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Coffee & Cigarettes: Seahawks links for Saturday

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Otto Greule Jr

One. More. Day.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | NFC Wild Card Preview
Given the vast difference in DVOA, it would be a stretch to call this a game between evenly matched teams. However, although they might not be "evenly matched," Washington and Seattle are still a "match" in the Catholic Match Girl sense. Whether we're talking advanced stats or old-fashioned wins and losses, both enter the playoffs with a ton of momentum. Washington and Seattle have won a combined 12 games in a row, and are among the top three in difference between total and weighted DVOA. (Cincinnati is the other "hot" playoff team.) The Seahawks have had a DVOA above 20% in seven of their last nine games, while the Redskins have passed that threshold in six of their last seven. Late-season momentum doesn't mean much in the playoffs, but discounting momentum as an explanation for victory after the game doesn't change the fact that both teams are riding high entering the game.

Griffin careful, less accurate since return - Stats & Info Blog - ESPN
Washington Redskins fans were a little nervous when Robert Griffin III went down with an injury a few weeks ago. But their fears were alleviated when Griffin returned and led the team to two more wins. Heading into the playoff matchup with the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, it’s worth asking: Is there anything different with RGIII since he returned in Week 16? What should we be watching for? Let’s look at the numbers to find out.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Word of Muth: Box Safeties
After a week off, it wasn’t tough to find a game to write about for this week’s column. However, the best option was the San Francisco-Seattle game from two weeks ago: it featured one of the teams I normally write about, it was nationally televised, and I was genuinely surprised by the result. (Not just that Seattle won, but that it wasn’t close.)

NFL expert bloggers give one reason to bet their wild card team - 01-04-2013
Why the Seahawks cover the spread Rob Davies writes for Field Gulls. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @FieldGulls. Russell Wilson will be the difference Sunday. The Rams' pass rush was a true test last week and it was perfect preparation for FedExField and a hostile environment. His continued mastery of the read-option, in conjunction with Marshawn Lynch, will keep a good Redskins run defense on their toes and open up the passing game. Plainly, Wilson doesn't get rattled and the extraordinary start to his career will last at least another week.

Daniel Snyder steps back, watches Redskins emerge -
"He's had growing pains," a person familiar with the team's internal dynamics told the Post. "He wanted instant gratification. He only wanted to win and, 'Why couldn't it happen to me?' I think he got some bad advice along the way. He had some knee-jerk reactions. ... He's the kind of guy who wants it so bad. It comes across the wrong way."

NFP Friday Buzz: Latest coaching rumors | National Football Post
*Some NFL executives have questioned whether or not Chip Kelly’s style of offense will play in the pros. Kelly, however, has been putting this message out through back channels: He would not run the same offense he runs at Oregon if hired by an NFL team. Instead, he would run a pro style offense, but with a faster tempo than most and with a good dose of no huddle. The NFL model for Kelly might be similar to what the Patriots run. Also in question is the way he makes his practices grueling. One NFL front office man said Kelly would have to lighten up the practice pace, especially later in the week, or he would have no players left by the middle of the season.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | AFC Wild Card Preview
The AFC Wild Card round presents us with two interesting games. Saturday's game looks like an even pairing, but may be a mismatch. Sunday's game looks like a mismatch, but may be an even pairing.

49ers’ Crabtree, Gore fined $10,500 each for throwing ball in stands | ProFootballTalk
When 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree and running back Frank Gore scored touchdowns on Sunday, they decided to throw the ball into the crowd and let a San Francisco fan get a souvenir. That was an expensive decision.

Cardinals continue coach, G.M. search | ProFootballTalk
With Andy Reid never even going to Arizona for an interview, the Cardinals’ search for a coach and a G.M. continues.

2013 NFL Draft: TE Reed latest Gator to make NFL leap - CBSSports
"I've enjoyed four good years at Florida, but I feel that now is the right time to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL,'' Reed said. "I appreciate the support from all the coaches and staff here, and I'll always be a Gator.''

Matchups: Wild Card Round - Matchups -
The Texans are playing at home as 4.5-point favorites in the Wild Card Round, but this is a club springing leaks. Houston has dropped three of its last four games and become a different team over the course of the year.

Checkdowns: Career passing stats in wins and losses
Last weekend, I looked at career rushing stats in wins and losses; today I will do the same but for quarterbacks. I looked at all games, including playoffs, from 1960 to 2011, for all quarterbacks with at least 5,000 career passing yards over that time period. The table below lists the following information for each passer:

NFL - Jaws - 2012 QB rankings - After regular season, Peyton Manning still league's best - ESPN
Let me be the first to say, I was wrong about height being a perpetual concern for the 5-foot-11 Wilson. When he first earned a spot on the big board, I thought he would need to regularly move outside the pocket in order to see his targets. When he did need to move, I saw a disruption in the timing and the rhythm of the Seattle offense. Over the course of the season, that timing and chemistry developed and things started clicking. In Wilson's first four games, he finished with a Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) over 30 once. That's not terribly good (50 is an average performance). Over his remaining 12 games, he finished with a QBR over 90 five times. That is absurd for a rookie, and matches Tom Brady's five 90-plus QBR games in 2012. RG III (3) and Luck (2) had five such performances between them this season. Cam Newton and Andy Dalton topped the 90 plateau only once each as rookies in 2011.

