Tag Archives: Hawks Nest Bar

Review: Seahawks 41, Chargers 14

16 Aug
Photo Credit: seahawks.com

Photo Credit: seahawks.com

If anyone jumped to conclusions after the poor performance in Denver last week, I hope Friday’s game eased your worries. In front of a revved up 12th Man the Seahawks dominated the San Diego Chargers 41-14. The Seahawks improve to 1-1 on the preseason while the loss drops San Diego to 1-1 as well. It was great to be back at CenturyLink Field and it was made even better given what occurred on the field tonight. Here are some of the things I took away from tonight’s game.

Wilson Thrives: Russell Wilson played for the first 25:55 of the game and he was able to successfully lead three scoring drives, resulting in 24 first half points. Wilson appeared to be in mid-season form and his stat line reflected such a notion, completing 11 of 13 passes for 121 yards. What impressed me was his ability to once again evade the pass rush and use his feet to make big plays happen. Wilson found tight ends Zach Miller and Luke Willson for large gains and after scrambling, found wide receiver Doug Baldwin in the back of the endzone for a touchdown which was later overturned. DangeRuss was even more dangerous on the ground, running in two touchdowns of his own. What was even better was that Wilson proved that the read option attack can still be very effective. After not using read option nearly as much in 2013 as we did in 2012, I am starting to wonder if the read option will make a triumphant return in a big way in 2014. Next week Russell Wilson will play into the third quarter and with a performance similar to Friday night’s, next week’s game could end in similar blowout fashion.

Turbin Steps Up: In my game preview I wondered about the possibility of Robert Turbin not making the team if he failed to put together a solid game this week. I am now thinking Turbin’s job is safe. After Marshawn Lynch was on the field for only the first offensive play of the game, Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell handed the keys to the car over to Turbin and he definitely made the most of his opportunities, rushing for 81 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Two things impressed me about Turbin’s performance on Friday night. First off, he found holes extremely easily and did not try to run through people has he has shown in the past. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, Turbin fought for extra yards several times which is something that is rather rare for a guy that has shown his running style is closer to Shaun Alexander than to Marshawn Lynch. I think Turbin’s performance against the Chargers solidifies him as the backup running back but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Christine Michael get the bulk of the carries next week to try to challenge Turbin yet again for that job.

Offensive Line Holds its Own: Despite the fact that Russell Okung and Max Unger sat out Friday’s game, the Seahawks makeshift offensive line did a fantastic job creating room in the running game and keeping Russell Wilson and the rest of the quarterbacks clean. The play of tonight’s o-line paved the way for 243 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns, and only one quarterback sack. What makes me breathe a sigh of relief is that this unit is going to get better once we get Okung and Unger back as well as solidifying who will be out starting right tackle come September.

Jackson vs. Pryor (Round Two): This topic is difficult to discuss because Tarvaris Jackson did not play. Terrelle Pryor got the second-string snaps and did an adequate job. His stat line through the air was not entirely impressive (1/4, 10 yards passing) and there is much room for improvement in that area but Pryor did impress me with his feet, running for 59 yards and a touchdown. One thing I would like to see Pryor improve on is his awareness of the line to gain after he slid just short of a first down in the fourth quarter. Pryor is improving but I discussed with a guy at the game it is possible that we gave him ample playing time tonight just to see if it is worth it to keep three quarterbacks on the roster after the preseason.

Defensive Thoughts: The defense showed significant improvement as a whole unit from last week to this week. I am becoming a big fan of middle linebacker Brock Coyle’s playing style after he contributed to nearly every play he was on the field for. Jeron Johnson also really impressed me in the secondary after he made a couple of Kam Chancellor-esque hits on Chargers receivers. Johnson moved from cornerback to safety this offseason and it is clear that Johnson will be Chancellor’s backup this season. The defense fed off the energy of the 12th Man all night long and confirmed my belief that we have the best defense in the National Football League especially when we play at home.

Thoughts on San Diego: The San Diego Chargers offense is a unit that is very hard to diagnose. Starting quarterback Philip Rivers played only one series before backup Kellen Clemens took over and Rivers looked fairly mediocre. San Diego’s receivers and running backs have great potential but Rivers will have to have another solid year for the Chargers to consistently put points on the board and in essence, remain competitive. The San Diego defense needs a lot of work, especially in the running game. The Chargers will face many elite running backs this season such as Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles, and Frank Gore. It will be a long season for the Chargers if they cannot fix their glaring defensive problems.

