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Neiko Thorpe to be placed on I.R.by Alistair Corp on December 6, 2019 at 10:26 pm
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Cornerback and special teams captain Neiko Thorpe has not played since the Seahawks’ victory over the 49ers. First, the special teams standout was listed with a groin injury, then on Thursday, Seattle listed him as out for Week 14 with a core injury. Pete Carroll’s press conference shortly after that injury report was given informed us Thorpe would be out longer than just Week 14: Carroll says CB/special teams captain Neiko Thorpe had surgery in Philadelphia for an athletic hernia. He’ll be out for the season.— Ben Arthur (@benyarthur) December 6, 2019 Thorpe’s season ending injury and subsequent placement on injured reserve will open up a spot on the roster, potentially for Ethan Pocic’s pending return—which could happen as early as next week. As for Thorpe, he signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks in March, meaning he may have played his last game for the team. Of course, this is a coaching staff which values special teams highly, and Thorpe has been the leader in that phase practically since he arrived. It’s possible he returns to Seattle again in 2020 on a short deal, but with his season over, Thorpe’s future with the Seahawks is up in the air.
How to watch Seahawks vs. Rams: Kickoff time, TV, radio, ticketsby Kenneth Arthur on December 6, 2019 at 10:08 pm
The Seattle Seahawks can punch their ticket to the 2019 postseason with a win over the LA Rams this Sunday night. The game will be Pete Carroll’s last in the Coliseum foreseeable future and would be his 100th victory as Seattle’s head coach. The person standing in his way: Sean McVay. The Rams come into Sunday needing a win in order to keep pace with the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears in the NFC Wild Card picture. LA stands at 7-5 but are looking for their fifth win in their last seven tries. Losing to the Seahawks would mean getting swept and needing to reconfigure the plan for 2020. A win and not all is lost. For Seattle, it is their third primetime game in the last month and Russell Wilson is the last person to shrink under the lights. Get a win here and you only guarantee more spotlights for the perennial MVP candidate. Luckily these games also mean they’re relatively easy and available to find on your TVs and radios. Here’s how to do it this week: TV Schedule Date: Sunday, December 8, 2019 Time: 8:20 PM ET/5:20 PM PT Channel: NBC Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth (sideline: Michele Tafoya) Location: Memorial Coliseum | Los Angeles, California Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle/97.3 KIRO FM (click here for additional TV and radio affiliates outside of the Seattle area) Radio Announcers: Steve Raible, Dave Wyman (Reporters: Jen Mueller and John Clayton) Online Streaming: NFL Game Pass (Free 7-Day Trial) | Sling TV | PlayStation Vue | YoutubeTV Current 53-man roster: Click here Opponent Blog: Turf Show Times Follow Field Gulls on social media! Twitter - @FieldGulls Facebook - Field Gulls: For Seattle Seahawks News and Analysis Seahawks regular season schedule 2019 September 9/8: W 21-20 vs. Cincinnati Bengals 9/15: W 28-26 at Pittsburgh Steelers 9/22: L 33-27 vs. New Orleans Saints 9/29: W 27-10 at Arizona Cardinals October 10/3 (Thu): W 30-29 vs. Los Angeles Rams 10/13: W 32-28 at Cleveland Browns 10/20: L 30-16 vs. Baltimore Ravens 10/27: W 27-20 at Atlanta Falcons November 11/3: W 40-34 (OT) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11/11 (Mon): W 27-24 (OT) at San Francisco 49ers (5:15 PM PT, ESPN) 11/17: BYE 11/24: W 17-9 at Philadelphia Eagles December 12/2 (Mon): W 37-30 vs. Minnesota Vikings 12/8: at Los Angeles Rams (5:20 PM PT, NBC) 12/15: at Carolina Panthers (10 AM PT, FOX) 12/22: vs. Arizona Cardinals (1:25 PM PT, FOX) 12/29: vs. San Francisco 49ers (1:25 PM PT, FOX)
5 Qs, 5 As: Return of the McAtee, as we discuss Jared Goff, Sean McVay, and the rematchby Kenneth Arthur on December 6, 2019 at 8:00 pm
