Happy Holidays yo, Xmas, Chanukah, etc and et al! Hope you're having a great one.
Week 16 thoughts: Vikings put Peterson in harm's way for no reason - NFL - CBSSports.com News, Rumors, Scores, Stats, Fantasy Advice
Detroit -- Congratulations to Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz for the incredible turnaround from 0-16 to the playoffs in just three years. The two areas I want to focus on are the selection of Martin Mayhew as GM and the drafting of Matt Stafford. When I was GM of the Redskins, Martin Mayhew started for us as a cornerback on our 1991 Super Bowl champion team. When I left the Redskins in September of 1999, one of my last acts was to recommend the hiring of Martin Mayhew, who I thought was a bright and hardworking player who was prepared for an executive career in the NFL.
Judgements: Being a wild card team isn't so bad in AFC this year - NFL - CBSSports.com News, Rumors, Scores, Stats, Fantasy Advice
. Good news, Pittsburgh fans. Your team may not win the AFC North, but this is the year to be an AFC wild card. I know, I know, that means the Steelers go on the road. Big deal. You go to Denver ... or Oakland ... and tell me you wouldn't want to play either right now. But look at the AFC's sixth seed, currently the Bengals. That team might have it better. It gets to play the Texans, and, yes, Houston has a problem. I mean, if it can't beat Indianapolis, how does it win a playoff game? It doesn't.
‘Unsexy’ 49ers continue their drive through an increasingly impressed NFL - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Just so you know, the San Francisco 49ers are doing it all wrong. In a league that values the passing game most of all, and allows Super Bowls to be won by teams with horrible defenses and rushing attacks, the 49ers rebuilt by Jim Harbaugh in less than one full calendar year are about those exact things — running and stopping the run. Their quarterback, Alex Smith, is a one-time first overall pick bust turned that most pejorative of terms — "Game Manager."
PFF's AFC Pro Bowl Squad | ProFootballFocus.com
So here it is, the one the players really want to see. No hype, no bias, just a simple acknowledgement that–on the field of play, for the first 14 games of 2011–they were among the best at their position. It’s not based on highlight reels and you get as much credit for playing well early as you do late (during the regular season, winning the first game counts the same in the standings as winning the last). We absolutely don’t lean towards players from teams that have the best records. It’s the ultimate capitulation to the power of hype when a coach says "yes he played well, but for him to get any recognition we have to play better as a team". Why? This is about selecting the best players, not about the laziness of people who can’t be bothered to watch or research teams that are playing poorly.
PFF's NFC Pro Bowl Squad | ProFootballFocus.com
Hot on the heels of our AFC selections, we’ve of course got a roster of the year’s best for the NFC too. Again, selecting not based on hype or exposure, but simply on on-field performance, this team of stars represents the best we’ve seen from this conference in 2011. If you haven’t read about the AFC squad, be sure to catch up, otherwise … for your consideration, here are our NFC selections:
Rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson injured | National Football Post
Arizona Cardinal Patrick Peterson left Saturday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals with an Achilles injury.
17 Power, A Seattle Seahawks Blog: Seahawks lose most meaningful meaningless game ever
Before I start- Merry Christmas everyone! I guess it would be incorrect to say this was a meaningless game, as Seattle still held incredibly slim and convoluted playoff hopes even after the Lions put the finishing touches on their playoff clinching beatdown of the Chargers. For all intents and purposes though, after Detroit jumped out to a huge early lead, it became pretty clear that today's stakes were essentially symbolic.
Thiel: Seahawks one play worse than 49ers | Seattle Seahawks
With two conservative teams, the margin for error is small. The 49ers know it, and after a 19-17 loss that ended their playoff hopes, the Seahawks are learning it.
Seahawks' Lynch snaps a pair of 49ers' streaks | HeraldNet.com - Sports
Something had to give. The Seattle Seahawks came into Saturday's game with one of the league's hottest running backs in Marshawn Lynch, while the San Francisco 49ers offered up the league's top-ranked rushing defense and two very impressive streaks. Prior to Saturday's game, which would end with a 19-17 49ers victory, San Francisco had not allowed a rushing touchdown this season, and hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 36 games dating back to November of 2009.
Seahawks' offense fall to earth | HeraldNet.com - Sports
On their opening possession, the Seattle Seahawks made it look easy against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Seven plays, 80 yards, a little over three minutes, a Seattle touchdown.
Final: Niners 19, Hawks 17 | Seahawks Insider
The San Francisco 49ers escaped with a 19-17 win on the road on Christmas Eve over NFC West division rival Seattle at CenturyLink Field. The win eliminates Seattle from playoff consideration at 7-8 overall with one game left next week at Arizona.
