Posted December 24, 2012

With rout of San Francisco, everything ‘coming together’ for Seahawks

San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch and Doug Baldwin combined for four of the Seahawks' touchdowns Sunday night. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Marshawn Lynch and Doug Baldwin combined for four of the Seahawks’ touchdowns Sunday night. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

What will Seattle’s Sunday night win over San Francisco mean in the long run this season? Barring a shocking Cardinals upset of the 49ers next week, which would give the Seahawks a shot at the NFC West title, maybe not much. No more, at least, than San Francisco’s win in New England last week or the Patriots’ 28-point rout of Houston six days before that or the Texans’ 43-13 romp of Baltimore in October or … well, you get the idea.

Predicting January’s playoff outcomes based on the results of games from September through December has proven, time and time again, to be a futile endeavor.

Here is what we can say, though, in light of Seattle’s 42-13 smackdown of the 49ers: No team will be excited to see the Seahawks come playoff time.

“It’s been coming together, and you can just see it and feel it,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, whose team clinched a playoff berth with this win. “We are thrilled about being in the playoffs, it’s really exciting that that’s happening.”

The Seahawks likely will begin their postseason quest away from home against the NFC East winner. A month ago, when Miami handed Seattle its third straight road loss and fifth of the season, that looked like a much bigger problem.

But since pulling off a 23-17 overtime win at Chicago in Week 13, the Seahawks have found another gear. Counting Sunday’s game, they now have rolled their last three opponents by a combined 150-30. And, prior to a David Akers field goal in the second quarter, Seattle was on an eye-popping 100-0 run at home.

That’s 21 straight against the Jets in Week 10, 58 in a row vs. Arizona in Week 14 and the first 21 points Sunday night.

The first two visitors there are bottom-feeders this season, but that’s a remarkable run — one that emphasizes what a ridiculous home-field advantage the Seahawks enjoy.

San Francisco struggled with the CenturyLink Field madness from the very outset. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick nearly yelled himself hoarse trying to get play calls out, yet still had to burn a pair of timeouts in the first quarter.

Kaepernick never really settled in on this night. After Marshawn Lynch opened the scoring 1:18 in, the Seahawks never slowed down.

Lynch scored again on Seattle’s second drive, coming wide open to haul in a Russell Wilson pass from the 9-yard line. His teammate, Red Bryant, then swatted a 21-yard David Akers field goal and Richard Sherman took the loose ball to the house for a touchdown and 21-0 lead.

Doug Baldwin later caught a pair of touchdown passes and Anthony McCoy hauled in a TD toss from Wilson too, as a game that was billed as a potential knock-’em-down affair devolved into a massive blowout.

“It’s really (us) coming together,” the electrifying Wilson told NBC’s Michelle Tafoya. “We’ve applied experience and are just learning. The offensive line is doing a tremendous job, the receivers are making plays, running backs, tight ends … and the coaching staff’s doing a great job calling plays when we need ‘em.”

Even if they clinch the NFC West in Week 17, Sunday’s loss could prove extremely costly for the 49ers from a physical standpoint. They entered it already playing without Justin Smith, then lost Vernon Davis to a concussion and Mario Manningham to a potentially serious knee injury.

That’s a pair of important offensive players and what may be San Francisco’s key defensive star — since Smith injured his elbow with his team ahead 31-3 last week, the 49ers have allowed 70 points.

Making matters worse, San Francisco slipped behind Green Bay in the NFC standings, meaning that the 49ers are facing the prospect of missing out on a first-round bye.

“We’ll wake up tomorrow, we’ll have a half-game lead on the division,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, “and we’ll come back to take care of business next week. …

“It’s all how we handle it, how we respond.”

Of course, all of that — seeding, home-field advantage, etc. — has been proven mostly moot. The sixth-seeded Packers won it all in 2010, then the 9-7 Giants pulled the trick last season.

What matters come the postseason, maybe more than anything else, is which teams are hot and which teams are not. Right now, no one in the NFC (at least offensively) is scorching quite like the Seahawks are.

