Note: I haven’t been commenting much on the Seattle Seahawks so far this season. With the year ending injuries to key defensive stars Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, plus the problems with the offensive line and the running game, I have been, more or less, in “wait and see” mode as regards this […]Read the Rest →
In anticipation of this week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, a couple of days ago I tuned in to one of our local sports radio stations just in time to catch an interview with Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas. The interviewer asked Earl how he felt about returning to Atlanta, the scene of Seattle’s spectacular failure during last year’s NFC playoffs. (In case you have forgotten, in that game the Hawks were down by 20 points with 3 minutes to go in the third quarter. From that point on Russell Wilson rallied his team to a 30-28 lead with 35 seconds left in the game, only to see the Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan complete two long passes leading to a game winning field goal for the Falcons. It was one of those gut wrenching losses that takes days to get over, if you ever do. )Thomas responded that he was looking forward to going back to Atlanta, only this time he wanted to be reveling in the sweet feeling of victory as he walked from the field after the game. He wanted to go back to that same Georgia Dome, he said, to wash the bitter taste of defeat from his mouth; he hoped that he would get the same locker in the same locker room, and wanted to get on that same field and make the plays the Hawks should have made last year during that fateful, final 35 seconds. The only thing he wanted different, he said, was the outcome.
Based on what he said in that interview, Earl Thomas seems to be intuitively aware of a very old principle in the field of healing. If you were to hit your head after falling to the court in pickup basketball game you might receive a nasty lump and a sore noggin. If, after the game, or even during it if the other players would let you, you went back to that exact spot on the court and put your head in the exact position it had been in earlier when it made contact with the floor, you would briefly re-experience the injury and then it would blow or vanish. If you have never done this before you ought to try it next time you get a bump or a bruise. I have done this a number of times and it works fabulously.
That is what Earl Thomas wants to do. He wants to go back to that exact spot in Atlanta where his team took it on the chin and he wants to blow (make vanish) that loss. He kind of knows that he and his team need to do this. They will be going against a Falcons team that appears to be nowhere near as good as they were last year. With a record of 2-6 they have been struggling. Atlanta quarterback Matty “Ice” Ryan has been minus his two top wide receivers with Julio Jones out for the season and Roddy White missing the last three games with a bad hamstring. Powerful running back Steven Jackson has also been injured, just returning to the lineup last week after missing four games. The Falcons are the worst rushing team in the league and have had to rely too much on the passing of Ryan, who, without his receivers, has thrown 7 interceptions across the last two weeks. The Falcons do expect Roddy White back this week, maybe. At last report he was 50/50 for this Seahawks game. They also still have the future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzales who caught Ryan’s last pass to set up that game winning field goal in the playoffs last year and is having another good season this year.
When it comes to injuries Seattle can afford no sympathy for Atlanta as they are suffering a number of their own. Not only will the Hawks continue to be missing their starting tackles Brenno Giacomini and Russell Okung, they now have lost for this game starting center Max Unger and defensive end Red Bryant to concussions. Expect the Seahawks to continue to feature a run oriented offense with liberal doses of Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch to offset the Flacon pass rush while keeping the ball away from Matt Ryan.
Many pundits are saying this is a game that the Seahawks may well lose. The Falcons, they say, are not as bad as their record and that Ryan and company are due for a big game. The Hawks, they say, have holes in their rushing defense and in their offensive line. They have barely prevailed against inferior opposition in recent games and are prime for an upset.
So they say.
I don’t buy it for a second.
I expect the Seahawks to take their collective psyche to Atlanta, to place it in the exact location of last year’s loss, and to forever blow away from their universes the vestiges of last January’s debacle at the Georgia Dome.
In short I expect them to win and just maybe win big.
In the NFL, that is what healing is all about.
Copyright © 2013
By Mark Arnold
All Rights Reserved