November 11, 2012
Seahawks 28, Jets 7
The Seahawks weren't playing against another NFL team today- They were up against a living cautionary tale. In recent years the New York Jets have made every move the Seahawks desperately tried to avoid. Blow a high first round pick on a shaky quarterback? Check. Let your defense age into mediocrity? Check. Sign a bunch of big-name free agents and become more fixated on winning media attention than football games? SUPER Check. The Jets are a comprehensively terrible team, and if the Seahawks had lost to them at home it would have set off a wave of justifiable panic amongst Soldiers of Twelve.
There was a time (not very long ago) that the Seahawks would have shat away a game like this. They would have dicked around, let the Jets stay close, and then found a way to lose. I'm sure there were legions of Twelves who thought this way when it was still 14-7 through the 3rd quarter. Why haven't we put these jokers away? One big play and this game is tied! Aaaarrrrgghhhh! Not me. Sure, there was a point where it looked like this might be a particularly ugly win- But I NEVER thought we could possibly lose this one. Why?
The Legion of Boom was NEVER going to let Mark Sanchez put up the points New York needed in order to win. The Jets defense was NEVER going to bottle up Marshawn Lynch for the entire game. Knowing that, it followed that Russell Wilson was going to get opportunities to make plays downfield. Yeah, it was disconcerting to see NYJ's pass rush get after Wilson in the 1st half, but once Lynch got going I KNEW RW3 was going to deliver the deathblow. Today's performance by the Seahawks wasn't artistic- it was a blowout win at home over a god-awful, forlorn Dead Team Walking. For now, that's plenty good enough.
The Jets, like their coach, are a bunch of blustery fake tough guys, and today they ran into a squad stocked with guys who LIVE to inflict punishment and pain. At one point, it looked like Kam Chancellor might snap a Jets receiver in two with a vicious, legal hit. Bruce Irvin was at times unblockable, and Richard Sherman expertly baited Mark Sanchez into throwing a mind-numbingly stupid red zone interception. Sanchez looked absolutely out of his depth, and nothing Tim Tebow did was worthy of any serious discussion. The man is a sideshow, and he was out-quarterbacked by Golden Tate today. Perhaps he should shut his big fat yap from now on, yes?
It's a cliche now, but it doesn't make it any less true: Russell Wilson is the quarterback Tebow WISHES he could be. NO NFL QB has been better at home this season, and he's the first rookie QB since the merger in 1970 to win his first five home starts. Yeah, NYJ's lone TD can be blamed on him holding the ball too long, but two Seahawks TDs came on PERFECT Wilson throws. His 4th quarter dime to Sidney Rice for six was a throw Tim Tebow couldn't even make in fucking Madden, let alone real life. Once again, Wilson gave Seahawks fans reason to believe the QB situation is settled for the next decade or so.
It's becoming reasonable to wonder if Marshawn Lynch will someday surpass Shaun Alexander as the greatest running back in Seahawks' history. His style of play isn't just effective- It's legitimately inspiring. He's on track for one of the greatest individual rushing seasons in franchise lore, and I believe only injury can derail him from eventually being remembered as the best back to ever play in Seattle. The other big offensive story is Golden Tate- Is it finally "clicking" for him? All season, he has displayed a knack for big, game-changing plays. My biggest criticism is that his celebratory dance moves are... odd.
Seattle now gets a their (very late) bye week before schlepping to Miami in 2 weeks. That's the next challenge: Go 3300 miles for a 10 am game and beat a decent team in their building. A loss wouldn't be devastating, but a win would give Seattle some margin of error in December and silence some of the team's remaining doubters.
The Hawks are right were I thought they'd be at this point back in August: 6-4, and set up nicely for a playoff run. Four of their last six games are against teams with losing records; 10-6 and the tournament are there for the taking. Heal up and finish strong, Seahawks.
What do you think, sirs?