Bill Barnwell on Sunday's slate of NFL playoff games - Grantland
The Prediction It's always tough to explain this, and I'm going to pick a side by the tiniest of margins, but I think this is one that's too close to call. Seattle is the better team in a vacuum, but they're not the same team away from home and Washington's strengths can match up reasonably well with Seattle's weaknesses. The Seahawks are the healthier team, though, and I have my doubts that the Redskins will be able to stop Seattle's running game. I think it'll be a run-heavy, low-scoring game, but one that Seattle manages to pull out in the end. Seattle 16, Washington 13.

Sports Radio Interviews » Blog Archive » Alfred Morris On Avoiding the Rookie Wall, His Humble Personality and His 1991 Mazda 626
Alfred Morris joined LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., to discuss how he avoided a rookie wall, his commitment to his 22-year-old beater car and his humble mentality.

Final Word: Seahawks at Redskins - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Five nuggets of knowledge about the Seattle Seahawks' wild-card playoff game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday at FedEx Field:

The 2012 Contract Awards | National Football Post
Marshawn Lynch (RB)-Seattle Seahawks: Seattle avoided using their franchise tag on Lynch by signing him to a four-year, $30 million contract less than 24 hours before the end of the franchise player designation period. The contract contains $18 million in guarantees and $1 million in incentives based on Lynch’s 2014 and 2015 rushing yards. Lynch rewarded the Seahawks by staying in “Beast Mode” all season. He earned his third Pro Bowl berth with 1,590 rushing yards, which ranked third in the NFL.

Russell Wilson leading Seahawks into playoffs with maturity beyond his years - NFL - Jim Trotter -
Seahawks rookie Russell Wilson was among the league's most productive quarterbacks over the final nine weeks of the season, throwing for 18 touchdowns, rushing for four others, posting a passer rating in excess of 104.0 on seven occasions, with just four turnovers overall.

Healthy Seahawks head to D.C. | - Seattle Sidelines
"We’re about as healthy as we could get," Carroll said. "We have the two guys on the list who ware both probable, and everybody else is going. . . We’re very, very fortunate. You’re going to look at, I think the same 11 on both sides that started the season, so we’re pretty fortunate there."

Wild-Card Preview: Defense, not rookie quarterbacks, will decide Seahawks-Redskins game | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
Unless you're firmly in Andrew Luck's corner when it comes to the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year nomination -- and there's certainly some weight to that argument -- the wild-card battle between the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks presents perhaps the two most exciting first-year quarterbacks in the game. Between Washington's Robert Griffin III and Seattle's Russell Wilson, we have two quarterbacks with similar skill sets and efficiency in the passing game -- both players are also dynamic rushers who can break things open on the ground.

Redskins player on Richard Sherman: 'He's a cheater' -
"He's a cheater," Golston told USA Today before walking away. Following Golston's hit-and-run, Alexander gave a response that, while more measured, told you where he stood on the matter. "It is what it is," Alexander said. "I don't know what his total case and background of it is, or about the paperwork he did. He was doing Adderall, Ritalin, the same thing that (Redskins cornerback) Cedric (Griffin) was doing, I believe. I know there's a (testing) procedure you have to do and even then, they can still hit you for it. It is what it is."

Handicapping the first round of the NFL playoffs. | : Mike Tanier Article
Ray Lewis is ready to say goodbye to the NFL, but are the playoffs ready to say goodbye to Lewis? And if so, who are they ready to say hello to? A rookie quarterback, perhaps: At least one will survive the wild-card round, but Andrew Luck must survive Lewis, and neither Robert Griffin nor Russell Wilson can expect his opponent to be surprised by an option-based offense. The Bengals would like to introduce themselves to the second round, but the Texans are looking for a way out of a late-season slump and a comfortable rut. Adrian Peterson is never ready to say goodbye, and he never gets tired of running, even if we sometimes get tired of watching. Enjoy a good thing like the wild-card Lowdown while it lasts; as with Ray Lewis’ career, it may be long, but it isn’t permanent.

Why Eagles could like Seahawks' Bradley - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Longtime NFL assistant Monte Kiffin, who had worked with Mora on the New Orleans Saints staff in 1995, had recommended Bradley for the coordinator's job. Mora explained it this way in 2009: "Monte says, 'J.L., listen to me. I have got a guy here in Tampa that is one of, if not, the finest football coaches I have ever worked with. He's an A-plus. He's a once-in-a-lifetime coach. You need to talk to him.' He said, 'J.L., this guy is special. You have to bring him in.' "

Seahawks Playoff Game Preview vs. Redskins: Analysis, prediction, TV info -
What matters: Winning a road playoff game. The Seahawks have experienced some serious regular-season road woes over the past three years, going 9-23 since 2009. But that doesn't compare to their postseason road troubles. Seattle hasn't won a road playoff game since 1983 and its 1-8 postseason road record is the third worst in NFL history among teams that have played at least five road games. There is a silver lining though: The Seahawks' one playoff road win in franchise history came against a rookie quarterback -- Dan Marino -- and the team plays a rookie QB in Washington's Robert Griffin III on Sunday.

