Seattle Seahawks

He said / she said – Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions

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USA Today

He said / she said – Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions

BY  

Oregon Sports News writers Julian Rogers and Jessica Ridpath discuss and predict the Wild Card matchup between the Seattle Seahawks (10–5–1) and the Detroit Lions (9–7).

When: 5:15 p.m., Saturday, January 7, 2017 Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle

Rogers: Unless the Seahawks get to play themselves, they could not have gotten a better draw in the Detroit Lions for their first game of the NFL Playoffs. Jess, I kid because I know you’re down on their chances this year.

But look at it this way: The Lions faced only four teams that made the playoffs this season and lost to them five times. (They played Green Bay twice). In early December, the Lions were riding high having squeaked by the woeful Chicago Bears, building a 9–4 record. They haven’t won since.

The Lions dropped three straight to close out the regular season to the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. If you are concerned about the Seahawks’ momentum, you have to absolutely laugh at the “momentum” of the Lions.

Does that mean they are no threat against the Seahawks on Saturday? I won’t say that. But look at how they are obviously compromised: Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are on injured reserve (their top two running backs). Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s productivity (and the Lions’ win/loss record) has plummeted since he experienced his finger injury on Dec. 11. The Lions’ top cornerback, Darius Slay, only just returned to the lineup (hamstring), but could not offer much impact against the Packers’ passing attack. The Lions’ #2 receiver, Marvin Jones, hasn’t scored a touchdown since Oct. 16 and may be out with a concussion. Old friend Golden Tate only collected four touchdowns all season. Two starting offensive linemen (Riley Reiff and Travis Swanson) missed last week and are questionable this week.

About the only thing the Lions have going well for them at this stage of the season are a not-terrible-but-still-bottom-half defense (18th overall; 18th against the rush, 19th against the pass) and a better-than-the-Seahawks offensive line (still iffy) and an overall offense that is almost parallel to the Seahawks: Lions average 21.6 points per game; Seahawks average 22.1.

Jess, the Lions should have “Playoff Fodder” stamped on their helmets. Does that cheer you up?

Ridpath: Half of my childhood icons are dead, a fascist tyrant is about to become our president, and the two football teams I despise the most are the top contenders for the Super Bowl. I’m afraid a little truth telling about the ho-hum Detroit Lions isn’t quite enough to lift my spirits. But thanks for trying.

I didn’t see much in Seattle’s performance last week to raise my spirits, either. But there were a few visible bright spots (even when viewed through my grumpy glasses):

  • After a slow start, the defense looked like it might be ready for playoff-caliber football—especially league-leading tackler Bobby Wagner, who added 10 tackles and 2 sacks to his collection.
  • Rookie Alex Collins ran the ball for 7.9 yards per carry, the highest average posted by any Seahawk running back in the regular season.
  • Russell Wilson was only sacked once.

Those last two bright spots dim a bit when you consider they were achieved against the league’s worst defense (San Francisco). But I’m still intrigued by Collins’ performance. He’s had a total of 21 carries in three of the Seahawks’ last four games, averaging more than 5 yards per carry. Thomas Rawls, on the other hand, has averaged a mere 1.5 yards per carry in his last three games.

Julian, is Collins’ performance of late enough to earn him a bigger share of the rushing gig in the playoffs?

Rogers: I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t. Rawls just isn’t having success running behind the same line. With this much production and praise from Pete Carroll, I see Collins getting in on the action even sooner than we’ve seen before. He could come in on the second series if Rawls starts off with another couple of nowhere runs.

As I noted above, the Lions have a middling rush defense. They just might get Rawls bounced early, which might not be to their benefit.

One match up I intend to keep my eye on is the way that Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin deploys his defensive ends. The Lions have a tendency to go “wide 9” with their defensive ends, meaning they put their outside linemen quite wide — primarily for the purposes of containment against mobile quarterbacks. It didn’t work last week against Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers broke the backs of the Lions with 42 yards on scrambles and designed rushes on 10 attempts (3 of which were kneel-downs for minus-4 yards). That will be a key determinant in this game. If Wilson can use his escapability to similar effect, Seattle should be able to move the ball at will.

Speaking of dreary outlooks for the new year, what are your picks for the NFL’s Wild Card round? Four teams and their fans are going to have their hearts broken this weekend. Here are mine:

Saturday January 7, 2017

Oakland @ Houston — Texans 23, Raiders 20 (Houston has a ridiculously lucky quarterback advantage.)

