About curtiseastwood

Sometimes an actor and writer, always a husband, father, gardner, and a big fan of the Seattle Seahawks.

Must Beat Rams: A Rams Vs Seahawks Regular Season Finale Preview

Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

I gotta be honest. It’s sobering to write about a football game preview after what happened to Damar Hamlin on Monday Night Football. Let’s just get that one out of the way.

This season finale game in which my Seahawks will be facing off against their bitter divisional rival in the LA Rams here in Seattle should be met with huge anticipation by any diehard Twelve. The Seahawks have before them an opportunity to sweep a divisional foe who has had their number for years now, and finish their season out with a winning record that few thought they would finish with when this season began.

If they do this, and the Lions beat the Packers on Sunday Night Football, the Seahawks will even be awarded a playoff birth, which in my opinion, is huge in terms of a young roster gaining post season experience earlier than anticipated. Even if they don’t end up in the playoffs, finishing the season off right by sweeping these Rams and going 9-8 will still feel sweet, and give a sense that this organization is building towards a positive direction again.

From the perspective of the Rams, this is their opportunity to close their season out right by wrecking Seattle’s playoff hopes and ending their season by giving them a somewhat annoying 8-9 record. This is an opportunity for Baker Mayfield to make a statement that he can be a quality starting quarterback in this league. Even more so, it’s an opportunity for Bobby Wagner to enact revenge on the team he had played ten years for, and gave up on him last off-season. I imagine the entire Rams defense will be playing this one extra fierce for Wagner.

So, this should be a really good game to watch, even for the objective non Seahawks or Rams fan to watch. I also think, despite the records, these teams are a bit more evenly matched than some think.

Yes, the Rams are without most of their marquee players, but the Seahawks will be a bit gimpy in this one, as well, with Tyler Lockett dealing with multiple issues, Jordyn Brooks now on injured reserve, and many other players dealing with late season issues. While, I would expect most of the guys who have been sitting out of practice to play for Seattle, who knows how hampered they will be as they face a Rams club that is ready to play spoiler.

For these reasons, I expect a hard fought game between both of these clubs. For a second week in a row, this should feel like a playoff game for these Seahawks, and I am super duper here for it.

I want to see pro bowl quarterback Geno Smith close out his feel good storybook season right with a solidly efficient game that leads his team to a win, and himself to a long term contract. I want to see Darrell Taylor continue his late season surge as pass rusher, and prove to Seattle that if the opportunity presents itself next Spring, they should draft defensive tackle Jalen Carter over defensive end Will Anderson with their first pick. I want to see Ken Walker III finish out his stellar rookie season by rushing for over a hundred yards again, and getting a thousand yards to his season, and I want to see Tariq Woolen pick off Mayfield to solidify earning DOYR.

But, if I am to be perfectly honest, I think viewing football could feel a bit weird this weekend because of the freak accident that happened to Damar Hamlin on MNF that saw his heart stop on the field on national television, and that’s okay. This incident gave us all a chilling reminder that every time a football player suits up to play, they put their lives at risk. I think it’s a reality that many of us lose sight of as fans.

For my part, I think it also puts in perspective how I want to root for these players. Football is a violent game. The rules in place help these players more these days than in years past, and the gear obviously protects them, but a freak things can happen as was the case last Monday. There is an unavoidable level of danger to this game.

Therefore, I would like to better keep that into perspective. I think the emotions of rivalries can lead us to hate on good players simply because of the uniforms they wear. I also think it’s a natural reaction as fans to trash on players if they aren’t living up to whatever expectations or hype. Moving forward, as Hamlin regains his health, I want to resist both of these impulses out of respect for these dudes who suit up and play this sport out of passion.

They assume risks in order to make a living playing a game they love that can ultimately prove deadly. I’m going to respect the players more because of that.

Yes, I want my Seahawks to decisively win this game on Sunday. I would love nothing more than a blowout win for Seattle, but I also want every guy who suits up to walk off that field okay. This is how I want to be as a fan more these days, and I cannot personally stand Jalen Ramsey as a player.

So, how do I think this game finishes?

As much as I want to see a dominant finish by Seattle, I think this is probably going to be pretty hard fought between both clubs. I see Seattle winning it, and closing out their season with a winning record, but I think it’s likely to be a 23-17 type of finish than a 23-6 one we saw last Sunday against the Jets.

I think the Seahawks defense is playing well enough that, even without Brooks at linebacker, they can give Baker Mayfield fits at Lumen Field with the noise of the fans behind them, and hold Cam Akers in check enough, but I think Sean McVay is still a master offensive play caller, and there is likely going to be times where the Rams get things going well enough on offense to make any Seahawk fan nervous. Get ready to feel those nerves flowing if you want Seattle to win this.

Offensively, I expect Seattle to stay with the run in this one, and at times, it’s could feel frustrating, but as the game wears on, I think we see Walker breaking big gains on the ground, and we are likely to see another efficient game out of Geno Smith throwing off of the play action opportunities. It might not always feel pretty because this Rams defense will put up a fight, but if Seattle wins, it will feel right.

I’m down for the Seahawks to feel right in this one, and hold off a bitter opponent intent on playing spoiler. I’m thinking this is likely going to be a great game to watch, and my hope is that it is hard fought, but everyone comes out of it okay.

Because I would imagine that every one of these guys probably has a momma who says a prayer before every game that her baby comes out of it okay.

This is what I hope, anyways.

Go Hawks.


The Sweet Joy Of The Seattle Seahawks Spanking The New York Football Jets

Associated Press

Being a fan of the Seattle Seahawks is a supreme emotional experience for me. I have been emotionally bonded to this team since 1983, and each year, it deepens further.

I’ve watched most of their seasons with at least some anticipation of the playoffs up to this year, and this was a rare season where my expectations were lowered to a point that I hadn’t felt since the early 1990’s. I just didn’t see this as the year for playoffs.

As many were proclaiming at the start of this season, Geno Smith was supposed to be Tarvaris Jackson and the Seahawks were supposed to be rebuilding. Many didn’t see the fact he would actually become the second coming of Rich Gannon, a pro bowl worthy quarterback finding success as a starter again late into his career, and guiding his team into playoff contention, and yet here we are. That is exactly who, and what Geno Smith is, and what the 2022 Seattle Seahawks are.

Emotionally, I feel blissful. These Seahawks beat a quality team in a meaningful late season game that keeps them in playoff contention for one more final game of the year. When most people projected these Seahawks to be one of the worst teams in the league this year because of the Russell Wilson trade, this feels outstandingly satisfactory to me.

Oh, what a massive difference a win feels!

After a depressing three game losing streak that had me watching the Peach Bowl on Saturday, and envisioning the Seahawks drafting CJ Stroud with maybe the third overall pick from Denver this Spring, I feel like these Seahawks are one win away next Sunday of needing to lock down Geno Smith to a multi year deal, and just taking the best defensive lineman available with that pick; be it Jalen Carter, or Will Anderson.

I see plenty of logic of Seattle taking a talented young quarterback with that pick (if the right QB is there), but I also see the practical logic of keeping Geno, and building this team up around in other ways. I admit that I am not the best person to assert what I think this team should do at times, so I won’t say one idea is right, and the other is wrong, but I will say that having watched Geno for a full season now as QB1 in Seattle, I really like what I see. I also think I have a pretty good idea what Seattle has with him.

