October 18, 2013

Seahawks 34, Cardinals 22




















I HATE Thursday Night games. I DETEST them. They are a blatant money grab by the NFL, the quality of play is never at the level of games played on Sundays and Mondays, the quick turnaround from the previous Sunday increases the chances of serious injuries, and the games are on a network that is still inconvenient for millions of viewers. On top of all of that, I'm a creature of routines and habits, so the Seahawks playing on Thursday night totally fucks up the rhythm of my week. Given all of that, all I wanted last night was for the Hawks to escape victorious and unscathed. Despite the deceptively close score through 2.5 quarters, Seattle not only won but physically dominated the Arizona Cardinals, running to the first 6-1 start in franchise history in what amounted to Seahawks Stadium South.

Something that annoyed me a bit in the post-game analysis of this one was the relative lack of discussion over Russell Wilson's trio of fumbles. Yes, the WolfBadger had a great game otherwise, throwing three TD passes and racking up another gaudy passer rating in the 120s. Yes, he made one of the most incredible throws I've ever seen, chucking a perfect pass to Sidney Rice ON A DEAD SPRINT for Seattle's first TD. Yes, he converted a key 3rd down in the 2nd half on a ridiculous heave to Zach Miller while being sacked. Yes, the offensive line is kind of a hot mess right now.

But still... those fumbles SINGLEHANDEDLY kept Arizona in the game. Dangeruss is a spectacular talent, but he must get better at feeling the enemy pass rush as it closes in and making sure the ball is secure. We got away with this last night against an inferior Cardinals team, but teams like the 49ers, Saints and Broncos are far more likely to make Wilson pay dearly for those kind of mistakes. Overall, it was another sloppy performance from the Seahawks. In addition to the two turnovers, Seattle also committed 10 penalties. One has to assume that "cleaning that up" will be an area of emphasis for Pete Carroll from here on out this season.

Every Twelve should be beaming with blissful optimism today, though. The defense choked out yet another enemy offense, holding Arizona to a laughable 30 yards rushing and ERASING the great Larry Fitzgerald, who meekly hauled in two receptions for 17 yards. EIGHT Seattle defenders combined for seven sacks of Carson Palmer, who threw two interceptions, complied most of his yardage in garbage time, and made me feel pretty stupid for ever writing this article. Golden Tate had another sterling performance that will increase his asking price in the offseason, and Marshawn Lynch not only churned out 91 yards and a touchdown, he also TRUCKED The Despicable Darnell Dockett. Thanks, Beast Mode!

The most stunning development at Glendale last night didn't unfold on the playing field, though. What appeared to be tens of thousands of Twelves occupied University of Phoenix Stadium, filling the air with "SEA! HAWKS!" chants, cheering every positive Seattle play loudly, and nearly drowning out the NFL Network post-game interview with Russell Wilson. It was a surreal and wonderful scene, and it demonstrated a fundamental truth: The Seahawks aren't just a great team. They're fucking COOL. I've even started to see more people in Hawks gear all the way out here in Columbus lately. Yup. We're attracting "bandwagon" fans, and that's nothing to fret about. You know who doesn't have bandwagon fans? Nondescript, irrelevant teams. Your Seahawks are NEITHER of those things anymore.

Side note: The scene in Glendale last night made me wonder what Mariners fans, who CONSTANTLY whinge about Red Sox Nation buying thousands of tickets at Safeco Field every year (including me), thought about Seattle fans doing likewise down in Arizona. Yeah, I'm a snarky bitch, aint I?

Your Seahawks are 6-1. They have a 10-day break before an imminently winnable MNF game at St. Louis. Percy Harvin will be on the field soon, and Seattle's upcoming schedule includes Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Minnesota. It's extremely plausible that the Hawks will be 10-1 heading into their titanic MNF battle with New Orleans on December 2.

As we say around here: Don't it just feel great? :)

10 comments:

Aaron said...

Yup, the incessant bitching by Mariners fans is annoying. You don't like us taking over your stadium every time the Sox are in town? Try showing up to support your team, problem solved!

