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When the Seahawks won the Super Bowl: The first eight games

Seattle Seahawks v Houston Texans Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

This has all been a bit dour. “We’re celebrating the best moment in Seahawks history over here!” I hear in my head in the voice of Billy Batts. Today we rocket jump to 7-1. The number of ways I may attempt to capture the euphoria of watching this team dash out to 7-1 exceed the number of atoms in the known universe, exceed even my capacity for hyperbole, which is pretty big.

So here’s what I’m gonna do: a little micro breakdown of a particularly important play. Given the inadequacy of that, I heartily invite you add more in the comments section. I understand that such exhortations are often a desperate attempt to drum up reader participation, but here’s my ugly secret. I probably did not get to enjoy Seattle’s championship season as well as most of you. If you can, help me out. Whatever I do over the next few weeks, it’ll be like looking at a quasar through a pinhole. I’d love to know what the first eight weeks of the regular season was like for you.

Week 1: In which Russell Wilson does this with a football

The season started with a dreaded 10:00 am start time on the East Coast. We didn’t know how good this Carolina team would be, and we didn’t know how dominant its defense would become. This felt like a close, shall we say “gutty,” win. In retrospect, it was one of the hardest and most important wins of the season. Here’s the game-winning touchdown pass.

2ND & 10 AT CAR 43(10:21)

(10:21) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep right to J.Kearse for 43 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

The play design is crazy simple. Inside handoff play fake, seven blockers, Wilson breaks contain right, outside wide receivers run go routes, slot runs a deep crosser.

Wilson makes this throw a bit harder by escaping right. That allows Panthers safety Charles Godfrey (30) to ignore Golden Tate’s route on the left. Godfrey closes hard on Jermaine Kearse making for a porthole of a receiving window.

Kearse’s concentration and hand-eye coordination are legendary right here. Corner Josh Thomas looks like he’s about to challenge Kearse to a duel. If you watch closely, you can see Kearse’s eyes calmly scan above Thomas’s hand. He neither blinks nor falters, catching his first career NFL touchdown and putting the Seahawks up for good.

Week 2: In which it was over early

Home opener.

Seattle went up 2-0 in the second quarter and never relinquished the lead.

2ND & 12 AT SF 4(10:44)

(10:44) (Shotgun) C.Kaepernick pass incomplete short left to F.Gore. PENALTY on SF-B.Miller, Offensive Holding, 4 yards, enforced in End Zone, SAFETY - No Play.

Malcolm Smith spins Bruce Miller (49) so hard Miller ends up draped over Smith’s shoulders.


Week 3: In which Tarvaris Jackson connects with Doug Baldwin to push the lead to 31

This was one of the great lopsided victories in Seahawks history. Jackson, in mop-up duty, completed 7 of 8 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown achieving the elusive perfect quarterback rating of 158.3. If it qualified, his 99.6 QBR would rank seventh overall since 2006.

1ST & 10 AT JAX 35(01:36)

(1:36) T.Jackson pass deep right to D.Baldwin for 35 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

But this was Baldwin’s play 100%.


Week 4: In which Richard Sherman is the league’s greatest opportunist

Seattle got its ass kicked for most of this game. The Seahawks had a 4.05% chance of winning when Kubiak got cute and called a pass play on third and medium.

3RD & 4 AT SEA 40(02:51)

(2:51) M.Schaub pass short right intended for O.Daniels INTERCEPTED by R.Sherman [K.Chancellor] at SEA 42. R.Sherman for 58 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Dan Quinn called the perfect defense, overloading the weakside with Malcolm Smith and Kam Chancellor.

Following the play fake 32-year old Matt Schaub rolled right into this Boschian horror.

Richard Sherman rounds off Owen Daniels’ route, picks off Schaub and takes it to the house. Bad throw but not an easy pick. Dig this pic showing Sherm securing the catch while being body checked by Daniels both feet off the ground.

... and of course:

Seahawks win in overtime.

Week 5: In which the Seahawks lose

Nothing more needs to be said about that.

Week 6: In which Stanford owns Harvard

Jake Locker missed this game with injury, meaning Seattle had to face the hirsute Elvis of Cambridge, Ryan Fitzpatrick.

1ST & 10 AT TEN 20(11:23)

(11:23) R.Fitzpatrick pass deep right intended for N.Washington INTERCEPTED by R.Sherman at SEA 41. R.Sherman to SEA 41 for no gain (N.Washington).

Seattle led 13-10 in the fourth when Sherman just about sealed the win with a pick.

Sherman doesn’t allow Nate Washington’s double move to create a step of separation.

Simply outclassing a very good jump ball receiver, Sherman undercuts the route, high points the pass, and completes the interception.

Week 7: In which Bruce Irvin and Michael Bennett scare the bejesus out of Carson Palmer

The no-account Thursday night game in which all bad things happen.

3RD & 5 AT ARZ 46(04:56)

(4:56) (Shotgun) C.Palmer pass short left intended for M.Floyd INTERCEPTED by B.Browner [B.Irvin] at 50. B.Browner to ARZ 1 for 49 yards (A.Smith).

Michael Bennett has to drive hard from the right defensive tackle position into the center of the line. This should allow Irvin to swing free around the confused mass. Y’know, like this.

Thank you for the fine telestrator work, Mike Mayock.

This being 2013, everything works perfectly ...

until Browner answers that ancient riddle What is blue-and-gray, blue-and-gray, blue-and-gray?

Marshawn Lynch converted the touchdown and this was all over but for the fawning tributes to Larry Fitzgerald, which seem to occupy the fourth quarter of most Cardinals games.

Week 8: In which a terrible pass wins the game

The Rams held Seattle to only seven first downs for the entire game. Zac Stacy ran for 134 yards! And the game-winning play was, well, kind of botched.

2ND & 10 AT SEA 20(03:56)

(3:56) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left to G.Tate for 80 yards, TOUCHDOWN. PENALTY on SEA-G.Tate, Taunting, 15 yards, enforced between downs.

Golden Tate smokes Janoris Jenkins off the snap, or so it seems.

Actually Jenkins is attempting to trap Seattle. He’s keying that same tendency to break contain right that we saw in Wilson’s 43-yard touchdown pass to Kearse in Week 1. Jenkins figures this will cause Wilson to underthrow the pass, and he does.

Leading to a contested catch ...

that Golden Tate revels in winning.

Yeah that was flagged, you know that was flagged, because every Seahawks fan has this play running in a loop somewhere deep in that part of their brain which controls trolling and lower bowel functions.



Tomorrow: Weeks 9-14.