Everything about Russell Wilson is good and pure, and I would never dream of tampering with the holiness that is Wilson, but sometimes I think it would be funny if he "broke out of character" just once a month or something. Just completely out of the blue, that he would express a level of ego that we had never seen from him before.
Not that I would want him to do it all the time, or to be as brash as Richard Sherman, but just once in awhile for him to sit back and enjoy the success with 100-percent free will because that's so obviously not the type of person that he is. It's because of how out-of-the-ordinary it would be that makes it both funny to me, and completely impossible. He's never going to talk shit about other players or coaches, he's never going to say that he's the best, he's never going to stand on top of the mountain and piss on the dead bodies on top of which he stands. He'll never tweet out "Everybody sucks but us. #GoHawks."
But if he did, he'd totally be justified.
This week, the Denver Broncos -- the team that SB Nation and many other outlets opted to put back on top of any "power rankings" articles, because the Seahawks lost at San Francisco -- lost 27-20 to the San Diego Chargers. Not that Denver isn't good or that Seattle hasn't stumbled against some poor teams this year, but the Chargers lost to the Oakland Raiders. And this game was in Denver. That's when it dawns on you, for like the eighth actual time this year, that the Broncos have played a pretty easy schedule.
It's the type of concern that reminds you how many dominating regular seasons Peyton Manning has had, and how many Super Bowls (9-11 postseason record) he hasn't been to. Manning has been to the postseason 12 times and been "one-and-done" in eight of those trips.
The loss slides them back into a tie with the Kansas City Chiefs with two games to go. The Chiefs have scored 167 points over the last four weeks -- which might remind you of the incredible tear that the Seahawks went on in 2012, except that KC is 2-2 in those games with 117 points allowed. Football Outsiders also notes that the Chiefs have had the easiest schedule in the NFL.
Those two teams will compete for the top seed in the AFC against the New England Patriots, except that the Pats 24-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins drops them to 10-4 and one game back of Denver and Kansas City. It's hard to envision them making it far in the playoffs without Rob Gronkowski.
The Cincinnati Bengals could have won on Sunday and overtaken the Patriots for a bye week and the number two seed, but instead lost 30-20 to the 6-8 Pittsburgh Steelers. That keeps the Bengals at 9-5, tied with the Indianapolis Colts, the same team that they beat 42-28 the week before.
Which brings you over to the NFC, where the 10-4 New Orleans Saints all but killed their chances for the number one seed with a 27-16 loss to the 6-8 St. Louis Rams. That drops them into a tie with the Carolina Panthers, and those two teams play in Carolina this upcoming weekend for the likely right to the division and a home game, bye week. The loser will go on the road and not get a week off.
Seattle has beaten them both.
I will ignore the NFC East and NFC North, like everyone else.
That only leaves us with the NFC West and the fact that the top team in the NFL, record-wise, also plays in the top division in the league. The worst team is 6-8, making them the best "worst" team in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams are the "Troll 2" of the league, you could say, and I would and now I will forever.
Of course, the 10-4 San Francisco 49ers might be the second-best team in the league, but that currently only leaves them as the second-best team in their own division. The Niners might be great, but like the Seahawks had to find out last year, being great can't undo the fact that you're likely going to have to win three road games to make the Super Bowl and that's not going to be easy because winning on the road is hard.
Really, really hard. And yet, Seattle just beat New York 23-0 in "New York." They likely won't have to play on someone else's home field again until the 2014 season. (Or, I guess, if the Jets make the Super Bowl, which doesn't seem nearly as unlikely as it should.)
Unlike momentum or team chemistry, homefield advantage isn't a mythical thing that can't be proven. We know for a fact that teams, in nearly all sports, play better when they are the home team. Las Vegas goes far enough to even quantify it as being worth 2.5-points, on average, for their spreads. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule like many assume, but an average. Some teams will get even bigger bumps for playing at home, and you can be certain that the Seahawks are one of these teams.
And still, Seattle went to New York and didn't just break "the curse of the 10 AM road start on the east coast" but completely debunked it. They faced a team that has fallen on hard times and didn't hesitate to nail -- not tape, but nail -- an eviction sign on the door. Seems a waste of a good nail, but I guess you had to get the point across.
Though they had touchdowns taken from them and punted on four of their first five drives and worked Steven Hauschka far more than they would have liked, the Seahawks still went on the road and allowed nary a single point. In the spirit of Dr. Seuss and the How the Grinch Stole Christmas:
Down in Sea-ville
Liked football a lot
But the Eli
Who lived in York-ville
Eli HATED football! The whole football season!
Some would say his interceptions, are an act of Giants' treason!
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps -- no, I think we were right the first time.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that you don't f*** with the Seahawks after fall #GoHawks - @DangeRussWilson
No matter how bad things could get for the Giants, it still was their first home shutout in over 18 years. That's enough time for you to have Kanye West's child and then never see him again. How many games have ever seen a team throw five interceptions and still have seven punt returns? Seven punt returns is already a ridiculous amount, but to mix that in with five interceptions?
New York had just 87 total net yards on their first 12 drives. They had four drives in the second quarter, and they totaled negative one yard and two interceptions on those drives. From the beginning of their first drive of the second quarter to their first drive of the third quarter (-10 yards) they actually moved back 11 yards.
Despite playing at home. Despite playing a team that's adjusting to life without their starting outside linebacker and starting corner. Despite it all, the Giants didn't even get into Seahawks territory until past the midway point of the fourth quarter. It wasn't a complete victory, because the offense could have done better, but it was dominating. And it was on the road.
And throw all that sh*t out the window anyway because if Seattle plays another game this season outside of Seattle, it will be right back at MetLife for Super Bowl XLVIII.
