Tag Archives: Jake Locker

Rant: Seahawks 20, Titans 13

13 Oct

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Through all of the bumps and bruises, the Seahawks reached down deep on Sunday as they pulled out a 20-13 win over the Tennessee Titans. The Seahawks improve their record to 5-1 and still hold a one-game lead on the San Francisco 49ers for first place in the NFC West. The “average” Titans, as described by head coach Mike Munchak following today’s game, fall to 3-3 on the season. That seemed to be the only positive to come out of today’s events. On multiple different occasions today, both on the field and in the stands, I seemed to be extremely frustrated and was left scratching my head as well as being angry and extremely disappointed. I apologize in advance for the following rant folks. Let me explain…

Fumbles: I will get to the botched field goal a little bit later on but let me touch on the Seahawks inability to hold on to the ball from a broader perspective. The Seahawks fumbled the ball 4 times on Sunday. Two of these fumbles resulted in a turnover and/or points for the Titans. This number is beyond concerning and is absolutely unacceptable. The fumble by Derrick Coleman out of bounds and the fumble in the red zone by Marshawn Lynch (which was basically flipped right back to Russell Wilson by the Titans) illustrates a need to figure out how to carry the ball more securely, especially for Lynch, who has fumbled four times in scoring range dating back to last year’s playoffs. The Sidney Rice fumble and turnover is so baffling to me for a couple of reasons. First, from my view in the stands it looked as though Rice had gained enough yards for a first down. If that was the case, then why on Earth would you extend the ball out while it is mostly unprotected?! Secondly, I know it was next to impossible to see which direction the defender is trying to tackle you from but usually the receiver and defender are running towards each other. You are basically asking the defender to take the ball from you if you try to get fancy to gain extra yards. This fumble was a total brainfart by Rice and he needs to quit trying to be fancy and take the yards you have already gained. The risk definitely outweighs the reward. The risk? Turning the ball over deep into enemy territory. The reward? A gain of only ONE extra yard.

Really, Maragos?!: Steven Hauschka briefly left Sunday’s game with a concussion he suffered on kickoff coverage with 9:23 remaining in the second quarter. That injury ultimately led to a Titans touchdown and a mind-boggling switcheroo of personnel on the field goal unit. Typically the punter holds for the kicker on field goal attempts but when an injury occurs to the field goal kicker, it is common to see the punter replace the kicker and a quarterback (starter or backup) fill in for the punter as the holder. The best example I can think of this is Tony Romo in the 2006 playoffs. He started the 2006 season as the holder on field goal attempts because he was the backup quarterback at the time. Organically, I must raise the question, why was Chris Maragos the emergency holder?! It would make more sense in my opinion to have Tarvaris Jackson or B.J. Daniels hold for Jon Ryan but apparently (and unfortunately) that job belongs to Maragos. What is frustrating is that the snap did not slip out of his hands. He just simply dropped the ball. What is even more frustrating is the fact that Maragos tried to make chicken salad out of chicken crap. Why would you ever risk the possibility of turning the ball over and having the Titans run it back for a touchdown?! Maragos should have just fallen on the ball and gone to halftime with a 7-3 lead. Instead, Maragos tried to shovel pass the ball and make a miraculous play and it backfired to the max. Tennessee’s Jason McCourty returned the fumble 77 yards for a touchdown and a 10-7 Titans lead. I cannot remember the last time I saw as boneheaded of a play as that one.

“Can You Win the Game in the First Quarter? Can You Win the Game in the Second Quarter? Can You Win the Game in the Third Quarter?…”: As you probably know, this is part of one of Pete Carroll’s famous mantras. After the third quarter the Seahawks took control of the game, piling up 139 fourth quarter yards and scoring 10 points which ultimately determined the outcome of the game. As positive as these numbers are, the fourth quarter defense also left me frustrated. On Tennessee’s 14 play, 96 yard drive which resulted in a field goal towards the end of the game, the Seahawks defense could not stop Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Titans no-huddle offense. We have given up long scoring drives in the fourth quarter in each of our last two games. Fortunately it did not cost us a victory today but our defense needs to find a way to stay fresh for the entire game. With only 4 days to prepare for the Arizona Cardinals, I am immensely skeptical about our ability to stop any defense when it matters the most. If the Seahawks are in a close game in the fourth quarter on Thursday night, I will definitely be afraid of the possibility of another win slipping away from us on the road.