As Seattle’s fortunes have trended upward, so too have Russell Wilson’s Rookie of the Year hopes. While Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck have hogged most of the headlines, Wilson — like the under-the-radar team that drafted him No. 75 overall in a stroke of brilliance last April — has quietly gotten the job done.

He threw for 171 yards, four touchdowns and an interception Sunday night, and has 16 TD passes to two interceptions in front of the home fans this season. The Seahawks are 7-0 in those games, with wins over Dallas, New England, Minnesota, Green Bay (legit or not) and, now, San Francisco.

How could any NFC coach want to draw Seattle early? The Seahawks have a dual-threat quarterback playing at an extremely high level, a bruising running back, big-play threats at wide receiver and a punishing, aggressive defense.

Wilson’s lack of playoff experience and Sherman’s pending suspension could catch up with Seattle. So, too, could needing to win three playoff games away from the raucous 12th man.

With one week left in the regular season, however, the Seahawks — as much as they can before the postseason begins — pass the eye test as a potentially dangerous playoff team.

133 comments
George_Vreeland_Hill
George_Vreeland_Hill

The Falcons are the best team in the NFC right now.

They are a bad playoff team, however.

I see Green Bay or the 49ers in the Super Bowl.

Seattle is hot and they could go all the way, but the playoffs are a new season.

If somehow a miracle happens and the Giants get in, watch out because they could get hot and take out all of the above. 

 

George Vreeland Hill

ramdonomo
ramdonomo

People can complain about the Green Bay game all they want (and the replacement refs), but if those were "real refs", they wouldn't say a thing.

 

And say Seattle isn't a Superbowl team all you want, too, but they got there in 2006... and all those blown calls against them by the refs when they were up against Pittsburgh? Yeah, Bill Leavy even came out and said the refs blew calls, so don't talk to Seattle about calls that got screwed up. And that WAS the Superbowl.

 

As for the 49ers, people want to say that it was a fluke, but the Seahawks have outscored in the last three games ALONE: 150-30. That's not a fluke. Don't try and say that the previous two teams (the Bills & the Cardinals) aren't that great so they don't count.

 

Truth is, the Seahawks haven't ever gotten any respect and they never will. There are always excuses for when they play great (the other team sucked or the refs did) and when they play badly (see, they weren't that great to begin with).

 

Go Hawks!

BradyHowe
BradyHowe

Seattle might not even be in the playoffs if it wasnt for the refs handing them that game.  If I was in MN, Chicago, or Dallas I'd be pretty upset on the Seahawks going to the playoffs.  Total BS in my book.

LisaWerth
LisaWerth

hahhhaaaa The team no one wants to face... seriously, those liars. Everyone knows Green Bay was robbed a win. And we haven't forgotten that... it won't be pretty in Green Bay.

Richard47
Richard47

The headline for this article is not really true. I'm sure the Green Bay Packers would love the chance to go 2-0 against Seattle this year.

LEVON
LEVON

bottom line, this is the playoffs.  I remember when everyone said the same about the cardinals also, and look what happened, they went on to the super bowl.  under estimating anybody at this time is silly.  My belief is that someone from that division is going to the superbol.  San Fran or Seattle, i think defensively they can give any team alot of troubles. 

JohnDoughe
JohnDoughe

I hope Seattle meets Green Bay in the playoffs. There won't be any lingerie league incompetents to spoil the Green Bay win. Pete Carroll can take his prima donna attitude and shove it straight up his a ss.

donmcnevin
donmcnevin

Not convinced yet. Too many teams get on a roll like that and then stumble horribly when the going gets tough. I see them getting through one playoff round at best.

rjm
rjm

No one wants to face the Seahawks?  Really?  What about the New England Patriots who had an "off day "and lost by missed field goal?  We in New England would LOVE to play the Seahawks again believe me!

 

DylanB
DylanB

Seattle is a good team not great. I enjoy watching them but they are not a better team then the Niners in my opinion. They beat them and beat them bad I will admit but the phrase, "Any Given Sunday" is there for a reason. What hurts (and will hurt) Seattle is their 5-5 record on the road, playoffs will give them the chance to prove that wrong. Gotta love the fans that I haven't heard from in years coming out of the wood works though for Seattle, I will come say farewell to you all after your road loss in the playoffs.

geewhiz
geewhiz

FUUUUU definitely do not wanna run into these guys in the post season.

