What every pundit out there picking “not Seattle” to win the Super Bowl fails to realize is that this team is full of sharks that have now tasted blood. One feeding does not satiate them. It emboldens them, and steels their belief that every hunt will result in a meal. Try telling Earl Thomas he cannot win every game. Try telling Russell Wilson he cannot score on every drive. Try telling Marshawn Lynch that he is too old to break tackles. Please. Tell them.
Nobody wants to believe Southern Alaska is going to be the next dynasty. Nobody wants to feel like their team cannot compete. Their delusions will be forced out of the shadows and into the sunlight soon enough. This is once again the best team in all the land. Long live the kings.
That was pulled from Hawk Blogger’s 2014 season preview, where Brian Nemhauser predicted the Seahawks would go 15-1, with their only loss coming on Dec. 7 in Philadelphia. Now the best Seattle can do is 14-2, after a loss to the Cowboys in front of the 12s.
The 49ers came into this season with several concerns: a defense forced to find its way without two star players, the emotional toll from losing two NFC Championships and a Super Bowl in heartbreaking fashion, the Ray McDonald case, and the uncertainty surrounding Jim Harbaugh’s future. Comparatively speaking, there wasn’t much to worry about in Seattle besides the inherent difficulty in repeating as champions. They lost a defensive lineman or two, and Marshawn Lynch’s contract squabbles were a story for a little while, but the core was still young and looked to be as strong as ever.
Now there are questions. The Seahawks gained just 206 yards against the Cowboys, and afterward, wide receiver Doug Baldwin — who hasn’t scored a touchdown and is averaging 35 yards per game this season as the team’s No. 2 receiver — went off.
“What do you think, man? We’re frustrated,’’ Baldwin said when asked about it, still visibly agitated after the defeat. “The offense can’t (bleeping) move the ball. We’ve got too much (bleeping) talent over here not to be moving the ball.”
It’s not the conundrum anyone expected, is it? With Wilson seemingly moving into elite status, with Marshawn Lynch still in vintage form, with Percy Harvin’s explosiveness added to the mix, the Seahawks figured to have an offense that hummed.
Except on Sunday, it coughed and sputtered, save for one beautiful 53-yard fade route from Wilson to Jermaine Kearse on their first possession. Otherwise, the Seahawks faltered against a Dallas defense that had given up the most yards per play in the NFL.
Baldwin said afterward he’s not mad at Wilson, who passed for 126 yards, his lowest total since amassing a mere 108 last year against Arizona — Seattle’s last home defeat.
“It’s not on Russ,’’ Baldwin said. “I’m just saying, in general, our offense, we’re just too (bleeping) good not to be moving the ball down the field. It’s a collaborative thing. We’ve all got to pitch in and do our part. We’ve all got to do better.”
Lynch only got two carries in the first half and 10 overall (for 61 yards). Maybe his lack of involvement was what led to this sideline reaction that Fox caught on camera.
The Seahawks need to get back to being a run-first team, because their defense is suffering. They’re 19th in passing yards allowed per game, and a ratio of 10 touchdowns to two interceptions isn’t what the “Legion of Boom” figured they’d see at this point in the season. The Cowboys scored 30 points and held a sizable advantage in time of possession (37:39 to 22:21), just like in Seattle’s 30-21 loss to San Diego in Week 2, when the Chargers possessed the ball for 42:15.
Seattle has plenty of time to figure things out, and I’m assuming they’ll do just that. If the 49ers and Seahawks aren’t the two best teams in the NFC at the end of the year, it would be more than a little surprising. But this is certainly a test for Pete Carroll, who up to this point had this team ascending from the moment he left USC. Can Seattle respond positively after failing to meet the lofty expectations set for them, both by themselves and a rabid fan base, for the first time? With players complaining to the media and laughing during home losses, are the sharks now the ones who are bleeding?