Commentary, Skittles Celebrations Are Over: Before I get into this part of the rant, let me quote the NFL in-stadium code of conduct policy:

“When attending a game, you’re required to refrain from the following behaviors: Behavior that is unruly, disruptive, or illegal in nature… Event patrons and guests who violate these provisions will be subject to ejection without refund and loss of ticket privileges for future games.”

As you know or may have read about in one of my blog posts, I bring two large Ziploc bags full of Skittles to each home game and when Marshawn Lynch scores a touchdown my guest and I throw handfuls of Skittles in the air in any and all directions to celebrate. These celebratory actions are simply that; celebratory. When I throw the Skittles, I am in no way whatsoever trying to hurt anyone or piss anyone off. Today after Lynch’s second touchdown of the game a middle-aged male fan sitting in the front few rows of the section to my right angrily complained to a security guard that a SINGLE Skittle hit him and his wife. Although security did not single me or anyone around me out as the main perpetrator, myself and the people around me were warned that they were going to camp out in our section and that if they saw anyone throw Skittles again they would be ejected from CenturyLink Field. I consider this to be a direct threat not to bring Skittles again or else I will be kicked out of the game.

Remember that my intentions are good, so someone please explain to me how celebrating by tossing Skittles into the air violates the NFL code of conduct policy?! In my opinion I do not see how you can justify the action of me throwing Skittles in celebration violates the league’s code of conduct policy. It is not unruly. It is not disruptive (as the entire stadium was in celebration mode). It is not illegal.

To the furious fan who ratted us out. I WAS NOT INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO HIT YOU! You were sitting one section over and at least 20 rows in front of us. If you think I was intentionally trying to hit you with a single Skittle from that distance you might as well sign me up to play quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars with that kind of accuracy.

I have been celebrating Marshawn Lynch’s touchdowns by throwing Skittles since the end of the 2011 season and I have NEVER had a single complaint from security or anyone else around me. The majority of people I have talked to think it is a very creative celebration and they have even joined in by bringing their own bags of Skittles to games to throw.

Instead of reveling in the excitement of celebrating a touchdown with fellow Seahawks fans, you choose be a “Debbie Downer” and get pissed off over what I believe to be the smallest thing possible.

By attending a Seahawks home game you are subjecting yourself to witnessing way worse behavior in the stands. If you can tolerate witnessing excessive alcohol consumption, hearing foul language constantly throughout the game, and seeing potentially intense heckling by other fans around you, why can’t you tolerate feeling the slightest “pelt” of a Skittle that hit you from at least 200 feet away?! It’s not like I threw them as hard as I could directly into your face!

It is incredibly disheartening that one butt hurt fan can ruin such a fun tradition for an entire group of fans. Of all the frustrating moments today, this one REALLY got my blood boiling. Absolutely infuriating. It is with great anger, frustration, and sadness to say that I will not be bringing Skittles to anymore Seahawks games.

Thoughts on Tennessee: The Seahawks had their hands full with the Titans at home today. Just imagine what could have happened if Jake Locker was healthy? Chris Johnson will make this team incredibly dangerous if he can perform like his 2009 self. Also, their defense might be one of the most underrated units in all of football. I think that the Tennessee Titans have solid young talent and if they play as tough as they did today, I think they might challenge for an AFC Wild-Card spot.

