2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Defense, run game why Seattle will beat Denver

By TIM BOOTH - AP Sports Writer
    2014-01-31 16:05

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - In the midst of being reclusive for most of the week leading up to his first Super Bowl, Marshawn Lynch spoke a truth about his Seattle Seahawks.

What they might lack with a roster void of Super Bowl experience, they make up for with an attitude and approach that Pete Carroll has instilled from the moment he landed in Seattle.

''I stay ready,'' Lynch said. ''So there ain't no getting ready.''

If there is an overbearing quality Carroll has produced in his four seasons in charge of the Seahawks it's a continuous trend of always being competitive. They don't get blown out. They don't get overwhelmed. They don't succumb in the moment. They treat each week as an individual, singular event.

The Seahawks are trained to operate in this manner and it's why even against Peyton Manning, even against the most prolific, pass-happy offense in NFL history, Carroll's team will not be astounded by what they walk into Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

''You don't see nervousness in guys' eyes,'' Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. ''You don't see guys acting any different than they would on any other day or any other week of the season. They're going out there and following the same routine as they have all season long. You just get the sense that guys are comfortable in the situation and comfortable in the moment because you don't really think about the moment.''

Seattle's been on this stage once before, eight years ago with a completely different style of team that was unable to match the physicality of Pittsburgh.

Thing is, this version of the Seahawks look awfully familiar to that Steelers team.

Ben Roethlisberger was in his second season as the Steelers' quarterback, just like Russell Wilson is with Seattle. Roethlisberger was less of a passer at that time because the Steelers had a running game led by Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis that was in the top five in the NFL during the regular season. The Steelers also had a defense that was No. 4 in the league during the regular season.

It might be a painful comparison for Seattle fans, but the similarities are notable.

Wilson can win the game with his arm if needed but Lynch and the running game is always Seattle's priority. The Seahawks defense was the best in the NFL in scoring, total yards allowed and turnovers forced. They are unlike anything Manning and the Broncos have seen this season. Denver faced only two teams all season with total defenses that finished ranked in the top 10 when the regular season concluded.

''This is something that we've been looking forward to. Us being the No. 1 defense, them being the No. 1 offense, I think it's fitting,'' Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. ''It's our time to prove why we're the No. 1 defense.''

Also not to be overlooked it Seattle red zone defense that was the best in the NFL. It's inevitable that Manning will move Denver's offense. He's one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history because he's been able to find quick solutions to problems defenses present.

But those drives that he converted into 55 touchdown passes during the regular season will be far more difficult to achieve against the Seahawks. The Seahawks allowed 36 red zone drives during the regular season and touchdowns on only 13 of those possessions. The 132 red-zone points allowed by Seattle is the fewest by any team since 2006.

''They pretty much just line up, and say, `Hey we are better than you, and we're going to beat you,''' Denver wide receiver Wes Welker said. ''They do a great job (in different) situations, and getting pressure on the quarterback.''

That is where this game will be won. The Denver defense Wilson and Lynch will face is not on the same scale as the problems San Francisco posed in the NFC championship game and that's without mentioning the availability of Percy Harvin and what that could add to Seattle's offense.

Meanwhile it's unrealistic to think Seattle will be able to stop Manning. Thinking otherwise is foolish. But while Manning will be able to lead some drives, Seattle's defense inside the 20 is suffocating. They will force Denver to settle for field goals.

Ultimately, the strength of the Seahawks is greater than the strength of the Broncos:

Seahawks 27, Broncos 22

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

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T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

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Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

Dennis KellyDec 20 03:32p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, S Jerome Couplin III, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, DE Taylor Hart, LB Trent Cole inactive for Week 16.

DeMarco MurrayDec 20 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) reportedly plans on playing this week despite a broken bone in his hand.

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