Hawks could be the next team from nowhere

You could see by the look on the face of the out of uniform Matt Flynn that he might realize his starting aspirations are starting to slip away.  Russell Wilson looked like a seasoned veteran Friday against the Chiefs.  But he’s just a rookie third round draft pick in only his third pre-season game, and first start.  Flynn can be forgiven for thinking the job was his.  When he signed with Seattle all he had to do was beat out Tavaris Jackson.  But NOBODY expected anything like what Russell Wilson showed us in his first start in game 3 of this pre-season.  Wilson was not just phenomenal himself, he made the entire offense look as if they were in mid-season form as they scored on their first six possessions, including 2 touchdowns.  He was in complete control from the first snap to his departure mid-way through the third quarter, which is all the time he needed to destroy a very respectable Kansas City Chiefs defense.  After the game Wilson gave the team all the credit, saying the team had the help of some great runs from Robert Turbin, and a nifty 90 yard punt return from Golden Tate, and a 75 yard pick-six from Pro-bowler Earl Thomas.  But I submit this is the kind of play that can happen on a team when they are inspired by the performance of one individual.  Things tend to snowball…  Just ask Kansas City, who found themselves on the ugly end of a 44-14 drubbing, and it wasn’t even that close.  The Chiefs had just one decent long scoring drive for a TD in the first half and added one more in garbage time.

Teams and players sometimes come out of nowhere to dominate the league.  Of course it’s not an accident at all, but to those who don’t follow a teams development over several years, it seems kind of sudden.  I recall the year the Rams rolled out an unknown quarterback and former grocery clerk by the name of Curt Warner who proceeded to set the league on fire with his passing.  They eventually called that offense “The Greatest Show on Turf” after an unlikely Super Bowl win.  Warner will probably end up in the Hall of Fame along with several of his receivers.  The Warner story was probably much more unlikely than what could be about to happen to the Seahawks if they decide to put Russell Wilson under center.  That Rams season probably started out a lot like this one is for the Hawks, with a new QB who isn’t a household name quietly emerging and eventually convincing the coaches he should be the starting quarterback.  So, is the little secret up here in the northwest (no pun intended) about to be unleashed on the rest of the NFL?  If “unconventional” Pete Carroll goes the way I’m thinking he’ll go, the answer is YES.

Based on Friday’s Seahawks performance fans should believe something special is happening in Hawk-Ville.    What was initially characterized as an outside chance by most sportswriters is quickly turning into a foregone conclusion.  After three comparably amazing performances Wilson has shown he is for real.  Cautious optimism from the first two pre-season games is giving way to open boasting that Pete Carroll and John Schneider might just have snookered the rest of the league and drafted the best quarterback in the 2012 draft in the third round.  This is a draft class that includes Andrew Luck, RGIII, Ryan Tannehill, and Brandon Weedon.  Of course they all have yet to play this week, so let’s wait and see where they are after Saturday, but Wilson’s Quarterback Rating was a ridiculous 135 this week.

I know, I know….  It’s JUST the pre-season, and my fellow writers and 12th Man Rising readers are probably wondering what am I getting all worked up about.  Ok, fair enough.  But answer me this: When was the last time you saw a rookie QB, from his very first snap, tear up the competition so convincingly in the pre-season?  Anyone?  Usually you hear about rookies having horrible pre-seasons as they “learn the system” and maybe they have a fairly decent season once they get their NFL legs under them.  Wilson is different.

Let’s calibrate the scale a little bit here v.s other “veteran” QBs.  Wilson is throwing where only his receivers can catch the ball.  He’s running out of trouble for big yardage when the pocket collapses.  He’s putting touch on the ball in the red zone.  He’s finding 2nd and 3rd options when primary receivers are covered.  He’s playing smart with few mistakes.  If he’s this good this early in his career, doesn’t it follow that he might actually improve over the course of the regular season?  After all, it would seem the relatively minor task (for Wilson anyway…) of “learning the system” is pretty well in the can.  Now it’s all about gaining game experience, getting more familiar with his receivers, and adding “his plays” to the playbook; i.e. plays that are specifically designed for Wilson’s style of play.  And to lay one myth to rest; it’s clear, and Pete Carroll said so in a post-game interview, that Wilson’s diminutive height is a complete non-factor.  Carroll emphatically stated he’s “seen nothing at all” related to height-caused errors.  The question about Wilson’s height is answered.  Done, over, put to bed.