Sunday January 8, 2017

Miami @ Pittsburgh — Steelers, 30, Dolphins 13 (Pittsburgh’s killer Bs are rested and too good to lose at home.)

Giants @ Green Bay — Packers 30, Giants 27 (Pack scores just enough and exorcises Giants playoffs demons of recent past.)

Usually one home team loses in the Wild Card round. Will it be Seattle?

Ridpath: If any team is going to lose at home in the Wild Card round, it will either be Houston or Seattle. Your predictions for Pittsburgh and Green Bay are right on, IMHO—although I expect the Packers’ victory over the Giants will be a bit more comfortable. Eli Manning’s performance this season has been unimpressive (some might even say “atrocious”), and I don’t see him leading the Giants to 27 points at Lambeau field.

Even though the Raiders have lost two starting quarterbacks to injury in the last two weeks and will likely have to start rookie Connor Cook under center, I don’t think Brock Osweiler and his 72.2 passer rating are really that big of an advantage for the Texans. I’ll give the edge to Houston because of their league-leading defense, but I think this game could go either way.

Which brings me to Seattle. The Seahawks have not lost a playoff game at home in the Carroll-Wilson era … while the Lions have not won a playoff game since 1991. And the last time they won a post-season game on the road? 1957. For real.

Considering these trends, a Seattle victory seems almost certain. But I’m not buying it. I know I’m in the minority here, but I think the Seahawks chances at victory are 50/50 at best. For a variety of reasons, some rational … others perhaps not so much:

  • Earl Thomas: His absence leaves the Hawks’ secondary vulnerable to Stafford’s big arm. The last two times Seattle faced teams with elite passing quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers and Carson Palmer), they lost.
  • The o-line: Playoff football requires playoff-caliber pass protection. And that’s something we haven’t seen from Seattle’s offensive line all season. Watching them play has been like eating a box of chocolates … (you fill in the rest).
  • Karma: The Lions fell to the blue birds in Seattle last season after a blown call late in the 4th quarter of their week four matchup on Monday Night Football. The universe has a way of evening out these types of injustices over time.
  • 1957: That’s a loooong time ago. Things have gotta change at some point.

Julian, this is where you tease me for being a New Age Hippie from Olympia. Go for it. Then tell me who will win this matchup and why.

Rogers: Take a bath and get a job, hippie! Honestly, I have no idea why I’m supposed to castigate you for being a hippie, but when you offer me a free shot, I’ll take it. Maybe you can explain it to me sometime over some kombucha? You Olympians confuse me. I grew up there, but I got out. I remain outside the realm of understanding what Olympians are talking about.

Speaking of out, the Lions are about to have their playoff lives snuffed out. The Seahawks won’t be dropping a home playoff game this time to the weakest playoff squad in the NFC track. I don’t foresee a cakewalk for the blue birds, but a win nonetheless as the Lions continue their slide. Prediction: Seattle 27, Detroit 20.

Please allow us your patchouli-soaked prediction, if you please.

Ridpath: Seeing as how my mood obviously needs lifting, I’m going to try a little reverse psychology on myself and pick the Lions. That way, if the Hawks disappoint me by losing, at least I’ll have the satisfaction of being right. And if they win … well, then I’ll have another week of Seahawks football to look forward to. Prediction: Seattle 23, Detroit 24. (Bonus prediction: Somewhere along the way, Steven Hauschka is going to miss a field goal or an extra point. And it’s going to matter. Big time.)

Owning up Here’s what we were right and wrong about last week.

What he got right: The game winner. I’m 9–7 on my picks for the Seahawks regular season.

What he got wrong: I pointed to Richard Sherman going off the rails. Seems he’s beaten me to the punch by nowfreezing out the media. So I guess we won’t be treated to a meltdown any time soon. The San Francisco 49ers made it closer than I predicted, but the Seahawks rested starters in the fourth quarter.

What she got right: The game winner, bringing me back to even at 8–8. Congrats, Julian! That means you win our regular-season prediction showdown. Your prize awaits you in Olympia. (But since us Olympians are so “confusing,” you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.)

What she got wrong: I thought this would be a comfortable victory for Seattle. They were playing against the worst defense in the league, after all. But the Hawks fell behind early after a dismal first quarter and had to rely on their defense to get them back in the game.