I think he’s an athletic, accurate passer, with a strong enough arm to make all the necessary NFL throws to win a game. I think he’s a pretty mature dude too, and a smart player. I feel that with a little more built up around him, Seattle can probably consistently win with him for multiple seasons. In short, he’s good enough for me, and if Seattle does lock him down into a multi year deal, I will not be disappointed.

This game against the Jets reminded me of that. With a balanced offense that ran really well against a tough Jets defense, Geno showed decent efficiency once again, and he did this without his top receiver in Tyler Lockett for the second half of the game. Give Geno Smith a great run game led by Ken Walker, and he will likely give you a solidly efficient effort at quarterback more times than not, as was the case in this game.

Also, give him a strong enough defense where he doesn’t have to play from behind, and he is most likely going to deliver, as was the exact case in this game. For as much as I have been critical of the Seahawks’ new defensive scheme under Clint Hurtt, I have noticed better efforts in recent weeks, and that’s something, for sure.

This was a great defensive effort that I should expect out of a Pete Carroll coached team. They should be able to slow down a run game, pressure quarterbacks, and create turnovers. They should especially be able to do that at home in front of the loud Twelves, and the should be able to do that against any middling offense. This was a job well done against these Jets, and bravo.

Now finish it off right against the Rams next Sunday, and end this season the right way. Sweep a struggling divisional opponent, and let the chips fall wherever they may in terms of playoffs. This should be the expectation with this team, and I am as emotionally attached to that notion as I am to Geno Smith.

I am super excited for the young talent on this team to feel this positive playoff implication buzz, now. This is huge, I believe.

I don’t buy into any notions of not seizing the opportunity for a playoff birth if your team has warts to which you think losing out for higher picks is more important. The way I think you best work through the warty areas is to develop within, and the best way to develop within is having your team trend upwards at the end of a season so that these youthful players taste what winning is like.

It’s an f’ing drug is what it is. Tariq Woolen, Coby Bryant, Darrell Taylor, Boye Mafe, K9, Charles Cross, Abe Lucas, Coby Parkinson, and many other of these young pups should feel that high, and want to repeat that experience over, and over, and over again.

This is what happened with the Legion Of Boom cats. This is Pete Carroll’s culture.

So, sure, it’s fun to day dream about the picks in next year’s draft whether it’s Jalen Carter or CJ Stroud, but the real team building, the foundation pouring, and framing.. all of that comes out of finishing this season on a strong note.

Beat those Rams next Sunday, and get to 9-8, and if you get into the playoffs, awesome. You then know what it took to get you there. That’s vital for these dudes.

Make no mistake about it, though, this was a great team win against these Jets. They are a tough team, but on this day, the Seattle Seahawks were tougher. They bullied the bully, and the best thing about it? Young dudes like Taylor, Cody Barton, K9, DeeJay Dallas, Parkinson, and Woolen were doing the main bullying.

This is also Pete Carroll football. You establish the run, you pass off of it with success, protect the ball, take away the run, and force turnovers, and more likely than not, you win.

A 23-6 final score is exactly how Pete Carroll wants to draw it up. That’s football porn for that guy, I can guarantee you that.

Now, do it again next week. Football porn out against these dreadful Rams.

Go Hawks!

Jets Vs Seahawks Will Be Must Watch TV

Getty Images

For the life of me, I cannot think of a bigger non conference regular season game for these Seattle Seahawks to have played in over the years than this game against the New York Football Jets on New Year’s Day in Seattle. Sure, the game this season against Denver was massive because of Russell Wilson returning to town, but this game against the Jets is for all the marbles for both teams.

The team that wins keeps their playoff hopes alive for another final week in the NFL, and the team that loses will see their playoff chances vanquished into the ether. Therefore, this is precisely a playoff game in the regular season.

It is also a do or die match that is full of intriguing back stories. Let’s look at a few key subplots.

The New York Jets were the team that drafted Geno Smith to be their franchise quarterback after Mark Sanchez, and they gave up on him way too early. While he would never characterize this as a revenge game, beating the team that basically sentenced him to the life of a career backup up until this year would have to be pretty damn meaningful on top of keeping Seattle’s playoff hopes alive.

Conversely, the Jets are coached by Robert Saleh who was a one time Pete Carroll disciple in Seattle during the Super Bowl years, and then kind of became a bitter enemy of the Seahawks when he became the defensive coordinator of the 49ers under Kyle Shanahan. Whenever pressed about his days in Seattle, Saleh almost always down plays them a bit as he did this week again. Who knows how things stand between him and his former boss, I’m sure there remains a degree of respect and adoration, but I can imagine he would like nothing better than to roll into town with his top end defense and put a beatdown on Carroll’s Seahawks like a Sith apprentice burying his demonically red light saber through the back of his Master.

There’s even a jaded history between each team’s front offices with how the Jets’ GM absolutely fleeced Seattle with the whole Jamal Adams trade. I suspect that behind closed doors with no recording devices around, John Schneider probably throws darts at a picture of Pete Carroll for having him send two first round picks, a third, and starting safety Bradley McDougald to the Jets for often injured Adams who is clearly neither Kam Chancellor nor Earl Thomas, but who knows. Either way, there probably isn’t a day that goes by that Jet’s GM Joe Douglas doesn’t laugh his ass off whenever the subject of the Seahawks comes up.

Adding even further intrigue into this game is the battle of the two rookie phenom corners in the Jets’ Sauce Gardner and the Seahawks’ Tariq Woolen both battling for DROY. No doubt both players want to show up big in this one, and not be outdone by the other.

Adding even further and further cornerback intrigue into this game is one time Seahawk stud corner DJ Reed who was low balled by John Schneider in free agency last Spring, signed with the Jets, and playing his MF’ing ass off this year. Double no doubt he wants to show Seattle they made the wrong call on him.

Also on the Jets’ roster are former Seahawk offensive tackles Duane Brown and George Fant. I bet they want to stick it to Seattle, as well.

Geno Smith wants revenge but won’t ever say it, DJ Reed wants it too and probably would, Sauce and Tariq want to out do each other, and Robert Saleh wants to end his old boss’s coaching career.. all this Sunday… and each team have EVERYTHING TO PLAY FOR.

Who does not want to watch this game?

Only the most half assed football fan wouldn’t want to watch this one, and that’s fair. I’m a half assed baseball fan.

So, how do I think this will go down?

I have no idea. Both teams are struggling lately, and both teams are more talented in areas where the other team isn’t. This could make for a wacky affair on New Year’s.

Seattle should have the better offense. Geno Smith is a better quarterback than Mike White, I believe. Seattle has better receivers and running back and tight ends, probably. However, Seattle has a struggling offensive line, and the Jets have one of the best defensive lines in the game, especially at defensive tackle.

The Jets have a significantly better defense than Seattle does, but Seattle’s defense feels like it has been playing a bit better lately. While I remain mildly skeptical of how much of a positive turn on this Seahawk defense is actually happening, my gut tells me that they will show up well in this one.