So, how good can this team be?  Well, can you see any team in the NFC West other than possibly the 49ers beating the team you saw Friday night in the first half? With an amazing playmaking quarterback running a punishing offense and a top 5 defense that will keep handing Wilson and the offense the ball when they’re not scoring themselves, might the Hawks surprise a few teams? I had the Seahawks at 10-6 in my best case scenario.  I’m going to have to go back over that schedule.  I think there are a few good teams with dubious defenses, like Green Bay, Dallas, or perhaps New England, who are ripe for an upset.  That would certainly set the Seahawks up to be that “team from nowhere” this season, wouldn’t it?

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  • Guest

    I posted on my FB to all my friends and family two weeks ago that they would be 11-5 by years end. I was called delusional by one friend on a comment, and a couple other friends sent me text messages saying I was a dreamer and another when I was told him my prediction, just looked at me and gave me this your and idiot look.

    My 11 and 5 prediction is the floor for me. You look at how our schedule sets up, we play @ Arizona (win), home vs Dallas(doubt Bryant /Austin can stay healthy and Witten will most likely be limited still) thats a win, so far we open up 2 – 0. next up is GB at home this is a coin flip, I have us losing this one but BARELY, and with Rogers and his WR’s not looking like they are in midseason form, this could very easily be a win for us. Next is @ St Louis (win), then @ Carolina, we are notorious for being horrible west to east travelers and I think Cam will give us a little trouble, I counted this as a loss, but again just BARELY. We are at 3-2, next up is a biggy, home vs NE. New Englands o-line is HORRIBLE, our defense is going to feast on him, he will still make enough plays to keep them in it, but I see us winning this game. Takes us to 4-2. SF is up next in SF. SF at home is gonna be tough, and because they are at home, I think this will be a loss, 4-3. Then we travel to Det, while some might not believe in the “madden jinx” I do, and megatron will be on IR by this time in the season, they don’t have anyone else, yeah Titus young but who else?? I counted this as a win, 5-3. The next two games are at home versus Vikes and Jets, I think our talented defense is too much for either team and both are wins, that puts us at 7-3 going into the bye week.
    Already we have equaled the # of wins in the previous two seasons. Coming out of the bye week we travel east again, however this is against a rebuilding Miami team with another rookie QB, this is a W for us, 8-3. Then a trip to Soldier field to play the Bears. I never thought we really played well in Chi-town, but if you look at the past couple of years, we’ve been able to compete with them. Cutler is inaccurate at times, and our run defense will shut down the Forte/Bush combo, with all of that, I have us losing this game. It could very easily be a win too though, 8-4. Back home to face the Cardinals and again I say this is a win, 9-4. Going into week 15 takes us again back east to face the Bills, we easily have the toughest schedule travel wise because of our location and I believe that the Bills are gonna surprise some people this year, we drop a game and go to 9-5. The last two games are home against division rivals SF and STL. I see us squeaking by SF and by the end of the year I could see STL a much improved team and it will take a lot more to beat them than the first meeting but we still manage to do it. that puts us at 11-5. The Bears, GB, and Carolina games could all go either way so I could see us anywhere between 11 to 14 wins this year.

  • Nick

    I posted on my FB
    to all my friends and family two weeks ago that they would be 11-5 by years
    end. I was called delusional by one friend via a comment to my post. A couple
    other friends sent me text messages saying I was a dreamer and another when I told
    him my prediction, just looked at me and gave me this “you’re and idiot look.”

    My 11 and 5 prediction is the floor for me. You look at how our
    schedule sets up and I will explain why and how I came to 11 and 5.

    Week 1 – @ Arizona. (win) This team is in disarray even more so
    than the Seahawks are at QB(if we ever were)
    and our D is going to create havoc for that offense. 1 – 0

    Week 2 – vs Dallas (win) The WR duo of Bryant/Austin can’t stay
    healthy and Witten will still be limited from his spleen injury. 2 – 0

    Week 3 – vs GB (loss) This is a coin flip, but I still have us
    losing this game….barely, Rogers and his wideouts are looking like they are just
    not on the same page just yet, so getting them in the early part of the season
    is a good thing for us and could very well lead to a W. 2 – 1

    Week 4 – @ STL (win) Do I really need to explain this one? 3 – 1

    Week 5 – @ CAR (loss) We are notorious for being horrible east
    coast travelers and I think Cam will give us a little trouble, I counted this
    as a loss, but again just BARELY. 3 – 2

