I was watching the game at the bar when the Seahawks scored a touchdown with 12:49 remaining in the game to go up 17-7 and I turned to the fellow next to me.
"Well, that should do it," I told him.
And I was right. That should do it. The Hawks had won 13 straight games when going into the fourth quarter with a lead, and now they were up two scores in less than a quarter to play against a team that had lost six straight games with an offense that had scored 10.7 points per game during the first five games of that losing streak.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks defense is talented and I fully expected Rex Grossman to make at least one mistake in the fourth quarter that would put the nail in the coffin.
He didn't. Tarvaris Jackson did. The Redskins put up 14 points in the fourth quarter and it only took them 6:14 of game time to do it. It was ridiculous to see how much better Washington's offense looked than Seattle's in the fourth quarter. Seattle's fourth quarter drives:
- 3 plays, -5 yards, Punt.
- 3 plays, -1 yard, Punt.
- 4 plays, -4 yards, Turnover on Downs.
- 3 plays, 1 yard, Interception.
- 0 plays, I call Tarvaris Jackson the worst decision-making QB in the league, Cut Jackson
This seemed to be the most obviously bad that Jackson has been all season. Not considered to be more than a stopgap, he at least seemed serviceable with potential to be more. Not "Quarterback of the Future" kind of more, but maybe the guy that helps you win, rather than doesn't help you lose. This was the polar opposite of that. This was "Helps you lose. Makes you lose. Brings the offense down as a whole."
I'm not going to do Bar Notes today. I did go to a bar. I did take notes. But I would just be doing another recap today of a game that's details are not as important as the bigger picture of what we learned about the Seahawks roster, its strengths and its weaknesses. Not necessarily any new information as much as confirmation of suspicions we had. Such as ending any speculation on things like playoffs, or whether or not we have the right pieces in the right places.
This weekend I learned that Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombie Mode is very addictive and that you have to do knife kills whenever possible. I also learned these things:
I learned that Tarvaris Jackson is not the 2012 quarterback
It's confirmed: Jackson is pretty bad. Not that he doesn't have arm strength, not that he doesn't possess some of the qualities of an NFL QB, but he was so terrible in the fourth quarter that I question what we are supposed to do with him for the next five games.
His pec hurt? I understand that and I'm not downplaying the injury, but I also saw him unload some pretty passes during the game. I'm not sure how a torn muscle causes you to forget how to get rid of the ball and what it has to do with staying in the pocket for what seemed like an eternity. My whole life could have flashed before my eyes three or four times in the time it takes Jackson to get rid of the ball, and it nearly did because I wanted to kill myself watching him play.
In week one against San Francisco, Jackson did cap off a scoring drive with a 55-yard touchdown to Doug Baldwin to bring the Hawks to within two. On the next drive, he was 0-for-2 before being sacked. On the final drive, his longest pass was a dump-off to Leon Washington for 7 yards and then ended on a sack and fumble.
In week four against Atlanta, the Seahawks needed to run a two-minute drill to get Steven Hauschka into field goal range. Jackson's first three passes were dumpoffs to Justin Forsett and a short pass to Baldwin that had the Hawks only at their own 35 with less than a minute remaining. Jackson couldn't make the one play needed to get Hauschka closer than 61 yards.
Down eight points to the Bengals with 4:45 left, the Seahawks had the ball and Jackson had an incomplete short pass to Baldwin, a 1 yard pass to Baldwin, and sacked for a loss of 9. The punt was returned for a touchdown and the game was essentially over.
However, needing to run the clock out against Baltimore, Jackson was 4 of 6 for 54 yards, so am I being too shortsighted? No, I don't think so. Because there's a difference between needing to take your team down the field and score to win and just being asked to keep the clock going. Plus, Marshawn Lynch keeping the down and distance within reason helped even more.
This performance takes the cake as the one that confirms, "I now fully understand what Vikings fans tried to warn us about."
2007 Tarvaris Jackson with Minnesota: 171 for 294, 1,911 yards, 58.2% completions, 9 TD/12 INT, 6.5 Y/A, 70.8 QB rating.
2011 Tarvaris Jackson with Seattle: 182 for 308, 2,065 yards, 59.1% completions, 9 TD/12 INT, 6.7 Y/A, 72.8 QB rating.
Four years later and Jackson hasn't done anything to prove he's gotten any better.
There was a time not so long ago where I thought it would be okay to name Tarvaris the starter in 2012 with a young quarterback in waiting drafted to be the next guy when he was ready. I'm now thinking that this is more like an Andy Dalton situation than a Jake Locker situation. The Seahawks have enough of the pieces in place to compete next season, but if Jackson is still starting I don't think that it will matter.
I learned that Red Bryant should make the Pro Bowl for at least field goal defense
I don't remember exactly how the evolution of Red Bryant went for me from a fan's perspective. Each of us has a difference experience and opinion on that matter that turned a fourth round pick in 2008 to being a local legend. For me, it seemed like it happened over night.
