That ultimately proved futile, and the Seattle Seahawks season is over, but the score-watching was a source of ample conversation throughout the game. They asked Pete Carroll about it afterwards, and it was brought up during the broadcast more than once. The point was simple: if players knew whether they were playing for postseason or not, might they perform differently on the field?
A highly entertaining perspective on that came from Darrell Taylor that many fans might have missed.
Michael-Shawn Dugar interviewed multiple players about that exact topic, covered in the most recent Man 2 Man podcast.
Darrell Taylor said he didn’t even know until they got in the locker room. I was like, “wait when the kick missed, did you think you guys were making the playoffs?” He said, “I didn’t know what to think, I just knew we won.”
I love this for two reasons. First, it’s astonishing to me that a professional athlete, one of the world’s highest competitors, wouldn’t know the other side of what his team’s result might accomplish. It’s hard to believe, were it somebody other than Darrell Taylor.
Which brings me to the second and far more important reason. This is the most Darrell Taylor thing he could have said. I have long believed - and only half jokingly - that Taylor generally plays by sort of closing his eyes and hoping he lands on top of the quarterback.
It’s the only thing that makes sense of one of my top-five favorite plays of this season:
This is just incredible. Darrell Taylor hits Goff forever late. pic.twitter.com/XaKf2uMhK2— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) September 22, 2023
The fact that Taylor got up and celebrated indicates he legitimately had no idea Jared Goff threw the ball, and I’ll die on that hill.
What’s more, this is a bit of a pattern! Taylor goes full boar with celebrating, while being....less situationally aware at times. Remember last year?
After Derek Carr's first Interception, a 12th player from the Seahawks bench ran onto the field and started blocking pic.twitter.com/x4CDDSfdlI— Sanjit T. (@Sanjit__T) November 28, 2022
So there was me in my car, chuckling away listening to Dugar’s report, imagining Taylor, jumping up and down for a 21-20 victory, not a clue in the world if his team was in the playoffs or not.
It may hint as to why some of the run-stopping decision-making has eluded Taylor for much of his career, or it could be entirely unrelated and simply an entertaining moment.
Taylor is a restricted free agent in 2024, and may see another season in Seattle.