NFC West: Brandon Browner

Few people expected him to return to the Seahawks, but now it's official. Brandon Browner signed a three-year deal Friday with the New England Patriots worth $17 million.

Browner
The Patriots now have signed two big-name cornerbacks for big dollars. They signed Darrelle Revis on Thursday to a deal worth $12 million for the 2014 season.

And obviously, the fact that Browner has to serve a suspension of four more games at the start of the 2014 season was not a deterrent for New England. Browner also will have to forfeit four additional weeks of salary as part of his suspension for his 2013 substance-abuse violation over a positive test for marijuana.

Browner tweeted this statement Friday evening:

"Today, I am proud to announce that I am a New England Patriot. I am honored that the Patriots are making me part of their legendary organization, and am
grateful for the opportunity Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, Nick Caserio and the entire team have given me.

"I intend to diligently work with the same passion and dedication that I have displayed since coming into the NFL to uphold the great traditions and qualities that are embodied by the Patriots."

Browner also thanked the Seahawks organization:

"I would be remiss if I didn't thank the Seattle Seahawks for giving a CFL player the once in-a-lifetime opportunity to return to the NFL, making a
young boy's dream come true.

"To Coach Pete Carroll, GM John Schneider, [former Seahawks vice president, now Jets GM] John Idzik, [defensive backs] Coach [Kris] Richard, [defensive passing game coordinator] Rocky Seto, the LOB, [Legion of Boom], my teammates, the training staff, the equipment guys the Seahawks organization as a whole and most importantly the 12th Man, I say thank you for everything you have done for myself and my family. I am a truly blessed person."

Browner, who made the Pro Bowl in 2011, missed the final six regular season games of 2013, along with the playoffs, because of a groin injury, and subsequently, the suspension.

He becomes the sixth free agent the Seahawks have lost this week. The others are wide receiver Golden Tate, offensive tackle Breno Giacomini, safety Chris Maragos, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and defensive end O'Brien Schofield (although his deal with the New York Giants was canceled because of a knee problem).

The Seahawks met Friday with former Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton. Former Raiders defensive tackle Vance Walker was scheduled to meet with the Seahawks, but he signed Friday with Kansas City.

It's still possible the Seahawks will sign former Green Bay tight end Jermichael Finley, who met with team officials earlier this week.
RENTON, Wash. -- While the Seahawks prepare for the biggest moment of their career, one man who helped them get there is outside looking in.

Cornerback Brandon Browner is serving a one-year suspension, reportedly for marijuana use, a suspension that started, officially, last month. Browner is planning legal action against the NFL to fight his suspension.

But for now, the Super Bowl is something Browner will have to watch on TV. In some ways, Browner is the forgotten man, but not with teammate Earl Thomas.

"I check on him all the time," Thomas said Thursday. "He’s still my brother. He has shed blood like everybody else on this team. You never forget the guys you sweat with and had so many good times with. You love him like a brother.

"Of course he wants to be a part of this, but we don’t throw that in his face. He knows this team is special. We’re playing for him now. We all talk about how much we miss him. We wish he was here."

Browner has only himself to blame

December, 19, 2013
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RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner is angry and says he will go to court and sue the NFL if that’s what it takes to get reinstated and have his indefinite suspension lifted.

Well, good luck with that.

Browner
Maybe what he should do is look in the mirror and realize that none of this would have happened if he hadn't run afoul of the league's drug policy for the second time in two years. This suspension comes a year after he was suspended for four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The PED suspension is not related to the substance-abuse suspension, but wouldn’t the wise decision after last year be to watch what you put in your body in the future?

Maybe Browner has a case, legally speaking, that he shouldn’t have been in Stage 3 of the NFL's substance-abuse program. He says he was asked to submit to drug tests while he wasn't employed by the NFL and was playing in the Canadian Football League, after his first positive test when he was a rookie at Denver.

