I don’t know if you guys are aware or not, but Russell Wilson isn’t “black enough.” Apparently the Seahawks are “tired” of Marshawn Lynch and have all but confirmed off the record that he won’t be back in 2015. As soon as the Percy Harvin domino fell, all media eyes have been on Seattle, sifting through the Seahawks’ dirty laundry like so many metaphorical perverts. It makes for interesting copy, to be sure, but we should probably take a step back and put things in perspective a little bit.
Team Chemistry, by and large, is overrated. When that team’s fortunes on the field start to falter, everyone blames the toxic locker room. The Coach Has Lost Control Of His Team! The Players Gave Up! Nevermind that a lot of great teams will also have locker room issues that get swept under the rug. Shit, Percy Harvin slugged Golden Tate in the face right before the Super Bowl and look at how that turned out!
I’ve been on here for the last week or so talking about how Harvin is a cancer and how I’m glad he’s gone. That’s because there’s a difference between some unhappy players and a guy who will actively try to tear everything down for his own selfish gains. If Percy Harvin doesn’t get exactly what he wants, exactly when he wants it, then he’ll do everything in his power to ruin everything. By fighting with players. By pitting players against one another. By pitting players against the coaches. By holding the coaches hostage with his refusal to go into games, or practice. How are we supposed to build an offense around his unique talents when he won’t take the time to actually practice with the fucking team?
Here’s the thing, though. Percy Harvin is one thing. But, all these other stories are something else entirely. Think about it: do you get along with everyone at your work? I’m sure everyone has someone they don’t like, or who gets under their skin. Does that affect how you do your work? Of course not. You’re still going to do your job; you’re just going to avoid the people you don’t like while you do it.
The point is: the Seahawks are fully capable of turning this season around. I don’t need them all sitting cross-legged around a fire singing Kumbaya. I just need them to rediscover their passion for the game when they’re on the field on Sundays. That’s it.
This game against the Panthers yesterday was a nice little throwback. Getting back to “Seahawks Football”. Honestly, it never really feels like your season has started until you’ve gone into Carolina and won an ugly, hard-fought game.
On the positive side, the defense finally got a couple of turnovers, to go along with three sacks. Gotta like that, especially against a mobile, near-elite quarterback. On the downside, there were – once again – too many penalties, to go along with missed receivers and flat out drops. Nevertheless, when it mattered most and the game was on the line, the offense was able to drive for the go-ahead touchdown, and the defense was able to put the game away when Carolina had one final chance.
I noticed that Richard Sherman was shadowing Kelvin Benjamin for most of the game. Smart move. Frankly, as long as Byron Maxwell is out, we’ve got to mitigate as much risk as we can, so taking out the other team’s best receiver is really the way to go. Of course, Benjamin ended up with 4 catches for 94 yards, which just goes to show you that Richard Sherman isn’t Superman.
Bruce Irvin had two sacks on that final drive, which is VERY encouraging. The defense as a whole looked much more focused and on point, which I’m always glad to see. The grass is always greener when you hold them to 2 of 10 on third downs.
It just feels like the Seahawks are SO CLOSE to putting it all together. A lot of these mistakes are correctable. I mean, you’re not going to continue seeing Russell Wilson missing wide open receivers very often, for instance. I can’t imagine Marshawn Lynch or some of these other guys dropping too many more sure touchdowns in the future. It will just take a little extra focus and I’m sure we can put it all together. It speaks to the talent of some of our key guys that we’ve played so poorly and yet have been in a position to win all of these games. Nevertheless, we can make it A LOT easier on ourselves by focusing on the little things. Once we get a handle on the little things, the bigger plays should come.
You know how they have Win Expectancy, and various big plays can alter a team’s win expectancy in staggering ways? Well, if there was a way to calculate Fan Optimism, that Carolina game had probably the biggest swing of any game we’ll play all year. Had we lost yesterday, EVERYONE would be writing this team off. There’d be 12’s jumping out of office buildings and hanging themselves with extension cords. But, winning yesterday has us almost back to where we should be. I’d say there’s definitely some cautious optimism at play here, but at the very least you can see how this team might improve going forward.
The Seahawks aren’t like the 49ers or Cardinals, we won’t have too many high-impact players returning from injury/suspension towards the end of the season (depending on how strongly you feel about Jeremy Lane, I guess). So, it can be easy to see how the Seahawks have struggled of late and think that it won’t get any better. Unless the Seahawks make another surprise trade in the next couple days, this is the team we’ve got. It’s a team that doesn’t really hold a candle to 2013’s Seahawks, but it’s still a good team that should have a chance to do some damage. And, while reinforcements probably aren’t on the way (and, while there will obviously still be injuries to guys that haven’t happened yet), the players we have now can still play BETTER than they have been. If we just get that, it will FEEL like we’ve got reinforcements.
And, if the Seahawks want to go out and trade a low-round pick for Chris Clemons this afternoon, who am I to complain?