    Week 6 – vs NE (win) New Englands offensive line is HORRIBLE to
    say the least and if Brady hasn’t been placed on IR yet, the Hawks will do a
    good job to help get him there. While I
    still think Brady makes enough plays to keep them in this game, our defense
    will be too much. 4 – 2

    Week 7 – @ SF
    (loss) BOTH of our games last year were close with these guys, in the first
    meeting we were in it until our special teams let us down and we came back in
    the second meeting and only lost by 2 pts.
    While I still say this is going to be a tough game, the edge goes to SF
    due to them being at home. 4 – 3

    Week 8 – @ DET
    (win) While some might not believe in the “Madden Jinx,” I do and Megatron will
    be on IR by the time we travel to Detroit, their RB’s cannot stay healthy and
    the only other wideout they have is Titus Young. 5 – 3

    Week 9 – vs NYJ
    (win) Our defense is going to be too much for whichever QB they decide to go
    with. 6 – 3

    Week 10 – vs Vikes
    (win) “All Day” not even a yr recovered from ACL surgery, 2nd yr QB,
    and a WR in Harvin that has chronic Migraines keeping him out of games???? 7 –
    3 going into the bye week.

    Week 11 – bye. Already
    we have equaled the number of games that we won the previous two seasons

    Week 12 – @ MIA (win)
    Rookie QB, less talented WR’s vs our defense, need I say more? 8 – 3

    Week 13 – @ CHI (loss)
    Cutler is inaccurate at times, and our run defense will shut down the
    Forte/Bush combo, even with that we have never really played well in Chi-town…….It
    could go our way though too. 8 – 4

    Week 14 vs ARI
    (win) I just don’t see this team getting better as the year goes on like they
    did last year. 9 – 4

    Week 15 @ BUF
    (loss) AGAIN another trip east against a team I think will surprise many. 9 – 5

    Week 16 vs SF (win)
    This time they’re on our turf. We win this
    one. 10 – 5

    Week 17 vs STL (win)
    While I could see the Rams under Fisher getting better as the year goes on and
    it will take a little more to beat them this time around they are still no
    match for our talented team. 11 – 5

    The Bears, GB, and
    Carolina games could all go either way so I could see us anywhere between 11 to
    14 wins this year.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.bilbro.12 Kevin Bilbro

      Never played well in chi-town? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

      I’m a Seattleite living in chicago. Trust me, the ‘Hawks have done well in chicago. How could you forget last year’s 38-14 trashing of duh bearsssssss, played in chicago? Or, the prior year’s win, with Matt H’s final season? The “Hawks regular season record vs duh bearsssssssss is 9-4.

      Next time, do your homework.

      Also, even someone from Seattle like me HATES it when people say or write “chi-town”.

      • Nick

        Uh lets see, we played a Bears team w/o Cutler or Forte and this year, if they stay healthy, BOTH will be back AND they will have Marshall as well. Maybe you should take some classes on how to properly correspond with other people. This is my opinion and my opinion only. As far as history goes, you forget about the playoff loss previous to last years win. As far as the “Chi-Town” reference goes, oh well get over it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kenny.mckenzie.750 Kenny Mckenzie

      I think ure right. I looked at the schedule the same way u did. The Seahawks are going to be a competitive team this season. The defence will keep them in games and Wilson will do the rest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10716205 Michael Bernazzani



    I am not usually a conspiracy guy, BUT I think Pete Carroll didn’t start Russell Wilson
    against Denver because he knew Denver’s D was twice as Good as KC’s. The Rams for pete’s sake (?) put up over 400 plus against the Cheifs last week, and that was with ALL their starters! This game had two DB starters out and a starting LB left in the 1st Quarter. Plus OUR running game was killing them , that makes EVERYTHING else easy. That wasn’t happening in Denver. Yesterday on the 1st TD there was a blown coverage and no one within EIGHT yards of KW and Wilson almost overthrew him. Second TD would not have even been thought about if not for two Roughing calls ( one bad call) and a late DB on coverage. Everyone needs to CALM down . Russell Wilson is a good QB and could be a great QB , But to annoit him already is ludicrious and not even close to fair !!!!!!!

    • Hanley H. Bonynge

      Totally agree.

  • Hawk_Eye

    I stated after the first pre-season game that Russell Wilson makes the players around him better and that they also played harder for him. He is just a natural born leader!