Every season, you're going to have games that you remember and games that you don't. Games the seemed to hold consequence and others that are nothing more than numbers in a box score and names attached to scoring plays.
Mired in the middle of a 2-6 season, and with an offense that's watchability rivals a game show where contestants see whose paint will dry the fastest, it's very likely that the Hawks will have more forgettable games than ones you remember. We'll remember the Giants game, one of the most unlikely wins we've had in years. We'll remember the Browns game, and for all of the wrong reasons. I've already forgotten the Cardinals game, and that was a victory.
Yesterday's game might hold a special interest because it was against the Cowboys, but it still lacked many game-changing moments or late-game suspense that will give it a special place in the 2011 season. That being said, there are some special things about the game.
We'll probably forget that Seattle was tied at half-time, and only down by a touchdown going into the fourth quarter on the road against a team that's far more talented than we are.
We may very well forget that Marshawn Lynch had another good game, and maybe his best game as a Seahawk. Something we've already said once this year.
We'll probably forget that of Tarvaris Jackson's three interceptions, one of them was a legitimately bad throw, one of them was a legitimately bad decision, and one of them was legitimately without consequence and maybe not an interception anyway. Jackson wasn't good in this game, but I'm not really any more worried about him today than I was before yesterday. Because I rarely worry about Tarvaris Jackson.
I'm not going to paint some super rosy picture after yesterdays game. In the end it was ugly and no doubts were erased about this teams offense, now with 28 total points in three games. But maybe this season, as it stands, is the perfect compromise between the "Suck for Luck" crowd and the "We want to be good now!" crowd.
Those of you rooting for the worst record possible, and those of you rooting for the team to get better, well.. we've got a pretty crappy record, but we've got some really exciting players developing too. Compromise!
I'm trying something out this week called "Song of the Week." I had a song stuck in my head and I was trying to think if that song maybe in some way, subconsciously, could be attributed to our loss to the Cowboys. That song, How Do You Talk to An Angel by Jamie McMurray, luckily did not. Still, the idea interested me. Maybe it interests you too. Maybe I'll never speak of this again. We'll see. I'm excited about some things coming up this week, and this is just me testing out the waters of a new idea.
This weeks song is Adam's Song by Blink 182.
I traced the cord back to the wall
No wonder it was never plugged in at all
I took my time, I hurried up
The choice was mine, I didn't think enough
Coming into the game at 2-5, the Seahawks didn't have to look far as to why they had failed to win some games that they maybe should have won. Sometimes the solution is so simple, you failed to recognize it going into the year. Bad special teams defense that led to letting games get out of hand late and an offense that was going nowhere in recent weeks. Would a hurry-up offense do the trick?
"Cowboys Ball. Murray stuffed on first play, love the Run D"
My favorite part of this season so far, besides the play of Kam Chancellor, has been our run defense. Even if we haven't faced a lot of stars, or even a lot of starters, watching players get stuffed in-between the tackles over and over again isn't flashy, but it makes you feel pretty good about one part of your team. On his first play from scrimmage, DeMarco Murray went nowhere, gaining two yards on first-and-fifteen and being tackled by K.J. Wright.
Unfortunately, this was far from being predictive of how the rest of the game would go.
"Laurent Robinson. First time I've ever heard of Rockledge, WA"
After catching a seven yard pass on the first drive, the FOX graphic said he was from "Rockledge, WA." I had never heard of that town, but surely, it must just be a small town I've never heard of.
I'm now thinking not.
Robinson was born in Fort Lewis, WA, which is a neat fact that I did not know. He attended Rockledge High School, which I've never heard of. Probably because it is in Florida. Fact checking!
"Two false starts"
Jason Witten and Montrae Holland both committed false starts that helped the Hawks keep the Cowboys from getting a first down on the opening drive. Apparently Qwest is the new Cowboys stadium. I was wondering where Qwest went.
"McCoy first down"
Anthony McCoy hasn't done a lot to get on our good sides this season with dropped passes. The Hawks got the first first down of the game though on a 13-yard catch by McCoy on 2nd and 6. He would false start on the next play, because the universe was unbalanced.