Random Thoughts: All blue for the Seahawks and white/navy for the Chargers just like I thought… The raisers of the 12th Man flag were first responders of the Oso mudslide and the Eastern Washington wildfires… One interesting note, the Seahawks are starting to shy away from the phrase “12th Man.” The fans were referenced as “12’s” and the flag was referenced as the “12 flag” instead of the “12th Man Flag” by the public address announcer… For a short time before heading downtown it felt like it might be in store for that weather uncertainty I hate so much; when you don’t know if you want to bring a sweatshirt because it might be too cold but you don’t want to be stuck carrying it everywhere if it is too warm. Those kinds of games are the worst… We went to Hawks Nest Bar and Elysian Fields before the game but since I’m on antibiotics I couldn’t drink. Instead, I had the best couple of Diet Coke’s I’ve ever had… I almost witnessed a fight during on the concourse during halftime. I went to get a bite to eat and there were two guys who were circled up and they looked like they were about to box. When I walked past the same area after getting my food, the area was patrolled by about a half-dozen police officers with both fist fighters leaning against separate walls, handcuffed. Don’t be stupid at sporting events boys and girls… In the rafters was a banner covered up by a black tarp. After seeing it before the game I assumed that the Seahawks were going to raise our 2013 NFC West champions banner but they held off. We’ll see if any banners are unveiled next week… CenturyLink Field made a couple of significant upgrades over the offseason. The scoreboards hanging off of the upper deck at midfield now display a new design. The old design consisted of the both team names and their respective scores, one on top of the other, on a football texture background. The new scoreboard display is navy blue with both team logos and their respective scores side by side with the score in the team’s color scheme. (For example the Chargers score was displayed with the lightning bolt and yellow score number. The Seahawks score was displayed with our logo and our score in action green). Also, the stat boards in both endzones have been replaced with new video boards, giving the stadium 6 video boards instead of just 2. They are very bright and beautiful. They are certainly noticeable and I personally like them a lot.

Check back next Thursday as I preview our third preseason game, the dress rehearsal game, against the Chicago Bears. Go Hawks!

Titans/Seahawks Review

12 Aug

Let me start off by praising myself. In my preview post yesterday, I predicted that the Seahawks would defeat the Titans by a score of 27-17. The Seahawks did just that in a game where the quarterbacks play was solid and the defense’s play was jaw dropping. It was great to be back at CenturyLink Field and the environment came close to the intensity of a regular season game; something that hasn’t been done since our first preseason game after our super bowl season. Let me get to my thoughts on the game play.

Matt Flynn started the game at quarterback for the Seahawks and he looked pretty good. He completed 11 of 13 passes for 71 yards. His decision making was really sharp but he made very safe choices on most of his throws. Flynn did not throw a pass down the field. The majority of his completions were screens or check downs and he hit his receivers in the hands on most of his throws. I went into the game curious about Flynn’s handle on the playbook and to my eyes I only saw one communication error. With 12:40 left in the first half, Flynn ran a play action pass and faked the handoff on the opposite side Robert Turbin was running. Flynn then threw an interception to Titans linebacker Colin McCarthy with no Seahawks receiver in the vicinity. Other than this, everything seemed to go as it was planned. I think Flynn showed the coaching staff and the 12th Man that he deserves to be our starting quarterback.

Russell Wilson also was very impressive. Wilson ran several play action roll outs but his accuracy was somewhat inconsistent. The two biggest plays of Wilson’s night were a 39-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards and a naked bootleg run for a 32-yard touchdown. Wilson is very fast and is a weapon the Seahawks could use in any skill capacity on the field. Wilson did make a mistake here and there, which is expected for a rookie who is getting his first taste of NFL game action. One play Wilson would like to have back was an interception in the endzone by Tennessee’s Zac Diles. The throw looked kind of funny from my point of view almost as if Wilson knew he made a mistake immediately after he released the ball.

Overall I think the quarterback play last night was good enough to kick Tarvaris Jackson out of a job. I hope to see Flynn take more chances down field next weekend in Denver, and I hope Josh Portis also gets some playing time late in next weekend’s game.