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images On December 17, 2017, the LA Rams and Seattle Seahawks met in Seattle for their second of two meetings that season. In the first meeting, the Seahawks won 16-10, scoring 16 unanswered after falling behind 10-0 and delivering the world a piece of Jared Goff’s future by holding him to no touchdowns and two interceptions. In the 2017 sequel however, the Rams delivered Seattle a warm glass of shut the flip up. In their worst loss since 2011, the Seahawks fell behind 40-0 and never looked forward. It was only one of the seven losses that season that kept Russell Wilson from currently having posted double-digit wins in all eight of his campaigns, but it was also the most devastating. It felt like a complete turn in the division after Seattle had been the most consistently dominant force in the NFC West since 2012. The Rams had “arrived” and won the division at 11-5. The Seahawks had left and we didn’t know if they’d be returning. Despite the difference in score, however, Seattle was only two games back in the division. A win that day wouldn’t have changed the standings, but maybe we could see that these two teams weren’t all that far from swapping places once again. In 2018, Los Angeles swept the Seahawks and won the division at 13-3, three games ahead of Seattle. But the Seahawks held a fourth quarter lead in both games and lost by just two points in the first meeting and five points in the rematch. All those “breaks” that Seattle is getting this year — yeah, that hasn’t really been the case in recent history. But they’ve managed to squeak out the wins in 2019 that they couldn’t get against LA in 2018, and that included in Week 5’s 30-29 victory in Seattle that came on a late fourth quarter touchdown to Chris Carson and a missed 44-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein to close things out. It’s just another in a long line of close games between these two franchises. That wasn’t the case two years ago when the Rams made a statement on the road. The Seahawks are hoping to make their own December statement on Sunday night as they look to get one step closer to winning back the division after a two-year hiatus. To get better intel on the Rams after the last two months, I sent five Qs to the incomparable Joe McAtee of Turf Show Times. In kind, he sent me five corresponding As. Q: Few have been as critical of Jared Goff as I have, and you know me well enough to know it’s not based in division rivalries or biases. I’ve also recently critiqued the performance of Sean McVay and the contractual decisions of Les Snead. I can tell that the LA Rams fan base is a different one still though because I’ve barely heard a peep and just this morning I had both Falcons fans and Patriots fans upset with me for not being complimentary enough of their teams. Have you noticed a significant shift in how Rams fans view Goff, McVay, and Snead this season, just months removed from an NFC Championship? How much would getting swept by the Seahawks, a year after sweeping the Seahawks, change the outlook on the franchise? A: Oh absolutely there’s been a change in the perception of both Goff and McVay, but I think that’s natural given (a) how poorly Goff has played at times and (b) how ridiculously positive the results were in the first two seasons under McVay. As for Goff, it was a bit of a perfect storm for his regression. The system he’s couched in didn’t serve him well this year. The offensive line didn’t play well overall and at times was downright horrible. And he’s had some of his targets miss time in WR Brandin Cooks, WR Robert Woods and now TE Gerald Everett. And yes, he’s had some very bad runs of form missing some wide open targets by NFL standards. I think overall moreso than this season, the Super Bowl was really what spliced off a section of Rams fans who have been absolutely unappreciative of Goff since; his struggles only exacerbate that. There’s also a faction that whether because he’s the QB or a #1 overall pick or even something as arbitrary as his demeanor and brand as a Cali, Banana Republic clothing line-having kinda dude still backs the guy even during below average performances. So yeah, it’s complicated. For McVay, this season has certainly helped show some cracks in the previously sterling armor. To take a team that had gone without a winning season in 13 years and immediately turn them into division champs and get them to the playoffs and then push them to a Super Bowl, yeah. That’s going to engender a lot of support from fans, from media and obviously from within the NFL where everyone was trying to hire anyone who had ever spoken to him last offseason. After the blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens for the first time, I saw a growing number of Rams fans who were quite displeased with the Rams head coach to the point that we had to put a number on how hot the hot seat was that he was on. Could being swept by you guys change things? Probably not. I think the losses they’ve stacked up to this point have done that already. The bigger issue is how they grow out of the rut this