If I asked you if it would be possible for the Seahawks to lose a game where both Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman get an interception, what would you say? Maybe?
What about doubling down by saying Russell Wilson throws for more than 250 yards with no interceptions and Marshawn Lynch scores two touchdowns with more than 150 all-purpose yards?
Or what if the opponent, in this case the Tennessee Titans, only gained about 225 yards and their best running back Chris Johnson is held to only 33 yards on the ground?
No chance in hell the Seahawks lose under those conditions, right? I know I’d expect to look up at the scoreboard and see a blowout, especially considering Seattle put up similar stats in a 29-3 beat down of the San Francisco 49ers in their home opener.
One difference in the Niners game is that Russell Wilson didn’t even throw for 150 yards and he also had an interception.
So this week sure felt like a performance of blowout proportions, yet when I looked up at the scoreboard at the end of the game, it only read 20-13 in favor of Seattle.
So what happened? Essentially it came down to one really wacky play that was maybe even a bit funny in hindsight.
To set up the scenario, you have to go back to the Steven Hauschka kickoff following the first of Lynch’s two touchdowns. Lynch pops into the end zone on 4th-and-1 and Hauschka comes out and boots the extra point to put Seattle up 7-3.
On the ensuing kickoff, Hauschka gets absolutely lit up and bowled over by Darius Reynaud. Credit to Hauschka for being in on the tackle on the 40-yard return, but it looked like a got a case of whiplash along with the bloody nose he was shown with on the sideline.
The Seahawks have less than a minute to cover half the field after the Titans punter fumbles. Two quick passes get the Seahawks in the red zone, but James Carpenter jumps and incurs a false start.
The penalty forces Seattle to take its final timeout rather than accept a 10-second runoff that would’ve taken the clock down to 17 seconds.
Two plays later the Seahawks are lucky to even get the ball spiked in time to bring on the field goal unit. Wilson flips the ball to the ref, but it sails over his head and it takes precious seconds to get the ball back to the line.
With Hauschka in the locker room getting checked out, Jon Ryan comes in to attempt the field goal that is only a couple yards more than an extra-point attempt. Since Ryan is usually the holder, special teamer Chris Maragos comes in to fill in for Ryan’s traditional spot.
Maragos fails to place the ball properly and Ryan steps over the ball to block on oncoming defender. Maragos then picks up the ball and as he’s going to the ground makes his an attempt to throw the ball in the general direction of absolutely nobody in a Seahawks uniform.
Titans cornerback Jason McCourty slaps the ball from Maragos’ hand. I’m assuming it was his throwing hand, but judging by the throwing motion, maybe Maragos is left handed, because even though he was throwing as a righty, it looked similar to how I would try and throw the ball with my left hand. McCourty picks up the ball and takes it into the end zone.
If not for that play and an unnecessary roughness call on Richard Sherman that led to the Titans’ field goal, the Titans would have been shut out. Instead they lead the game, 10-7.
Thankfully, Hauschka returns in the second half to help tie up the game with a 31-yard field goal. But the game almost takes another big swing on the Seahawks’ next possession.
Lynch fumbles on 1st-and-goal on the 2-yard line and Titans linebacker Moise Fokou has a clear shot to pick up the ball and take it the length of the field. Instead he shovels the ball off the ground into the hands of Wilson. Settling for a field goal on that drive, and getting a 13-10 lead, never felt so good.
On the first play of Tennessee’s next drive, Ryan Fitzpatrick throws deep and Sherman covers the route perfectly to be in position for the interception. That leads to Lynch’s second touchdown and Seattle hangs on for the win.
Though my tone to this point may sound like I’m disappointed in the team, I’m really not. I’m really happy they got the win, because they deserved to. It seemed more like a 27-3 or a 30-3 performance.
The best news is the score doesn’t even matter, because the Seahawks are 5-1! Next, they go on the road to Arizona for Thursday Night Football. The NFC West may be the only division in football right now that doesn’t have a team with a losing record, but hopefully that’s not the case come this time next weekend.
Finally, I want to congratulate the Kansas City Chiefs fans for breaking the crowd noise record we picked up earlier this year. If you want a dissenting opinion, you can find plenty of them online in blog posts and message boards, but I’m perfectly happy with the mark that Seahawks fans set.
After all, it wasn’t really about going for a certain number, it was more about justifying to the rest of the world the 12th Man’s capability to impact the game. A world record in Kansas City has absolutely no impact on that fact.