“Just don’t let anyone get hurt”. That is the motto of most fans during the preseason. Unfortunately, injuries do happen, and they can make a huge impact on a season. This year, many teams have tried to minimize season impacting injuries by having their starters sit, but that doesn’t always work. Now that preseason is halfway over, let’s take a look at where the NFC West stands with injuries.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have completely changed the structure of preseason football. They have sat all offensive starters for every game and have no intention of playing them in the preseason. The formula has worked well for Los Angeles, but it isn’t perfect.
One of the nice things about covering both the AFC and NFC West teams is in the preseason is they usually play each other. It makes it easy to do a weekly preseason round up, but it also makes for a very long article. Stick with me, people.
Week 2 of the preseason gave most fans a good look at their backups. And yes there were lots of mistakes, but…its preseason. Let’s take a look at the games played so far.
While we all look forward to the Pro Football Hall of Fame game as the official start to the preseason, in the back of our minds, we all know that it is those first preseason games the week after that really kick things off. Let’s take a peek at the NFC West and what we should be looking for during week one.
The 2018 season for the NFC West had some fantastic matchups, a Super Bowl contender, and a team in turmoil. The Los Angeles Rams won the division at 13-3, with the Seattle Seahawks (10-6), San Francisco 49’ers (4-2), and the Arizona Cardinals (3-13) rounding it out. The Rams ran through the playoffs but were defeated in the Super Bowl by the New England Patriots.
This season is expected to be more competitive between the teams in the division. Seattle has signed their two most important players, quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner, to long term contracts, stabilizing the team. San Francisco is hoping to avoid the dreaded injury bug that plagued their team last year so they can finally be able to see what they have in their QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
On Thursday the Seattle Seahawks lost two iconic players, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and strong safety Kam Chancellor. While fans had the last year to get used to the idea of life after Bam Bam Kam, losing ABD (Angry Doug Baldwin) on the same day was a double punch to the gut.
I feel like I have written a lot of these articles lately. My first was my article about cornerback Richard Sherman leaving Seattle. Truly one of the hardest articles I’ve ever had to write. I’ve written about free safety Earl Thomas also leaving the team and what that meant going forward. But this one is different. These aren’t players that decided to chase a dollar amount, which I totally support so don’t come at me, but the game taking such a toll that injuries require them to move on. Men, who by all accounts, are young and in their primes.
When people talk about NFL stars who were found in the late rounds of the draft, there are a few names that are always brought up. Tom Brady, Richard Sherman, Bo Jackson, Terrell Davis… it’s a long list. The western divisions in both conferences have a tendency to find these players regularly and turn them into superstars. Let’s take a look at this year’s picks and see if there could be another future star.
You can find an entire list of AFC draft picks for each team here.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson signed a 4-year extension late last night, making him the highest paid player in the NFL. Wilson’s contract was set to expire at the end of 2019, but with the extension, he’ll be with Seattle until 2023.
Some of the details of the contract are 4 years, $140 million, a $65 million signing bonus (highest in NFL history), with a total of $107 million guaranteed. These numbers are not a surprise, as most agreed that Wilson would overtake QB Aaron Rodgers as the highest paid player in the league.
There was a lot of hand wringing from fans in Seattle as trade rumors swirled, New York Giants fans were campaigning and Seattle fans were panicking. Then came the deadline. It was announced that Wilson had imposed a deadline of April 15th for a new contract or else he was going to stop talks completely and simply play out the end of his contract.
As they always do this time of year, we are being inundated with opinions. The arguments over end of season awards, conversations regarding which team most improved, which teams took the biggest step back. Yet every year, since the end of the 2012 season, there is one thing most reporters and media members can apparently agree on.
That Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, yet chronically underrated.
Anyone who reads my articles or listens to the Our Turf Football Podcast knows I’m not a huge fan of quarterbacks. Its always been my observation that they get more credit for wins than they deserve, yet rarely have the burden of being responsible for defeats. However, today I put my “defense lover” hat away and focus on the one player that has been the cornerstone for Seattle’s string of successes.
For the Seattle Seahawks, last nights win against the Kansas City Chiefs was about more than getting a 17-2 record in prime time games. Even about more than clinching a playoff spot. This was a game about proving that the last few years weren’t a fluke. This game and this season has been about showing the NFL that the system, the Pete Carroll philosophy, still works.
I’ll admit it. Anyone who follows me on Twitter already knows. I didn’t watch this game live. Couldn’t watch this game live. December football stresses me out too much so I often have to watch games the next morning to save my sanity and my blood pressure. After watching the game this morning I can tell you, I’ve seen this team before. I’ve seen this energy before. And although wide receiver Doug Baldwin won’t say it, I will. It feels like 2012 all over again.
Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a pretty win… but it was my favorite kind of win. It was a win that could have easily gotten away from Seattle. But it didn’t, and now the Seahawks are one win away from clinching a playoff berth. In a year where they weren’t expected to win more than four or five games, they are the team no one wants to face.
Lisa Johnson and I argue about this all the time on the OTFB podcast. Defense or offense, which is more important? But it’s not just a shtick we do for the show. She truly believes offense wins games, I say, quite adamantly, the defense is most important.
What last night’s Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings showed was that what truly wins games is a balance. What makes the Seahawks so dangerous right now is that balance, and it’s alive and well in Seattle.
December, the time of year that brings us fun holidays, great times with family and friends, and a bright new year. But for Seattle Seahawks fans, it also brings their teams best football of the year. This year seems to be no different. Lets look at the gifts Seattle fans are receiving this year. Gifts that will help take the Seahawks to the post season.
Could anyone ask for a better present than the gift of having linebacker Bobby Wagner on their team? Wagner is the best linebacker in football and I dare you to argue it with me. After his insane game on Sunday against San Francisco, Wagner has 100 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, and a beautiful interception that was run back 98 yards for a touchdown. Without question, he is in his prime and we as Seahawks fans are lucky to have him.
Among linebackers, Bobby Wagner has the highest grade in run defense, tackling, pass-rushing, and coverage. #Seahawks