And it’s also true that marijuana (which sources say was Browner's violation) is legal now in the state of Washington, another point that might be brought up in his argument.

Those are technicalities that may give Browner a shot in court. That doesn’t change the fact that he risked everything to do something he knew was outside the limits of what the NFL accepts in its substance-abuse policy.

It doesn’t change the fact that he let his teammates down when they needed him, that he played with fire and ruined his chance at playing in a Super Bowl this season.

Win or lose in court, Browner is done as a Seahawk. He’s fighting for his NFL career now. Hopefully, he can win that fight in the long run.

But he has only himself to blame for now. Browner took a chance and did something he knew was outside the rules. All the technicalities in the world won’t change that fact.
Wilson and KaepernickUSA TODAY SportsQBs Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick meet for the second time this season on Sunday night.
SAN FRANCISCO -- It is not going to be the most important game of the season, as many thought when the schedule was released in April.

The Seattle Seahawks, coming off an absolute beat down of New Orleans on Monday night, are 11-1 and the San Francisco 49ers are 8-4 heading into their meeting on Sunday, which will be the second-to-last game at Candlestick Park. The Seahawks will clinch the NFC West with a win. The 49ers need a win more because they're holding onto the sixth and final NFC playoff spot by a game.

There is plenty at stake and there is plenty of animosity. Seahawks reporter Terry Blount and 49ers reporter Bill Williamson hash it all out.

Blount: Bill, almost everyone expected this to be the game that would possibly decide the NFC West title. It still can, but not the way people imagined. The Seahawks can clinch the division crown at San Francisco on Sunday with a victory. Why aren’t the 49ers the team everyone thought they would be, and can they still be the team they were a year ago at this time?

Williamson: Terry, I think the 49ers are fine. They are 8-4 and they have won seven games by double digits, which is tied with Denver for the league high. This is an elite team. Still, there are two issues at play. The 49ers are 2-4 against teams with winning records. They were blown out by the Seahawks and the Colts early in the season and then they lost back-to-back games to Carolina and New Orleans by a total of four points last month. If the 49ers have anything to prove, it’s that they can beat a quality team. Another reason why this race hasn't been close is the Seahawks are playing out of their minds. They simply ran away from a good team. Terry, do you think the Seahawks can stay up for this game after the huge win? Or could this be a letdown game?

Blount: I really thought this was going to be a big letdown game for the Seahawks and a chance for them to come in flat, but now they have the opportunity to clinch the title in the most unlikely of places for them. The Seahawks would love to walk away from this one and be able to tell the 49ers that they clinched the division crown "in your house." So I think they'll be pretty focused, but the short week of preparation and coming off an emotional Monday night game could take a toll.

Bill, the Seahawks had a convincing 29-3 victory over the 49ers at CenturyLink Field in the second game of the season, but Seattle has lost four consecutive games at Candlestick Park by a combined score of 109-54. Is this a game where the 49ers feel they have something to prove?

Williamson: Oh, certainly. Players were talking about this game in the locker room Sunday after beating the Rams. I think that was a first for this season. The 49ers want to win this game because I think they want to prove to themselves as much as anyone else that they can end the Seahawks’ mini-dominance over the 49ers. The 49ers want to protect their territory in this game. What struck me is players talked about not overthinking this game and not getting caught up in the moment. It’s a sign they learned from some previous mistakes. I’m looking forward to seeing it play out. Terry, do you get the sense the Seahawks respect the 49ers as much as they did going into Week 2?

Blount: Honestly, my sense is most of the Seahawks just really don't like the 49ers, and it's no secret that Richard Sherman can't stand Jim Harbaugh, along with the fact that Harbaugh and Pete Carroll won't be sending each other Christmas cards. Certainly, the Seahawks realize San Francisco has a lot of very talented players who can beat you in many ways. Publicly, they will say they respect the 49ers. Privately, they can't stand them and respect just doesn't enter the picture.

