Another year, another chance for Seahawks glory! Let’s pause a moment and observe what is undoubtedly the best Seahawks team in franchise history. 13-3, but could have just as easily ended 14-2, or possibly better (or could have gone the other way for that matter). But don’t let the “haters” (I use that sarcastically for anyone that disagrees with me) fool you…this Seahawks team wasn’t just good, they were GREAT. The defense finally became everything we expected it to be. Barring one 51 yard Frank Gore run…this defense rarely was the cause for any of the team’s mishaps during the season.
Partnered with an offense that was in the top 8 on scoring offense, and the Seahawks just finished as a top 5 team of the past 25 years. Don’t take my word for it though…read all about it here
But we all know that the greatness of a team isn’t in the regular season, it’s how they finish. Super bowl or bust…expectations have escalated quickly in the emerald city.
So the Seattle Seahawks regular season has come and gone…and they finished right around where people (including me) thought they would finish. A 13-3 record, and the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs. To remind newbies, the last time the Seahawks had the #1 seed, they went to the Superbowl…with a team a lot less talented than the one they have this year.
With that in mind, I’d like to do a “report card” for most of the key Seahawks players this season. Many of these grades are based on how we thought they would play going into the season, compared to reality.
Spoiler alert: No one gets failing grades on a team that wins 13 games a season.
Russell Wilson: Grade A
QB Rating. 2012-100.00 2013-101.2.
2013 Stats: 26 TD’s, 9 INT’s, 3357 Yards. 539 Rushing yards, 1 TD.
Russell Wilson had a year pretty much exactly like last year. The only difference is that he started out pretty hot, and cooled off towards the end…unlike last year, where he got hot towards the end. Wilson spent most of the year running, diving, and ducking away from his defenders as he played without his two starting tackles for much of the season. Unfortunately, he had a couple of poor games even when they came back. Dangerruss is still not playing quite to the astronomical level we all expect him to play at, but I am confident he will win for the Seahawks when they need him most.
Marshawn Lynch: Grade A-
2013 Stats: 1,257 Rushing Yards, 12 TD’s. 316 Rec yards, 2 TD’s.
Only reason that Beast gets a minus, is that the running game has struggled at times this season. His yards per attempt and yards per game have taken a pretty big dip from last year. However, most of that is not his fault, as the OLine has struggled to open holes for him. He also gets bonus points for seemingly never getting injured, despite the amount of abuse he takes every game.
Golden Tate: A-
2013 stats: 64 Rec, 898 Yards, 5 TD
Golden just gets better year after year. A guy once thought to be a borderline bust, has turned into an explosive player the Hawks depend on. While his attitude may turn off some folks, let’s not kid ourselves on how important he is to the team. Without Percy Harvin, Tate is the Hawks only explosive perimeter player.
Doug Baldwin: B+
2013 Stats: 50 rec, 778 yards, 5 TD
Mr. Consistency was just that in 2013. Dougie Fresh never seems to drop a ball, and has a knack for finding open seams in the defense.
Zach Miller: B
2013 stats: 33 rec, 387 yards, 5 TD
Zach is solid…but to really reach the next level of potential for the Seahawks offense, they will need to have a pass catching tight end that can either run after the catch (like possibly rookie Luke Willson) or have a guy that go up and catch jump balls in the air (Austin Seferian-Jenkins anyone?)
Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin: INC
Minnesotans must have a joke somewhere about all of the damaged goods they’ve been sending us. They are probably too nice to say it to our face though.
Russell Okung: B-
Okung had a disappointing year…although obviously injuries have played a major role. He has the talent to be one of the best left tackle’s in the league, he’s just gotta live up to it.
Paul McQuistan: B-
Only reason McQ doesn’t get an average to below average grade is because he seemed to be the only guy that was able to stay healthy throughout the season. Knock his ability, but without big Paul, who knows that our Oline would have looked like.
Max Unger: B-
Maybe this doesn’t infuriate people as much as it does me, but Max needs to hike the damn ball into Russell Wilson’s hands on shotgun formations. I can’t count how many times he’s low snapped it, possibly throwing the rhythm off just a tad.
