The Seahawks managed to eke out another winning season, but barely. Winning is great, but do we truly want to celebrate a win that only happened because the other team missed their last two field goal tries? Yes, a win is a win, but some simply aren't as fulfilling as others.
Help me out here, 12s. The Seahawks won the last game of the season. They secured a winning record in back to back years. Maybe best of all, they beat a division rival to do it. So why does this win feel like a loss? Am I the only one who feels this way? Somehow, I doubt it. Okay, I know I'm not, and I didn't even have to check social media to see that.
As Lee Vowell wrote in his recap of the game, the Hawks defense simply seems to be incapable of helping the team win. You might make the argument that the defense forced the Cardinals to attempt those kicks. I'll give you that. But if Matt Prater makes either of those kicks, the Hawks lose the game.
Coming into this contest, Prater was 6-6 from 40-50 yards, and a remarkable 9-11 from 50 plus. At that point, he'd already made two more kicks. The Hawks defense allowed first downs on 3rd and 11 and a 4th and 1 on the first missed kick. On the second failed attempt, Seattle allowed a conversion on 3rd and 8. This was all part of a day on which the Seahawks surrendered 466 yards, almost duplicating the 468 they gave up to the Steelers last week.
The Seattle Seahawks have nothing to celebrate
I'm not suggesting the locker room was overjoyed. Of course, they're going to be happy for the win. There are definitely reasons to be happy about the win. At some level, I'm glad they won, as are most 12s. As John Boyle wrote for seahawks.com, Geno Smith and the Hawks pulled off some fourth-quarter magic again. I try to look at the bright side; we aren't supporting the team that's 4-13 now, are we?
That's the Patriots I'm talking about, by the way, not the equally hapless Cardinals. No one expected the Cards to be any good though, so their status isn't nearly as satisfying. Quandre Diggs made it clear that the veterans on the team expected more from the season:
Yes, the veterans do expect more, as do the 12s. In a way, it would be easier to be a fan of the Patriots today. That team has a clear path. Whether ownership is smart enough to realize it, I'm not sure. The writing had already been on the wall for years for that organization. Bill Belichick has always been a fraud, his record inflated by one outstanding player. After they lost their 2023 season finale to drop to 4-13, it's obvious that New England has to make a change at the top.
In a way, they're in an enviable situation. Darth Hoodie has now lost three of his last four seasons. They were obliterated in their only postseason appearance in that stretch, 47-17. Any rational owner would say it's time for new leadership. In contrast, Seattle's Jody Allen faces a far more difficult decision. Pete Carroll has one losing season in his past 12. Yes, they were blown out in their last playoff appearance as well. But those 9-8 records might be just good enough to make one think, "If only this happened."
It's tempting to think, "If only we hadn't lost Nwosu," or "If only we hadn't lost Cross and Lucas in week one." I think it makes a lot more sense to ponder ideas like, "If only the Hawks could tackle." Seattle gave up over 200 yards rushing for the second week in a row. You have to go back to Week 11 to find the last time the Seahawks allowed less than 130 yards on the ground, let alone 100.
The league has continued to evolve to a more passing-oriented game, it's true. But if you can't stop the opposition from moving the chains in the simplest way possible, it's hard to win. Make no mistake about it; the Cardinals are a very bad football team. Clint Hurtt's defense has run completely off the rails.
This team doesn't do what Pete Carroll says he wants them to do. He wants a strong running game and a hard-hitting, sure-tackling defense. While winning records are nice, is it enough to go 9-8? Make no mistake, I much prefer that to the misery of thinking that 9-8 is a sure sign of progress. Good grief, we could be Cardinals fans. There's nothing wrong with Carroll's philosophy. But there's a clear disconnect between the concept and the results, and something has to change. I don't see much to celebrate in this win, only more questions.