Two “starter” thoughts to kick things off ...
One. If you missed the last 12 Thoughts entry (which published later than usual), I announced that the column was taking a short break. Turns out that I’m not all that good at taking time off. I am, however, crunched for time (like the Seahawks with the short week) so this will be sort of a 12 Thoughts LITE(ish).
Two. A 17-week season isn’t evenly-divisible by 4 so we can no longer butcher the idea of the “quarter pole” for a season being the 4th game when the term “quarter pole” actually means there’s a quarter of a mile left in the race. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing; just that it’s going to take some getting used to.
Time to have some fun!
_______ the Rams. Turns out they’re beatable - and, man, was it fun to watch the Cardinals end the Rams’ 8-game winning streak against them - and in dominant fashion too. Hopefully the red birds put enough on tape for the Hawks to get some insights before Thursday’s heavyweight fight at Lumen Field. The Rams were slight favorites against Seattle before Sunday’s games; it will be interesting to see if/how the line changes over the next couple days.
What is up with Chris Carson? In the OT loss to the Titans in Week 2, he scored 2 touchdowns but had a total of only 31 yards on 13 carries. Today, he had 13 carries for only 30 yards, with no TDs. Granted, Seattle won, and Alex Collins (10/44/1) and RW3 (4/26/1) picked up the slack, but ...
The Week 2 and Week 4 games represent 2 of Carson’s worst games ever (from a yards-per-carry perspective) and it’s a safe bet that this is NOT what the team had in mind when they re-signed him.
I haven’t been on the “Alex Collins deserves more carries” train up to this point - and I’m not on board that train yet ... I am, however, checking the train schedule because Seattle CANNOT afford to have a 3-peat of the Chris Carson 13-for-30-odd-yards performance on Thursday (or at any other point this season).
After Jason Myers missed a FG last week and had his consecutive FG streak snapped at 37 (fourth-best all-time), I turned my attention to two other kickers with streaks of 30+.
Graham Gano, of the New York Giants, was tied with Myers at 37. On Sunday, he missed his first attempt, from 57 yards out, and therefore remains tied with Myers at #4 all-time.
In the nightcap, the Patriots’ Nick Folk was in a position to tie Myers and Gano with his 37th-straight FG - which would have given the Patriots the lead with under a minute to play. But ... he missed and his streak ended at 36 straight.
Meanwhile, in Green Bay, Mason Crosby was 2-for-2 (long of 29) which gives him 24 straight which is the Packers team record.
#24 was a roller coaster though - which is why I’m mentioning it.
It started innocently enough as a chip-shot 31-yard attempt but ... it was blocked ... and ... returned for a touchdown, but ... offsides on Pittsburgh .... Mason tries again from 26 and ... it’s good.
I don’t know if 24-straight is now the longest active streak, but ... I also don’t really care all that much since OUR kicker is currently sitting on a streak of 0 straight and kickers are, well ... kickers.
In general, there seem to be mixed reviews on Sidney Jones taking over for Tre Flowers. I’m not going to rehash them or summarize them; instead, I’m just going to share my main thoughts.
One. In the poll that ended my recent article about the Seahawks squandering D.J. Reed’s potential by playing him out of position, seventy-one percent of you said that you wanted to see D.J. Reed at RCB and Sidney Jones at LCB against the Niners. Whoever brought that poll to Pete Carroll and/or Ken Norton Jr.’s attention ... THANK YOU !!! It was so good to see Reed where he belongs.
Two. The Niners first TD was against Jones but I thought he had good coverage; he just couldn’t get to the ball without drawing a flag. I didn’t like the drive overall, but I was mostly okay with that one play.
Three. The long busted-coverage touchdown was 100% on Jones. He messed up. It was basically a miscommunication between him and Adams; Pete said as much after the game. Shit happens. Just clean it up so it doesn’t happen later in the season.
Four. I’m looking forward to seeing his snap count and his target/reception/yards numbers. Overall, I think he acquitted himself ... okay. And I think he’ll only get better as his reps with the starters increase.
As I mentioned in Thought #1, the Cardinals kicked the Rams’ collective asses on Sunday. They led at halftime 24-13, and they outscored Sean McVay’s club 13-7 after the break.
Much ado was made during the Rams previous game about them being undefeated under S.MV when leading at the half, but the loss to the Cardinals drops them to 9-25 when tied or trailing at the break.
As I wrote a few days ago:
Note to Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, et al.
Do not let the Rams have the lead heading into halftime next Thursday! Everything depends on this.
To be fair, I have faith that the Hawks could beat the Rams if they trailed at halftime. But I’d really prefer to NOT have that faith be put to the test this Thursday.
In my last 12 Thoughts piece, I said that I didn’t expect any of the rookie quarterbacks to win this week. Not sure how exactly it happened, but ...
