Seattle definitely had plenty of opportunity to win the game, and they even showed that they could run the ball against the league’s top-ranked defense. Marshawn Lynch was able to continue his touchdown streak and break the 49ers own streak of keeping rushers out of the end zone.
Tarvaris Jackson took a lot of heat following the game, and deservingly so. Though he wasn’t the sole reason for the team losing the game, his inability to get into the end zone on a botched play from the one-yard line early in the game and a fumble late in the fourth quarter was big factors in the loss.
So it probably didn’t help some fans get over their ire directed toward the quarterback when Pete Carroll announced Jackson would be the starter next season. There are a couple reasons why I don’t see a problem with this. For one, there’s nothing wrong with a coach expressing confidence in a player especially after a loss like this has many fans heaping on the criticism.
For those who see it as more than that, I’d be interested in knowing which fans truly have the expectation that the Seahawks will be able to draft a quarter back that will be ready to start by the first week of the season. Even if Seattle is somehow able to pull together a package to move up and draft Robert Griffin III in the top 10, I would have more confidence in Jackson leading the team to a playoff berth next season than a rookie quarterback.
Of the free agent quarterbacks projected to be available, there is only one guy out there who I know for sure is better than Jackson – Drew Brees. If Brees stays in New Orleans as expected, that leaves Jason Campbell and Matt Flynn. I’d take what I’ve seen from Jackson over Campbell, and Flynn hasn’t shown enough to prove that he’s a starter in the league.
After watching the bidding war over Kolb last season, who knows how much money teams will be willing to gamble on Flynn. If Seattle’s going to get into a bidding war, I would hope it’s over Brees. Heck, pay that guy whatever it takes to get him to Seattle (it’s not my money, right?).
As fun as it is to think about a player of Brees’ caliber wearing a Seahawks uniform, I think we’ve see the type of team the Seahawks want to become. One that can play great defense, pound the ball on the ground, and a quarterback who does just enough to win (or not lose). That just so happens to also describe a particular division rival that is expected to win their 13th game of the season against the Rams this weekend.
Meanwhile the Seahawks and Cardinals both look to finish at .500 on Sunday. At this point it would be great just to see a Seattle team finish with a not-losing record for once in the last four years. After so many years of success it seems strange that 2007 was the last time we saw a winning season from the Seahawks.
This matchup also gives Seattle the opportunity to have a 4-4 record on the road, something they haven’t done since 2006. Don’t expect an easy win, though. The Cardinals are 4-1 over their last five games and Seattle barely squeaked by with a 13-10 win in this season’s home opener.
No matter what happens in the final game, I think we fans have a reason to be optimistic about the future of the team. With a talented group of young players who we should expect to continue to grow and get better, I think we can expect many winning seasons in the years to come.
It would have been nice to see another playoff run this year, but there is always next year.
American Forces Network and Direct-to-Sailor are showing most of the games that have playoff implications, which means no more Seahawks games until next season. But with the Pro Bowl rosters and alternates announced this week, there’s a good chance we could be seeing five Seahawks players wearing NFC jerseys. Earl Thomas was the only guy selected as a starter, but Lynch, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, and Michael Robinson are all in line as alternates who have a good chance of suiting up for the game.