighth kickoff for a touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday, tying the NFL record that was set by the Browns’ Josh Cribbs. Here’s a look at Washington’s scoring returns – the first four with the Seahawks, the other four with the Jets:

Opponent (year)             Yards      Outcome

Dolphins (2012)                 98          L, 24-21

49ers (2010)                       92          L, 40-21

Chargers (2010)         101, 99         W, 27-20

Patriots (2008)                   92          W, 34-31

Dolphins (2007)                 98          W, 31-28

Giants (2007)                     98           L, 35-24

Redskins (2007)                 86           L, 23-20 OT

UP NEXT

The players have their “off” day on Tuesday and will return on “Competition Wednesday” to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago.

Strong safety Kam Chancellor will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.

YOU DON’T SAY

“This is running into the quarterback, not roughing the quarterback … (Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas) was trying to avoid it. He didn’t even hit him (Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill) hard, barely touched him.” – Tony Dungy, the former Colts and Buccaneers coach and now NBC analyst, on the fourth-quarter penalty that negated an end-zone interception by rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner


Monday cyber surfing: Reaction to Sunday’s loss at Miami

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 26.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his game story from Sunday’s 24-21 road loss to the Miami Dolphins, “Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 16 consecutive passes during the game, a record for NFL rookies. He threw for two touchdowns, he was not intercepted and running back Leon Washington returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The fact that Seattle still lost gives you an idea of just how sloppy it was the rest of the game. The Seahawks had as many penalties in the first half as points, logging seven of each, and they weren’t that far behind in punts with five. Seattle’s offense failed to gain a first down during the opening period. Then, after Seattle’s offense found its footing, the defense was savaged by a Miami offense that hadn’t exactly been competent. The Dolphins’ offense had 10 total points in its previous two games. They scored 17 in the final nine minutes. Miami hadn’t rushed for more than 100 yards as a team in any game since Week 3, but gained 189 yards on the ground Sunday. ‘Just undisciplined,’ safety Kam Chancellor said. ‘It all came down to discipline.’ ”

O’Neil highlights the impressive play of Wilson in the road loss, “Wilson might have been the Seahawks’ biggest strength against the Dolphins on Sunday. ‘He did everything he could to keep us in this thing,’ coach Pete Carroll said. Wilson passed for two touchdowns, scrambled his way out of multiple sacks and rushed for 38 yards, including a 20-yard run in the third quarter that was his longest gain on the ground this season.”

O’Neil names Wilson, Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, and Seahawks return-man Leon Washington his players of the game in his 2-minute drill, “Seattle’s Leon Washington returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, the eighth time he has scored on a kickoff return in his career, matching Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs for most in NFL history.”

O’Neil also revisits Sunday’s keys to Seahawks victory, “1. Keep holiday giveaways to a minimum – Scouting report: The Seahawks have committed 11 turnovers in their five road games entering Sunday’s game, eight of those being interceptions. Results: Seattle finished a road game without committing a turnover for the first time this season. Bobby Wagner’s first-half interception gave Seattle an edge in turnover ratio yet the Seahawks still lost, which was surprising. It was only the third time under coach Pete Carroll that Seattle lost a game in which it forced more turnovers than it committed. Entering the game, he Seahawks were 13-2 under Carroll when they held an edge in turnover ratio.”

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times says yesterday’s matchup with the Dolphins should have been an easy win for the ‘Hawks, “There almost was an inevitability about this game. No way the Seahawks could lose. They were going to beat the pants off the spread. You could have bet the mortgage on this win. And you would have lost. Penalties mounted like unpaid parking tickets. The Hawks were flagged for illegal substitutions and false starts. They committed six penalties in the first quarter alone. ‘We didn’t show up today,’ said fullback Michael Robinson, who caught a 4-yard touchdown pass that gave the Hawks a 14-7 third-quarter lead. ‘For whatever reason, we didn’t play our best football today and we got beaten up.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details Washington’s NFL-record-tying kickoff return for a touchdown, “The Seattle Seahawks return man’s 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Miami on Sunday gave him eight for his career, tying an NFL record with Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs. Washington had not returned a kickoff or punt for a touchdown since Dec. 12, 2010, a 92-yard kickoff return for a score in a 40-21 loss to San Francisco. But Washington had been close a few times this season, including an 83-yarder in the season opener at Arizona, and 69-yard kickoff return at St. Louis in Week 4. ‘There’s no consolation prize after a loss like that,’ Washington said. ‘But I’m just glad I was able to score on that play. My wife was in the stands saying I had to get it, so with her pushing me, I knew I had to go out and do it.’ ”

