Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks links for Saturday

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

LINKS!

Happy weekend.

The NFC West has gone from joke to juggernaut - Grantland
More notably, though, the Seahawks have become a place for the league's afterthoughts to become impact starters. Marshawn Lynch had become a pariah in Buffalo, but after scuffling during his first year in Seattle, his legendary run in the playoffs led to a breakout season in 2011. Chris Clemons was a backup in Washington, Oakland, and Philadelphia, but since the Seahawks acquired him before the 2010 season, he's produced back-to-back 11-sack seasons. The team's starting cornerbacks, as Mike Mayock noted last night, all have chips on their shoulders after being ignored by the league. 2011 fifth-rounder Richard Sherman essentially stepped straight into the lineup last season and has played well enough to get away with trolling Tom Brady, but even he takes a backseat to Brandon Browner. Browner was undrafted out of Oregon State in 2005 and eventually washed up in the CFL, where he was a three-time All-Star before making his way to Seahawks camp. Browner made his NFL debut as a starter for Seattle at 27 and promptly picked off six passes during his rookie season, eventually making his way to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for, coincidentally, Carlos Rogers. Seattle's secondary might be the best four-man unit in football, and it consists of one player (Thomas) with any pedigree whatsoever.

A few quick thoughts on Seahawks loss in San Francisco | HeraldNet.com - Seattle Sidelines
Four days after one of their biggest wins under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks came crashing back to earth Thursday night in a 13-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. This certainly doesn't have to be a devastating, season-altering loss for the Seahawks. The 49ers are a very good team, despite their loss last weekend, and the Seahawks are still 4-3 with plenty of season left to play themselves into a playoff berth. That being said, however, this was a reminder that the Seahawks have some improving to do, particularly on offense, if they are going to be a playoff team.

Seahawks, 49ers must improve pass attacks; NFL-wide thoughts - NFL.com
The Seahawks are overly optimistic that rookie Russell Wilson is their guy. The more I watch Wilson, the more concerned I become about his lack of height in the pocket. In last week's thrilling win over the New England Patriots, Wilson made some great throws down the field, but it was his movement in and out of the pocket that allowed him to see his targets. When teams have controlled their pass rush against Wilson, forcing him to stand tall in the pocket, the rookie quarterback has struggled. As he plays more games, Wilson will start to see a more disciplined rush -- like Thursday night -- and his performance will suffer. Is Matt Flynn a better answer? He might be, but Seattle seems to believe Wilson can overcome his lack of vision down the field.

Seattle slide consistent with Thursday road woes | ProFootballTalk
According to Mike Garafolo of USA Today, road teams are winning just 36.4 percent of the time on Thursday Night Football.

Notes on gambling, refs and adjustments - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few wrap-up thoughts while en route from San Francisco, site of the 49ers' 13-6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks:

Final Word: NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 7:

49ers survive Seahawks, but is Alex Smith's confidence lost as result? - Jim Trotter - SI.com
"Alex had a very good game, made really good decisions," he said. "He was fantastic for us all night ... did a great job of getting us into the right play. Played with a lot of poise. Made some conversions for us and thought he played extremely well."

Conservative play call raises question whether Niners have complete confidence in Alex Smith - Yahoo! Sports
Instead of trying to put away the Seahawks, Harbaugh green-lit a play from offensive coordinator Greg Roman that called for Alex Smith to run a quarterback draw through the middle of the line. The conservative call gained three yards, set up David Akers' 28-yard field goal and essentially dared Seattle's rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson, to launch a dramatic, end-of-game touchdown drive for the second consecutive week.

Seahawks vs. 49ers: Seattle's Passing Attack Takes a Giant Step Backward | Bleacher Report
After a breakout game last week against the Patriots, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks' passing game definitely regressed tonight against the 49ers. I'm well aware that San Francisco's secondary is head and shoulders above New England's, but I was a believer in thinking Seattle had made progress through the air.

Aaron Rodgers: A Former NFL Player's Inside Scoop on Green Bay Packers QB | Bleacher Report
From humble beginnings and bumpy roads, I talk candidly about the man on and off the field, giving insight into why Aaron Rodgers is more than just the best quarterback in the NFL, but a unique and likable individual. A man who didn't always have things go his way; yet through his struggles, he was able to find his strengths, his humility and his humanity.

New Grantland: Denver Dips Into the Old Colts Playbook for Some Vintage Peyton | Smart Football
The play was a familiar one for Manning, which is revealing of the Broncos’ approach. At times this season it’s been clear that Denver head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy have been more focused on fitting Manning into their offense, with mixed results. Some of this has been because of Manning’s need tolearn Denver’s terminology, while the rest of it has just been finding the right blend for the entire team. What we saw in the second half is something we’ve seen all year, namely the Broncos dipping into Manning’s old Colts playbook for plays he’s most comfortable with, and then succeeding with them.

Under-Rated Prospect FSU RB Chris Thompson | National Football Post
NFP's Scouting Director, Russ Lande, breaks down one of nation's best small backs.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Under Pressure: Sacks Allowed So Far
We’ve written about the struggles of the Cardinals’ offensive line before. This is not a new topic for Under Pressure. But now that we’re six weeks into the season, there’s enough of a sample size to take a look at who has allowed the most sacks.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Niners interior offensive line making its mark
"They (the offensive line) did a great job," Gore said. "Coach G-Ro (offensive coordinator Greg Roman) did a great job scheming them up. As long as everybody’s on one page, we can do great things in the running game. I think playing with coach G-Ro for my second year, I think he’s probably the best coordinator I’ve ever played with, especially in the running game. He’s a genius. We’ve just got to keep it up, as a team, as a unit. Just keep going."

Friday Rundown - Fantasy Fallout - Rotoworld.com
Frank DuPont takes his weekly trip through the stats to talk about potential trade targets.

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