What Are The Seattle Seahawks Telling Fans About Potential First Pick?

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OSN

What Are The Seattle Seahawks Telling Fans About Potential First Pick?

BY: SEBASTIAN PYCIOR

Since Marshawn Lynch’s time had ended in Seattle, the Seahawks have been desperately searching for an identity in the backfield. Rawls, Prosise, Lacy, and Carson are just some of the names that have rolled through the backfield since Beast Mode left. With the draft coming up, fans hope that the Hawks select a running back with the kind of personality that can get tough yards and make big plays in the zone-running scheme. Even the Oregon Sports News staff have the Seahawks going with Derrius Guice in the mock draft.

Plain and simple, fans in the northwest want a running back workhorse.

It’s clear that the Seahawks have met with Derrius Guice, a definite 1st round running back talent, but the team has also met with a variety of other premiere talents. These other visits consist primarily of players working in the trenches.

Chalk it up to a team just doing its homework, but there seems to be a consensus on grabbing a lineman in the first round. Former University of Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea paid a visit to Seahawks’ brass yesterday. H’s a prospect that probably won’t fall as far as the Seahawks could hope for, and given that Seattle isn’t well stocked in mid-round draft picks, the team can’t even think to move up a couple of rungs on the ladder just to ensure Vea’s selection. The Seahawks have also met with other prospects that are expected to hover around the 18th pick in the draft including linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and wide receiver Christian Kirk.

The thing about sitting at the 18th spot is that there’s no guarantee that a gem could fall to the Seahawks. Most of these guys like Vita Vea will be gone.

There’s one move that could move the Seahawks up the draft board, and that’s by pairing their current 1st round pick with Earl Thomas. As draft day gets closer, and the fact that the Seahawks won’t be picking for a while after the 18th pick, this thought experiment doesn’t seem too farfetched. If you’re only going to have one pick, might as well work on getting the highest pick possible.

Seeing how Richard Sherman left without the Seahawks getting any real compensation outside of some cap savings, I doubt that the team will ship Thomas. Why not trade down?

The Seahawks have also visited with prospects like defensive lineman Maurice Hurst, running back Akrum Wadley, and running back Kalen Ballage. Even cornerback prospect like Isaiah Oliver can be available on the second day of the draft, and although the Seahawks did their due diligence, they just won’t be able to get a chance at selecting him.

Thinking about running backs, Wadley and Ballage promise that the depth at the position will be there on the second day of the draft. Seattle might not need a flashy name in the first round to carry the ball.

The visit with Vita Vea is promising, and the Seahawks are telling fans that they’re indeed trying to move up in the draft if possible. Should that fail, look for the Seahawks to trade out of the first round in exchange for draft picks on the second day. This will allow them to bring in more bodies for depth and potentially find a day one starter.

But, don’t be surprised if the Seahawks decide to package Earl Thomas and their first pick for a bevy of mid-round picks in this deep draft. It just so happens that the Dallas Cowboys have opened up cap space to absorb Earl Thomas. The Seahawks would swap 1st round picks and at the very least see a 3rd round pick in return. Dallas is desperate for a free safety, so they might have to give a little more to sway the Seahawks.

 

Why Russell Wilson is an MVP candidate and can win it this coming season

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Why Russell Wilson is an MVP candidate and can win it this coming season

BY TIM KEARNY

Winning NFL MVP is a huge honor that few people have ever had, and Russell Wilson is still getting better. This is his year. The defense is going to look radically different and so more pressure will be put on Wilson. He was the entire offense on his back already, as evidenced by him scoring almost every single touchdown the Seahawks got last year. Now the pressure is mounting and I think he will respond like he always does. Wilson will attack his training and preparation and I am predicting he throws for more than 30 touchdowns in 2018.

This will be his seventh year with the Seahawks, and while with the team he has averaged almost 3,700 yards passing, close to 27 passing touchdowns, a 64% completion rate and less than 10 interceptions a year. I agree, those aren’t out of this world but he has shown the ability to be the most dominant quarterback in the game today. Everyone remembers in 2015 when he threw for 24 touchdowns and one interception in the last 7 games of the season, he was the hot pick for MVP that year. Cam Newton ended up winning after having a spectacular season too. Newton passed for one more touchdown and two more interceptions with a lower completion percentage in 2015. He won MVP because the Panthers went 15-1 and he had ten rushing touchdowns to go along with the passing stats. That is what it takes to keep Wilson from the MVP, an extraordinary player having a terrific year.