JR Sweezy: B+
Another guy that’s been healthy most of the season, and for that reason alone, he gets a fist bump.
Breno Giacomini: B+
Less personal fouls, less false starts….and still being big bad bully Breno, that’s aces in my book.
Red Bryant: B+
A wrecking ball on the front line….Red is one nasty dude.
Brandon Mebane: A
Mebane’s best season yet. Consistently getting push into the backfield…Mebane is they key to the Seahawks run defense.
Chris Clemons: B-
Where that nasty Clem guy coming off the edge? I guess a torn ACL will take some of that aggressiveness away.
Cliff Avril: B
Cliff doesn’t do much on a consistent basis, but is good for a pressure or two a game, and a sack or strip sack every other game. Considering that was the biggest area of need in the Hawks defense last year, I’ll take it.
Michael Bennett: A+
Ravishing Rick Rude was exactly what the Seahawks wanted him to be when they signed Beard McNasty to a free agent contract. He’s been a terror on 3rd downs, and could be the difference between a Pete Carroll ill-timed timeout to end the season, and a Super Bowl trophy.
Bruce Irvin: C+
Bruce has had some flashes of brilliance, and perhaps does things we can’t see via the average viewer…but to me, dude sometimes disappears during games.
Bobby Wagner: B+
BWagz is started to find his role. He’s a speedy linebacker that can blitz with the best of them…and seems like he’s finally getting good angle and leverage in the run stopping game. Sky’s the limit for this guy’s potential.
Malcolm Smith: A
Talk about an overachiever. Malcolm is that guy that doesn’t do any one thing well…but does everything well above average, and has a knack for making big plays.
KJ Wright: A
A screen snuffer, run defender, and can cover guys like Jimmy Graham, is there anything KJ can’t do?
Richard Sherman: A+
Dick Sherm had possibly a greater season than his monstrous one in 2012. If he doesn’t win the defensive player of the year award, it’s either because he lost it to his teammate, or he pissed off one more writer/voter than he probably should have.
Brandon Browner: C-
The drug thing aside, BB wasn’t playing all that great even when he was healthy and not suspended.
Walter Thurmond: B+
Haven’t heard his name called that much this season…which is a great thing for a cover corner.
Jeremy Lane: A
Seemed to get better this season…even though his role was even more limited. The Seahawks should be renamed to the Seattle Secondaries.
Byron Maxwell: A
Another guy playing out of his mind. Baggy Sleeves had a career high 4 Interceptions in a backup role. Brandon who? We need to have an official Legion of Boom induction ceremony.
Kam Chancellor: A
Kam took his fat contract and used it to cement his role as a team leader. Kam is a scary guy for opposing teams, and he has developed the smarts now to become one of the best safeties in the league.
Earl Thomas: A+
There are so many things Earl Thomas does that go undetected to the average fan. Pete Carroll put it best, the reason you don’t see many deep balls or “seam” throws against the Seahawks is due to the Hawks undersized, speedy free safety, Earl Thomas. He’s probably the single biggest reason the Seahawks are the best defensive team in football.
Jon Ryan: A-
Jon Ryan kick ball far.
Steven Haushka: A
Other than a shanked field goal that could have cost the Hawks momentum in the Arizona game, Steve was perfect. Now, he just needs to develop better rapport with his fellow teammates.
Let me know what you think of my post season grades….I watched every game multiple times to come up with some of my conclusions. Now it’s playoff time, and while the Hawks are heavily favored, anything can happen in the NFL. Let’s hope good fortune is on our side!
Categories: NFL and Seahawks
Tags: Bobby Wagner, Brandon Browner, Brandon Mebane, Byron Maxwell, Earl Thomas, kam chancellor, kj wright, Malcolm Smith, michael bennett, nfl, Paul McQuistan, Percy Harvin, richard sherman, Seahawks Report Cards, Seattle Seahawks, Sidney Rice, Walter Thurmond