For grizzled veterans of the Twelve Army, the ugly first half today in Chicago followed a very familiar, very cliched script: In an important late-season road game, the Seahawks were making big mistakes, making an opposing "just a guy" QB look like a Pro Bowler, and shitting away an opportunity to "level up." Of course I thought we were still in the game, but what came next even shocked me, the King of Wishful Thinking...
In the 2nd half we came out and BEAT THE FUCKING SHIT out of the Chicago Bears. 31-0 doesn't even fully express how completely Seattle dominated the last 30 minutes of today's game- The Hawks marched downfield and shoved the tying TD down the Bears' throats on their opening possession, then followed up with a perfectly timed blitz that forced Caleb Hanie to throw a giftwrapped pick-six to Big Red Bryant. After that, Hanie evidently remembered that he sucked- His facade of 1st-half competence completely evaporated after that play.
Tarvaris Jackson made an inexcusable mistake to hand Chicago a 1st-half TD, and looked like "Bad T-Jack" from last September through the opening 30 minutes... But after the half he was magnificent, once again avoiding interceptions and making more than a few impressive throws- and a large share of the credit for that goes to Seattle's maligned but surprisingly solid offensive line. Despite missing three starters lost to IR, they didn't allow Chicago's fearsome pass rush to shut down Seattle's passing game in the 2nd half. The Bears may have succeeded in "stopping" Marshawn Lynch by holding him to just 42 yards, but Seattle's offense still put up 24 points (and Beast Mode still found the end zone twice).
Seattle's defense continues to grow more intimidating each week. Over the last 6 games, they've allowed only nine total touchdowns and scored three of their own (That's a net of averaging only one TD allowed per game over the last month and a half, yo). Today they recorded four sacks and five takeaways, erasing Chicago's entire offensive attack (Fuck You, Mike Martz). K.J. Wright, Red Bryant, and Chris Clemons had great games, but once again the story was that young Seattle secondary: Browner, Sherman, Chancellor and Thomas. It's not at all crazy to argue they are one of the NFL's best defensive backfields- By next season they might just be the best in football.
I was overstuffed with joy today as this one became an ever bigger, ever more decisive blowout. I'm so proud of how this team has fought, and I feel privileged to be able to watch them grow and improve every single week. I have NO doubt that we will win these final two games against the Niners and Cardinals to reach 9-7... Even if we don't make the playoffs, that would be an important accomplishment (our first winning season since 2007 is nothing any Twelve should dismiss).
But there is still hope- As far as I can tell, two scenarios remain that would get Seattle into the playoffs:
2 Seattle wins + 2 Detroit losses (SD, @GB)
2 Seattle wins + 2 Atlanta losses (@NO, TB) + 2 Chicago wins (@GB, @MIN)
Are our playoff chances great? Hell no. But it's not that implausible either, particularly the Lions scenario. Playoffs or not, I want to close out this mother fucker by kicking the piss out of SF and AZ.
I'm an incredibly happy Twelve today, y'all. What do you think, sirs?