Originally written November 15, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Grounded The Seattle Seahawks hosted the New York Jets Sunday in what was considered a must-win game for both teams. While there is great parity between the two teams’ records, a lot was on the line for both. Seattle is fighting for a playoff spot while the Jets are fighting themselves and the media circus they’ve created. With that playoff spot in mind, Seattle players seem to be clicking at the right time and it can only get better from here. With a much more manageable schedule approaching, this team has the possibility to do something big. With all that being said, a lot of good things happened on Sunday. Let’s shed some light on those who did well and did poorly for the Seahawks against the Jets. Love ‘em Marshawn Lynch How can you not love Marshawn Lynch? Beast Mode makes watching the Seahawks fun and he continued to put on a show on Sunday. With his physical running style, Lynch bruised his way to a 100+ yard game. In turn, that put him over 1,000 yards on the year, eclipsing the century mark in the 10th games of the season. As of now, Lynch is the second best running back in football. After a few more performances like the one he had Sunday, Lynch will easily challenge Adrian Peterson for that #1 spot.  Sidney Rice It is nice to see Sidney Rice healthy. What we have seen from Rice in the last few weeks is exactly why the Seahawks went out and got him. Despite his lack of blazing speed, Rice uses his exceptional knowledge of the game and his ability to read defenses and finds himself open behind the secondary. How can you not love Marshawn Lynch? Besides coming into the #1 role that he was brought to take over, Rice has done some pretty good things to help this team win games. He is finally becoming a better blocker, allowing Golden Tate to make moves on a quick screen pass. He is throwing off defenses, because he can throw the ball, too. Sidney Rice is finally showing us his arsenal…and it’s paying dividends for the Seahawks. Golden Tate Golden Tate has become an important player on this team. By using his athleticism, Tate has been out-jumping opponents all season long and continued to do so Sunday with his leaping grab over a Jets defender before a brisk step or two into the endzone for the score. Like Rice, Tate is bringing different weapons to the table too. His speed has allowed Seattle to add more quick outs to him to allow Tate to make plays happen. He is making people miss on a consistent basis and it is freeing him up to do even more. Zach Miller How happy is Zach Miller? After being primarily known as a pass catcher, Miller’s role quickly changed when he got to Seattle. He has taken lots of criticism due to his lack of receiving numbers, but many don’t give him credit for changing his role and play style to help the Seahawks protect Russell Wilson. This week, Miller got used a lot more in the passing game. It was a breath of fresh air after seeing the Seahawks tone down the importance of Tight Ends in their offense. With Miller finally making catches instead of blocks, this team is adding more and more weapons to make a late season run. Brandon Browner Brandon Browner won’t quit. He is silently playing one hell of a defensive season, overshadowed by the other members of the Legion of Boom. His no quit play style, though, has saved this team 2 weeks in a row. After getting beat on a play, Browner puts his head down and hits a full on sprint in order to catch players before they hit the endzone. Browner did that on Sunday, stopping Jeremy Kerley just short of the endzone. That stop allowed Seattle to force a turnover when Richard Sherman intercepted Mark Sanchez. Richard Sherman How can you not love the game that Richard Sherman had on Sunday? Despite the Jets not having a true #1 stud receiver, Sherman still managed to make some headlines with his play. Besides picking the ball off in the red zone, Sherman turned up several more times to make some plays. He made a couple big pass deflections as well as a big sack fumble on Sanchez, allowing Jason Jones to recover the fumble and turn it over to Seattle. Some people hate cocky players because they don’t back their talk up. We all know Sherman backs his up. Hate ‘em John Moffitt I love John Moffitt, don’t get me wrong. On Sunday, though, Moffitt got flat out beat all game by the Jets defensive line. And it hurt the Seahawks a few times with sacks and losses in the backfield. I realize Moffitt has been frequently injured since being drafted by Seattle, but if he continues to allow people to turn him into a revolving door, he may serve better use on the bench until he finds his way again.  Russell Wilson I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to be able to put Russell Wilson on the hate ‘em list this season. Unfortunately after Sunday, I had no choice. I know you probably think I’m crazy, because Wilson had a pretty good game.  Golden Tate has become an important player on this team. My problem , though, is what I saw in the first half, and almost the first 3 quarters of the game. With all the progress that Wilson has made this season, he seemed to take a few steps back on Sunday. He held onto to the ball way too long. He made some poor decisions when doing his checkdowns and reads on his receivers and their coverage. He did not have his head on a swivel. Instead, he had on blinders. Had he been more able, Wilson would’ve played even better. I recall one play in particular where Doug Baldwin was streaking past a block on the field with his hand held out in front of him, signaling to Wilson he was getting open. This happened directly in front of Wilson as he was making his reads during the play. Instead of seeing Baldwin and hitting him down field, Wilson instead scrambled to the outside and got sacked by the linebacker who finally busted through the line. These are the kind of plays that can make and break games. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG PAGE IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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