You could almost hear the outraged Seahawks fans screaming at their television sets. It seemed like lady luck was just not with the Hawks today. The referees seemed to be making every possible call against the Seahawks and none for them. Balls dropped by the Bears seemed to be magnetically attracted back into their hands. A couple times the Seahawks came out of a pile with the ball on a fumble and a muffed kick but for some inexplicable reason the ball was awarded to the Bears. It was just “one of those days” the Seahawks and their fans have suffered through many times in the past, most notably in their Super Bowl loss, and most recently last week vs. Miami.
But something strange happened on the way to another infamous Seattle loss. They somehow got the plays they needed at just the right time. Like the big defensive stop in the first half that halted a Bears drive inside the Seahawks 30. And there were the numerous Russell Wilson runs for first downs. Then there was the offensive pass interference call on the Bears Brandon Marshall against Richard Sherman that helped end a second half Bears threat.
And then came what most fans thought would be the game winning score that capped a 97 yard drive; an incredible catch and run by… you guessed it, Golden Tate. This guy always has at least one amazing catch and run, and today was no different. Catching the ball at the 10 yard line, spinning and weaving through a matrix of Bears defenders, and finishing with a horizontal dive and stretch into the end zone. Hawks up by 3 with 26 seconds left to play. We WIN!!! Right??? Not so fast! After the kickoff, which the Seahawks covered well by tackling the Bears return man on the 15, Bears QB Jay Cutler hit Brandon Marshall for a 56 yard strike to around the Seahawks 30. A short run to kill some clock and the Bears hit a 46 yard field goal to tie up the game and send it to overtime. You may notice some people walking around Seattle tomorrow with large clumps of their hair missing. They are Seahawks fans and this turn of events is why…
Now for the sake of full disclosure, this is when I turned off the TV set, got my son and our fishing poles and went fishing. The Seahawks just don’t ever seem to win after things like this happen and I didn’t want to see it after they seemingly had it in the bag! By the time we got our gear and ourselves in the car, got the radio on and were heading for the freeway, Russell Wilson was driving the Hawks who had just gotten a delay of game penalty. ”Yep, true to form”, I said. Seems like every time in these close games when the Hawks need to execute and focus, the penalties come in droves and they start going backwards. Not this time. Running for a couple first downs to keep drives alive and throwing with deadly precision, Wilson quickly had them in scoring position. At this point the air was starting to leave the Bears stadium for a second time in 10 minutes. Seahawks fans got the feeling something special might be about to happen. And it did, but at a cost yet to be determined.
From about the 15 or 20 Wilson threw a dart to Sydney Rice who made the reception, barely getting the ball in the end zone before a crushing hit appeared to knock him out cold. (Rice later said he never lost consciousness). The scary moment when Rice went limp on the ground overshadowed the potential score. As the refs scoured the replay for what Hawks fans must surely have thought was any excuse not to award the Hawks the score, Rice came around and sat up, and was able to walk off the field. After taking an inordinately long time, the replay official finally awarded the Hawks the TD. GAME OVER!
Nothing came easy for Seattle today. Not for the Seahawks or their fans at home watching. But these are the kind of games that build character and show that if you persevere you can overcome adversity. Yeah, I should have delayed my fishing trip a few minutes… Next time I should have a little more faith in the Seahawks, especially Mr. DangeRuss Wilson, whose leadership on this team just paid a huge dividend. Not only did he deliver the win, he delivered the spark of confidence this team will need to get into the playoffs.