So, I think this game could go down to how well Mike White plays in front of a jacked up Lumen Field crowd, and how well Geno Smith can get back on track against a top defense. Geno struggled badly for a good portion in the game against the 49ers’ stellar defense, but he didn’t have Ken Walker running the ball. If Seattle can get Walker going, I think Geno could snap out of his slight funk.

Make no mistake, though, getting Ken Walker going against this defensive front won’t be easy. We need this Seattle offensive line finding it within themselves to play one of their better games, and we need Walker to be more aggressive about hitting whatever creases he sees. We also need commitment from offensive play caller Shane Waldron to stay with the run enough.

For the Seahawks to win this game, they got to be willing to make this a blood bath. The team that runs better and tackles better wins this game, and the Seahawks truly need to get back to Pete Carroll football to make that happen.

Will they?

I hope so. I want them to. I think they can. They did this two months ago against the New York Football Giants, who are better than the Football Jets.

So, in the end, sure, I will pick them. Why not?

They are playing at home with everything on the line. Now is the time for them to rise, and salvage this once promising playoff season of theirs.

Therefore, I say the Seahawks win this one with a weird 23-19 final score in a very un-pretty but yet totally satisfactory way.. because it will have been a total team effort to get it done.

On a side note; games like this one is projected to be are the biggest reason why I love football. At it’s best, it’s tough, it’s bloody, it’s awful, and thrilling, and thus victory feels well earned, and even the defeat can feel satisfactory.

I expect both teams to lay this one out all on the line, and what a way to kick in New Year’s.

Just get it done, Seahawks. Go get it.

Go Hawks!

Seahawks Beating The Chiefs Would Be Awesome!

This guy needs to be great in this one

As things stand for the Seattle Seahawks and their playoff hopes, they are in a bit of a pickle, to say the least. By analytic models, they presently stand about a thirty percent chance of making the post season, and those numbers will drop considerably if they lose at Kansas City this Saturday.

My guess is that there are probably many Seahawk fans who won’t be that disappointed. After all, Seattle wasn’t expected to be as competitive as they’ve been this year in the eyes of many, and some will argue that losing more games now means higher draft picks in the Spring, and that is ultimately better for the club in the long run.

I get that sentiment, but I can’t get fully behind that. I believe that finishing a season strong is always best for any franchise.

In 2011, the Seattle Seahawks had a losing record but they finished strong enough to make many believe that they were a few pieces away from being a contender in 2012, and that proved true. In 2021, the Seattle Mariners had a magical month of September and narrowly missed the playoffs, but the whole town could see that they were going to be a playoff team in 2022.

I think it would be awesome for these 2022 Seahawks to finish their season in a similar way, especially after a recent lackluster five game stretch of going 1-4 after getting to 6-3 by midseason. In my mind, winning out would mean that there are more answers on this team moving forward than there are questions, and 2023 means that they are just maybe a couple pieces away from being a true contender again.

So, for these very reasons, I think beating the Chiefs on the road, in what is likely the toughest environment in sports this Saturday would be awesome for these Seahawks to achieve. It will not be easy in anyway, shape, or form, and if they can pull it off, this would be the signature win for their season, without question.

Can they do it?

In simple terms, yes, I believe they can, but they most likely need a perfect game. Smart money would not bet on that, as Vegas has the Chiefs as ten point favorites.

To win, Seattle will need to turn the corner on defense with perhaps their starting middle linebacker out, and maybe starting strong safety, as well. Offensively, they will need a stellar game from their pro bowl quarterback Geno Smith, and he will be without Tyler Lockett for the first time this season. They will also need to be able to slow down a pass rush that features Chris Jones on the inside, and Frank Clark and Carlos Dunlap on the perimeters. They will also need to take care of the ball in frigid conditions of 10 degrees freezing.

If they do these things, they can stun the football world and beat these Chiefs, absolutely. A key factor in doing this is most likely going to be finding a ground game with a potentially gimpy running back situation. As I weigh that into this complex equation of victory, I find it almost comical how much is against Seattle in this one.

They are battered and struggling, their defensive scheme has not come together particularly well, their offense has fallen off, and they are traveling to a place where really good teams struggle to find wins, and they have to face the best quarterback on the planet in Patrick Mahomes on a ridiculously freezing day of football. Food poisoning would be the likely other shoe to drop in this one.

So, yeah, I’m not going to predict a win for Seattle in this one. If I had to pick a final score, my guess would be 35-24 win by the Chiefs where Geno Smith probably puts up respectable enough numbers again, but the defense does enough keystone cops routines to give the Chiefs an easy win.

But I hope I’m wrong. I really, really super duper hope that.

As a Twelve, what would possibly be a more enjoyable Christmas present than Seattle finding a way to pull off this win?

An fully electric Ford F-150 in 1980’s Seahawk colors would be the only other thing I can personally think of, and I’m pretty sure that I’m not getting that.

So, please, Seattle Seahawks.. pretty please prove me wrong in this one. Go get this win in Kansas City this Saturday.

Go Hawks!

The 2022 Seattle Seahawks And The Importance Of Finishing Strong

So, I recently got into a back and forth with a friend who said she didn’t mind if the Seattle Seahawks tanked these last remaining games for the opportunity of four picks in the top fifty of next year’s draft. Admittedly, she is likely a much more casual Seahawks fan than I am, after all, it takes a special kind of devotion as a fan to start blog about your favorite team, but regardless, I couldn’t help but be surprised at the casualness of her reasoning.

I have seen other fans out there in Seahawks Twitter-Sphere sorta giving off a similar sentiment. These remarks can often be qualified with a “I don’t really care that much about the Seahawks these days because of the Mariners and Kraken, and I want them to suck so we get high draft picks to build this up right” – type of reasoning.

Here is what I would say the fatal flaw is with this sort of logic. I actually believe that these 2022 Seahawks are more talented than their record is indicating. I think Geno Smith is a pro bowl worthy quarterback, and I think he’s surrounded with enough talent on offense to score enough points to win more games than not. I also believe that while the defense has been bad lately, it actually has better talent on it than is given credit for, but that talent isn’t being matched by the scheme that coaches have been tasking them to run. I personally believe that’s on the coaches to adjust.

Therefore, I believe that it is vital for these Seahawks to finish strong this year so that team ownership knows it has the staff (or head coach) in place next year to build momentum off of, and whatever top five pick that Seattle might select by way of Denver will be properly coached up for success next year. People can think that Pete Carroll’s job is secure, and to many degrees I think that is probably accurate, but if Seattle goes 1-7 in their last eight games after a 6-3 start to the season, can anyone say for certain what Jody Allen might decide to do, especially with Sean Payton out there, or Dan Quinn? I cannot.

I also think it is equally, if not more important, for the returning players in 2023 to feel confident and bought into the program, and not feel like they will be coached by a 72 year old dude potentially on the hot seat, if brought back. Often times, when players sense the axe is near for their coach, they can check out even if it is not necessarily their intentions. Carroll doesn’t have a lot of his old guard with him anymore, and this is largely a new batch of young talent that hasn’t been with him long. Therefore, there’s not the connection to put it on the line for him like maybe there would be with other older vested players.