year and get back to better football on the offensive side for longer stretches than what they’ve gotten this year. Q: Marcus Peters will be a free agent in 2020 and it seems apparent that after another season with at least three pick-sixes, that a team will go for broke on Peters on a new deal. Meanwhile, the Rams secured his vacant corner spot with Jalen Ramsey, giving up two firsts and a fourth. How’s Ramsey looked so far? Will Peters’ next team regret his next deal? And is giving up two firsts, a fourth, and Peters (who I imagine will return a third round comp pick) for Ramsey, Kenny Young, and a fifth a good deal? What needs to happen for it to be a good deal? A: Ramsey’s fantastic. Hasn’t played below his reputation at all. Just such a steep, steep cost. Back to that in a sec. Yanno, I’m glad to see Marcus Peters balling out. He arrived on the back of so much criticism for his time in Kansas City being such a headcase and infighting with the coaching staff. With the Rams, he was a great teammate and never made any problems. Is he outspoken? Absolutely. Is he hilarious? Entirely. So I’m sincerely happy for the guy. He’s a better person than he gets credit for. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lands a big deal that’s a win-win for himself and his future employer. As for the Ramsey deal, the first thing I’d note is that we traded those three picks (representing 14 potential roster years) for one-and-a-half seasons of Ramsey. That’s simply not enough from the Rams’ new CB1 to justify the cost unless Ramsey makes a superior, individual contribution to a deep playoff run. Otherwise, the Rams HAVE to sign him to an extension at which point you lose most of the value for cost since he’s going to reset the position ceiling. To this point, he’s played well enough to begin the argument to justify the trade. But he’s going to have to do so for another three years or so in order to meet the mark. That’s just an incredibly high bar, but he might be good enough to do it. Q: It’s not easy to get double-digit sacks out of three players, but Aaron Donald, Clay Matthews, and Dante Fowler could all get there. You could see two of those players gone next year though, if the Rams felt themselves claustrophobic from a 34-year-old Matthews and little cap room, so what are the reinforcements in pass rush looking like? A: Not great, but it’s a position the Rams will likely invest in this offseason. The best hope is a diamond in the rough situation from Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. He was a fifth-rounder in the 2018 draft, but he broke his foot in OTAs last year and missed the whole season. He has flashed at times in 2019, but he’s too far down the depth chart for significant playing time. Samson Ebukam isn’t able to do much as a pass rusher. He’s a solid edge with plus run defense, but not starter quality given the state of the front seven coming out of 2019. Natrez Patrick was a preseason fan favorite converting to outside linebacker after playing inside at Georgia. He has the feel of a fan favorite that will offer more to memory and inside fan story than on-field contributions. The bottom line is that the Rams will likely bring someone in either on the cheap in free agency or with a draft pick. Q: Aaron Kromer is the run game coordinator and offensive line coach. So. Should he be fired? Are there any assistants that draw constant ire of the fans? A: A couple of weeks ago, you could have made a case for Kromer. I do think though we’re starting to see some of the effect of his coaching in the line’s reliability in the last month or so. For the first time since moving back to LA, the Rams had an injury crisis, and the O-line wasn’t spared. Early injuries saw Jamil Demby get plugged in. Kenny, that did not go well. The Rams next went to fifth-round rookie David Edwards who filled in nicely, but injuries to Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen, the Rams’ top two draft picks from 2018 that essentially redshirted last year to take starting jobs this year, sidelined them for the season. Recently, RT Rob Havenstein injured his knee, so the Rams were working with an offensive line where the only Week 1 starter in the same was position was LT Andrew Whitworth. Austin Blythe kicked inside to center from right guard where Edwards filled in. New Ram Austin Corbett got plugged in at left guard while rookie Bobby Evans, a third-rounder out of Oklahoma, took on right tackle duties. So Kromer certainly deserves some buffer with all the personnel changes forced upon the unit this year. And the unit has been better overall the last few