Ugh! Uch!…Agh! What was that sound that you just heard? Oh yeah, that was just me regurgitating. Why? I just watched the Seahawks play the Cardinals and that is what the body does when it experiences something noxious.
The story of the latest Seahawks loss started very late on Friday evening. I was at the gas station with my wife and as I was filling up she went inside to pay. While in there I asked if she would buy my usual game time snack, Mountain Dew and Peanut M&Ms. “Sure”, she replied. She reappears a few minutes later and states that she got the Mountain Dew, as requested, but got mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cups instead of the required Peanut M&Ms. What she failed to factor in is the superstitious nature of sports fans. You see I watch the Seahawks with the same snack every time and in this I can take comfort that the Seahawks will win. As she climbed into the car and announced her deed I knew it was going to be a long weekend.
There were so many poor aspects of Seattle’s game that I can point at and declare “There, there is the problem”. But lets just take a look at a few….
1) Let me start with Seattle’s season-long achilles heel…penalties. We had 9 penalties for 102 yards. We garnered 192 of total yards. When you exceed half the total number of yards with penalties against you, you create a self destructive cycle. What is worse 6 of those penalties resulted in first downs, many at critical times. Please…please stop personal fouls, facemasks, lining up in the neutral zones etc.
2) Seattle’s time of possession was atrocious. We had the ball 22:30 minutes and Arizona had it for 37:30 minutes. Even though our defense was commendable, if you stick them out there for that long you have to expect a break down at some point. We had 7 different possessions that resulted in 3 and out. You can’t help your defense regroup by giving them only 5 minutes between each series.
3) Clunk….that was Steven Hauschka missing a 24 yard field goal. Come on, seriously? Mr. Automatic couldn’t put basically an extra point through the uprights? Maybe somebody bet him he couldn’t nail one of the uprights and he wanted to prove them wrong. That is the only explanation I can think of for the most inexplicable of occurrences yesterday. In all honesty he didn’t look comfortable on any of his kicks, which is the first time all season he appeared that way. As a side note, our punting game continued to click right along.
4) If anybody would have said we were going to have 4 interceptions against Arizona I would have been ecstatic. However, the fact that those 4 interceptions only lead to 10 total points is almost unbelievable. Richard Sherman provided exceptional secondary coverage as always. Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor did terrific jobs of patrolling the middle. Byron Maxwell did an excellent job, even on the route he was beat on for the winning touchdown. There was not much you could’ve done better as a defender on that play. He had his hand against the ball but it tumbled just right so that if fell perfectly back into Floyd’s arms. The football gods were against us on this night.
5) Offensive ineptitude. I really can’t fathom Seattle being held to such a paltry output. After watching them last week move it at will against a Giants defense it boggles the mind how they could turn such a 180 so quickly, especially at home. Wilson looked bewildered most of the time in the game. Our opening possession and the drive that Seattle scored the touchdown on were the only two drives that he looked to be in control. It was a very reactionary game for Wilson; he didn’t dictate the offense but found himself trying to outperform an ever changing barrage of attackers.
6) If there was one stat that really painted a clear picture of how Seattle performed it was the miserable 3rd down conversion rate of 2-13 against a very stout Arizona defense. There is no way you can win a game when you are converting 15%, I don’t care who you are. It seems that even if you didn’t try you could manage a 15% conversion rate just by chance. I was sad to see so much emphasis on Seattle’s running game, especially when the run didn’t prove to be very profitable for Seattle.
7) I guess running the ball is what you are resigned to doing when your star quarterback is just a bit off of his game. Wilson just looked out of sync with every one of his receivers in this game. The stat line of 11-27, 89 yards is the worst of Wilson’s short career and proves that he is human and capable of a subpar performance. He never really looked comfortable in the pocket and his scrambling was very well contained. He never got off a pass to a streaking wide receiver nor could he improvise yards with his feet. Give credit to an Arizona defense that came in with an impeccable game plan against Seattle.
8) Squandered. We were inside the 10 yard line three times and we came away with 1 TD. At the end of the first half, after picking off Carson we had the ball inside of the 5. What a boost it would have been to enter halftime with a commanding lead, momentum on our side and knowing that we got the ball to open the second half. Instead we were stonewalled; two runs by Lynch and an incomplete pass by Wilson lead to Hauschka missing his ominous field goal. Prognosis Negative (Alert: Seinfeld reference)
9) 99 times out of 100 if I were to tell you that the Seahawks held Larry Fitzgerald to 3 catches for 18 yards, Michael Floyd to one catch (albeit the ultimate back breaker) and John Abraham to two tackles and we would have scrambled over each other to take those numbers. Well this was the one time that those numbers didn’t provide a win for Seattle.
10) The Seahawks slice of humble pie was served cold on Sunday. We got a sense of how New Orleans felt when they were shellacked three weeks ago. It hurts. Our egos were a bit bruised and our tails were soundly between our legs. The concern here lies in the fact that other teams now look at us being beatable at home. The spell has been broken.
Okay, lets take a step back, take a deep breath and regroup. We find ourselves becoming the biggest Atlanta and Arizona fans over the next two weeks. We can handle things ourselves if we beat St. Louis, which is always a tough win for Seattle. Have no fear Seattleites you will find me firmly planted in front of my computer watching the game with a Mountain Dew and a bag of Peanut M&Ms in hand…Go Hawks!