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Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks Links for New Year's Day

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Happy New Year Y'all. It's going to be great. And that starts with NFL Football today.

Can Cards keep Lynch out of Beast Mode? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Marshawn Lynch has reached 100 yards rushing in six of the Seattle Seahawks' last eight games.

Personnel report: How the 49ers adjusted - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Happy New Year's Eve. I took our sons fishing this morning and have plans for the evening as well, but while no one was looking, I sneaked a peek at some of the San Francisco 49ers' offensive tendencies. A quick report ...

Smith, Skelton, Kolb and comeback QBs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
There can be no fourth-quarter comeback victories in football without a team first falling behind. That partly explains why Drew Brees (three), Tom Brady (one) and Aaron Rodgers (zero) have combined for fewer of them than either Alex Smith (five) or John Skelton (four). Still, tis better to come back and win than to lose quietly.

Seahawks | Seahawks defense elevated by big-play stops | Seattle Times Newspaper
A year ago, the Seahawks allowed 76 plays of 20 yards or more, tied for second most in the NFL. This season, Seattle has given up just 45 such plays, tied for second fewest.

Who made the better QB deal, Seahawks or Cardinals? | - Sports
Tarvaris Jackson will start his 14th game on Sunday, the most he has started in a season during his six-year NFL career. Blog | Friday in Hawkville "
Three blasts of the horn. That’s the daily signal that practice is over – three toots from the air horn manned by assistant equipment manager Kyle Stillwell.

Finding his fit
Beast Mode? Skittles-back? Regardless of what you call him, Marshawn Lynch definitely has made a name for himself by tweaking his running style in his second season with the Seahawks

Seahawks' Deon Butler looks to impress in finale | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
Deon Butler understands that Sunday at Arizona is his last chance to impress the Seattle Seahawks coaches until the team’s offseason program starts in March.

Hello?! You play to win the game! - Seahawks News -
As the Seahawks head into Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, some see it as meaningless now that they've been eliminated from the playoffs. Go into a game in which the main focus is NOT a victory? Cue former N.Y. Jets head coach Herm Edwards: "Hello?! You play to win the game!" Of course you do.

Baldwin set to lead Seahawks in receiving - Seahawks News -
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin could become the first undrafted player since the merger to lead his team in yards receiving as a rookie. To Baldwin, it's not good enough. The Seahawks aren't going to the playoffs. To him, that's all that matters.

Carroll: Seahawks Won’t Ease Off Vs. Arizona | Seattle Seahawks
It’s two 7-8 team going nowhere in 2011, but Carroll insists there is value to beating the Cardinals Sunday in Arizona. Win forever, after all.

State Of The Seattle Seahawks - Week 17, Notebook, NFL News, Seahawks headlines, injuries
The Seattle Seahawks (7-8) head to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals (7-8) in the battle for second place in the NFC West as well as momentum heading into the offseason. Both teams lost their week 16 match-ups and look to finish the season at .500. news: Tate uses Twitter to advise Pack to sit Rodgers vs. Suh, Lions
"I wouldn't play Aaron Rodgers this Sunday," Tate tweeted on Friday. "Simply because if Suh gets to him, he literally might try to end his career. #hesdangerous" Blogs " Blog Archive ‘Playbook’ Mailbag: Terminology 101 "
Through 16 weeks of the season, you have certainly heard commentators throw around some strange-sounding terms.

The League of Un-Extraordinary Gentlemen : NFL Films Blog
Death, Taxes, and Fantasy Football. Actually, for the last 5 months the only real constant in my life has been Fantasy Football. I, and I assume 47 million other people, have done nothing but eat sleep and breathe Fantasy Football. Scouring waiver wires and trying to convince someone that "it’s a fair trade, you’re thinking of the other Steve Smith". But now, months of hard work and meticulous strategizing has come to an end. To paraphrase Woody Allen: There’s an old joke. Two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of them says, ‘Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.’ The other one says, ‘Yeah, I know; and such small portions.’ Well, that’s essentially how I feel about fantasy football: it’s full of misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly. But what do we do with ourselves now that it’s over?