games. Honestly, I don’t think there are any coaches that Rams fans look down upon. We’ve already seen Greg Olson leave (2017 QB coach) to take offensive coordinator duties under John Gruden with the Oakland Raiders. Matt LaFleur went from Rams OC without playcalling responsibilities to Tennessee Titans OC with playcalling responsibilities to Green Bay Packers head coach. And Zac Taylor jumped from 2018 QB coach to 2019 Cincinnati Bengals head coach. So there’s been so much exiting and new faces coming in where units haven’t struggled for years to assign much ire to any coaches. Q: We exchange 10 questions a year, and I don’t want to harp on the negative too much, but I think we can get into “it” a little bit. It’s a simple question: Are the Rams a good organization? A: Overall, yes. They certainly have some...issues. You’ve got an owner that can’t be individually attentive. Between his other sports holdings (Arsenal in the Premier League, the Denver Nuggets in the NBA, the Colorado Avalanche in the NFL, the Colorado Rapids in MLS and now some eSports holdings), he has too much to get into the weeds in terms of controlling decisions. Another issue for Kroenke is his non-team investments. SoFi Stadium is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than just a place for the Rams to play football. It’s a small town inside of LA where he will make billions of dollars thanks to the commercial developments around the stadium, another performance venue and studios for NFL Network. Also...he’s rich as hell and owns all kinds of other stuff. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it means he HAS to have the right guys assigned to each of his franchises. In the case of the Rams, that’s COO Kevin Demoff. He’s certainly the right guy from a business perspective (fans of Arsenal might have a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery different view of the structure at Arsenal...). Demoff though has handed off contractual negotiations to VP Tony Pastoors which is another issue. Unlike other teams where the general manager oversees those negotiations, Rams GM Les Snead isn’t particularly involved there. That kind of structure is obviously going to get questioned when you’re signing Tavon Austin after just three seasons and then doing the same for Todd Gurley. Neither of those deals looks particularly wise in retrospect and obviously throws into question the priority structure given how much of the cap is going to be tied up in recent years once extensions for Ramsey and WR Cooper Kupp get done. There’s also the issue of the Rams playing to the fickleness of their relocation to LA and the swings in popularity that came about with it. An NFL team back in LA? Exciting! The Rams pulled off three series based on their return to LA: Hard Knocks, All or Nothing, and Hollywood and Football, a reality show that was on E! that chronicled what it was like for the wives of some of the Rams players living in LA and managing their personal lives off the field. That’s how compelling the Rams’ relocation was - a reality show about the Rams’ wives. It lasted one season. And what kind of football did the Rams provide to meet that level of interest? A fifth season under Head Coach Jeff Fisher in which the Rams went 4-12. Suffice to say, that didn’t help the Rams’ credibility trying to break through a ceiling crafted by the Lakers, Dodgers and USC football on the local sports market. The football has certainly improved since then, but there have been insinuations that some of the moves (hiring an attractive young coach, headline-making trades, etc.) have been made moreso for their impact on media and in LA circles to ensure that SoFi opens to packed crowds than for the benefit of the team on the field. Overall though, it’s going to depend on where the Rams go from here. Kroenke bought the team in 2010. Demoff joined the year before to oversee business operations and brought in Pastoors in 2010 to assist him in running things on Kroenke’s behalf. Snead became the general manager in 2012 when Fisher was hired. So you had a group that collaborated on the Fisher years to little avail in terms of the football but got the bigger win they wanted as a franchise moving back to LA. Now though while business wins will certainly help enrich Kroenke, fans won’t care if the football can’t match the 2017/18 standard on a consistent basis. Bonus: I’ve lived in LA for almost 11 years now. Tell me a secret about the city that you don’t think I know. I made my cousin once take me to the Bull Creek Spillway where they filmed the chase scene in Terminator 2 so I could pee in it.
