A last minute opportunity took me to the Seattle Seahawks game Monday night. I had very little confidence they could pull off a victory with so many injuries and with the damp cold weather, I was reluctant to go. The game started at 5:30pm local time and that meant I would be fighting a tremendous amount of traffic just to get down there. Will all those things in mind, I went anyway because the Seahawks are my team, win or lose.
There’s no question Atlanta has a good football team. They almost won the Superbowl last year and it takes a lot of talent and grit to get to the championship. Both of those qualities Seattle used to have in abundance but after last night’s game, I wonder how much of that has slipped away in the last few years.
Back in 2014 when Seattle won their first Superbowl they did so with an incredibly young team and as the most penalized team in the NFL. Many of the core players are still with the team yet they have not been able to recreate their past success. One would think they would only get better as they developed their skills together over the years.
One thing I’ve learned as I’ve watched more and more football is that time is not very friendly to NFL players. The longer a player plays the game, the more injuries they sustain and the slower the recovery becomes. I think we are seeing that with the Seahawks particularly this season. But teams can still win together even when some of their best talent is broken. That’s where the grit comes in and last night, the Seahawks had a chance to show their true grit. They almost did, they almost won.
The Seahawks played from behind the entire game. Russell Wilson’s intercepted pass and fumble led to 14 Falcon points in a game where the Seattle defense was already fighting an uphill battle. At the end of the second quarter they tried a trick play instead of kicking an almost certain field goal. Those three lost points may have cost them the game. There’s no way to know if Blair Walsh would have made the field goal had he been given the chance to kick it.
The Hawks fought hard in the second half of the game but the Falcons fought back and it really was a good game in the end. In the last few seconds it looked like Seattle might tie the game and send it into overtime. All they needed was a 52 yard field goal from Mr. Walsh. Unfortunately he couldn’t deliver and Seattle lost another home game.
As I was herded out of the stadium last night the crowd was very upset with Blair Walsh, as if he alone were the reason Seattle lost the game. The crowd seemed to forget Wilson’s inability to protect the football or that our defense let the Falcons put 34 points on the board. Had Walsh made the field goal resulting in overtime, there’s still no guarantee Seattle would have won the game.
Seattle scored 31 points last night and those points were scored entirely by the offense. For Seattle that’s a big deal. If the Seahawks are to have a shot at the playoffs moving forward, they’re going to have to dig deep and the offense needs to win games until our defense is ready to play again. I believe there’s enough heart, enough love of the game, and love of each other among the players to achieve victory for Seattle. I truly believe they can rally and be the champions I know they are.