seahawks

Wildcard Playoffs: Seahawks MMQB, The comeback kids

Seahawks overcome 14-point deficit

Overcoming a two-touchdown deficit in the playoffs is a tough task.  Add in the fact that it was a rookie quarterback starting a road playoff game and you are entering hollowed grounds.

That is exactly what the Seattle Seahawks did as Russell Wilson led his team back from a 14-point first-quarter beating.

Going into the game, the only thing I feared was the Seahawks going into the game flat.  I did expect them to make a comeback win; however, I didn’t expect it to be from 14 points down, nor did I expect three quarters of complete domination by Seattle.

Too much is being made about RGIII's injury against Seattle. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Too much is being made about RGIII’s injury against Seattle. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

The injury to Robert Griffin III—or as some people call him “Bobby three sticks,” which is hilarious to me—had a hand in the Seahawks domination.  I haven’t heard anything out of Washington, nevertheless I can imagine the papers in the DC area this morning claim that the reason the Redskins lost was because their quarterback went down.

To be honest, if that had happen to Russell Wilson, most of our reporters would say the same thing.

It wasn’t all about RGIII’s injury, though—not even close.  During the game, the broadcast booth blamed his knee injury on the ball that Earl Thomas intercepted.

That is just not true.

In my preview piece I said that he would throw balls up like that, and I knew our secondary would make him pay.  This year he has been extremely lucky his receivers have made plays for him and that he hasn’t faced many good defenses.

Griffin’s injury didn’t help Wilson read the field better. It didn’t help Max Unger make a great line call at a crucial point of the game, or Zach Miller make clutch plays.  It didn’t help Steven Hauschka go 3/3 on field goals and 1/1 on extra points despite injuring his calf during the second quarter.

No, it was the heart of this young Seahawks team that overcame what looked pretty grim after the first quarter.  They had some setbacks along the way, but as soon as they showed signs of life, everyone knew the game was theirs.

Injuries

A lot has been made about RGIII’s decision to play, and the fact that Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan allowed him to play.  It isn’t their fault.  They are competitors, and that’s why they have doctors and trainers.

As a player, there is no way Robert is going to say, “Coach, I know it’s the playoffs, but I just cannot play.”  If he did we would chastise him like we did Jay Cutler when he pulled himself out of the game during the Bears loss to the Packer in the NFC Championship game.

On the flip side, Mike Shanahan knows how difficult it is to make the playoffs.  If a player tells him he can play there is no way that he’s not going to put that player in, especially when he’s the star of the team and such a big part of why you are there in the first place.

It falls on the shoulders of the training staff and Doctor James Andrews to pull him from the game.

Dr. Andrews cleared him to play against the Seahawks Sunday, stating “He passed all his tests and functional things we do.”  Andrews went into the room with RGIII while Robert was getting his knee taped up during the game.  As a medical professional, he needed to step up and say NO, but he didn’t.  He may have not given his approval, but he didn’t protest Griffin’s return either.

The Seahawks suffered a devastating injury of their own in the playoff victory.  Chris Clemons went down with a knee injury and MRI results have shown he has a torn ACL and other damage to his knee.

Pete Carroll said the injury will require surgery.   Chris Clemons will likely miss the start of the regular season next year—I’d expect him to start the year on the PUP (Physically Unable to Preform) list.  At 31, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have seen him play his last snap.  This is a crushing blow for the Seahawks, as they prepare to take on the NFL‘s eighth-ranked passing and scoring offense.

It will be interesting to see what Bruce Irvin can do with more snaps.  As soon as he replaced Clemons in the game, the Redskins ran at him and he was easily pushed down the field by the tackle.  Later, the Seahawks put Greg Scruggs in at defensive end.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them split the duties against the Falcons.

Officiating

That was the best officiated game that I can remember watching in the NFL.

Russell Wilson helped lead the comeback against the Washington Redskins. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Russell Wilson helped lead the comeback against the Washington Redskins. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/Washington Times)

Since Rodger Goodell became the Commissioner of the league, we have seen officials becoming more and more involved in the outcomes of games.

Sunday referee Pete Morelli, and his crew, let the players go out and play the game of football the way it should be played.

The game

I felt like Russell Wilson and the rest of the team came out flat.

They were tight and just not playing they way we are used to seeing them play.  But after they settled down, it was all Seahawks on both sides of the ball.

This whole season has been about reaching heights we have never seen before, so why not the carry that into the playoffs?

That is exactly what the Seahawks did on Sunday:

  • The Seahawks had 19 more yards rushing than any other Seahawks team had in a single playoff game.
  • The defense gave up less yards than any other Seahawks playoff game
  • Marshawn Lynch tied Shawn Alexander for rushing yards in a playoff game (132)
  • Only road playoff team to win this weekend
  • Russell Wilson is the only rookie quarterback still playing
  • Won second road playoff game in team history, first since 1983

There is no way the Atlanta Falcons want to play the Seahawks, but that is exactly what they have to do on Sunday.  Seattle has already shaken the stigma of being unable to win on the road, and now they have a chance to shake the 10 AM monkey off of their back.

Hundreds of 12’s waited for the Seahawks to return to Seattle so they could give them a proper welcome.  The players, coaches and trainers all took notice, and you better believe that will give them a little extra focus this week.

Win or lose, if you can make it to welcome the players back Sunday, you should.  It shows them how much we care and it strengthens the bond between the team and the 12th man.

Go Seahawks!

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About Brett Bivens

Born and raised in Spokane. Moved to Seattle in 2006. A Seahawks fan since he can remember, Seahawks season ticket holder for 5 years!. He blogs, tweets and bleeds blue and green. 12th Man For Life! Connect with Brett today!
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