Bill, Colin Kaepernick was the toast of the NFL a year ago as a young quarterback with limitless talent. He’s had some rough moments this year, but also has had flashes of brilliance. What's different for him this season and is he as good as he was a year ago?

Williamson: I think it is a combination of things, including the fact that he is still learning and the offense is still evolving. I think the key was that he lacked all his weapons. It was startling how much better the passing game was Sunday in Michael Crabtree's debut. He had just two catches, but it opened up the entire game against St. Louis. Terry, do you think the 49ers can have success against this top-notch Seattle secondary that they didn't have in the past two meetings?

Blount: Certainly, having Crabtree back makes the 49ers a more formidable receiving corps than the game in September. And the Seahawks are down a man from that game with Walter Thurmond's suspension. Some people probably have forgotten that Brandon Browner didn't play that night because he had a hamstring injury. But the job backups Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane did against the Saints, as good a passing team as you'll find, showed how much depth Seattle has in the secondary. I think Vernon Davis is the key for San Francisco, and I can't see Anquan Boldin being shut down this time the way he was in Seattle.

Rapid Reaction: Seattle Seahawks

December, 2, 2013
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SEATTLE -- A few thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 34-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night at CenturyLink Field:

What it means: The Seahawks proved they are the best of the best in the NFC with a convincing victory over the Saints, which gives Seattle a two-game advantage in the race to have home-field advantage in the playoffs. But in reality, it’s more than two games because the Seahawks have defeated both the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans, which gives Seattle the tiebreaker over both teams that are two games behind them with four games to play, and the Saints and Panthers have to play each other twice.

Stock watch: In MVP considerations, Russell Wilson has moved ahead of Drew Brees by clearly outplaying his idol Monday night. Wilson was sensational in the first half, completing 14 of 19 passes for 226 yards and two TDs. And the Seattle defense destroyed the potent New Orleans passing game, including a 22-yard touchdown for defensive linemen Michael Bennett after defensive end Cliff Avril knocked the ball out of Brees' hand and Bennett caught the deflection.

Miller a tough tight end, too: This game was supposed to be about the Seahawks defense against New Orleans star tight end Jimmy Graham, but the Saints had a tough time covering Seattle tight end Zach Miller, who had a 2-yard TD catch after a 60-yard catch in the first quarter.

Maxwell and Lane up to the task: Fears of Brees lighting up the Seattle backups in the secondary were unfounded. All the distractions this week surrounding the suspension of Walter Thurmond and possibly Brandon Browner, who is out with a groin injury, didn’t hurt the Seahawks at all. Byron Maxwell played well as the starter, and Jeremy Lane also did a good job in the slot on the nickel packages.

What's next: The Seahawks fly south to play their archrivals, the San Francisco 49ers in Candlestick Park. This was expected to be a game that might decide the NFC West, but Seattle has a three-game lead with four to play, so it isn’t the game it might have been, but it is important to San Francisco’s playoff hopes.

For a Monday night game in early December, this is as good as it gets. The 10-1 Seattle Seahawks play host to the 9-2 New Orleans Saints in a game that could decide home-field advantage for the NFC playoffs.

The last time these teams faced each other was in a playoff game following the 2010 season, which Seattle won 41-36. Drew Brees passed for 404 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints, and Marshawn Lynch rushed for 131 yards, including the legendary 67-yard "Beast Quake" touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the Seahawks.

If this game is anything like that one, it will be one heck of a show.

The Seahawks will have to try to stop Brees with a reworked secondary after a week in which two Seattle cornerbacks (Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner) ran afoul of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Thurmond was replacing Browner as a starter due to Browner’s groin injury.

The whole suspensions issue put a damper on a big week. Now everyone will see whether the Seahawks can overcome it or whether Brees will make them pay.