In my opinion, Pete Carroll doesn’t need the added pressure of going into 2023 with the feeling of playoffs or bust. If this guy is sticking around, I want him feeling the confidence of ownership behind him still, and if they slip to 7-10 to end this season after he had this team at 6-3 at one point, that could feel pretty shaky heading into the off-season, if they decide to bring him back.

Many fans have probably forgotten this storyline by now, but a year ago at this time, right around when Seattle lost to the lowly Chicago Bears at home, there was reports surfacing that Jody Allen was considering moving on from Pete, and the team fancied Dan Quinn as his replacement. Pete Carroll might have well made those reports moot in the following two weeks when Seattle handily beat the Detroit Lions, and then rolled over the Arizona Cardinals to close out the disappointing season with a flourish.

Because I remember these reports, and the feeling of mild euphoria watching Seattle smack the Cardinals down like that in the desert, and thinking that Carroll likely dodged a bullet, I have to be honest and say that part of me believes he might have to dodge a similar bullet this year, as well. That is my gut feeling when I hear thoughts of Seattle losing out.

The NFL stands for Not For Long, and Carroll has been here a looooong time, but if ownership feels like he didn’t do enough to prevent a lackluster slump through the second half of the season, he could be asked to step aside. After all, having a top five pick and a chance to select a rare blue chip player, one would think that ownership would want a coach around who isn’t being perceived as getting stale or out of touch. Selfishly, as a fan of Pete Carroll, I don’t want to see this happen to him.

Another reason why we want these Seahawks ending this show strong is to make key players on this roster want to stick around. Geno Smith has been a tremendously positive story this year in Seattle sports, but if this team continues to fall flat despite good efforts on his part, is he going to want to come back in 2023 if he feels like there is another team out there who is a veteran quarterback away from making a better run?

He is 32, after all, and might be feeling like his window to fulfill his dreams is a short one, and like Russell Wilson last year, doesn’t want to toil with a team that fell short of expectations and couldn’t figure it out. While he is likely tremendously grateful for the opportunity that Carroll gave him, he also needs to be looking at his own best interests now.

What if Tampa moves on from Tom Brady and is going to target Geno to replace him?

Geno Smith is from Miami and Tampa Bay is a heck of a lot closer to home than Seattle is. Tampa also has Vita Vea on defense and some nice receivers on offense.

Even if Seattle does want to look at adding a quarterback in this draft (or the next), the ideal scenario for this team to win next year is for Geno Smith to come back into the fold, and I think Seattle needs to show him his best interests are to remain up here. Anyone arguing against that is either overthinking things, or they are just going to carry it to their graves that Geno Smith isn’t very good even though all of his passing numbers this year say otherwise.

If Pete Carroll is coming back, he is going to want Geno Smith back, and I think that is pretty certain. If he doesn’t come back, then I think, if you are Seattle, you most likely aren’t looking at bringing Geno Smith back with a new head coach. I think you are most likely taking a quarterback next Spring with that very first pick.

If that last sentence perked you up with your coffee, and that is exactly what you want as a Seahawks fan (a new coach and quarterback scenario), I would respond by that with a classic “careful what you ask for” retort.

And let me say this, if you think there’s a better coach out there right now for Seattle other than Pete Carroll, who is it? Are you honestly going to say Dan Quinn or Sean Payton? Stop if you are, and examine, for a moment, all three of those coaches records together, and tell me who has done best in this league.

And yes, I imagine you could throw out a bunch of names of coordinators on winning teams right now, but allow me to remind that, at this time of the year last year, Nathaniel Hackett was a popular name being thrown out by some on Seahawks Twitter as a replacement for Pete. Yeah, that guy in Denver who’s everyone’s favorite boob right now, he was labeled as a bit of a genius last year when he had Aaron Rodgers and DeVante Adams to play call for.

So, sure, maybe this is exactly what a growing number of people want these days for the Seahawks. They want a new coach who will be the next Sean McVay and they want a shiny rookie quarterback who they think will be the next Patrick Mahomes. Good luck with finding either of those guys, though. There is not a Mahomes in this draft class, and there’s not exactly a Sean McVay tree to pluck another Sean McVay from.

Bryce Young from Alabama might be the next Kyler Murray (if you are into short and slight, and twitchy but maybe also potentially injury prone at the next level), and Anthony Richardson from Florida could develop into a Cam Newton type in time. Will Levis and CJ Stroud are both prospects that feel overhyped to me and will probably go in the first round but will struggle to even play up to expectations, as many quarterbacks taken in round one often do.

No, in my mind, the best path forward into 2023 for these Seahawks is to undeniably finish this season strong, and build on that momentum moving into next year. It’s important for this offense to feel like a well oiled machine again, and it’s important for this defense to better turn the corner.

It’s important to lock down their quarterback situation for the foreseeable future, and build around him, in my opinion. You do that by finishing strong, but you risk putting all of that in jeopardy by continuing to struggle and not have answers for it.

These Seattle Seahawks need these next three games to find answers. They don’t need to win all three of these games, or even sneak into the playoffs, but they need figure things out on both sides of the ball, and yes, I get that it won’t be easy with the Chiefs and Jets remaining and being without Tyler Lockett. Tough, a lot of teams are down key players now.

This is a great opportunity for them to finish strong, and truly show that they are on the positive way up instead of continuing to dwindle around in the inertia of subpar scheming, and bad discipline and fundamentals. This is the time for the coordinators to show that they can get it together, and for the players to prove they can carry it out.

Maybe the loss of Lockett forces Shane Waldron to devise more creative ways with mixing the run with the pass again, and we see better offensive balance, and execution. Maybe now Clint Hurtt adjusts his defense more into players strengths again up front instead of asking Poona Ford to be something he isn’t. Maybe now DK Metcalf won’t lose his poise at critical times in games. Maybe now Darrell Taylor won’t jump offsides in his opportunities to pass rush.

These are some of the things Seattle should look to do in these games. I could make a longer list, but the point has been made enough. I think Seattle lost games in this last month that they should have won. You can say that I’m being harsh, but Pete Carroll would say it the same way, and basically has.

What is in the past is in the past, though. Now it is in front of them to seize the opportunity to still make this season close out in the right way. Play hard, play strong, play smart, and let the chips fall where they may.

I think it is possible for them to still make a decent go at it, and push for the playoffs. I believe that is out there for them, and whether or not they get into the post season is immaterial in my mind. What’s important is that they close this out with a feeling that 2023 is going to be special instead of another pile of who-the-fuck-knows with this team.

I want to wake up the morning after that last game against the Rams feeling like “oh hell yes, we are onto something special for next year.” That’s the feeling I want most of the Twelves to feel, and I’m sure that the team wants that, as well.

So, yeah. I think finishing strong is hugely important. I think it’s vital.

Go Hawks.

The Seahawks Were Beaten By 49er Team Pete Carroll Should Appreciate

(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

For over a decade, up until this year, there was one certainty about the Seattle Seahawks. No matter what their struggles and issues were, they could count on at least splitting the season series with the San Fransisco 49ers if not sweeping it.

But things are very different this year with these Seahawks. By switching away from a defense rooted in 4-3 that Pete Carroll has run for decades into a 3-4 rooted defense modeled after the one that Vic Fangio has always ran, I believe Seattle has moved away from a defense that, for all the complaints from fans that it’s gathered in recent years, was always a pretty good against Kyle Shanahan’s exotic, run it at you, style of offense.

