Monday, October 14, 2013

Seahawks beat Titans in spite of themselves

Seahawks     20
Titans           13

Seattle improves to 5-1, tied for best in the NFC, but they continue to look like a team loaded with talent struggling to find it's rhythm. They could very easily be undefeated through this point in the season but they could just as well be .500 or worse if not for a few timely plays.

We know Seattle has talent.  It comes in flashes from every area but it's rarely consistent.  We have yet to see a performance like we did down the stretch of last season where Seattle truly imposes it's will on an opponent.

Sunday's game should have been a get-right beat down of an inferior team on the Seahawks home turf.  With all due respect to Tennessee, they simply don't stack up against Seattle's roster.  Throw in the 12th Man advantage and you have the ingredients for bouncing back from a heartbreaking road loss the week prior.

Yet, once again,  Seattle could not stop themselves from making stupid mistakes.  Penalties and turnovers continue to plague this team in every game.  With the exception of the loss to the Colts last week, Seattle has always found a way to overcome these mental errors. Sidney Rice, Marshawn Lynch and Derrick Coleman all had fumbles on Sunday but it was Chris Margos who had the costliest of turnovers.

When Steven Hauschka was temporarily taken out of the game after receiving a devastating hit from the Titans Darius Reynaud, Jon Ryan was called on to cover all kicking duties.  Seeing as how Ryan is the teams placeholder on field goals and point afters, Seattle needed to call in a backup holder.

For some reason, rather than have a quarterback handle these duties, Pete Carroll called upon backup safety and special team standout, Chris Maragos to handle the snaps. Before heading into the half, Seattle had failed to find their way into the endzone and found themselves in a 3rd & Goal on the Tennessee 4 yard line with a mere 2 seconds remaining on the clock. With Hauschka being examined in the locker room, Seattle sent its Frankenstein Special Teams unit out to attempt to pad their lead.

What ensued can best be described as a comedy of errors.

Maragos mishandled the snap, but rather than fall on the ball to go into the half leading 7-3, he opted to attempt a heroic pass to the endzone.

Instead, Maragos was swallowed up by Tennessee's defensive front and his heroic pass ended up being a feeble lateral that was scooped up by Jason McCourty and taken 77 yards the opposite direction in a ten point swing.

Anyone watching the game could tell Seattle was the more talented team, but the Titans were capitalizing on our mistakes and had the lead 10-7 going into the half.  I think we all knew that Seattle would persevere, they almost always have, but I can't be the only one thinking that it's high time the Seahawks got their act together.

Seattle's game this Thursday in Arizona will be the seventh match up of the season.  We're almost to the halfway point and Seattle hasn't yet taken that next step. I still firmly believe that the Super Bowl is Seattle's for the taking-- they have the talent and perseverance.  The key will be if the Seahawks are able to get healthy and start clicking to build momentum heading into the playoffs.

They have some pivotal games ahead that could very well shape the playoff landscape and it begins with these next two divisional road games. The NFC West remains tight and Seattle needs to run the table to make sure they have enough space between them and the 49ers.  The Monday Night game against New Orleans could also be integral in Seattle's playoff seeding.  It's extremely important that the playoffs run through Seattle.

I know we're continuing to win games in spite of the overall health of the team but the offensive line needs to figure itself out and fast.  I want to see week to week improvement regardless of who is out there.  Hell, the backups have had a handful of games together now, it's time they show some cohesion. The simple fact is that improved pass protection will open up everything for this team and allow the Seahawks to fire on all cylinders.  If that aspect of their game continues to struggle, the burden falls on all the other areas, but when they get their job done, that allows for the other units to shine like they did down the stretch and into the playoffs last season.

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