I don’t know what to tell you.
In my last Seahawks-related post, I finished with three paragraphs that sort of read like a Keys To The Game type of thing. To recap:
… Chicago isn’t like the Perfect Team or anything. They’ve got a quarterback who’s prone to meltdowns. They’ve got a running back who’s prone to injury. They’ve got one wide receiver who should be shut down by either one of our soon-to-be-suspended cornerbacks. They don’t appear to have a tight end or any other receivers of note. We SHOULD, theoretically, be able to shut down their offense.
Well, their quarterback (Jay Cutler) had a better passer rating than Russell Wilson as he threw for 233 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs. Certainly no meltdown there. Their running back (Matt Forte), while prone to injury, made it through the game incident-free as he tallied 96 total yards and a TD. Their wide receiver (Brandon Marshall) was seemingly unstoppable as he caught 10 balls for 165 yards, including a 56-yard pseudo-Hail Mary with the game in the balance to set up the overtime-forcing field goal. Granted, no one else on their offense showed up, but with that kind of production, they didn’t really NEED to show up. Moving on:
Their defense is stout, but it’s aging and it’s banged up. And they seem to thrive only when getting turnovers. That could be to our advantage; if we’re able to keep from coughing up the football, we should be able to move it on them well enough.
We fumbled on our opening drive, which set up their opening touchdown, but after that we were more careful. And it proved effective, as we gained 459 yards of total offense. It wasn’t the greatest offensive performance ever, but for a team playing on the road (especially THIS team, who SUCKS on the road), color me damned impressed.
In a close game, anything can happen. Why do I see us winning this game when we failed so miserably last week? Call it a hunch. Or call it blind homerism. Call it whatever you want, I’m just glad I don’t have to watch.
Can’t get much closer than overtime. And from the looks of things, just about anything DID happen.
I watched the entire first half. In that first half, I saw a Seahawks defense getting manhandled. Their initial TD drive was TOO easy. The follow-up drive that led to them failing to convert a 4th down was likewise TOO easy. While I don’t necessarily believe that decision to go for it decided the game, I do think it was fortunate. They bungled a couple of opportunities to convert and go up by 14-0. If I’m in Lovie’s shoes, I would’ve been pretty fucking confident in the Bears’ abilities to move the ball up and down the field, even after failing to convert that 4th down.
Somehow, the Seahawks settled down, they engineered a touchdown drive late in the second quarter, and they ALMOST engineered another one before time expired! As things stood, the Seahawks were up 10-7 at halftime. On the one hand, confident that we weathered a pretty nasty shitstorm; on the other hand, this was still the Seahawks on the road.
What shitstorm? Well, you can’t really overlook all of these close calls going against us. I’m not going to pin it on the refs: the Lynch fumble WAS a fumble, those Bears fumbles caught lucky bounces (for them) and even though we left the pile with the balls, it still clearly looked like – in both cases – the fumbler fell on the ball first. That overturn of the TD right before the half was a LITTLE questionable, but I can see why it was indeed overturned.
That could’ve been bad. That last break going against us; the coaching staff must have done a marvelous job of calming everyone down at halftime. I’m sure the players were PISSED OFF by that point.
I was on the road for most of the third quarter, but arrived at my destination in time to see the Bears take the lead. I ended up missing all of the fourth quarter, but a chorus of cheers in another room led me to the TV where I saw replays of Rice’s go-ahead score. I figured it was over, but of course, we’re talking about the Seahawks on the road.
And yet, the Seahawks came out in overtime and flat-out got the job done. Russell Wilson, by all accounts, was extraordinary (293 yards passing, 71 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 0 turnovers). I don’t know if he was the best player on the field (there was, after all, Jon ‘MVP’ Ryan), but I would venture to say he was the best quarterback on the field. The fact that we’re saying that after a road victory in Chicago in December really says a lot.
This win, coupled with the 49ers losing to the Rams, opens up a ton of possibilities. The Niners still have to go to New England, and they still have to come to Seattle. If they lose to the Patriots, and Seattle wins out, we’re talking about Division Champs. Division Champs HOSTING a playoff game.
It’s too early to get excited. Give me another week or two, though. I may be frothing at the mouth by Christmas.