Hawks say they gave one away | Seahawks Insider
To a man, the Seattle Seahawks believed they should have beaten the San Francisco 49ers here tonight. "It’s just a tough one to swallow," Seattle defensive back Roy Lewis said. "I feel like we had control of the game early. And then they kind of rallied back, and that’s what we expected because they’re a good team.
Film study pays off for Seahawks' special teams - Daily Links Blog - MyNorthwest.com
Heath Farwell figured there would be an opening. While studying the 49ers' punt team, the Seahawks' reserve linebacker noticed one player's tendency to abandon his blocking assignment a little too early. "We saw it on film," said Farwell, whose blocked punt set up a go-ahead touchdown that gave the Seahawks a brief fourth-quarter lead in their 19-17 loss to San Francisco on Saturday. Heath Farwell's blocked punt set up a go-ahead score. (AP) The 49ers, having dominated much of the second half, led 16-10 when they lined up to punt from their own 38 with about seven minutes remaining.
Seattle's playoff hopes end with loss to 49ers - Seahawks News - MyNorthwest.com
Marshawn Lynch got his 100 yards. He scored the first touchdown rushing this season against San Francisco, and with it came another shower of Skittles that required industrial blowers to clear the end zone of debris.
Old habits doom Jackson; Seahawks need to upgrade - Blog - MyNorthwest.com
There are times when we as sports fans have no idea what is really happening, especially in football. The gameplans are so complex and the results of each play are determined by the intricate interplay between so many players and coaches that it feels impossible to understand and assign responsibility.
Jerry Brewer | Marked improvement, but final exam shows faults | Seattle Times Newspaper
In the end, the Seahawks improved so much that it hurts. Two rookies sat at their lockers, wearing the pain. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin stayed in full uniform and stared at the floor. Cornerback Richard Sherman slid deep into his space and covered his face with a towel. Both players had soared from unknown to essential in the Seahawks' rapid ascent to respectability, but now they were left to comprehend the harsh conclusion to this tale: playoff hopes dashed — and by their former college coach.
The Brewery | Instant replay: A brief sketch of the Seahawks' loss to the 49ers | Seattle Times Newspaper
Why the 49ers won: Trailing 10-3 at halftime, San Francisco (12-3) dominated the third quarter to take control of the game and then made just enough plays in the fourth quarter to win a close game. The Niners outgained the Seahawks 146-13 and scored 10 unanswered points in the third quarter to take the lead. In a back-and-forth final period, quarterback Alex Smith completed 4 of 6 passes and threw for 72 of his 179 yards, including a 41-yard pass to Michael Crabtree (who caught five passes for 85 yards) that helped set up David Akers' game-winning field goal. Mostly, though, the 49ers used their run game to control this one. They amassed 178 rushing yards -- the most the Seahawks have allowed this season. Frank Gore ran for 83 yards and a touchdown. Kendall Hunter contributed 73 rushing yards.
Seahawks Blog | Game in review: 49ers 19, Seahawks 17 | Seattle Times Newspaper
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rushed 21 times for 107 yards, becoming the first player to gain more than 100 yards in a game against the 49ers since November 2009. Lynch's 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the first rushing score against San Francisco this season. Niners linebacker Larry Grant forced the only turnover of the game with a leaping strip of Tarvaris Jackson to prevent the Seahawks from gaining a first down and extending the drive. San Francisco kicker David Aker made four of the five field goals he attempted -- including a 53-yarder -- and set an NFL record with 42 field goals.
Seahawks Blog | Marshawn Lynch finds room to run | Seattle Times Newspaper
Marshawn Lynch's 100 yards rushing was extraordinary. Not for him necessarily since it's the sixth time in eight games he has rushed for 100 yards, but for San Francisco, it was remarkable. The 49ers had not allowed an opposing running back to rush for 100 yards in a game since Green Bay's Ryan Grant did it in November 2009. Lynch's 107 yards on 21 carries ended that 36-game streak.
Close, but …
The Seahawks gave the NFC West champion 49ers all they could handle in their home finale, but in the end also gave up just enough as San Francisco rallied for a 19-17 victory.
Seahawks.com Blog | Game at a glance "
PLAYER OF THE GAME Marshawn Lynch. Yes, the Seahawks lost. But their Skittle-back turned in yet another winning performance, and also trampled on some seemingly forbidden territory during the game.
Rapid Reaction: 49ers 19, Seahawks 17 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
SEATTLE -- Thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers following their Week 16 game Saturday at CenturyLink Field:
Late round Quarterbacks of interest, Part II " Seahawks Draft Blog
I’m gonna level with you guys, I’ve been a long time skeptic of searching for franchise quarterbacks with late round picks. I’ve seen numerous studies done, and they inevitably come to the same conclusion: Quarterbacks may be the riskiest 1st round picks, but the odds of getting a QB anywhere else is far worse. Here is a chart that tracks pro-bowl quarterbacks taken from 1995 to 2006: