NFR How the Seattle Seahawks Solved Peyton Manning

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
I don't buy into the idea that the Seahawks won because they aren't overpaying their QB. Rather than basing the team strategy on a single player, they based it on an overall philosophy, and then found the people that best fit this philosophy. Making intelligent choices based on current ability rather than reputation and then being able to hone these skills as a team is where I think the genius comes in.

Lots of teams overpaid their QBs this year - how did that work out for them? There's always going to be teams that take this approach, yet I think that the top two teams (49's and Seahawks) took the opposite approach - one that I think a lot of teams will emulate.

In terms of Russell Wilson, I'll just have to disagree. Never throws on time? He's led his team to 28 wins in two years. Can't say that's all down to Bennett, Avril, or Harvin. Seemingly refuses to throw? He had 0 interceptions in the playoffs, following the team philosophy to not turn the ball over. Didn't make many plays? I think I was watching a different game.

One safety, two field goals, one rushing TD, two passing TDs, one kick off return, one interception pick 6, 5 points after. I think that would be the definition of a complete team effort.
This post hurts my head.

The Seahawks tried to overpay, or at least pay market value for their QB (Flynn). It just turned out he wasn't better than the player they drafted and paid 600 grand to. At some point they will have to pay Wilson, we'll see what they do then. It wasn't an organizational approach, it was a circumstance, just as the Pat's won in 01 and 03 partially due to not having to pay their QB. The Ravens last year were exactly the same. The free agent rules dictate that at some point (4 years in) you have got to pay the player somewhere near market value. I suppose they may tell Russell he isn't worth it and that they were gonna save cap space for the other 52. Anyone think that that will happen?

When you do not have to pay your QB market value, you can have a very deep and talented 53 man roster from the long snapper to the tailback. This along with excellent (truly amazing actually) drafts allowed the Seahwks to have a better, deeper roster than anyone else. This shows up by being better in all 3 phases of the game.

As a comparison, the Patriots had by many metrics the top Punter in football last year in Zolton Mesko. They cut him in the off season. The punter was a luxury they could not afford. 5 million for Welker was too risky. The D-line had depth issues so they drafted for the need, but the player simply wasn't good enough. Having the same issue, the seahawks signed 2 top notch pass rusher in Avril and Bennett who harrassed and beat Manning. If the Pat's had those 2 players they would have beaten the Broncos too. They would have lost to Seattle in the SB but hopefully you all are starting figure out that salaries matter in a capped league.

Wilson's a good player. He's worth way more than 600 grand. He has some flaws though. He holds on to the ball forever. He didn't make a bunch of plays and they ask very little of him. In fact, I can't think of a play he made in the SB that was exceptional in any way ( although the same could be said for Manning). He made a few nice throws on slants, underthrew what shoud have been a TD for a 40 yard gain and did what he does best by protecting the football. It will be interesting what happens when he is a free agent. Will they play a QB 15- 20 mil. who they ask to throw less than any other starter in the NFL? They'll likely have to. Then you will find out that it's hard to pay all-pro's all over the field. Enjoy next year. Seattle is stacked again. At some point they'll have to pay though.

Go Sox,

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
. . . At some point they'll have to pay though.
Not sure about that. They'll only end up paying to the extent they want to keep the same players rather than let them walk in free agency. The reason we ended up with folks like WIlson, Sherman, Baldwin, Kearse and others, is that since nobody else wanted them they were more than happy to accept the league minimum salary.

The bigger question is whether the 12th man is gonna accept Schneider and Carroll letting any of those guys walk. Keeping them means increasing payroll while letting them go means adding an unknown to the equation in the form of gambling on getting an acceptable replacement for fewer dollars.

Seems to me that the Hawks have some hard decisions to make. Their recent track record of over 1100 player transactions in the previous 4 years suggests they're more willing to roll the dice than to suck it up and pay more. The exception will likely be Wilson. I hope another is Hauschka.

As you can probably tell from other posts, not many folks agree with your critical assessment of Wilson as 'Holding onto the ball too long'. Dick Olmstead hits it squarely by stating that passing 'on time' means risking an interception. It's better to eat a loss on a play and not throw a pass than to throw it just because the plays calls for it. And yes, we were all watching the same game.