Pete Carroll should take a big long look at the team that just came into Lumen Field and whooped his team, 21-13, on Thursday Night Football. Their offense is committed to a great running attack to which their quarterback can make easy play action passes off of to receivers. Their defense is truly dominant and complete.

It should deeply stick into his mind that this dominant 49er defense has been modeled after his famous Super Bowl defenses. They play a similar 4-3 defense that can suffocate the run, and can rush with four.

Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa are jacked up versions of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. Their linebackers are lightening quick, and they play a zone coverage very similarly to the infamous LOB. They keep plays in front of them, and they force turnovers by getting to the ball quickly.

Pete Carroll is likely going to have a top three pick in this year’s draft by way of Denver in the Russell Wilson trade. If they cannot pull out a couple more wins in these last three games, Seattle might have another pick within the top ten-ish of the draft, as well, with their own pick.

With Geno Smith’s game coming a bit more back to Earth in recent weeks, there is surely going to be a contingent of Twelves clamoring for Seattle to draft a quarterback with one of these two first round picks. In my opinion, if Pete Carroll wants to get this team into championship contention sooner rather than later, both of those picks should go to the defensive line, if possible; one inside pass rusher, and one more edge rusher.

In my mind, there is no reason for Seattle not to bring Geno Smith back next year, and this disappointing result against San Francisco to which he had no support of a run game (again) did nothing to dissuade my thinking. I think they should look to extend him long term, and build this thing rightly around him. That starts with this defense, and it’s not just a matter of drafting Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, and maybe Texas edge rusher Tyree Wilson.

I believe that Pete Carroll should go back to his 4-3 scheme that puts big men in gaps and allowed linebackers and defensive backs to cleanup and make plays. I’m not the only one who feels this way, too.

Richard Sherman is becoming outspoken about it, and KJ Wright has, as well. Both former players are close to Carroll and the team, and they see the obvious. Clint Hurtt’s 3-4 cannot stop the run with the players on this roster, and, in my opinion, there’s no guarantee it will greatly improve next year with a couple high picks being thrown at it.

Watching this game against the 49ers and contrasting these two defenses spells it out to me. San Fransisco committed a big man in each gap and while Seattle would leave a big gap exposed for a linebacker to fill against blockers sixty or more pounds heavier.

Thus, Seattle had a difficult time getting the run game going again, while San Fransisco could lean into theirs anytime they wanted to, and were almost toying with Seattle’s defense by getting Brock Purdy and their pass game going. When they needed to do it, San Fransisco ran with ease at the most important times in this game.

Yeah, in my mind, Pete Carroll needs to dump this 3-4 experiment, and get back to what he knows best. I don’t even envision another scenario for this team right now.

With the players on this roster, I believe if they shifted back to it, we would likely see significantly better results. Poona Ford could go back to playing a slanted nose, Shelby Harris could play a decent 3 technique, and Quinton Jefferson could play his natural 5 tech spot with Uchenna Nwuso as the main rush end, and I believe we would see better results up front. Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton would be freed to run and hit instead of tangling with guards in their grills.

This is the place that I have squarely landed with on this team now through fourteen games. They have a veteran quarterback who can make all the throws, who knows this offense inside and out, and is fully capable of leading it (especially when it has had a run game going), but they have a defense that doesn’t look like anything close to being one that is capable of stopping the run, and if you can’t do that, you can’t do much in this league.

And the thing of it is, the Kyle Shanahan San Fransisco 49ers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. After watching how well Brock Purdy played in this offense, I sense that they have found their quarterback of the future as well as the present. I suspect next year, after whatever playoff run they make, Jimmy Garoppolo seeks a starter gig elsewhere, and it wouldn’t shock me if Trey Lance is traded to a team with an aging quarterback who they want him to be groomed behind. I kinda think, after this small sample size, Purdy looks that much like the real deal in this 49er offense, and we will see as the season continues and the playoffs begin.

So, if Seattle wants to get back to winning games against the 49ers again real fast, I believe they better make this switch on defense and load it up. People can talk about Seattle having this rare opportunity to draft a quarterback high, but let’s think about how rare it is to draft a total stud defensive tackle, or game wrecking edge rusher.

As for this TNF game against San Fransisco, many will say that Seattle handled themselves admirably in the face of a far superior opponent, and I get that. I think that’s fair.

Geno Smith held in tough while getting sacked three times, and hit nine more times. As was the game against the Panthers, he found his rhythm late and made a run at it, and his overall efficiency numbers were decent enough.

Ken Walker III tried as he could to get going as a runner, but didn’t seem a hundred percent to my sees, and he had very little holes to run through, as the 49er defensive front completely had their way with the Seattle OL (another familiar them lately). That said, he found his positive plays as a runner and a pass catcher as the game went on.

Still, while there were moments where Geno found rhythm, and got the offense going, things stalled by crucial mistakes, like a critical Travis Homer fumble that led to more 49er points, and DK Metcalf doing nobody any favors by being flagged twice for 15 and 10 yards apiece. You cannot play against a tough defense like that, and expect to pull yourself out of it by making these sorts of mistakes, yet somehow, Seattle still found a way to make it competitive in the end.

This tells me that Seattle’s talent is not all together that bad. I don’t believe that it is being helped with the scheme on defense, and I don’t think it’s talented enough on offense to overcome its own mistakes. In order for the Seahawks to win now, they need to be near perfect on offense, and the need to seize the few opportunities on defense they can get like an easy interception opportunity that Quandre Diggs dropped that could have turned the game in flavor of Seattle.

Therefore, instead of feeling overwhelming anger of Seattle kinda shooting themselves in the foot during a game where maybe they could have sneaked out a win against a better divisional opponent, I feel a stronger sense of clarity as to what the path is moving forward for these Seahawks to become a true contender again. They are, as follows.

Keeping Geno Smith and committing to him as the next franchise quarterback. This doesn’t dissuade drafting and developing a quarterback behind him (cough, couch Michael Penix Junior in 2024), but it does mean keeping the continuity of a decent offense together, and giving yourself the gift of stability at the most important position on the team with a guy who has proven he can run it well enough.

Going back to Pete Carroll’s traditional 4-3. Carroll knows it, and can easily adjust it as needed, and with offenses becoming more run centric in this league again, I suspect 4-3 defenses will become the better way to go once again. Plus, this defense better fits the talent on the roster.

Get a veteran upgrade at center and add a guard. If Seattle does one splashier move in free agency this Spring after bringing on Geno Smith into the fold, I think they should reward him with an upgrade and a longer term solution at center. This position has been a revolving door for seemingly forever. Let’s stop that. Seattle’s interior offensive line is making things way too easy for defensive tackles, lately. I think a high second round pick in the draft should absolutely be spent on a guard, as well.