Alfonso
Alfonso

Well now that my Rams are eliminated I will ride with Seattle through the playoffs. If anyone thinks the 49er's will

beat Seattle in a a rematch they are sadly mistaken. If there is a rematch Seattle will beat them again and thats if 

the 49ers get that far which I doubt. Everyone keeps talking about their road record which is irrelevant in the playoffs.

If anyone thinks that Seattle cannot beat Green Bay at home they are wrong again. First of all 49er's will be out in the first round. When they changed quarterbacks they actually threw the season away. Green Bay is inconsistent and are not a dominant team. Seattle will represent the NFC in the super bowl! Next year my Rams are back in the playoffs!

Scianoca
Scianoca

Packers can't wait to play the Seahawks in the playoffs. Have fun in Lambeau boys, we've got a score to settle.

noonefan
noonefan

Pete Carroll is a great college coach but worthless as NFL coach. He got nowhere in New England and will get nowhere with Seattle. You can take that to the bank. I got a hunch Seahawks and 9ers will meet again in playoffs and 9ers will return the favor where it is goning to hurt the bird's fans most. Recall Jets and Patriots two yrs. ago????

DylanB
DylanB

 @ramdonomo But the Bills and Cardinals are terrible so why wouldn't they count? Niners in two games against Bills and Jets won 79-3 in two games, but I still wouldn't consider that impressive. I would find a happy middle with the Seahawks, they are a good team but they can't win on the road, 3-5 in regular season. The Niners game was a mix of the Seahawks being HOT and Niners being, well, not. Any given Sunday. The thing is I don't think that the Seahawks have faced a good team on their ON days. Green Bay, the Pats and the Niners all had terrible games against the Hawks. You could say that it was because they faced the Seahawks but that wouldn't be realistic. Seahawks depending on who they play will likely win the first game but will lose in the Divisional playoff game. I am rooting for them if my Niners get put out as I really have enjoyed watching the Seahawks but I can't stand so many many fans thinking they are better than a slighting above average team which they are.

noonefan
noonefan

 @BradyHowe

 Amen to that. Rest assured, rubber will meet the road in playoffs. Refs won't be able to hand them playoff games, only regular season games.

allmine
allmine

 @BradyHowe  You're not too bright.  Even if they lost that game, they still own the tie breaker over MN and Dallas since they beat both of those teams...without the refs. 

Jay18
Jay18

 @LisaWerth ummm I do't know that...there were crap calls all over that game.  One on the previous drive was the difference between Green Bay having to punt as opposed to them scoring a touchdown.  Sure the last call was crap but Seattle went toe to toe and by many accounts outplayed Green Bay on that night...

Kazinski
Kazinski

 @JohnDoughe Prima donna attitude?  You may be able to accuse him of a frat boy attitude, or maybe and irish setter attitude, but I've never seen a Prima Donna bounce around a sideline the way Pete Carrol did.

 

As was mentioned above, GB was the beneficiary of a bogus call on their only touchdown drive of the game.  It was as egregious as the Fail Mary call, and it didn't end the game, but it was not a legitimate penalty.  Even with that call GB only scored one touchdown against the Seahawks.

 

Seattle averaged only 17.5 points a game over the first 8 games when they were breaking in their rookie quarterback, second half of the season they are averaging 36 points a game.  And those second half wins included victories over some top tier defenses like Chicago and SF, two of the top three scoring defenses in the league.  Behind Seattle.

 

Don't get me wrong, nobody wants to face GB in GB late in the playoffs, but I can assure you Aaron Rogers doesn't want to get sacked 8 times again either.  And he didn't get sacked by any lingerie league refs.

JacquiPlemons
JacquiPlemons

 @JohnDoughe A bad call for sure, but I bet if it had gone Green Bays way, you wouldn't be so quick to complain. 

Matthew29
Matthew29

 @donmcnevin you cant name a single team that has gotten hot and failed in the playoffs. 