Random Thoughts: Pre-gaming started at 9am at King Street Bar and Oven. Good to know you can call ahead to reserve a table. All of the tables were reserved when we got there… “Hawk Shots” are the King Street staple drink and they taste like straight candy. Pretty easy on the wallet as well… King Street Bar and Oven are famously known for their calzones and today I tried the house favorite “Sicilian” calzone; three different meats and cheese baked into a homemade pesto-brushed crust. It was the best pregame meal I have had in a very long time…The only problem I had with this bar was that they only showed one morning game on all of the televisions. I wanted to watch Rams/Texans not Packers/Ravens… The giveaway this week was “crazy hair” which is basically a headband with lime green hair-like fuzz on the top of it. I left mine at my seat after the game and I can’t say I’m sad I did so… Like all Seahawks home games I was right again. Blue jerseys and blue pants for the home team this week… Blake Lewis of American Idol fame sung the national anthem on Sunday. I was only slightly surprised he didn’t burst into full beat-box mode halfway through… Any other week the 12th Man flag raisers would have been great. The Seahawks picked the wrong week to host the Eastlake Little League team to raise the flag because both Will Ferrell and Macklemore were in attendance at Sunday’s game. I was really hoping one of those two guys would do the honors. Unfortunately they did not and I was pretty bummed out about that… Kevin Lee was also in attendance at his first ever Seahawks game this week. For those who may not know or may not remember, Kevin was featured on ESPN’S “My Wish” series over the summer and the Seahawks invited him back to Seattle for this week’s game… Nice to have you back, 60 degrees and sunshine… Time to get back to work, Seahawks. We have a lot to get fixed before we play again on Thursday night.

Programming Note: Check back on WEDNESDAY for my preview of Thursday Night Football between the Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals. Talk to you very soon, 12th Man. Go Hawks!

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Titans/Seahawks Preview

12 Oct

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Matchup: Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks

Site: CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Washington)

Kickoff: 1:05pm

After losing their first game of the season last week the Seahawks look to bounce back in week 6 as they finish their tour of the AFC South by hosting the Tennessee Titans. The Seahawks hold a one game lead in the NFC West with a 4-1 record. The Tennessee Titans come into this game a somewhat surprising 3-2 and are one game behind the Indianapolis Colts for first place in the AFC South. Including the playoffs, the Seahawks lead the all-time series with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise 9-6. Their last meeting came in week 17 of the 2009 season. Chris Johnson broke the 2,000 yard mark on the season as the Titans defeated the Seahawks 17-13. The Seahawks finished the season 5-11 and just days after the defeat Jim Mora was fired and Pete Carroll was hired as Seahawks head coach. Here are my keys to victory and some things to look for this week.

With Max Unger likely back this week, the Seahawks will have their healthiest starting offensive line in three weeks. Given this I hope to see better pass protection of quarterback Russell Wilson which hopefully also translates into better production from Wilson. After 3 solid weeks, Wilson’s numbers slipped in his previous two games. Wilson threw for a combined 333 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions in back-to-back road games in Houston and Indianapolis and last week was the first week since week 2 his completion percentage was under 50 percent in a game. Wilson also has not seemed to be as accurate so far this year as he was at the end of last season. I think the offensive line could make all the difference in the world. I expect the Seahawks passing game to get back on track this week and I would not be surprised to see Wilson throw for between 250 and 300 yards against the Titans.

This week is the first week that all of our pass rushers will play together in front of the 12th Man. This could spell disaster for Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Even though the defense struggled down the stretch last week, our front 7 still sacked Andrew Luck twice and recovered a fumble on a strip-sack. I think the pass rush will play a huge factor this week and Fitzpatrick will be sacked at least four times. One thing that could affect the Seahawks on defense this week is linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner is dealing with a low grade high-ankle sprain and head coach Pete Carroll suggested that Wagner’s final game status could be determined during pregame warm-ups on Sunday. If Wagner cannot play, Heath Farwell will most likely start at middle linebacker. Wagner is the leader of the defensive huddle and he may be the most important defensive player as he relays the defensive formations to the rest of the defense. Wagner also has the second most tackles so far this season behind safety Earl Thomas. I am confident in Harwell’s ability to fill in but look for Tennessee to try to take advantage of the “weaker” middle of the field by dumping passes off to tight end Delanie Walker and primary slot receiver Kendall Wright.

