Last night's game got off to a good start with Beefmoe doing his thang, emerging from the scrum and shocking everyone in the stadium by running 15 yards for a touchdown for the game's first score. Then eating skittles. Then getting a free two-year supply of skittles from Skittles. They say that you should never look at a game in a vacuum, and should always step back and look at the big picture, but for a minute, I want to do the opposite.
That game was really fun to watch.
Tarvaris Jackson played fairly impeccably. Marshawn Lynch looks like a Pro-Bowl running back again. The defense picked off four passes. The 'big cornerback' thing is starting to look more effective. Hell, Golden Tate, the guy we've all been waiting for, led the team in receptions and caught a tough pass in the back of the endzone.
Then he did this. Don't it feel great?!
Taken in the vacuum, without thinking about the Eagles' injury problems, their short week and travels West, and just in general their struggles as a team, this dominating win over Philadelphia feels pretty damn good.
I mean, even taken out of the vacuum, it feels good. The Seahawks did it their way - they ran the ball on offense and Tarvaris Jackson managed the game in probably the exact fashion Pete Carroll daydreams about. The offensive line dictated terms. The defense created turnovers. The offense didn't. They limited penalties. They played with a calm confidence. I don't care who you're playing, this is the NFL and that was the Seahawks' best all-around game of the season, most likely. This was the most 'Pete Carroll' the Seahawks have looked thus far in his tenure, and his philosophies shined through.
My buddy Erik likes Pete Carroll for one main reason and his point of view is starting to grow on me. Here's why - during Pete's tenure at USC, the Trojans beat up on some perennial national juggernauts. Hard. A lot. Little surfer dude Pete Carroll beating up on the good ole boys of the South, the blue collar teams of the Big-10, teams in Texas where football is more important than god. At one point, he spent 33 straight weeks at number one. He put together a 32-game winning streak. 97-19 from 2001-2009.
Carroll went in to many of those exalted places, with his devil-may-care attitude, charismatic quips, rah-rah style, his khakis, and dominated a great deal of the country for nearly a decade. His teams weren't finesse. They didn't beat you with trick plays or crazy schemes. A lot of the time, they didn't even beat you with elite quarterbacks (though sometimes they did). They just played their brand of football and were really, really good at it.
Despite all this, and with good reason I would add, he still has many doubters that he can succeed in the NFL. I'm not trying to tell you he will have success or that he won't. I'm not trying to convince you that you should like him, but that history, with that perspective, makes me appreciate him a little bit more.
The style of play he's brought to this team, along with John Schneider's mad-scientist talent evaluation and Tom Cable's 'punch you in the mouth' mentality, is becoming quite apparent. The Hawks haven't proven anything - they'll still mix in ugly losses to the Redskins. They'll still lose to the Browns. By no means have they arrived.
But, the defense, near-league-worst for the last couple of years, is now middle-of-the-pack at worst and creeping into the conversation for 'great'. The offense is a work in progress, as could be expected, but seems to be going in the right direction and no-doubt has significantly more talent than the last few seasons. If anything, apart from wanting my team to succeed, I'm rooting for Pete Carroll because he's got so many people that doubt him. The California kid and his silly rah-rah ways. How sweet would it be for Carroll to mirror his success at USC in the NFL with the Seahawks? Start beating up on the perennial juggernauts in Pittsburgh and New England. In Chicago and New York. That would make some waves. The cute little team from South Alaska coming into our place? What's their name again?
Michael Robinson mentioned last night that when he was with the 49ers, they all viewed the Seahawks as soft, and that's the label they're consciously trying to shed. I can't help but feel that they're starting to do just that.
Cart .. Horse.
Yeah, I know it. Big wins make people crazy, me included. Some might say this wasn't even a big win, and they might be right. The Eagles are a shell of their real team, decimated by injuries and struggling as a unit. Still, they're the Eagles. Still, everyone picked the Eagles. Still, it was on National TV. Still, Seattle gets no love and it gives me a chip on my shoulder.
There's an excitement growing. At least this week. Anyway, I'm going to stop rambling and just enjoy the next ten days.