When the Angst Comes Marching In
This past week has been one of anxiety, sweaty palms, and a dangerously high heart rate. I felt like George Costanza at a week-long speed dating seminar.
Now this hasn’t been a result of nervousness. I’m fully confident in the Seattle Seahawks to take care of business on Saturday. It’s just, well, the time has finally come.
Since Matt Bryant split those uprights on January 13th of last year, this is the moment Seahawks fans have been waiting for. Granted, there was a slight grace period – if you will – of utter despair immediately following the game – Russell Wilson aside, of course.
But we all knew they would be back with a vengeance. And here we sit, the number 1 seed with home field advantage. Tearing down the walls standing in our way to the Lombardi trophy, week by week.
And now, with the Saints at our doorstep, the time for playoff football begins. What to watch for.
Classless in Seattle, Apparently
The story circulating sports radio and websites regarding the game oddly enough has little to do with the game. It has to do with the complaints of Saints fans, claiming Seattle fans are “classless.”
Some douche named Jason went on KJR 950 to complain about the Seattle Seahawks players and fans, saying our players think they’re gods and we treat them as such.
Granted, we love our players. But I think there is a few things being GREATLY overlooked in this scenario.
For starters, everyone knows Pete Carroll brings a college-esque atmosphere to the professional level. He brings the team together, like a family, and drives them with enthusiasm and encouragement – which is fluently translated throughout the players and their performances.
This leads to heaps and heaps of hype and celebration – sorry that our players get excited when they or their teammates make plays.
Secondly, “WHO DAT?” Are you kidding me?
For a Saints fan to say Seattle has no class, you literally insult every team that walks into your stadium with your trademark chant. If you can’t see that, your ignorance is clouding your shitty judgement.
Third, BOUNTY GATE. You want to talk about class, let’s get Brett Favre’s take. Last I checked, a team putting a pool together to see who can hurt the opposing team’s quarterback wasn’t near the top of the list in league etiquette.
And finally, Seattlites are constantly being criticized as of late because of their supposed “bandwagon” behavior and the fact we think our team is the greatest team of all time. That is not the case.
Fact of the matter is our team is incredibly solid this season, and we are all very excited about it. We aren’t saying they have a dynasty or they are an incredible franchise. We are just excited about how this team has grown and where it is today. So for the last time, stop putting your previous Super Bowl rings into your debates regarding teams.
I don’t think a 1972 piece of jewelry is going to stop Russell Wilson on a 4th quarter drive.
End of rant.
Drew Brees and Sean Payton, Get Over Yourselves
This is a game that has been rumored as an upset-watch kind of match up. Why? No logical reason.
Seattle is the 1 seed, New Orleans the 6.
Seattle has had a bye week to prepare for this game, New Orleans is coming off of a road game to play another road game.
New Orleans came to Seattle 5 weeks ago – and got their asses ran out of the stadium.
So why would this game favor New Orleans in any way?
“With Sean Payton and Drew Brees together, this team is set up to beat anyone.” – analysts who defy logic.
The other argument is the previous loss will only help New Orleans, because now they know what to expect.
Wait a second…pretty sure Drew and Sean were both on the squad when New Orleans traveled to Seattle in the 2011 playoff. Everyone on Earth remembers that game, so I assume those two did as well. Did that help them in preparation for their week 13 match up?
Apparently not. But…it will this time?
Better Than Ever
Since Pete Carroll’s arrival in Seattle, their defense has been the premise of their team and dominated their side of the ball.
They have consistently been in the top 5 of the league, and kept their team in games.
But over these last several weeks, we may be seeing the best stretch of defense we have ever seen – at least in the Pete Carroll era.
Over the final 6 weeks of the season, the stats are as follows for opposing teams:
- QB Rating: 57.4
- Pass TD’s Allowed/Interceptions Forced: 5/14
- Avg Pass Yds/Game: 170.6
- Avg Rush Yds/Game: 86
- Rush TD’s Allowed: 0
Those statistics include the New Orleans Saints. Analysts debate they have a chance because they ran on the Eagles. Their entire team ran for 44 yards on 17 attempts last time they came to Seattle. Please try to run the ball, New Orleans.
Heartache or Beastquake?
People continue to insist our team only goes as far as Marshawn Lynch carries us. The team revolves around the run game. Yada yada.
While this was true at one point, the truth is Marshawn has been a very small factor in our victories as of late.
Over that 6 week span earlier noted, Marshawn averaged 64.3 yards on 18.3 carriers per game with 5 TD’s.
Meanwhile, Russell has been throwing for an average of 204 yards with 9 TD’s and a QB rating of 101.8. That includes a 310 yard, 3 TD and 139.6 rating against – you guessed it- the New Orleans Saints.
The point is, yes Marshawn is a key part of our team. His ability to run the ball efficiently sets the pace for our team.
His intensity and running style build the hype and emotion our team thrives off of. He is the beast that gets this team going. But in the event that he is slowed by a defense, we now have other outlets to look to for production.
That being said, every one of us is hoping for another “Hold my D***!” moment from Beast Mode. Shut up Drew Brees.
It is Time. Unleash Weapon X
The biggest acquisition for Seattle has yet to earn his paycheck. Percy Harvin has been recovering from a torn labrum in his hip all season, and has only participated in one game.
But that hasn’t affected Seattle’s positioning by any means. So in a sense, it could be looked at as a positive. It’s no mystery Percy is injury prone. The only reason he isn’t a sure-fire pro bowler every year is that he cannot finish a season. A big reason his signing led to doubts from the fan base.
However, the fact he got his injury “out of the way early” bodes hope that he will now be ready for when it counts – playoffs.
And that is exactly how it seems to be playing out.
While on the verge of being placed on the IR, Percy gave a last ditch effort to remain active for the coaching staff – and thrived.
Pete said he looked incredible in practice, and kept him active on the roster. He was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, and will likely be playing come Saturday.
While the dynamic Harvin has only seen the field once this year, his presence did not go unnoticed. Sure, he only had 1 catch for 17 yards. It was a one-handed grab, but still nothing to pay 60 million for.
And yea, he did return a kick for 58 yards. That was a glimpse of his potency in the return game.
But the true statistic to look at is how he affected the team’s offense.
With Harvin on the field, his mere presence drew attention from defenders across the field – after all, they were the players of his former Minnesota Vikings.
Russell Wilson ended up having his best game of the season – posting a 98.5 QBR and a rating of 151.4.
Just being on the field makes the players around him that much better. If there is room to improve from their last performance against New Orleans, Percy will find a way to bring it to light.
So yes, unleash Weapon X.