Wilson is losing some of his favorite targets this year like Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson and Luke Willson. I don’t think this will slow him down as much as people think. Doug Baldwin and Wilson have some weird telepathy or something and they have the ability to make almost any play together. Baldwin has proven himself as one of the best receivers in football and I think he is going to have a very good year this year. Tyler Lockett has had some growing pains as a young receiver and injuries have not helped his learning process, but he has wheels and very good hands. Lockett is a natural receiver and is dangerous on short and long passes because of his run after the catch ability, it is one of the things that make him such a dangerous kick returner.

The Seahawks got rid of Tom Cable this offseason and brought back Tom Solari as their offensive line coach, he coached the offensive line for the Seahawks before Pete Carroll and John Schneider came in. I think this will be a good thing for this offensive line. Having Duane Brown for a whole offseason working with the young guys and everyone working together can only mean improvement for them as a unit. Having a better offensive line will make the run game smoother and will open up the passing game and protect Wilson.

Even before the draft has started, I can see the Seahawks are in a good spot with Russell Wilson at the helm for this season and any seasons to come. Let’s see if he can win an MVP along the way.

Reports: Seahawks cancel workout with Colin Kaepernick over kneeling during anthem

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USATI

Reports: Seahawks cancel workout with Colin Kaepernick over kneeling during anthem

Some Seahawks news coming today from from both ESPN and Yahoo. It appears free agent QB Colin Kaepernick was scheduled to workout for the Seattle Seahawks but the Seahawks canceled the workout after Kaepernick indicated his kneeling for the anthem position would continue:

Why the draft is the Seattle Seahawks’ oyster

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USA Today Images

Why the draft is the Seattle Seahawks’ oyster

BY TIM KEARNY

This year heading into the 2018 NFL Draft the Seattle Seahawks have a lot of holes to fill. There is much to be optimistic about for fans though. They have franchise players at several key positions with Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Earl Thomas. They make up a foundation that few teams in the NFL can match talent-wise, so with the draft later this month the Seahawks can go a lot of ways with their picks.

If I have learned anything about Pete Carroll and John Schneider in their time with Seattle, it is that we have a high chance of seeing the first round go by without a Seattle pick. The Seahawks have a pick in the first-round, a pick in the fourth-round, four picks in the fifth-round and finally two picks in the seventh-round. That is a good amount of ammo for these guys, and I expect to see several draft day trades where they move around to get a player they like.

This leads me to wondering about who they will take. I have read many mock drafts and they reflect my thinking, in the sense that there many different choices by different people. Some are mocking Seattle offensive linemen, some defensive backs or defensive linemen, this shows how the 2018 NFL Draft is the Seahawks’ oyster. Wilson is great quarterback and the Seahawks will be relevant if he is at the helm, so I think there is both more and less pressure for the front office’s picks. I mean that because of all the holes they have a lot of flexibility in their draft to pick the best player available and it fit a need, but because of the turnover in players and missing the playoffs last season there is also a bit more pressure to find immediate contributors to the team.

2018 is a make or break year for John Schneider and Pete Carroll, I believe there is a possibility one is gone at the end of this upcoming season if the Seahawks miss the playoffs again. The Seattle fanbase has gotten used to winning and will not react well to consecutive losing seasons, this puts pressure on the ownership which in turn puts pressure on the football staff.

I believe they will bounce back this year. Even though there haven’t been very many splashes in free agency from Seattle this year, I think they will make a few more signings that will make impacts on Sundays for a bargain. Team that with underrated signings like Tom Johnson, the defensive tackle from the Vikings, and Barkevious Mingo, a pass rusher from the Colts, and Settle is poised for another run to the playoffs in a very competitive NFC West. The Rams are clear favorites, because they have done nothing but upgrade their roster for the short term and are Super Bowl contenders if everyone can gel. The 49ers are everyone’s darling team because of Jimmy Garoppolo’s winning streak and a few other moves. This leaves the Cardinals, they have one of the best running backs in the NFL with David Johnson but little else at this point, they are probably going to have a tough year.

Here’s to a great Seahawks draft and a start of another playoff Seattle squad.

A Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Prayer

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USATI

A Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Prayer

BY 

Oh, NFL Draft gods of great acumen, foresight and prowess, we beseech thee now in our times of trouble. For thine alone has the power to save us from the vast emptiness of our current roster. Lo, gutted were we in the year of our Lord’s 2018 NFL free agency frenzy.

Yea, tho we walk through the valley of the shadow of the NFC West, we fear no 2018 NFL schedule — for we have yet to behold it. Once it shall be published, we may prefer a plague of locusts.

Thine Schneider-Carroll brain trust is our shepherd. We lack nothing, except Shermans, Chancellors, Avrils, Bennetts, Sheads, Grahams, Walshes, Joeckels, Boykins, Lacys, Richardson, the other Richardson, the other Willson, halt! We beseech thee. They make us lie down in green pastures and leads us to cry beside eternally muddy, grey-clouded, rainy waters.

Carroll’s sunny optimism refreshes our soul. He guides us along the right paths … at least that one time. More recently, not so much for his name’s sake.

Even though we walk through the darkest valley of the upcoming season and probably for many to come, we will fear no evil. For D.J. Fluker is now with us. He’s got 355 lbs. and plays like it. This comforts our remaining Wilson.

We can do all things through Fluker, which strengtheneth us when we must speaketh with Los Angeles Rams fans, whose Donald and Suh shall wreak havoc and rain hellfire down on the bones of our remaining Wilson and daily running back.

You prepare a table before us in the presence of our pigskin enemies. I mean, you are, right? You’re gonna fix it all in the NFL Draft next month, right? Because as of right now, thou anointst our heads with stale urine and yet profess it is merely our customary rain. Our cups overflow.

Thine Seahawkian offseason plan is patient. Love is … something we’d like to have. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud — for how could it be?

Roster building does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking, although, let’s try a little self-seeking and see how it goes, hmm? It is not easily angered, tho verily, the 12s are. It keeps no record of wrongs. For that will happen soon enough when the 2018 season kicks off.

Roster love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Except right now. We better gloss over the truth. Speaking of truth …

Offensive lines always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere. Except in Seattle. Thine truth hurts.

Seahawks love never fails. Unless you trade out of the first round again. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. Because we’re talking about a mob of Seahawks fans. Hast thou ever been to a Seahawks football arena? Then thou knowest of what I speak.

May the NFL Draft gods bestow their light and love upon us. Plus some impact players.

Surely your goodness and love will follow us all the days of our football lives, and the 12s will dwell in the house of the Super Bowl forever.

Achoo.

The WHL Playoffs begin – Portland Winterhawks vs Spokane Chiefs at 1-1

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NBCS Northwest

The WHL Playoffs begin – Portland Winterhawks vs Spokane Chiefs at 1-1

BY STUART KEMP

For those in a rut over your NCAA bracket, you may offer a bit of solace for those watching the WHL Playoffs and the possibility of upsets in the first round. Only two teams hold an advantage after two games and only one did it on home ice. Only one team has played three games and owns a two-to-one game advantage.

Starting in the Eastern Conference where the Scotty Munro Champion Moose Jaw Warriors took on eighth seed Prince Albert Raiders. Despite a thirty-two point advantage at the end of the regular season, the Warriors got all they wanted and more from the Raiders in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In the first game, the Raiders shut down the top line for the Warriors as they scored two goals early and three goals mid frame to get past the Warriors 5-3. The second game saw the top line finally get on track, but Prince Albert stayed with the Warriors throughout the contest, sending the game into overtime where they would ultimately drop a 3-2 score to Moose Jaw with the series headed to Prince Albert for games three and four.

The Swift Current Broncos stormed out of the gate early at home with a 3-0 win in game one, but could not seal the deal in game two, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Regina Pats, after surrendering the first two goals to the Pats. That series shifted to Regina for the next pair of games. One of those games came on the heels of the weekend with a packed house in Regina. Despite the Pats heavily out-shooting the Broncos, it was Swift Current with the firepower on net that produced the first three goals of the game. Regina would score midway through the third period, but Swift Current replied just seconds later to take the game 4 to one and put themselves up two games to one.