The Seahawks were constantly looking for a player that could put in the middle of the defensive line to stop the run and be a force in that area. That's what Bryant was drafted to do by Tim Ruskell and Mike Holmgren. He was inactive for 22 games during his first two seasons and if you didn't already have your doubts about him because he was "only a fourth rounder" then you certainly started to forget about his place on the roster at this point.
Bryant really stuck out for me personally when the coaching staff decided to move him to defensive end. That seemed like an interesting move, because usually you think of DE's as guys that gets sacks and Red seemed too big to do that. Sure enough, he only has two sacks in his career.
Those are the kind of numbers that opposing fans will look at and say "Why do you think this guy is good?" Then you have to watch Red play.
If it wasn't for Red blocking a field goal and an extra point, this game would have been a lot different. He's had a season that's going to be remembered for a long time, and there are still five games left. We all hope he is a productive and healthy Seahawk for a very long time.
I learned that Kam Chancellor is dirty and that I guess I like dirty players
Chancellor is starting to put together a nice little streak. After a helmet-to-helmet on Santana Moss, Chancellor is facing a fine or a possible suspension this week after doing the same to Anquan Boldin and Lance Kendricks.
There were rumblings, if you believe Twitter, that the Redskins thought the Seahawks were dirty.
Cool. Perfect. That is just as I requested a couple of weeks ago.
When I see a player make a monster hit on the Seahawks defense, I see the whole team get fired up. It's a momentum-changer. It can turn a 20-yard gain by the opposing team into a loss of morale. If anything, I'd like to see more attitude around the defense. More big hits. More fines.
The penalties are killer, but they don't always wipe out the reward. If the Seahawks were more disciplined on penalties that occurred on the offensive line and Brandon Browner, then we wouldn't rank right near the top of the league in that category and we could still lay some people out.
I'm not affiliated with the league in any way, so I think it's fair to say that I encourage you Kam Chancellor. No matter what our record is, I would pay to watch you play.
I learned that touching a quarterback in the top of his chest is 15 yards, and poking him in the eye is good aim
With 4:40 to go in the third quarter, K.J. Wright pushed Rex Grossman down right under his chin, potentially he touched the face mask (It didn't look that way to me, but I've been wrong before) and drew a 15 yard penalty. Shortly thereafter, Brandon Mebane poked Grossman in the eye and the result was that Grossman's eye hurt.
Not that I'm saying "HEY! PENALIZE OUR OWN PLAYER!" but instead I am pointing out how stupid some of the NFL rules are.
Minor penalties that are 5 yards and an automatic first down?
Taking one minute to decide that Grossman was guilty of intentional grounding when he was immediately pummeled late in the game and threw the ball to an area that had less Redskins than a blanket factory.
There were questionable calls in the game, but the most questionable call in the NFL is the decision to make certain things a penalty that can decide a game and other things be perfectly legal. We did get screwed on more than one occasion, but I guess were lucky that pulling a Jeepers Creepers on Rex Grossman is perfectly acceptable.
I learned that the Seahawks are not going to make the playoffs
A 5-6 record would be very interesting today. With every team in the NFC other than Green Bay and San Francisco currently at either 7-4 or 4-7, then the Hawks would have looked interesting at 5-6.
The Packers and Niners are going to win their divisions. Then two division titles will go to either Dallas, New York, New Orleans, or Atlanta. And then two wild cards will either go to either of those teams or to Detroit or Chicago. There are six teams fighting for four spots.
The other half of the NFC is out of it.
If the Hawks had been 5-6, then they would be two games back with five winnable games left. Now, the best they can hope for is 9-7, and while that might be worth a wild card... do you really think that the Seahawks will win their last five games?
Did you watch Tarvaris yesterday? Hell, did you even read my article or did you skip to this part?! That would be weird.
I think Seattle is a good team and in certain circumstances, they would be a fortunate playoff team with this roster. If they had been more fortunate against Cleveland, Atlanta, and Washington, then they would be in a wild card spot right now.
But they need to be better than just being fortunate. Seattle needs to be fortunate and
good better. We can't expect to just be good, like the Packers are good or the Patriots are good, in 2012 we need to hope to be fortunate and good. That's how most teams make the playoffs anyway.
I still see a team that has two cornerstones at the safety positions, an emerging star in Richard Sherman, talent and potential at linebacker, an unstoppable force named Red, a punishing pass rusher in Chris Clemons, a building brick wall at left tackle, a number one wide receiver that can't stay healthy, an undrafted free agent that could be one of the best slot receivers in the game, and an upcoming free agent running back that seems to like it here and has mutual affection coming back at him.
The Seahawks have the frame of a car that's a real beauty, but they need to drop the 450-horsepower engine into it. Hopefully that's what we get next season, or at the very least, we upgrade from the engine that just keeps turning over and over and over again.