The Tennessee Titans have gotten off to a rather surprising start to the 2013 season. After starting the season 3-1 they lost in two aspects last week against Kansas City Chiefs. They lost the game, and they also lost starting quarterback Jake Locker for the next 6-8 weeks with a hip injury. Without Locker, the Titans now turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick to command the offense. Ideally with a backup quarterback at the helm the offense will turn to their running back to carry the load to try to take some of the pressure on the quarterback. The Titans definitely have a running back capable of carrying the load in Chris Johnson but playing in Seattle, Johnson may be facing a long and tough day this week. The Titans will be forced to throw a lot this week especially if the Seahawks can build a lead early on in the game. On offense for Tennessee this week my X-Factor player to watch is wide receiver Justin Hunter. Hunter, a rookie from the University of Tennessee, was a player I had my eye on at this year’s combine and the time before the NFL Draft. Hunter’s height and speed to break away from defenders made him a perfect #2 wide receiver immediately in my eyes. This week he will line up across both Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner depending on the play. The Titans have a lot of wide receivers that will see playing time this week. With Kenny Britt and Nate Washington receiving most of the attention, look for Hunter to possibly make a bigger impact than expected against the Legion of Boom.

Last season Richard Sherman led all NFL cornerbacks in interceptions with 8. This year, the Titans feature a guy in their secondary that could wind up leading the league in interceptions by season’s end. Cornerback Alterraun Verner has intercepted 4 passes so far this season and I believe he has established himself as the permanent replacement to former Titan Cortland Finnegan. What is interesting about the Titans defense is that they have a handful of guys that are effective in rushing the passer and another handful of guys that are effective getting to the play and making tackles. My X-Factor player to watch on defense is a guy who falls into both of these categories, outside linebacker Zach Brown. Brown, a second year man from the University of North Carolina, has recorded a team-high 3 sacks so far this season and also ranks third on the team in tackles with 29. Brown has also forced one fumble. Watching him on film, Brown does a very good job at being the first defender to figure out what type of play the offense will run. He does a good job of getting to the ball and is has more of an impact on running plays than on passing plays. I expect Brown to rush to the right side of the Seahawks offensive line to catch J.R. Sweezy and Michael Bowie off guard.

Random Thoughts: This is the first home game in three weeks and the only home game in the three weeks upcoming. Talk about a bummer from a fan’s perspective but I would rather knock out the majority of our road games now so we can enjoy back-to-back home games on two separate occasions later on in the season… The Seahawks will wear blue uniforms and blue pants this week… Carl Cheffers is the referee for Sunday’s game… Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf have the call for CBS this week. They are CBS’s #2 crew, meaning they get the privilege to broadcast one playoff game each season so these guys are pretty good all things considered. Should be a good call if you’re watching from home… I’m changing up my pregame plans this week. I’ll be a bar north of the stadium, probably King Street Bar and Oven. I don’t think I’ve been there since the 2012 preseason… Oh yeah, pregaming starts at 9am sharp… I need to get more pink Seahawks stuff to wear for breast cancer awareness month. All I have is an NFL logo pink ribbon pin and a bracelet… Sunday is a 1:05 start, not a 1:25 start. I’ve stated in the past that this 20 minute difference is actually pretty significant and not as many fans are in their seats for the start of the game if it is a 1:05 start. To all the people going to this week’s game please keep this in mind. Be in your seats by 1:00pm (okay, 12:45 just to be safe).

Prediction: Last season the Seahawks lost a close game to the Miami Dolphins and responded by winning 6 straight games before losing to Atlanta in the playoffs. I think that the Titans may open up this game with an early lead but the Seahawks will regain complete control shortly thereafter. Earl Thomas will intercept a deep pass and the Seahawks defensive front seven will force two fumbles. On offense, Sidney Rice will lead the receivers in yardage with 80 and a touchdown. Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch will both run for touchdowns and the Seahawks will get ready for the Arizona Cardinals with a 5-1 record.

Seahawks 30, Titans 13

Check back Sunday night for a review of the Seahawks game against the Titans. I will be blogging a lot in the coming week as the Seahawks face the Arizona Cardinals on a short week in week 7. Enjoy the game. Go Hawks!

Seahawks 2013 Primetime Outlook

14 Apr

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This week, the National Football League will release the 2013 regular season schedule. The dates, times, and television broadcasts will be revealed to the nation. As a die-hard fan and season ticket holder this is the most exciting day of the offseason for me. I get very excited to see where and when we play our opponents and to scope out scheduling patterns to get an early look at how our schedule and season will play out. However the most exciting thing most fans get excited about when the schedule comes out is who we play on national television.

