The end of the summer is rapidly approaching, and with the end of the summer comes the start of football. Though college and high school teams won’t take the field until the fall, NFL teams have already begun to report for training camp, and things are no different for the Seattle Seahawks, for whom training camp opens on Thursday the 25th of July.
Rookies for the Hawks are already in camp, have arrived last Wednesday, and with veterans set to join the youngsters this week, things are set to get interesting. So, as the final few days of the offseason tick away, here at Field Gulls we get set to check off the final few games on our countdown. As regular readers know, for the past couple of weeks we have been working backwards through each game of the 2018 season, and today we arrive at the first win of the season, the Week 3 triumph over the Dallas Cowboys.
In order to make it to this point we’ve already been through the Wild Card loss to the Cowboys, the Week 17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, the upset of the Kansas City Chiefs, the road loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the home wins over the Minnesota Vikings and the 49ers in consecutive weeks, the comeback on the road against the Carolina Panthers, the comeback at home to defeat the Green Bay Packers, the loss to the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum, the loss at home to the Los Angeles Chargers, the crushing defeat of the Detroit Lions, the complete destruction of the Oakland Raiders, the close loss at home to the Rams and the first of two last game winning field goals against the Cardinals.
Getting back to the Week 3 win over the Cowboys, the game featured two teams who both started slow, as the two entered the game with a combined record of 1-3. Seattle, of course, had dropped both of its first two games playing in tough road contests, while Dallas had split its first two games against the Panthers and Giants. The outcome of this contest never appeared to be in doubt, as the Cowboys offense could not do much over the first three quarters. By the time the Dallas offense began to move the ball consistently in the fourth quarter, Seattle held a nearly insurmountable 24-6 lead.
In spite of the lead, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott did what they could to try and put points on the board, but two fourth quarter turnovers proved to simply be too much. First it was Elliott fumbling the ball inside the Seattle 20 after a long run, followed by an Earl Thomas interception two Cowboys possessions later.
During the 2018 season the Hawks lost two games on the road to teams after having beaten them handily at home earlier in the season. The Cowboys were one of these teams, with the 49ers having been the other, and coincidentally in each of the home victories over these two opponents the Seahawks came up with two turnovers inside the red zone. Neither of the home wins was close enough for these two turnovers to have made a significant difference in the outcome of the game, however, in the absence of creating turnovers in the road rematches, Seattle dropped the two games by a combined total of five points.
So, perhaps having Thomas to slow down Dallas in the first matchup made enough of a difference to have mattered, or perhaps the Hawks would have come up short in the Wild Card game even with his presence. We’ll simply have to wait and see how things turn out for the 2019 Seahawks, the first season of the Pete Carroll era for which Earl will not be on the field for the Hawks, but at least Seattle fans will get to watch him play when the Baltimore Ravens visit Century Link in Week 7.