Edward2
Edward2

 @rjm

 new england is 1-3 against the nfc west.   seahawks are hot right now. the cards and 9ers went into foxboro and won.

jaybird123
jaybird123

 @rjm Might get a chance in the superbowl.  I would love to see your team lose at the show again. 

Buddhahead
Buddhahead

 @DylanB You may be right,  but in this end of season roll, they also beat the bears in chicago. So of the NFC playoff teams, they've beat the bears, niners, packers, and vikings (possible playoff). I think the point of the article isn't that Seattle is definitively the best team, but rather that their placement as the #5 team is deceptive.

JonLittleEagleUnruh
JonLittleEagleUnruh

 @DylanB I call bull, I've been a Hawks fan for years, and I can tell you for a fact that there's a reason that Qwest (Century Link) has been ,if not thee loudest stadium in since its raising, I ride the Ferry over game days and have never not seen that boat enigmatic with Hawks fans,(ride homes sucked though sometimes), I was there when we beat the Saints (beast mode) there's a reason the Seahawks are the in the top 5 sales for NFL teams in the last 6 years.

 

RussTaggart
RussTaggart

 @DylanB Seriously?  The Seahawks took the "highly-touted" 49ers to task and stomped them.

Look at the teams that have fallen, and don't keep bringing up the GB game, there isn't a team in this league that hasn't won a game or lost a game due to questionable calls.  The Seahawks are for real and the rest of the league better get ready.

DylanB
DylanB

 @Alfonso Road wins are everything in the playoffs. Seattle is 5-5 on the road which they will be playing exclusively in the playoffs.

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

 @Alfonso 

The NFC West is looking tough these days, with the Rams getting better, the Hawks surging, and of course the Niners almost making it to the Superbowl last season.  If the Cardfnals could find a QB they might be ok too.  Although they did beat the Hawks and Patriots this year.

RussTaggart
RussTaggart

 @Scianoca How many points have the Pack put on the board in the last 3 weeks?  

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

 @noonefan 

Carroll is doing a great job with the Hawks, obviously.  After 3 seasons, he is ahead of where Holmgren was when he was in charge.  More wins and playoff appearances so far.

 

A lot of people hate Carroll, and they are going to be choking on the sour grapes for years to come.

BillB
BillB

 @noonefan  Lol u mad bro? I know your team just got wiped off the field in the most embarrassing loss of the Harbaugh era but keep you head up bruh.

You can still maybe win a playoff game with Manningham and J Smith.........0_o

prince of ttown
prince of ttown

 @noonefan too bad Seattle will be playing on the road when it matters where they have a losing record

hawxfan
hawxfan

 @noonefan R u kidding me?  Name the last time a coach completely imploded a team and in three years completely rebuilt it?  Not Harbaugh, all he did was adopt a team loaded with talent.  You dont know anything and are just angry at how bad your team got beat and are talking out of anger.  Calm down, gain your senses and then type stuff that actually makes sense,

wonko33
wonko33

 @noonefan You're blind or in denial. Schneider and Carroll took a boring team and converted them into a hard nose defensive team with crafty draft picks and trades. Sure they made mistakes (Whitehurst cough cough) but even if we lose in the playoffs it was awesome to watch them all year. They never lost by more than one possession btw. I hate the 49ers but I can't deny they have a great defense and can see why their fans like them so much. I guess you come here just to Raw Raw your team with cliches and know nothing about football. 

epic-face-palm
epic-face-palm

 @noonefan Believe what you want, but if you've watched the Seahawks you'd know they are a GREAT team, and Pete Carroll is the reason for it.  No team has drafted better than Seattle since he arrived in 2010.  He helped handpick guys like Okung, Thomas, Chancellor, Wright, Sherman, Baldwin, Browner, Irvin, Wagner, Wilson and many others, coached them up, and tweaked his schemes to make them successful. Very few players from the roster he inherited are still here just 3 years later, and the few that remain are all playing at a higher level, most especially Red Bryant.

