Eldorado wrote:You're telling me that Carroll wouldn't trade percy for DT straight up?
I'm not saying that Percy Harvin is somehow better than DThomas at all. I believe Carroll probably would make that trade. Of course. All I'm saying is that I think Harvin could be a factor in this game. That's it, that's all.
Thanks to the Broncos fans who’ve been kind enough to break down Denver’s Special Teams for us. Before we completely leave that topic, I’d like to reciprocate the favor and let Broncos fans know a bit about Seattle’s Special Teams this year.
Because a game can come down to Special Teams -- big turnovers, field position, etc, I think that’s an extremely important element that’s too often overlooked.
As far as Kickoff Coverage is concerned, the Seahawks I'd say have did fairly well in that department despite what some of the stats might indicate. According to the numbers, Seattle allowed an average of 24.0 yards/kickoff (tied for 12th most in the league). However, pure yards allowed DO tend to lie and are somewhat meaningless -- Seattle hasn't allowed a kickoff return for a TD all year and generally haven't been in the habit of giving teams good field position. K Steven Hauschka has a habit of banging kickoffs into the end zone with great regularity, so often there hasn't been an opportunity for a return at all. Seattle had 48 touchbacks this year (8th Most in the NFL. I know Denver was #1 with 81).
Seattle's punt coverage has been historically good this year. Going into Week 17, the Seahawks punt coverage unit had allowed a grand total of just 25 punt return yards (an average of just 1.56 yards/return this year). That was far and away #1 in the NFL and to put that into some context -- the NFL record for fewest punt return yards in a season was 22 by the 1967 Packers. Then, the Hawks go out and allow a 32 yard return to Austin Pettis in the last game. Oh well. Punter Jon Ryan has quite adept at the finesse game (at kicking inside the 10 yard line) and the Hawks have been fairly good at downing punts inside the 10 this year. He doesn’t outkick his coverage and has done a nice job of placing punts where they need to be. CB Jeremy Lane has been one of the best gunners in the league on punt coverage this year. I'd honestly say he should have been a Pro Bowler this year on Special Teams, as he's been particularly adept at downing punts inside the 10 yard line … and has been extremely good at tackling runners for little or no gain. Combined with guys like Ricardo Lockette (who’s been talked about above), that unit is pretty darned impressive.
When it comes to opponent Field Goals, one guy to really keep an eye on his Big Red Bryant. He has blocked 5 field goals in his career.
When it comes to their own kickoff returns, the Seahawks (so far this season) weren't all that spectacular in that arena in the regular season (they averaged only 21.2 yards/return -- tied for 27th in the NFL) and didn't break one for a TD. As I'm sure some of you saw in the Vikings game however, that could very easily change now that Percy Harvin has returned and been cleared to play in the Super Bowl All it took was one 58 yard kickoff return for Pete Carroll to declare, "He's in there" as far as kickoffs are concerned. And when he was "in there" for Minnesota, Harvin was one of the league's best last year, averaging an eye popping 35.9 yards/return (which was #1 in the NFL at the time he got injured). I fully expect him to return kickoffs in this game.
On punt returns, Seattle has done fairly well in that arena as well. They ended the regular season averaging 11.1 yards/punt return (9th best average in the league). You'll see Golden Tate returning punts in the Super Bowl (he's been the regular) and his overall shiftiness and change of direction lend well to him being a good return man. He is very sure handed and if memory serves, hasn’t muffed a punt this year or had a fumble on a punt return .
Kicking-game wise, K Steven Hauschka has generally been money this year on FG. Seattle made 33 Field Goals in 35 tries (94.3%, which was 2nd best in the NFL -- right behind Denver). For what it's worth, he is 3 for 3 from 50 yards and beyond this year … and 11 for 12 from 40-49 yards. The one miss that Hauschka had on the season was a blocked field goal in the Colts game. That’s the only one he’s missed all year. The other miss that shows up on the stat sheet was an absolute Key Stone Cops disaster. So, in the Titans game, Steven Hauschka decided that he wanted to break the stereotype that kickers are weenies and took on the kickoff returner head on -- great form tackle -- but it absolutely knocked him flat (bloody nose on the sideline, a bit dizzy, the whole bit). So, he's out of commission for a bit. The Seahawks forced a punt and on the next series, drove down to the Titans 4 yard line. The drive stalls and Pete decides, "Let's try a field goal." Big problem -- Hauschka is still a bit dinged up. So, they send out Punter Jon Ryan to try one. Mind you, Jon Ryan hadn't attempted a FG since the preseason of 2004 ... when he was in the Canadian Football League. Ryan is also the normal holder on field goals. Enter backup safety Chris Maragos, who did hold for kicks all 4 years at Wisconsin ... but hadn't held for one in 4 years. Houston, do we have a problem? They certainly did on that play. Maragos botched the hold ... tried to run with it ... fumbled ... the Titans picked it up and were off to the races.
Doug Farrar has a good write-up on that play along with pictures and video to boot ...http://nfl.si.com/2013/10/13/steven-hauschka-seattle-seahawks-field-goal/
Pete took full responsibility for that attempt and fully admitted after the game that it was a bad move. Hauschka returned later in the game and so did the kicking game.
So, there's a brief breakdown for you guys on the Seahawks Special Teams thus far.
All of that said, I’ve got another question for Broncos fans.
I’ve heard some of you saying that kickoff coverage has been a major issue for the Broncos this year. In fact, as I look through the stat sheet, I noticed that during the regular season, Denver allowed an average of 29.3 yards/kickoff return (worst in the NFL in that category). As I mentioned above, it looks like Percy Harvin will probably be returning kicks in this game. Do you guys at all see kickoff coverage and overall starting field position being a potential issue for the Broncos in this game?