October 19, 2012
Niners 13, Seahawks 6
I hate losing to the 49ers. It makes me sick to my ass (as Mom once said). Jim Harbaugh is The King of All Douchenozzles, and he's built a team of punk-ass nimrods in his craven image. There's no NFL team I hate more than San Francisco (including Pittsburgh, so you know my hatred for SF is steadfast and true). I hate their players, their coaches, their fans, and that rotting, stinking husk of a stadium they all infest.
So why can't I get all that worked up over this loss?
As much as we all hate to admit it, San Francisco is one of the top 2 or 3 teams in the NFL. They routinely blow inferior opposition off the field. They don't just beat their foes- Often, they embarrass them. The Seahawks are no longer inferior opposition. They won't go to Candlestick and get blown out by 3 touchdowns anymore. In fact, for most of last night's game they outplayed the Niners- If just a couple of passes are completed instead of dropped, Seattle is sitting in first place in the NFC West today.
There aren't moral victories in the NFL, but losses can still indicate the growth and maturation of a franchise. In less than three years under Pete Carroll, we've evolved from a squad that dropped most of its games via double-digit obliteration to one that wins more often against the NFL's elite teams than it loses. Did Frank Gore trample all over our defense in the 2nd half? Yeah. But our defense also held the Niners to 13 points- Even on an off night, and against a great team, they did their job. On most nights, if your defense only gives up 13 points, your team is going to win the game.
There's been a sadly predictable knee-jerk reaction to Russell Wilson's (statistically) poor performance last night: FLYNNNNNNN! I think that I've built up substantial credentials as a Pro-Flynn Twelve (or at least as a Wilson skeptic), but I think any talk of a QB change at this point is absolute lunacy. We saw a glimpse of the quarterback Russell Wilson could become against the Patriots, and even last night he was largely sharp (especially in the first half). I don't see how Flynn starts a game in 2012 short of Wilson getting injured, and that is absolutely the right path for Pete Carroll to take.
Wilson has room to grow as a quarterback, but his receivers didn't do him any favors last night. Golden Tate in particular had an awful game- Hopefully last night's spasm of dropsies was an isolated incident, not the start of some horrifying flashback to 2004. There were bright spots- The offensive line did a great job in terms of both blowing open running lanes and protecting Wilson. Marshawn Lynch once again proved that he is the toughest (and perhaps the best) running back in the NFL, racking up over 100 yards against the best rushing defense he'll face all season.
Now Seattle sits at 4-3. Realistically, they have a better shot at making the playoffs as a Wild Card than by winning the NFC West. This fact makes our upcoming games against Detroit and Minnesota doubly crucial in terms of playoff tie-breakers. The Seahawks SHOULD be able to beat the flaky Lions on the road after a 10-day rest, and with all due respect to the Vikings, I don't think ANY enemy squad is beating us at Seahawks Stadium this season.
Back in August, many Twelves were bemoaning our borderline-sadistic early schedule. 2-5 was a common prediction for where Seattle would stand after seven games. I said we'd be 4-3 (obviously winning an entirely different combination of games), and here we are at 4-3. The remaining schedule is festooned with winnable games, so I'm still completely comfortable with my other big August predictions: 10-6, a Wild Card berth, and an upset win over the 49ers at Candlestick in the Wild Card round. Does anyone doubt that this team will be significantly better in January than it is now? Given the recent history of 10-6 or 9-7 teams winning the Super Bowl (3 of the last 5 Champions), these Seahawks would have a decent shot at XLVII if they can just "get in the tournament."
Next time we face those dog-faced cretins from down the coast, the results will be different. Hopefully, we'll get the chance to beat them TWICE this winter.
What do you think, sirs?