Good afternoon, 12s.
Here's a look at what's "out there" for today - Thursday, Jan. 14 - about your Seattle Seahawks:
Newton, Wilson Highlight Trustworthy Playoff QBs
NFL Media's Gil Brandt, the former vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, takes a close look at the eight quarterbacks remaining in the NFL playoff picture, ranking each signal caller according to whom he trusts most as "pressure mounts and competition intensifies" heading into this weekend's divisional round.
Brandt emphasizes his list is a reflection of where each quarterback stands right now, with overall playoff pedigree mattering less than how each player has been playing recently.
With that said, two of Brandt's top three most trustworthy quarterbacks will be on the field this Sunday at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, where the No. 6-seeded Seahawks will match up against the No. 1-seeded Carolina Panthers. Brandt puts Carolina's Cam Newton at No. 1 on his list and Seattle's Russell Wilson at No. 3, with Arizona's Carson Palmer sandwiched in between the two at No. 2.
Here's what Brandt had to say about Newton and Wilson ahead of Sunday's 10:05 a.m. PT kickoff:
Brandt on Newton: What Newton did in 2015 more than makes up for the relative thinness of his career playoff résumé (1-2 record, five touchdowns, five picks, 80.5 passer rating). He's done more with less than any other top-end quarterback this season, pushing the Panthers to a 15-1 finish with an MVP-caliber campaign despite a serious dearth of surrounding talent. Notably, his completion percentage improved a tick (59.8 percent in 2015, up from 58.5 in 2014) despite the fact that 4.8 percent of his pass attempts were dropped. ... I've watched the All-Pro grow as a player, thanks to the work offensive coordinator Mike Shula's been doing with him; he's making better reads and taking fewer chances. He's become a pretty mature guy, which means the game won't get too big for him. And he's shown -- via big-time comebacks against the Seahawks and Saints -- that Carolina can never be counted out as long as he's on the field. Newton is as competitive as they come, and I think Seattle will bring out the best in the quarterback and his teammates this Sunday.
Brandt on Wilson: Wilson's trustworthiness can be illustrated by one moment from Seattle'swild-card win over the Vikings: when he turned a badly botched snap that bounced several yards behind him into a 35-yard pass play. Most people, no matter how experienced they are, would have fallen on the ball in that scenario, but Wilson, a consummate playmaker, created something out of nothing. Though he was without offensive pieces like Jimmy Graham, Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls for large chunks of the second half, Wilson had an unbelievable finish to the regular season, going 6-2 while throwing for 2,146 yards and 25 touchdowns against just two picks and compiling a passer rating of 124.3 in his final eight games. He amazes me every time I watch him. Oh, and he's played in the last two Super Bowls.
Tweet Of The Day
Today's "Tweet of the Day" comes from NFL Network, which highlights how well Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton played through the final seven games of the regular season.
More From Around The Web
Here at Seahawks.com, digital media reporter John Boyle says running back Christine Michael is making the most of his opportunities in his second stint with the Seahawks, shares some comical comments from Jon Ryan as the Seahawks punter replays what led to his broken nose in Minnesota, and highlights Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's MVP-caliber season.
Running back Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) and tight end Luke Willson (concussion) were full participants at Wednesday's practice for the Seahawks.
Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette will raise the 12 Flag at the Space Needle on Friday morning.
Former UW hooper and Seattle native Spencer Hawes, who plays for the Charlotte Hornets, answered a few Seahawks-related questions for us ahead of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.
The Seahawks Road Crew and Carolina Sea Hawkers are hosting a pair of events for 12s in the Charlotte area before Sunday's game.
NFL Films shares on-field sound and reaction to Russell Wilson's improbable 35-yard pass to Tyler Lockett from this past weekend's win over the Vikings.
Tim Booth at the Associated Press says defensive tackles Brandon Mebane and Ahtyba Rubin are two big keys to Seattle's top-ranked run defense.
Rob Rang at Scout.com says the Seahawks could get help containing Panthers tight end Greg Olsen with linebacker Bobby Wagner in the lineup. Wagner was sidelined with a pectoral injury against Carolina in Week 6, when Olsen made 11 catches for 131 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
Nick Patterson at the Everett Herald says this Sunday the Seahawks get a chance to correct what went wrong against the Panthers in Week 6.
Larry Stone at the Seattle Times says Pete Carroll is having a blast coaching the Seahawks.
Jayson Jenks at the Seattle Times looks back at the five most important Seahawks games under Pete Carroll.
And Gregg Bell at the Tacoma News Tribune explains how Pete Carroll links his coaching philosophy to the approach used by Army's Special Forces.
Take a walk down memory lane with photos from all 10 Divisional playoff game the Seahawks have ever played, including last year's matchup against the Carolina Panthers who the Seahawks face once again in a Divisional playoff game on Sunday.
D*id I miss anything you think is worthy of inclusion? Let me know on Twitter *