Report: Philadelphia Eagles granted permission to interview Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley | Seahawks Insider - The News Tribune
Carroll hinted earlier this week that Bradley, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable could be potential head coaching candidates, with seven NFL head coaching vacancies. “Tom Cable’s been a head coach and Darrell (Bevell) and Gus (Bradley) and those guys – they’ve been in settings that can earn themselves the right to be considered,” Carroll said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if those guys were all considered. So we’ll see what happens.”

3 Things the Seahawks Taught Me About Online Community | Flip the Media
At the tail end of last season I discovered Field Gulls, a blog devoted entirely to the Seahawks that’s part of the SB Nation network. SB stands for Sports Blog. And yes, they know Field Gulls is a dumb name – the tagline is “the studpidest name in smart football analysis” I came to get my fix coverage and analysis of the Hawks when the 3 or 4 times a week Seattle Times articles were no longer feeding the monkey. But my first love is journalism and what really blew me away about Field Gulls is not the analysis, or the reporting. It’s the community.

Cleveland Browns close to deal with Oregon coach Chip Kelly, according to report |
Once the Browns complete the Kelly deal, they'll turn their attention to a new general manager. As reported by The Plain Dealer on Wednesday, Kelly has close ties to former Browns Director of Player Personnel Mike Lombardi from their friendship with Belichick. The Browns have also asked for permission to talk to the 49ers' Tom Gamble about their GM vacancy and really like Seattle John Idzik. Blog | Friday in Hawkville: Steve Largent Award is one honor that Russell Wilson embraces
Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback is not into individual honors. He either pooh-poohs them, or uses them as an excuse to share the credit with his linemen, and his backs, and his receivers, and his coaches.

Seahawks vs. Redskins injury report: OG Kory Lichtensteiger a game-time decision -
Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan announced Friday that guard Kory Lichtensteiger (ankle) will be a game-time decision for Sunday's wild card matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Lichtensteiger did not participate in practice all week after leaving last Sunday's 28-18 victory over the Dallas Cowboys with a sprained left ankle. If Lichtensteiger is unable to go, third round rookie Josh LeRibeus is expected to make his first NFL start at left guard.

The line to Seahawks’ offensive success forms behind the line
As the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s wild-card playoff game against the Redskins, it provides another opportunity to look at the Tom Cable-coached line that is paving the way to their offensive success.

NFL playoffs 2013 schedule: Seahawks battle Redskins in Wild Card Round - SB Nation Seattle
Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III meet for what should be a barnburner in Washington.

Pete Carroll, Mike Shanahan meet in playoffs - Seahawks News -
Chapter 5 of Pete Carroll's book "Win Forever" is all about the decision he made in 1995 that eventually landed him a gig as the defensive coordinator in San Francisco and helped frame his coaching philosophies moving forward.

Browner to start at CB for Seattle vs. Washington - Seahawks News -
Cornerback Brandon Browner is expected to start for the Seattle Seahawks in the playoff opener Sunday at Washington despite just returning this week from his four-game suspension.

Leroy Hill on Skins offense: ‘We’ve seen it before’
“We sort of implemented the same plan, how we stopped Cam Newton’s read-option and [Colin] Kaepernick,” Hill said. “You know, we’ve seen that offense twice already, sort of. There’s similarities. They don’t do the exact same things, but we already have sort of a plan in place. We can pull from those two games, that we did pretty well against those teams to stop that. “So I think that’s the biggest thing that’ll help this defense, or one of the biggest things, is we’ve seen it before, we know how to play it, we know we have to be assignment-correct,” he continued. “We know we have to tackle….Like I said, we’ll be ready for it….We’ll be ready.”

Chris Clemons' long, winding career has finally hit stride as a pass rusher for Seahawks | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
“I don’t worry about what people think about me,” he said. “I come out and I play for my teammates and my family. Whatever everybody else has to say, I don’t worry about it, because they don’t really matter to me.”

Football Today - ESPN
Ross Tucker talks to Andrew Brandt about the coaching search process. Plus, Tucker weighs in on news regarding Andy Reid, Ray Lewis and more.

Passing on Russell Wilson proved fateful - Adam Schefter's 10 Spot - ESPN
Seattle is going through playoff preparations, while Buffalo, Jacksonville and Kansas City are going through résumés in part because of one simple third-round draft pick.

USC 2.0: Pete Carroll brings same approach to Seahawks that made his Trojans champs - Yahoo! Sports
Two years ago, the earth shook in Seattle, and Pete Carroll stood at the epicenter, harboring no illusions about his football team's flimsy foundation.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Under Pressure: No Openings
In the year of the rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill hasn’t come close to matching the holy trinity of Robert Griffin, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson. But Tannehill’s season wasn’t all that bad for a rookie; he finished with more DYAR than Jay Cutler, for example. But New England gave Tannehill a very difficult season finale. The Patriots sacked Tannehill seven times after he had been sacked only 28 times in his first 15 games this season.