"Punt. WowWowWowWow Punt Coverage. Stupid catch."
I'm not sure what prompted Dez Bryant to make a catch at the Dallas 5-yard line, but Kennard Cox blew him up and landed him at the two-yard line. It was a great job of the Hawks special teams defense getting down there to make the play, and we'll take what we can get, but Dez did us a favor on that one.
I never conquered, rarely came
16 just held such better days
Days when I still felt alive
We couldn't wait to get outside
It certainly feels like we're being short-changed with the Hawks of the last few seasons, if only because we knew what it was like to be the best team in the division for half-a-decade. Getting some of that swagger back would feel really good at this moment, and start having days like that. Mental mistakes, anemic offense, and bad special teams have kept us from advancing thus far. But if we continue to make plays like that on special teams, maybe we could pull off a rare upset and feel good again.
"Dallas escapes end zone to Austin, Hold pushes them back."
Well it only took one play for Dallas to get from their two to their eighteen. The big play on special teams wiped out with one fell swoop. The defense lucked out on the next play though, holding on Fiammetta pushed them back to their nine.
"Critical missed tackle by Wright on Murray."
And once again, good fortune wiped out in an instant. This has already been covered by other FG writers, and I have nothing to add about it. Let's not forget that Wright is a rookie, and not one that was expected to come in and be a star right away. Still, tackling should be the easy part.
"Deep strike to Dez for 39 yards."
Dez Bryant is one talented guy. He's not the complete wide receiver yet that puts him in the elite category, but like A.J. Green, this guy has the natural ability to get there some day. He was targeted 9 times yesterday and made four catches for 76 yards, 8.4 yards per target.
"Murray getting good yards, all on the outside."
Watching DeMarco Murray yesterday instantly reminded me of something.
Remember the short-lived ESPN show Playmakers? I'll never forget a scene in which the coach is explaining to his veteran running back why he can't be as good as the hotshot rookie and it all comes down to those damn 40 times. It seems like such a small margin, a tenth of a second, but as he goes over the replay and counts down by a tenth of a second as the play develops, it's clear how that difference is what separates a short gain from breaking one off.
Sweeps and other running plays to the outside take time to develop. There's a reason that not every team can just run it over and over again, because a play up the gut is bang-bang. A play to the outside is bang.... bang.... bang....
If your running back isn't fast enough or agile enough, then it's simply not going to get anywhere. Murray seemed to be just like that hotshot rookie who was fast enough to actually get to the edge and gain positive yardage (and lots of it) by being quicker than the defense. Also, the Dallas offensive line blocked pretty well.
He had 21 yards rushing and that 17 yard catch on the drive.
"3rd and Goal... Romo gives himself up!!!"
Well, it wasn't exactly a John Elway helicopter. Romo scrambled from the Seattle 5 yard line and decided to just call it a day rather than hurt himself. Dan Bailey kicked a 20 yard field goal and it was 3-0 Dallas. The defense can't be too proud of giving up 96 yards, but at least they kept the Cowboys out of the end zone.
"9 yard run by Lynch. Nice work so far."
How much the Cowboys defense would miss Sean Lee would be critical to the Hawks run game. Lynch had arguably his best game for Seattle, consistently making plays and fighting for yardage. This wasn't a big day because of one or two big runs, this was just consistently good running for Marshawn.
"Mike Williams Best Play of the Year: Drawing a PI"
I have said numerous times that I like Williams, but he can't be so boisterous when he hasn't done anything on the field yet in 2011. Show us something. On third-and-five, Williams drew a pass interference to keep the drive alive. He'd actually catch some balls later too.
"Ridiculous FG is good. 3-3"
I'm not exactly sure how a partially blocked FG from 45 yards away goes through, but I'm happy it did. That was crazy.
The world was wide, too late to try
The tour was over we'd survived
I couldn't wait till I got home
To pass the time in my room alone
Tied 3-3 after the first quarter, the Hawks were just trying to keep it close and survive, maybe pull out a win and get back home. Getting away with a win in Dallas would be a nice morale boost, but it kind of still felt like that's what we'd be doing: stealing a win in Dallas. We were still being outplayed.
