Monday, December 29, 2014

NFC KINGS -- Seahawks 20 Rams 6

It's once again official: the road to the Super Bowl will come through Seattle. In a season where the Seahawks experienced it's fair share of turmoil, seeing this group return to championship form to finish out the final 6 games of the season gives 12s everywhere serious déjà vu. 

It's abundantly clear-- we have a dynasty here in the pacific northwest.

I'm not basing that on the fact that these Seahawks managed to leapfrog an Arizona team that seemed to be stronger than any loss it was handed. It's not because they beat a talented 49er team so badly that they've decided to blow it up and go back to the drawing board. Even securing the #1 seed in the NFC seems unimportant.

I can't imagine any team beating this team in the playoffs. Home or Away.

Peyton Manning doesn't scare me.   We kicked his ass in the Super Bowl and beat them again in the 3rd week of this season. We've swept the Cardinals this season, beating them by a combined 54-9.  Cam Newton has been outmatched every time he's faced off against Russell Wilson. The closest thing to a concern is Aaron Rodgers and he's pretty well beat up.

The way this team is playing right now, how could you expect anything less than a Super Bowl repeat?

This defense will be one we speak of for the rest of our lives.  Every player is playing spectacularly unselfishly for one another. Most of them have their ring and their contract but complacency is the furthest thing from their minds. It begins at the top with Earl Thomas and extends all the way to the practice squad.

Late in yesterday's game, with a secure lead, the Rams began to move the ball down field. Shaun Hill (who bears a striking resemblance to SNL's Taran Killam) hit Benny Cunningham in the flat on a swing pass that was all but certain to score a touchdown. As Cunningham lunged toward the goal line, Earl Thomas came in flying out of nowhere with a karate chop at the inch-line that knocked the ball into the endzone, giving the Seahawks possession at the 20 yard line.

Sure, it was a phenomenal physical exhibition by Thomas-- but it was the mental aspect that was most impressive to me.  Had St. Louis scored, Seattle would've still been up by a touchdown and had plenty of time to win the game. He didn't have to be excellent-- he chose to be.

It's plays like that, or Jordan Hill's interception of a pass thrown into the dirt, that exemplify the Seahawks defense of 2014. They're playing for each other.  They're playing for the love of the game. Most exceptionally, as they've gone on record numerous times saying, they're playing for their own legacy.
Yesterday's performance was yet another reminder that the lion's share of credit belongs to Pete Carroll for the way he prepares his team for the long, arduous season. Considering how much criticism this team's receiver group was subjected to going back as far as last season, to see rookie wide out Paul Richardson lead the team in receptions and yards in his first start, is truly remarkable. 

The Seahawks are once again NFC West Champions in control of their own Super Bowl destiny. Seattle will play at CenturyLink Field in the NFC Divisional Playoffs on Saturday, January 10th, against either Detroit, Arizona or Carolina. 

It's time for fans to adjust their mind frame from "Why not us?" to "Dynasty or Bust". 

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