ESPN.com Seahawks reporter Terry Blount and Saints reporter Mike Triplett look at the key issues entering the game:

Blount: Mike, this is a great matchup between the veteran Brees and a young quarterback who idolized him in Russell Wilson. Wilson always saw Brees as someone he could emulate, a player who, like him, wasn't tall but had a great arm and great leadership qualities. As someone who sees Brees every week, how do you compare them?

Triplett: I don’t know that much about Wilson, but I certainly see why he would choose Brees to emulate. It’s remarkable how Brees, at just 6-foot, has been able to not only succeed in the NFL but truly dominate. It would take me too long to rattle off all the reasons why Brees is so successful. For one thing, he’s as competitive and driven as any athlete I've ever been around. That shows in his work ethic both in the offseason and during the season. He also sees the field (through passing lanes since he can’t peek over the top) and anticipates things about as well as any quarterback who has ever played the game. He's not as mobile as Wilson, but he's elusive in the pocket and avoids sacks. I'd say both guys are proof that those intangible qualities count for a lot in the NFL, even if you don't have prototypical size.

I haven't seen the Seahawks' offense light up scoreboards in the few games on national TV this season, especially early in games. Can Wilson keep pace if the Saints are able to put points on the board?

Blount: Most of the time, he hasn't needed to because the defense has played so well. However, after watching him now for two seasons and seeing his growth, I believe Wilson is capable of doing whatever he needs to do to win football games. He has proven it over and over. Three times this season he has led the team to a fourth-quarter comeback, and he’s done it seven times in his brief NFL career. Wilson never is going to be the type of guy, like Brees, who puts up huge passing numbers. That’s not what they want him to do in an offense that wants to run the football with Lynch. But Wilson has demonstrated he can adjust the game plan to fit the needs of the moment. Frankly, he is one of the best I've ever seen at finding a way to win.

The Seahawks have a lot of weapons on offense, and now have added Percy Harvin to the mix. Obviously, Rob Ryan has a done a good job in getting New Orleans' defense back on track. How do you see him approaching this game against Seattle’s power running game with Lynch and a mobile quarterback in Wilson?

Triplett: I know this: Ryan will definitely have a plan. He is one of the league’s most innovative game-planners. Former player Scott Fujita described him as a “mad scientist.” We saw that quality more than ever two weeks ago when the Saints played the San Francisco 49ers. Ryan unveiled two new packages for that game, including a five-linebacker formation to corral the 49ers’ run game and the threat of the read-option. We may see the same thing this week, or maybe a new wrinkle since he likes to be unpredictable. I know the Saints’ defensive players will be amped to prove they’re just as good as the more-hyped Seahawks defense. Ends Cameron Jordan and Akiem Hicks, outside linebacker Junior Galette and cornerback Keenan Lewis are having breakout years, in particular.

Seattle’s defense has obviously been outstanding this year as well. How do you think they’ll hold up against the Saints’ versatile offense? Who might match up against tight end Jimmy Graham and running back/receiver threats Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, among others?

Blount: The first thing to watch is how the backups in the secondary handle going against a wily veteran like Brees. No doubt he’s going to test Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane. And Graham is a major concern. The Seahawks have struggled at times this season against tight ends. In this case, they might have cornerback Richard Sherman shadow Graham as much as possible. And this is a big test for strong safety Kam Chancellor. The key for the Seahawks is the defensive line, much improved over last year, getting to Brees and taking some of the pressure off the depleted secondary.

Mike, if you had to name one area in which the Saints must outplay the Seahawks in order to win the game, what would you pick?

Triplett: Easy one: turnovers. I know you could say that about every team in every game. But it’s especially huge in this matchup. For one, the Seahawks lead the NFL with 26 takeaways. I imagine that’s why they’re second in the NFL in points scored (27.8 per game) even though they don’t have a prolific offense. The Saints need to set the pace in this game and try to force Seattle to keep up with their offense. They can’t afford to give away any freebies or short fields. And based on what we’ve seen from the Saints this season, I think they can do that. Their run game started slowly but has improved. And they showed a patient offensive approach in a Week 5 victory at Chicago and in their last two wins against San Francisco and Atlanta. The Saints have turned the ball over just 13 times, and they lead the league in average time of possession.

