The first half wasn’t great, but the Seahawks took a 10 point lead into halftime. And with the way Max Hall was playing, 10 points would be more than enough.
As it turned out, THEIR defense was actually better than ours. They had 5 sacks, 8 hits to the quarterback, and 9 tackles for loss. Combine that with the fact that their offense and special teams were doing them zero favors, I’d say the Arizona defense out-played the Seattle defense.
Yes, we had 4 turnovers – three fumble recoveries and a pick – but I wouldn’t call them so much “takeaways” as “giveaways”. The interception was a wounded duck thrown 10 yards past the intended target. The first fumble was an idiotic muff of a punt where he should have just fallen on the ball. The second fumble was a muff of a kickoff return. And the third fumble was a blind-side quarterback sack from Clemons; it’s not reasonable for someone to hang onto the ball after a hit like that.
Of course, Hall didn’t play much, if at all, after that. Up to the point where he was knocked out, Hall had 36 yards passing and a 13.5 passer rating. He was missing targets left and right; and I don’t mean like Trent Edwards misses targets left and right. I mean, like, give a tyrannosaurus rex a football and tell him to throw an 8-yard out pattern … he was BAD. That might’ve been the worst quarterback performance I’ve ever seen in my life, but I’m pretty sure I’ve blocked out a lot of those old Stan Gelbaugh games. So, really, who’s to say?
This wasn’t quite the pure domination I thought we COULD get, coming into this game. It certainly wasn’t the pure domination I thought we SHOULD have gotten once I got a look at Max Hall. We had to settle for a lot of field goals (some of which had to be made over and over again thanks to stupid penalties). 16-0 didn’t feel TOTALLY safe, midway through the third quarter. But, it felt pretty safe.
However, I did get my panties into a bunch when Derek Anderson led them straight down the field to cut the lead to 9. I don’t know why I had flashes of Ragin’ Sage Rosenfels – the consummate Bad Quarterback who, for whatever reason, comes off the bench and leads his team to an improbable comeback win in the second half; but let him start a game and he reverts to being that very Bad Quarterback you knew he was – but luckily we settled down.
It’s funny, Anderson’s scoring drive actually managed to jumpstart our own offense. They put the ball in Hasselbeck’s hands and he led a mostly-passing drive down the field. Sure, it only resulted in a field goal (thank you Heather Locklear and your dumbass holding penalties), but at least it was a DRIVE. It wasn’t getting the ball on the other side of the field, going three and out, and settling for a field goal. That’s no offense!
Anyway, after that we seemed to get into an offensive groove for the rest of the game. Dominated time of possession 37 minutes to 23. Dominated them on 3rd down (only converting 2 of 12). Hell, the only thing we DIDN’T dominate them in was rushing defense. They ran it 20 times for 113 and a 5.7 ypc average. It was shocking, to tell you the truth. Because this is the same defense that made mincemeat of Chicago’s running game the week before.
I couldn’t possibly begin to tell you who the Player Of The Game was. Beast Mode, however, is my new favorite catch phrase. I really want to get a lady in bed and say, “I’m going to go Beast Mode all over you tonight.” Mike Williams had another big game: 11 catches, 87 yards, 1 touchdown. Earl Thomas continued his defensive rookie of the year campaign with an easy interception. Our secondary as a whole helped shut down Fitzgerald (3 catches for 30 yards).
But really, could it be anyone besides Olindo Mare? He’s hit something like 30 in a row, including all 5 today. INCLUDING one particularly brutal stretch I glossed over earlier: a 31 yard field goal was nullified by a holding penalty; a 41 yard field goal was nullified by a holding penalty by the SAME GUY; and a 51 yard field goal was successful right after that. Absolutely brilliant on a day where it was rainy, windy, wet and cold all over. It’s hard to score 22 points in a football game unless you knock down 5 field goals, so my P of the G is Mare. We’ve come a long way from the Bears game last year.