Found December 29, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Seahawks will Lean on these Five Here we are in week 17 of the NFL season and the Seattle Seahawks are one win away from posting more than 10 wins for the first time since 2005 when the team won 13 games and went onto play in the Super Bowl. This can be a statement game before the playoffs! If I’m being realistic about this weekend I am not going to expect any miracles, the Cardinals are just bad and Kurt Warner didn’t decide to suit up for this game against the 49ers so no one should be anticipating an NFC West Championship but this is the NFL and you really never know. Regardless of what the Seahawks are playing for on Sunday the team has been doing nothing over the last month but making statements and the display we saw on Sunday was a statement in all caps and multiple exclamation marks. This Sunday if the team can do the same thing I can guarantee there isn’t going to be any teams out there happy or excited about playing Seattle in the first round. As for this Sunday here is who I will be watching for on Sunday. 1) Red Bryant Stopping the run will be another key to a big Seahawks win once again on Sunday and Steven Jackson will be motivated as this will likely be his last game as a St. Louis Rams. He is also just 10 yards short of rushing for 1,000 yards in his eighth consecutive season. Bryant as he always is will be key in controlling the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball. Even when he isn’t the one making the tackles he is usually the one drawing double teams from the offensive line allowing players like Brandon Mebane and the line backers to get in on the running back before he causes too much trouble. I’m sure that Jackson will get his 1,000 yard season because keeping him under 10 yards might be a little too much to ask for but keeping Jackson in check is not. 2) Doug Baldwin It occurred to me as I watched Baldwin remind Seahawk fans of his existence on Sunday against the 49ers that we could be looking at a potential triple threat at receiver moving into the post season. Whoever the Seahawks draw in the playoffs will obviously be watching film from this weekend and it would be huge for Baldwin to remind that there are more receivers on this team then Sidney Rice and Golden Tate. Imagine a team that has to prepare to stop Baldwin, Tate and Rice at receiver; Marshawn Lynch at running back and not to mention the zone read/scrambling capabilities of Russell Wilson. Even when he isn’t the one making the tackles he is usually the one drawing double teams There is only so much a team can prepare for when it comes to game planning and adding Baldwin back into that mix could the tipping point when it comes time for playoffs. 3) Matt Flynn This is an odd player to throw into the mix and I know that him getting into the game is not important. I wouldn’t be surprised or the least bit upset if he doesn’t get in but should the game become lob sided or should the 49ers pull away from the Cardinals I think we should take a moment to consider the importance of reminding teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders etc. that Matt Flynn is a valuable trading asset during the off season. Looking ahead I think the Seahawks will have no choice but to trade him and this game could be the difference in upping the price on Flynn to add another team to this already strong team. 4) Richard Sherman Everyone take a quick minute and exhale that we have our all-pro (but not pro bowl) corner-back after winning his appeal. Let also take this moment to reflect on another failed suspension by Roger Goodell, better luck next year Mr. Commissioner….. Sherman having a monster game would be another good sign for this Seahawks defense and it would only scare other teams more knowing that he here to stay and his partner in crime Brandon Browner will be back next week only making this team scarier and more dangerous. 5) Russell Wilson Could we really talk about the importance of a player in an upcoming Seahawks game without talking about Wilson? Every-time this kid takes the field he only gets more and more dangerous and winning 11 games would help his rookie of the year chances, all though I really don’t think he will be able to swing the east coast bias in his favor enough to over take RGIII. That being said this is another opportunity for Wilson to prove to a team that he has lost too already this season that he is a different player now and he will be a force in the division for years to come. Don’t expect any miracle when it comes to winning the division Seahawk fans but expect either the Redskins or Cowboys to be less then thrilled to have the Seattle Seahawks rolling into town for the Wild Card game. There always seems to be one Wild Card team to make a run and at this point the Seahawks are the obvious choice. I don’t know what to expect as the playoffs start but the Seahawk playoff buzz is back in the city of Seattle and there is no better place to be then in the Northwest for a Seahawks playoff run. 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