Terry, how do you think the Seahawks will handle this game if they don’t set the tone? To be honest, I expected a bit of a sophomore slump from Wilson and the Seahawks, since we see it so often in the NFL. Why have they been able to avoid that? And do you think there’s any risk of the pressure affecting them in a game of this magnitude?

Blount: None whatsoever, Mike. In fact, Wilson thrives on games like this. He is at his best when things seem their worst, along with playing at a high level in the most difficult situations and the high-pressure games. That character trait is what makes Wilson such an exceptional athlete. He never gets rattled. Seattle fullback Michael Robinson said Wilson has the one trait all great quarterbacks need: “A short memory.”

RENTON, Wash. -- Other than receiver Percy Harvin, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he didn’t expect any other player to be "limited’’ in practice this week. The Seahawks have Thanksgiving off before returning to the facility Friday in preparation for the Monday night game against the Saints.

Browner
Cornerback Brandon Browner, however, remains out with a severe groin pull while he awaits the final word on his possible one-year suspension for substance abuse. To have a one-year suspension, it means Browner would be in stage 3 on the NFL substance-abuse program and have at least two previous positive tests.

That could be the point of debate in Browner's appeal of the suspension. He is hoping to hear news that the length of the suspension will be reduced.

Carroll said Harvin only worked “lightly” in practice Wednesday, but that likely will be the drill for him the rest of this season.

“Yeah, I do think we’re in a mode here where we’ve got to really manage him,” Carroll said. “We will take care of him as much as possible.”

Harvin, who had major hip surgery on Aug. 1 to repair a torn labrum, made his Seahawks debut on Nov. 17 against his former Minnesota teammates, returning a kickoff 58 yards and making an impressive fingertip catch on a 17-yard pass.

Carroll said after the game that Harvin was ‘‘a little sore,” but that wasn’t unexpected for a guy who hadn't played an NFL game in over a year. Last week Carroll said he thought Harvin was ready to go 100 percent in the games, but it appears they will continue to be cautious with Harvin in practice.

“We’re going to keep looking at it until he really is just fully strong and has no [issues] from the game we just played,” Carroll said. “We will go day to day with how we take care of him. So yeah, that’s what we’re facing, I think, probably through the entire finish of the regular season.”

Power Rankings: No. 2 Seattle Seahawks

November, 19, 2013
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A weekly examination of the Seahawks' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 1 | Last Week: 3 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Back-to-back convincing victories have enabled the Seahawks to move up each of the last two weeks in the Power Rankings, from fourth to third last week and third to second this week behind Denver.

Seattle is 10-1 heading to its bye week after winning the last two games by a combined score of 74-31, including the 41-20 victory over Minnesota on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks are in the unusual situation of heading into the last five games of the season almost fully healthy. Offensive tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini returned Sunday after being out for two months, and receiver Percy Harvin got everyone's attention in his debut game as a Seahawk with a 58-yard kickoff return that gave fans a glimpse of his explosiveness.

The only major injury for Seattle right now is starting cornerback Brandon Browner with a severe groin pull. However, it looks as if Browner might be able to return for the playoffs, or possibly even the end of the regular season.

And the secondary may be the deepest area of the team. Walter Thurmond, who started for Browner on Sunday, had a 29-yard pick-six in the second half.
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that cornerback Brandon Browner's groin injury could keep him out four to six weeks.

Browner injured his groin against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 10 and did not play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

“Hopefully, by the end of this week, we’ll know more,” Carroll said of Browner. “He had a pretty good exam [Monday], I know that. But he has a serious groin pull. It’s not just a pulled muscle. He has some tissue damage and stuff. It’s a severe groin pull. They are talking four to six weeks at best. That’s a long haul.”

However, that could be good news. If it is six weeks, Browner possible could return for the home game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 22, the 15th game of the regular season.

