September 9, 2012
Cardinals 20, Seahawks 16
Today the Seattle Seahawks provided plenty of ammunition for those who want to conclude that they're embarking on another doomed campaign. Again they came out flat and lost a season opener they were favored to win. Again they allowed an inferior opponent to build a 1st-half advantage that ultimately couldn't be overcome. AGAIN the offensive line couldn't protect the quarterback. AGAIN GAME WINNING PASSES WERE DROPPED. The story is all too familiar. If one was inclined to believe in curses, today's debacle in Glendale provided plenty of evidence.
Here's the thing, though: I don't believe in curses. I DO believe in Russell Wilson.
Wilson's numbers weren't great. If you wanted to compare his opening day stats to Robert Griffin III, Wilson's look dreadful. Every pass wasn't delivered with sniper-level accuracy. A terrible swing pass to Lynch ended up being a lateral and cost Seattle three points. He bailed out of the pocket under pressure too quickly a number of times. Despite all that, today CONVINCED me that he will lead the Seahawks to the playoffs, and that he'll do so this season. Why?
He showed decisiveness, patience, and incredible calm under pressure. Let's cut the shit: If either Doug Baldwin or Braylon Edwards makes a difficult but TOTALLY PLAUSIBLE catch, we're already going apeshit about The Legend of Russell Wilson. With his team needing a touchdown, he whipped them downfield and into position to win. In his VERY FIRST NFL GAME. That's pretty fucking awesome. I saw nothing but upside from Russell Wilson. I saw a quarterback who is capable of consistently delivering excellent quarterback play. We haven't had that since 2007, people. Late-model Hasselbeck couldn't do that, and neither could Tarvaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst.
Could Matt Flynn? Yes, I think so. I think it's WAY too soon to even consider that move, though. Not only would the team have to be losing, they'd have to be losing in such as way that starting Matt Flynn would be likely to make a measurable difference. In addition to that, the window for such a move is VERY narrow. It would have to be made while the Seahawks are still in playoff contention- If Seattle falls out of the playoff race, why not give Wilson a season of experience? If the Seahawks lose next week AND Wilson looks out of his depth, there's some chance Flynn could start against Green Bay in a desperate bid to get to 1-2... but I doubt it. If we're 0-3 and heading into STL for a death match? That's where I think a switch might be made, but only if the defeats are clearly at least in part due to sub-replacement-level QB play.
My friend Hawkblogger said this before the game, and he was absolutely correct: The offense couldn't be counted on to win this game- The defense needed to be dominant. For a long stretch in the 2nd half, they were, but it simply wasn't enough... and it won't be enough for this defense to merely be "good." They have to smother the enemy. They absolutely can't let the likes of Kevin Kolb hop off the bench and drive their teams to go-ahead touchdowns. Even if they have Larry Fitzgerald to throw to, that's completely unacceptable. Much more is expected from them.
Realistically, the Seahawks are in a must-win situation at home vs the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday. Everyone will pick Dallas to win, and everyone will be wrong. Wilson will take another step towards his destiny, and backed by a bloodthirsty crowd a humbled Seattle defense will make Romo be Romo. I refuse to believe these are the Same Old Seahawks- because I believe Russell Wilson is motherfuckin' Neo... And he's fixing to wake everyone up.
What do you think, sirs?