Use those top two picks on defensive linemen if possible. Go get a good young defensive tackle and another edge rusher. Maybe even double dip at defensive tackle in the second or third round. Stop making me envious of San Fransisco’s deep defensive line rotation, and build it up right here. I think Seattle has the right young corners now. I still like Quandre Dings at safety, and they can either bring Ryan Neal back at the other safety spot or try to roll with Jamal Adams again (or maybe they even move him to linebacker), but if they do not seize the opportunity to draft DL with their high picks next Spring, that’s going to feel like a massive bummer. If there is one consolation prize for maybe missing the playoffs now, it is the opportunity to draft higher and grab more DL. Make no mistake, this is the biggest position area of NEED for this team right now.

Get another work horse back to mix in with Walker. K9 has been a fun story this year and will likely become a fan favorite on this team for years to come. His rare lateral moves and home run speed is that special, but I also believe Seattle needs more at running back, and I was surprised that they didn’t do more to bring another one in after they lost Rashaad Penny for the season. I believe that a big plan of theirs was to feature both backs. They could still bring Penny back next year, but given his injury history, they need more. When Carroll was at USC, he had Reggie Bush, and LenDale White. Bush was the flashy playmaker and White was the work horse banger who did the heavy lifting. I think Seattle needs to get back to that model. I don’t care if it’s through free agency or draft but adding a guy who can be the “thunder” to K9’s “lightening” feels vital to me moving forward into next year, and I’m kinda bummed they didn’t make this move this year in season before the trade deadline.

Outside of that, I really hope Pete Carroll can rally these guys and give us a fun close out to this season. I’m not super hopeful for a win next week in Kansas City, but if we can close out the year with wins against the Jets and Rams, and get to 9-8 with a chance at one of the final playoff spots, I think that would be a lot of fun, and it would still make this season feel special.

After all, Seattle just played and lost a meaningful game in December that had playoff implications. Before this season started, few predicted that to even be a scenario, and yet here it is. Now, I just want my team to end this year on a positive flourish. I think they deserve that.

That would be a perfect Holiday present for the likes of me, as well.

Go Hawks.

Dearest Seahawks, Please Beat The 49ers!

Rise, oh Great One. Rise.

My Dearest Seattle Seahawks,

I know this last month of football has been a tough one for you. It’s been a tough one for me, as well.

I just want you to know, once again, that I am one of your biggest, bestest, most true blue fans out there. I emotionally ride and die with you every football week, and you are the only team I follow devotedly through each and every off-season. I have been doing this since 1983.

You see, I remember who Sam Merriman was, and how many Seahawk bloggers can throw that name out there?

Yup, Imma middle aged dork who has next to no life outside of being a fan of yours. I’ve created this blog entirely for my devotion towards you, and yes, I do understand just how creepy that sounds typing it out, but it is what it is. I am here for you, always.. and forever.

So, look, I know that y’all have been having a lousy time stopping the run for the past four games. I mean, honestly, I haven’t seen a run defense this bad in Seattle in probably twenty years or so, and I have certainly never see a Pete Carroll defense so easily gashed apart like this.

Having said that, I got a big ask. I mean, it’s a biggie.

Please beat the stinking 49ers this Thursday night. I just really need this one.

Without spilling into all of the details, I’ve had a tough month. My hopes for you guys making a playoff push in December has been kinda one of the things holding it together for me, and seeing you drop this last game against Carolina the way you did was a pretty tough swallow, if I am being completely honest.

So I just think a really awesome remedy for that would be to go out onto the field Thursday night at Lumen when nobody is expecting it, and you just stun the 49ers on National TV. That would be awesome for all of us Twelves.

At this stage of the season, I am not expecting miracles that you are going to turn your defense into some dominant group and win out with it, but I would just love to see it show up like it did in October against the Cardinals and Chargers and Giants. I would love to see you get into the playoffs, but really, I would honestly just take you beating this one team, if you only have one win left in you for this season.

I still believe you have it in you to win more than one more game, but I have to be protective with my expectations now. I hope you understand that. Shame on me once for thinking you would bury the Bucs, shame on me twice for thinking you would do it to the Raiders, as well. Shame on me thrice for thinking you would handle the Panthers.

I can’t deal with anymore shame. So now, I’m just resorting to begging on the internet.

Please, pretty please take it to these punky 49ers. When they come rolling in with that fancy shmancy ground game, please just smack them in the chops.

Everyone loves this Brock Purdy guy now, but Geno Smith is the real deal in the NFC West, and on national television, it would be great to remind everyone about that again. Please give Geno more of a run game, and please have Geno play is ass off in this one, guiding us to victory over this awful bitter foe (who were named after a bunch of murderous greedy white dudes in the 1800’s who killed a lot of Native Americans, by the by).

But please, for the love of everything Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, and Cliff Avril, if anything, please play your asses off on defense. Get fired up! Know how Kyle Shanahan is going to attack you, and have answers! Show the world your want to!

Bow up, and dig deep, and play big boy football for all four full quarters, and don’t let up. Pretty please, do this.

I want to see your corners hitting and tackling like linebackers, and I want to see your linebackers hit like eighty mile an hour freight trains, and I want to see your defensive tackles destroy their blockers.

Go get it done.

If you do this, and pull this off, the season is still yours for the taking. The momentum off of this sort of win can carry your forward into more victories. You can make the playoffs, and still maybe win this division.

It can be there for you, but you gotta make it happen. So, please do this.

A win against the 49ers will clear the stink away from the losses to the Panthers and Raiders. You would be 8-6 and you would have a nice break to heal up for the final three games.

So, pretty, pretty please get mean, get ready to stun the world this Thursday night, and beat these 49ers.

Pretty please, do it.

Hugs, and go Hawks!

Curtis Eastwood

Seahawks Disappoint Against The Panthers And Their Season Is On The Ropes

Can’t touch this

A living body is an extremely complex mechanism. It is full of multiple organs that require each to function optimally for the body to survive. Once, an organ weakens, it puts further stress on other organs to function and they often have to work twice as hard to compensate.

This is why when someone who suffers heart disease, they can also end up with lung problems or some other mortal ailment. Everything is connected on a string, to a degree.

The plant world can be like this, as well. When a plant develops a dead branch, it can develop more dead branches by sending energy to the area of the dead branch that it would otherwise send to healthier branches throughout its canopy. The result is that over time, those other areas begin to struggle, and eventually die. This is why it’s good to cut the dead branches out of your Japanese maple, annually.

NFL football is much the same. A good football team functions like a good living organism. It needs all of its bits functioning properly. If it is good in certain aspects of the game, but terrible in others, it can be very difficult to win games. If one area is truly awful, it puts more stress on others to compensate.

The Seattle Seahawks cannot stop the run, defensively. In football, that’s really bad. It’s honestly one of the worst things to plague a team. It forces the offense to play near perfect in order to pull out wins, and over time, things on that side of the ball can begin to wear down, as well.

The biggest gift that you can give any struggling offense is to have them match up against a defense that cannot stop the run. In the last four games, this Seahawks defense has given three bad teams victories because they could not stop the run, and they almost gave a fourth bad team a victory, as well. That’s bad football.

In those games, Geno Smith has looked like he has had to press more with pushing the ball down field, and it hasn’t helped him that the Seahawk rushing attack has been spotty at best, and nonexistent at worst, either. In my opinion, I think think Seattle should have been more aggressive bringing in another work horse back to complement Ken Walker after Rashaad Penny went down for the season, but that’s another matter.