 

He inherited a terrible team that was considered a favorite to "earn" the #1 draft pick before each of his first two years.  That's how terrible it was.  A mere 16 months ago, Seattle was the trendy pick to win the Luck sweepstakes.  Instead, Carroll has taken that horrible team and turned it into one of the leagues youngest but also scariest teams, a team that is among the NFL's best statistically and has by far the best strength of victory in the league this season.  If not for a flurry of drops at SF, he would be undefeated against current playoff teams (5-1 record).  His team has lost 5 games, but none of them were by more than 7 points.  The Patriots are the only other team in the NFL that can say the same. 

 

He's one of the best coaches in the NFL, though it might take a Superbowl for most people to realize it.

Timmy-Time
Timmy-Time

 @noonefan

 Pete Carroll is not worthless as a pro coach. His players love him. Ask the Seahawks what they think of his ability to run that team. Maybe he has learned something in his years since the Jets and New England.  

LisaWerth
LisaWerth

 @Jay18 I know fans of teams that don't even like the Packers who watched the game and said Green Bay was robbed.  If the game comes to Lambeau in Winter... I stand by my comment.

DylanB
DylanB

 @Matthew29  Green bay was on a roll all of last season and only lost one game, then lost the first game in the playoffs to the Giants who barely made the playoffs. God you are ignorant

DylanB
DylanB

 @Buddhahead  @DylanB I can agree that it is deceptive. If they had a better road record I would be fine with putting them higher than 5. They have great talent and I've enjoyed watching Wilson more than any rookie this year (even more than RG3). My concern isn't how good they are but their consistency on the road, if they can clear that up before the playoffs somehow I think they could make the superbowl. I root for the Niners but hell if Seattle could do well and Niners get put out, I would root for them like crazy.

DylanB
DylanB

 @RussTaggart 5-5 on the road, Niners beat them once in SF. Seattles flaw is not beating these top teams on the road. Road games matter! Seattle is good but not a Superbowl team, not even close.

Alfonso
Alfonso

 @JonLittleEagleUnruh  John, Thanks and good luck in the playoffs, If we take advantage of our draft picks and use them wisely like we did this year my Rams should be back in the playoffs next year! Take care and good luck!

Alfonso
Alfonso

 @DylanB  True, I just feel as good as the Seahawks are playing I do not think it matters. They are peaking at a perfect time and I dont think anyone can stop them right now at least nobody in the NFC. I just hope if they beat us this sunday that they dont embarass us. I did want my Rams to finish with a win but it is going to be tough in that stadium.

 

JeremyAnderson
JeremyAnderson

 @DylanB  @Alfonso Road wins are important...more important is the streak. Seattle lost MOST of those road games early by a touchdown or less. They are hot NOW, they have a rookie QB that took a while to get ramped up. Comparing RW now to RW then is why teams are getting there azzes handed to them, oh, and also cause the Hawks rock!

noonefan
noonefan

 @JacquiPlemons

 yep. A decent job all he is doing, I guess when you are such a crapy team for so long, mediocracy is even a silver lining.

noonefan
noonefan

 @unitcaptain11

 You are mistaken my firend. Horrible teams eventually become mediocore through top picks. It was the qualit yof draft not Pete Carroll that has made the difference. BTW, I like Carroll, he was born and raised in San Fran. The reality is he will get nowhere in NFL, never mind Seahawks. He will be back coaching college before you know it.

JohnDoughe
JohnDoughe

 @epic-face-palm  @noonefan

Greatness is measured by superbowl wins. Until the Seahawks reach the apex of that measurment and is consistent in future division and conference wins, calling them a great team as of right now is over doing it. They are a good team this season, not great.

Brian11
Brian11

 @epic-face-palm  @noonefan They're hot right now, but let's see them do it on the road throughout the playoffs.  Also, if the coach is 5-1 against playoff teams, then he must have lost those 4 games to subpar teams.  That seems like inconsistent coaching to me.

Selanne
Selanne

 @epic-face-palm  @noonefan I agree. I'm not a Carroll fan but he's done a great job. I think most people are amazed at how this team is performing. He should get the praise. If they were losing he would take the blame.

noonefan
noonefan

 @Timmy-Time

 BTW, Cowboys players loved Barry Switzer,cuz he let them snort cocaine in the locker room. Carroll has learned nothing in NFL. He will be back coaching  college before you know it.