- The Jets beat the Titans (in overtime) so Zach Wilson got a W
- The Bears beat the Lions - which, whatever - and Justin Fields got the start so ... W
- Trevor Lawrence looked decent on Thursday (although he lost)
- Trey Lance looked like you’d expect him to look in his first extended action (in a loss)
- Mac Jones helped the Patriots take the lead in the 4th quarter and would have had the lead again with under a minute to play if not for the Nick Folk missed FG that I mentioned in Thought #3
That brings us to the only rookie quarterback who’s starting right now who wasn’t picked in the first round .... Davis Mills.
On the other hand, Mills was 11 of 21 for a mere 87 yards and threw FOUR interceptions. His passer rating was 23.4 and had QBR was 0.8. Yikes!
Note: I honestly didn’t even know QBR could go that low until I saw that his stat line.
Week 5 has Mac Jones and Davis Mills facing off so there’s one W for a rookie QB. And Zach Wilson and the Jets face Atlanta (on the road) so that could be #2. The other matchups are Bears at Raiders, Tennessee at Jacksonville, and Arizona at San Francisco. Not sure I’d pick the rookies in any of those 3 games.
If the Raiders lose in
San Diego Los Angeles tonight in their division matchup with the Chargers, Arizona will be the ONLY undefeated team remaining.
Who woulda thunk it?
It’s really easy to think of them as “the little brother” in the NFC West, but ... they are legitimately good and Kliff K. has them playing well. I’m not sure the “Murray for MVP” hype is justified (yet), but they’re solid on both sides of the ball and (missed field goals that get returned for touchdowns not withstanding), they may legitimately be the best team in the NFC ... and not just right now, but maybe overall.
Hard to believe they opened the season in the bottom half of most rankings, including #18 in the NFL Power Rankings on September 7th.
Looking ahead, I am sort of glad that we don’t play them until right before Thanksgiving (when we will hopefully have all of our shit worked out on both sides of the ball). At the same time, I am really not liking the idea of ending the season on their horror show of a home field in Week 18. Yuck!
Tom Brady broke the record for career passing yards on Sunday night. I was excited about the possibility (probability) of seeing history made. Instead, I took a nap.
Sort of felt like the better decision at the time.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m from Michigan and the Lions are therefore my second-favorite team. They fell to 0-4 on Sunday. Sigh. Jared Goff falling to 0-11 without Sean McVay makes it a little less painful.
I’ve also mentioned a few times that I am not a fan of Urban Meyer. I may have also mentioned (a time or three) that I am not-so-secretly counting down the days until Urban bolts back to the comfort and safety of the college game.
Entering Week 5, the Lions and the Jaguars are the only winless teams left in the NFL and, personally, I don’t see that changing any time soon. In fact, looking at their schedules, I can see a scenario where both teams finish 0-16 and the “best” chance for each team to get a W might very well be the day after Christmas (Jaguars at Jets; Lions at Falcons).
Gonna be a long season for both clubs.
This week’s “feel good” story is, without question, Andy Reid becoming the first coach in NFL history to win 100+ games with two franchises. As someone who likes history, this is pretty damn cool.
Personally, I’m not his biggest fan, but I find it hard not to like the guy.
More to the point though, I think it’s super amazing - in a storybook sort of way - that he got his 100th win with the Chiefs against the Eagles who were, of course, the team that he hit the century mark with first.
He did it in City of Brotherly Love.
To me, that is a MUCH better “return” story than Brady and Foxborough.
Not trying to overlook the Rams (because we play then on Thursday - and FTR!), but ...
Pittsburgh is 1-3 and playing B-A-D football right now. Future HOF QB Ben Roethlisberger is a BIG reason why. I was a bit worried about that game when the schedule came out; now ... not so much.
Week 7 brings the Saints to town. They’re good on defense but don’t even get me started on Jameis Winston. His yardage totals the first 3 weeks were 148, 111, and 128. I’m trembling ... with anticipation. Through 4 games, the Saints have alternated Wins and Losses and their pattern lines up with an L in Seattle.
Week 8 ... Jacksonville ... Urban Meyer ... Seattle-East might actually be a challenge ... or not.
My point? If Seattle can find a way to beat the Rams on Thursday, my prediction of the Hawks getting to the bye with a 6-2 record will, somewhat amazingly, still be on track.
Congratulations to the entire team for the win in Santa Clara Adjacent on Sunday!
A special shout out though to Russell Wilson.
NOT because he notched his 100th career win - apparently becoming only the 2nd QB in league history to do so in his first 10 seasons (per the broadcast crew on Sunday).
100 wins is cool, but ...
It’s what Russell Wilson set himself up to do that gets the shout out from me.
Dude is now 16-4 versus the Niners.
SIXTEEN AND FOUR!
Heading into Sunday’s matchup, a few different articles I read said that Johnny Unitas has the most career wins against the Niners with 17. Russ is one win away from that.
StatMuse says that Unitas was 18-10 in his career against the Niners.
Either way ....
Russ is gonna be the winningest quarterback in history against the Niners before too long. And he’s probably gonna smoke Johnny U’s record in the process. I mean, dude has only lost to them 4 times; Johnny lost 10 times.
Bottom line: RW3 > Johnny U is gonna be something we get to celebrate SOON.
And THAT gets a shout-out.