At any rate, it’s bad timing heading into the final stretch of games with playoff hopes, not having the ability to stop the run, and now possibly not being able to run the ball either. This is the opposite of Pete Carroll football.

In this game, the Carolina Panthers beat Pete Carroll by playing his preferred brand of football. This is officially becoming a broken record with these Seahawks. The Falcons did this to them, and the Saints, and Bucs, and Raiders, and now the Panthers. None of these teams have winning records, either.

Right now, at the rate that this defense is regressing, I don’t know where Seattle’s eighth win is coming from, and it pains me to type that. It just feels that bad.

After this game, I also sense that there will be people more apt to blame Geno Smith for not having his sharpest game, and I get it to a degree. His first throw of the game was an interception that was a bad decision to force the throw into coverage when he had someone open in the flat. I think his other one was a result of the refs blowing an obvious offsides by the defense, though, and I can completely understand him thinking he had a free play, I thought he did, too.

Let’s get real with Geno in this one, though. His defense was doing next to nothing to slow down Carolina, and Carolina was doing everything to take away Seattle’s rushing attack to balance the pass game off of. Thus, Geno was placed in yet another situation where he had to be near perfect, and he fell short. He needed to be better, but let’s not make it sound like he had an altogether horrible day because the simple fact is that 21 for 36, 264 yards, 3 TDs to 2 INTs can get many teams a W if their defense can stop the bloody run game.

The memo is out on how to play the Seahawks moving forward. It’s to run the f’ing football. Right now, it would be negligent for any offensive coordinator to not call 40 runs against this defense. San Fransisco might only pass the ball four or five times against this defense Thursday night, if that.

Right now, it is incredibly difficult to not become pessimistic about Seattle’s shift to the 3-4 under Clint Hurtt’s defensive direction. He might be a HUGE fan of 3-4, and has been pining for Seattle to transition to it for years, but that scheme is NOT matching the talent on this roster; not in the slightest.

Seattle does not have great defensive line talent, but they got players who could probably function towards league average if they were operating out of some variation of a 4-3. If Carroll wanted to shift back to his old odd fronts, he could have Quinton Jefferson play 5 tech, Al Woods play nose, Shelby Harris as the 3 tech, and Uchenna Nwosu or Darrell Taylor as the Leo end, and that would probably be an adequate four man line with Poona Ford and others rotating in. Bruce Irvin could play his old SAM role with Coby Barton, and Jordyn Brooks playing WILL and MIKE.

This would look like at least a functional front seven in the 4-3 base defense to me, and there would be enough bodies up at the line of scrimmage fire out of three point stances to fill gaps and take on blockers with leverage that the linebackers and DBs would be freed from blockers to cleanup on ball carriers.. just like it used to be. This is what a 4-3 defense offers. There is little exotic about it; it just puts guys in gaps and it allows other guys to fill.

Instead, we see, almost play after play, five guys up at the line of scrimmage, but the two guys on the outside standing up (vulnerable to leverage), with blockers and ball carriers blowing past them into smaller linebackers and DBs. Simply put, Seattle does not have players to play this way. Poona Ford and Quinton Jefferson aren’t going to soak up multiple blockers to keep Coby Barton clean, and Barton is not going to take on a 300 pound guard and win.

What Hurtt and the defensive coaches are asking these front seven dudes to do is really tough stuff to accomplish in this league. You need special EXTRA LARGE dudes to do this stuff, and your linebackers have to be special, as well. If they had drafted mammoth Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis at nine instead of left tackle Charles Cross, he would have been a good piece to fit into that style of defense, but even having him play in a 3-4 is probably limiting what he would be able to do in a 4-3.

So, what’s the answer for this season with these final four games left on this schedule?

How can they better prepare these players?

What can they better tweak without suddenly tossing out entirely this whole Vic Fangio inspired 3-4 thing?

Is it even possible to install more 4-3 at this point? I felt when they were in the four game win streak back in October/November, there was more elements of 4-3, mixed with some Bear stuff they did a lot of last year. Who knows, though, maybe I was just dreaming that.

All I know is this. It will be incredibly hard to win any remaining games is they cannot slow a simple run game down.

They should be well aware of what the 49ers are going to do, as they should the Jets who run that same offense. In my opinion, it is up to this coaching staff to put these defenders in a best positions to be most successful against these offenses. If they cannot do that, then I think a question should be asked as to whether this scheme and staff that was brought in to coach it are right for this club in 2023.

They can throw their two first round picks at the defense, but if those guys aren’t being coached well enough, how much good is that really going to do for this club?

Oh, how fleeting it is to be a diehard fan of this team!

Last week’s narrow win against the Rams had me dreaming of post season. This loss against the Panthers has me wondering where our next win is coming from.

Beating the 49ers on Thursday night would be the right remedy. I dare to dream that one. I do dare it, indeed.

Go Hawks.

Avoid The Trap: A Panther Versus Seahawks Preview

No game left on the Seahawks schedule is going to be a gimme. This is what the last three games have taught me about this team that I love.

I thought the Seahawks would roll into Germany and beat Tom Brady and the Bucs pretty decisively, and I was painfully wrong. I thought they would bury Derek Carr and the Raiders at home, and they lost to them in overtime. I thought they would handily win against John Wolford quarterbacked Rams, and Geno Smith had to pull that game out at the end in a dramatic game winning drive.

So, I’m not going to say that these Panthers are an easy match for Seattle. They are not a great team, but they have a toughness to them. They run the ball well with a good offensive line, and they have a pretty good defensive line with edge rusher Brian Burns, and defensive tackle Derrick Brown.

Seattle has to be ready for this team, and they probably have to be ready without their star running back Ken Walker III, aka K9, and they could be without a few other players, as well. I don’t know how much looking past the Raiders they did the other week, but when I was at that game, I sensed a lack of crispness with the offense, at times, and maybe some lack of focus with the defense at others. I sensed that same lack of focus and fire from the defense last week in that opening drive against the Rams, as well.

These things cannot be a repeat trend during these final five games, if Seattle wants to see the playoffs. They need to shore it all up, and I think this game against a tough Panther squad is the game to do it.

Some will say that Seattle isn’t a very talented team, and that they have overachieved to get to where they are at 7-5. I say their record is what it says they are. They are a team with enough talent to contend for the playoffs and that is what they are doing. I think they are getting top level play from Geno Smith at quarterback, and he is aided by one of the best wide receiver tandems in the business, and a good group of tight ends, as well. While the defense has regressed in the last three games from where they were in October and early November, I think they have enough talent to still turn it around towards respectability again, and it might start this Sunday.

The Carolina Panthers are not likely going to trick Seattle in this match. The weather conditions could favor running, and they are a down hill, run it at you, offensive attack. With Seattle doing more 3-4 stuff these days, they have gone away from what was always the most consistent aspect of Pete Carroll’s 4-3 under/over front schemes, and that was stopping the run. This might be the way where Clint Hurtt decides to go with those heavier looks again.

Offensively, this also might be the game where Seattle decides is wants to try to get up early with the points, airing it out to set up the run, and leaning into its strengths with their passing attack. Getting Sam Darnold passing more while chasing a lead, than D’Onto Foreman running to chew clock is probably what would be ideal for the Seahawks in this one.

