It’s hard to put it any other way, Sunday was a bad day for the Seattle Seahawks. Outside of the Giants game, when the team was without Matt Hasselbeck, the Hawks have played well. But Kansas City held off an early second half charge by Seattle to pull away for a lopsided 42-24 win at Qwest Field this week.
As tough as it was to watch the Hawks lose their second straight home game, it was a little bit of consolation knowing that it was a day to remember for a Navy sailor and his new fiancée. After reenlisting and committing himself to a few more years in uniform, he turned to his girlfriend and made the ultimate commitment. He got down on one knee in the south end zone and proposed; she said yes.
For anyone watching Sunday’s game, I’m guessing the Seahawks didn’t pick up many new fans except maybe those who have Kansas City’s Dwayne Bowe on their fantasy football team. Bowe caught 13 passes for 170 yards and scored three touchdowns, 40 of those yards were on the first drive of the game that was capped by his 7-yard touchdown catch.
With the defense giving up more than 300 yards in the first half and the offense picking up only three first downs, special teams was the one bright spot for Seattle. A blocked field goal on the Chiefs second possession and blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown by Earl Thomas on the following drive allowed the Hawks to keep the game within reach going into halftime down 21-10.
After the half, it looked like Seattle would get back into the game with a touchdown scoring drive that took less than a minute off the clock. Down 21-17, the defense was able to keep the Chiefs off the board for the rest of the third quarter, but dropped passes and lack of a rushing attack kept the offense from being more productive.
By the time the Hawks added an 87-yard touchdown from Hasselbeck to Ben Obomanu, the game was nearly out of reach at 35-24. For those that thought there might be a chance for a late comeback, an 80-yard drive by the Chiefs over the next six minutes killed that idea.
Even though Matt Cassell rushed for more yards (28) than the entire Seahawks team (22), the offense clearly wasn’t Seattle’s biggest problem. The Chiefs finished with 270 rushing yards and 503 yards of total offense.
After holding teams to an average of less than 100 yards through the first five games, I wouldn’t have expected that injuries to Red Bryant and Colin Cole would allow any team to run up that many rushing yards in a game. If Seattle hopes to have any chance at winning the NFC West this year, the team is going to have to figure out how to stop the run again.
Is the NFC West a circus or what? There are certainly enough people clowning the division after the Seahawks loss this week. Seattle’s loss coupled with a 36-33 Rams win over the Broncos, allowed St. Louis to get back into a share of the division lead. With two 5-6 teams sharing the lead for the division, I don’t think there are any good arguments against what critics are saying about the west.
We may as well celebrate it. I really don’t think we have any other choice. Sure it would be better if the Hawks were a more respectable 8-3 and had the division completely wrapped up. But show me a division in the NFL that will be as competitive going into these last few weeks of the season. Every team in the NFC West is still in it. Yes, even the 3-8 Arizona Cardinals.
I say bring on the headlines and name calling of the “NFC Worst.” We’ve already started hearing the questions being asked if a team with a losing record should be able to host a playoff game. Maybe a better question is if a team with a losing record should be allowed in the playoffs.
If the Seahawks win the division at 7-9, I’ll say they should absolutely host a playoff game. But if the Rams or 49ers win it – definitely not. No, I take that back, I would root for any 7-9 team to go on an amazing playoff run and win the Super Bowl even if the team were a division rival.
On the topic of rooting for 7-9, I know a few weeks back I said that if we lost another game at home I would start rooting for Seattle to hit that mark. The fact is that I may have been a little preemptive, since I still think the team has a decent shot to go 8-8. But I’m going to keep my word for now and root for it to happen, because right now Seattle looks like a 6-10 team. Having the 1-10 Carolina Panthers come into town next weekend is exactly what the Seahawks need to get back on track.
Seattle will likely need the win this coming Sunday just to keep pace in the division, because the Rams are almost assured a win in Arizona. I wouldn’t guarantee anything, but after the Cardinals 27-6 loss to the 49ers on Monday Night Football, I’d have a hard time picking them to win a game for the rest of the season.
If you haven’t caught the video clip of Derek Anderson melting down on a reporter who asked why he was laughing with a teammate on the bench during the fourth quarter of their 21-point beat down, I encourage you to check it out.
With the Rams having an opportunity to build momentum, San Francisco on the other hand may have a difficult time continuing theirs. A road trip to Green Bay in December is never an easy task, but considering the 49ers have played well against potential playoff teams like Atlanta, Philadelphia and New Orleans, you can’t count them out either.
Remember when the Seahawks were 4-2, Tony Dungy was calling them the best in the NFC, and we all thought the Hawks were on their way to a 10-win season? Was that really this year? I suspected this 5-game stretch would be tough, but I did not expect these kinds of blowouts.
I’m going to continue to maintain my optimism though. After the last two years, it feels pretty good to know the team still has a shot at the playoffs going into the final five weeks of the season.
Who knows, maybe Seattle can go 7-9, run through the NFC on the way to the Super Bowl to win a rematch against the Chiefs. That way the sailor’s fiancée can still have her opportunity to denounce her team and we can have an even better storybook ending than I previously hoped for.