The Medicine Hat Tigers, despite coming into the series with the Brandon Wheat Kings as the regular season points underdog between the two teams, used their home ice advantage with being the Central Division Champions to wallop the Wheaties twice by an aggregate score of 14-3. A 7-2 score, followed by a 7-3 beating, has sent the Kings back to Manitoba, but not exactly home. As has been the trick for many WHL teams, finding arena dates to play on has been a challenge. In fact, the Brandon Wheat Kings will be more of a traveling team in that they will play in Dauphin, Manitoba, nearly two hours north from their home arena and a third the size of the Keystone Centre where they play regularly. 

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have also been busy racking up the goals in their first two games against the Red Deer Rebels. Like the Medicine Hat Tigers, the Hurricanes have also gone on a 14-3 cakewalk, first by shutting out the Rebels 6-0 and following up with an 8-3 thrashing. The games shift to Red Deer where they hope some hometown magic will help them stem the tide.

The Western Conference has been an interesting one as well. The Everett Silvertips, first in the Conference and the US Division, took aim at the Seattle Thunderbirds in the I-5 rivalry. The Tips started strong with a 4-1 win in the first game, and early strong start in the second game. Despite a hat trick performance by Garrett Pilon, who was acquired at the trade deadline, the Thunderbirds kept at it and forced the Silvertips to pull their goaltender, which resulted in the tying goal with less than a minute left in regulation. The teams headed to overtime where Zack Andrusiak pocketed the game winner for Seattle with just over five minutes gone in the extra period to take the game 5-4 and sending the series fifty miles south to Kent for the next two games.

The Victoria Royals are in a big battle with the Vancouver Giants who split the games in Victoria. The Giants took the first game 2-1, before dropping game two by a 5-4 margin. The series heads to Langley, BC, home of the Giants for games three and four with an expected raucous crowd that has not seen Giants playoff hockey for quite some time.

The Kelowna Rockets are scratching their collective heads trying to figure what went wrong as they battle the Tri-City Americans. The Ams looked to be an easy sweep by many, but that idea went out the window after the first games as Tri-City stunned the crowd in the Okanagan with a 5-0 shutout. The next game saw Kelowna jump out to a 3-0 lead early, but saw the next four go in for Tri-City. The seven goal outburst in the first period was met in the second with three more for the Rockets and a single by Tri-City to head the the third period with the Rockets leading 6-5. The wheels came off for the Rockets in the third as Tri-City tied the game early in the period and despite allowing a goal midway through the third to the Rockets, Tri-City would add three more including an empty net goal to give Nolan Yaremko a hat trick and the Tri-City Americans a wild 9-7 win and a commanding 2-0 lead in the best of seven series with the games now headed to Tri-City.

In Portland, the Winterhawks and Spokane Chiefs too to the ice at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum with two large crowds hoping to see the Hawks secure victory. Game one saw the Chiefs open the scoring and hold the lead through the first period. Early in the second, the Hawks Dennis Cholowski scored on the powerplay to even the score, but that quickly changed in about twenty seconds as Spokane regained the lead with a goal by Riley Woods Just over four minutes later, it was Henri Jokiharu who would tie the game, but Spokane would reply on a powerplay of their own. With just under three minutes remaining in the second period, Cholowski scored his second of the game and the score stayed tied through the third period and sent the game into overtime. Luke Toporowski would send the Portland faithful home in sadness with a goal just over two minutes into the period and finished the night with a goal and two assists for the Chiefs with Riley Woods also adding into the same totals. Dennis Cholowski would record two goals in the game and Henri Jokiharju with a goal and an assist to lead the Portland charge, but it wasn’t enough in a 4-3 loss. 

The second night saw Portland storm out of the gate with goals by Kieffer Bellows, Jake Gricius and Alex Overhardt to dominate the first period at 3-0. Portland’s Mason Mannek would score his first of the playoffs to pad the Hawks lead and send starting Chiefs goaltender Bailey Brkin packing. The Chiefs weren’t done though as they would score a pair late in the second period with one of the goals on the powerplay to halve the Hawks lead. With nearly six minutes gone by in the third, the Chiefs struck again and the Hawk faithful grew concerned. Despite pulling their goaltender with less than two minutes remaining, the Hawks wore down the clock with long clearing passes and several missed attempts at the open net. The one time they did hit the net, the ruling was no goal as the puck had apparently hit one of the officials which would rule the play dead. Despite this, the Hawks took game two by a 4-3 margin and now shift to Spokane for the next pair of games before returning to Portland for game 5 on Saturday night. 