Cee said...

Just heard on 710Seattle from a gal that was down there that there were a whole lot of Seahawk fans that they didn't let into the bleacher area for the NFL Network postgame show as well. Watching it last night was surreal. Electric. Goosebump inducing. You see that type of fan support and reaction after a PLAYOFF game, NOT a game in the middle of the season. #Road12s really represented! #GoHawks!

Cee said...

@ Aaron! Ha! Need bandwagon fans for that! Mariners are boring and irrelevant now, just like Johnnie mentioned above.

Toftie said...

A couple thoughts.

First, I was watching at a friend's place that has the surround speakers and the one right behind my head seemed to be all Seahawks fans. It was amazing. This made me proud of Seattle in general because I always think of the ECS (Sounders supporters) as the travel monkeys going to away games in large packs. I was tickled that this is true for Hawks fans as well. For Sounders away games, there is usually an agreed on limit of tickets that can go to us. I wonder if the NFL has that as well?

Second, I don't normally like hearing all the "we were robbed by the refs" statements, but I do feel like there has been a huge imbalance this season in many games (this one included) where pass interference is called against us in questionable moments but not against the other team when clearly guilty. I'm probably blinded by my lifetime devotion to the Seahawks but it just always feels like we continue to get screwed on unfair or unbalanced calls.

Finally, we (Dave and Jimmy and I) were laughing that Fitzgerald seemed to be playing blocker more than receiver, which was disheartening to Dave since he had him on his fantasy team. For my fantasy team, I needed Tate to score more, but I'm still thrilled with my points (i.e. Seahawks defense and Lynch).

Justin D. Carleton said...

Missed the best moment of the season so far: Kam Chancellor just KILLING an offensive tackle.

Admittedly, the Cardinals tackles barely qualify as such...

neurocell said...

In your first paragraph you stated many things that I agree with, but your comment on quality of play wasn't one of them.

Grantland just did an article on this topic:

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/78636/sloppy-night-football-on-thursdays-guess-again

I don't like Thursday night games, mainly because of players not being able to recover properly (Why can't the NFL have teams play the Thursday after their bye?). As far as this season goes, Thursday wasn't as sloppy as it would appear for the Hawks. They had 10 penalties for 70 yards, and two turnovers. The Seahawks entered the game averaging 6.5 penalties for 69.9 yards and 1.66 turnovers. They've also turned the ball over twice in games 3-6. So, it was close to average for the Hawks.

I don't like penalties, but I can live with them. Except when they're not called equally, which has been the case with the Hawks.

I can't state how well other teams play on Thursday nights, but under Pete Carroll they've been great. I really want the Seahawks to overcome the mistakes that they've shown this season, the mistakes that keep other teams in the game, but right now the Hawks are so good that they can readily overcome those lapses. I'm just stoked to see how good they will be when they don't make those negative plays.

Sammy said...

I need to hear the story of how a Seattle native, huge Seahwawks fan is a Red Sox fan. I usually ask supposed Sox and Yankees fans what part of New England or New York they're from (or Dallas or Pittsburgh in the case of Cowboys' or Steelers' fans). I can explain away my Padres - Seahawks allegiances because I'm from and have spent considerable time in both Washington and San Diego. :D

Sammy said...

What's with all of the "unfair penalties against the Seahawks" complaining? I know it's natural as a fan to believe the refs screwed your team, but it's rarely the case. According to an NFL penalty tracker, it's pretty even with Seattle and their opponents on the season.

If you remove the pre-snap penalties, because those are rarely "bad" calls, Seattle has 34 penalties for 394 yards. Their opponents? 27 penalties for 339 yards. That's one penalty per game for an average of under 8 yards.

And let's face it - if your team is known to be aggressive on defense, you're going to get popped more.

DKSB said...

Sammy,
RE: My Red Sox fandom...

http://www.fieldgulls.com/2010/7/22/1582874/rooting-for-the-bad-guys

neurocell said...

Didn't realize Sunday was Dave Krieg's 55th Birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mudbone.