DylanB
DylanB

 @LisaWerth  They were robbed the call but not the game. The thing I hate about people that use bad calls as as excuse is they don't understand that if the Packers played better or made less errors than that bad call doesn't even have an impact on the game.

DylanB
DylanB

 @Matthew29  Oh that is right, 3-5, so much for me being nice and giving them the extra two from the preseason. I didn't miscount dumb ass. Irony at its best eh Matthew?

Matthew29
Matthew29

 @DylanB  @RussTaggart 5-5 on the road? Hey dumb ass, they only play 8 games on the road, not 10. Yep, you're a Niners fan all right. 

barryunion
barryunion

Seattle started an unrated rookie. The fact that they did that well early on is remarkable.As a Seattle fan I wrote them off this season for starting a rookie. Looks like i'm not the only person who has undermestated the Seahawks.

RussTaggart
RussTaggart

@DylanB @RussTaggart SF won by 7, the biggest point difference of all their losses. The improvment of the team each week, the strength of all sides of their game is undenyable. Many of the top teams have faltered in the final weeks, Seahawks have just gotten better.

noonefan
noonefan

 @JacquiPlemons

 Well if you had a brain of grade school kid, you could see from my username that I am fan of no one. I root for great QBs and coaches. Oh,BTW when was the last time Seahawks were  at superbowl let alone win one. It aint happening with Pete Carroll. Remember I am not always right, but I am never wrong.

JacquiPlemons
JacquiPlemons

 @noonefan  @JacquiPlemons

 Sounds like someone is a poor sport. I have a friend who is a 49'ers fan and I haven't seen them cry yet. Your team isn't exactly taking the NFL by storm. You know what rooting for a crappy team is all about.

scipiobronze
scipiobronze

 @noonefan  @unitcaptain11 

 

That may be true for the 49ers, but not really for the Seahawks under Carroll.

 

Holmgren

2002 7 9

2003 10 6

2004 9 7

2005 13 3

2006 9 7

2007 10 6

2008 4 12 Drafted #4 in 2009 (Drafted by Mora)

 

Mora

2009 5 11 Drafted #6 in 2010 (Drafted by Carroll)

 

Carroll

2010 7 9   Drafted #25

2011 7 9  Drafted #15

 

From the class that Mora drafted, Carroll got rid of #4 pick Aaron Curry in his 1st year and has only kept one player from that class, #49 Max Unger, who has only started to play well this season.  So I don't think Carroll has benefited too much from the Holmgren 4-12 season.

 

He has benefited from the Jim Mora 5-11 season, which allowed him to draft can't-miss picks #6 Russell Okung and #14 Earl Thomas.  However, the numerous starters he found in the later rounds are a testament to his skill in evaluating talent.

 

2 - 60 Golden Tate

4 - 111 Walter Thurmond

5 - 133 Kam Chancellor

6 - 185 Anthony McCoy

 

He whiffed on: 

4 - 127 E.J. Wilson (Playing for Bucaneers, on IR)

7 - 236 Dexter Davis (Out of League)

7 - 245 Jameson Konz (Special Teams, Injured, Out of League)

 

The Seahawks actually drafted #25 after Carroll's first 7-9 season because he won the division and a playoff game, so he has not gotten much of a league up from the Seahawk's 2 horrid seasons and 2 mediocre seasons.  

Timmy-Time
Timmy-Time

 @Brian11  @epic-face-palm  @noonefan

 Even Carroll admits that in the first part of the season they made Wilson play like a "caretaker". Now they are letting him play as a "playmaker". They may not get to or win the Super Bowl this year, but with this young and hungry and ambitious team watch out for them in the next several years.

Timmy-Time
Timmy-Time

 @noonefan  @Timmy-Time

PC has done a great job. Equating Switzer to Carroll is stupid and ignorant. I am not sure what your problem is maybe you just hate success stories about others when your life is not such a success. Too bad!   The player/personnel and program decisions made by Carroll have been brilliant to get the Seahawks were they are today. The best part is that they play with a sense of being winners and having fun. That is leadership.