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The Hawks are giving us a real ride

A GRIP ON SPORTS

You like rollercoasters? Then you'll love this season's Seahawks. They are an E ticket ride every week. Read on.


••••••••••

• Usually a good rollercoaster will have a real high point right near the end, followed by a huge fall. The Hawks turned that formula on its rump last night, with the fall preceding the pride. A 90-plus yard drive seemingly destined for a St. Louis game-winning touchdown ends up being the Hawks' best defensive stand of the season. The result? A 14-9 Seattle win. But did it have to be this nerve-wracking? Sure, you can credit the Rams for a great game plan and, most importantly, playing with more effort and enthusiasm. But the Hawks' weakest link, their offensive line, was exposed last night. And the exposure will lead to more games like this. Games Seattle should win easily but won't. We've said it before. This is a team that will need to improve in certain areas if it wants to win the ultimate prize. And the biggest improvement area needs to be up front, where injuries have set the Hawks back but a seeming lack of athleticism seems to be a bigger problem. Until the offensive line can give Russell Wilson more time – and this isn't a one-game reaction; it's been that way all season though Wilson has been able to use his feet to overcome it until last night – the Hawks offense will sputter. Without a passing game, the running game can't get its feet. Without a passing game, the offense can't control the clock. Without a passing game, the Hawks won't win the Super Bowl. Wilson is a good enough passer. The receivers are serviceable. It's up to the offensive line to do its part. If the group fails, this team fails. It's that simple.

• A quick thought about Golden Tate's antics at the end of what turned out to be the game-deciding 80-yard touchdown pass from Wilson: They were selfish. I don't have any problem with a player enjoying the moment, having fun and celebrating. In a brutal game like the NFL, such moments are hard-earned and deserved. But there is a line. A line that draws a 15-yard penalty and hurts the other 52 guys on your team. Don't cross it like Tate did last night. Know the boundaries and stay within them. It's pretty simple.

•••

• WSU: Only a couple more days and the Cougars will be back in Martin Stadium trying to avenge a tough loss last season in Tempe. That's the subject of Jacob Thorpe's story in today's paper. You know, it's hard for me to remember when WSU played well in Arizona. But it's not hard to remember when the Cougars have played ASU well here. It happened just two years ago (pictured). Maybe that's the memory the Cougars should latch onto. … Jacob also has a blog post that summarizes last night's practice and one this morning with links. … ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog has a mailbag to pass along and a quick look at this weekend's games. … More on the week that was in the conference. … The WSU women's soccer team looks to be headed back to the NCAA tournament. Jim Allen has more on the Cougars in his weekly notebook.

• Gonzaga: The Zags' 2014 recruiting class is filling up quickly, with the third of three guards committing yesterday. Jim Meehan has a blog post and story on the commitment of Bryan Alberts, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Southern California. … Jim also has a feature on GU freshman post Ryan Edwards.

• EWU: Cooper Kupp earned a national honor with his play against Montana. That's just part of Jim Allen's Tuesday report on the Eagles. The other part? Eastern's soccer coach is stepping down.

• Idaho: It looks as if senior Taylor Davis will be the Vandals quarterback again this week according to this blog post from Josh Wright.

• Preps: The football season is winding down which means this week's NWPrepsNow power rankings will be the final one of the year. … Jim Allen has advance of Washington's soccer postseason.

• Seahawks: After a win as labored as last night's turned out to be, you probably want to hear from all those involved, right? You certainly can, from coach Pete Carroll, who isn't as upbeat as he usually is, to Wilson to Tate and others. That includes Richard Sherman, who had an interception that basically hit him in the chest and forced him to catch it. … Percy Harvin sure would have helped.

• Sounders: Playing a playoff game – a sudden-death playoff game – is better than the alternative of not playing at all. At least that's how the Sounders – and their goalkeeper – are looking at it.

•••

• Woke up this morning all bright and shiny. Then my nose began to run. If the Hawks could have ran as well last night, they would have run all over the Rams. Jeez, I hate colds. Until later …


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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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