FanPulse: Confidence at highest level since Week 1by Kenneth Arthur on December 6, 2019 at 6:20 pm
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images The Seattle Seahawks beat the Minnesota Vikings 37-30 on Monday night, but prior to that, most votes had been in for Week 14 of FanPulse. At that time, fan confidence rose to 89%, which is the highest it has been on this poll since it ran at 93% headed into Week 1. Confidence took a major hit, falling to 72% after a narrow Week 1 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. It was at a year-low 47% after a 30-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7, but most have since come to accept the Ravens as the best team in the NFL. Second-best? Well, the argument is certainly being made for 10-2 Seattle right now as they prepare to host the LA Rams on Sunday Night Football. If the Seahawks can beat the Rams on the road and improve to 11-2 with a 4-0 divisional record, it should bump that number to a 2019 high in confidence. Rams fan confidence is currently at 44%. Don’t forget that you can signup to be a FanPulse voter! Get involved in the votes! This was an idea that started right here at Field Gulls with Kenneth Arthur, so be a part of the action!
Ziggy Ansah coming alive for the Seahawksby John P. Gilbert on December 6, 2019 at 5:45 pm
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images During the 2018 season, defensive end Frank Clark was the unquestioned leader of the pass rush for the Seattle Seahawks, recording 13 sacks and 27 quarterback hits on his way to earning a franchise tag designation. That franchise tag designation led to the contract stalemate the eventually ended with Clark being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for draft picks, while Seattle was left with a lot of question marks in the pass rush department. The team used a first round pick on defensive end L.J. Collier, but he was known more as a run stopper and less likely to be a pass rushing force coming out of TCU. That is proving to be the case, as he has yet to record a sack, quarterback hit or even a pressure on the 94 defensive snaps he has played so far as a rookie. In addition to Collier, during the offseason the team also added former Detroit Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who was coming off significant shoulder surgery, and whose play early in the season showed a player who was not yet back up to speed and back to full strength. It was a month ago Thursday that I looked at Ansah’s performance after the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and pointed out that fans may want to stop hoping for a revival from Ansah. Then came a key matchup against the then division leading San Francisco 49ers in which Ansah lost snaps to Shaquem Griffin, who had barely played any defensive snaps since the Week 1 2018 debacle in Denver and the bye week. Now, I’m not sure what Ansah had to eat during the bye week, but whatever it is, I want him to share it with the rest of the defensive line. After a very lackluster first ten games of the season, Ziggy has been a quarterback destruction device against the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings the past two games. Through Week 10, Ziggy Ansah had 3 QB hits on 218 snaps.In the last two games Ansah has 5 QB hits on 63 defensive snaps.— John P. Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) December 5, 2019 Whether that torrid pace of getting after the quarterback will continue, the simple fact is that Ziggy’s shown there’s at least still something in the tank. Interestingly, the pressure he put on Carson Wentz against in Week 12 when facing the Eagles came while facing off against the second oldest offensive lineman in the NFL, Jason Peters, and coincidentally, in Week 14 he’ll be lining up across from Andrew Whitworth, the oldest offensive lineman in the NFL, while going after Jared Goff. Hopefully Ansah is back to full speed and ready to continue to rush the passer over the remaining four regular season games and into the postseason. With Jadeveon Clowney playing through injury, and Quinton Jefferson having recently returned from an oblique strain, the Hawks pass rush is as good as it has been all season. Which means that if Ziggy is a fraction of the force he has been over the past two games, the pass rush could be coming together as Quandre Diggs helps put things on lockdown in the secondary.