Reflections on a Bittersweet Defeat for the Seahawks


Jan 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) warms up before the NFC divisional playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Please Welcome David, the Newest voice here at 12th Man Rising. We are very glad to have with join our staff. Now on to his first article:

Watching the Divisional game vs. Atlanta from home, I tuned in early to watch the end of warm-ups and catch the result of the coin toss.  For me, the football game always starts with the coin toss, and I usually consider it a success if the Seahawks start the game kicking off.  That gives them a chance to make up a deficit by potentially scoring first in the second half.

The downside of this result is that they risk giving the other team momentum if the defense allows a score.  In the case of Sunday’s Divisional loss to Atlanta, the Seahawks began the game kicking off to the Falcons, who marched down the field and settled for a field goal.  While that was not a totally bad result, the rest of the first half was full of other, worse results.

It got so bad in fact, that in the first half, the Seahawks put up zero points on two red zone drives, and fumbled away another promising drive.  At halftime, the Seahawks trailed 20-0.

At this time, knowing that they would get the ball back and the first chance to score, I said to my wife, “The Seahawks have a good defense, so there’s a chance.  “If we outscore the Falcons 28-7 in the second half, we win by one point: 28-27.”  She laughed at the time.  I’ll admit, my doubt was pretty high, too.

At about the 11-minute mark, with the Seahawks down by two scores, the laughs had faded.  Seattle fans were on social media, slowly showing signs of belief.  Friends and family members were calling.  Even my brother who used to not watch football called me and said that he was watching.  With ever brightening texts, tweets, phone calls, and facebook posts, Seattleites were checking-in with each other, focused on an the amazing game.  The Seattle Times reported that, by the last drive, 87% of active TV sets in the Seattle area were watching the game.  The Seahawks had overcome their mistakes and judgment lapses, and had fought for the lead with 31 seconds left.  My father actually called me to celebrate the win.  He wasn’t alone.  Seattle erupted in celebration…but just a tad too soon.

In an instant it was over.

After the kickoff, the Falcons used the final 25 seconds to complete two passes and kick a game winning 49 yard field goal.  Though the Seahawks got the ball back with six seconds left, they failed to advance within field goal range on their first possession.  As a result, they ended the season with an interception on a desperation pass that made it to the end zone.  The year of “almost good-enough” ended accordingly, and it hurt.

The loss hurt in ways both new and familiar.  On one hand, it hurt that we came so close, and didn’t win the championship, something that I have never witnessed a Seattle team accomplish.  On the other hand, the fact that the Seahawks had come back from such long odds validated them.  They are a good football team in position to make another run at the title next year.  Most of all, it just hurt that the season was over.

This was one football season, and one football game, that I really did not want to see end in defeat.   All year, the team delivered and competed in every game down to the last pass of the season.  They never lost anything but a close game.  Above all else, it was an honest privilege to watch the rapid blossoming of Russell Wilson’s play.  He proved this year that he is good enough to lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl win.  He just hasn’t yet.