Seahawks – The power of the running game and the power of drafting

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USA Today Images

Seahawks – The power of the running game and the power of drafting

BY TIM KEARNY

Pete Carroll has preached the importance of a running game from day one as the Seattle Seahawks head coach. Carroll has repeatedly emphasized this and has not changed his philosophy even as the players on the team changed.

Since Marshawn Lynch left, the Seahawks have been less than adequate as a running football team. In Lynch’s last year with Seattle, they rushed for almost 2,300 yards, in the years since the Seahawks have not managed to break the 1,700-yard rushing barrier. This has had a resounding impact on the team as a whole that supposedly was a run-first team. Thomas Rawls looked like the next man up for Seattle, and after a huge rookie season with 830 rushing yards coming on less than 150 carries everyone was optimistic. But he has struggled to stay on the field due to injuries and the simple fact he seems to have lost a bit of his field vision over the years.

Then C.J. Prosise looked like he could be a guy to take over some playmaking responsibilities. He had a few big games and flashed the ability to make big plays, but he has also struggled to stay on the field for the Seahawks. The most productive running back the Seahawks have gotten besides Christine Michael since Lynch has been Alex Collins and he waited until he got to Baltimore before breaking out.

Seattle got good by investing in their defense. And when the time came to either bet on new players or investing in the players they already had, they invested in people like Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman and everyone else. On the surface this looked like a fine idea, the Seahawks had one of the best defenses in the history of the game, but then injuries and age slowly crept up and there was no money to upgrade the offense around Russell Wilson. If last season was any indication, this was not the right move in the long run.

This does not mean they did not try and upgrade the offense. They traded first round picks and the best center the Seahawks have seen in decades for Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham. Neither of these trades worked out like they hoped, both were moderately productive but overall did not contribute at the level they were supposed to. If Seattle had used those picks on rookies, they might not have been more successful than Harvin or Graham but it would have cost much less and Seattle could have spent the money somewhere else.

It is just speculation but for me franchises are mostly made from the draft because of the rookie wage scale. This fixed dollar amount lets teams spend more freely on free agents and retain more players they want. I believe the Seahawks bet on themselves several years in a row and did not quite balance the future with the present.

The Legion of Boom is dead but Russell Wilson will keep the Seattle Seahawks alive

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USA Today Images

The Legion of Boom is dead but Russell Wilson will keep the Seattle Seahawks alive

BY MARK HARRIS

The glory days are over.

Richard Sherman has happily joined the 49ers. Maybe his introduction video at a half-full Levi’s Stadium will include his most famous play.

Michael Bennett is now one of the many pieces in the Eagles’ ferocious defensive line, Sheldon Richardson is now a Viking and Jimmy Graham is going to be a fantasy monster in Green Bay. Speedy Paul Richardson Jr. understandably took the money in the other Washington.

The offensive line still appears to be offensive to any Seattle Seahawks fan and for some reason, the team appears to be fine with Blair Walsh as its kicker.

It’s anybody’s guess if Earl Thomas gets traded or not. Needless to say, this March has been memorable the Seahawks.

Neck injuries to Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril may keep them off the field for the rest of their lives, just in case you had forgot.

With every passing moment, every passing rumor, the memories of Super Bowl appearances seem very far removed.

But the end of days has not descended onto the 206. Not as long as Russell Wilson is still under center for Seattle.

Wilson may not lead Seattle to a Super Bowl – he may not lead the team to a winning record, but whenever the Seahawks take the field, they will have a chance to win because No. 3 is under center.

And why shouldn’t Seahawks fans trust Wilson? In 2017, he led the NFL with 34 passing TDs behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league.

To be fair, Wilson often did not start games well last season, but redeemed himself by tossing an NFL-record 19 (!) touchdown passes in the fourth quarter of games.

He is quite simply a baller, and even though the Seahawks probably have the worst roster in the NFC West prior to the 2018 Draft, Wilson is clearly the best quarterback in the division.

That matters. It may seem obvious to say that having the best quarterback matters, but many think the Seahawks will be a total tire fire next season, while still acknowledging Wilson’s greatness.

*Insert blinking guy meme*

What?! I have been told my whole life that the NFL is a “quarterback-driven league” but when the Seahawks go through intense roster turnover while retaining their likely Hall of Fame quarterback, I’m supposed to believe this team will be in contention for the No. 1 pick next year?

Yeah, not happening. Wilson is arguably the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL (not the best, the most dangerous) and makes plays that literally only he could make.

