As our own Dave Boling of The News Tribune writes, Seattle receivers Sidney Rice and Golden Tate have picked up their game in the second half of the season.
In the last four games, the two have combined for 30 receptions for nearly 500 yards, and eight touchdowns.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said that’s no coincidence – getting the duo the ball became a point of emphasis during the second half of the season as Russell Wilson continued to grow in the offense.
“We really focused in on those two guys,” Carroll said Monday. “We decided to push those guys to the front and see if we couldn’t accelerate the process of the chemistry.”
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Boling notes that Rice and Tate have seven touchdown catches each, which puts them on pace for 19 this season and a tie for second-most in team history. That’s short only of the 1984 combo of Steve Largent (12 TDs) and Daryl Turner (10).
Here’s my story on James Carpenter re-injuring his knee. Carroll said on Monday that he feels like the team didn’t bring back the second-year pro too soon after ACL knee surgery last December. Carroll: “He’s shown us enough at this time that we know what he’s capable of doing. We’re excited about his future and all. If we can’t get him back right away, we still have gained some. It was a major and miraculous recovery that he made, and he’s to be complimented for that.”
Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times writes that one of the things we learned from Seattle’s win over Chicago is Russell Wilson’s preseason success wasn’t a mirage.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says the Seahawks are focused on finishing strong with four games left.
Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus takes a closer look at the Seahawks-Bears matchup. Palazzolo notes that Malcolm Smith graded out well in his first start, while James Carpenter and John Moffitt struggled at left guard.
Brady Henderson of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that Golden Tate is finally emerging in his third season.
Rachel Binns Terrill, the wife of former Seahawks defensive tackle Craig Terrill, writes in this Seattle Times' piece about how the Jovan Belcher tragedy in Kansas City reveals the dark side of the NFL. This is a must-read if you have a few minutes this morning. It's not long. Terrill: “I don’t know what made this superhero snap. I don’t know why this NFL girlfriend lost her life or why their daughter is going to be left to grow up without her mom and dad. But I can guess that there was a private pain that plagued them both. Inside the world of the NFL, it’s neither incomprehensible nor is it senseless. Tragic, yes.
“But the pain is not new to NFL families. Four current or former NFL players have committed suicide in the last eight months. The details in this story will likely continue to leak out throughout the days and weeks to come. After all, nothing remains private for fallen superheroes.”
Matt Bowen of the National Football Post admits he was wrong on Russell Wilson. Bowen: “293-yards passing. 71-yards rushing. 2 TDs. That’s veteran stuff right there from a young player on the road vs. a defense I considered to be one of the top units in the league. And because of that, I have no problem admitting I was wrong about Wilson today. The rookie can play some football.”
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic writes that Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett reportedly spit on teammate Kerry Rhodes during the final moments of the team’s 7-6 loss to the New York Jets.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com reports that Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt still has not made a decision on who will start at quarterback against Seattle on Sunday – Ryan Lindley or John Skelton. The Cardinals are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.
Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports takes an interesting look at how NFL teams have done against teams projected to make the playoffs right now, calling it a team’s “real record” at this point of the season. The Seahawks are 3-1against projected playoff teams right now (wins over New England, Green Bay and Chicago, and a loss to San Francisco). The NFC West actually has the most wins against projected playoffs teams of any division at 10.