Coffee & Cigarettes: Seahawks links for Friday

Brian Bahr

LINKS!

Thank god it's TGIF.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Word of Muth: Bookends of New England
The Patriots beat the Jets in overtime on Sunday in front of every football fan with a TV who doesn't live in Jacksonville or Oakland. This narrow victory over a .500 team seems to have been viewed as something between a bad omen and a catastrophe for New England. It seems a little over-dramatic to rule out a team with one of the best offenses in football. Then again, eliminating probable playoff teams from Super Bowl contention in October is as much a part of the sports discourse as questioning play calling, so c’est la vie.

Snapshot: Play Action Passing | ProFootballFocus.com
In a lot of ways we’re like an NFL team. Always looking for ways to improve, so that we can put out a winning product. That means we’re never going to stop looking for ways to better ourselves, and one of those big areas is our signature stat area. With that in mind I’m proud to unveil the latest signature stat available to all PFF Premium members and updated as soon as we’ve analyzed games, and it’s all about Play Action.

Covering the Uncoverable | ProFootballFocus.com
You would be hard pressed not to make a compelling case for Calvin Johnson being the most uncoverable receiver in the NFL right now. While the devastating hybrid receivers like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez might offer defensive coordinators more headaches, in terms of a one-on-one matchup Johnson is without a doubt the NFL’s most difficult to cover. His rare blend of size, speed, power, and agility are unmatched league-wide and when blended with consistency, defensive backs struggle to make any impression when left on him alone.

Seahawks' offense slowing after going off the script | Seahawks | The Seattle Times
"I don't have a good explanation for you why that's happened," coach Pete Carroll said.

Pete Carroll on Seahawks receivers: ‘I think we’re fine. I think we’re alright’ | Seattle Seahawks
"I think we’re fine. I think we’re alright," head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday during his weekly pregame news conference. "I just think it’s the process that we’re going through, and developing a quarterback and the offense and all of that, it’s taken away from the numbers and all. I think our guys can make the plays. I don’t have any problem."

Seahawks, Lions matchup will be battle of the bigs | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
So the 6-foot-5, 236-pound Johnson doesn’t present a unique challenge? "It’s nothing for a guy who’s 6-3," Sherman said, chuckling. "There’s nothing unique about it. ... Actually it might be a little less of an issue – because of his height, we’re closer in size so you move similar to him. "It’s better than the small, little guys who you don’t move the same as. He’s got long strides, I’ve got long strides – you know what I’m saying? We’ve got similar body types."

These Seahawks wired for intensity | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
Seven-year veteran Ben Obomanu put it this way: "Before, we had the kind of leaders who might say, ‘OK, we need to come out and play smart and play a good game.’ But it’s different now, we have guys like Michael Robinson and Red Bryant who come out with so much intensity it carries over into a physical style of play where we’re thinking, ‘OK, let’s come out and hit somebody in the face.’ "

NFL playoff picture, Week 8: The quickest path from Atlanta to New Orleans - SBNation.com
Can the Atlanta Falcons win out in a tough NFC? Is there any team in the AFC that can challenge the Texans? The NFL playoff picture is a complicated one, but we have some answers.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Film Room: Falcons-Eagles
Seahawks offense vs. Lions defense The Seahawks offense has established an identity under Russell Wilson: run the rock, throw judiciously (preferably between the numbers), and look for chunk yardage with downfield bombs on first or second down. Make sure the downfield bombs involve some sort of play-action or rolling pocket because the rookie quarterback and his somewhat ho-hum receiving corps need the advantage of catching a defense off-balance. This is the same formula the 49ers have perfected. The difference is that Wilson has a slightly livelier arm than Alex Smith, so there’s more room for growth in Seattle’s system. Expect to see plenty of downfield shot plays Sunday. Not only is it wise for the Seahawks to attack a Lions secondary that’s currently trying to get by with the likes of Alphonso Smith and Jonte Green at corner, but as other teams have shown the past two years, it’s wise to attack the aggressive, fast-flowing Lions linebackers and safeties with some sort of misdirection.

Ian Furness - Seattle's live and local sports station
The biggest difference between Hasselbeck and Wilson is efficiency. In 2005, Hasselbeck completed 65 percent of his passes. Wilson is only completing 59 percent of his throws.

Wilson on road woes: ‘We just have to play a little better.’ | Seahawks Insider
"I think the biggest difference is we just have to play a little better," Wilson said. "Whatever it is, we’ve lost some very close games on the road. So we just need to finish those games, and that’s what it really comes down to. "So, just focusing on executing and finishing, especially in the second halves, and the third quarters and fourth quarters, we’ve got to just make the plays when we need them."

NFC West penalty watch: Replacement effect - NFC West Blog - ESPN
"I don’t know why this is the case," Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told 710ESPN Seattle recently, "but since the replacement officials have been gone, we’re like the fourth-fewest penalties in the NFL."

