Friday, August 29, 2014

Seahawks 31 Raiders 41

Well, the Seahawks finished their exhibition schedule with a .500 record-- but that's certainly no cause for alarm.

Losing last night to one of the worst franchises of the past decade might seem potentially concerning, but given the circumstances, the Seahawks are more or less right where they want to be. It's not indicative of a lack of effort or 'playing down' to opponents.  I think it can be attributed to the coaching staff giving more playing time to players on the roster bubble than guys we know we can count on.

Offensively, my eyes were on Terrelle Pryor last night.  I'm very curious to see how his situation will play out.  Seattle will have to cut down to 53 players on Saturday and I cannot remember the last time they kept 3 quarterbacks on the roster.

Knowing that Seattle will most likely only keep a pair of quarterbacks, that boils down the question to who will back up Russell Wilson?  BJ Daniels should have no problem getting through waivers and onto the practice squad, but the same cannot be said for Tarvaris Jackson or Pryor.  Should we cut either of those two, they will definitely get scooped up by another team.

So do we go with Pryor or Jackson as Wilson's backup?  My head says Jackson while my heart says Pryor.  I feel like Jackson would win more games than Pryor as a starter.  Not many more, but even one more could spell the difference between making or missing the playoffs.

Jackson is more accurate of a passer, a better leader and more comfortable in the pocket.  Pryor is a much better athlete, can run for yards (with the size to take some hits) and has the benefit of youth on his side.  I want Jackson for this season, but I want Pryor for next year-- and cutting him doesn't guarantee his availability for next season.

If Jackson is cut, it will be sad to see him go, but he got a ring with us and is plenty capable of continuing his career as a spot-starting backup  or a stop-gap for developing a rookie on another roster.  If we cut Pryor, it will be disappointing having given up a pick to acquire him and without trying to fit him in at another position.

Look at us-- we're speculating, hemming and hawing over backup quarterbacks.  I think its safe to say that we're ready to begin the title!  Let the (regular season) games begin!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Seahawks 34 Bears 6

The Bears had made such terrific additions to their roster this offseason that I was prepared to pick Chicago as the NFC North Champions this season. After the thorough shellacking the Seahawks handed them, you might think that my prediction was perhaps foolish or at the very least, premature, but I stand by that decision.

It's not that the Bears are bad-- its that the Seahawks are that good.

Russell Wilson is looking like a legitimate MVP candidate.  He was 15 for 20 with 202 yards through the air and a pair of passing TDs.  He added another rushing touchdown as did Marshawn Lynch in his limited action. The offense doesn't so much look 'improved' as it does polished. Golden Tate's absence was entirely unnoticed with Jermaine Kearse looking ready to take the next step along side a healthy Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin.

The defense lost a lot more than the offensive side of the ball in the offseason-- but you wouldn't know it from watching this game.  Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell are official, card-carrying members of the L.O.B. by now and Tharold Simon just needs more opportunities before he joins them.

Earl Thomas might be the best fit for return duties.  He had a spectacular punt return that should have been taken to the house, if not for a particularly athletic Bears punter making a last minute save. Rookie Cassius Marsh continued to impress.  Marsh along with O'Brien Schofield and Heath Farwell recorded sacks.  

I was left with only one question in the aftermath of this game:  will the Seahawks keep 3 quarterbacks on their roster? Terrelle Pryor has looked promising, although inaccurate at times.  He has tremendous athletic ability and is young enough to expect continued growth under Darrell Bevell's tutelage.  Let's not forget-- we gave up a draft pick for him.  A seventh round draft pick, but a pick nonetheless.

Still, Tarvaris Jackson probably gives you the best chance to win between the two.  We'd like to believe that we know what we have in Jackson and we seem to like what he offers as a back up.  His coaches like him, his teammates like him and the fans like him-- so long as he remains the back up.

Ideally, you'd want to keep both on the roster, but that would mean taking depth away from another position. I don't think that would be a wise move.  Do you try to trade one of them?  I would've preferred that we tried to convert Pryor to another position in hopes of getting more out of his size and ability but the front office obviously sees something in him as a quarterback and we've learned to trust their judgment. 

UPDATE: The Seahawks made mandatory cuts to reduce their roster to 75 players: OT Wade Smith, CB Terrell Thomas, OT Cory Brandon, RB Demitrius Bronson, S Mike Dobson, DE Jackson Jeffcoat, WR Kevin Smith, CB Thomas Wolfe were the casualties.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Seahawks 41 Chargers 14

After an uncharacteristic preseason loss to the Denver Broncos last week, the Seattle Seahawks seem to have been on the receiving end of a chewing out from Coach Carroll wherein I can only imagine the phrase "Always Compete" was reiterated ad nauseum. 

The team that took the field in Denver last week seemed a little rusty, if not completely unconcerned for the game's outcome all together.  

This week, however, looked a helluva lot more like the team that dominated teams heading into the playoffs. Russell Wilson looked remarkable, completing 11 of 13 passes while rushing for 31 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Collectively, the Seahawks rushed for an impressive 243 yards including a 44 yard sprint to the endzone by 3rd string quarterback, Terrelle Pryor.  

The defense continues to exhibit tremendous depth despite having some key personnel losses.  The Seahawks sacked the Chargers 5 times throughout the night. There was a little rust on display, but ultimately the defense looks ready to defend their title. 

Steven Hauschka was solid yet again-- he might be the most underrated/under-appreciated player on this roster.

The main area of concern  for me in the wake of this game is the question of who exactly will be the Seahawks return man this season.  The coverage units look outstanding, Hauschka and Ryan are Pro Bowl-level talents but who will be the return stud?  Please don't tell me it's Bryan Walters.  Having Earl Thomas back there makes me a bit nervous, too-- but for safety purposes as opposed to production concerns.  I think Percy Harvin is the best bet.  Sure, he's an injury liability, but we paid him big money to be an explosive playmaker.  We've got the receiver depth to overcome a potential injury scenario so I say let him loose!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Seahawks 16 @ Broncos 21

The Seahawks preseason opener was pretty underwhelming. The 45-minute lightning delay may have had a hand in that.  Maybe it was the fact that the Seahawks lost-- or all of the above.

I think the best answer for why I wasn't all that interested in this game is simple:  I'm ready to see these guys defend their title.

Typically, I'm one of those people that fervently defends the preseason as an integral part of the NFL season. For the fans, I think of it like getting into a hot tub.  You gotta ease yourself into it to truly appreciate it.  You wouldn't cannonball into a hot tub, would you?

For coaches and GM's, it helps to prepare you for the long season ahead. Depth charts are established in games that don't count against your quest for the Super Bowl. Playbooks are hammered out and mettle is tested.

But this year, it's different.

We're World Champions.  What few personnel losses we suffered this offsesason were immediately addressed in the draft or filled by guys already on the roster.  We know what we have and we know what we're capable of achieving.

I will try my best to offer insight and analysis throughout the preseason-- but I'm ready to see this dynasty unfold.