A Sight for Spoiled Eyes
The past few weeks have been closer outcomes than anticipated for the Seattle Seahawks when you consider their opponents.
The St. Louis Rams racked up over 200 yards rushing with backup QB Kellen Clemens behind center, and all but had the game won if it wasn’t for a goal-line stand by the Seattle defense in the waning seconds.
The following week, Seattle hosted the win-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Century Link Field — where no team dares to roam. The Bucs came out rolling into a 21-point lead, and again topped 200 yards as a team. They had the game dominated, if it wasn’t for a second-half surge from both sides of the ball in Seattle to lift them over Tampa and contribute to their losing streak.
These two games led to turmoil in the Seattle fanbase and analysts world wide — one episode of NFL Live asked 5 analysts to give their top team in the NFC, and Seattle wasn’t even named! They chose San Francisco, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco again, and New Orleans again. All seeming to forget the team at the top of the conference — the 8-1 Seahawks.
I won’t lie, I feel victim to this idea that Seattle wasn’t quite the team they should be, and that the injuries were no excuse for their output.
But hold the phone, they won both of these games! And oh yeah, another 6! Including 4 road wins! This team has been so hyped up that even when they lose, they get criticized for not being perfect. We forget that this is the National Football League! Any team can beat any team. Yes, even the Bucs.
Look what St. Louis did in Indianapolis! Get ready for some public scrutiny courtesy of ESPN, Colts fans.
Okay sorry, had to get that out. But let’s focus on the question-answering, payback-giving, can of whoop-ass Seattle laid on the Falcons this past week. Which unit stood out?
Brace Yourselves – The Offensive Line
Yeah, I said it.
This last week’s victory was like that high school crush you had — the one that you would send a text message to and simply stare at the phone, waiting for a reply. It seemed to take days — in this case weeks — but once you got that text reply, you didn’t a worry in the world. Pure bliss.
This example is purely hypothetical by the way, never happened to me.
The 8-1 Seattle team that was so highly criticized going into this matchup came out and played in every aspect like we knew they could. Stopping the run, shutting down the passing attack, dominating in the running game to open up picture perfect pass plays.
Granted, the Falcons are not the team we faced in the Divisional Playoff last season. But this is the NFL. And anytime you can go into an opposing team’s stadium and dominate them like the Seahawks did, you deserve some praise.
The defense played outstanding as a unit, but we FINALLY got to see the offense get going. And that is because the offensive line got their rhythm.
The running attack hasn’t been struggling this season – 2nd in the NFL – but the passing game has sputtered at times – 24th. This is because we have a run-first offensive mind set and have always been able to create push in the trenches. Also, we essentially have two guards playing tackle, which is much easier to push than protect with.
Well, o-line guru Tom Cable has once again taken a make-shift line and, with some timely rotation and some elbow grease, turned them into a productive unit.
The running attack dominated the game - Marshawn Lynch had 145 yards – and the passing game was given all day to throw - Russell Wilson picked apart the Falcons’ secondary at will and ended up with a 134.6 QB rating and 92.3 QBR.
The team looked outstanding and put a stop to the doubters out there. But the best part is to think how much better they can get once their injured studs return to the field.
The anticipation builds…