I am so happy to be wrong! Yes I was one of the few Seahawk faithful that chose Atlanta to beat Seattle this weekend. Before you castigate me allow me to briefly explain. I felt like with our recent weeks of below average run defense, playing with fire one to many times at end of games, our lack of sustained offensive display, being on the road for an early game and Atlanta getting an important receiver back that the cards were finally stacked against us and we would succumb to our second loss.
The last two weeks I have picked easy wins against inferior opponents and we squeaked by on last second wins. Yesterday I felt like a sub par Atlanta team would finally get the best of Seattle and I picked them to upset us 23-20. So what does Seattle do? Go out and play their most complete game of the season. I am so glad that I am not a betting man, Las Vegas would love me.
It was so nice not to have to watch this game with a defibrillator on stand-by or have 911 queued and ready to go on speed dial. Physically I don’t know what the difference was between this game and their last two because they were supposed to do this to both St. Louis and Tampa Bay. In fact, I don’t think it was physical at all, it was all mental. But they definitely righted the ship this week.
So let’s talk about all the good that happened on Sunday. Seattle had several nice, sustained offensive drives that helped them achieve a 35 min time of possession for the game. Any time you control the time of possession you increase your odds of winning the game. What I didn’t realize was that Marshawn Lynch was a truck driver because he was taking his rig through all sorts of large holes on the offensive line. This allows you to control the clock.
Another nice surprise was the time Russell Wilson had to set up shop in the pocket. Yes, he did get sacked once and no, he didn’t have all day, but he definitely wasn’t under duress every offensive play either. And just like Mr. Kinnaman used to ask me in 7th grade math…’what was the common denominator?’ Our offensive line. Even though we were missing three starters we were still able to put together a solid performance. With our line getting healthier we can expect this kind of performance to be more of the rule than the exception.
Our offense accounted for 490 total yards; 145 by Lynch. Of the 145 rushing yards by Lynch, 70 yards were netted after first contact. That means that even though he was getting touched he was able to break free for almost 50% of his yards. It was really nice to see Christine Michael get some action, even though it was garbage time. Michael runs hard like Lynch does, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a drop off between the two running backs. A little glimpse into the future you say? Absolutely.
Wilson threw for 287 yards and seemed to be more at ease in the pocket this week which allowed him to have more time to survey the field and deliver direct strikes. His skills continue to impress me in every facet of the game. But can I just take a moment to gush over Golden Tate‘s divine gift for the dramatic…sick, just sick, the way he willed the football against his face mask, one handed, while dragging his back foot in the end zone.
No taunting, no gloating-like he has been there before…oh yeah, he has, many times. Let me give props to Jermaine Kearse for coming up big as well and winning against his defenders to haul in several passes. You see, Wilson doesn’t have to be perfect with his passes because he has trained attack dogs that will absolutely beat you to the ball. And that describes all three of our receivers, not including our all-purpose receiver Percy Harvin who hasn’t even stepped foot on the field.
I loved the fact that Seattle was less predictable this game than in most of their games this season, as evidenced by a trick play for a touchdown to Kearse. I thought maybe I had unintentionally started streaming a different football game; I started to get a little light headed after this play and prayed that I wouldn’t pass out since I didn’t bring the smelling salts to this game. Good to see Darrell Bevell get out of his comfort zone. I have felt our team would be effective at running a trick play…since we never do, nobody would expect it. Nothing better than the element of surprise.
Our defense definitely got off to a strong start and pressured Matt Ryan into bad throws and produced 2 sacks. The Legion of Boom played very well in this game and proved that they are dominant when they want to be. They held Tony Gonzalez to three catches and relegated him to a non-factor in this game. Tight ends usually are very difficult for Seattle to contain so seeing them work their magic on Gonzalez was a great thing to watch. They also contained Roddy White and didn’t allow his emotional return to affect the outcome of the game. The Falcons’ rushing attack was non-existent. When Steven Jackson is behind Jacquizz Rodgers and Matt Ryan in total yards we know their rushing attack has issues.
We continue to battle penalties with 9 for 80 yards. We need to get a handle on this before we start playing better teams where the difference between winning and losing might be an extra penalty called. I understand that some of these penalties are a result of playing the game aggressively and therefore you can overlook some of them, but dumb penalties need to be arrested. It was good to see zero turnovers in this game, a trend I hope we continue.
With our team continuing to get healthier the future definitely looks bright. I don’t know the extent of injuries to Brandon Browner and Clint McDonald. They both are important players but missing either won’t derail this team. We have played without Browner before and we have proved that we can win without him because our secondary his loaded. Clint McDonald plays a position that can be absorbed by any of the talented personnel around him.
Just when I think I have this team figured out they go out and prove me way off base. So I submit my heartfelt apologies for doubting this team on Sunday, I played the odds against this team and lost…big time. Hmmm…let’s play this angle up…I predict a huge loss to the Minnesota Vikings (Seahawks nation can thank me later). Go Hawks!