Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 12/16/13
Seahawks defense dominates As the old saying goes, “Defense wins championships.” Sunday the Seahawks played at the host site for Super Bowl XLVII and their defense played like they intend to represent the NFC on Super Bowl Sunday. It would have been nice to clinch the NFC West on Sunday, and the Seahawks did all they could, however the Buccaneers couldn’t hand the 49ers a loss so that will have to wait another week. It was nice yesterday to see the Saints lose to the Rams. That result guaranteed that Seattle will be seeded no lower than the 5th seed in the playoffs. That will be a moot point if the Seahawks win one of the remaining two games at home because they will not only clinch the division title but home field advantage throughout the playoffs. I’m not going to tell you it is a wrap but I would say there is a better chance that the Mariners win the World Series in 2014 than the Cardinals and Rams beating the Seahawks at home in back to back weekends. The officiating wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible either. For the most part on plays they got wrong they should have thrown a flag but chose not to.  I would much rather see an officiating crew let penalties and plays go than see them calling things that never happened, as long as they are calling the game even for both teams. As much as it pains me to say this, I think Bill Leavy and his crew did a decent job. Eli Manning was harassed early and often.  Seattle’s defense set the tone on the opening drive when defensive end Red Bryant ran a stunt with Brandon Mebane and hit Eli forcing an errant throw. Miss Brandon Browner yet? Maxwell is here to stay. Two plays later defensive coordinator Dan Quinn called a blitz that resulted in a sack where four Seahawks players met at Manning with Bobby Wagner leading the way. By the end of the day Eli Manning was sacked three more times and threw a total of 5 interceptions (Richard Sherman 2, Byron Maxwell 2, Earl Thomas 1). Both of Byron Maxwell’s interceptions were spectacular plays where he took the ball from the receiver but neither was more impressive than Earl Thomas’ interception. Richard Sherman knocked the ball to Earl Thomas who was able to catch the ball in the end zone while keeping his feet in bounds as momentum carried him out. Yellow Flags Penalties continue to plague the Seahawks.  On defense the team is very aggressive but they jump offsides on a hard counts far too often, especially Michael Bennett.  I understand they want to use a quick jump to get pressure on the quarterback but they need to stop giving teams free yards. The offensive side of the ball is really frustrating me, it has for a couple of seasons now.  A big reason why the Seahawks offense only managed to find the end zone twice was penalties.  Between false starts and holding penalties they are putting the offense in too many difficult 3rd down situations and a contributing factor in the team only converting 3 of 13 3rd down attempts. There is only so much Russell Wilson can overcome. The Wilson Factor Not long into Russell Wilson’s rookie season it became apparent that the young man was a special player.  Sunday he became the 3rd member of a very exclusive club. Marshawn Lynch is absolutely incredible. (Photo: Seahawks.com) Wilson joined Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and future first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to throw at least 50 touchdowns in their first two NFL season. Before the ink dried on Russell’s membership card he joined, or should I say created, an even more exclusive club when he became the first quarterback to win 23 regular season games in his first two seasons. I don’t know what the future will hold for Wilson’s career or the Seattle Seahawks but it looks like it is going to be one heck of a ride filled miraculous impromptu plays. Beastmode He’s not the only special Seahawk in the backfield.  Marshawn Lynch is absolutely incredible.  On one play where he had caught a pass from Wilson and ran through a defender while dragging another would-be-tackler I just laughed. The reason I laughed was because at that moment I realized how spoiled I have become as a Seahawks fan.  Week in and week out I see spectacular plays at such a frequency that I have come to expect them.  In the rare event that they don’t happen I’m actually shocked. The Teams Special teams continue to be a strong point for the Seahawks and Golden Tate managed a couple nice punt return once again.  Tate is due to have his first punt return for a touchdown.  I thought we would see it happen against the Giants but  unfortunately it didn’t.  The punt coverage team for Seattle is probably the best I’ve ever seen. What can I say about Steven Hauschka that I haven’t said in the past? Hau$chka — Steve Sandmeyer (@SteveSandmeyer) December 15, 2013 He is on pace to have the most accurate season of any Seahawks kicker who had at least three attempts.  Sunday Steven became the first kicker in team history to make 25 field goals in less than 30 attempt.  Currently he is 27/28 with his only miss stemming from a blocked field goal. Only seven kickers in the history of the NFL who have ever had a better season that Hauschka is having in 2013. As a whole the 2013 Seahawks became the first group in team history to win 6 road games in a season.  They have shed their reputation of being unable to go on the road and win. 6-2 road record for the #Seahawks I'm a fan since 77. VERY VERY Freakin #RARE Like really really #Rare — Q Smith™ (@NWSBQ) December 15, 2013 In years past they have also struggle playing games with a 10 AM Pacific Time kickoff.  This season the team went 4-1 in that time slot so I’d say they have bucked that trend as well. Go Seahawks! Look how empty that stadium is? I think everyone is down the road grabbing a slice and a beer. — Brett Bivens (@NWProSports) December 15, 2013 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS PAGE IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION!
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