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? :)