Posted January 12, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Zach Miller came to Seattle in 2011 with a big contract and a penchant for catching a lot of passes.
After the tight end spent his first season with the Seahawks mainly as a blocker and catching very few balls, there were plenty of questions about whether the team made a smart investment.
If they weren't before, those questions were gone after Miller's performance in last Sunday's wild-card playoff victory over Washington.
''He'd like to do everything and catch 10 balls a game, but in the system the way it is, he's there for really opportunities and to make things happen when he gets his chances, and he's done a great job,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
That deal Miller signed in 2011 possibly paid for itself with his performance in the Washington win. Miller caught just four passes but they might have been the four biggest receptions in his two seasons in Seattle. He twice converted third-and-long situations on drives that led to points and caught a critical 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks' 24-14 victory.
Miller's four catches against Washington were tied for second-most of any game not just this season but in his two years with the Seahawks.
''You have a lot of guys that are receiving tight ends or blocking tight ends and in this system you have to be able to do a little of all of it,'' Miller said.
Before he came to Seattle, Miller was known more for his ability as a pass catcher. In his final two years with Oakland, Miller caught 66 and 60 passes, respectively, and ranked among the top 10 in the league in receptions by a tight end both seasons.
That translated into a big payday for Miller before the start of the 2011 season when he joined the Seahawks on a five-year contract. But the numbers he posted in Oakland simply didn't make the trip up the coast.
Much of that was the circumstance Miller was thrown into. A year ago, the Seahawks were in the midst of revamping their offensive line and trying to do it without the benefit of offseason workouts due to the NFL lockout. That led to problems with protection once the season began and the need to use Miller as an extra offensive lineman.
Carroll said Miller accepted whatever was asked.
''He's such a good team guy that the only problem would be if he'd felt it, if he was frustrated by it,'' Carroll said.
With a solidified offensive line, Miller has gotten more chances to be a receiver this season and is often a target late in plays for rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. He caught a pass in every game but one and had five receptions against the New York Jets in November, Miller's most since his final game with the Raiders.
But his most important catches of the season came last Sunday.
It started in the first quarter when the Seahawks were already facing a 14-0 deficit. On a third-and-12 at their own 18, Wilson saw Miller open, but the pass was underthrown. Miller reached back, picking the ball just off the top of the turf, then spun off two tacklers and dove to get the first down. It was the Seahawks' initial first down of the game and eventually led to a field goal.
''Definitely the way the game started we needed to convert a third down and it happened to be third and long and it ended up being a big play,'' Miller said. ''We got points on that drive, which was huge and kind of got the offense rolling.''
Miller's other big catch came in the fourth quarter on the drive that gave Seattle the lead. Facing third-and-10 at the Seahawks 46, Miller initially stayed in to block as a defensive tackle looped around. That block bought Wilson time, but all his options were covered downfield. Miller then started a late route and Wilson found him in stride for a 22-yard gain.
Three plays later, Marshawn Lynch scored on a 27-yard run and Miller made a difficult catch on the 2-point conversion to give the Seahawks the lead.
''I thought it was cool the way it happened and definitely love the trust in Russell to expect me to be there and throw it out to me,'' Miller said.
BEST OF MAXIM
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman says he is a good guy and that he doesn't know why people find reasons to dislike him.
When Seattle took on Washington in the NFC Wild Card playoff matchup Richard Sherman was all over the field. Although he did not have a direct impact in the box score he was locking down receivers and laying licks on Redskins players all night long.
Sherman is known as a lock-down defender and is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL this year. The Redskins dominated the first...
The Seattle Seahawks impressed the football world last week with their comeback victory in Washington. As a reward for their efforts they earned themselves a trip to Atlanta to take on the top-seeded Falcons with a trip to the NFC championship game on the line. Despite the Falcons’ inability to win in the playoffs with Matt Ryan at quarterback, the Seattle Seahawks will still...
After the Redskins' loss to the Seahawks last weekend, OT Trent Williams had just about enough of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman's trash talking, so he walked over to him as Sherman was exchanging pleasantries with Trent's teammates.
With his helmet still on, and in menacing silence something akin to Jason in Friday the 13th about to rip a sorry teenage camper...
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch missed practice
for the second straight day on Thursday due to his lingering foot injury,
reports Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk.
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch missed
practice for the second straight day to a lingering foot injury.
Crabtree points out that seeing Lynch’s name on the Seahawks’
Ever wonder how it might have been?
There are a few “what if” questions that come to mind right off the bat when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks, and I will touch on those for sure, but I want to take a look at some other questions that have had me wondering over the years.
The two big ones are Drew Bledsoe, and Super Bowl XL.
Of course they are, right? Was there any other bigger...
Early on in the Seattle Seahawks/Atlanta Falcons NFC divisional playoff game, Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch fumbled the ball which ended up getting recovered by Atlanta's Jonathan Babineaux.
Upon further review of the video, Lynch took a punch to the groin from Thomas DeCoud which might have helped cause the fumble:
(Courtesy of Cosby Sweaters/@CJZero)
We’ve all heard by now how bad the grass really was at FedEx Field last Sunday for the wild card round matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks.
The field, which looked dangerous from the get-go, proved to be harmful. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III reaggravated a knee injury that led to surgery, and the Seahawks moved on to the divisional round...
The first NFL divisional round playoff game this afternoon features one of the hottest teams in the NFL visiting the team that finished the season with the best record in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons. This game features and intriguing matchup of perhaps the best wide receiver pairing going up against the best cornerback duo in the league. Weather obviously will...
For years, stats geeks and old-schoolers have been fighting over the importance numbers and trends possess when it comes to predicting future outcomes. The champion of the stats side of that argument is Nate Silver, who comes from the world of sabermetrics and who also happened to use his advanced system to predict the winner of all 50 states and all but one Senate race in November...
The Falcons and Matt Ryan have the worst match-up against Seattle if they want to get their first playoff win.
The Wildcard games disappointed for one reason, quarterback play. That will not be a problem this weekend. The marquee quarterbacks are off their bye weeks and are ready to lead their teams onto the field.
Here is a look at the games and my selection of the winners...
What to look for in the battle of the birds
Seattle is red hot. After finishing the regular season on a promising winning streak, the Seattle Seahawks rolled into the nation’s capital and pushed around the Redskins en route to their first road playoff victory since 1983.
Now it’s time to take their show on the road once again and head to HotLanta for a date with the dirty birds...
The Atlanta Falcons come into this game as the top seed in the NFC. But that may not be enough to peg them as favorites one day after the Broncos, who were the top seed in the AFC, lost to Baltimore.
They will take on the Seahawks, who are coming off their win in Washington. Seattle was helped in part by a hobbled and eventually injured RG3. Russell Wilson played a solid game, as...