The Seattle Seahawks are getting plenty of accolades for shutting down the eplosive, diminutive one, Steve Smith. Accolades well deserved, the Carolina offense was rendered anemic.
We talked last week about how the Cowboys defense shut down Steve Smith. Terence Newman's domination of Smith - with help from the safeties - frustrated him to the point of getting kicked out of the game. Newman's marching orders were to be as physical as possible within the 5-yard limit, use his speed to recover, and depend on help for anything deep. The Cowboys doubled Smith constantly, even though they got burned deep by Drew Carter and Ricky Proehl. I won't say they didn't care about that, but it was the lesser of two evils, the other one was to let Smith dominate the game.
So I'm wondering what Chicago was thinking. Was it pride? I know their defense kicked butt this year, ranking as one of the elite units ever for a single season. So why didn't they try more double teams and physical play? Or maybe they did and Smith still burned them. I'm asking my bud, WCG who blogs for the Bears at Windy City Gridiron, to come over and opine on this issue.
Seattle used the Dallas model, but they took it one step further; they were shooting linebackers at Smith. DeShaun Foster's absence meant the Seahawks didn't have to respect the run, especially when Nick Goings was gone after knocking heads with Lofa Tatupu. Great name, Lofa Tatupu. Admit it, saying Tatupu is fun, but I digress.
I'm sure the Cowboys/Panthers game tape was on heavy rotation at the Seahawks practice complex. Congratulations to Parcells and Zimmer, they helped Seattle get to the Super Bowl. Let's see if they can do that for this franchise next year.
Steve Smith won't see Seattle next year unless it's in the playoffs. He'll get another crack at Newman and Co. in 2006, Dallas travels to Carolina again next year. Mark that game down because Smith will surely be looking for revenge.