TOP OF THE TOWN – If I had a criticism of the Seattle Seahawks season it would be that they are too predictable, especially in the first half of games. It’s a conservative style that is built not to lose instead of built to win. I get it that coach Pete Carroll wants to be a run first team. That is admirable because it shows intent to be tough and I like toughness. But when I can predict what the first play is going to be on just about any series something is drastically wrong. Which reminds me that I knew before the play was run what Green Bay was going to do against the Seahawks late in their game with the Packers facing a third and nine with the game hanging in the balance. If the Packers get the first down they run out the clock, which they did. The play? It was going to be a little slant to tight end Jimmy Graham, the former Seahawks tight end. It had to be that, I thought, because it would be a statement throw and a stab in the back to the Seahawks who let Graham go. Sure enough, Aaron Rodgers threw a little slant and Graham picked up the first down by inches. If you listened to the first post-game interview with Rodgers he made sure he mentioned that play and adding with a smirk that it was because Graham had previously played in Seattle. I was practically yelling at the TV screen the play was going to Graham. Too bad the Seahawks could not hear me. As for the Seahawks conservative play-calling it’s a big error when you go into the most important games of the season without your top three running backs, all out with injuries, and you bring in an over-the-hill Marshawn Lynch to run the ball. Lynch might have brought some mental toughness to the lockerroom, but he was more reputation than effective. If you think about it, the Seahawks prosper when they go into a tempo pace and throw the ball. And they usually do that in the second half of games when they are behind or in a close game. Which is to say, almost always. Unless you have a running back close to the ability of Tennessee’s Derrick Henry I think you rely more on a passing game. I would come out throwing the ball, which of course depends on the opponent. But my first gut feeling would be to throw the ball and take an offensive page from San Francisco 49ers’ coach Kyle Shanahan and use the fly sweep with some double handoffs. Of course, you have to have a speedster like Raheem Mostert or Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill to make it work well and the Seahawks don’t have that blazing speed guy. That maybe is something the Seahawks should do in the upcoming NFL draft and get a speed merchant. Still, even with my criticism, the Seahawks had a good shot at making the Super Bowl. They battled through a long list of injuries, especially to the offensive line and running back, and came within a few key plays of being in the sports top game. That is a testimony to the enthusiasm and positive energy Carroll brings to the table as the oldest coach in the league (68 years old). If the Seahawks shore up their one corner spot and get help on the offensive line and added a speed running back and another top receiver they could be tough again next season. But with all the rules on salary cap it’s almost anybody’s guess not only what they will do but what they can do. As who will win the Super Bowl, I really can’t make an accurate guess. Kansas City has had defensive problems all year, although they shored that up a bit down the stretch. I have seen Mahomes not be so incredible when teams put a lot of pressure on him and it’s possible the 49ers will be able to do that. But the game could be said about Jimmy Garoppolo. I guess I lean just a bit to the 49ers, who don’t make a lot of mistakes, have a great defense, and enough offensive muscle to get it done.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.