Sometimes, It IS How You Start & Not How You Finish

Whenever the Seahawks come up with some hard-fought, come-from-behind victory, they always like to trot out the same tired cliche:  it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.  Well, I hope the last couple games put that notion to rest.

The Seahawks don’t have some magical power that allows them to win games they’ve been trailing big.  Since 2012, the Seahawks have been involved in 12 games where we’ve found ourselves down by 10 points or more.  Our record in those games is 6-6.  I don’t know how that compares to the league average, but if you think about it, the really bad teams probably have a really bad record in games where they’ve found themselves down by double-digits.  I would anticipate a .500 record in those games is actually pretty good, but it’s not like the Seahawks have a knack for coming back and securing wins after slow starts.  If you consider the Seahawks to be one of the very best teams in the NFL over the last 3+ seasons, then you’d probably expect a .500 record to be indicative of how good they are at staging successful comebacks.  Victories, in these instances, should be far from expected.  Below, I’ve listed the games:

2012

@ Arizona
Biggest Deficit:  13-3
Took the Lead:  16-13
Game Result:  Loss 20-16

vs. New England
Biggest Deficit:  23-10
Took the Lead:  24-23
Game Result:  Win 24-23

@ Washington (playoffs)
Biggest Deficit:  14-0
Took the Lead:  21-14
Game Result:  Win 24-14

@ Atlanta (playoffs)
Biggest Deficit:  20-0
Took the Lead:  28-27
Game Result:  Loss 30-28

2013

@ Houston
Biggest Deficit:  20-3
Tied the Game:  20-20
Game Result:  Win 23-20 (OT)

vs. Tampa Bay
Biggest Deficit:  21-0
Tied the Game:  24-24
Game Result:  Win 27-24 (OT)

vs. San Francisco (playoffs)
Biggest Deficit:  10-0
Took the Lead:  20-17
Game Result:  Win 23-17

2014

@ San Diego
Biggest Deficit:  20-7
Took the Lead:  N/A
Game Result:  Loss 30-21

@ St. Louis
Biggest Deficit:  21-3
Took the Lead:  N/A
Game Result:  Loss 28-26

vs. Green Bay (playoffs)
Biggest Deficit:  16-0
Took the Lead:  22-19
Game Result:  Win 28-22 (OT)

2015

@ St. Louis
Biggest Deficit:  24-13
Took the Lead:  31-24
Game Result:  Loss 34-31 (OT)

@ Green Bay
Biggest Deficit:  13-3
Took the Lead:  17-13
Game Result:  Loss 27-17

You guys can give the Seahawks a cookie for almost always managing to come back and take the lead (even if they haven’t always been able to hold it), but I can’t help but see what’s happening this year as a dangerous trend.  Getting off to a slow start in these first two games is KILLING this team.  Of course, it doesn’t help that the offensive line can’t open up any running lanes for Marshawn Lynch, so our offense can’t really do what it wants to do (which is, duh, running the ball).  But, this defense isn’t good enough to hold opposing teams to zero points until our own offense gets its shit together.

For what it’s worth, I really liked the adjustments the Seahawks made in the second half.  This team NEEDED to abandon the run (in the traditional sense), because it was getting us nowhere.  We needed Russell Wilson to take over with his arm and his legs, and that’s exactly what he did.  Too bad we were already down by double-digit points when this transition started.

The furious comeback from being down double-digit points takes its toll on a team.  You have to expend all of this energy just to get back to the point where you want to be (tied or with the lead), that sometimes you don’t have any energy left to finish the job, which you saw last night, once the Seahawks went up 17-13.  The offense couldn’t do much of anything the rest of the way (naturally, the Packers were also able to make adjustments), and the defense just isn’t good enough to keep a good (or even average) offense down forever.

So, yeah, sometimes it ISN’T about how you finish.  Had the Seahawks not sucked all the dicks in the universe in the first half of that game, maybe they wouldn’t have had to kill themselves in the third quarter to come all the way back.  Even a single first half touchdown could’ve made all the difference in the world!

In other news, WHAT THE FUCK, MICHAEL BENNETT???  Do you even realize how many points you gave up by jumping every single time Aaron Rodgers went with the hard count?  Have you never faced the Packers before?  Is this some sort of new concept for you?  I thought you’re supposed to be one of the best defensive linemen in football!  How in the fuck are you falling for the fucking rookie mistake of jumping offsides multiple times, giving Rodgers multiple free plays?  Get your fucking head in the game and off of how you’re supposedly underpaid.  For that performance last night, I think you owe the Seahawks some money back.

This offensive line is a fucking joke.  There’s no other nice way to say it.  These guys can’t do the one thing this team wants to do the most – running the ball with Marshawn Lynch – so how the fuck are we going to function?  We can’t just wait around until we play the crappy defenses; EVENTUALLY, we’re going to have to run the ball against some good defenses if we want to make the playoffs.  They need to fucking get it together, or it’s going to be a long fucking season.

Starting 0-2 is less than ideal, but I suppose it’s not the end of the world.  Then again, we’ve lost a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Packers, and we’re 0-2 in conference play, which REALLY puts us at a disadvantage.  The way the Cardinals are going, if they manage to keep Palmer upright, they’re looking like the world-beaters we thought they were last year.  On the plus side, it looks like we’ll avoid Tony Romo and Dez Bryant in that Dallas game, but other than that, and maybe this week against the Bears, I don’t see a whole lot of easy games.  And, besides all of that, if we keep playing the way we’ve been playing in this 0-2 start, it doesn’t matter WHO we play.  The Seahawks are exposed and vulnerable.  There’s blood in the water, and opposing teams are looking to pounce.

If it’s truly not how you start, but how you finish, then I hope this team finds a way to win 12 of its next 14 games.  Otherwise, at best, we’re looking at playing on Wild Card weekend (possibly without a single home game to our name).  And, at worst, we’re yet again one of those cautionary tales of Super Bowl losers who fail to make the playoffs the following year.

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