Even if it takes a little longer, Browner could return for the playoffs, which shows why the Seahawks haven’t placed Browner on injured reserve. That would end his season.

The Seahawks might want to carry Browner on the 53-man roster, believing he could help the team down the stretch or in the playoffs. As it stands now, the Seahawks would get another week off at the start of the playoffs, which would mean even more time for Browner to recover.

The only injury from Sunday’s game was the concussion that receiver Jermaine Kearse suffered on a first-quarter kickoff return.

“He felt a lot better [Monday]," Carroll said of Kearse. “He will benefit, obviously, from this [bye] week and having two weeks before he has to get back. We would think he’ll be able to make it. He has to go through the [concussion] protocols, but he has plenty of time to get well.”

Carroll said receiver Percy Harvin, who made his Seahawks debut Sunday and had a 58-yard kickoff return, came through his first game OK.

“He’s a little sore,” Carroll said of Harvin. “It’s the first time he’s gotten hit in over a year. He’ll benefit from the break, as well. When we come back he’ll be right in the mix and part of the normal rotation.”

Carroll was pleased at how healthy the team is overall heading to the bye after 11 games and a 10-1 record.

“This is about as good as I can remember,” Carroll said. “We couldn’t hope for a whole lot more than we have right now. We go in [to the bye week] pretty healthy, so by the time we come out of it we’ll be raring to go.”
RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin was a full participant in practice Thursday for the first time since his hip surgery in August, increasing the likelihood that he will play Sunday against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings.

Harvin
Harvin did not speak to reporters Thursday, but he is expected to talk Friday. If he plays Sunday, it would be his first appearance in an NFL game since Nov. 4, 2012, when, coincidentally, the Vikings played at Seattle.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said he doesn’t anticipate much of an adjustment period once Harvin joins the offense.

“I feel so comfortable with Percy,” Wilson said Thursday. “I threw a ton with him this offseason before the injury really popped up, so it was one of those things where we had a really good relationship before. I trust what he does.”

Wilson believes Harvin can make an immediate difference for the Seahawks.

"He’s in and out of his breaks really quickly,” Wilson said. “He’s just a great football player. You want to give him the ball as much as you can. On our offense, we have so many guys that we can use. You add Percy into the mix and he brings a whole other explosive mentality to our football team.”

Cornerback Richard Sherman returned to full participation Thursday after missing practice Wednesday with what was listed as a hip injury. Sherman said he really just needed a day to rest.

Offensive tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini and center Max Unger also were full participants in practice, as was defensive tackle Red Bryant. Unger and Bryant missed last week's game with concussions. The Seahawks will need to make a roster move by Saturday to activate Okung.

Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (hamstring) and cornerback Jeremy Lane (thigh) did not practice. Cornerback Brandon Browner has a groin injury and will not play Sunday, but the Seahawks have not said how long Browner will be out.

Harvin may play, but Browner is out

November, 11, 2013
11/11/13
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RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks could get all three offensive line starters back this week for the home game against the Minnesota Vikings, along with the likely debut of receiver Percy Harvin.

That’s the good news. But it’s also possible the team has lost cornerback Brandon Browner for the season after what coach Pete Carroll called "a significant groin injury" in Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

“It looks pretty serious,’’ Carroll said in his Monday news conference. “We’ll find out more later this week.”

Carroll said they don’t know yet whether the injury is season ending. During his 710ESPN Seattle radio show Monday morning, Carroll said the Seahawks were waiting on the results of an MRI.

“He had a significant pop and he could feel it,” Carroll said. “But [Walter] Thurmond stepped up and played really well. We have total confidence in him.”

Thurmond started the first two games of the season when Browner was out with a hamstring injury.

But the Seahawks likely will gain more starters than they lose this week. Harvin was placed on the 53-man roster and will practice Wednesday.

