Before today's game, I was standing by the Seahawks' tunnel with a bunch of other Twelves. This teenage Hawks fan was standing next to me, and he yelled at Pete Carroll as the Coach ran past us. At the last instant, Coach Carroll chucked the ball around his back toward the kid Chris Paul-style. Unlike a pass from Chris Paul, PC's toss missed the mark- sailing just over us and into the arms of a Lions fan (a little fucker who wouldn't give the damn thing up to us Twelves).
As Sterling Archer once said, "Hooray for metaphors!" This was SO close to being the win that propelled the Seahawks towards the playoffs. Instead, that process has to start next week.
I'm not nearly as upset about this loss as I probably should be, and it's not because I'm mellowing or getting old/lame. Obviously, there's plenty of evidence you could use from today's loss to buttress an "Ahh! Let's all freak out" argument: Pete Carroll's inexplicable challenge underlined his still-not-exactly-excellent in-game decision-making. The defense melted like a Notebook fan in the presence of Ryan Gosling- After showing such consistent dominance over the first seven games, their collapse today was deeply unsettling. Their inability to stop the opposition on 3rd down is more than a mere annoyance at this point. Finally, Russell Wilson threw another interception that led to what ultimately were the decisive points for the enemy.
Despite all of this, I see a clear path to #10winsandaplayoffspot for the Seahawks. I don't think one sub-par performance means that the defense is no longer elite. More importantly, I think we saw tangible growth from Russell Wilson today. That pick aside, he looked like an actual factual GOOD NFL quarterback, leading the Seahawks on two drives that ended in red-zone TD passes. If it wasn't for the defensive near-surrender on Detroit's final possession, Wilson would have led Seattle on a drive for the come-from-behind winning touchdown (that included a clutch 4th and 2 conversion). He's shown me more than enough to convince me that he's our QB of the future and the present- The man who can lead us into the playoffs NOW.
We've got a quarterback- and from here on out, we have a MUCH more favorable schedule. Five of our last eight games are at home, including the next two games and three of the last four. Given the zaniness we've already seen at Seahawks Stadium this fall, I like our chances in EVERY home game left on the 2012 slate. Next week's game is an absolute must-win for the Hawks- Not only would it bring one of the Wild-Card leaders back into a tie with us, it would also give us tiebreakers over Green Bay AND Minnesota (the two non-NFCW teams ahead of us in the Wild Card race). With this week's results, the Seahawks are only one game of out the NFC's final playoff spot, and it's starting to look like 10-6 will be good enough to make "the tournament." Before Labor Day, I predicted that the Seahawks would be 4-4 at this point, and that they'd make a big leap in the 2nd half to make it to 10 wins, get in the playoffs, and upset the fucking Niners in the Wild Card round. Even after today's aggravating, demoralizing loss, I still completely believe that's what the future holds.
Up until that crushing conclusion, I had a grand time at the game today. I ran into a loyal reader and his brother outside Ford Field (Scott and... Mike?); They had incredibly nice things to say about this blog, and I am deeply grateful for their support, and the support of everyone who has been reading my blatherings in this space since 2008. My Twitter buddy Evan (pictured above) met me at the game, and there were more Twelves scattered through the crowd than I had anticipated. We rejoiced at Zach Miller's go-ahead TD and sat there dazed after the defense gave the lead away- but we were there, and our numbers are growing. As this team starts stringing wins together, you'll see more and more Twelves in stadiums from coast to coast.
I'll be there at Seahawks Stadium next week, and I'll scream myself mute to get us a win. What do you think, sirs? Was anyone else at today's game? Anyone have tales to tell?