With two games left in the season, the Seahawks are now a virtual lock to be the number one seed. Any win over their last two games, or any loss by the 49ers, and Seattle will be the top seed. This is about as locked up as it was in 2005, when the Seahawks went 13-3 and no other team in the NFC was better than 11-5. (And had already locked up the number one seed by their final game, otherwise they may have gone 14-2.)
Except that it's not because the NFC or the NFC West is weak, but instead there's a lot of good teams in the conference... that Seattle is just better than. That little round-up earlier was just to display that while every team has flaws, the Seahawks simply have the least amount of them right now. They are 6-0 at home, with 14 straight wins in Seattle, and almost certainly will play any NFC playoff games there as well.
Wilson reminds us every damn week how good he is (with his play and not with his tweets) but even when the offense is held up, we're reminded of how cramazing (crazy/amazing) the defense is when they step up like this. It's the reason that I'll say it, even if Russell won't, but...
Everybody sucks but us. #GoHawks.
Let's make point smoothies like magic and Bullet:
- Brandon Browner may have not cost himself a lot of money in a future contract so much as he is watching Byron Maxwell snatch it right out of his hands. After the game, Eli Manning talked about how they wanted to attack the Seattle defense:
We knew we were going to get a lot of one on one matchups and we were kind of looking forward to trying to take advantage of those matchups and see if we can win those individual routes and we took our shots.
One can read that statement and assume he's talking about Maxwell. An unknown, unproven, untested third-year corner that just made his first start two weeks prior, why shouldn't Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz win that battle? After all, those guys are cool and Maxwell is nothin' but a fool, right?
Maxwell is on a "nothing" rookie contract that will pay him $645k next season, the final year of his deal. Browner is in the final year of his deal. The Seahawks need money to sign certain players and to likely extend some of their stars, like Earl Thomas.
I can tell you exactly how this plays out:
Browner wants to be paid like a starter that made the Pro Bowl in 2011.
Seattle won't pay that, and they feel confident that Maxwell is at least as good as Browner.
Browner gets a four-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles and $17 million guaranteed.
He's released after the 2015 season.
He signs a one-year deal with the Seahawks.
I've seen it a thousand times.
The real question I have at this point, after Maxwell has come up so big in the last three games, is whether or not he will be one of the players deserving of a long-term extension. It may be too early to start discussing that, and luckily they won't have to, but he's played like quite "cool" in Browner's spot. Which is likely now "Maxwell's spot."
Or "The Maxx" as I call it.
- You just wish every opponent drives chart would look like this, but Eli can only play for one team:
- Dan Quinn and the Seattle defense really don't seem to concentrate on stopping the run as it is, but if they can completely abandon the notion of even thinking about whether or not they need to stop the run and simply focus on your one or two receiving weapons, they've already won.
What I find amazing is that the Giants don't even have a running back on the roster that's played in more than seven games this season, other than seventh round rookie Michael Cox (20 carries for 42 yards.)
But when I see good teams with no running game, like the Saints, it's why I'm not as worried about playing them in the playoffs. If you're the 49ers, and you do have the threat of a running game, and you're not afraid to run it in the fourth quarter when you're losing, that's a much bigger deal to me than worrying about whether or not the Seahawks will lose in a "shoot out" to Drew Brees.
Because they won't.
Not against Dick and The Maxx.
- The Seahawks now rank first in points allowed, first in yards allowed, first in point differential, second in takeaways, second in takeaway differential, fifth in scoring, first in interceptions, first in net yards per pass attempt, first in DVOA, first in blowin' up your spot.
- Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril have an outside shot at 10 sacks each this year. Bennett has 7.5, while Avril has 8. Seattle hasn't had teammates with double-digit sacks since Michael McCrary (13.5) and Michael Sinclair (13) in 1996. Not sure how important that was, or if it was worth the one minute of research, but I'm going to say no.
No, it wasn't.
- The Seahawks have forced at least two turnovers in 10 of 14 games this season, which sounds impressive until you realize that the '84 Seahawks forced at least two turnovers in fifteen of their games that season.
- Seattle ended up allowing 15.12 points per game on the road this season.
- Marshawn Lynch has set a career-high in receiving yards (307) this season.
- Doug Baldwin is 18 yards shy of a new career-high in receiving yards.
- Golden Tate already set his career-high this year.
- Marcus Trufant had 21 interceptions in ten seasons with the Seahawks. Sherman has 18 interceptions in less than three years.
- At this point, the only other team that matters right now in regards to Seattle's playoff seeding, is the 49ers. No other team can change anything for the Seahawks, except for San Francisco.
The best that the Saints or Panthers can do is 12-4, which is also the worst that Seattle can do, but since they beat both of those teams, then the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker. But if the 49ers win out and the Seahawks lose out, then Seattle will tumble all the way down from the one seed to the five seed, and not get a home game to start the playoffs, not get a bye week.
Given how Seattle has played this year, I wouldn't even be that concerned about playing on the road (I'd be more concerned about why we lost home games to the Cardinals and Rams) but certainly everything looks better if things go as they should and we get to spend the first week of the playoffs sittin' fat and happy, and not having a care in the world.
But either way, it just feels good to look upon the NFL landscape and feel confident in saying, "My team is the best team." Nobody can tell me that they aren't, and like Starship once bellowed, "Nothing's gonna stop us now."
Unless they do. Which is possible, because just about anything could happen over the next six weeks and change, but for today, I'm confident. Why not enjoy saying these things when you get the chance, because success in this league as fleeting as the joy you may feel on a rollercoaster ride. Just say it once.
Everybody sucks but us.