Look, it’s football. It doesn’t have to make sense!
Last week, we watched our beloved Seahawks really gag one away in amazing fashion. 7-point lead, clock ticking down, our second-year safety making his first regular season start gives up a big play touchdown, we lose the toss in overtime (thanks Tarvar! Why come no one’s talking about the terrible call of “tails” on the coin flip for overtime this week?), we fail to execute a pooch kick, we fail to recover what turned out to be a stunning onside kick, we gave up the go-ahead field goal, and finally, we turned it over on downs at the St. Louis 42 yard line, ending the game.
We gave up a ton of explosive plays, we let Nick Foles throw for a 115.8 rating, we gave up 6 sacks and let their defense force us into throwing the ball 41 times while on the day only averaging 4.3 yards per play. In a lot of ways, it was a total beatdown by the Rams.
And yet, there we were, with a few minutes left in the game, with a 7-point lead.
The Seattle Seahawks are nothing if not adaptable. They knew coming into this game that the four best players on the field would be the four defensive linemen for the Rams. And, while our O-Line made strides in the pre-season, it was still nowhere near good enough to let us play our type of game against that type of defense. What did we do? Did we go into that game banging our heads against the wall, trying to run them into submission? No, we adapted. We came out throwing and moving at a quick tempo, until we got to the point where Russell Wilson had a career-high in attempts. And, aside from the interception, and maybe a sack or two, I thought Wilson acquitted himself very well! One thing you can’t do against that Rams team is get yourself into 3rd & Long situations. Normally, when we try to combat that, we simply run the ball on first & second down; easy peasy. But, that ain’t happening against the Rams. So, we adapted with short throws. They gave us huge cushions which led to Kearse and Baldwin being wide open on a lot of plays. So, we took what they gave us and it led to a very respectable 8 for 19 on third down conversions (1 for 2 on fourth down). The offense overall took a while to get going. But, in the fourth quarter – when we were down by 11 – we ripped off drives of 63 and 58 yards to tie it up before the fumble return for a touchdown gave us the lead.
You can look at all the bad that happened last week and think, “Oh great! If the Rams were able to move the ball at will, the Packers will SURELY crush us!” But, to think that way is to ignore two things. First, we’re much more familiar with the Packers’ offense than we were of what the Rams were going to do. How can I say that? Well, for starters, Jeff Fisher is constantly tweaking his gameplan against the Seahawks to give us something we’ve never seen before. But, mostly, the Seahawks have never played against Nick Foles before. How were we to know what that Rams offense would look like with Nick Foles at the helm? Say what you want about Foles, but he’s not a total incompetent. With the Packers, we know what we’re going to get. It’s the Aaron Rodgers Show, with a little bit of run sprinkled in. We’ve seen them 4 times in the last 4 years, and it’s the same thing every time.
The second thing you’re ignoring, if you think the Packers are just going to steamroll us, is that their defense is NOTHING compared to the Rams’. The Bears just got done rushing for 189 yards last week! I don’t know about you, but I haven’t read anything about how the Bears have some otherworldly O-Line. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to stuff it right down their throats.
I think a lot of people are worried about the Packers exposing our weaknesses, but I think we’ve seen just about the worst of that. The Rams did a great job of showing us what we need to work on going forward. I think Dion Bailey’s shortcomings will be disguised a little better. I think our linebackers will come to play. I think lining up Richard Sherman in different spots, on different receivers, will give Aaron Rodgers something to think about that he’d rather not. And, I think our defensive line will continue its ass-kicking parade.
On the flip, I see no reason for our offense to struggle. I see Jimmy Graham having another solid day. I see our running game doing its thing. And, I see our star quarterback shining on the night’s biggest stage as he always does.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. I’m not saying it won’t be close. But, I am saying that the Seahawks are going to win. If for no other reason than this is the NFL. This type of shit happens all of the time. Teams sometimes lose to teams you think they should beat. Then, they turn right back around and survive an impossible task, on the road, in Lambeau, against an entire city out for figurative blood.
By the end of this thing, the cheese will be ours. And it will be glorious!