Starting last season every team played at least one game in primetime. Bad teams from the previous season only got the bare minimum of one primetime game while super bowl contending teams played in primetime more often, with a couple of teams pushing the maximum of 6 primetime games. Last season the Seahawks had three primetime games coming off a 7-9 campaign in 2011. In 2012, the Seahawks went 11-5, made it to the NFC Divisional playoffs, and they currently feature some of the most exciting players in the league. In my opinion I think the Seahawks will have at least four or five primetime games scheduled in 2013. In this post I have tiered our matchups to separate which games I believe have primetime appeal and which games I think probably will not be scheduled on national television.

There are 4 tiers:

Tier One: Games I think will (and should) be scheduled in primetime

Tier Two: Games I think could be scheduled in primetime

Tier Three: Games I think could be scheduled in primetime, but not likely

Tier Four: Games I think will not be scheduled in primetime

 

Tier One

Seahawks at 49ers, 49ers at Seahawks, Saints at Seahawks, Seahawks at Falcons, Seahawks at Colts

It is a no-brainer that one of the Seahawks games against the San Francisco 49ers will be scheduled in primetime but both will not. Here’s why. The Sunday afternoon NFC NFL station (FOX) has the right to protect a certain number of games from being scheduled in primetime or being flexed into primetime in the second half of the season. Last season FOX lost out on both Seahawks/49ers games to NFL Network and NBC. To make sure they do not miss out on one of these hot matchups in 2013, I believe they will protect one of these games in 2013. The game that does not get protected will almost certainly be scheduled into primetime and I am very confident that is what will happen. I think Sunday Night Football is the landing spot for the primetime Seahawks/49ers game this season.

This season the Seahawks do not have a particularly attractive slate of home games. Having said this, the NFL likes to schedule Seahawks home games in primetime to show off the best fans and home-field advantage in the league. The only other matchup I think has a great chance to be scheduled in primetime at home is against the New Orleans Saints. The last time these two teams played was in the 2010 Wild-Card playoffs where the Seahawks upset the Saints 41-36. What could be better than putting the rematch on national television? I can definitely see this game being scheduled on Monday Night Football with Marshawn Lynch’s “Beast Quake” run being replayed during the week leading up to the game.

Two other road matchups have strong primetime appeal in my opinion. The Seahawks head to Atlanta in 2013 to play the Falcons in a rematch of last season’s Divisional playoff heartbreaker. Both of these teams figure to contend to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLVIII so it wouldn’t be a surprise if this game is scheduled in primetime. This is a game that I could see on either Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football. The other road game I put in tier one is the Seahawks/Colts matchup. Last year Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck were two rookies who took their respective teams to the postseason. This season they face off for the first time. Two playoff teams from the previous year with two up-and-coming franchise quarterbacks sounds like a primetime matchup to me. This game I think would be perfect for Thursday Night Football.

Tier Two

Vikings at Seahawks, Rams at Seahawks, Seahawks at Texans

The Seahawks host the Minnesota Vikings for the second straight season and there are a couple of reasons why this game could be scheduled in primetime. Both teams made the playoffs in 2012 and the NFL usually likes to schedule primetime games between two teams who made the playoffs the previous season. Perhaps the bigger reason this game could be in primetime is because the Seahawks have become “Vikings West.” The Seahawks have both Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin who went to the NFC Championship game with the Vikings in 2009. The Seahawks also have former Minnesota offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell calling the plays. It would be cool to have Harvin play against his former team in primetime in 2013. This matchup I could see on either Monday Night Football or Thursday Night Football.

The Rams could be a surprise team in 2013. They won 7 games in 2012 and have a very tough defense. Some analysts have already predicted the Rams could challenge for a Wild-Card berth in 2013. This is a rivalry that could be reborn in 2013 and putting one of our games against the Rams in primetime this season is a very real possibility. If this is the case, I think the Rams game in Seattle would be the primetime choice. Thursday Night Football could be the landing spot for this matchup.

The Seahawks and Texans square off in Houston this season. Once again this is a matchup featuring two playoff teams from 2012 which the NFL will smile upon. Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football might take a look at this game for primetime.

Tier Three

Titans at Seahawks, Seahawks at Rams, Seahawks at Giants

The only other home game that could have primetime appeal is our matchup with the Tennessee Titans. The only storyline that would warrant this game to be in primetime is the return of former University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker who will be playing his first regular season game in Seattle since getting drafted.