"Bryant 3rd down conversion. Austin 3rd down conversion."
With the Cowboys pinned back at their own 12, the Hawks had them looking at third-and-six and third-and-four on successive downs but they got 10 yards to Dez and 37 yards to Austin. Not stopping teams on third down has been as frustrating as our run defense as been refreshing.
"Murray down to the 1"
Well, so much for awesome run defense. A 22 yard run gets Dallas to the one-yard-line and it felt like it was about to be 10-3. Luckily, Romo had two incomplete passes and when trying to run up the gut, Murray was stopped. What could have been 14-3, the Hawks were only down a field goal.
"Leon Washington muffs KO. Luckily, penalty brings it up."
A rare miscue for Leon on special teams, but the Hawks catch a break on an Unnecessary Roughness penalty on Dallas. We start at the 20. Unfortunately, the drive does nowhere as Jackson tries to hit Sidney Rice for some long gains that fall incomplete.
"Murray 32 yard run"
After a punt, Murray broke off a big run and now had runs of 22 and 32 on the defense. He's a really talented player and could become a star playing in Dallas.
"Chancellor with another big hit."
Phillip Tanner spells Murray for the most part in Dallas, and he came in after Murray's big run. Tanner tried to run it to the left side, but he met our star safety and Kam made another big hit.
Who in the world would you think should have bigger Seattle jersey sales right now than Kam? He can hit like Ken Hamlin (maybe better) but isn't a liability either. So much love for Kam right now, and all deserved.
"Dez Bryant FUMBLE! WOW! Richard Sherman."
Now the Cowboys were a yard from scoring again and what looked like it would either go for a touchdown or at least down to the one-yard-line instead because Seahawks ball when Bryant was hammered and dropped the ball, which was picked up by Roy Lewis.
For those counting at home, there's a good chance this could be 21-3 Dallas right now and for all intents and purposes we were getting outplayed all over the place. Instead, two stops on the goal line and a Bryant fumble were keeping the Hawks in this game. For the games where it seems like "Damn, the Hawks should be killing it right now" this was the opposite. We were getting beat, but luckily had kept it close.
"Lynch big run."
Seattle really needed to go down the field and get something here, taking advantage of the turnover. Go into half tied or with the lead and then get the ball back. Things got going after Lynch broke off runs of 7 and 19 yards and Seattle went from their own six to the 32.
Doug Baldwin added a 25 yard catch to get to the Dallas 31 and then Mike Williams came up with a huge third down catch to get to the Dallas 20. They weren't able to get closer than the 13, but a Hauschka field goal tied the game. Incredibly, this was a close game and the Hawks would get the ball to start the second half.
I never thought I'd die alone
I laughed the loudest who'd have known
Well, the Hawks were certainly laughing when they survived the first half like that. No matter how you got to a tie score, the second half would determine the outcome of the game. Die alone, live together. That's what I always say when I'm writing Seahawks-Cowboys recaps.
"Another Lynch run"
Seattle had to start from their own six, but 20 yards on two carries by Lynch brought Seattle to the 26. Too bad Robert Gallery holding penalty held us back from advancing any further than the 35.
I'm not going to say much about Gallery in this post. He got pancaked on at least one play, he had penalties, he pretty much looks terrible right now. I don't know what it is. I'm not an o-line expert, and Gallery missed a lot of practice time and game time. He's trying to gel. I really don't think that he's going to be benched soon anyway, that's not what they paid him for and the team isn't going to the playoffs.
I'm not sticking up for Gallery, I'm just not going to repeat over and over again how bad he is. That's what James Carpenter is for. Who I didn't write a note about for the first time this season.
"Sherman missed tackle on a run, first down."
More Murray, this time Sherman misses a tackle. Can't say a guy who forced that fumble on Dez was a huge liability in this game, but missed tackles are just so frustrating.
"Romo runs for a first on third down"
Not as frustrating as watching the QB run for a first down on third and four. Dallas had driven down to the Seatle 33 in only a few plays.
