On second thought, I think I would have preferred the radiological dirty bomb.
The Minnesota Vikings handed the Seahawks their first home loss since December 2004, in an embarrassing 31-13 blowout that was perturbing for so many reasons. You know that one game a year the Seahawks seem to lose to a team they should beat? This might have been it. Although I'm not sure a team that looked like the Seahawks in the second half could beat anything but a dirty carpet.
The worst part of the game was the cell phone call. We take our cell phone to Qwest for basically two reasons: (a) emergencies, like if our 2-year-old daughter decides to take the car out for a spin. And (b), to get phone updates on a major Seahawk player that goes down with an injury. The phone calls every parent fears.
So we were mildly relieved when we heard Hasselbeck went down with a knee sprain and not a Lisfranc or a gunshot wound.
(However, Sando reports that Holmgren did not discuss the injury after the game, and that further tests will be conducted Monday. I don't feel well.)
The game was within reach until a particularly maddening 96-yard touchdown run ny Chester Taylor -- the longest in Viking history, and the longest the Seahawks have ever allowed. This was a run that could and should have been stopped before Taylor reached the 6-yard line, but mysteriously was not.
The Bears loss not included, or possibly included, the Seahawks' defense has never looked worse in the Holmgren era. The Vikings got a lot of plus-yardage on second efforts, and the Seahawks defense was unspeakably vulnerable on down-the-gut pass plays.
Nobody expected a win after Seneca Wallace took over for Hasselbeck, but nobody should have expected the mysterious decisions that seemed to happen from that moment forward. Namely, any play involving Maurice Morris, especially when they decided to throw him the ball (Hasselbeck tried a couple of these as well). Absolutely infuriating was Wallace's decision to hand the ball to Morris on an attempted fourth-down conversion at midfield -- only to see Maurice falter towards the left sideline and get wrapped up for a loss. At some point between Alexander's injury and now, Morris's game has become completely transparent to opposing defenses. Or maybe the offensive line has. It's hard to say.
Normally losses like this shouldn't throw off the whole perspective of the season. The Seahawks are still tied for first, with the win against the Rams now looking monumental.
But those vulnerabilities about which any cognizant Seahawks fan has worried about were exposed like a ribcage this afternoon, by a team that looked only better-than-average until about 3pm Pacific. Our defense against the pass has had almost no presence since the Giants game. Our judgment in adverse circumstances is sometimes eyebrow-raising. There is a sense of franticism back in our game, and we don't do franticism very well.
It felt more like an aberration than the end of a season, until Hasselbeck's injury provided a great unknown I'd really rather we didn't have. There is a lot of work to be done. We've known that in the back of our heads, of course. Now the stakes are a little higher.
The dimly lit silver lining is that other NFC favorites, Carolina and Philadelphia, were also upset this weekend. So we didn't really lose that much ground.
But I certainly felt the earth move.