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Tuesday in Hawkville: John Lynch saw this coming

Posted Oct 1, 2013

A conversation with former nine-time Pro Bowl safety John Lynch early in the 2011 season has proved prophetic as the Seahawks’ tandem of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor have developed just as Lynch said they would.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 1, when the players were “off” and the coaches were compiling the game plan for Sunday’s matchup against the Colts in Indianapolis:

WORD OF THE DAY: SAFETIES

As in two of the best in the business, the Seahawks’ Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor; through the prophetic eyes of one of the best to ever play the position, John Lynch.

Lynch will be the analyst for FOX’s telecast of Sunday’s game between the unbeaten Seahawks and 3-1 Colts, just as he was for the Seahawks’ Week 4 game against the Atlanta Falcons in 2011. On the Friday before that game, we asked Lynch for his impressions of Thomas, who was in his second season as the starter at free safety, and Chancellor, who was in his first as the strong safety. We figured it was a conversation worth revisiting as each has two interceptions this season, while Thomas is second in tackles (26) and Chancellor is third (21) on the NFL’s No. 5-ranked defense.

“I love the way they play. I’m a big fan,” said Lynch, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection during his career with the Tama Bay Buccaneers (1993-2003) and Denver Broncos (2004-07). “It’s neat to see young guys and you can tell the game is important to them. And they’ve obviously been blessed with some God-given abilities that lend themselves to the position.

“Just watching them, I can tell they want to be special.”

Here’s what Lynch has to say on that day about each safety:

YOU DON'T SAY

“He’s a tremendous passer of the football, but he also is able to buy time with his feet. He’s not scrambling to run. He’s scrambling to throw the ball. And his poise and his maturity level allow him to play well beyond his years.”

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker Bart Scott, appearing CBS’s “That Other Pregame Show,” on Russell Wilson

On Thomas: “Earl, he’s a flash. Every time I’ve got the film on, I think I’m in fast forward. Then I realize that’s just him. He’s got tremendous instincts. I met with him with the first week of the season and he realized there were a lot of things he needed to get better at. He’s worked hard at them. I think he’s got a very, very bright future. He’s got as much range as any safety I’ve seen. (Former Redskins safety) Sean Taylor is the last guy with that kind of range and the ability to get from centerfield over to the sideline.”

On Chancellor: “I remember last year, Pete (Carroll) raving, ‘John, wait until you see this kid.’ And then last week, I think we all saw it come together. Really, throughout the year, you study the three games and he’s played very consistently. He’s an impact player. He’s obviously very big for the position, but also moves extremely well and is a physical presence.”

Lynch then made one final observation that was a portent of all the good things that have come – for the team, as well as Thomas and Chancellor.

“I really think at that position, you can change a game because you’re asked to do so many things,” he said. “At times, you’re rushing the quarterback. At times, you’re down as another linebacker. At times, you’re covering a receiver. So you can have a huge impact. Particularly when you have two, and they don’t know which one’s doing it. And they complement each other extremely well.

“I’m real high on them.”

NEVER SAY NEVER: RICHARD SHERMAN’S TIMELY PICK-SIX

Richard Sherman’s 58-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to tie the score in Sunday’s 23-20 overtime victory at Houston has been nominated for the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week.

Voting continues through noon on Friday, and you can cast your vote here for Sherman’s big play.

Also nominated were Patrick Peterson’s two interceptions in the Cardinals’ win over the Buccaneers and Aqib Talib’s fourth-and-7 deflection to ice the Patriots’ win over the Falcons.

STATS ’N STUFF: DEFENSE DIPS TO NO. 5

STAT DU JOUR: OVERTIME WORK THAT PAID OFF

The Seahawks’ 23-20 overtime victory against the Texans wasn’t just exciting, it was a rarity. The Seahawks had lost eight of their previous 10 overtime games and were 9-21 overall – including a 0-3 mark in the playoffs and a 4-13 record on the road. Here’s a look at how the Seahawks have done when they’ve worked overtime:

Date

Outcome, opponent

Sept. 29, 2013

   W, 23-20 at Houston

Dec. 2, 2012 

W, 23-17 at Chicago

Jan. 1, 2012 

L, 23-20 at Arizona

Sept. 14, 2008

L, 33-30 vs. San Francisco

Nov. 4, 2007

L, 33-30 at Cleveland

Jan. 14, 2007

L, 27-24 at Chicago (playoffs)

Nov. 27, 2005

W, 24-21 vs. NY Giants

Oct. 2, 2005

L, 20-17 at Washington

Oct. 10, 2004

L, 33-27 vs. St. Louis

Jan. 4, 2004

L, 33-27 at Green Bay (playoffs)

Nov. 23, 2003

L, 44-41 at Baltimore

Dec. 29, 2002

W, 31-28 at San Diego

Dec. 15, 2002

W, 30-24 at Atlanta

Dec. 2, 2001

W, 13-10 vs. San Diego

Dec. 19, 1999

L, 36-30 at Denver

Nov. 16, 1997

L, 20-17 at New Orleans

Sept. 29, 1997

L, 20-17 at Kansas City

Oct. 29, 1995

L, 20-14 at Arizona

Nov. 6, 1994

L, 20-17 vs. Cincinnati

Dec. 19, 1993

L, 30-27 vs. Phoenix

Dec. 13, 1992

L, 20-17 vs. Philadelphia

Nov. 30, 1992

W, 16-13 vs. Denver

Oct. 13, 1991

L, 23-20 vs. L.A. Raiders

Dec. 2, 1990

W, 13-10 vs. Houston

Nov. 25, 1990

W, 13-10 at San Diego

Sept. 23, 1990

L, 34-31 at Denver

Oct. 22, 1989

L, 24-21 vs. Denver

Jan. 3, 1988

L, 23-20 at Houston (playoffs)

Oct. 20, 1985

L, 13-10 at Denver

Nov. 27, 1983

W, 51-48 vs. Kansas City

Oct. 29, 1978

L, 20-17 vs. Denver       

Yielding 476 yards to the Texans in Sunday’s 23-20 overtime victory has dropped the Seahawks’ defense from No. 1 to No. 5 in average yards allowed (300.3) behind the Texans (254.3), Jets (283.0), Browns (291.5) and 49ers (299.8). The Seahawks also slipped from No. 1 to No. 4 in average passing yards allowed and they’re No. 18 in average rushing yards allowed. They’re also No. 2 in average points allowed (11.8).

On offense, the Seahawks are tied for No. 13 overall – No. 5 rushing and No. 25 passing.

The Seahawks lead the NFC and are third in the league in turnover differential at plus-7.

Steven Hauschka is eighth in scoring among kicker with 35 points, while Marshawn Lynch is tied for sixth among non-kickers with 24 points. Hauschka also is No. 3 in touchbacks (18), while Lynch is No. 6 in rushing yards (308).

Russell Wilson is No. 9 in passer rating (95.3) and No. 8 in fourth-quarter passer rating (110.4).

Golden Tate, the team’s leading receiver (13), is No. 5 in punt return average (12.3).

Chancellor, Sherman and Thomas have two interceptions, which ties them for fourth in the league.

UP NEXT: “COMPETITION WEDNESDAY”

The players return from their “off” day on Tuesday to begin practicing for this week’s game against the Colts on “Competition Wednesday,” as hump day is called on the Pete Carroll calendar.

The game against the Colts is the Seahawks’ third consecutive matchup against a team from the AFC South, and they’ll complete their tour of the division next week by hosting the Tennessee Titans.