Now it's time to see what our boys are made of.
For the first time in a long time -- maybe for a few days after BeastQuake and the big playoff win over the Saints -- the Seahawks are right in the middle of the national spotlight. Is it too bright? Too hot? Or does it feel good? With attention comes pressure, and even though we're going up against the "lowly" St. Louis Rams on Sunday, the stakes have gone up since Golden Tate made the catch/didn't make the catch/whatever. I don't know....maybe we'll go back to being the forgotten team from South Alaska....but if that spotlight hangs around, will we wilt or will we grow?
The playoffs aren't for another 14 weeks, and that's a good thing. Pete Carroll says that he's purposefully holding back Russell Wilson, and forcing the rookie QB to stay conservative in order to prevent turnovers. That's probably true, to a degree, but I also think that Carroll is keeping Wilson to a simple, vanilla offense because he wants to put Wilson into the fire and see if Russell can make plays in difficult situations. Seems like every other play the defense gets a pass rusher up the middle (or past the guards) and get right in Russell's face, and most of the time he runs backwards and makes a desperate throw to the sidelines. Russell needs to do a better job of anticipating the blitz before the snap, and figuring out how to avoid pressure and still make a successful throw. It doesn't matter how fast you run if you run right into the opposing defender.
Most of our regular season may be spent on Russell figuring this stuff out, and if he's too slow to learn I'm sure we'll see Matt Flynn on the field, at some point. Again, we got 14 weeks, so expect patience. I'd also advise patience with the offensive line, especially once they insert James Carpenter at LG (whenever that'll actually happen). Our defense and rushing attack are where they need to be, so going forward we can only hope for consistency and health.
I'd rather the Seahawks play better in December and January than in September and October. Every win counts, especially when we play in the same division as the 49ers and the pesky Cardinals, but for a young team like ours momentum might be more important. So, does the controversial ending to last Monday's game give us more momentum, or less?
Either the Seahawks can define themselves by the controversy, or they can see it as an opportunity. Are they lucky for getting that second touchdown, or proud that they held one of the best offenses to 12 points? I say forget about luck, forget about controversy, and spend the rest of the season (and beyond) that our victory over the Packers wasn't a fluke. The rest of the 2012 season begins TODAY.