Both starting offensive tackles – Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini – will practice with the goal of playing Sunday. Center Max Unger will return to practice after sitting out last week with a concussion.

Carroll said defensive linemen Red Bryant also is expected to return this week after missing Sunday’s game with a concussion from the Tampa Bay game.

"Max and Red still are day to day, but we expect them to make it back this week,'’ Carroll said. “Our young guys on the offensive line played really well Sunday, so we feel good about our situation there. We’ll use all our options there [this week] and it will be very competitive.”

Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel left Sunday's game in the first half with a hamstring injury, but Carroll said he thought McDaniel was OK and could have returned to the game had they needed him.

Upon Further Review: Seahawks Week 10

November, 11, 2013
11/11/13
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A review of four hot issues from the Seattle Seahawks' 33-10 victory against the Atlanta Falcons:

[+] EnlargePete Carroll
Dale Zanine/USA TODAY SportsHead coach Pete Carroll has guided the Seahawks to a five-game consecutive win streak, following Sunday's 33-10 victory at Atlanta.
Road winners: No matter what happens the rest of the way, the Seahawks are guaranteed a winning road record this year in the regular season. The last time that happened (in 2005, when they went 5-3 on the road), they went to the Super Bowl. The only other time Seattle had a winning record on the road was 1984 (they also went 5-3); during that postseason, they lost at Miami in the second round. Seattle is 5-1 on the road this season, so a win in either San Francisco or New Jersey against the New York Giants would set a team record.

Wagner gets it done: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner took some heat in the media last week as the man most responsible for the defense’s poor performance against the run in the previous two games. There was even some speculation that K.J. Wright might start in the middle for Wagner on Sunday. But Wagner was back to his usual toughness in the middle against Atlanta. He led the team with nine solo tackles, helping the Seahawks hold the Falcons to only 64 yards rushing.

Browner and McDaniel injured: It wasn’t all good news for Seattle on Sunday. Cornerback Brandon Browner left the game in the first half with a groin injury. Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel left the game with a hamstring injury. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said after the game he didn’t know the status of either player at this point. McDaniel's injury put the Seahawks down three defensive linemen Sunday because Red Bryant was out with a concussion and rookie Jordan Hill was out with a biceps injury.

Respectful jersey swap: Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman doesn’t think much of Atlanta receiver Roddy White, but Sherman has the utmost respect for Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who will end his legendary NFL career at the end of the season. Sherman asked for Gonzalez's jersey after the game, so they swapped shirts. “He's a [future] Hall of Famer and he's been a great player in the league for a long time," Sherman said of Gonzalez. "You always respect great players. You respect the game in that sense. It's an honor to play against him." Gonzalez chuckled about the jersey exchange: "That's what happens when you’re an old guy and they know it's your last run. I'm glad I got [Sherman's jersey]. He's on his way. He's such a good player.”

Locker Room Buzz: Seattle Seahawks

October, 18, 2013
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Observed in the locker room after the Seattle Seahawks' 34-22 win over the Arizona Cardinals:

High-fives for the defense: Seattle had a season-high seven sacks among eight players. “We’re taking advantage of all our depth,’’ said linebacker K.J. Wright. “The rotation is really good. Everybody is getting a piece of the action.”

Browner
Praise for Wilson: Receiver Golden Tate is amazed at what he continues to see from Russell Wilson, who threw three touchdown passes despite being under constant pressure. "He’s grown tremendously," Tate said. "I’m very proud of him and very happy to be playing with him. He’s such a dangerous quarterback with his speed and his arm. He’s definitely our leader.”

Sherman teases Browner: Richard Sherman was giving fellow cornerback Brandon Browner a hard time about stumbling and falling down before reaching the end zone on what would have been a 50-yard pick-six. "I’m giving his knees a hard time," Sherman said, looking at Browner. "His knees collapsed on him. But that’s my boy. He’s known pay dirt before, so he wanted to let Marshawn [Lynch] get another touchdown."

