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It's always disappointing to lose, but I can't say that I didn't get what I expected.
I did not expect the Seahawks to lose to the Rams and yet they did, so why am I not fuming over the loss? A loss to a team that won two games a year ago. A loss that drops Seattle to 0-2 in the division before they've even played the 49ers. A loss where our starting quarterback threw three interceptions and has Matt Flynn supporters as vocal as they've ever been.
None of those things are good things, but for some reason I sit here content.
I suppose it's because I also don't know how you stop a kicker from making field goals of 48, 58, and 60 yards. The six-point difference in the game coming on the two longest field goals against this team in franchise history. How do you stop a kicker whose got the sexiest leg this side of Angelina Jolie?
I suppose it's because I did not expect the only touchdown pass in the game to come from John Hekker. It could also be because I expected to shut down Steven Jackson and the running game, and we did that. Seattle is second in the NFL in run defense.
I expected to shut down Sam Bradford and we mostly did that, holding him to 16-of-30 passing, 0 TD and 1 INT. The biggest disappointment in that respect was that Bradford was 3-of-4 on deep targets for 97 yards. I did not expect Richard Sherman to have a bad game.
I expected Russell Wilson to have a bad game because why was yesterday going to be the day that he blossomed into a good NFL starter? The Rams have a good pass defense and thus far Wilson has been underwhelming, especially during those clutch situations, so why would I have expected him to be the one to win this game? I expected Marshawn Lynch to carry this offense, and that's what he did.
Basically, this game went almost exactly as planned:
- Shut down the Rams offense (0 offensive touchdowns and a performance that typically would hold a team to somewhere between six and nine points.)
- Give it to Lynch (20 carries for 118 yards) and bonus from Robert Turbin (6 for 45.)
- Let Leon Washington save the game if he must.
I was disappointed in only two sacks, but I'm glad to actually be in a position where we are disappointed in only two sacks. The Seahawks got excellent push from Brandon Mebane in the middle and were able to disrupt Bradford and get in the backfield on the run game.
I was disappointed in allowing some big gains, including a 52-yard pass to Chris Givens, but I feel that it is an anomaly.
More than anything I'm upset of course that we played so impressively on 1st and 2nd down on defense and then had a lapse in that domination when it was 3rd-and-long. The graphic that they put up during the game detailing how long their third downs were compared to ours was depressing considering that they kept converting and we kept failing. But I've been feeling that way all year, this was just extreme and it came against a Rams offense that I felt we should have sacked more and forced at least one more turnover against.
And yes, I am disappointed in Russell Wilson. I'm disappointed that we have to hold our breath on every pass play and that it only feels like a millisecond before he's in panic mode like he's having a dream that he missed classes all year and today is the final exam. How much of that has to do with pass protection and how much of it has to do with Wilson?
His first interception seemed to be a combination of a slightly-inaccurate throw, an inability to secure the ball, and a fluke.
His second interception was a Tarvaris-like hesitation in the pocket but in this case he didn't tuck and run, he did what we're asking him to do: Throw the damn ball. Except that his arm was hit as he throw and the ball went flyer's up.
His third interception was nobody's fault except the same ground that caused a ref to slip earlier in the game. I guess that the NFL needs towel boys like the NBA.
I will not make excuses for Wilson, those are just how the interceptions happened. Pete Carroll was not happy about it. Wilson was not happy about it. They were avoidable in a variety of ways and each of which in some way involved Wilson. This was a poor performance, without question. He's also going to start next week, so what can we do about it other than hope he gets better? Carroll is sticking with Wilson for a variety of reasons and not going with Flynn for one very important reason: He's not even healthy enough to practice more than a couple of times a week.
I guess what I was mostly concerned about were the times that it seemed Wilson could not spot open receivers and again, this seems to be an underlying theme of the season. When you've got 126 potential game-winning drives in three games and the only time you've been successful was on "The Play That Shall Not Be Named" that's going to raise questions. Can Wilson not go through progressions successfully? Is he only looking at his first option, glancing at his second and then taking off?
And yes, can he simply just not see them?
Many of us said before the year that we'd be happy with a 2-2 start. Well, here you go. That's what you've got. Maybe you didn't expect the losses to come to the Cardinals and Rams but guess what? The Cardinals are 4-0 and that was a road game that Seattle had several chances to win. The Rams are 2-2 and this was a road game that Seattle had several chances to win. They didn't take advantage of those chances, but last season the Seahawks were 1-3 to start the year. They got blown out (mostly) by San Francisco and Pittsburgh, beat the Cards 13-10, and were a Greg Zuerlein field goal from beating the Falcons. But they still didn't play that well against the Falcons.
Actually, last season the Seahawks gave up over 300 total yards of offense to the Steelers, Cardinals, and Falcons. Over 400 to the Steelers and Falcons. This year? They have yet to give up 300 yards in a game. I've heard people say that there is not enough improvement.
How is this not the definition of improvement? Why? Because the dictionary doesn't specifically list a definition of improvement by talking about the 2011-2012 Seahawks? Fair enough, you win this round.
But Seattle is vastly improved this year. Who do I expect to blow us out? Nobody. Not the Patriots, not the 49ers, definitely not the Jets. I expect the Seahawks to be in every game and I expect that as the season goes on, we will get better.
Yesterday I got almost exactly what I expected except for the "W" so I guess that's why I'm content. I can't ask Santa for a box of crayons and then be upset when I don't get a Dreamcast. We're 2-2 and that's fair by my standards. Do I have low standards? Maybe. Maybe we should all have lower standards, am I right, ladies?
No, we shouldn't lower our standards to just accept another 7-9 season, but I don't expect that. So if that happens, we can talk about disappointments. This is our reality for now and it's almost exactly what I expected.
"I do have one underlying fear, Tim - I'm afraid that reality, as we know it, is someone else's dream. When the dreamer wakes, I'll no longer exist. " - Wilson Wilson, Jr. Home Improvement season 1, episode 5