How well do the Seahawks match up with Detroit? - Blog - MyNorthwest.com
Mike Salk points to the Seahawks' ability to match up with Detroit's Calvin Johnson as one reason he likes their chances against the Lions on Sunday. Brock Huard isn't sold. The two discuss the Seahawks-Lions matchup in the video below.

High ankle sprain will keep Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin out of game Sunday | Seahawks | The Seattle Times
"He hasn't been healthy, really," Carroll said. "I think it's just a matter of he's just not had any continuity at all."

Video: Russell Wilson talks about improving road performance | Seahawks Blog | The Seattle Times

Person of interest: WR Calvin Johnson | Seahawks Blog | The Seattle Times
The storyline The Lions chose Johnson No. 2 overall in 2007. He was the fourth wide receiver Detroit chose with a top-10 selection in a five-year span. He was also the best. By a long shot. Johnson has scored 50 touchdowns, and he's not even halfway through his sixth season, and last year led the league with 1,681 yards receiving, and while that's not enough to make anyone forget about Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams, Johnson has been a trascendant player.

Joe Vitt: Chris Ivory 'ain't going nowhere' for Saints - NFL.com
The New Orleans Saints have a crowded backfield, but they aren't about to shop Chris Ivory. "Chris ain't going nowhere," Saints interim coach Joe Vitt told reporters Thursday, via Katherine Terrell of The Times-Picayune.

49ers-Seahawks rivalry getting ramped up a little | National Football Post
Go ahead and mark your calendar for the Week 16 meeting between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. The bet here is Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has already done just that.

Headed for the chopping block? | National Football Post
Chris Johnson (RB)-Tennessee Titans: Johnson hasn’t been the same player since breaking Marshall Faulk’s yards from scrimmage record in 2009 by gaining 2,509 yards. His rushing totals have steadily declined after topping the 2,000 yard mark in that same season. After a lengthy preseason holdout in 2011, Johnson signed a four-year, $53.975 million contract extension. He posted career lows in rushing yards (1,047), yards per carry average (4.0) and touchdowns last year (4). Johnson followed up his disappointing 2011 campaign with an extremely slow start to begin the 2012 season. He only had 45 rushing yards in Tennessee’s first three games. Since then, Johnson has started looking like his old self. He’s leading the NFL in rushing over the last four weeks with 451 yards on 77 carries (5.9 yards per carry).

Top Five Offensive Tackles | National Football Post
NFP's Scouting Director Russ Lande gives you a peek at the Top 5 OT's right now.

Greg Zuerlein, Blair Walsh latest proof that kickers should be drafted more | Audibles
In the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, available on tablets on Oct. 24 and newsstands Oct. 25, Tim Layden looks at the cult of the 63-yard field goal (get an inside glimpse at that story here). Below, Chris Burke argues for more draft picks to be spent on kickers.

Snapshot: NFL Passer Rating Allowed, Cornerbacks | ProFootballFocus.com
Second-Year Standouts The cornerback class of the 2011 draft may go down as one of the best in history, and has had some players explode onto this scene this year. Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara, Chris Culliver, and Richard Sherman have all been top-flight cover corners this season and all are in the Top 10 in NFL Rating Allowed. Combined, they have allowed one touchdown and intercepted eight passes. What they have done is nothing short of amazing, especially considering that Sherman was the only one to have a positive coverage grade last season. This has the chance to be a class that, much like the receivers of 1996, the quarterbacks of 2004, and the tight ends of 2010, people talk about for a while.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Niners TE Davis not likely to stay dormant for long
Our sources close to the Niners believe it would be a big mistake to make too big a deal out of TE Vernon Davis’ meager numbers in recent weeks.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Seahawks' top pick Irvin no longer considered a reach
"He’s turned out to be exactly what they wanted," one team insider said of Irvin, who, along with fellow DE Chris Clemons, has wasted no time turning on Seahawks fans as a potent pass-rush parlay already considered to be on a par with the Michael Sinclair-Michael McCrary combo that wreaked havoc on opposing QBs in 1996. "When he got those two sacks early against the Packers in the Monday-night win, the fans just fell in love with him."

Week 8 - Bradley Press Conference
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley talks with the media as the Seahawks prepare to face the Lions.

Looking at the linebackers " Seahawks Draft Blog
It’s hard to project these things in October, but most people assume the Seahawks will draft for the offense in 2013. It’s not exactly a stretch to think that way, given how well the defense has played and the need to build around Russell Wilson. Chris Steuber reported last week that the Seahawks had a scout at Rutgers, probably taking a look at receiver Brandon Coleman. He also reported yesterday that Seattle would also have representation at the Clemson vs Wake Forest game tonight:

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