He does not throw that many interceptions and has the second highest career passer rating in NFL history, placed only behind the hallowed Aaron Rodgers.

To believe the Seahawks will be awful next season with Wilson at quarterback is an opinion doused with the toxic combination of ignorance and stupidity.

That said, predicting Seattle to emerge as the division champions would not be wise either. The Los Angeles Rams might have the best roster in the league and the duo of Jared Goff and Sean McVay will give Seahawks fans nightmares for years to come.

Don’t expect a Super Bowl appearance from this Seahawks squad, but don’t expect them to be terrible in 2018, not as long as Wilson leads the charge.

Should the Seahawks ship Earl Thomas out of Seattle?

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USA Today Images

Should the Seahawks ship Earl Thomas out of Seattle?

BY SEBASTIAN PYCIOR

Things have stagnated a little bit in the Seattle Seahawks front office. There haven’t been definitive answers to the departures of Deshawn Shead and Richard Sherman. Sheldon Richardson is reportedly in Minnesota, asking for more than the $11 million that the Seahawks are willing to offer. With the signing of Bradley McDougall at safety, it’s also curious as to what this front office thinks of Kam Chancellor as a Seahawk.

However, the front office needs to be serious about trading Earl Thomas.

Before fans go up in arms about letting go a long-time fan favorite, a trade would be a great boon for a team that’s looking to rebuild as fast as possible. Trading Earl Thomas doesn’t involve trading away any of the great years he gave Seattle, as it’s about trading away a player whose value is at its highest right before 30 years old. In fact, fans have to remember that Earl Thomas found coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys after a game and said “If you have a chance to get me, come get me.”

Now supposedly, the Seahawks have already reached out to the Dallas Cowboys for a trade surrounding Earl Thomas. Seattle requested the Cowboys’ 1st round 2018 draft pick and the Cowboys had subsequently denied. The Cowboys would assemble an elite defense and keep the stress off of their flourishing offensive talent. The Seahawks would’ve only received the 19th pick in return to have alongside their 18th pick.  The Hawks might be selling Thomas short, but it’s more than likely that the Cowboys didn’t want to give up more than one middle round pick.

Bottom line, the Seahawks are in a rebuild and Earl Thomas wants out. Thomas still retains a very high value, so it’s curious as to why the Hawks would even reach out for a middle 1st round pick. Should the Seahawks try to take a risk, they’d package Earl Thomas and their 18th pick and try to get a top-8 pick in return.

For example, a defensive minded team like the New York Jets could be enticed by moving down in the draft and taking on Earl Thomas. The Jets could also send back a young defensive piece or a couple of mid-round draft picks to round things out for Seattle. This would get Seattle into prime position to go after somebody like Derwin James or, should the stars align, the Hawks could be lucky enough to draft guard Quenton Nelson to help protect Russell Wilson.

Teams like the Buccaneers and the Browns could also be itching to add an elite veteran presence to their depth charts. The Buccaneers have sought veteran defensive back help in the past by signing the likes of Darrelle Revis, and are in desperate need to get the wheels of their defense rolling again.

The Browns have the valuable 4th selection in this upcoming draft, however they’re desperate to bring immediate change to a team that didn’t win a single game last year. Being able to secure Earl Thomas would add legitimacy to the front office that’s been able to land Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor this offseason. The Browns would immediately become a playoff contender.

The Seahawks, on the other hand, would jumpstart a quick rebuild by guaranteeing a shot at Quenton Nelson, Minkah Fitzpatrick, or Bradley Chubb. The reason why I bring up Quenton Nelson so often is that the Seahawks have brought in new offensive coaching staff that’s looking to bolster the offensive line immediately.

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and offensive line coach Mike Solari have already worked together many years ago in Kansas City, so a relationship is already established. Schottenheimer is known for having turned the New York Jets offensive line during his tenure from 2006-2011, while Solari is known as having a huge part in constructing some of the most prolific lines in Kansas City and San Francisco.

The Seahawks have clearly signaled the end of the Legion of Boom era, and Earl Thomas is the most valuable mainstay left from that era. Moving him before this draft would show determination in a rebuild now, and would avoid the headaches involved next offseason. Fans should hope that this can isn’t kicked further down the road, and give Earl Thomas a chance to play in a place that will give him a shot at the playoffs.