While Seattle’s defense has had it’s issues against the run, lately, they have been fairly decent against the pass with playmakers in their secondary like rookie corner, Tariq Woolen (6 INTs), and edge rusher Uchenna Nwuso (9 sacks). It cannot be overstated how important it is this week for Seattle’s defense to show up better against the run in this one. If they can do that, I think Seattle can comfortably win this one, even if they are without K9. I trust Seattle’s offense that much.

So, how do I think this game will go down?

I see Seattle winning, and advancing to 8-5. It might not always look pretty, but I think they find ways to get it done.

I think Seattle wins this in a 27-24 sort of way. The only reason I am giving it a tight score like this at the end is that, until I see this defense really bounce back towards playing well again, I need to emotionally brace myself for the reality that we could see Seattle forced to win shootouts.

Therefore, I think this game will have the look and feel of yet another close one, but Seattle still does enough to where Sam Darnold won’t have enough time to pull it out at the end.

Just get this win though, and get healthier for San Fransisco next Thursday.

Go Hawks!

Geno Time: A Seahawks 27-23 Victory Over The LA Rams In Review


The Seattle Seahawks aren’t a great team right now. They aren’t a bad team either, but they have a lot of work to do in order to become a real contender.

If the season ended today, they would be the seventh playoff team coming out of the NFC, and that feels like the right sort of projection right now. If they want to be better than that, they have work to do through these final five games of the regular season.

They have regressed on defense from the four game winning streak they were in during October and November in ways that are trying to watch if you are a fan of this team, and you love defense. For me, that’s been a struggle to view. A Pete Carroll defense should be better than this.

Last week, they gave up 283 rushing yards to the Las Vegas Raiders, and that wasn’t a fun watch. In this game against the Rams, they surrendered 171 yards on the ground. While this game in LA was an improvement, it was a still a bad effort, and had LA been able to hang onto their lead to win, it would be a major talking point about the Seahawks this week (it still might be).

If you cannot run the ball in this league, and if you cannot stop the run, as well, you are likely not going to win many games. In order to win games with these deficiencies, you need great quarterback play to win shoot out scenarios on a weekly basis.

In this game against the Rams, the Seattle Seahawks got awesome quarterback play from Geno Smith, and make no mistake about that. No longer can cheapskate fans say that you cannot pay Geno Smith because he hasn’t led this team to any fourth quarter comebacks. They are going to have to come up with another reason now.

When his team needed him most, in a hostile environment on the road, against a top ten defense, Geno Smith delivered as pretty of a come from behind, touchdown throwing drive as you will see in the final minutes of a game. Yes, I know that the Rams were without Aaron Donald, but they still had a lot of high end talent playing on that side of the ball, and they have a much better defense than the Raiders had the other week. When they knew he had to pass, Geno delivered darts against heavy pressure, and he beat them.

As bad as the Seahawk defense played at times (and the Seattle offense stalled at times), this was yet another fun game to watch. When Ken Walker (K9) was lost to an ankle injury early in the game, Seattle was forced to turn to reserve third down back DeeJee Dallas and fourth string back Tony Jones Jr who many casual Seahawk fans probably didn’t know he was even a dude on this roster. It wasn’t always pretty with Dallas and Jones, but it was impressive with how they hung in and fought, especially with Dallas who got immediately banged up and yet had to come back in and grit it out after Jones was knocked out.

Circling back to the defense, I don’t really know what to think. They gave up monster yards on the ground again, but they mostly held the Ram offense in check in terms of scoring. At times, it felt like they allowed John Wolford to be a competent NFL quarterback in place of Matt Stafford, but his state line was a fairly terrible 14/26 for 178 yard and 2 INTs. His best production was almost as a runner. Also, after having no sacks against Tom Brady and Derek Carr, they got to Wolford 4 times in this one, and Uchenna Nwuso collected 2 of them for 9 sacks on the year so far. So, I guess, if anything, this was a very up and down defensive effort.

Here’s what I think I see from this unit. They are very committed to staying within the 3-4 structure that Clint Hurtt wants to roll with. I thought maybe they would shift a bit more out of it, but they haven’t. The 3-4 is a defense that functions best against pass happy offenses. Defensive coordinators can disguise more pressures and coverages and confuse quarterbacks more, but this is also a defense that is much easier to run on than the 4-3 one. In the last three games, offenses have chosen to run on this defense more than pass, and the Seahawks are 1-2 in result (and were almost 0-3, if not for Geno in this one).

To my eye, I see the edge players having hard times containing outside run plays (maybe guessing wrong with the freedoms they have to go make a play), and I see defensive tackles not getting off blocks enough inside (possibly because they are reading and reacting more than attacking). The result is very feast or famine. They will make big plays in this sort of scheme, but they are also capable of giving them up.

I would suggest that maybe Seattle needs to go back to the 4-3 defense Pete Carroll usually runs with, but I think that would most likely be something for them to consider next year. For the remainder of this season, I’m not really going to beat that drum for the simple fear of beating a dead horse. For now, Seattle is by and large a 3-4 team. Can they get better in this scheme at stopping the run?

We will soon see. In short order, we will have the Panthers coming into town, and we will have the best running attack in the league to face again in the San Francisco 49ers coming in, as well. The Panthers ran for 185 yards against a very good Bronco defense last week, and are coming off of a bye week this week. The 49ers ran decently against a good Dolphin defense, but are getting more banged up now, so we will see about them.

Regardless, Clint Hurtt has his work to do. He might want to tweak his scheme more, but he has got to get his edge defenders containing better, and he has got to get his defensive tackles attacking better.

All is not lost on this season, but it appears that Seattle could become thinner at running back while its run defense is still a mess. This will continue to put more pressure on Geno Smith, and the Seattle passing attack.

Through this all, I think they can deliver. They just did it on the road against a Rams team that had all the momentum in the final minutes until Geno took over. They are 7-5 and in the thick of playoff contention. Two more wins through these next five games might be enough for them to get into the post season. That still feels very doable for me. Ten wins doesn’t feel a total stretch either.

Why am I this optimistic at the end of listing all of their issues on defense and with the ground game?

This answer is simple.

Winning a come from behind game like this on the road can have a galvanizing effect. When blockers know that their quarterback can get it done in crunch time, they tend to block harder. When receivers trust the quarterback, they tend to be crisper. It’s fun playing with a quarterback you believe in.

I think the Geno factor can have that sort of carryover to the other side of the ball, as well. As a defender, when you know your guy behind center can get it done, you want to go get make that stop or get that ball for him.

I think this team believes in Geno Smith, and probably more so now than ever.

This win on the road against LA, when former Seahawk Bobby Wagner was doing everything in his power to keep Seattle from winning, and Sean McVay was dialing up his offensive magic against Pete Carroll late in the game to take the lead, seeing Geno pull off that sort of high end quarterbacking is probably just what this team needed to see. Sometimes, a team just needs a spark to kick it in the ass for them.

This can be the real spark to get this team into the post season, and I am here for it. I hope you are, too.

Also, watching DK Metcalf absolutely punk that punk ass Jalen Ramsey at the end of the game by beating him for a game winning touchdown grab was extra special priceless. Have fun in Cabo, Jalen Ramsey!

Go Hawks.