I have been talking with friends over the past few days about how good our defense will be this year. I am convinced we will have a top-10 defense while the rest of my friends believe we have the talent and playmaking ability to be a top-5 defense. After shutting out the Titans with our starters on the field for the first quarter, I am more inclined to believe we will have one of the best defenses in the league. Our starting run defense looked superior, holding Chris Johnson to 8 yards on 5 carries. We also looked incredibly fast on the line. Jason Jones looked the best of all our starting defensive lineman. He was successful in penetrating the Titans offensive line and Jones played the biggest role in my opinion in holding Johnson to only 8 yards. I was hoping to see Bruce Irvin make more of an impression. Irvin was fast but the Titans did a good job of keeping him at bay. Our secondary looked incredible. Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman both had interceptions and Earl Thomas assisted on Browner’s interception. All our cornerbacks and safeties are ball hawks who know how to read offenses and make incredible plays. Our secondary has the makings to challenge to be the best unit in the NFL.

Overall the Seahawks ended the game in great health. The only injury of note last night was tight end Zach Miller who suffered a concussion. Miller will go through the NFL concussion protocol before he is cleared to return to practice. I believe Kellen Winslow will get more reps in practice this week with Miller recovering.

Matt Hasselbeck got a great ovation from the fans before he took his first snap. I did hear a few boos scattered but overall it was a really nice gesture from the 12th Man. Hasselbeck then threw an interception. My former boss texted me about the Hasselbeck pick-six right after it happened and I simply replied “typical.”

There were a good number of people who were wearing Jake Locker jerseys last night. I saw more Washington Husky Locker jerseys than Titans Locker jersey’s though. Locker’s ovation did not come close to the ovation Hasselbeck got but it was still nice. I clapped for both but then it was all business. I screamed and booed when need be, simply because Hasselbeck and Locker do not play for the Seahawks.

Other Notes: The weather was beautiful last night. Kickoff temperature was in the 70’s and there was not a cloud in the sky. Being in the upper deck, it was very muggy and uncomfortable in the first half… I got Cameron Morrah’s autograph before the game down at the tunnel. Almost got Terrell Owens also but he did not walk down the line enough. He stopped three people short of me… The Hawks Nest Bar continues to be my favorite prefunking spot around the stadium. You can’t beat a Widmer hefeweizen on a hot summer day and you most certainly cannot beat the Hawks Nest specialty, the “hawk bomb”… I bought my alternate gray 12th Man jersey last night. I was surprised they had them available for purchase, as I had previously heard through Twitter that it would take more time to get them to the team store… The pregame fireworks were still awesome, although Leon Washington jumped the gun by running out of the tunnel well before the rest of his teammates… The National Anthem was sung beautifully by American Idol contestant Madison Shanley, however I have yet to encounter a better live anthem performance then Carrie Underwood’s before the 2005 NFC Championship game… Matt Hasselbeck called the coin flip and won. I joked he should have delivered his famous coin flip line. You know, the one no Seahawks fan truly wants to talk about… The new uniforms looked very sharp but it was difficult to read the players numbers at first. When I get my glasses maybe that will change… One of the two guys who sit in front of me renewed their tickets. I enjoy leaning forward to talk football with those guys. The guys who sat to my left last season moved down two rows. I’m glad they’re still close to me but it was annoying having them ask me football questions throughout the games last season. There are two new ticket holders about five rows down. They are incredibly annoying, as they continued to do their worst Sea Gals impressions. I feel bad for everyone in my section including myself who have to endure their annoying antics this season. I feel even worse for the ticket holders who are stuck right next to them. On the other side of the aisle, a family of three moved down about seven or eight rows. The mom knits throughout the games and the son, who is young, was blowing a duck whistle throughout the second half. Talk about ridiculous… It blows my mind how many of my friends get in contact with me before, during, and after Seahawks games. Whether it is to get my opinion of the game, or to meet up before the game or at the stadium, or to pick my brain about the team or the game, it always puts a smile on my face.

The team has an off day today and will be back at the VMAC tomorrow. Training camp practice resumes on Tuesday morning, as the team gets prepared for the game against Denver next weekend.