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Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks Links for Wednesday

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Hump day already!!

17 Power, A Seattle Seahawks Blog: Cloudy with a chance of Skittles
The Seahawks avoided the unthinkable Monday night. Its not very often fans of a 5-7 team feel that victory is all but guaranteed, but these 2011 Rams are a special case. For the season they are averaging just over 11 points a game. Its stunning to me that essentially the same group of personnel very nearly won the NFC West last year. Perhaps even more mind-blowing is that one of their two wins this year was by 10 points over the currently 10-3 New Orleans Saints, who have scored nearly triple as many points for the season. That was 6 weeks ago. The Saints haven't lost since.

Seahawks learning how to win ugly | ProFootballTalk
I’ve said it before, but this Seahawks team is better than last year’s playoff group. They have won four of five games to reach 6-7 because they know how to win ugly.

The Seahawks are growing into winners - Blog -
If you think the Seahawks need to make the postseason this year to ensure a successful season, then you think they had a bad weekend. Watching the Lions, Falcons and Giants all win losable games was tough for the Hawks' playoff chances. If you think the Seahawks need to tighten up their undisciplined play and stop committing careless errors, you were also disappointed. Richard Sherman was called for taunting after making a great defensive play to (seemingly) finish up a goal-line stand. The team also screwed up two simple exchanges, once fumbling on a bad snap to the quarterback and then again on a bad handoff to the running back.

The Brewery | Instant replay: A brief sketch of the Seahawks' victory over St. Louis | Seattle Times Newspaper
Why the Seahawks won: Seattle (6-7) won with a combination of good defense, stellar special teams and a recommitment to the running game in the second half.

Seahawks Blog | Matt Barkley in Seattle, but only as a fan | Seattle Times Newspaper
Did you see USC quarterback Matt Barkley at CenturyLink Field on Monday night? Because apparently he was there.

Seahawks Blog | Three things we learned: Seahawks 30, Rams 13 | Seattle Times Newspaper
There's a fine line between headstrong and foolhardy. Seattle's starting cornerbacks are trying to ride a bike right down the middle of that fine line, which leaves them vulnerable of veering off on either side. The Seahawks were penalized nine times for Monday's game. Five were against the starting cornerbacks, including four against Richard Sherman, who must find a way to avoid penalties while retaining that physical and aggressive style. The easiest starting point? When you make a play on a guy in the end zone on third down, don't stand over him and woof at him until the official feels obligated to throw a flag for taunting. That's what we call an "avoidable penalty." Blog | Game at a glance "
A recap of the Seahawks’ 30-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams on "Monday Night Football" at CenturyLink Field:

A special victory
Sparked by early plays from the special teams and the continuation of Marshawn Lynch's record run, the Seahawks celebrated their return to "Monday Night Football" with a 30-13 victory over the Rams.

Baldwin is Seahawks' little big man | - Sports
Rookie wide receiver shines on special teams and offense

Lowly Rams a building block | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
So you beat the Rams. Big deal, right? Everybody does that. And a berth in the post-season still feels a little like a mathematical mirage.

Seahawks win seventh in a row against Rams at home | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
The Seattle Seahawks kept their good vibes going on Monday night with a 30-13, ho-hum victory over the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field. Blog | Photoblog: Monday Night Madness "
Monday Night Football returned to Seattle for the first time since 2007, and the Seahawks did not disappoint as they defeated the St. Louis Rams, 30-13 at CenturyLink Field.

Cards, Seahawks could both make playoffs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Tis the season for NFL playoff scenarios.

Jerry Brewer | Doug Baldwin shows he's a beauty even during ugly game | Seattle Times Newspaper
Baldwin made three key special-teams plays, caught a touchdown pass and led the Seahawks in receiving with seven catches for 93 yards.

Beast Mode finally spurs play-action game - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson had no touchdowns, two interceptions and four sacks on play-action passes before Monday night. The lack of production in those situations was a bit confounding given Marshawn Lynch's increasingly strong presence as a running threat.

Some shocking goal-to-go passing stats - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Goal-to-go passing stats have their limitations simply because quarterbacks have relatively few attempts in those situations. That is why I wouldn't read too much into the NFL passer rating or Total QBR stats listed for NFC West quarterbacks in the chart below.

Seahawks Blog | Seahawks (slightly less) longshot playoff possibilities | Seattle Times Newspaper
The Seahawks and Cardinals are tied at 6-7, but they play each other in the regular-season finale. Given that two teams not leading their division already have eight victories, no one's getting in the playoffs at 8-8. Seattle has to win out at this point, and even then, get some some help.

Jeff Maehl replaces Derrick Mason on Houston roster | ProFootballTalk
Unexpectedly, the Texans dumped receiver Derrick Mason on Monday. As expected, they’ve promoted former Oregon wideout Jeff Maehl from the practice squad.

Playoffs? You kidding me? | - Seahawks blog
Because it never gets old, let's first start with the classic video of former Colts coach Jim Mora reaction to a question about his team's playoff chances.

Six the hard way: Which coaches might be next on the chopping block? - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
With Jack Del Rio, Todd Haley and Tony Sparano already out the door, and just three weeks left in the regular season, it's time to start counting that little window of postseason, pre-draft narrative known as the mass termination of head coaching contracts. Here, in our general opinion, are six more head coaches who might want to watch their backs. We might also add Mike Shanahan and Jason Garrett as more extreme long shots. It might take the Redskins and/or Cowboys losing out for such things to happen, but there are surprise firings every season … you just never know.

