November 25, 2012
I CONCEDE NOTHING
The Seahawks have played six road games in 2012, and every one of them has been decided in the last five minutes of the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, Seattle has lost FIVE of those six games. Today's defeat in Miami had the hallmarks of familiar Seahawks tragedies: TWO blown 4th quarter leads to an inferior opponent, aided by incredibly questionable officiating. It felt like New York in 1998 or Baltimore in 2003, didn't it? It was the sort of loss that stimulates the "Same Old Seahawks" lobe within the brains of a million Twelves. We saw our excellent defense fail comprehensively in the 4th quarter, and we saw our Pro Bowl running back get held to only 46 yards on 19 carries. That pain was compounded by a cruel post-game twist: Starting CBs Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman are facing 4-game P.E.D. suspensions (pending appeals).
A consensus emerged quickly in the wake of this dark afternoon: The 2012 Seahawks are good and fucked, and their playoff hopes are deader than a barrel of fish entrails. One part of that is the widespread "we lost today, thus we're a bunch of sucky sucks who will never win again" attitude among modern sports fans- many with memories that barely extend past the last tweet they banged out. That can be dismissed easily. The reaction to the looming CB suspensions is more understandable: Browner and Sherman are BALLERS, and it would be irrational to think the defense won't see a significant drop-off if they're gone for four games. But it's important to understand a simple truth: Just because the defense might not be dominant doesn't mean they can't be decent. The Seahawks can win games with a diminished defense if the offense and special teams can make up the difference.
The shining beacon of hope for Seattle is the continuing progression of Russell Wilson, who threw two touchdowns, completed 77% of his passes (including 16 in a row at one point), and put up a passer rating of 125.9. He also committed zero turnovers, and to paraphrase Fight Club, made me think "That's the last QB I'm gonna need. Whatever else happens, I've got that QB problem handled." Golden Tate made ANOTHER play destined to be a viral hit on YouTube, and the special teams had an excellent day, spearheaded by Jon Ryan's booming punts and Leon Washington's spectacular touchdown on a late kickoff return. Responsibility for this loss falls almost entirely upon our usually trustworthy defense, who allowed Ryan Tannehill to pull off a passable Dan Marino impression on Miami's final three possessions. Were they aided by an absolutely embarrassing "roughing" penalty on Earl Thomas that wiped out a game-clinching Bobby Wagner interception? Totally. Does anyone really give a fuck about that? Not really. So yeah, I get it. Defensive collapse today + possible loss of two of our best defenders = PANIC!
I'm not buying into that, though. I'm not ready to assume that Thurmond and Trufant are going to get torched for a month when/if Browner and Sherman are out. I'm not ready assume we're going to lose to a Chicago team we've beaten EACH of the last two years in their house (and has once again been SLAMMED by injuries). I'm NOT EVEN CLOSE to assuming that we're going to give up the last NFC playoff spot (which we're still holding on to) without a bloody struggle.
I'm amused/enraged (again) by Twelves starting the chorus of "Wahhhh! I don't want to sneak in the playoffs at 9-7." First of all, didn't all y'all do that shit two years ago about getting in at 7-9? Then the BEASTQUAKE happened? Secondly, didn't the Giants go 9-7 last season and win the effing Super Bowl? Don't be nit-picky about getting in the playoffs. JUST GET IN. 10-6 WILL get us in, and 9-7 might (particularly with Tampa playing at Denver and Minnesota visiting a pissed-off Packers team next Sunday). Even if the Seahawks lose at Chicago (which I'm not conceding), they could easily STILL be holding the NFC #6 seed at this point next week.
Once again, I find myself in the lonely glass-half-full minority. Anyone else in the Twelve Army still hopeful, or am I just totally off my nut again?