"Jason Witten TD. 13-6"
Now this was more like how the game was feeling. Witten's name wasn't called a whole lot at this point. I was worried that he'd kill us all day, and he had 8 targets for 4 catches and 71 yards. Seattle wasn't out of this, but Dallas makes the first real strike of the day.
"Mike Williams again, first down."
More BMW, this time a 19 yard catch on the first play of the drive. He was targeted 4 times and had 3 catches for 41 yards.
"Sidney Rice for 43 yards"
This is the kind of visions we had for Sidney Rice when we signed him. It seems crazy to think of the Seahawks having a "deep threat" but he's a legit #1 WR, and Tarvaris can throw it downfield okay. He's not perfect, and neither is Sidney, but every now and then things will work out nicely like this, because the ability is there. Execution isn't always guaranteed though. I'll definitely take it when I can get it. We were now on the Dallas 23.
"FG Blocked. Wow, leaps over center."
When I do think back to this game, this is probably the only play I'll never forget. I've never seen a player do a leap like that, but Anthony Spencer made Red Bryant look like a second-class FG blocker with this play. Pretty phenomenal, no matter how it actually was allowed to happen.
"Long pass to McCoy"
After a Dallas three-and-out, another nice play for McCoy and for Tarvaris here. I'll take positive signs where I can get them. 31 yards and down to the Dallas 41. Things were going our way now right?
"Deflected INT. What?"
Apparently a strong suit of Jacksons game is not throwing the ball into the ground. I mean, I get he was just trying to get rid of the ball, and that's a good thing, but actually get rid of it. He allowed the ball to just flip and flop around the area of the line of scrimmage and the Cowboys came down with it. Awesome start to drive = killed.
"Robinson TD on what looked like broken play. 20-6"
The Cowboys again converted third downs, first on a 23-yard pass play to Jason Witten, and then when it looked like they had blown up the Cowboys offense on third and three from the six, Romo found Robinson for a score to put the game a little further out of reach.
"Next pass - T Newman INT. Is this gonna get ugly?"
Well, it seemed like only a few minutes passed before this game went from 6-6 to 20-6 and now the Cowboys had the ball on the Seattle 35 yard line. In reality, it was only half-a-quarter of game time, which is not very much time at all.
The interception was just a bad throw, bad decision by Tarvaris Jackson. No excuses here.
At this point, I think I'm going to just save both of us time and paraphrase the rest of the game:
Bailey FG, some more nice runs from Lynch, another catch for BMW, a Lynch TD, Murray runs down most of the clock, Doug Baldwin looked like he had a catch on the "tie" rule but it would not have mattered anyway and the Cowboys took one more knee and the game was over.
Before really analyzing the game, this seemed like a game the Hawks did a good job of keeping close before Dallas finally ran away with it.
And honestly, in many ways that is what it was. I mean, two goal-line stops and a forced fumble at the goal line are important and critical parts of football. They still happened, and they're still positive for the team. Hey, good job defense, you kept the game close when the Cowboys probably should have won this game by 30. Never forget that we have some really talented players back there, and some really interesting corners developing. At least, I hope they are developing, and not just getting lucky.
Another game where Sherman becomes a little more interesting. Where Kam becomes closer to being an elite safety. A game where Lynch is a consistent threat. Where Earl Thomas and Russell Okung look like a pair of hits from the 2010 first round.
Another six months I'll be unknown
Give all my things to all my friends
You'll never set foot in my room again
You'll close it off, board it up
Remember the time that I spilled the cup
Of apple juice in the hall
Please tell mom this is not her fault
Once the season is over, the losses and wins will just become a distant memory and we'll still have to continue this rebuilding process. It's not going to happen overnight and almost 100% of this team has been overturned by Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Mistakes are going to happen and they certainly made some yesterday, just like they've made some in every game this season.
I'm not going to say that this is the fault of either "mom or dad" if those two people are represented by Carroll and Schneider, because I actually like the players we have here, but of course some of them will have to go. Luckily, we know who will be here: some studs on defense and some very good players on offense.
The cupboard was nearly bare when Mom got here. Its getting a little better every week, but the results aren't there yet. With a little faith, the results will match the vision by 2012.