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 →
Towards the end of the preview  I wrote on Friday for the Seattle Seahawks game today against the Atlanta Falcons I made the following statement:
“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.”
Call me lucky or call me psychic, but, as today’s Seahawks destruction of the Falcons demonstrated, don’t call me wrong. In their most complete game of the season thus far Seattle exorcised any remaining demons from last year’s playoff loss to the Falcons by thrashing Atlanta in every phase of the game while rolling to an impressive 33-10 victory. The Hawks’ domination of this game was total. Consider the following statistics:
Time of possession: Seahawks 35:30—Falcons 24:30
First Downs: Seahawks 25—Falcons 16
Totals Yards: Seahawks 490—Falcons 226
Rushing Yards: Seahawks 211—Falcons 64
Passing Yards: Seahawks 279—Falcons 162
3rd Down Efficiency: Seahawks 9/13—Falcons 4/12
Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll has been waiting all season for his team to play like this. Hawks quarterback Russell Wilson was flawless, completing 19 of 26 throws for two TDs, no picks, and the yards noted above while Marshawn Lynch gave new meaning to his nickname “Beast Mode” by carrying the ball and tacklers 24 times for 145 yards, 1 touchdown and a 6 yard per carry average.
Of course you don’t put up gaudy stats like these unless your offensive line is firing on all cylinders and Seattle’s definitely was. Still without their two starting tackles (Brenno Giacomini and Russell Okung) and also missing for this game their starting center (Max Unger), the replacements in the Seahawks offensive line had their best game of the season so far. They gave up one sack of Wilson when he held the ball for too long but other than that their blocking for both the pass and the run was stellar. The Seahawks receivers also brought their “A” game to the Georgia Dome with both Golden Tate and Jermaine Kearse making highlight reel catches for touchdowns. Tate caught 6 balls for over 100 yards while the steady Doug Baldwin caught 5 for 76.
As dominant as Seattle was on offense the Hawks defense was equally superb, holding the Falcons to their lowest yardage total of the season while forcing 5 of Atlanta’s 9 possessions to end in punts and 1 in a lost fumble. They sacked Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan twice and pressured him constantly as they held the Falcons to the ridiculously low figure of 4.3 yards per pass play.
According to many national commentators this game wasn’t supposed to be like this. The betting line had Seattle favored by only 3 points by game time. For an 8-1 team Seattle has not been getting much love from the pundits lately, largely as a result of their close wins over supposedly weak teams like Tampa Bay and St. Louis. I heard a number of them say they thought Seattle would lose. The Hawks thought otherwise.
With redemption for last year’s playoff loss on their mind, Seattle started fast taking their first possession of the day for a long drive that resulted in a Steven Hauschka field goal and a 3-0 lead. But the game really turned mid way through the 2nd quarter. With 6 minutes and 30 seconds left in the first half the Seahawks had the ball on their own 20 yard line with a first and 10 and nursing a 6-3 lead. On the next play Wilson handed off to Lynch who broke clean through the Falcons line and didn’t stop running until 37 yards later at the Atlanta 43. Then Seahawks lightning struck the Falcons. On the first play following Lynch’s run Wilson took the snap and pitched to Lynch on a sweep right. The play looked well defended and it appeared Lynch would be tackled for a loss, but suddenly he stopped, turned back to his left and floated an awkward looking pass back to Russell Wilson who was standing by himself about 7 yards away and well behind the line of scrimmage. Wilson caught the pass and then lofted a beautiful spiral downfield toward the streaking Jermaine Kearse, who, with a perfectly timed leap, outfought his defender for the ball and came down with a touchdown. Kearse’s catch gave the Hawks a 13 -3 lead that would be extended to 23-3 before the half was over.
Effectively, the way the Hawks were playing, the game was over as well. In the second half the Falcons never mounted a charge and Seattle completed a 33-10 wire to wire route.
The way Seattle played today was something!
Today we got a chance to see the Seahawks play football the way they are capable of playing. With this win they have redemption and can put that terrible playoff loss to the Flacons last year to rest. And with the 49ers loss today to the Carolina Panthers Seattle has a 2 game lead in the NFC West, the best record in the entire NFC and controls its own destiny in the race to gain home field advantage through the playoffs; a vital target to making a successful Super Bowl run.
So get ready Hawks fans, for I think we are in for a magnificent ride through these last 6 games and on into the playoffs. These Seahawks aren’t just looking for redemption….
These Seahawks are looking for the Promised Land!
Copyright © 2013
By Mark Arnold
All Rights Reserved
 Please see “Seahawks Psyche Will Heal in Atlanta” earlier in this blog site.