Just like my reasoning for the Rams game in Seattle, it is possible one of our games against St. Louis could be in primetime. I think it is more likely the matchup in Seattle would be in primetime but since the Rams also have a home slate that is on the weaker side, the matchup against the Seahawks in St. Louis could be in primetime.

The NFL loves to schedule east coast teams in primetime. The New York Giants are one of the most common teams to play multiple primetime games no matter how good or bad they are. Even though the Giants did not qualify for the playoffs in 2012 they did finish 2nd in the NFC East and could be primed to bounce back and challenge for a playoff spot in 2013. This game’s appeal for primetime is that it is a rematch of the Seahawks 36-25 upset of the Giants at MetLife Stadium in 2011. In addition, the Seahawks will be heading to New York to play the Giants but will make it a statement that they intend to return the New York in February 2014 for the Super Bowl.

Tier Four

Cardinals at Seahawks, Seahawks at Cardinals, Buccaneers at Seahawks, Jaguars at Seahawks, Seahawks at Panthers

I don’t think these matchups have any sort of appeal to be scheduled in primetime in 2013. The scores of most of these games will not be close, which probably won’t attract big audiences. The Buccaneers and Panthers both won only 7 games last season while the Cardinals and Jaguars combined for 7 wins last season. It would be a huge shock to me if any of these matchups are scheduled in primetime this season.

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.

Titans/Seahawks Preview

11 Aug

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Matchup: Tennessee Titans vs. Seattle Seahawks

Site: CenturyLink Field, Seattle Washington

Kickoff: 7:00pm

December 24th of last year was the last time I stepped foot into CenturyLink Field for a Seahawks game. Tomorrow I will be back at the stadium for the start of the 2012 preseason. The first preseason home game is always special to me; for a season ticket holder it signals the start of football and it also ends an eight month streak without being around the people who can be considered your second family.

Boy do we have a doozy of a matchup for the first game of the preseason. Usually this would be the section where I whine and complain about the lack of talent on the field for the full-price ticket. Don’t get me wrong I’m still mad I have to pay full price for an exhibition game but this matchup with the Titans takes some of the sting away from my wallet. Both Seahawk legend Matt Hasselbeck and former University of Washington star Jake Locker return to Seattle. Hasselbeck for the first time since the Seahawks decided not to re-sign him after the 2010 season and Locker for the first time as a pro. Both men did incredible things for this city and for their respective teams. It is really cool to see both of them in their own quarterback competition, which is what I am looking forward to watching tonight. Hasselbeck will start the game and play the first 12-15 plays according to head coach Mike Munchak. Locker will then take over and play the rest of the first half. Word on the street in Nashville is that most Titans fans want Locker to start once the regular season starts even though Hasselbeck won 9 games last year and proved to be a significant upgrade from Tennessee’s previous quarterback Vince Young. I expect Hasselbeck to receive a warm welcome back and even a standing ovation before the game. I also expect A LOT of UW students and alumni to be in attendance to welcome Locker home. My only hope is that the 12th Man will remember to pull 100 percent for the Seahawks and not cheer solely for Hasselbeck and Locker just because what they did for the Seahawks and the Huskies respectively in the past.

Oh yeah, the Seahawks also have a quarterback competition going on. Free agent acquisition and fan-favorite Matt Flynn will start at quarterback for the Seahawks play the entire first half. Rookie Russell Wilson will then play the entire second half, meaning Tarvaris Jackson will not play at all. I am excited to see what Flynn can do with the starting unit against different competition. The nice thing about coach Carroll’s quarterback plan for this game is Flynn will get playing time with both the first-string and second-string units. Flynn will also go up against the starting defense of the Titans. I am not expecting a perfect performance like what he proved in Green Bay at the end of last season, but I do expect him to do a decent enough job. Coach Carroll said earlier this week that he believes Flynn has a perfect grip on the playbook, so I will be looking for how Flynn communicates and executes the plays that are called. If he has a perfect grip on the playbook, then there should be no breakdowns in play execution.

