Well, that was a sight for sore eyes. Thomas Rawls looked as good as he ever has, the O-Line had their best run blocking game of the year, the offense dominated time of possession, Russell Wilson mixed in some nice throws, Paul Richardson stepped up big to pick up the slack of losing Tyler Lockett, the defense stuffed the run without Tony McDaniel while getting good pressure on the quarterback, and a game that was 0-0 after the first quarter turned into a comfortable Seahawks victory by the midpoint in the fourth quarter. It was everything we’ve come to expect from the Seahawks the last few years.
It was everything the Seahawks haven’t been THIS year.
So, that’s it huh? Bygones are bygones and we can forget this whole inconsistent regular season ever happened? They flipped the switch and we can all book our tickets for the Super Bowl?
Yeah, I dunno.
It’s one thing to do it at home on Saturday night. It’s one thing to do it against arguably the worst defense in football. It’s one thing to do it against a quarterback with a broken finger on his throwing hand. It’s one thing to do it while getting the majority of the calls from an over-matched referee crew. It’s one thing to do it when you’re heavily favored and clearly the superior team. But, it’s quite another to do it on the road next Saturday afternoon, against arguably the best offense in football, against the likely MVP of the league, while contending with a certain over-correction from next week’s referee crew, when we’re sure to be heavy underdogs and clearly the inferior team.
Or, maybe you don’t think that’s totally accurate. Maybe this performance has swayed you. I’m trying to avoid the over-reaction to one fine performance, at home, in the Wild Card round, against a team dealing with a lot of injuries. Sure, the Seahawks are dealing with injuries too, but you know who’s not? Atlanta. They’re pretty much as healthy as can be, and they’ve had a week off to get ready for this game. And maybe you don’t necessarily think the Falcons are clearly superior to the Seahawks. But, you know who they ARE clearly superior to? Detroit.
Atlanta’s not going to drop the (approximately) billion passes that the Lions receivers dropped. Passes that would’ve extended drives, converted third downs, and put them into scoring situations more frequently.
Atlanta’s not going to be gashed for six yards per carry to Thomas Rawls.
Atlanta doesn’t employ hotheads who lose their cool like Anquan Boldin, who cost his team 30 yards of field position.
Atlanta’s not going to consistently over-throw their receivers because of a finger splint.
Atlanta’s not going to abandon the run, because unlike the Lions, they have a solid O-Line and two elite running backs.
And you sure as shit better recognize that Atlanta’s not going to be held to 6 points. 36 maybe.
The same problems with the Seahawks that we’ve been pulling our hair out over all season – and particularly over the last few weeks – are still here, waiting to be exposed by a hungry, talented Falcons team who’d like nothing better than stick it to an over-confident Seahawks team.
Yes, we have revenge on our minds, from 2012, but as someone noted on Twitter last week, I think there’s less than 10 people still playing on this team right now that played in that game. The Falcons have revenge on their minds too, from earlier this season, on a play they thought they got jobbed on at the end of the game. Would’ve cost them the 2-seed had it not been for our own incompetence in losing to the Cardinals on Christmas Eve (or any of the other winnable games we lost this year).
I don’t want it to sound like I’m mad that we beat the Lions or anything. Indeed, another week we get to sit around talking about the Seahawks ALWAYS beats the alternative (which, I suppose, is looking forward to the Mariners, but that’s neither here nor there). I’m not saying I give the Seahawks absolutely no chance of beating the Falcons. Honestly, the last time I was so convinced the Seahawks would lose a game was back when we had to go into New England in November. So, you know, that’s a good sign, right?
I just don’t want to get carried away or go off the deep end, based on one impressive Seahawks victory. Yes, it would be HUGE if we could run the ball like this the rest of the way. Yes, it’ll be ENORMOUS if C.J. Prosise returns this week and hits the ground running like he was in that very New England game where he racked up 153 total yards on offense. And of course, if Paul Richardson can pick up the slack and be the deep threat this team needs to open things up underneath, all of our offensive woes could very well be behind us.
But, without Earl Thomas, and quite frankly with how this defense has been called by Kris Richard the last couple years, I could easily see Matt Ryan and Co. carving up our zone like a turkey made out of warm butter.
I noticed more man-to-man in this Lions game though, so maybe there’s a shifting of philosophy. Or, maybe that was just a one-game game-plan and we’ll go back to getting eaten alive later this week. Either way, it’ll be fun to debate it in my head the next few days!