Sportsattitudes Second-Guessing Seattle Seahawks’ Strange, Shaky Sunday

On one hand, credit the Seattle Seahawks for never, ever giving up and coming within seconds of stealing a Divisional Playoff win in Atlanta.

On that other hand however…credit the Seattle Seahawks with questionable decisions and timing that cost them dearly in pursuit of said win.

Second quarter.  Five plus minutes before the half and Seattle is down 13-0.  Fourth and one at the Falcons’ 11.  The field goal team doesn’t come on.  Instead…a handoff to Michael Robinson (not Marshawn Lynch, mind you) into the line (after Robert Turbin didn’t gain a yard doing the same thing on the play before).  Stuffed again.  Falcons score a TD shortly thereafter.  Now it’s 20-0.

Next possession.  Seahawks make a nice drive in the final four minutes.  Ball is now on the Atlanta 10, third and one. Thirty seconds left.  A pass from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate within the field of play is only worth four yards.  Seattle now takes its final timeout.  After a first down incomplete pass and a very untimely false start by lineman Russell Okung…Wilson throws an incompletion.  Time for one more quick attempt at an end zone completion before having to kick a field goal and establish at least some momentum heading into halftime.  Third down from Falcons’ 11.

Wilson takes a sack.

Tick, tick.  Time runs out.

Now late in the third quarter.  Seahawks down 27-7.  A couple of big Wilson completions finds Seattle ending the period with a first down on the Atlanta’s 13.

While many will admittedly make more of what I’ve already outlined than what I’m about to point out…this next sequence of events was what had me perplexed as to the true sense of urgency and quality of coaching the Seahawks had at this point.  They’re within thirteen yards of a touchdown.  They are down twenty points.  Fifteen minutes to go as the final stanza starts.

If it’s me I’m throwing the ball into the end zone every play.  I want the clock to run as little as possible and get at max four, quick shots at somehow…finally getting back into this game.  Score immediately and not let precious seconds run off that will be needed at game’s end.

What happened next?

1. Wilson completes another short pass to Turbin within the field of play…gains seven yards.

2. Turbin takes a hand off and moves the ball to the Atlanta 1.

3. Lynch takes another hand off.  Stuffed for no gain.

4. Wilson goes back to pass, scrambles…and finally scores.

The clock ran the entire time.

A thirteen yard “drive” took one minute, fifty-nine seconds.

Maybe it’s just me but when Seattle got a gift possession starting at their own 46 after the Falcons’ brutal, horrible mis-squib kick…and now only needed a game-ending kick of their own to win…all I could think of was that lengthy, meandering thirteen yard “drive” to open the fourth quarter.

Only eight seconds were left for the Seahawks at this point.

Not.  Enough.

Time.

In a 30-28 NFL game there are obviously many, many things you can point to as to why one team emerged victorious and one fell just short.  We all choose to take away from sporting events multiple memories and varied viewpoints as to what happened, why it happened and what we’ll ultimately remember most.  Some on a macro level, some of a micro variety.

For whatever reason, the time spent and logic displayed on that “drive” is gonna stick with me a bit.

Time marches on.

So does Atlanta.

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside Philadelphia PA. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen US states (most just one time each) and Canada (twice). 50-plus years - married 30-plus years. Love massive quantities of sports, television and movies (viewed in a movie theater).
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9 Responses to Sportsattitudes Second-Guessing Seattle Seahawks’ Strange, Shaky Sunday

  1. Crazy day. Crazy game. Amazing!

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  2. You’re right, but still, solid season though, man.

    You can’t help but wonder if they Carroll and his coaching staff will be second-guessing themselves on some of these decisions.

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  3. Rob Kotaska says:

    It could not have happened to more a d-bag. This cracked me up, no accountability from the coach: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1483289-pete-carroll-costs-seattle-seahawks-by-icing-falcons-kicker-matt-bryant

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  4. Ya know Rob, I don’t think Bryant did anything other than warm his leg up after the TO. It was so long after the play was called off I got the feeling from his body language he just kicked it as a tune-up. My wife agreed with me…so that makes two of us. I eventually did hear someone on talk radio suggest the same – Bryant wasn’t actually trying on that kick. In any event, I have always had a hard time forgiving Pete for running out on USC and really think that “freezing the kicker at the last moment” scenario needs to be cleaned up by the league.

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  5. Troy Sparks says:

    Can’t stand Carroll. The guy looks perhaps 15, maybe even 20, years younger than he is. Surprises me considering what’s (should be) on his conscious happily taking the Seattle job and leaving Southern California to bite the dust.

    That comeback was a thing of beauty, but Matt Ryan showed everyone how to advance up the field in rapid success a la 44 yards in about 18 seconds. I chalk up that last clutch catch by Tony Gonzalez existing thanks to Jacquizz Rogers’s block on a feisty Seattle pass rusher which allowed Ryan to execute a clean throw. Good stuff all around.

    How did the ‘freeze the kicker’ myth even begin? Or when? I’d like to read up on the inception of this polarizing idea. But I digress.

    You are absolutely spot on about Seattle’s timely errors. I actually think Atlanta has a better shot than most people are giving them credit for (vs. San Francisco). Maybe it’s my personal (and natural) disdain for the 49ers coming out, but — marginal win or not — the Falcons finally got their first playoff W in eight years (I don’t want to talk about their previous one) and are HUGE underdogs as a number one seed.

    The Niners’ confidence cannot be understated either, but I have a big question: how many times has Colin Kaepernick truly been hit so far? Not tackled, but hit. Hit hard. And fast. Visceral, quick and violent. I’m not so sure he’s taken one of those hits, and if Atlanta is able to deliver some jarring blows, that might convolute San Francisco’s gameplan. Now, the Falcons need to stop the run first and foremost, and the Niners’ offense has been more cohesive than it’s been for most of the year as of late.

    Call me a cynic or a hater, but I’m not impressed by Kaepernick’s big game against Green Bay’s defense. It’s not like they came into San Francisco having done anything impressive. But hey, it is what it is.

    Excited for this weekend’s two games. Sad to see the season winding down, but I love watching the games unfold as it does happen.

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    • Interesting what the Broncos did with a half a minute left versus the Falcons. Media is fairly wild about Colin K as the next great thing but I also agree the report card can’t be filled out in full yet. I too disregard whatever was done against the Packers’ D. You would think Green Bay would be tired of always losing because they can’t stop anyone and focus on getting talent on that side of the ball at some point. It is sad we’re running out of games. Let’s hope these final ones live up to the promise the stage they are on offer.

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  6. Troy Sparks says:

    Meant to write conscience* above. 2:30 a.m. errors.

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