I have previously written about the importance of keeping continuity along the offense line this season. Unfortunately, there has been a setback this early on in the season. It was announced Friday that right guard John Moffitt will have elbow surgery and will be out 2-3 weeks. Deuce Lutui will start in Moffitt’s place Saturday night. Lutui is a new Seahawk, meaning he has never played a game with this group of guys. I will be keeping my eye on him in the first half to see how he fits in. My hope is that he can do a decorous job filling in. If he struggles I may panic a little.

Random Thoughts: I am stoked to see what the field looks like. We upgraded our logo over the offseason so I am excited to see what the endzones look like, and what the logo looks like on the 50-yard line… I expect a former Seahawk to raise the 12th Man flag. Usually the team has a former player raise the flag for the first preseason game. Nobody that made a huge impact during his time here, they usually save those types of players for the regular season. If it is a player, it will be a fan favorite during his time in Seattle… I hope I am sitting with the same guys as last season. I haven’t upgraded my seats since I’ve been a season ticket holder and it is mainly because of the people I sit around. The view is great; the atmosphere around me is great so why change that?

Prediction: It is hard to predict scores of preseason games but here is my best shot. Flynn has looked good and Wilson has also looked good. The Titans will play 3rd string quarterback Rusty Smith for the entire second half. In a matchup between Wilson and Smith, I’ll take the impressive rookie.

Seahawks 27, Titans 17

Sunday I will have my review of the game and will preview the week ahead at training camp. Go Seahawks!

2012 Preseason Schedule Analysis

4 Apr

The NFL announced its slate of games for the 2012 preseason today. The NFL is always geographically friendly for the preseason so the 2012 schedule is no surprise to me. It is very similar to past years. We play three teams from the AFC West for the second consecutive season. Here is our 2012 preseason schedule along with an analysis of each game:

Week 1: Tennessee Titans (August 9-13): Of all our preseason games, this matchup offers up the best storylines. Matt Hasselbeck makes his return to Seattle for the first time since signing with Tennessee prior to the start of the 2011 season. In addition to Hasselbeck, Titans quarterback Jake Locker will also be returning home. Hasselbeck will no doubt get applause from me before the game. He was my favorite Seahawk throughout the 2000’s and he is a great person and player who deserves nothing but respect and cheers from the 12th Man. I expect a lot of UW fans in attendance as well to welcome Locker back. He was a very popular player during his time at Washington and this may be the only time in a long time that fans will get the chance to see him play the Seahawks in Seattle. The nice thing about having the first preseason game at home is you get to see all of our new players for the very first time. I am especially excited to see how the quarterback battle between Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn plays out.

Week 2: At Denver Broncos (August 16-20): Our first road game is in Denver this preseason. The Seahawks lost to the Broncos 23-20 in the 2011 preseason. It was in this game that wide receiver Doug Baldwin made his presence known when he returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown in the 4th quarter. This is the first home game for the Broncos, meaning that this is the first time Peyton Manning will suit up in orange for the Mile High faithful.

Week 3: At Kansas City Chiefs (August 23-26): Our starters will get the most work of the preseason in Kansas City as we visit the Chiefs in week 3. I believe we will know by this game who our starting quarterback will be this season. The starter will most likely play the first three quarters and this time will be extremely beneficial as we get closer to the start of the regular season.

Week 4: Oakland Raiders (August 29-30): For the seventh consecutive season and the second straight at home, the Seahawks will conclude the preseason against their old AFC rival, the Oakland Raiders. The last tune-up will include many players fighting to make the 2012 roster, which in my opinion is why I actually enjoy the last preseason game. Many fans hate this game because of the lack of talent on the field, but what I realize is the final cuts may determine the future of this team and what direction the team is going. I also especially enjoy this game because of the presence of my friend Josh, who is a die-hard Raiders fan. His presence along side me at CenturyLink Field adds a bit of team pride and of course a friendly wager here and there. Although most of you probably HATE the Raiders like I do, check out his Raiders blog if you get the chance. (Good stuff if you are a Raiders fan or just an NFL fan in general!)

Although I look forward to the announcement of the Seahawks preseason games, it is another step taken before we get to the better stuff, which includes the Seahawks regular season schedule announcement, the NFL Draft, and the start of our offseason programs and organized team activities!