NFC West: Andre Dyson
Shaun Alexander carried 23 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns during a 33-19 Seattle victory at Sun Devil Stadium. The Seahawks, headed to Super Bowl XL after that season, picked off Kurt Warner three times and sacked him four times.
A couple things about these teams have changed since that game. I had some fun sifting through those 2005 rosters.
Players no longer with Seattle
Offense (20): Bobby Engram, Steve Hutchinson, Robbie Tobeck, Chris Gray, Joe Jurevicius, Jerheme Urban, Mack Strong, Shaun Alexander, D.J. Hackett, Maurice Morris, Leonard Weaver, Floyd Womack, Ryan Hannam, Jerramy Stevens, Peter Warrick, David Greene, Wayne Hunter, Darrell Jackson, Itula Mili, Josh Scobey.
Defense (18): Bryce Fisher, Chuck Darby, Marcus Tubbs, Grant Wistrom, Jamie Sharper, Kelly Herndon, Michael Boulware, Marquand Manual, Jimmy Williams, John Howell, Niko Koutouvides, Kevin Bentley, Isaiah Kacyvenski, Joe Tafoya, Rocky Bernard, Etric Pruitt, Rodney Bailey, Andre Dyson.
Specialists (3): Josh Brown, Tom Rouen, J.P. Darche.Players still with Seattle
Offense (6): Walter Jones (injured reserve), Sean Locklear, Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, Chris Spencer, Ray Willis.
Defense (6): Jordan Babineaux, Craig Terrill, D.D. Lewis, Lofa Tatupu (IR), Leroy Hill, Marcus Trufant.
Players no longer with Arizona
Offense (23): Bryant Johnson, Leonard Davis, Nick Leckey, Alex Stepanovich, Oliver Ross, Eric Edwards, Marcel Shipp, Adam Bergen, J.J. Arrington, Josh McCown, John Navarre, Reggie Newhouse, LeRon McCoy, Fred Wakefield, James Jackson, Obafemi Ayanbadejo, Harold Morrow, Jarrod Baxter, Adam Haayer, J.J. Moses, Elton Brown, Teyo Johnson, Reggie Swinton.
Defense (16): Langston Moore, Ross Kolodziej, James Darling, Robert Tate, Robert Griffith, David Macklin, Antonio Cochran, Darryl Blackstock, Orlando Huff, Eric Green, Antonio Smith, Lamont Reid, Quentin Harris, Isaac Keys, Lance Mitchell, Aaron Francisco.
Specialists (2): Scott Player, Nathan Hodel.Players still with Arizona
Offense (5): Reggie Wells, Larry Fitzgerald, Kurt Warner, Jeremy Bridges, Anquan Boldin.
Defense (6): Chike Okeafor, Darnell Dockett, Bernard Berry, Karlos Dansby, Adrian Wilson, Antrel Rolle.
Specialists (1): Neil Rackers.Note: Thanks to spaumi10 for noticing that Aaron Francisco and Lance Mitchell were initially listed on offense. There was a little cutting and pasting involved with this entry. Missed those two. Thanks!
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
This presumably means Leonard Weaver will find a home in the near future. The Eagles and Bucs are possibilities for the unrestricted free agent from Seattle. Weaver could also re-sign with the Seahawks.
If Weaver signs elsewhere, the Seahawks might be more likely to sign former Raider Justin Griffith, who visited with the team recently and played for Seattle offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in Oakland and Atlanta.
Meanwhile, Karney gives the Rams a straight-ahead blocking fullback to clear running lanes for Steven Jackson. Jackson lobbied for a physical fullback last season. Karney is nearly 260 pounds. The first time I really noticed him was when he laid out then-Seahawks cornerback Andre Dyson during an exhibition game before the 2005 season.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
James from Lincoln, U.K., writes: Now that it is established that Mike Singletary is the 49ers coach now, and will be for years (and that is absolutely the right thing), it appears that he will look to implement a smash-mouth type of offense. Of course winning is the most important thing, especially with the John York effect having crushed this franchise recently.
My only concern is this: When the franchise was successful it had NFL/Super Bowl MVP's/Hall Of Famers under center. The ball was in the air and in the end zone often and it was great to watch. Do you think that this more conservative style of offense will go down well with the team's paying customers? For what it's worth, I cannot stand traditional Bears football.
Mike Sando: Singletary is talking about establishing an identity through the running game. The 49ers will still need good play at the quarterback position to get beyond 8-8 and become a factor in the playoffs. Being able to throw the ball to score points certainly helps a team win in the playoffs, or anytime.
Very few teams have been able to line up and run effectively on a consistent basis against eight in the box. The Ravens did it during their Super Bowl run years ago. They also had one of the all-time great defenses. They also didn't have much playoff success in the following years, leading to Brian Billick's eventual firing.
I would rather have a franchise quarterback and worry about establishing the ground game than have a strong ground game and worry about the quarterback. That said, those two pursuits do not have to be exclusive. I'm sure Singletary wants a top quarterback and a top running game. A top quarterback makes it much harder for opponents to load up against the run. Teams put eight in the box against Peyton Manning at their own peril.