Williams has reaction from free safety Earl Thomas after his roughing the passer penalty negated rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner’s second interception of the day yesterday, “Mike Pereira, former director of NFL officials who now works for Fox Sports, said via Twitter that he thought the call was ‘marginal at best but you error on the side of safety and he was hit in the head.’ And in a game of close plays, Thomas’ inability to defy the law of physics may have cost his team a win. ‘I definitely felt like the ball was still in his hands,’ said Thomas, when asked if he left the ground before or after Tannehill released the ball. ‘And I even tried to turn by body kind of over, not to even land on him. But when I’m going at my speed, I can’t just stop in midair like magic. So it’s just definitely frustrating, and that definitely changed the game.’ ”

Mike Salk of 710Sports.com says that after yesterday’s loss it’s gut-check time for the Seahawks, “Carroll said after the game that he shouldered much of the blame himself. He wondered if he was too lenient with a young team in giving them a full bye-week off. Certainly, the 10 penalties and sloppy play lends credence to this assertion. But problems with discipline have now cost this team two games (Miami and St. Louis) and someone is going to have to stand up and say enough is enough.”

Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com has several quick notes from Sunday’s three-point loss to the Dolphins, “Tate’s highlight de jour: Golden Tate’s spectacular catch deserves separate mention due to the degree of difficulty and the impact it had. In the second quarter, with the Seahawks trailing 7-0, Tate set up their first touchdown with a 32-yard reception up the sideline. The pass was thrown inside, but Tate jumped over a Dolphins cornerback to make a diving catch.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com recaps the Seahawks’ 24-21 setback, “Carroll’s passion for error-free ball is well-known, which is why this manner of defeat was most galling. He sounded baffled. ‘This game was a different style for us,’ he said. ‘We have been terrific with penalties this year and we had seven in the first quarter (for the game 10 for 59 yards). It’s so uncharacteristic of what what we were doing. When we’re doing that much wrong, it’s on me.’  One thing that went right was the play of QB Russell Wilson, who had his best game yet (22 for 27 passing, including 16 in a row, for 224 yards and no turnovers, as well as five rushes for 38 yards). Afterward, he was quick to diplomatically disagree with Carroll’s assessment of mishandling the time off. ‘I usually agree with coach 100 percent, but not on that one,’ Wilson said. ‘The break was good for us. We’d played 14 games straight. Coach Carroll has done a tremendous job.’ ”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his wrap-up following the Seahawks’ day in Miami, “What it means: The Seattle defense failed to hold a late-game lead on the road once again, same as the case was at Detroit. As a result, the Seahawks are 6-5 heading into a road game against Chicago in Week 13. Quarterback Russell Wilson was outstanding in this game, same as he was at Detroit and same as he has generally been since about Week 5. This isn’t the time to consider the bigger picture, however. Seattle has blown prime opportunities to improve its playoff chances in a competitive NFC. Conservative play calling on the Seahawks’ final possession backfired.”

A look at the NFL playoff picture shows the Seahawks still hold onto the No. 6 Wild Card slot with a 6-5 record, holding tiebreakers over the 6-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 6-5 Minnesota Vikings.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his gamer from yesterday, and has his “Game at a glance” blog, where he names Wilson his player of the game, “Wilson completed 78 percent of his passes (21 of 27) for 224 yards, and went to routes less traveled in throwing two touchdown passes – a 3-yarder to tight end Anthony McCoy to tie the game in the second quarter and a 4-yarder to fullback Michael Robinson to give the Seahawks a 14-7 lead in the third quarter. It was McCoy’s second TD catch of the season and Robinson’s first. Put it all together and it made for a passer rating of 125.9. The completion percentage was a season high, while the completions and passer rating were his second-best totals.”

Tony Ventrella has his game recap video feature, catching postgame reaction from Carroll, Wilson, Lynch, Robinson, Leroy Hill, and Golden Tate.

We have full game highlights available here, and Wilson-specific highlights available here.

Coach Carroll’s full postgame press conference can be seen here, and we have Wilson’s postgame press conference here.

And our team photographer Rod Mar has photos from yesterday’s game against the Dolphins available here.


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Game at a glance: Seahawks 30, Vikings 20

A recap of the Seahawks’ 30-20 victory over the Vikings at CenturyLink Field on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Russell Wilson. With all due to respect to Adrian Peterson, who ran for 182 yards, Wilson wins this one 3-2 – as in touchdown passes to rushing touchdowns.

Every time Peterson scored – on 1- and 4-yard runs in the first half – Wilson answered. The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback threw TD passes of 6 yards to Golden Tate and 11 yards to Sidney Rice in the first quarter, after Peterson scored his 1-yarder. After Peterson’s 4-yarder pulled the Vikings even in the second quarter, Wilson gave the Seahawks the lead for good with his 11-yard TD pass to Tate with 44 seconds left in the first half.

“We talked about that during the week, being able to try and contain him,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said of Wilson. “That’s what happens when he scrambles, he is able to make some plays. He made some plays today when he scrambled out of the pocket.”