I realize that it's unlikely this will convince you otherwise. The fact though, is that Carroll's plan just won the Super Bowl. The Pats weren't a much larger speedbump for Denver than Denver was for Seattle. That tells me a lot about their strategy.


Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic

He leaves a lot of plays out there. I harp on him not throwing on time because it shows that the plays he makes are mostly with his athletcism and not his brain. It's all well and good, now when he plays for a team that gives up 8 to the most prodigous offense in history. This isn't gonna be the case forever. You can watch his head move down from the recievers to the D- line nearly every play as he tries to flee. Fortunately, he's a super athlete and he often gets away with not even looking down the field until he gets out of the pocket. Those legs will only last so long. He's gotta start trusting his brain too.

If you really look at what they ask him to do, it's all quick slants and roll outs where there is only 1 or 2 options. A simple offense works well when your D and running game is that good, but as you watch him you see how limitted he is in the passing game. It's hard to score enough points to win that way. He's a smart guy. He has a strong and generally accurate arm. Hopefully he improves because in a couple years they are going to pay him elite QB money. He better learn how to play at an elite level. I actually think he could, but he's pretty darned far away right now.

Go Sox,
Pains me to say it but those first few 3rd down conversions Wilson made were huge. You really want to give manning a couple more possessions and wear out your D?

The more the rules change the more important a good QB becomes. Before you take RW for granted look at the average lifespan of a QB in the NFL is, and 2/3rds of those are backups.
With so many "experts" on here, you all should go apply at ESPN.

Heck, can't do any worse than they are... Seattle was suppose to lose.

I think Peyton was paid off to throw the game.
Yes, both the Niners and hawks are greatly benefitting from the new rookie salary rules, but here is the real truth!

I mostly see a whining in that commentary, not evidence he purporting to show. Hey if you freeze frame through every play to look for all the possible indiscretions that and slight measurement mistakes by the zebra's that favors your side if called another way, anyone could make up a film just like that for any game played. Many of those plays were reviewed and nothing was overturned. You'd have to say the Refs deliberately threw the game in the Seahawks favor and it would be total none sense to even suggest it.

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster

thanks for the article, but i think the article is a continuation of the grasping at straws by a national media that cannot stop gargling peyton manning's balls.

i think that the highly vaunted broncos offense was shown to be a fraud. strength of schedule matters when it comes to determining how good something is historically, and the broncos piling up points on terrible defenses was shown to mean nothing against a fast defense that could apply pressure without blitzing and does not miss tackles. an old, slow offense cannot compete against any of the fast defenses in the nfl (the broncos just happened to play none of them).

they were criticized before the game for thinking they could match up against the broncos without masking their coverages, and once they stomped the broncos doing just that the manning lovers make it seem like they did do something different.

Steve Call

Active Member
Charles, while you make a valid point that the Seahawks paying Wilson less than a million is a "steal" and that they'll have to pay him market in a few years, I'm not convinced it will have a huge impact on their ability to find and sign great talent elsewhere. Yes they paid Wilson less than a million this year, but based on the information I found Matt Flynn cost them $4 million against the salary cap even though he was traded to Oakland and Percy Harvin cost them $14 million this year. Neither player got them to the Super Bowl and while Harvin was great last Sunday, I think the Hawks would have won regardless. There's two players which "cost" the Seahawks the equivalent of an elite QB in the NFL - $18M - and they still had the capacity to sign some very impressive free agents. Have hope.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
I've been thinking a lot about Charles' posts yesterday. While I still disagree with his opinion about WIlson's playing style, nonetheless he makes some valid points about how the Seahawks were able to finesse this team precisely because of how little they pay key players like WIlson, Sherman, etc. Turns out Charles isn't alone in his thinking on that score:


Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
I hope for all Seattle fans sake that they continue to draft as well as they have. If they do. it will be a miracle, but miracles do happen. Anyone who's seen me next to my wife will attest to that fact.


You actually made my point. If they were paying Wilson in additoin to Rice and Harvin then they would not have been able to affford Bennett and Avril.

This year they are in great shape again. Rice and the Zach Miller come off the books once they cut them. So good for them. They have managed it well so far, but after next year, they will have to make the right decisions far more often and will not be able to afford paying players like Rice and Miller what they did this year.

Next year should be fun again for you all.

Go Sox,