Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Can't Sleep..... Stupid Hawks

It's frigging 2AM here in Phoenix and I have to go to work tomorrow at 7:30.

On the other hand, the Seahawks pulled off an amazing win today that has kept me up all night.

You see, there is something a little special about being the underdog. We haven't had to experience it much the past couple of years, as we entered the top-tier of the NFC. Thus, we would be in these tight matchups in games that we were supposed to win. Detroit. The Rams. Oakland.

This was the second game this season that we were truly the underdog entering the game. No Hass, no Shaun, you still had Kaz on the other side giving the Rams our entire playbook and complaining about how the Seahawks didn't respect the Rams, which is entirely not true and idiotic, Chris Spencer was starting at center, Marcus Tubbs had just landed on IR...... woof.

You get the picture. This was not a healthy, elite team that prepared to play their main division rival on Sunday. A win would go a loooong way towards a win of the NFC West, while a loss would put them in a tie with the Rams. I had almost no hope for a victory as I sat down at the sports bar. Almost none. I wasn't even as excited as I normally am for a Rams game, due to the fact that I thought the Rams had all their weapons, while we obviously did not.

Our first drive looked extremely promising, as Mo Morris continued his solid performance on Monday night and Seneca promptly took us within the Rams 10 yard line. Glimmer of hope? Absolutely not. I could see Leonard Little (who hit and killed a human being while driving) coming around the outside clear as day. It was obvious Seneca didn't feel the heat, and I groaned as Tom Ashworth vainly chugged after the other Rams defensive end (who, by the way, is pretty doggone fast). 7-0 Rams. Just like that. If there was one aspect of gameplay that we couldn't, JUST COULDN'T afford, it was to give the Rams free points, and we had done it.

However, Wallace and Morris drove us down the field once again, finally tying the game on a TD pass to D-Jack. There was a faint glimmer of hope. Actually, that entire 1st half turned into a hope-a-rama, as Stevens finally caught a big ball and our defense actually looked like the 2005 version, bending but not allowing the Rams to get the necessary touchdown. We were actually winning at the half, 14-13.

There was good news and bad news to this half. The good news was, obviously, that we were ahead and that Wallace was playing well. The bad news was that I saw no way for us to play better with the talent we had on the field, and we were only winning by a single point. I told Gavin as much, only to have my thoughts dismissed as, "depressing."

I don't know what Seneca Wallace does during halftime, but he should switch up his routine, because he is just terrible in the second half, and he was again today, leading the offense to go all of 11 yards before the final posession, and only 40 yards total in the second half. That's pathetic, especially against a Rams defense that doesn't scare anyone. Seneca's lapse put the burden of this game on the defense, and they actually responded.

Well, I take that back. They responded, and a new friend responded. Scott Linehan. Personally, I had been under the impression that the Rams fired a maverick head coach who played by his own rules precisely because he lost several games shooting from the hip and predictably calling wacky plays. In the second half, it appeared as if the ghost of Mike Martz temporarily took over the body of Scott Linehan. Call #1: The Rams have a makable 48 yard field goal. Linehan declines, instead calling a deep ball that had a low probability of success and is intercepted. Call #2, which was just boneheaded: Jeff Wilkins is in the process of giving the Rams a 19-14 lead when Linehan challenges the previous play, that Kevin Curtis had caught the ball an additional seven yards down the field. "Fine," I think to myself. "It'll just be another easy attempt for Wilkins." Sure enough, the call is overturned, and the Rams face a fourth and 1. This leads us to stupid Call #3: An imcomplete pass to the tight end in the end zone. Let's break down just how stupid this was.

-- The Rams, to the best of my knowledge, have, at their disposal, Tory Holt, Isaac Bruce, and Stephen Jackson. Holt owns us, Bruce was owning us throughout the game, and Jackson is an elite running back. Basically, you have Options A, B, and C (in no particular order) staring you right in the face if you are Linehan. Heck, Option D can be a quarterback sneak with Bulger, who is a pretty strong guy himself.

-- The Rams had an entire challenge to come up with said play. Honestly, if Linehan wanted to go for it, he could have started planning the SECOND that he challenged the ruling on the field. He did not.

-- Instead, Linehan called Option E, a short pass to the fullback. He also didn't make that call until the offense was already huddled, meaning that the 12th Man (who can be a tad loud) was already in full throttle, and no one could hear, including said fullback. Thus, not only was it a stupid play-call, it was a horrible use of time management, an empty-headed display of not knowing where you are (in Qwest), and fittingly ended with an off-kilter pass in the end zone.

Just horrible, and opened the door for Seattle. Personally, I had been praying for a game-changing turnover, but Burleson's return worked just as well. That was insane. In. Sane. I have zero superlatives to write about how awesome that was. It was the first point all game that I actually thought we might pull it out. My feelings remained even as the Rams predictably drove down the field and scored. A few thoughts on that.

-- Our defense sucks playing a soft vanilla zone. That is all.

The penalties on Incognito seemed fair. He should have known that he would have gotten flagged for the shove, and then for the obvious hold. Our special teams then again showed up, as Scobey took the ball to midfield.

Two mintues later.... victory. Winning this game, without our stars, was one of the most exciting wins that I have experienced as a Hawks fan. I'm dead serious. We are well on our way to break the Super Bowl loser's curse. We now have a running game. We have a revitalized defense. We have our stars coming back. We now have the inside track on the #2 seed in the NFC (Gavin will write about this later this week).

What an awesome day. That is all. I'm going to bed.

posted by colin_hesse @ 1:11 AM  0 comments

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