Rapid Reaction: Seattle Seahawks

October, 17, 2013
10/17/13
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A few thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 34-22 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium:

What it means: The Seahawks move to 6-1 this season and 2-0 in the NFC West. And forget about the theory that Seattle can’t get it done on the road. The Seahawks are 3-1 away from home this season and 6-2 since last December. The 34 points Thursday were the most on the road this season for Seattle.

Stock watch: Russell Wilson fumbled three times, losing two deep in Seattle territory that led to 10 points for Arizona. But believe it or not, Wilson had another exceptional game. He was under enormous pressure most the night, and still Wilson threw three touchdown passes, ran the read-option to perfection and made one remarkable completion on third down as he was falling down to keep a touchdown drive alive.

Browner trips himself: Cornerback Brandon Browner made a third-quarter interception at the 50 and appeared headed for a pick-six. Only one problem. He tripped and fell down just before reaching the end zone. No doubt his teammates will rib him about it. Even coach Pete Carroll was laughing at Browner on the sideline, but it was a huge interception that led to a 31-13 Seattle lead. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer had picked on Browner all game, but tried it one time too many.

Sack-happy: The Seahawks' defensive front had its best game of the season, with seven sacks among eight players.

Prime-time heroes: The Seahawks now are 7-1 in games on Monday, Sunday and Thursday nights since Carroll took over as coach in 2010.

What’s next: The Seahawks will take a well-deserved three days off before returning to practice to prepare for a Monday night game in St. Louis on Oct. 28, another NFC West matchup. The big news of the week could be wide receiver Percy Harvin returning to practice in some capacity, which would bring tons of media attention as to whether Harvin might play at St. Louis. That’s unlikely, but speculation will be rampant.

Upon Further Review: Seahawks Week 6

October, 14, 2013
10/14/13
2:00
PM ET
An examination of four hot issues from the Seattle Seahawks 20-13 win over the Tennessee Titans:

[+] EnlargeRichard Sherman
AP Photo/Scott EklundRichard Sherman and the defense held the Titans offense to just two field goals Sunday.
Defense corrects recent problems: Seattle's defense did not allow the Titans to reach the end zone. The only touchdown for Tennessee came of a 77-yard return by Jason McCourty of a botched field-goal attempt on the last play of the first half. The defense held Tennessee to two field goals, and the Titans rushed for only 66 yards on 20 carries. And the Seahawks' defense didn’t give up the big plays that have hurt them the past two games. “We cleaned up the things we needed to clean up," said cornerback Richard Sherman, who had one of two Seattle interceptions.

Pass blocking is improving: Quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked twice Sunday, but one was a running play for no gain. Max Unger returned at center and coach Pete Carroll was pleased overall. “Solid, he said. “A good job in pass protection. They gave Russell a ton of time. He ran when he needed to as opposed to when he had to. I thought it was the best pass protection in the last few weeks. I think Max had something to do with it, for sure.”

Browner take a seat: Cornerback Brandon Browner was having a hard time covering Tennessee receiver Kendall Wright in the first half, so the coaches took him out of the game and inserted Walter Thurmond, who started the first two games this season when Browner had a hamstring injury. “We just gave [Browner] a break,” Carroll said. “They were going after him. We have plenty of guys to play and I wanted to make sure we were fresh. I had a chance to talk to [Browner] about some of the stuff that was going on in the first half. I just told him we were going to go with the other guys for a little bit. Brandon is an excellent football player. He did a nice job in the second half.”

Help is coming on offense: Carroll emphasized some of the issues the offense is having likely will improve soon with players who will get back on the field, including tight end Zach Miller and receiver Percy Harvin. “We have some guys that are going to juice us up in a couple of weeks,” Carroll said. “Zach will be back next week for sure. Percy is coming around the corner.” Miller missed the past two games with a hamstring injury. Harvin has yet to play a game in a Seahawks uniform after undergoing hip surgery Aug. 1.

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