Mac's Football Blog: NFL Week 15 Playoff Scenarios
In Week 14, the Houston Texans joined the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers as 2011 division winners. This week, the New England Patriots can join them as they would clinch the AFC East with a win over the Denver Broncos, or with a tie against the Broncos and a New York Jets tie or loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. If the Jets lose to the Eagles, the Patriots would clinch the AFC East.

The Curious Case of Montee Ball | The Rookie Scouting Portfolio
Wisconsin has earned the moniker "Lineman U" during the decade for its excellence at the position. One of the unintended consequences with this unit’s excellence is the parade of productive college running backs that underwhelm in the NFL. Ron Dayne, Brian Calhoun, Anthony Davis, P.J. Hill, and John Clay are all examples of players that earned some degree of acclaim in college, but were exposed as average NFL athletes, at best.

The interplay of recruiting, eliteness and pro-style versus spread schemes | Smart Football
Blutarsky and B&B discuss some interesting points. Explicitly or implicitly, the discussion turns on the role of schemes and top-flight recruits, coupled with scheme transitions. In short, are there advantages to recruiting to pro-style offenses versus the spread, and is it wrong (or at least misguided) to hire coaches who will transition their team from one to the other? And what’s the better plan for the long-run? I don’t think there even could be an answer to these questions, but below are some non-systematic thoughts.

Draw It Up: Army-Navy and the Flexbone Offense - The Triangle Blog
When you watch Army and Navy play, you know there's going to be option football — and tons of it.

Week 14 thoughts: Blaming Bears' loss on play calling is out of bounds - NFL - Football News, Scores, Stats, Schedule and Standings
Chicago -- They played it close to the vest with the lead, and I can't fault them for that. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz has taken criticism for his play calling but he did the right thing in this game. If Marion Barber doesn't go out of bounds when the Bears are trying the run out the clock, the Broncos wouldn't have had enough time to come back. What is disturbing about Barber's decision was he is a veteran player and should know better. Also, this is something teams practice. Then Barber loses the ball in overtime as they are driving for a potential winning field goal. The Bears got Barber to improve their depth at running back and he has helped when healthy, but the Bears are in a tough spot without Matt Forte and Jay Cutler. Their defense gave up 10 points in regulation, which should have been good enough to win. Improving their depth at quarterback has to be a priority in the offseason.

Week 14 Judgements: Forte's absence felt as Bears falter late - NFL - Football News, Scores, Stats, Schedule and Standings
Finally, Chicago understands just how valuable Matt Forte is to the Bears because even when he doesn't play he decides ballgames. I mean, if Forte were playing Sunday do you honestly think he would've run out of bounds with just under two minutes left and the Broncos out of timeouts? Or how about fumbling in overtime when the Bears were within Robbie Gould's range? No frickin' way. But Barber did, and don't ask me why. Don't ask Marion, either. He wasn't around to explain himself to reporters. "We gave it away," returner Devin Hester moaned. I'd say that about sums it up. The killer, though, was Barber going out of bounds. Talk about dumb. He kept 40 seconds on the clock ... time Denver wouldn't have had on its game-tying drive in the last 56 seconds. "I might have thanked the Lord when he did that," Tim Tebow said. He should.

Mac's Football Blog: Buccaneers Sign DE Nick Reed
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed free agent defensive end Nick Reed, Marc Lillibridge, Reed's agent, announced on Twitter.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Week 14 Quick Reads
Between the league-wide assault on Dan Marino's passing record, the Packers' pursuit of perfection, and Tebowmania, the exceptional production of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has flown under the radar this year.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Week 14 DVOA Ratings
Hey, look who's back 0n top this week! The undefeated Green Bay Packers slip into the top spot in DVOA, which now agrees with pretty much every other power ranking system on the Internet either subjective or objective.

Re-Focused: Rams @ Seahawks, Week 14 |
When the schedule makers put this game on Monday Night football, they thought it had a chance to be meaningful. It was between the two best teams in the NFC West last year, but even then that wasn’t saying much. Now the Seahawks are a long shot for the playoffs, while the Rams have been out of contention for practically the entire season.

HBCU All-Star Bowl 40-times | National Football Post
All the results from the HBCU Combine.

An inside look at the Texans' red zone playbook | National Football Post
Breaking down Yates' game winning TD pass vs. the Bengals.

NFP Rookie Report: Bengals-Texans | National Football Post
Taking a look at first-year players from the Cincy-Houston contest.

Seattle Seahawks Report Card: Week 14 - 12th Man Rising - A Seattle Seahawks Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
Despite all the injuries, the Seattle Seahawks dominated a inferior team last night. That is what they’re supposed to do. The Seahawks have now won 4 of the last 5 games. Their only loss over that stretch was the result of a 4th quarter collapse in which the gave up a 10 point lead to DC in the final minutes of the game.

Seattle Seahawks Blog - Hawk Blogger: The Morning After: Seahawks Win 30-13 Over Rams
Seattle is 4-1 in the last five games after a 2-6 start. That says it all. The Monday night win over the pitiful Rams was more satisfying than encouraging.