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Athletic Learnings of Seahawks-Rams Game for Make Benefit Glorious Website of Field Gulls

The stockholders are upset that I haven't yet posted any comments on Sunday's victory against the Rams, which -- despite this insane, paranoid, typically Seattle self-flagellating NFL season for us fans -- appears to have nearly sealed up the NFC West title for the Seahawks after 9 games of play. Well, if we don't get swept by the 49ers, that is. Ahem.

    Jerramy Stevens in the end zone. This is worth six points in football. In basketball it's not worth anything.
AP Photo/John Froschauer

With the understanding that I'm under the influence of TheraFlu and Halls Drops, that I've been working 11-hour days for the last three weeks, and that I'm traveling straight to the heart of 49er country this weekend, here's what I remember from Sunday's contest at the Q:
  • See??? Did I tell you Burleson would earn his $49 million, or did I??? Huh?? Where's my yes men?? Where are ya at!!

    Seriously, Nate's punt return for a touchdown made me very ecstatic, as much as any regular season game since last year's Jay Feely Empowerment Seminar against the Giants.

    But at the same time, I couldn't help worrying about what someone here (I think it was Scruffy) sort of worried about a few weeks back -- we're paying $49 mil for a return man?

    Nate, to his credit, has never seemed bothered or frustrated with the Seahawks regarding his reduced role, and has always put on a game face for wanting to contribute to the team in any way he can. He did so after the game as well. When the history of this year's regular season is written, Nate's touchdown will go down as one of the five or so most important Seahawk scores of the 2006 season. I believed, and still believe, he could do a lot more than that.

  • I'm now going to do something I didn't expect to be doing this week: Congratulate the offensive line. Whoever it was.

    They weren't perfect. They made some big mistakes in the first quarter. But they did seem to settle down a little bit, at least enough to keep the Seahawks in the game until they got to a point where they could (stop me if you've heard this one) call up Josh Brown.

    Maurice Morris got his second straight 100-yard game. I realize these games came against defenses that were, shall we say, very questionable against the run. But for a second string backup, it's still impressive. Morris had a couple of bursts of speed that I'd been hoping to see for awhile, and they helped to a couple big gains. But he had holes to rumble through this time.

    It wasn't very glamorous, or earth-shaking, but it was the best offensive line performance since the Giants game.

    I mean, maybe they were better against the Raiders, but that's like saying Citizen Kane was a better movie than Dude Where's My Car? By all rights the two shouldn't even be in the same multiplex.

  • The worst good play of the year, so far, happened in the third quarter when Ken Hamlin intercepted a pass from Marc Bulger, the game's only pick for either side.

    You're probably way ahead of me as to why that is. For the sake of the permanent record for future generations, however, let me explain why. Coaches from the future, heed me now!

    Bulger was attempting a fourth-down conversion from the Seattle 31. He threw to Torry Holt, who had sprinted to the Seahawks' red zone. Bulger missed the target and the ball found Hamlin, who was very close to the sidelines at the 8 yard line. Hamlin was then pushed out of bounds, and the Seahawks got the turnover deep in their own territory.

    I was very happy the ball got turned over, and in retrospect now realize that the primary objective of any defender in that situation is to get the ball back, to regain possession from the offense if possible, to stop something from happening. And when Hamlin's in the thick of a play, certainly he can't be thinking of anything else than that. He doesn't know who's behind him, outside of his line of sight, if he misses that interception. I get that.

    Still -- I'm just sayin' -- is there a chance Hamlin had enough time to realize that all he had to do was knock the ball out of bounds? Or down to the turf? The ball falls incomplete, and the Seahawks take over on downs at their own 31. Hamlin's interception, and the resultant tackle/shove out of bounds, put the ball 28 yards backwards.

    It was more amusing, really, than anything else. And didn't cost the Seahawks the game. But they did have a three-and-out on the next series and had to punt the ball right back to the Rams, who kicked a field goal on the next possession to take the lead.

    I'm just sayin', I never would have caught that ball. Never in a million years.

    Of course that's mainly because I don't play football. But I've played Madden. Oh yes I have.

    (I am, thanks to the P-I and someone named "Coach Holmgren," not alone.)

  • Seneca had a decent game. Really, the last three weeks have been a matter of asking God to not let Seneca have a meltdown. In that respect, Seneca was great. It's worth noting that he's thrown only 2 interceptions in all his starts, and none in the last two.

    But, well, some things got to me, just because I knew I was coming down with a cold and was gonna get cranky. It seemed he dropped back a few steps too many once or twice, and stayed a little too long in the pocket a couple times.

    All right, all right, I'll say it: Sometimes the game plan seemed too conservative. Yes, yes, I would have liked to see Seneca take off running more than he did. Sue me. Tease me, or something. Cajole me. Cajoling's always good.

    If there's one thing the Seneca Years have shown us, it's that he's a very decent game planner. He's obviously bringing mental approach. I'm not convinced Seneca won't get another start this season -- like, I dunno, next Sunday maybe -- but just in case we have a post-mortem on his starting duties in the next couple of days, I think he did just fine.

  • The more I think about the defense the more my head hurts. You guys talk about the defense. I cannot talk about the defense. I get lines.
  • Fun fact of the day: The 49ers, statistically speaking, are currently in 2nd place in the NFC West. They're 4-5, as are the Rams, but the 49ers already beat St. Louis once this year. So right now, the Niners win after the tiebreaker.

    In the meantime, the Cardinals are playing in the old AFL. The USFL rejected their application.

  • Starting Thursday night I'll be doing this blog from Sacramento for a few days. Sacramento is not quite 49er Central, but it's not very far away. In fact I think we'll be in San Francisco the day before the game.

    This will mean absolutely nothing special for this site's news coverage, except that my mom will be watching this site even more closely than she does now.

    Seneca, you got any dry cleaning you want me to pick up in Sacto?

I need a new poll topic. Anybody got a suggestion for a new poll topic? Gosh I'd love a new poll topic.