Monday, January 12, 2015

MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Seahawks one win from Super Bowl, Zags jump to #3, and the best shot you've ever seen

Posted By on Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 11:01 AM


If you find yourself surrounded by chatting coworkers, family and friends, and don't have the time to keep up with the weekend's sportsball, we've got your back at Monday Morning Placekicker. Here's everything you need to know on Monday: 

HAIL THE D-BEAST!

Move over, Marshawn, the Seahawks D has a beast of its own. A whole squad of them really, given how Seattle's defense performed the second half of the season. But on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, safety Kam Chancellor was a freak. When he wasn't doing this: 
He was doing this: 
As Richard Sherman aptly put it, Chancellor doesn't just play football, he "damages people's souls." The game was tight at the half, and surprisingly high-scoring, but the end was never really in doubt. When Russell Wilson wants to go pretty much perfect on third-down passes — he was 8-for-8 on third down for 199 yards and three TDs — the Seahawks are impossible to beat. The final score was 31-17, and the original Beast Mode didn't really have to do much. He's probably saving it up for the NFC Championship on Sunday in Seattle at noon. 

The Seahawks will be playing the Green Bay Packers, the team they vanquished by 20 points the first week of the season. The Packers beat Dallas for the honor of facing Chancellor and Co. 

In the AFC, the Patriots will host the championship game Sunday afternoon after holding off the upset bid by Baltimore in a back-and-forth contest that had a lot of big hits, a lot of scoring (it ended up 35-31), and a lot of vacant stares by Joe Flacco. The Pats will play the Indianapolis Colts, who showed their decision to ditch Peyton "Noodle Neck" Manning in favor of Andrew Luck was a wise one by taking down the Papa John's pimp on his home field Sunday afternoon. 


ZAGS CONTINUE CRUSHING JAG, NOW NO. 3 IN THE COUNTRY
Stop me if you've heard this one before during the Bulldogs 2014-15 march. An undermanned-but-plucky opponent keeps it close for a while, then the deep, talented Zags muscle them inside with their big men, start hitting outside shots and end up pulling away for a comfortable lead. It happened Thursday against San Francisco, and again Saturday against Santa Clara. Przemek Karnowski and Kyle Wiltjer led the way, but it was another well-rounded effort.

This morning the Zags got the news that their efforts had been rewarded with a No. 3 national ranking. This is the highest mark since they were, of course, No. 1 back in 2013. The jump is attributed to losses by Duke, Wisconsin and Louisville in one of the crazier weeks in college hoops so far this season. 

They play again Thursday at Pepperdine in a game that could be close. The Waves — who've been very bad for almost a decade — beat BYU in Provo on Thursday and have a 4-1 WCC record going into their meeting with the Zags. 

KEEP AN EYE ON THE COUGS, AND MORE LOCAL HOOPS
A few weeks ago, it was unimaginable that Washington State would travel to Seattle and take down the then-ranked UW Huskies. While UW has shit the bed since Pac-12 play started, the Cougars find themselves a genuine threat, going 2-1 to open conference play, and they've yet to play a home game. On Saturday, they beat the Huskies 80-77 behind DaVonte Lacy's clutch free-throw shooting


Elswhere, EWU took out Idaho and hit 11 three-pointers, and now sits in first place in the Big Sky Conference. Gonzaga's women's team is undefeated in conference play after beating Santa Clara on the road Saturday. 

RANDOM ACTS OF AWESOME
Shot of the year? Decade? Century? 


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About The Author

Dan Nailen

Dan Nailen is the managing editor of the Inlander, where he oversees coverage of arts and culture. He's previously written and edited for The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Weekly, Missoula Independent, Salt Lake Magazine, The Oregonian and KUER-FM. He grew up seeing the country in an Air Force family and studied...