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  1. #1
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    Seattle's Offense Turns On The Juice

    Seattle’s offense turns on the juice

    11 hours ago • BY KATHLEEN NELSON

    Since the last meeting between the Rams and the Seahawks, Seattle has undergone a transformation worthy of HGTV’s “Love It or List It.”

    When the teams faced each other here in September, Seattle was coming off a 14-12 win over Green Bay, decided by a call that cost the replacement officials their jobs. Most people thought the Seahwks didn’t deserve to win that game, so the 19-13 loss to the Rams was viewed as poetic justice for a team with an intimidating defense but little identity on offense.

    The offense was in the hands of rookie QB Russell Wilson, whose drafting in the third round went virtually unnoticed amid the hype of first-rounders Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and even Ryan Tannehill.

    Wilson’s job was to manage the game, a polite way of saying “don’t screw it up,” by handing the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch. Through the first five games, the Seahawks attempted just 75 passes, fewest in the league.

    But what a difference: The Seahawks scored 140 points in their first eight games, 150 points in their past three.

    “The key is for a lot of things to go right,” Wilson said. “I think that’s the biggest thing and guys executing one play at a time. That’s kind of what I’ve been preaching to the guys a lot.”

    Yes, Lynch ranks second in the league in rushing, with 1,490 yards, trailing only Adrian Peterson. And four of the five starters on the offensive line have started all 15 games. The defense remains stout, allowing the fewest points per game in the league, 15.5. But Wilson is being modest. He has shone as well.

    Since the loss to the Rams, Wilson has thrown for 2,274 yards, completed 65 percent of his passes for 21 touchdowns, with six interceptions. His passer rating of 106.9 in that span trails only the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. In the red zone, Wilson has completed 56 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 105.6 passer rating, fourth-best in the league.

    “Great quarterbacks are tremendous in third-down and red-zone and I think in two-minute situations as well,” Wilson said. “I thrive for those moments. I can’t wait for those moments.”

    Wilson said he couldn’t pinpoint a time when things started to click, but coach Pete Carroll cited the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 23-17 victory in overtime over the Bears on Dec. 2 as his defining moment. Trailing by four points with four minutes to go, Wilson led TD drives of 97 and 80 yards for a lead and later a victory.

    “It was really a turning point — really — for me to just let him go,” Carroll said. “He’s really capable of handling everything we want to throw at him. There was going to have to come a time when you were going to make that decision or not make that decision, and that was really the game when it just became so apparent that he’s just fine — everything’s fine.”

    Since then, the Seahawks’ offense has been on fire. Seattle became the first team to score 50 or more points in consecutive games since the 1950 New York Giants. Take that, Greatest Show on Turf. Seattle managed to hang 58 points on the Cardinals with just 13 pass attempts and seven completions, thanks to three rushing TDs by Lynch, a pair of defensive scores and three field goals. Wilson also has run more, be it downfield for yardage or buying time for receivers.

    “They’re doing more things,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “He’s much more comfortable. He’s extending plays. He’s pulling the ball down and running for 15-, 20-, 30-yard touchdowns and just breaking defensive backs. He’s throwing with accuracy, and they’re not turning the football over and of course they’re getting turnovers on defense.”

    Perhaps most impressive was last week’s 42-13 dismantling of the *****, when Wilson threw four touchdown passes and strengthened his case for offensive rookie of the year.

    Griffin and Luck have garnered more headlines, but Wilson’s accomplishments hold up. Wilson needs just one TD pass against the Rams to tie the rookie record of 26, set by Peyton Manning in 1998. He’s the first NFL player to score three rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown in the first half of a game. And he set an NFL rookie record with three consecutive games with a passer rating of 125 or better.

    “I think Andrew and RGIII have played great football,” Carroll said. “But I don’t think it has anything to do with where a guy’s drafted, you know, whether he should be in consideration or not. I think it’s just the game and the season that they play and put together and the numbers and all of that, and impact on their teams’ winning. But I think in that case, heck yeah, he should be in the discussion. Whether or not he gets it or not, I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter to me. But, I just think the work is there.”

    The goals aren’t about Wilson, though. The Seahawks are assured of a postseason berth but would win the NFC West with a victory over the Rams and a loss by the ***** on Sunday.

    “I’ve grown a lot and I’ve learned a lot,” Wilson said. “I’m on that constant quest for knowledge and just trying to learn as much as I can. That experience really helps. Those game reps and those practice reps, you really just dive into those. It’s been a great season so far. There’s a lot more to accomplish.”

    Seahawks notes

    Cornerback Richard Sherman won his appeal of a four-game suspension for use of performance enhancing substances, making him eligible for Sunday’s game against the Rams and the playoffs. The appeal was heard in St. Louis before Christmas and the decision was made by former Rams executive Bob Wallace.

    “He got us one time last game, made a great interception down the boundary,” Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. “Great football player. When you throw to his side, you’ve got to be careful because you never know what he’s going to do.”

    • After not practicing Wednesday, wide receiver Sidney Rice (knee) and running back Marshawn Lynch (back) returned to practice Thursday. Receiver Golden Tate (illness) and linebacker Leroy Hill (hamstring) did not practice; defensive end Red Bryant (foot), tackle Breno Giacomini (elbow) and cornerback Walter Thurmond (hamstring) were limited.

  2. #2
    MrOrange's Avatar
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    Re: Seattle's Offense Turns On The Juice

    I can't stand the Seahawks, but man are they playing some good ball lately. Gonna be a tough one for sure. A win on Sunday would be a hell of a way to end the season, give us some momentum going into next year, and maybe even help attract some FA's. Everybody wants to play for a winner, and it doesn't hurt that our head coach has a rep for being the coolest cat in the league.

  3. #3
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    Re: Seattle's Offense Turns On The Juice

    Cornerback Richard Sherman won his appeal of a four-game suspension for use of performance enhancing substances, making him eligible for Sunday’s game against the Rams and the playoffs.
    Hey, it aint cheatin if you dont get caught....err aint cheatin if you get caught and still get away with it.

    Pete Carroll must be so proud!

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    Re: Seattle's Offense Turns On The Juice

    Says the guy who wasn't there.


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