Week 17: A View from the War Room : NFL Films Blog
With the Fantasy season all but over for the majority of owners, the guys at Playbook decided to take a look at some week 17 matchups with playoff berths on the line. There were six divisional games that we broke down to try and help you readers better understand what to expect from some key offensive players this weekend. With some uncertainty still surrounding both the AFC and NFC playoff pictures, this should be a fun weekend of football.

Cosell’s Watching: Lions Have Both a Great Passer & Protection Issues : NFL Films Blog
NFL Matchup’s Executive Producer shares notes from his study of Week 16 coaching tape: the Lions offense vs. the Chargers defense.

NFP Sunday Blitz | National Football Post
The 49ers' secrets to success, best players who didn't make the Pro Bowl, and the latest on coaching changes and the draft.

Q & A on NFL Scouting Combine invites | National Football Post
About 250 players received their ticket to Indy this week.

The Scramble: Pivotal Points |
The arrival of the regular season’s final week stirs thoughts of how fast it’s all gone by and flashes of the twists the past four months have given us. With playoff scenarios mapped out and a majority of the slots filled, a step back to consider how we’ve got to this point provides some broad perspective, bringing into view key moments that have shaped the 2011 season.

Three to Focus on: Seahawks @ Cardinals, Week 17 |
After a late push for the playoffs, Seattle’s hopes were ended last week when they lost to the 49ers. It was a tough ask for them to find a way into the postseason but Seahawks fans can take faith from the way the team battled down the stretch.

Three to Focus on: 49ers @ Rams, Week 17 |
Last year, the NFC West was embarrassed by having a team steal a playoff spot and a home playoff game by registering an 8-8 record with a Week 17 win. In 2011, their divisional champion will secure a bye week with a victory over the same opponent that lost the final game of the 2010 regular season. The division champ has once again changed, as the San Francisco 49ers finally take the mantle they were expected to walk away with last season. The team on the receiving is once again the St Louis Rams who with a loss will walk away with their third season of two wins or less in the last four. The Rams could even be picking first for the second time in three years as an injury ravaged season (all of the cornerbacks they took to training camp are on injured reserve for example) has seen them plumb the depths of the NFL.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Under Pressure: Sacking the Pro Bowl
If you're making a list of the best pass rushers in football, Jared Allen is likely to be among the first names you'll hear mentioned. If DeMarcus Ware isn't mentioned before Allen, he's sure to be mentioned soon after. Anyone who has watched Tamba Hali dismantle blocking scheme after blocking scheme knows he can be nearly unblockable.

Advanced NFL Stats: 2011 All-WPA Teams: AFC Defense
Let's get right to it. Here is the 2011 All-WPA defensive squad for the AFC. Don't forget, you can click on the position headers to see the stat tables.

Advanced NFL Stats: The 2011 All-WPA Teams: NFC Defense
I was asked in a comment in one of the All-WPA offense posts about why I chose WPA as the stat of choice for the ANS all-star team. Why not EPA, SR or EPA per play, etc? It's a good question. There are a couple reasons. First, WPA is a powerful and unique measure of performance. It's novel, and something you can't get anywhere else. EPA largely mirrors conventional statistical performance--total yards and points. WPA measures heroism, as it accounts for time and score considerations, and it's able to put a number on who really made the most difference in terms of wins and losses. Second, this series of posts is intended as an end of the year retrospective, not a future-looking estimate of player talent. In that sense, it would be a mistake not to use the best past-looking narrative statistic available.

Advanced NFL Stats: The 2011 All-WPA Teams - NFC Offense
This is the second installment of the 2011 All-WPA Teams. This time we'll look at the NFC offense. As I wrote in the intro for the AFC offense: Keep in mind what these stats measure.

Advanced NFL Stats: The 2011 All-WPA Teams - AFC Offense
2009 ushered in the first All-Win Probability Added team, and 2010 continued the tradition. Here's the 2011 All-WPA Team. We'll start with offense. Keep in mind what these stats measure. They are not necessarily the best players in the league. They are the players who actually played the best when it mattered most. It's a narrative statistic, highly sensitive to the circumstances of score and time.

Bill Simmons makes his picks for Week 17 - Grantland
Who knew the NFL's regular-season finale would be so relevant?

Spagnuolo plans to be with the Rams in 2012 | ProFootballTalk
Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo could soon be fired. But while they may be able to take his body out of St. Louis, there’s one fairly important part that will be left behind.