Sep 24, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Clinton McDaniel and defensive end Red Bryant (79) celebrate during the game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Packers 14-12. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Avoiding the Letdown: The Seahawks' Uphill Battle

The Seahawks (and Seattle) have a target on their backs.  It isn’t deserved, at least not the way they got it, but it’s their new reality for the 2012 season.  The Seattle Seahawks, the only team to ever make the playoffs with a losing record.  The Seattle Seahawks, the team that should never have even been in Super Bowl XL against the Cowher and Bettis et al., who deserved to be there sooner.  This is what the rest of the country thinks about when they think of the Seattle Seahawks.  After Monday night’s game, Seattle now has another item to add to that list: The Seattle Seahawks, the team that “cheated” and “stole” a game away from the perennially popular Green Bay Packers.  It isn’t right, and it sure as hell isn’t fair, but that is the message that has occupied the agenda-driven echo chamber of ESPN and other sports media outlets.  Seattle didn’t “deserve” to win – even though they outplayed Green Bay in most aspects of the game.  Golden Tate “cheated” by pushing Sam Shields in the back – even though one of the best receivers in the game said it was par for the course on Hail Mary plays (is Fitzgerald a cheater too, Rick Reilly?).  The refs blew the call even though the picture becomes less and less clear as time goes on.

Seattle must now focus on the coming weeks against opponents such as the Patriots and 49ers.  They can’t let the unwarranted abuse get inside their heads.  The Seahawks must avoid any sort of letdown at all costs.  The team needs to have a chip on its shoulder the way the Patriots did after spy-gate (although that was actual cheating).  The defense needs to be play angry and smart.  Emphasis on smart.  The offense needs to add a second level.  Right now it’s extremely one dimensional and it won’t take very long for other defenses to start putting eight and nine in the box on every play.

Pete Carroll has taken responsibility for such repetitive play calling, which is fine, but at some point the Seahawks are going to need to take some chances and make some throws.  Interceptions might have killed the Seahawks against the Packers, but Russell Wilson is going to need to get some experience making decisions under pressure.  A franchise quarterback must lead the team on the field during crunch-time and get touchdowns.  Game managers are generally not franchise quarterbacks.  At this point, Wilson is hardly even a game manager.  It might be Carroll’s decision and it might be that Wilson simply doesn’t have the ability at this point.  Either way, there will come a point in this season when the Seahawks will need to drive down the field at the end of the game on their own, without the benefit of question pass-interference calls.  Game one in Arizona comes to mind but I’ll let it pass since it was the first game of the season.

The reason I’m focusing on this is because the only way that Seattle is going to get the target off its back and show the country that the win against Green Bay wasn’t a fluke and are capable of winning the big games on their own.  If Seattle has a let-down and loses to the Rams, or gets blown out by the Patriots or 49ers, the talking-heads will start back up about how Seattle is barely good enough to compete in the NFL.

I don’t think the Seahawks will let down, but I hope they also have a little bit of attitude.  Play smart and have attitude.  No more dumb penalties.  Don’t try to explicitly prove anything to the country, because most of it will never give the Seahawks due credit, but take away their arguments one by one.  The way Seattle shut up the critics of a 7-9 playoff team was by soundly beating the Saints in the first round.  The way to show that Seattle can beat teams like Green Bay is by beating other good teams (Bears, Patriots, Niners, Lions) and not losing to struggling teams (Dolphins, Rams, and Jets).

Seattle also needs to expect the deck to be stacked against them.  As far as fans and, I have no doubt, the league are concerned, Seattle is due for the ultimate make-up call to occur against them.  Seattle is going to have to fight uphill for at least the near-term and not complain because nobody else is going to acknowledge it.  Hopefully the field will level if Seattle can make its case, but they are going to have to play through adversity, of various kinds, first (which is where a more diverse offensive scheme comes in).

The Seahawks know that the 12th man is behind them and I like to think that’s all they need.  Seattle tends to have smart players that understand the big picture and don’t get emotionally rattled by the garbage that gets tossed around.  They haven’t so far this week, so I have faith.  The Seahawks have handled themselves with class (especially with some of the horrific things that have been leveled at some of them on a personal level) and (correctly) apologized to nobody. Now they need to play smart and hard, have pride and attitude, and, at all costs, avoid any kind of letdown, especially against teams that Seattle should beat.

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Tags: Green Bay Packers NFL Pete Carroll Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks

  • Jefferson L. Davis

    Who gives a &$@# what the name-brand soda drinking name-brand jean wearing nation thinks? Hate on haters, Seattle is gonna play stifling D and run it down your throat! If the same play happens against Seattle, it is a simultaneous catch from Rogers to Jenkins to everyone but Hawk fans. The whiny limp$!@$$ who are complaining aren’t going to take the field, so bich on biches.

  • Kenny Mckenzie

    I hope the Seahawks have a siege mentality about this whole load of undeserved garbage and i think they will. It’s quite clear to me if this had been the other way round we would not be hearing so much about it. I cant believe some of the crap ive been reading aimed at the Seahawks.

  • GoHawks1234

    jesus what about the mysterious 3rd & 5 play where Kam Chancellor laid a perfectly timed hit on their wide receiver to force them to punt on that TD drive they had, but instead they call a phantom Pass Interference call? Or the missed holding call on that same drive that got them to the one? In fact the refs let the packers hold the entire 2nd half so aaron rodgers could live to play another game. Be mad at the NFL for hiring these guys not the hawks. What are they supposed to do, go on national television and forfeit the win? LOL YA RIGHT!!! U people are crazy!!! Besides the hawks always get the shaft from the refs, no one was ridiculing the steelers with all their botched calls that were in their favor, the phantom first down, the mysterious offensive pass interference, the phantom holding calls. Looks like we’re just going to have to earn our respect. We’re going to demolish the rams and the pats!! go Hawks!!!

    • Hawk_Eye

      Totally agree!

  • ricefield

    Love the siege mentality. Bears were destroyed by the Pack and came back and held St. Louis to 2 field goals. The Hawks need to kick butt with their great defense which is better than the Bears.

  • Alfonso Rivas

    Demolish the Rams? In your dreams. After this game you will see exactly how lousy seattle is. decent defense lousy offense with a lousy quarterback. Usually I wouldnt be this harsh but when I read the crap these fans say it agravates me. they will finish last in their division and you guys will be crying for the rest of the year but at least it will shut you up once and for all. Go Rams!!

  • Kenny Mckenzie

    Well letdown it was. I never thought id being saying this as early in the season but i think Flynn should get his shot. As i watched lastnights game it became clear to me that Russel Wilson cannot see over the linemen to his WR’s.