That Wilson did. He scrambled for 4 yards and also picked up a yard on keeper on a fourth-and-1 play in the 12-play, 80-yard drive to his third TD pass. In the third quarter, Wilson had back-to-back plays where he ran for 8 and 2 yards on the nine-play, 72-yard drive to a 3-yard TD run by Marshawn Lynch. As the Seahawks were running out the clock in the fourth quarter, Wilson scrambled for 13 yards.

But his bottom-line contributions were the three TD passes, giving him nine in four home games – with no interceptions.

“Russell played really well, did a great job of handling all the situations and the different players and the thing that we did,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He fit us together nicely.”

And that makes it fitting for Wilson to get this honor, even on a day when Peterson ran wild in the first half.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: There was Peterson’s 74-yard run on the second play of the game, but cornerback Brandon Browner pulled him down a yard short of the goal line. So let’s go with the second TD pass from Wilson to Tate, as style points put it over the top. And speaking of over the top, that’s how Tate got the ball across the goal line – by going up and over Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson and then extending an arm.

“He made a spectacular play,” Wilson said. “He has a great desire to get into the end zone, which is pretty awesome. Luckily, the ball was across the line there before it got knocked out.”

Luckily, indeed. “I’m just glad we got the ball,” Tate said. “On the way back (to the sideline it was), ‘Congratulations.’ ‘Good job.’ ‘Make sure you’re on the ball.’ That’s one of the things we really stress in this organization – protect the ball. It’s all about the ball. Defense. Offense. Special teams. We always want to get the ball, or maintain possession of the ball. So that was very important. And I’m going to practice on a pad.”

Defense: While Browner had an interception with 5½ minutes to play to seal the deal, nickel back Marcus Trufant turned in a two-fer play when the Seahawks really needed it in the first quarter. The Vikings already had scored on the opening possession of the game, and then forced the Seahawks to punt. But on third-and-10, Trufant forced Percy Harvin to fumble and then recovered the ball. Three plays later, Wilson passed 6-yards to Tate for a game-tying TD.

“He made a nice cut, I was coming across the middle and just trying to make a tackle,” Trufant said. “I ended up getting my shoulder, hand or something on the ball. I saw it pop up and I was just trying to get on the ball before anybody else got to it.”

It was the kind of play that dominated the conversation during the week in the meetings rooms at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

“All week, it’s been about getting the ball out,” Trufant said. “So you’ve got to take the practice plays and bring them to the field.”

Special teams: Steven Hauschka’s 40-yard field goal with 6½ minutes to play. Yes, Vikings’ rookie Blair Walsh kicked a 55-yarder. And yes, the Vikings’ Kevin Williams blocked Hauschka’s PAT after Wilson’s third TD pass. But Hauschka’s late kick gave the Seahawks a 10-point lead.

INJURY REPORT

Linebacker and leading tackler K.J. Wright went out in the first quarter with a concussion and did not return. He was replaced by second-year ’backer Malcolm Smith in the base defense and veteran ’backer Leroy Hill in the nickel defense.

Center Max Unger went out with a hand injury in the third quarter, but returned on the Seahawks’ next possession. Lemuel Jeanpierre stepped in for Unger on the final five plays of the drive that ended with Lynch’s TD run.

John Moffitt, who had missed the past five games with a knee injury, started at left guard because James Carpenter was ruled out for Sunday’s game on Saturday. Carroll said that Carpenter had not been feeling well all week, and they didn’t know if it was caused by him getting a flu shot on Monday or a concussion he got in last week’s game or Wednesday’s practice.

“It’s usual the way it came about,” Carroll said. “I’m glad we held him out. We’ll figure out what it is by next week and see where we stand.”

WORTH NOTING

The Seahawks held Harvin to 73 combined yards – 24 on four carries, 10 on two receptions and a 39-yard kickoff return. He had been averaging 159.3 in his triple-threat role.

The Seahawks have scored 24 and 30 points in back-to-back games, and 24, 24 and 30 in three of their past four games. The 30 points against the Vikings were a season high.

The Seahawks held the Vikings to 3 of 10 on third-down situations, after allowing their first eight opponents to convert 43.9 percent.

The Seahawks scored touchdowns on their first four red-zone possessions, and added a field goal on their fifth. In last week’s loss to the Lions in Detroit, they had two touchdowns and a field goal in three red-zone possessions.

Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner had a team-high 10 tackles to take over the club lead from Wright. Wagner also had his second sack of the season.

Safety Jeron Johnson and rookie lineman Greg Scruggs also had sacks, while Hill and rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin each had half a sack.

Because they held the ball for more than 12 minutes in the fourth quarter and nine minutes in the third quarter, the Seahawks had a hefty advantage in time of possession – 36 minutes to 24 minutes. The Seahawks also ran 18 more plays than the Vikings with a season-high 71.

YOU DON’T SAY

“There were a couple of times I said to myself, ‘Nice move, nice cut or whatever.’ He does a great job of being physical, and that’s what I’m all about. So he has my utmost respect.” – Peterson on Lynch


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